Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Matthew - June 8, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sometimes it's like a roller coaster ride...
Monday, April 19, 2010
Matthew began chemo today
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
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
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
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
A brief "visit" at home
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Feb 7, 2010 Update for Matthew
Monday, January 18, 2010
New plan update
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Surgery is cancelled for Jan 14
Sooooo...... the plan is to do a more conventional type of targeted radiation to the liver along with chemotherapy that helps the cancer as well as makes the liver more radiosensitive for the radiation. We see the radiologist tomorrow and Matthew will probably begin the new treatment next week. We'll be here for at least 2 weeks, may get to come home for awhile and then will return for repeated tests to see if surgery may be an option in March.
It was tough to hear but the decision was made by both the Oncologist and the Surgeon. We knew it had to be the right thing. We also know it has to be right because we (and you) have and continue to pray for God's guidance and His plan to be accomplished. We are claiming that today.
We were able to catch Stan before he boarded the plane and saved him the trip. Tiffani wanted to come on anyway. Looks like we are in for a few days of movies and eating out - a mini-vacation, if you will.
We are regrouping and praying for the grace to be flexible. I told the guys that it's like training for a big race in the Olympics, getting your feet in the starting blocks and having the race canceled for a later date that is undecided!
I will continue to send updates when we know more about the upcoming schedule. We cherish your love and support.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
2010 Houston Update #2
Greg left Saturday and drove ALL THE WAY to Houston - 16 1/2 hours! He did well stopping often and listening to "books on tape".
Martha took Matthew and I to the airport on Sunday. We left right on time at 6:30 p.m.. We arrived early in Houston - @ 9:00 our time - 8:00 Houston time (CST).
Monday was a grueling day with appts, exams, tests, and scans. We began at 9 a.m. and left the hospital at 9:30 p.m.. Matthew was definitely a trooper. We're very glad to have Greg here with us this visit.
Today there are more pre-surgery appts and a full body Pet-scan at 2:30 p.m. We begin the schedule at 10 a.m. and should be finished by 6 p.m. - better than yesterday.
Another great aspect of today is that Ian is flying in this afternoon. It'll sure be good to have him here with us.
Yesterday, in the appt. with our surgeon's Physician's Assistant, the possible side-effects of this surgery and chemo wash were explained again in detail. They are daunting. But we know that for the past 3+ years, God has protected Matthew from the many side effects and permanent damage of the various chemos he has been on. We know He will continue to protect Matthew but I would ask for your specific prayers in this regard. Thank you.
Tiffani and Stan will be flying in tomorrow and we look forward to them being with us. We are praying for safe travel for Ian, Tiffani, and Stan.
There are MANY of you that have contributed Marriott points to help with our accommodations while we are here for such an extended stay. Thank you SO much. I want you to know that we are in a Residence Inn less than 5 minutes from the hospital. We are in a suite with 2 bedrooms/baths with living room/kitchen combo. It's a great set-up with one bedroom/bath downstairs and one up - kind a loft situation. There's a pull out bed in the sofa in the living room so there's plenty of room for us to spread out. A breakfast buffet is available each morning. We feel SO blessed to be here!
Thanks for letting me "chat" with you this morning. I would like to be having a "one-on-one" conversation with each of you this a.m. and this has helped me do just that!
Friday, January 8, 2010
To Houston for Surgery
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. Ours was quiet but ended up being amazingly busy.
The last time I spoke to you, Matthew and I were on our way to Houston for his liver treatment in December. We are happy to say that Matthew recuperated very well from the treatment and his liver enzymes have been lower which is a good sign and the doctors are very pleased with them. This is an especially good way for Matthew to go into surgery. Matthew will have scans the first of next week that should give us some results of what this treatment actually did in the liver.
We are leaving this weekend to go to Houston. Matthew's tests will begin Monday, the 11th. He will be admitted to the hospital on Wednesday with his surgery being scheduled for Thursday the 14th. We don't know the time for the surgery but I would say she'll begin early since it will last 10 to 15 hrs. The surgeon's name is Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan.
Greg, Ian, Tiffani, and even our beloved pastor will be there for the surgery. Family will stay various lengths of time for the first week or so. Greg will be there at least until Matthew is discharged from the hospital. Matthew and I may be there as long as 5 or 6 wks for his recovery and follow-up tests and treatment.
I will be keeping everyone posted along the way.
This is an amazing opportunity for Matthew and his future health. We are so thankful for the way God has continued to work in his life and the lives of those around us who bless us in SO many ways including the doctors and other medical staff that will care for him in the coming days. Thank you for all the ways you support us - through your love, prayers, smiles, hugs, encouraging words, cards & emails, and gifts of money, sky-miles and Marriott points as well as taking care of our home and our cats!! We continue to be so humbled by the generosity of so many. God bless each of you!!
Love and blessings,