Monday, April 19, 2010

Matthew began chemo today

Just a quick word to let you know that Matthew was able to begin his chemo today. He will be hooked up for 2 wks followed by a 2 wk break. His counts were borderline so he also received a shot for his red count today as well. Thursday he will return to receive his additional chemo (Avastin) that he takes once every 2 wks.

Thanks for the love and prayers,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blood counts are improving

Just a quick note to let you know that Matthew's white cell count was better on Thursday but only slightly. This is good news in that the "trend" for all of the counts is on the upswing. This means they have "bottomed out" since the first week of chemo in Houston and are now recovering. Unfortunately they were still way too low for him to begin chemo again. He did receive 2 shots (one Thurs and one Fri) of Neupagen that helps encourage manufacturing of the white cells. Hopefully with the shots and the trend of the numbers already moving upward, Matthew will be in good shape to begin chemo on Monday the 19th. Our appt. is at 1:00 p.m. that day.

Many of you have sent supportive messages this week reminding us that God continues to be in control and things happen for a reason. In the midst of these setbacks, Matthew is feeling much better, eating better and has gained weight. Praise the Lord for that!

I'll send a quick note after Monday's doctor's visit to let you know the latest.

Have a wonderful weekend!



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chemo postponed again

We went to the doctor yesterday for Matthew to begin chemo again. Unfortunately, even though his urinalysis was ok, his blood counts were extremely low and the doctor would not allow him to begin chemo again. He wanted us to wait until next Monday but Matthew persuaded them to check him again Thursday to see if his counts had recovered enough to begin then.

The original intent of this plan of chemo treatment was for Matthew to be "hooked-up" to the chemo 24/7 for two weeks. (They only temporarily unhooked him last week so he could fly home.) Now, instead of an overnight break, it has turned into 4 days and ultimately could be over a week's break. After contacting our doctor in Houston yesterday, he told us that when Matthew gets to start again he will then need to continue 2 weeks from that point. Even though he had already had a week's worth of the 24/7 chemo in Houston, it didn't count since the weeks had to be consecutive.

So... we are praying for patience, wisdom and strength to face these setbacks. We are also praying that Matthew will continue to feel well enough to eat to maintain his strength and weight. We are also praying that his counts have already bottomed out and will begin to recover soon.


Friday, April 9, 2010

We are home from Houston

Just wanted to make you aware that Matthew's Houston doctor allowed him to come on home to finish his current round of treatment at our Knoxville Oncologist's office. The details were taken care of over a matter of 2 days and we were on our way. Matthew was unhooked from his chemo yesterday morning (Thurs) and we flew home last night. This morning we went to Knoxville for him to "re-hooked". Unfortunately his urinalysis wasn't acceptable so they gave him a large bag of IV fluids and rescheduled his chemo hook-up for Monday. They'll retest him at that time to make sure he is in shape to take the chemo. If so, he will take the 2nd bag of chemo over a 7 day period ending the following Monday. At that point, he will have a 2 week break. When the break is over he will again be connected to 24/7 chemo that will last for 2 wks followed by another break. On June 1st, we will return to Houston for repeat scans.

It is WONDERFUL to be home! I believe that just the positive effects of being home will be a boost all the way around! Thanks to Greg, our yard and flower beds look amazing. Spring has definitely hit East Tennessee.

God blesses us daily through your prayers, phone calls, texts, supportive emails, blog entries and Facebook comments. They definitely lift us up and help us keep moving forward. Since we are home, I look forward to some local hugs as well!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back in Houston 4/1/10

Matthew and I returned to Houston this past Sunday evening (3/28). On Monday and Tuesday (3/29 & 30) Matthew had a Petscan, CT scan, chest xray and blood work. On Wednesday we met with his Oncologist and Radiologist.

The news we received was mixed. First of all, the radiation & chemo therapy specifically on the liver that Matthew received in January & February was very successful. The difference in the visuals of the liver was remarkable. This is very good news.

Unfortunately in the next breath the doctor used the word "but" which is when we were told that while the "good things" were happening in the liver area, the cancer outside the liver had become aggressive. So, what has to be done is to get it back "in control". The plan of attack is that Matthew will begin a regimen of chemo that will be infused 24/7 over a 14 period. (For those that are interested, the drug is Ifosfomide with Mesna.) He will also take Avastin every 2 wks.

Dr. Anderson, (Matthew's oncologist) said, "I guess you are wondering why I didn't suggest this before. Well, I didn't know about it's new use for those in your situation until 3 wks ago." So, we feel like we are getting the most current treatment possibility at this point.

Matthew & I will remain in Houston for at least 2 wks. His doctor may let us go home at some point allowing Matthew to receive treatment in Knoxville.

I will certainly keep you posted as we settle into this new treatment schedule. We would appreciate your prayers that this will be very effective for Matthew. Thank you.

I hope and pray each of you have a blessed Easter, a time to remember the triumph that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ had over death and the sacrifice He made to give eternal life to each of us. Hallelujah! He is risen!