Friday, February 29, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 47

Well, today I finally have something to write about! Last Friday I had lab work, a Ct scan of my abdomen,pelvis, and chest and an MRI of the brain. My lab work has been fine. My CT scans showed that my abscesses in the liver, spleen and kidneys were improved. The spots on my lungs were improved as well. The MRI of the brain was worse, however. We had a hard time finding it on the first MRI but it was very easy to see on this MRI. We did not have a doctor's visit till the end of this week and nobody really wanted to give us much information till they saw me and my scans.

I saw Dr. Lanzotti yesterday and Dr. Dubberke, my infectious disease doctor today. They both thought I was doing fine. I had a regular exam and a neurologic exam today and both were normal. Dr Lanzotti said he was leaving things up to Dr. Dubberke and Dr. Cashen, my transplant doctor. Dr. Dubberke said today that he is happy with my abdomen and lungs and he thinks my brain is OK, too, but he wants another scan to show it is stable or improved. The doctor thought my spot on my brain must be improving. He said that I would be much sicker by now if it wasn't. Normally you would start running fevers and I would feel really bad. I would have headaches or some other problems. Thanks to our Lord and the medicine I am not having these problems. I had a lot of lab work done at his office two weeks ago to make sure there was no unusual germ causing my infection and all the tests came out OK. Some of the cultures take 6 weeks to get results but everything looks good so far. I will have another MRI on March 7th. I am to send Dr. Dubberke the disks and fax him the reports and then he will decide whether I am ready for the transplant or not. A tentative date of March 12th or March 14th for my admission has been set with the transplant occurring 6 days later. My donor has not had a problem with waiting so I still have an ideal donor waiting for me! Praise the Lord!!!

Daniel was home last weekend and Jon has been home this week. We went out to dinner this week to celebrate Jon's birthday. We played some board games last weekend and this week and had a good time. Daniel will be coming home on March 7th and David will be home March 8th. They both have the week of March 10th off for spring break. It looks like I will be home at least a part of the time they are here. I thought I would miss them completely but now it looks like I will get to spend a little bit of time with them before I go in for the transplant. God has worked things out for me once again in His way!

I will be getting my lab work repeated tomorrow. I am still getting my IV antibiotics at home and will be on it for another 10 or more days. Teresa still continues to do my IVs without any problems. The only thing the visiting nurses come for now are dressing changes every 4 days.

God continues to work things out in His own way. May He bless you as He continues to bless me!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 40

Today was another good day. I had my scans and lab work this morning. I went in at 7 AM and was able to be home by 9 AM. Sometimes it pays to get tests at a smaller hospital. It also helped that they rearranged the schedules so that I could do my MRI right after my CT scans. My hemoglobin is stable at 11.7. My white count and platelet count are normal. My chemistries were all OK and showed that my potassium had improved from 3.2 to 4.2 (normal = 3.5-5.3). My CT scans showed improvement in my spleen, kidneys and lungs. My MRI showed that my abscess had increased in size. I will find out what that means to me and my proposed transplant next week.

Daniel made it home tonight. He will be here for the weekend. We were worried about how the roads would be, but they were OK. It will be nice to have him home this weekend. Jon comes in on Sunday. He will be here about a week.

Kimberly, Jeremy and Ian were over tonight. We started a board game and we will finish it tomorrow.

I am planning on going to church on Sunday and it might be the last time before my transplant, depending on what the doctors think about my scans. I will probably not have a blog entry again till Monday unless something occurs this weekend.

May God bless you as He blesses me.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 39

Today was a pretty good day. Teresa and I both went to our doctor's appointments. Dr. O' Marro said I was doing fine and he wants to see me in 2 weeks unless I am in the hospital with my transplant. If that happens, he wants me to call him when I am discharged. Teresa saw Dr. Stern. He felt her symptoms were worse due to the stress of my illness so he is making some changes in her medication.

I will be getting my scans tomorrow. The hospital called today and told me that they arranged for my MRI to be moved up to right after my CT scan. That was nice of them. This way I do not have to go home in between the scans. I will also be getting some more lab work tomorrow. Hopefully the scans will show improvement. If so, a transplant date may be set.

I trust that this is all part of God's plan and I just need to wait and see what happens. My family and I still covet your prayers. May God continue to bless us all.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 38

Today has been another good day. I did not have to visit a doctor or a hospital at all today. My grandson, Ian, came over today and we spent time together this afternoon. This evening Kimberly and Jeremy came over and we played a board game called Ra. Kimberly won and we had a good time.

Tomorrow Teresa and I both have doctor appointments. I see my Springfield infectious disease doctor and she sees her rheumatologist. Friday I have my CT scans and MRI scan.

I am looking forward this weekend, Daniel coming home on Friday and Jon is coming home on Sunday. It will be nice to spend some time with them again.

God continues to bless me and my family. I hope he blesses you as well.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 37

Today was a pretty good day. I went out to Passavant Hospital today to get some lab work done. Teresa came with as she had some lab work to do also. The registration area was full and many of the patients were ill so I wore a mask till we were taken back to have our blood drawn. My hemoglobin is stable at 11.7. My white count and platelets were normal. My potassium is improved from 2.7 to 3.2(normal = 3.5-5.3). I still have a ways to go till it is normal but at least it is headed in the right direction.

We ran some errands today and saw Dr. Backstrom(one of the emergency room doctors). We talked for a while and he confirmed that all the hospitals are busy now. The other day he was trying to transfer a patient and Memorial, ST. John's, Quincy, Pittsfield and Louisiana, Missouri were all full. This flu bug is getting a lot of people sick and many of them wind up in the hospital.

My visiting nurse came and changed my dressing today. My vital signs were all fine and the dressing change went well.

We heard from my son Daniel tonight and he will be coming home for the weekend. That means I will have all but one of my sons home for at least part of this weekend.

I arranged my CT scans and my MRI for Friday morning. I see Dr. O'Marro, my Springfield infectious disease doctor on Thursday. Teresa is also going to see her rheumatologist, Dr. Stern that day. Her arthritis is acting up some. I have an appointment with my St. Louis infectious disease doctor next week Friday the 29th. After that we will be able to set a date for the transplant, I hope.

I spoke today with my transplant doctor to clarify some of the details of my transplant. We will find out more after the scans and my appointments.

I hope you all had a good day ,too, and that God blessed you as much as He blessed me. Try and keep well, we know so many people that have been sick personally, we are praying that this illness will be out of the area soon.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 36

Today has been a good day. We spent the day with Michael and one of his friends, as they were off school for President's day. We had a good time.

We heard back from the St. Louis infectious disease doctor. He wants me to get a CT scan of my chest , abdomen, and pelvis. He also wants me to repeat the MRI of my head. They want to compare with the other scans to make sure things are getting better. I will do that this Friday and then see the doctor in St. Louis the following Friday. I will be able to do the tests at Passavant. Tomorrow I need to get some lab work done at Passavant.

Hopefully after all these tests are done we can get a date set for the transplant.

My son Jon is coming home for a week or so this weekend. He will get here on Sunday, then has to leave next Saturday. Hopefully we can spend some time together while he is here.

Hopefully God's plan is coming together. We just need to be patient till it becomes more obvious.
May God continue to bless all of us.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 35

Today has been a good day. I was able to go to church with my family this morning. I really enjoyed being back at Westfair Baptist Church today. I really miss my church family when I am unable to attend. I don't know if all of you out there have a church you attend regularly, but you are always welcome to come to our church.

Kimberly was not feeling well today so she stayed home. Teresa and I were able to watch Ian some today. We watched him during his morning nap before church. Then Jeremy and Ian came over and had lunch with us after church. Jeremy , Michael and I played a game called History of the World this afternoon before choir practice. Teresa and I watched Ian while Michael and Jeremy went to choir practice.

Teresa was able to get a nap today. Hopefully she will start feeling better with a little more rest. She continues to do a good job as my nurse.

We plan to spend the day with Michael tomorrow as he is off for President's day.

I have to get my labs drawn on Tuesday and schedule my repeat CT scan for Friday. The doctors will call me from St. Louis and decide whether I also need to repeat my MRI this week.

May God continue to bless you as He blesses me.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 34

Today has been a good day. Kim and Jeremy came over with Ian today and we played some board games. It was good to spend time together. Ian is so adorable, he was so good today while all of us played the games for several hours. That is unusual for his age. He is just so adorable, not that I am prejudiced or anything. lol (What are Grandpa's for?)

I am looking forward to going to church with my family tomorrow. It has been awhile since I was there. I will also probably check my labs as my potassium has been running low and I want to make sure it is better.

We are planning on spending Monday with Michael, since it is a school holiday. I will also get my labs checked again on Tuesday.

I feel fine so far and have tolerated the antibiotic without much trouble.

May God continue to bless us all!


Friday, February 15, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 33

I went to St. Louis today and met with the infectious disease doctor. He reviewed my Xrays and my history. He ordered some more lab work also. He will review my Xrays with his radiologist and discuss my case with Dr. Cashen, my transplant doctor. He will also review my labs and call me back next week. It sounded to me as if he did not think this would delay the transplant much, if any. I am going to repeat my CT scan and MRI this coming Friday so it can be compared to the old ones and see if things are getting better. At that point, I think the final choice of when to do the transplant will be made.

Things are going well otherwise. I am tired still but otherwise seem to be doing fine. Teresa is doing a nice job of hooking up and taking down my antibiotics. We now just have to decide how long to keep them going.

If it turns out that my transplant is delayed, it will give me some more time to spend with my sons. Jon will be home from about the 24th of February till about March 1st. Perhaps God is using my infection to allow me to spend more time with Jon. Even though there may a delay in the transplant, it probably won't give me extra time with David and Daniel. Their spring break starts on March 7th and I think they will have me back in the hospital in St Louis by then. Please continue to keep me and the doctors in your prayers as they have to decide when to proceed with the transplant. Thank you all!!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 32

I saw Dr.Lanzotti today. My labs were OK. We talked about my visit in St. Louis. Dr Lanzotti reviewed a study I was asked to participate in. He had several questions that we need to get the answers to.

Tomorrow I visit the infectious disease doctor and he will help determine how long I am on antibiotics and when I can have my transplant. I will have more details about this visit tomorrow.

I have tolerated my antibiotics so far. Teresa has done a good job as my nurse and hooking up my antibiotics and disconnecting them.

Tomorrow is the next step in my journey. Continue to pray for my travels. May God continue his blessings to us all.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 31

I went to my appointment in St. Louis today. They examined me and asked about my recent stay at Memorial. They arranged for me to see one of their infectious disease doctors this Friday. They believe I will probably have to postpone my transplant till the infections clear up. They would like their doctor to confirm how long I need to be on antibiotics before resetting the transplant date. They do not believe it will be a problem asking the donor to delay a week or two.

We also went on a tour of the transplant unit. We did not get to see an actual room as they were all full. We did find out that Teresa can actually stay in my room. They have laundry facilities for her right on the floor. There is a refrigerator in each room to use also. The floor has a pantry room which has a fridge, a toaster and a microwave to use. Then they also have drinks, crackers peanut butter, jelly, oatmeal, soup, ice cream, fruit cups etc. for the patients and their families. There I will be able to walk the halls as I did at Memorial or I can use an exercise room that they have on the floor. Over all what we saw looked very nice.

I took my second dose of antibiotics at home tonight and all went well. Teresa hooked me up and did a good job.

My labs today were OK except my potassium was low at 2.7 so they asked me to increase my dose. I will be seeing Dr. Lanzotti tomorrow afternoon and they will be rechecking my labs.

God continues with His plan and unveils it a little at a time. Tomorrow I will find out some more and Friday I will find even more. I will let you know what I find out as it is revealed. May God bless you as He blesses me!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 30

Today has been a good day. I spent most of it at home! We did go out for brunch with my daughter and grandson. This afternoon they delivered my antibiotics and showed us how to use the pump and medications and syringes. I got my first dose of home antibiotics tonight and all went well.

Tomorrow I have my appointment in St. Louis and we will find out more details about the transplant. Unfortunately, they could not get me an appointment with their infectious disease doctor for tomorrow as he is only in on Fridays. I will find out tomorrow when I will be seeing him. I will be getting a tour of the transplant unit at my appointment tomorrow as well. We did find out today that they have a 3.5 hour class for transplant patients to go over what happens in a transplant and other details of the procedure and the followup. It is offered on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month and starts at 8:30 in the morning. This is the first we knew of it. We decided to wait till tomorrow and find out more information before deciding whether or not we needed to take the class.

I have an appointment with Dr. Lanzotti on Thursday to get my labs rechecked. I will have more information for the blog on both days.

God's plan is working fine. Tomorrow I find out more details of the rest of the trip. May He bless you as He blesses me and my family.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 29

Today has been a really good day. I am writing this blog from HOME!! Praise the Lord!!

My temperature stayed down and my doctors decided that I could go home today if I could get my antibiotics arranged for outpatient. Social services came by this morning and told me they could arrange for antibiotics at HOME starting tomorrow. I needed to stay for my dose today and it was from 5-7 PM. My labs were all OK except for my hemoglobin which dropped to 8.3. I also got two units of blood before I went home.

I had a couple of visitors today. Debbie, a nurse from 2 south came by and so did Elaine Robinson, a lady from church. It was a nice surprise to see them.

Teresa was baby sitting with Ian today. Kimberly was helping with a car seat check. She is certified to help parents learn to install them correctly. Teresa brought Ian up to the hospital after lunch so I could visit with him. Kimberly then came by to get him and we got to visit for a little while. It helped pass the time till I could go home.

I called St. Louis today but they did not call me back. I need to let them know how long I should be on antibiotics so they know for arranging the transplant. I will try them again tomorrow. I will be taking this new antibiotic for a total of four weeks. That should be about the first week of March. Hopefully I will be ready for the transplant soon after.

I hope to have more news tomorrow and a lot more news on Wednesday. In the meantime, keep up your prayers. They are working! May God continue to bless us all and Praise to him for letting me go home today!!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 28

Today has been a pretty good day. My temperature has been normal or below all day and I have felt pretty good today. Teresa was up and we had a good day. I have been able to walk and eat and not have any trouble. I tolerated my antibiotic yesterday and today. I did have a little nausea last night that may or may not have been related to the antibiotic. I have not had the same trouble today.

Dr. O'Marro told us today that he is going to have social services check tomorrow about arranging for me to take the antibiotic as an outpatient. My temperature has to behave and my insurance company has to agree.

My labs today showed my hemoglobin to be down slightly at 8.8. My platelet count is up to 67,000. My white count is up to 17.7. They are giving me medicine to raise the count and are aiming for 20,000 or so. Hopefully I can reach that goal by tomorrow. My potassium has been a little low so they have given me potassium by mouth and it is improving. Normal is 3.5-5.3 and my low was 2.9. Today I was up to 3.2. Apparently, the Amphotericin can cause a drop in the potassium. I am still taking the oral potassium. They will recheck my labs in the morning and make sure my potassium and my hemoglobin are OK.

I will be calling St. Louis tomorrow to make sure they know about my abscesses and can arrange for me to see their infectious disease doctor if necessary at my next visit. They also need to decide if these abscesses are going to change my prospective transplant date. Hopefully I can tell them that I will be discharged in time for my appointment Wednesday. I also need to remind them that I would like a tour of the transplant unit at my next visit. I will also be calling the pharmacy at Passavant to be sure they can mix up my Amphotericin in case I can get it arranged to be given either at home or as an outpatient in Jacksonville. It would be so much easier for Teresa and I if we don't have to make the trip to Memorial every day and wait for them to get everything done. They are so much more efficient at Passavant.

I am encouraged daily by your comments on the blog, the cards and letters I am sent and all the people who tell me I am on their prayer lists personally as well as at church. It is humbling and reminds me that every contact with another person is not really one on one, but one on many as everybody has friends, family and coworkers. I am thankful that my folks taught me to treat people how I would like to be treated. I am one of those people that believes in what goes around, comes around (good or bad).

May you have a good day tomorrow and may God bless you as He has blessed me.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 27

Today has been a good day. Teresa was up early today and we got to spend some time together. She had to leave this afternoon so she could babysit Ian tonight. I wish I could be doing the baby sitting instead. My temperature has been a little better today. It got up to 38.3 earlier but I took some tylenol and it is down now. I did not have any episodes of passing out today, praise the Lord! I was able to eat OK and have been doing my walks.

The MRI I had last night shows that I probably also have a small brain abscess to go along with my other abscesses. The treatment for it is the same but may take longer to resolve. I tolerated my dose of amphotericin yesterday without any problems. Hopefully today's dose will also go well. Dr. O'Marro said that when my temperature stays down, we can consider going home and doing the antibiotics as an outpatient. He changed the timing of my dose to 5PM daily so that it will be more convenient if I do get to finish it as an outpatient.

My labs today showed my hemoglobin to be down a little at 8.9. It was 9.3 yesterday. My platelet count is 53,000 today after being 61,000 yesterday. My white count jumped from 2.8 yesterday to 14.5 today due to the shots I am getting to raise my white counts. My doctors believe I can eliminate the infections a lot quicker with a higher white count.

Hopefully, my temperature can stay down and I can be discharged early next week. My son, Michael has a college visit on February 18 and I am hoping to go on that visit. My next appointment at Barnes is supposed to be on Wednesday. Hopefully, I will be discharged in time for both! It would be nice to be home for Valentine's Day next week also.

God's plan seems to be falling in place. I need to continue to be patient(something I continue to need to work on). May God continue to bless you as He blesses me.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 26

Today has been another up and down day. This morning, I had no fever and was scheduled for my CT scan. Last night, they told me I would have only IV contrast but this morning they decided I needed oral contrast also. I got two big containers to drink. In Jacksonville, I think we still use cherry flavoring. This was not cherry. I think it was supposed to be orange. I did OK till I was in the hallway waiting for my CT scan. I started to have some nausea from the contrast. I told somebody I was getting light headed and the next thing I know I was in the CT room. They asked me if I could stand up to get on the CT table and I said yes. I was wrong. The next thing I know I was slumped on the floor and had passed out. They went ahead with the scan. By the time they finished, I was starting to get shaking chills again. I got some tylenol when I got back to my room and went to sleep.

Teresa was baby sitting Ian this morning so she did not get to come up till this afternoon. By that time I had woken up and my temperature was down, although not normal. When Teresa got here we went over the mail and watched some TV. My labs today were about the same.

This is when things began to turn around a little for the day. My CT scan showed I have small abcesses (infections) in my spleen, my kidneys, and my lungs. I might have them in my liver also but I cannot remember. This explains why I am still having fevers. My doctors believe it is a fungal infection and they think that as my white count goes up, I will improve with a change in antibiotics. The bad news out of this is that it takes 14-21 days of treatment to clear up. I may be able to finish as an outpatient depending on how I do and how I tolerate the medicine. The medicine is called amphotericin. When I was a resident it was known as ampho-terrible. It can cause high fevers and severe shaking while you are getting it and for a few hours afterward. Fortunately it is dosed only once a day. The other problem with the medicine is that it has a risk of kidney damage. I guess if that is what it takes to get better, that is what I am going to have to do.

Praise our Lord!!! He has answered our prayers. I did get some extremely GOOD news today, I have a donor. This just shows us what God can do and all of you with your prayers. The donor is a 10 point match(out of 10) and is a 24 year old male. That is about as close to an ideal donor as I can get. They have asked the donor to pick March 5, 6 or 11th to donate. Depending on what day he picks, determines when I go in. Right now they said it would be no earlier that February 28. That assumes that I can completely knock out this infection by then. (Please keep this in mind when praying for me.)

I had an MRI of my head tonight to make sure it was OK also. The doctor just wants to make sure he isn't missing anything. I won't know the results of that for a while.

My temperature was going up some this evening so I took some tylenol. They will give me a test dose of the amphotericin tonight.

Once again, God has a plan. Some things today weren't all that great, but overall I think this was a significantly good day.

Please continue to pray for me and my family so that I can get well in time for the transplant. I hope God is blessing you as much as HE blesses me. May you have a good day tomorrow!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 25

Today has been another frustrating day. I am still on that roller coaster (I do like roller coasters, but this is a bit much). My temperature continues to go up and down with no apparent reason. I did find out today that one of my antibiotics was stopped over the weekend. The doctor covering for Dr. O'Marro thought I was doing well enough to stop it. When I discussed it with Dr. O'Marro today he agreed that we should restart the antibiotic since my fevers were persistent.

My hemoglobin and my platelet count continue to improve. My white count remains the same at 3,300. That should be enough to fight off an infection usually. When my temperature is down, I can walk and eat and do all the normal things. When my temperature goes up, I get very weak. I lose my appetite and wind up trying to sleep.

Teresa felt well enough to come up today. It was good to see her again. We went over the mail and were doing OK till my temperature went up. I spent much of the afternoon sleeping. I feel bad sleeping when she is here.

This evening I took some Tylenol and feel better. I was able to eat supper.

They are going to do a CT scan tomorrow to see if they can find any source of infection. All of my cultures and chest Xrays have been normal. They want to make sure we are not missing anything.

We tried to call St. Louis today but the nurse who is our contact was off today. We left her a message to call us tomorrow.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be the start of an improvement that will let me get home eventually.

God has a plan, but it sure has been confusing so far. I guess this is where faith comes in. May HE bless you as much as he blesses me.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 24

Today has been another frustrating day. My temperature was up again last night to 102. My fever broke during the night. Dr. O' Marro was in this morning and said he planned no changes and I could probably go home tomorrow if my fevers stayed down. At noon my temperature was back up to 102 again. I did not feel well and slept a lot of the early afternoon. I took some Tylenol and by late afternoon I was feeling better. I got some work done for the office and for home and I am beginning to feel a little chilled again this evening. They will check my temperature again in 45 minutes. I did not feel like eating lunch today. I have ordered some supper. I have been able to walk. My swallowing is still slow and I still have a tickle in my throat. Dr. Lanzotti was in tonight. He does not know why I am still having fevers either. It just happens sometimes, he said.

My hemoglobin and my platelet count were up today. My white count was still OK but down a little from yesterday. My chest Xray was fine.

Teresa is feeling better today but we agreed she should stay home today and rest. She hopes to come up tomorrow. Hopefully, that will work out.

Dr. Lanzotti said I should call St. Louis tomorrow and let them know I am still having fevers so that they don't go too fast on the transplant date.

I will just have to wait and see what God has in store for me. May you have a great day tomorrow. I plan to. God is good!


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 23

Today started out well but has become a disappointing day. My lab work showed that my hemoglobin was about the same and my platelet count was up a little so I did not need a transfusion. My white count and neutrophil counts were up a little. My temperature last night and this morning stayed under 38 degrees centigrade(about 100 degrees fahrenheit). Both of my doctors came in and told me I could go home. I actually had a different blog written and was ready to send it out.

Teresa is still not feeling well and Pastor Warren was coming up here to visit a couple of members of the congregation and volunteered to bring me home. He was to be up this afternoon. Unfortunately my temperature was up to 38.6 C or 101.5 F at noon. My doctors canceled my discharge and ordered a chest xray and some cultures. I was obviously disappointed but I guess God did not want me to go home with Teresa still sick. I will have to stay a few more days till my temperature comes down again and my cultures come back OK.

My baseball cards came today and I thought I would be home to look at them. Unfortunately, that looked like it would be a problem when I did not get to go home. Renee' from my office knew how disappointed I was and, quite as a surprise to me, agreed to bring the cards up to me at the hospital. She drove through the rain and brought them up. I was very happy. Even here, however, I got some disappointment as part of my order was not packed in the package so I did not get all the cards I ordered. I did get the computer version of the baseball game that I ordered and that was good.

This afternoon I did not feel very good and I wound up falling asleep. I feel better now. My temperature got up to 102 this evening at 4PM. I took some Tylenol and now I feel better. They have not rechecked my temperature yet tonight.

I am disappointed today after actually getting discharged and then having it canceled. In the big picture, though, another couple of days won't make a difference. I am also glad I did not get all the way home and then run my fever and have to come back. God still has a plan for Teresa and myself and we just need to wait and see what comes next.

We continue to covet your prayers. May you have a good day tomorrow! May God bless you as he blesses me!


Monday, February 4, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 22

Today has been a pretty good day for me, but not for Teresa. She came up to visit me today and she was very tired. We went over the mail and then she wanted to rest. I tried to take a nap so it would be quiet and she could sleep. I was the only one who actually got to sleep. I sent her home early due to the weather and how she felt. She called tonight and she has been sick to her stomach and vomited. She went to bed early. Please pray that she will feel better.

I have been able to walk and eat better today. My mouth and throat soreness is about gone. My throat is still swollen and I have to be careful when I swallow. I still have a tickle in my throat and I cough if I have to talk at all. My labs came back today and my platelet count and hemoglobin are exactly the same as yesterday. My white count is improved to 4.7 with 3400 neutrophils! My infectious disease doctor says I can go home tomorrow if my temperature stays below 38 degrees centigrade for 24 hours. Last night it made it to 38 and tonight it is 37.9. Dr. Lanzotti said that if infectious disease let me go home, so would he. If my platelet count goes down in the morning, I may need a transfusion. I could still have it and go home. I would love to go home tomorrow but if God wants me to stay then I obviously will still be here. I would gladly stay all week if that would help Teresa feel better.

Those of you who know me know that I love baseball and play a simulation game called Strat-O-Matic. I have played it for over 40 years! It is always a big deal when the new cards and computer version come out. Mine is supposed to come by UPS tomorrow. It would be great if I was home to get it but that is not up to me.

We continue to appreciate your prayers. I would rather you pray for her than me tonight. May God bless you like He has me. I hope He lets Teresa feel better tomorrow. May you have a great day!


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 21

This has been a pretty good day so far. My temperature has been OK all day. I have been able to walk and eat. Swallowing is still a little slow, but better. My hemoglobin today has dropped a little bit from 10.7 to 9.5 and my platelet count also went down a little from 31,000 to 21,000. My white count went up from 0.7 to 1.7! My neutrophils are 1200!

Teresa was up today and we watched some TV shows we had previously recorded. It was nice and relaxing. She went home when the Superbowl started but unfortunately the weather got pretty bad just before she left. She did make it home OK though.

Hopefully, my temperature will stay down and I can get off of some of the antibiotics and go home this week. I guess my hemoglobin and platelet count also need to cooperate! Dr Lanzotti said that he still thinks it will be in the next few days. God willing, that will be soon!!

Hope you all have a blessed week!!


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 20

Today has been a pretty good day. My temperature has been down for the most part. It got up to 100.5 or so earlier today but has stayed around 99 or less ever since. I have been able to walk and get around much better today. My achiness is 60% gone today and I feel a lot better. I am still having some trouble swallowing and talking but I am better than yesterday. This morning Dr. Malone ( ENT doctor) came in and did a scope of my nose and throat. He said it looked a little irritated in my throat but was otherwise OK. He did not see any signs of my old cancer and agreed that the previous radiation therapy sensitized my throat and the chemo triggered a repeat reaction. When my counts go down I probably get a low grade infection also. My mouth soreness is now almost completely gone and my soreness when swallowing is also much better. I still having trouble getting food to all go down at times and I have to eat slowly.

My counts today showed my hemoglobin went up slightly from 10.2 to 10.7. My platelet count actually dropped a little from 40,000 to 31,000. My white count had a big jump from 0.2 to 0.7 and my neutrophils are up to over 400!

My infectious disease doctor said I am getting better and we would wait and see how my temperature behaves as my counts come back up. Dr Lanzotti believes I can go home this week if they are able to get me off my IV antibiotics.

Teresa was able to come up today. She is pretty sore from doing all the shoveling Thursday and Friday. We were able to play Ticket to Ride today. She beat me twice! We had a good day. We also watched some TV shows we had recorded.

Tomorrow she will be up again. I plan to watch the superbowl tomorrow night. Teresa will probably go home when it starts since she is not a big football fan.

I hope you had a good day today and plan to have a good day tomorrow. I am hoping that it is in Gods plan for me to be able to go to church myself next Sunday. As always, I have to be that patient, patient.

Thanks again for your prayers and kind thoughts. May God bless you like He blesses me!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Chemo Round 3 Day 19

Well, I am doing a little better today. My temperature has been up and down all day. It gets to about 39 and then I take Tylenol and it comes down to 37.5. I finally talked them into letting me get up today. I did only two laps the first time and three the next time. Even if I do not walk later tonight that is a half mile. It is amazing how weak one can get lying around in bed. They say it takes three days to make up for every day down so I still have a ways to go. My muscles all ache like a viral infection.

I am still having some trouble swallowing and lots of trouble talking. This is pretty much the same as the last two times. They are having me see an ENT doctor to be sure everything is alright. I am sure that I will be fine once my white count starts to come back.

I have had a lot of problems with my PAS hose the last 24 hours. They squeeze your calf to prevent blood clots and I am at a higher risk for that while I am on bedrest. Last night I developed a leak where the sock and the machine clip together. It took 8 hours to get a new pump and of course that did not fix the problem. It then took almost 14 hours to get new socks due to multiple errors and then when they did come, I got two pair within 5 minutes. I should be set for the rest of this admission.

My labwork today showed my hemoglobin to be 10.2 after the transfusions yesterday. My platelet count went up from 29,000 to 40,000 after the transfusion. My white count did not change much. It is 0.2 today and was 0.1 yesterday. I had 18 neutrophils yesterday and today I have none, but I do have 28 bands which are baby neutrophils. I have been getting a shot in the arm this week called neupogen which is supposed to increase the white count faster. I have had four doses so far. Hopefully it will allow my neutrophils to bounce back soon and that will allow my own body to get rid of the infection. All of my blood cultures have been negative and that is good.

I did not hear from St. Louis today and I have had so much trouble talking that I did not call them. We will call them early next week if they do not call us.

Teresa did not come up today because of the snow. She and Micheal spent a lot of time shoveling the driveway. I wanted to make sure Teresa got her nap today so We agreed that she would stay in Jacksonville today. She will probably be back up tomorrow. She really needs to get more rest but I cannot get her to slow down.

It felt good to be out of bed today and not having to sleep all the time. God has a plan for me and this time he has thrown in a few extra twists. I guess that is so I do not get bored! I am very appreciative of all your prayers and cards and comments on the blog. I am humbled to see how many people check the blog each day. My family and I are truly blessed. May He bless all of you as well!