Friday, February 21, 2014

Cow news and medical update

  I haven't been able to get out for recent pictures of the cows. Wendy snapped this last month to show me in the hospital. Since then, 3 of the 5 cows have calved so we have 3 little Angus babies running and playing.
  I have made a big decision. I am selling the cows. So far I just mentioned it to 3 neighbors and 2 people have interest already. It's possible that if we can't sell the herd together, we might wait until late summer when the calves are weaned and then sell.
 There are just too many projects that would need to be done before next year and I am in no shape for rodeoing. I have enjoyed them for 4 years and I will just go ahead with the chickens and garden; easier to handle.
 We met the oncologist yesterday for  a consultation and chemo may start in a couple of weeks. 2 months chemo, 2 months radiation plus different chemo, then 2 months repeat chemo. I will see Dr. Lisa White Monday to schedule time to place a port under the skin so I don't need to be stuck every time I get chemo or IV.
  Our oncologist, Dr. Gian, was recommended by Dr White, and we love him. He prayed with us and prays for all his patients daily.
  My biggest challenge now is to gain strength. I have lost 83# since 1 year ago, 53 of it since November, and I am skin and bones. My appetite is good but I get physically full too soon. My GI tract was altered during surgery and just hasn't expanded enough yet. So I try to eat several times a day, but I feel full most of the time. I am able to walk around the house with neither walker or cane. I used a cane yesterday going to the doctor's appointments. We also saw my family doctor yesterday. He altered my meds as my blood pressure and pulse rate are still too high.
   Please pray that I can eat more, gain strength and begin chemo strong.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Another "God thing"

  Today we had a followup appointment with Dr. Parikh. He is pleased with my progress; goal is to improve a little every day, and we can definitely see that.
  When he came into the room today, he said, "There's my miracle patient!" And he told us that the rare clostridia blood infection I had has a 10% survival rate!  Add that to the fact that only 15% of pancreatic tumor patients qualify for surgical removal, and it can only be explained by a miracle from God. Once more, thank each of you for your prayers. Only God could do it.
  One of my biggest faults that God has pointed out to me is impatience. Progress is so very slow that I still struggle with it. Please pray that I keep focused on Jesus and take one day at a time.
  Bless you all.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Feb. 7 update

    Some of you readers are likely aware of some or all of this, so please excuse me if I repeat. But I want to be sure all who have stood with us through this journey know where we have been and where we are.
Jan. 15 - Whipple surgery to remove tumor in pancreas plus other "parts". Cancer diagnosed as 2b and chemo/radiation/chemo to follow.
Jan. 21 - Returned home in record time and feeling good.
Jan. 24 - About midnight, developed sharp pain and tremors; ambulance ride back to Vanderbilt.
Jan 25 - On ventilator and described as "sickest patient at Vanderbilt right now".
              Septic poisoning, infection around liver
             On ventilator, dialysis, 24 IV bags, touch and go for 3-5 days
Jan 30 -  First day I really am awake enough to know what's occurring; ventilator taken out
Jan 31 - Feb 7 - Progress every day and I happily !!! Returned home Tues noon. This is Friday evening and each day shows improvement.
I have probably 10-15 # of retained fluid yet to deal with, but things are progressing very well. I'm sleeping in my own bed, eating Rita's cooking instead of hospital food, and I'm not chained down with tubes and wires. I can move around the house with a walker and am slowly rebuilding strength.
This has been an incredible journey that is absolutely a miracle of God. So many thousands of people praying, so many texts, phone calls, visits and expressions of concern. It has brought me face to face with my God, and many familiar Bible passages and hymns from the past 60+ years of my life have taken on brand new meaning. I hope to write more in the future about my spiritual journey through this.
Thank each one of you for all your prayers and concern. I value it greatly.