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Showing posts from June, 2005

Underdog

Thursday, June 30, 2005 4:34 PM CDT

Underdog by Audio Adrenaline

I am so weak and I'm so tired
It's hard for me to
Find enough strength to feed the fires
That fuel my ego
And consequently all my pride has all but died
Which leaves me
Down on my knees
Back to the place I
Should have started from

(CHORUS)
Been beat up
Been broken down
Nowhere but up
When you're facedown
On the ground
I'm in last place
If I place at all
But there's hope for this underdog !
That's the way, uh-huh, we like it!
That's the way, uh-huh, we like it!
You can call me the underdog

I'm in this race to win a prize
The odds against me
The world has plans for my demise
What they don't see
Is that a winner is not judged by his small size
But by the substitute he picks to run the race
And mine's already won

Chemo Success

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 5:59 PM CDT

THE PIC ABOVE IS FOR ALL OF YOU WHO SAY: SHELLEY, WHY ARE THERE NO PICTURES OF YOU???

Thank you for all the prayers.

The port (blasted thing!) worked the first time, exactly as it's supposed to. Long story here, but the port has mostly been a pain in the chest, so I'm glad it finally worked.

Dave's counts are low, but not too critical. They are continuing to give him the procrit, which is keeping his red cells barely in the normal range. They'll continue that at his weekly infusion. His whites have been drifting down slowly, and today they prescribed neupogen. It means another shot in the tummy. Poor Dave. His tummy looks like fireworks....all these lovely explosions of red, purple, blue and green. Sigh.

Dave seems stronger today, able to stand up/sit down without too much shaking. Stairs are better, too. He's still pretty wobbly while walking, tends to drift a lot. Looks a little tipsy. His focus is getting a little better, too. He is…

Chemo Day, try again

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 10:31 AM CDT

Chemo day!

Please pray that Dave's counts are up so that he can get the CPT-11 as scheduled today. Also pray the dern port works like it's supposed to! (grrrr)

Had a great trip to Idaho...more later, with pics. Kenny had a blast at football camp. The players are fabulous.

Zach ended a great season (a losing team, but Z had a great year and kept his spirits up). He found out that he made the 13 year old All-Star Team! He's very excited about that. They get introduced at the championship game tomorrow, and we're all excited and proud. MORE baseball...it just doesn't get any better than that!

Amy and Luke are visiting with Grandma and Grandpa. How fun for the kids.

My mom and dad are still here. They've been amazing. So willing to drop everything to come and help. They have their own lives, their own committments, and yet, when we need them, they are here unconditionally. It's more than we could ask for. We are blessed beyond beli…

Chemo Day

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 1:26 PM CDT

Chemo day.

Well, Dave's white cell count was too low to get chemo today. He's been on some kind of chemo continuously for two years now, and it's really taking a toll on his bone marrow. We're switching to CPT-11 two weeks on, one week off. Same number of doses in a six-week cycle, but hopefully having the break every third week will help his counts rebound. They could give him neupogen, a white blood cell booster, but it would mean 14 days with no chemo, so we're going to try this new schedule first.

His red cells are low also, and they gave him another shot of procrit.

The avastin doesn't affect the blood counts, because it's a monoclonal antibody treatment, not a chemo. So that will continue every other week. Dave got avastin today.

Thanks for all the prayers and the notes in the guestbook. It made Dave smile to see the entries today. It really does uplift his spirits. He's so blasted tired. And fighting an eye infecti…

Father's Day and Baseball

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 2:17 AM CDT

A wonderful Father's Day we had. We are so blessed...surrounded by the love of so many great dads.

Today was baseball...Zach's friend, Jake, invited him to play on his team, since they were short players. It was a great night. Deb and I loved watching the boys together on the same team again! Zach hit two doubles and played catcher the whole game. They won!! It's a lot of fun to be on a winning team once in a while!

Kenny is in Moscow, Idaho at the University of Idaho football camp with all the rest of the Wa-Hi football players. (This is why Jake's team was short...lots of kids at football camp.) Kenny is having a lot of fun. He's playing wide receiver, said they lost one scrimmage today and won one, and he caught some passes. Very cool. He's having the time of his life, and we miss him terribly! We're going to Idaho on Thursday to watch some of the scrimmage on Friday and bring him home. Can't wait to see him. He'…

Chemo Day

Wednesday, June 15, 2005 4:29 PM CDT

Chemo Day.

Thanks for the brownies, Alex. What a gem you are. It's always so good to see your smile, you brighten my day. I'll take you over Martha any day!

Dave's blood counts are still marginal. High enough so that he could get the full dose today, not low enough to get any more procrit, but still low overall. His O2 sats are 99, which is great, but he's still very, very, very tired. He mostly sleeps all day.

I talked to the doctor and it looks like the levaquin is taking care of the staph infection. I also asked him about the risk of cerebral hemmorage with CPT-11 and the oral blood thinner, coumadin. He agreed with Dr. Stark-Vance that the lovenox is safer and more effective, especially for brain tumor patients. He said most people don't want to do the home injections and it's more expensive. We said that we'd do whatever is safer and more effective for Dave, so they called Premera. (Have I mentioned you need to hug your…

Who

Sunday, June 12, 2005 10:42 PM CDT

Listening to the Newsboys, knowing our God is unknowable. Jesus is the final answer, even when we don't know the questions.


Newsboys - Who?

How you gonna reckon with a God like this?
When you gonna face what you can't dismiss?
Whatcha gonna say to the... soul kiss that is my God?
Fearsome like the sag in a fat man's chair?
Sweeter than a patch of Rogaine hair?
How do you define what you can't compare?
This is... My God

And there's no use explaining what can't be contained

(chorus:)
I'm not following a God I can lead around
I can't tame this deity
That's why Jesus is the final answer
To Who I want my God to be!
He's Who (I want my God to be...)

How you gonna reckon with a God this great?
Why you gonna measure what you can't equate?

Whatcha gonna say to the... Checkmate that is my God?
Stronger than the burn of an aftershave?
Tender as a burger in the microwave,
rarer than the air in an empty grave?
This is... My God

And there's…

Special Olympics

Sunday, June 12, 2005 1:38 AM CDT

Special Olympics track meet in Milton-Freewater today. Kenny won gold--THREE times! He won in the 100, the 200 and the relay. It was very exciting. He was so proud. And so were we.

Zach had a great baseball outing. Looked good pitching, catching and at the plate. Team is still struggling, but improving. Fun kids, too.

Not much else to tell. Going to bed. Love, Shelley

Take Me

Saturday, June 11, 2005 1:32 AM CDT

Artist: Hawk Nelson
Album: Letters To The President
Song: Take Me

Can you hear me? Does anyone around me
Feel the way that I feel now?
'Cause from the window where I sometimes cry
I just want to see Your face tonight
And I’m willing to lose everything I am

'Cause I need you more than ever
I need Your help to find where I’ve been going wrong so far

Take me under Your wing tonight
Make me so perfect in Your eyes
Hold on 'cause it will be all right
You’re not alone anymore

When You’re near me, I feel like I just found me
In the traces of the boy from yesterday
But in a world that is so black and white
I will take the steps to change my life
And I won’t be coming back to here again

I need Your loving hand to guide me
Through the maze of all the things inside me
Then I’ll know that I’m alright

'Cause I need You more than ever
I need Your help to find where I’ll be going wrong so far

Take me under Your wing tonight
Make me so perfect in Your eyes
Hold on 'cause …

Fathers

Sunday, June 19, 2005 8:46 PM CDT

FATHERS...

When the good Lord was creating Fathers
he started with a tall frame,
and a female angel nearby said,
"What kind of Father is that?

If you're going to make children so close to the ground,
why have you put Fathers up so high?

He won't be able to shoot a marble without kneeling,
tuck a child in bed without bending,
or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."

And God smiled and said,
"Yes, but if I make him child-size,
who would children have to look up to?"

And when God made a Father's hands,
they were large and sinewy.

And the angel shook her head sadly and said,
"Do you know what you are doing?
Large hands are clumsy.

They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons,
rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters
caused by baseball bats."

And God smiled and said,
"I know, but they're large enough to hold everything
a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day..
yet small enough to cup a child…

Home Sweet!!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2005 3:00 PM CDT

Whew, we are home.

Dave has an angry abcess on his arm from the staph infection, but the blood cultures came back and the infection is sensitive to levequin, an oral antibiotic, so they let Dave go!

We made it to Kenny's 8th grade recognition night and we also got to go see Kate get a math award/medal this morning.

Yesterday we spent all day at the cancer center getting chemo.

Today, we rest. Breathing is still difficult and painful, and Dave is tired. The blood thinners will prevent new clots from forming, and the existing clots will be re-absorbed by his body in time. We're watching carefully for signs of bleeding. His coumadin is at a therapeutic level, so we don't have to give the lovenox shots any more, although I did hear from one doc that said the lovenox would be safer than the coumadin. I'll check that out with our doc and see what he says.

Thank you for your prayers. Too exhausted to write more. Shell

Anger Into Action

Monday, June 6, 2005 3:25 PM CDT

Hello folks, Today I turned "mad" into "action." I met today with the director of nursing and with the director of radiology.

As for using the port for CT scans, they said that their protocol is to try an arm IV first, and only use the port if that fails. (The tech was not accurate in what he told me.) It is true that the port can handle the contrast for the CT, but they said that the contrast medium is very viscous (thick and syrupy) and that they do have to put a higher volume in at a faster rate for a CT than they do for an MRI. This is why ports are not preferred, because there is a chance the contrast can "blow" the port and make it useless. So they try an arm IV first. They do have a procedure to call an RN to use the port if the IV stick fails. The whole point of the protocol is to protect the port if possible. This makes some sense to me, and it is reassuring to know that they will use the port if they have trouble w…

Staph

Sunday, June 5, 2005 3:15 PM CDT

Well folks, the infection in Dave's IV site turns out to be a strain of staph that has proven to be resistant to the first two antibiotics they tried. We're on a new combo of two powerful antibiotics. They're afraid that it will infect his port and that they'll have to remove the port. This is scary, because he's on blood thinners, and surgery while on blood thinners is always risky. And the worst is, the IV site was completely unnecessary since Dave had the port, and it was already accessed. The CT tech told me the port couldn't handle the rate of infusion of the contrast for the CT. I told him that they use the port for the contrast for the MRI's, and he said, "Oh, but this is much faster." Turns out to be a bold-faced lie. I should have known...I mean the vein the port goes into is much larger than the veins they use for IV's. I'm so mad. And some of the nurses in the hospital are not being careful about …

Yes...hospital still

Sunday, June 5, 2005 0:41 AM CDT

Saturday night, still in the hospital. Hopefully, the antibiotics are working.

Kate had a dance recital tonight. She danced beautifully. I was in awe of my little girl, so poised and grown up, so graceful. I only wish Dave could have been there. We did tape the dress rehearsal so that he could watch it, but it's not the same as having him there. Kate was really sad after the recital. We went to see Dad at the hospital, but she really misses him.

Thanks for keeping the prayers coming.

We're so grateful about Dave's tumor shrinking so dramatically. Dr. Sacks said that the radiologist used the word "miraculous" in his report.

As soon as we get settled in back home, I want to set a date for a repeat 24-hour prayer vigil. One of praise and thanks. How wonderful would it be to have that same stream of prayer, rising to heaven, thanking God for all His blessings.

I'll let ya know! Love, Shell

Still in the hospital

Friday, June 3, 2005 11:09 AM CDT

Kenny is off to Tacoma to compete in the State Special Olympics track meet. It's kind of scary for Mom, since he's going on his own this year, without Dave with him! He's growing up!

Dave's blood is still not at a therapeutic level, so they're going to keep him another day. He walked stairs yesterday and did great, so that was wonderful. He's pulling out of the morphine haze now, and is much more alert.

Dr. Sacks says perhaps tomorrow he can go home.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Love, Shell

PS. Another song for you. God is always here. We know right where to find Him.

Artist: Matthew West
Song Title: You Know Where to Find Me

I saw your sky fall down today
Suddenly turned from blue to gray
Till one by one the raindrops
Turned to tears upon your face
Wish there was something I could do
Wish I could ease the pain for you
But I’ve never felt so helpless
It’s like you’re drowning right in front of me
And I’m reaching out but you can’t see
T…

Infection

Friday, June 3, 2005 8:46 PM CDT

Now Dave has an infection in his iv site, the one on his arm, not his port. It's swollen, red, and has red streaks. They're starting him on antibiotics. Pray they work quickly. His arm hurts a LOT!

In His grip,
Shell

IT SHRUNK!

Thursday, June 2, 2005 6:20 PM CDT

IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!
IT SHRUNK!


Did you hear me?????????????

IT SHRUNK!!!!!!!!

Dr. Sacks showed me the scans today. Dave's tumor was big in April. It was growing across the corpus callosum and there was a streak and a satellite lesion on the left side, as well as growth of his tumor on the right side. Today's scan shows very little tumor left. There's a rim, but it's truly amazing. Truly astonishing.

We started the CPT-11/Avastin combo the end of April. His symptoms got better right away. Now we know why.

Answered prayer number two million and seven!

And not only that, but Dave continues to improve, and is ready to come home tomorrow. We'll continue with the CPT-11/Avastin. Dr. Sacks said, "We just have to watch it really carefully so we don't kill him with the side effects!"

God is so good. We gratefully, humbly, tearfully accept, cherish and cel…

MRI

Thursday, June 2, 2005 12:15 AM CDT

Thursday morning.
Thank you for all your prayers. As always, God is true to His promises.

Dave was able to complete the MRI yesterday. We saw Dr. Sacks this morning, and he said there is some swelling, but the computer wouldn't let him call up an old scan to compare it to, so he's not sure if the picture is the same, better or worse as in April. I'll go to his office this afternoon and should know more then. And we'll find out more about chemo then, too. Didn't do the chemo yesterday.

Dave had a strange incident yesterday where he woke up, coughed and then couldn't breathe at all...couldn't move any air at all. He was panicked and it went on for what seemed like forever. Finally, it cleared and he could breathe again. Once he could breathe again, he started having chest pain, and the pain in his back was gone. This scared us quite a bit, as we feared the clot had broken loose and moved closer to his heart. The doctor said no,…

In the hospital

Wednesday, June 1, 2005 1:07 AM CDT

Thanks for all the prayers.

Dave is still experiencing a lot of pain. Breathing really hurts him right now and they are giving him the maximum dose of morphine. So he's either sleeping or making the Chewbacca noises. He says he's going to star as a wookie in Star Wars Episode VII because of the sound he makes to get through the pain.

The medication he is on is lovenox. It's injected into his abdomen twice a day. Yee haw. Now I get to learn to give shots. He'll be on it for a while. They also added coumadin. Both are blood thinners to prevent new clots from forming. Dave's had a low heart rate and low blood pressure for several weeks now, so that's contributing to the clots. We don't know whether the clots were a result of the tamoxifen or of the port placement. They did an ultrasound of his legs to see if there are more clots in his legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT), as they believe the clots in his lungs traveled there fro…