Monday, January 25, 2010

911/hopsital update

To update everyone: Mike came home from the hospital last Thursday. Last Sunday we had to call 911 because he was having severe bone pain. He said that he felt paralyzed, like his joints were all locked up and his bones were “exploding”. He was having trouble breathing and could barely complete a sentence. The Community hospital kept him Sunday and released him on Monday hoping that he would get through to his appointment at Moffitt on Tuesday morning. Mike had another attack Monday night and we had to call 911 and rush him to Community hospital again. This time they kept him until he was able to move to Moffitt for further testing and treatment. The doctors at Moffitt determined that Mike had a negative reaction to his most recent dose of Neulasta. It is a drug that boosts his white blood cells and is known for causing bone pain. They had to keep him for a few days to monitor his lab work and they released him on Thursday. He has been feeling fairly well since he has been home. He is not able to do much activity; just walking causes his legs to hurt. He has also lost all of his hair again. This time, he is completely bald. It was coming out in clumps (even his facial hair) so we shaved down the rest of it. His eyebrows have been thinning out also, but he is hoping he will not lose them completely. At first, he seemed to be taking it really well, but as the days pass, he seems more and more concerned about his appearance. I think it is becoming very difficult for him.
Mike will resume his regular treatments this Tuesday. He is not scheduled to get another Neulasta shot for a while, so I am hoping that he will be feeling okay for a few weeks. I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has been a continuous encouragement to us, to my mom & Terri for running all over FL to help me last week and to Kasey & Sam for cleaning out our garage and making us dinner! Even the littlest things make such a huge difference for us!:)

Monday, January 18, 2010


Mike was released this afternoon to come home. They gave him dilaudid as needed for pain and he has an appointment at Moffitt early tomorrow morning. The doctors think that the pain was brought on by a combination of the most recent chemo drug Mike received & the fact that he worked out on Saturday. He pushed himself a little too hard with push-ups, a cardio workout, etc.

His labs improved throughout the night, so I know that prayers are being answered. His WBC count went up a little, there is only a concern is he gets some kind of infection or if he gets a fever. He will get another treatment tomorrow after review with his Hematologist.

Thanks to everyone for all of the prayers and encouragement. Each and every one of you means so very much more than you know!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

911 update

Well, it has been a crazy evening…Around 4:00 this afternoon Mike started to have some body aches so he took his pain meds…with still no relief 15 minutes later, he took more pain meds. By 4:45 he was screaming in pain and writhing all over the bed that his body felt paralyzed and his bones were “exploding”… I made the call to the Cancer Center and was told to call 911. An ambulance took him to the community hospital where they were able to bring his pain to a tolerable level. During last week’s treatment he was given a shot of Neulasta to boost his WBC which is also known for severe bone pain. The hospital ran all kinds of tests and determined that everything looks fine except that Mike has close to zero white blood cells. He was admitted for pain management and to keep an eye on his blood tests. With the low WBC, I am not sure whether he will be kept at the Community Hospital or transferred to Moffitt.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying – please keep them coming!!

I will keep everyone posted if there are any new developments!

Isaiah 53:5

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

back into the swing of things and a happy new year

Hey everyone – I figured it was getting close to the time for another update.

We really hope that you all had a safe and happy holiday season. We were blessed to be able to spend Christmas and New Years with our family and friends up north. Mike did very well throughout his break from treatments and it was a big breath of fresh air for us to just feel “normal”. It was frigid, but worth it to be able to see everyone for the holidays. We came home to surprising temperatures – not much higher than those in Maryland. It’s been in the 20s and 30s here in Florida, but looking forward to a warm up back in the 70s by the end of the week! :)

Our first week back in FL gave us a large dose of reality as Mike had to start his treatments up the very next day and I had a full work week. He had to go everyday Tuesday-Sunday, sometimes for 8-10 hours at a time. It is obvious to see the strain that the chemo has put on him already. He has been very tired, but unable to sleep, which makes him grumpy (ssshhh – I didn’t say that!!) and the steroids he is on make him retain water and feel hungry constantly. We are attempting to start a healthier lifestyle with our food choices, starting with a 5 day juicer detox fast (we juice all of our fruits and vegetables and drink them) and then going into the South Beach Diet. Mike is trying to be on board with me, but his junk food cravings are hard to fight. He has done very well to kick the bad habits, as we both believe that our foods choices make a great impact to our overall health.

We had planned to take some time to meet with Dr. Hesdorffer at Johns Hopkins regarding a second opinion for a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately we did not make that happen, but we believe that everything happens for a reason. We have not come to a definite decision, but we both feel in our spirit that the transplant is not something that he should proceed with at this time. The research on the transplant is still so sketchy and cannot promise a much better outcome than if he were to just finish out his chemotherapy plan. If new research comes available that shows that the transplant will give him better odds in the future, we will reconsider, but until then, we are going to continue with the treatment plan as originally scheduled. We both feel very good about that decision.

We are really looking forward to 2010. We have such high hopes that Mike’s health is going to recover and we are going to be a stronger and happier family through these trials. We have been inspired by Mike’s strength and determination and given a new perspective on the value of life and family. These trials are quickly turning into blessings, as I knew all along that they would. Please continue to pray for us as fight through to come out on top.

We love all of you so much and are so grateful for the support and encouragement that you have been providing along the way. We pray that 2010 will bring many blessings and fresh, new perspectives to you and your loved ones!

God Bless!!