Saturday, March 18, 2006

March 18, 2006

I feel great today. I just wanted to say that because it has been a while since I felt this good. Of course, I ended up doing so much that I am completely worn out by 6:00 p.m. I am really looking forward to church tomorrow.

Yesterday, Tessa and Lucas were both sick and throwing up so Marianne was really on the go. She is amazing. All are better today.

Because of the fever and other problems of a few days ago, my chemo was cancelled and rescheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March 15, 2006

I woke up yesterday morning with a fever of 102. It seems like cancer would be enough, right? When patients with ports in their chests get fevers, the folks at the clinic get nervous. We called to check with them and they said I needed to immediately come in for treatment. They took several blood cultures, gave me IV fluids and started me on an antibiotic. Hopefully this illness will not last long.

While at the clinic, Dr. Whisenant showed us the results of my CT scan. There are no new tumors and the existing tumors stayed the same size. While we would have preferred more shrinkage in the existing tumors, we are still pleased with the results given that we took the scan in the middle of the chemo cycle. We are going to finish off the cycle and take a PET scan which hopefully will show a little shrinkage.

We did have a fun event on the way home from the clinic. Marianne and I were talking and getting ready to eat lunch (Subway) when I had a sudden and strong urge to not have anything in my stomach. Marianne pulled over as fast as she could but we could not get the door opened in time. I ruined lunch, several work papers, probably my clothes, and my cell phone. When we got home, poor Marianne cleaned the horrible mess while I tried to shower off the smell. Another one of the million reasons I am so fortunate to be married to her. She has sacrificed so much to help me and the rest of our family work through this tough situation.

If I can get past this illness, I will start chemo again on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

March 8, 2006

Just wanted to drop a quick note to let everyone know I am starting to feel a little better. This is an off week for chemo and I finally feel like I am going to put together a string of good days. My body needs it

I picked up my chalky milkshakes from the hospital yesterday in preparation for my CT scan on Monday. The milkshakes are hard to drink even when my stomach feels good but I am not going to complain. I am excited to have the scan and determine whether the chemo is working.

Thanks for the prayers and support.

Friday, March 03, 2006

March 3, 2006

Good news. I finished my last chemo treatment yesterday for the current cycle. We now need to wait for the CT Scan on March 13th and my appointment with Dr. Whisenant on the 14th to determine whether the chemo has done any good. As I have mentioned before, types of chemo become less effective over time and although this chemo treatment worked the first time it may not work this time. If that is the case, we will switch to a new type of chemo and start again on March 16th. If this type chemo is still effective we will also start the next cycle on the 16th but stay with the same drugs.

The key to managing chemo is managing the side effects. The most common problems are fatigue, nausea, mouth sores and for me a sharp cold reaction to one of the medications. This last week we tried a new medicine for the cold reactions. It is hard to tell if it worked or not because the cold symptoms accumulate and become more severe over time -- so the fact that the symptoms are the same this week may or may not mean the new medicine worked. At times, it feels like a big game.

Chemo also accumulates in the body and attacks red and white blood cells making a person more susceptible to viruses. Since I am now heading into an off week, I should have several days of feeling good if I can avoid getting sick. My blood counts are low but I feel good.

My family is doing well. We are remembering each day why we may have waited so long to have a baby. Marianne is handling most everything related to Lucas. The key seems to be determining what he wants. When others in the family are watching him we will ask her what he needs when he is unhappy and she will look at us like we are nuts for expecting her to completely understand the wants and needs of a four month old. I know we frustrate her but we appreciate her patience.

We again are appreciative of all the kind acts and selfless work being done on our behalf. Please keep up the prayers.