Friday, January 30, 2009

Update 1.30.09

Hi Friends,
Things sure can change fast. Tom's last few days at Methodist had some great surprises including a private performance by the Harbor Light Choir. Tom woke up, smiled, and shook each performer's hands.

However, overall his condition is declining. Tom is in significant pain and we had to get far more aggressive in managing it.

Tom is now in Houston Hospice, resting very comfortable. He doesn't wake up to much any more and talking is limited. True to form, however, he sure loves ice cream and finds sherbet "glorious."

Estimates of Tom's remaining life on earth range from hours to weeks. Tom and I were blessed by a bond that just got stronger and stronger. The support from all of you pulled us through the last 19 months. And even though it does not look like the ending I wanted, Tom continues to be the "Miracle Boy" in being the most loving, compassionate, faith-filled, and unorganized actualized human I could ever be blessed to meet.

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love, Theresa

Monday, January 26, 2009

Update 1.26.09

Dear Friends,

Toms Medical Fundraiser was a great success. We did well financially but even more important is that for those few hours there was more love in one space than I could have ever imagine.

The generosity, help, hope, and strength from family, friends, friends of friends, and people that had never even met Tom continues to take my breath away. I'll write more about it later.

Lots of documentation was done and I will share it with you as it comes in. Scott Kohn, a terrific friend and photographer already put this show to together. Please enjoy.

Keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa

Friday, January 23, 2009

Update 1.23.09 part 2

Tonight was magical.

Tom has formed a very special bond with his OT team: Lauren and Chris.

The energy in the room when the three of them are together is so positive. But then something really special happened. Chris brought in his double bass and played for Tom.

Tom was quiet, peaceful, and smiling so perfectly. Chris did this special just for Tom. Chris has earned his spot in heaven. Thank you Chris.

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love, Theresa

Update 1.23.09

Hi Friends,

Thanks so much for the feedback on the pants! Turns out there are several types out there particularly in the soccer and basketball areas. They are called "tear away" pants or something like that. We call them Chippendale's! I got Tom a few pairs and they are great! We took pictures of him wearing them but this is the only one that worked. Use your imagination!

Early next week Tom will be moving to a skilled nursing facility to continue his rehab. We have one near the house which will be very convenient. Nicole is staying through Feb 5 and hopes to come back for a few more weeks in March. I am taking a leave of absence from work for a few months so I can help Tom in his recovery full time.

Tom's therapist has advised that Tom not go the fund raiser for several reasons but he will be with all of us in energy and thanks. We even have a short video from him to show. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

We remain so grateful for the love and support from all of you. We could not do it without you.

If you plan on visiting please call first. Tom loves to see all his friends but believe it or not his days are really full and if we can coordinate a time, chances are he will be awake and in the room and you will be able to see him. Just drop a call or email.

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Update 1.19.09

Hi Friends,
I need some help. Somewhere this exists and I am hoping you know where. Tom is spending a lot of time in bed but still likes to get dressed. Putting pants and shorts on are a heck of a trick.

I need to find some pants that have the specifications:
- Extra large
- Lightweight breathable material
- Legs that on the outside have Velcro all the way through the waist so that they are easy to put on without pulling up.

I'm guessing I could get a pair of track pants at Academy or Target and go to town with a long strip of Velcro but that has trouble written all over it.

If you have any ideas you can post them in the blog or email me at Thank you.

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update 1.18.09

Hi Friends,

Tom continues to be filled with positive energy. He is working like crazy on his physical therapy. It makes any marathon training I have ever done seem like a stroll down easy street.

Tom also sleeps very well at night (and when he can between this therapies during the day). His appetite is getting better and that is also helped by the fine food we are bringing in from home.

For the past three days Tom has had wheel chair adventures leaving not only the room but the floor and even taking a cross walk to a different building. Below we are sitting in front of the Fountain at Methodist. With me driving it may have been more of an adventure that he had in mind (Tip: Back the patient into the elevator so you don't smash their feet in the wall.)

This morning, although Tom was not able to see the marathon runners I gave him a play by play of the action outside our window. He grinned so big with the successes of each and everyone of our runner friends.

Wednesday or Thursday Tom is leaving rehab. Tuesday we learn if he going to a different rehab facility or heading home! I will keep you posted.

Tom is going to give it his best shop to make it to the party. We hope to see each of you there.

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love, Theresa

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Update 1.15.09

Hi everyone,

Well it is day 15 that Tom is in the hospital and overall it is going very well. Tom is super busy. He has six therapies a day all of which are adventures. Yesterday he walked 25 steps with the "Streak" (that is the name we gave his walker!). That is amazing since it was only four or five days ago that he did not have the strength to sit on the edge of his bed.

He has good color in his face and continues to humble me with his faith, love, and optimism.

Other continued victories include moving from a catheter to a urinal, from 24 hours in a hospital gown to 12 of those in his track suit, and a change from no appetite to craving a Big Mac! He has gone from barely eating 800 calories a day to reaching 2000 several days in a row (with a goal of 2200).

Here is Tom directing Tommy on hanging the Christmas lights!

As you know I have tried keep this communication tool about Tom with a few mentions of help received. That is because I could start an entire separate blog with nothing but thanks and praise for the love, prayers, and help I am getting in so many ways from so many people. Each and every one of you are so appreciated and I don't know what we would do without you. A special thanks however needs to be given to Nicole who left her job in Phoenix for a month to come and help support Tom and I 24/7. This has allowed me to go back to work and to focus my "Tom Time" on loving him and not worrying about his meds. Thank you all and thank you thank you Nic!

On other fronts the Tom Lawrence Fund Raiser is moving ahead at lightening speed. It is going to be a terrific event not only helping Tom and Brain Cancer research but celebrating Big Tom the wonderful guy. If you have any questions about it contact Nic (

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa

Monday, January 12, 2009


Hi all,
Quick update. Tom is still in rehab and has his good days and bad days but his lungs are doing MUCH better. I'll post more later.
Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa

Monday, January 5, 2009

Update 1.5.09

Tom is getting better. His breathing is somewhat stronger and they have reduced his oxygen flow. They installed a PICC line which allows blood to be drawn and IV meds to be inserted without poking Tom all the time.

Tom continues to get breathing treaments every four hours, and tons of other drugs in between. His appetite varies but this morning he had a good breakfast.

It looks like Tom will be in the hospital at least a few more days and then move to in-patient rehab. I'm not sure what that means yet but it sounds like it is a different part of the hospital where he continues to get good care but also gets plenty of physical therapy.

I will keep you posted. Please keep Tom in your prayers.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Update 1.2.09 part 2

I just had a fascinating lesson in pneumonia from Doctor Bloom and figured if he was working at 10:30 at night I could too. I have not done my usual due diligence on this, and I have a had a bit of wine so pipe up if you know better on this stuff.

Based on the bit I know pneumonia can fall into several categories including viral, bacterial, the result of inhaling food or water, fungal, or blood clots.

Dr. Bloom does not feel Tom's is the result of food intake since Tom has not been coughing while eating or choking while drinking. He does not think it is a blood clot as that presents with pain in the chest of which Tom has none and there is no indication on the X-Ray.

It could be bacterial or viral or fungal. Dr. Bloom feels it is a fungal type called: Pneumocystis Pneumonia (PCP). Google that for more details but apparently it is a type that commonly hits those with suppressed immune systems. It is very effectively treated with IV Bactirm which is in Tom's cocktail right now.

Although PCP has a high recovery rate it also has a high recurrence rate. In immunocompromised patients (e.g. cancer patients on chemotherapy, or persons living with AIDS with a CD4+ T-cell count below 200/μl), prophylaxis with regular pentamidine inhalations or sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (co-trimoxazole or TMP-SMX) may be necessary to prevent PCP.

Ok, I know you are thinking "wow she is so smart I have no idea what that means!" Lest I burst your bubble I don't either. This is a Wikipedia quote. But I'll try and find out tomorrow. Good night.

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa

Update 1.2.09

Well 2008 ended in a lovely way. Tom and I had various friends and family stop by and help or visit and some special guests came bringing dinner to ring in the New Year.

Of course those of you that know me realize that "ringing in the new year" means staying up to 9:30 p.m. and for once Tom and I were pooped out at the same time. We agree that 2008 has been a challenge and not what we would have picked but we have grown together in love, understanding, and knowledge. Then of course 2009 woke us up with a bang.

During the night Tom developed quite a cough and quite early in the morning Dr. Kew recommended a fast trip to the emergency room. With the help of dear friends and lots of muscle Tom made it to Methodist and in no time at all had a diagnosis of pneumonia.

Last night was a blessing as Michael and Theresa spent the night at the hospital in my stead. I showered which earned a round of applause from the nursing staff.

We plan on being here at least through Monday while Tom is pumped with antibiotics and I drink nasty coffee. Neither one of us is putting on weight right now but we sure are loving Ensure!

Please keep Tom in your prayers.

Love Theresa