Message from Emiko
Jan 23, 2014 by Michael Rinaldi
Jan 09, 2014 by Michael Rinaldi
Mom made solid progress in recovery from her bone marrow transplant. She was discharged from the hospital two weeks ahead of schedule! From here it's monitoring every other day for 3 months.....and for her to be considered "cured" requires the cancer stay gone for five years......but when considering all the possible scenarios we could be in right now.... I'm liking the one we are in. Thank you again for your positive thoughts and concern.
Want something for your money other than good karma? Got stinky workout clothes? Today is your lucky day. For every $25 spent on WIN sports detergent, $5 gets donated to my fund raising efforts. Click here http://tnt.windetergent.com/michaelrinaldi and as always, thank you.
Jan 07, 2014
This is the first picture of my mother, Emiko, after being discharged out of Walter Reed National Medical Center. This is after 10 days of 24/7 chemotherapy.
Over 4th of July weekend I was in Chicago visiting family and hoping to start a video diary of my family after seeing the movie "56 Up". I was going to ask questions like future goals, biggest regrets in life...stuff like that. As luck would have it I didn't have the correct microphone so I figured ok, I'll just do it the next time I see them and I remember thinking, I hope nothing happens inbetween now and then (whenever that would be). Then sure enough 34 days later I get a call from my father Thursday night that my mother had been admitted to the hospital due to being diagnosed with cancer. Apparently her white blood cell count was so low they admitted her immediately. At that point she was given three options:
1) Aggressive chemo to try to eliminate the cancer immediately which involved a 20% chance she wouldn't survive the chemotherapy.
2) Palliative chemo which would keep the cancer in check and prolong her life 5 years
3) No treatment and survive another 1-3 months.
Fortunately in true Rinaldi fashion she went all in and chose option 1. I am the eldest child and pretty worthless when it comes to producing grandchildren. My sisters on the other are picking up the slack. Maria has two children and Cynthia has one. Those kids are like catnip for my mom....so no......now is not a particularly good time for all this. Not to mention she didn't feel sick. This was a routine blood test she does every six months just because...and oh by the way, we can't let you go home because you have cancer and one to three months to live.
I flew out to Washington DC to see her not really knowing what to expect. I got there the day they started the chemo. She would receive 10 days of it. Three days of the "red devil" which is a red liquid they pump into your system that apparently can burn your skin to the touch and has some pretty major side effects. Every morning at 9 were the rounds and those were particularly stressful. Talk about feeling powerless. You are at the mercy of these abstract numbers to these words that you have no idea what they mean...and this after they've explained it half a dozen times. I can't imagine what my mom who's native language is Japanese was thinking....but she was a trooper staying positive, literally doing calisthetics in the corner of her room when she had the energy. So she survived the aggressive chemotherapy and THEN we had to wait to see if her body would start producing white blood cells again....which after a nervous 3 days we got the good news that the doctors were discharging her home.
Zach (2 years old)
Abigail (2 months old)
Rocco (1 day old)
Based on my mother's initial prognosis there was a chance she would not be alive to see Rocco who was born on Oct 14, 2014 which brings us to why this page. My family is very aware of how fortunate we are that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) exists to continue researching treatments to improve outcomes and support the quality of life for patients with cancer. I wanted to support a race that donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I ended up finding something better. I found Team in Training. I’m participating in a sports endurance event as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training along with my sister Karen to raise funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. I purposely selected a marathon because I've done several half-marathons and I want this to be a challenge. I've signed up for two full marathons (2009 & 2012) in the past and my right heel has always been a problem to the point would have to stop training 4-8 weeks before the race. I'm hoping with your support and a new focus I will be succesful this time around.
In Japanese culture, the number eight is considered a lucky number and is also my mother's favorite number. This is because of the shape of the kanji character for eight. The two strokes are wider at the bottom, suggesting a better time or better things to come in the future.
Please make a donation for $8.88 (or any multiple of $8) in support of our efforts with Team In Training and to help advance the research for cures.
Karen and I before the Red Rock Half Marathon in Las Vegas in 2010. She is running the NYC Marathon on November 3rd AND the Rock N Roll Half-Marathon in Phoenix January 19th. I'm running the Tucson Half Marathon December 7th AND the Rock N Roll Marathon in Phoenix January 19th. My friend of 24 years Jeff Marrah will be running by my side. Due to the timing of my mother's treatments my parents will not be able to attend...but that doesn't mean you can't! The more the merrier so please join in if you can.
And now a word from my sister Karen.
The last thing I thought my dad would be calling about is my mother being diagnosed with Leukemia. She was 65 and very healthly. I had sent my parents an email that morning and thought it was a little strange that my mom had not responded. if you know her, she is always on email. When I got the news I was in shock, I was confused, scared, i was sad, and really not even sure how to go on. I called her immediately in tears and to my surprise she sounded well. She was stronger than I was. She told me she was going to make it and do her best to survive the treatments. I realized then that is not the reaction that is needed. I need to be strong for my mom and think positive. This is the reason I'm here, her cancer was caught at a very early stage and was caught through a routine checkup. We are very fortunate and would not happen if research wasn't constantly being done. I'm asking you to donate $8.88 and also pass this along to anyone that has been effected. Much love to you all!
For updates on Emiko's status, please check back here.
For updates on Michael's training, please click on https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1112776029&fref=ts
For updates on Karen's training, please click on https://www.facebook.com/karen.rinaldi.397?fref=ts
Check and see if your company is one that matches donations here at www.matchinggifts.com/lls and please let me know if it is. You will double your contribution without any addition expense to you.