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Chemo begins

by Tom on March 22nd, 2011

Hello fans of Tom,

Tom’s doctor and oncologist sat me down this morning and explained that they want to start chemo today. He cannot survive on his current trajectory much longer. His lungs have healed somewhat, but he still cannot breathe without some ventilator support. He is also not absorbing as many platelets from his transfusions now, meaning that he is at a real risk for bleeding without being able to stop.

The doctors wanted to warn me that there is a “real possibility” that Tom will not survive chemo. When I asked what that would look like, they said that when he is neutropenic, which will be about 5 days after starting chemo, that he could get a serious infection, like sepsis, or start spontaneously bleeding. There is not much we can do – that we aren’t already doing – to make him more prepared for this fight. As I understand it, this doesn’t mean it’s a done deal… we just need to be prepared for how dangerous this is for him.

I love how supportive everyone has been, and if he wakes up enough in the days ahead I will read all the comments folks have been sending via email, Facebook, and on this blog. He knows he is loved, and I can only imagine how much that is helping him fight. Thank you all so, so much. Please continue to send good thoughts and prayers for the true battle that lies ahead. We’ve been waiting long enough – it’s time for this showdown!

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  1. Mary permalink

    Sending loves and good feelings…you are strong, beautiful people and I can’t imagine what this has been like for you guys.

  2. Kris and Ray permalink

    Warm, good thoughts and prayers being sent your way. Sending angels to help Tom fight the fight ahead and to also lift you up and give you strength through the battle, Jana. I, too, cannot imagine what the two of you are going through. When Tom wakes up, tell him we are with you both in spirit.

  3. Katie Gass permalink

    Thanks for the updates Jana! You are the epitome of a loving wife, care-taker, friend, and advocate; I know that your strength and support are doing so much for Tom! Tom has been in my thoughts constantly these past few days–I’m always eargerly awaiting the next update and hoping that the prognosis improves.

    Much love to you both!

  4. You’re in my prayers Tom. You have strength and I’ll be thinking about you.

  5. Robin permalink

    I’ve been thinking about both of you all the time over the past few days. Thank you for the update, and I hope very much that the next one has some good news in it. love, Robin

  6. Karen Momma Bear permalink

    The fight is on!!!!!!!!! I am so there!!!!!!! No-no-nobody messes with my kids!!!!!!!!

  7. Brad permalink

    Hello Jana,

    Unfortunately I’ve been sick or I’d swing by… will he be able to have visitors in the next few days, or is that on hold for now? Thanks, and my and my family are praying for both of you.

  8. Jana, do you need a place to stay in the city? I’ll offer to stand watch at the hospital if that gets you some sleep. Just let me know.

    Tom, tie a rope around your waist and you’d better come back with Carol Anne!

  9. missC permalink

    I’m a friend of his from the online cancer community, just letting you know that all of us over there are keeping him in his thoughts and crossing our fingers and hoping and wishing and praying for the best.
    This is a big deal for all of us and we definitely hope that everything turns out well, even though the shitty shitty truth about cancer is that it can be a mean bastard….
    I’m hopin Tom pulls through. Hoping that he will be able to deal with chemo, Hopin that chemo will make a positive difference, and gosh, hopin that things turn out alright…..
    Hang in there. It sounds as if things aren’t great at the moment, but just keep puttin one foot in front of the other I guess is all I can say. thanks for keeping us updated, I hope you find the strength to keep writing about your situation, and don’t hesitate to ask for what you need.

    good luck, sending positive vibes your way!!!!!!!!!

  10. Tom Veitch permalink

    My thoughts and Prayers are with you both. I’m pulling for Tom to pull through. Katie Gass is right on with her description of you Jana!

  11. I was going to visit tomorrow, but a nasty cold hit me today and I assume they won’t let me anywhere near you. If I’m over it by the weekend, Bryan and I will come.

    Tell Tom I’m continuing our game from New Year’s Eve: I never went to the edge and back, so when he returns he’ll need to take a drink.

  12. Chelsea Peterson permalink

    You and Tom are such courageous, wonderful people. Praying for strength and energy for this fight. I love you both!

  13. Roy Leban permalink

    Jana and Tom, you have many people pulling for you. Yeah, we know we can’t actually help — Remote Assistance only works for computers, not humans — but maybe just knowing all the support you have will give you a little extra bit of strength.

  14. Hi Jana & Tom,

    Thanks for the update. I hope everything goes well with the treatment. My prayers are with you both. Please let me know if you need anything!

    Take care,

  15. Meera permalink

    Hey Jana and Tom,

    I’m heading back tomorrow morning, and we’ll be seeing you this weekend. All my thoughts and prayers are with you guys. Jana, you’re amazing, and I can’t wait to see you and give you a massive hug. If there’s anything you happen to need from Scotland, let me know, and I’ll be happy to bring it with me! Otherwise, I’ll be seeing you soon.

    All my love.

  16. Loren Todd permalink


    I knew Tom in high school and don’t think I talked to him since. I learned of his condition through a facebook post recently and I really wanted to express my sympathy and support. I could go on and on about what a great guy I remember Tom to be, but I’m sure it would pale in comparison to the great guy you know him to be. I sincerely hope he pulls through. I’m no longer in the Seattle area, or I would stop by, but please include this post with the multitude of well-wishes others have left for Tom. Thank you for posting this blog.

  17. Sean McCarter permalink

    Tell Tom that I will be in town on the 30th and I want to come see him on the 30th, 31st (March) or 1st of April while I’m there. Tell him I’ll see I’m coming all the way from Vietnam just to visit him, maybe you shouldn’t mention that I’m coming for work too :) , and I expect to see and talk to him…despite what the Dr. says!

    I love you guys…and will see you soon,

  18. Jana and Tom, sending hugs to you both. My prayer is that only good things happen from this day forward and that Tom is home, safe and sound, very soon.

  19. Magical permalink

    Fight, Tom, FIGHT!

  20. Stef McIrvin permalink

    Thanks so much for the update, Jana. I think about Tom everyday and am sending him all the good vibes I have. He will prevail!

    Lots of love,

  21. Ed Everest permalink

    Saying prayers for Tom and willing there to be good news for you all soon. And thanks Jana for updating us.
    Best wishes,
    Ed from South Australia.

  22. melissa jenkins permalink

    I have been so wrapped up in my little world, I was caught off guard by your latest facebook post. I want to send my thoughts, and to let you know I am thinking of you both. You are both so strong and supportive of each other, you are an inspiration to others. Love you two. Please (please!) let me know if you need anything!

  23. Christopher Bruce permalink

    Jana I admire your determination and resolve. I love the last line: “it is time for this showdown!” You are both so amazing. I continue to send my love and prayers.

  24. Meghan McIrvin permalink

    Hi Jana,

    I just saw the link to this blog on FB.

    I want to share some memories of with you (I saw it was too late to send them to Lauren). As children, we (including Mike and Ryan) always played together during the summer. The first thing I think of is LEGOs! We spent many nights playing “Predator Pray” (which was just a fancy and “mature” name for hide and seek) and capture the flag. During the day we played tag, freeze tag, and the blob on the front lawn of his parent’s house. I also remember an adventure game that Tom had created for us. We had to do different activities and find certain things to progress through levels. I was pretty young still, but looking back, I think he was making it up as we went to keep us busy.

    Anyway, after all the time we spent together, I always viewed Tom and Mike as older brothers. And although we haven’t stayed in touch through our years, it really means a lot to me how much he looked after me when we were children. He was very tolerant of my immaturity and young age.

    I hope the best for him, you and all of the Musics. Tell him he needs to make a speedy recovery because I can’t wait to see the both of you in Brussels! You’re welcome any time!

    With much love and support,


  25. Casey Margell permalink

    Hey Jana,

    I’ve been thinking about you and Tom regularly. I’m curious about whether there are any needs that I can help with or organize people helping with. I’m thinking of things like meals, mowing your lawn, washing your car, etc. things that will help you feel like things aren’t such a mess. Alternately if you’re at the hospital maybe you need meals delivered there to break up the routine of hospital food (and who can blame you for wanting/needing a little variety).

    There’s an upcoming Seattle tech event that I’ve been considering setting up as a fundraiser either for you guys directly (if you are open to it) or for some organization. I’m guessing you have one in mind that you guys would like the money to go to.

    Basically I’m looking for a way I can help. :) If you or someone you delegate on your behalf could shoot me a quick email (cmargell at Gmail) that’d be awesome.


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