Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm back!!

Sorry I've been off the blog for so long. To say that life has been busy is the biggest understatement you can imagine! I do want to bring you guys up to speed on the latest. Matthew had chemo from August through the end of October. Since he's over 3 weeks away from his last chemo, he's really feeling pretty good.
Matthew had scans last week and we got the results on Wednesday (the 14th). The results were what the doctor called "marginal", no big change. Apparently, Matthew's body has built up resistance to the chemo drug he was taking making it ineffective.
The doctor has suggested a new drug which has been in use for 3 years. He will also be checking with Matthew's doctor at Vanderbilt to see if there are any new treatments on the horizon. We are prepared to go to any of the major cancer research hospitals that would be a help to Matthew.
We go back to the doctor in 2 weeks when we'll know whether we start the new drug right away or be on the road to see a new doctor. We appreciate your prayers in this regard.
Greg has declared that these 2 weeks are a "vacation from cancer." Since there's nothing else we can do until we see the doctor and Matthew's is feeling ok, we're going to be as normal as possible until then. We are looking forward to Ian coming in from D.C. for Thanksgiving!! Maybe we'll have another early "Black Friday" shopping spree like last year!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No School This Fall

We have finally gotten the final word on the plan of attack for Matthew at this point. Since the chemo has continued to work on the cancer, the Oncologist from Vanderbilt wants to continue with two more cycles which will begin on July 30 and continue through November when another scan will be done. With this new plan, school is out of the picture for now for Matthew which is a big dissappointment. We are adjusting to the additional 4 months of treatment and are kind of glad we didn't know we'd still be at this when we started last December!!
Thank you all for hanging in there with us with your love, prayers and support! That and the love of our great God is what will continue to sustain us! Love, Nancy

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Upcoming schedule

Matthew completed his chemo week. It was a rough week but, Praise the Lord!, he is now feeling better! His condition turned around Monday evening. We are so thankful he has started feeling better so quickly.
Matthew has a scan scheduled for June 29th and we see his Oncologist on July 2. Then we'll know what the next step will be. God bless you for you prayers. Nancy

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Another Marathon Week

Good morning to all! Matthew is on his way to day #2 of his chemo marathon week. Matthew slept through day#1's treatment and was able to get a good night's sleep. As the week progresses, he will become more tired, weak and achy with queasiness. This treatment lasts through Friday with his follow-up shot on Saturday morning. The 3 to4 days following that will be his worst. But then, he typically starts feeling a little better as the next week progresses. Hopefully by the end of June we can have another scan to see what progress we've made.
I hope having this update will help to know how to pray for Matthew this week. We love you and God's blessings on you all for your love, prayers and encouragement through these 7 months. It's still not over so hang in there with us!! God is blessing us at every turn and we give Him the praise for that!! Love to all, Nancy

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"Back in the saddle again"

You can't just "read" the title, you have to "sing" it!
Matthew started his chemo yesterday, Monday, May 14th. He also had a round today. After a shot tomorrow, he'll return for one day next week and one day the following week. He'll be off a week and then he'll return for the "5-day, all-day" round.
This past weekend Matthew, his dad and I went to the Smokies and stayed in a cabin that belongs to good friends of ours. We rested, ate, enjoyed the gorgeous view, shopped (a little), played putt-putt and rode the go-carts. We had a blast!!
We are SO thankful for God's daily blessings - big and small!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Scan Results

We went to the doctor today to receive the results from Matthew's Petscan from last Friday. The good news is that the tumor has reduced an additional 40% for the last scan meaning a total of 80%. We are so thankful for that! Unfortunately, Matthew will have to have another cycle of chemo and we're a little down about that today. But we know that's the only option and it is, in fact, working!! Matthew's doctor will be consulting the Oncologist at Vanderbilt that we saw in December about the decision to do the additional chemo. If he concurs, Matthew will start up within the next couple of weeks and will take about 8 weeks to complete before we can do another scan.
Thanks again for your prayers, notes, and encouraging words. We'll keep you posted!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Final Chemo Finished!!

Matthew had chemo all day, every day this past week. The great was his last! Woo hoo! Friday was quite emotional as we left the people that have taken care of us for the last year, first with Greg's chemo last summer and then with Matthew for the past 5 months.
We see Matthew's Oncologist tomorrow where we will schedule scans for later this month. We'll keep you posted on the scheduling.
Matthew tolerated the week of chemo fairly well. It is extremely tiring and by Friday he was not feeling well at all. After the Neulasta shot that he had Saturday morning, he has had the normal side affects of extreme ache deep in his bones. Thank goodness for pain meds! He's doing a little better this evening.
I'll update later this week. Nancy

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring is here!

Hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather!! Our allergies are having fits here in East Tennessee. We've had a pollen "explosion"!
Matthew was to finish this round of chemo today and the doctor decided to cancel today's treatment. Matthew has been experiencing a problem with his foot. It has been going on for quite awhile now. He does not have full range of motion, cannot lift the foot towards his leg. The doctor had checked it about a month and a half ago and seemed to think it was nothing to worry about.
Well, today, when Matthew mentioned it again, the doctor decided it may be the very medicine he was going to take to today that was the culprit. So, he cancelled.
Matthew now has an appointment with the neurologist on Thursday to check his foot out. We're anxious to hear what he has to say.
This is one of the possible side effects of chemo, but some cases are more extreme than others. Some symptoms will go away after awhile after chemo, some don't.
Matthew has "off" Easter week and will then have his last scheduled treatment beginning April 9th. We'll keep you posted!! Love and God's blessings to all!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One more to go!

Matthew got the majority of his 5th treament behind him this week. He has two more subsequent follow-up meds the next 2 Tuesdays. Then, he'll have one last treatment in April - one last marathon week of 5 fulls days in a row. After that, more tests will be done to see what the next step will be.
So far this week, Matthew has only had one "bad" day. He had shots today which usually affect him within a day or so. Please pray for him as he makes it through the weekend.
As I began this new post, I looked at the title that Ian gave this blog originally - "Unbelievable". As we have settled into "what has to be done" from day to day, it is still unbelievable that we are in the midst of this journey. I reallybelieve that the strength that we have received from the amazing number of prayers that go up daily for Matthew and our family has made it possible to laugh, get an occassional good night's sleep, take each challenge as it comes, and try not to be overwhelmed with what the future holds.
Love to you all - Nancy

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

"Normal Days!"

It's been 2 weeks since I updated the blog. During that time, Matthew completed his marathon week of chemo, got through a tough weekend of his body responding to the treatment and after that, 10 days of Matthew feeling good; basically "normal". He has enjoyed getting out on his own, driving to Johnson City to be with his friends who are on Spring Break and even going for bloodwork and other check-ups at the doctor on his own. (I'm sure he's SO glad to get away from Mom and Dad for a bit. They do tend to "hover" at times! Ha!)
Next Monday & Tuesday (March 12 & 13) begins Matthew's next round of chemo. He will have follow-up treatments on the two following Tuesdays. This regimen of treatments usually has more harsh side effects which will hit the later part of next week. We appreciate your prayers during that time.
God continues to bless us with precious friends and family that pray, constantly support and bring us meals. Let me give you an example. Our pastor and his family live across the street from us, which we absolutely love! Lydia, our pastor's wife, put lights in the windows for Christmas making sure that two lights were in the windows facing us. All the Christmas decorations came down at their home except the two lights in the window facing us which shine every night. Lydia tells us that they are our reminder that they are there, loving us, supporting us, and would come in an instant if we needed them. I can't tell you how many times I've looked out of my kitchen window and been uplifted and encouraged by the shining lights in those windows! God is SO good!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Great News!!

We received great news from Matthew's scan! His tumor has reduced at least 40%!!
There is also reduction elsewhere, we just don't have specific dimensions. After Matthew completes this week of chemo, he will have 2 more rounds of treatment which will take him to the end of April . At that point the doctor says we will "re-access" with other tests and see what we do from there. We are thrilled and praising the Lord for this miracle!! Know your prayers being heard. Celebrate with us!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

2 good weeks

Dear Friends,
The past 2 weeks have been relatively uneventful with Matthew having some good days almost feeling fairly "normal", if that's possible at this point!!
On Friday, Matthew had scans to check the effect the treatments are having on his cancer. We'll see the doctor on Tuesday morning (2/20) for the results.
Next week, Matthew will have his next round of chemo. It will be every day, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Then, he gets his shot on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Fortunately, when his treament starts each day, he is given additional meds that help him sleep through the majority of the day. At least that helps him deal with the length of time each day. After this treatment, he will have a couple weeks "off" without treatment until his next round.
Greg also had a scan last week and we are thankful that his results were clear. He doesn't see the oncologist again until May. Praise the Lord!
I'll update you on the results we receive from the doctor. Until then...

Friday, February 2, 2007

Headaches are gone!!

I am happy to report that after 3 weeks of Matthew struggling with horrible headaches, staying horizontal, taking pain meds, and finally having a "patch" on Wednesday, the spinal tap headaches finally ended!! We are so thankful! We are looking forward to some uneventful and relaxing days!
He will see his doctor Thursday when we will hopefully schedule scans to see the progress of Matthew's treatments. We'll keep you posted! Thanks for the encouraging comments.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Another week of victories!

Matthew completed his chemo treatments for this week. He's already having the usual side effects. So, things will be up and down for him for the next few days. We saw the neurologist on Thursday and she definitely thinks his headache is from the spinal tap. His prescription is being horizontal 24/7 with no activity. We're praying he'll get better by the first of the week so we won't have to do the "patch".
Matthew continues to get amazing cards of encouragement and the last few days has received 4 amazing goody boxes and gifts. Thanks to you all for your thoughtfulness!! It DOES make a difference!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January 24

Hey, Friends,
Alot has happened since the last post. Sorry it's taken so long to update. Since our last post, Matthew battled a stubborn virus with bad headache and high fever which took him to the hospital for a battery of tests including a spinal tap. The virus subsided but the headaches from the spinal tap have persisted. Consequently, he did NOT have chemo on Tuesday, the 23rd, but had an MRI of his head instead. Thankfully, we have received word this morning that all was clear on the MRI. He will see a Neurologist about the headaches and go ahead with Chemo treatment today (January 24th) and tomorrow.
Matthew was able to see his friends in Johnson City which was a big boost. They are such good "buds" and took good care of him.
We have so many taking such good care of us in SO many ways. Thanks for the encouraging words, cards, prayers, meals, and many other "random acts of kindness"!! We are blessed!!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Marathon Week!

Matthew has made it through marathon chemo week!! He started this round of treatments on Tuesday, Jan. 2nd & finished Fri., Jan. 5th. Each day began at 8:30 a.m. and lasted until 3:30 p.m. On Saturday, he got his Neulasta shot which builds the white cells to bolsted his immune system that the chemo destroys. The side effects of the week has mainly been extreme fatigue and weakness with some nausea yesterday and today. We are praying things don't get any worse over the next few days.
We are so proud of Matthew. He is SO courageous!!
We see the doctor on Tuesday and will update then. Right now his next treament is scheduled for Jan. 23rd.
Thanks for your continued love and support. We trust the Lord daily for each challenge. We are blessed!!