Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chemo Round Three

Before I begin this entry, let me first say how amazed I am that so many of you are so faithful in reading this blog!  I am not a very good blogger, as it seems to be a long time between entries.  I guess I am just busy with life right now, so please forgive me if my blogs aren't always extremely up-to-the-minute current!

Scott did indeed receive another round of chemo this past Wednesday.  His brother, Corey, flew in on Tuesday night, so he was able to come with us.  He has definitely been a huge blessing.  He buoyed Scott's spirits during the treatment... so much so that Scott was actually laughing for part of the time.  Through his encouragement, Scott was clowning around and managed to put a latex glove on his head (sort of like a rubber chicken thing).  I know, I couldn't believe it either... and I was there.

Anyway, it wasn't long afterwards that Scott came down and found himself in the midst of the worst nausea yet from the treatment.  We were hoping for a bit easier round, as he had a four week hiatus from the chemo.  However, he has actually had more severe nausea and vomiting this time... even while taking three different anti-nausea drugs.  

Scott took Corey to work with him these past two days, and forced hard labor upon him!  Without Corey's help, I know Scott would not have made it through the day.  His color looks so poor these days... especially after chemo.  He has this yellowish-grey cast to his skin after the treatment, and during his very sick moments.  He told me today that he didn't know how I coped with the continual nausea and vomiting with each of my pregnancies.  I'm pretty sure that pregnancy nausea and chemo nausea are horses of two bipolar opposite colors!  And besides, I get the best prize ever at the end of the pregnancy... what does he get?

Well, we have been continued to be blessed by our fabulous church family and our amazing community of friends!  I can't even begin to tell you all how much we appreciate all of you and everything you have done for us!

Which leads me to mention the amazing fundraiser that a few of the men at church lined up this past Friday night.  Corey was able to attend the card tournament and said the giving attitude of all the people involved was amazing. The fundraiser was a huge success and I can't thank you enough, guys, for thinking out of the box on this one!  The money that was raised will definitely help pay off those large medical and pharmaceutical bills (which deserve their own separate blog entry)! 

This whole cancer experience has enabled us to see the Body of Christ in action.  We have been loved and cared for by this incredible body of believers that stretches across America and extends to other parts of the world.  I have had many moments when I have felt like a single mother, wearing the entire burden of caring for my children alone.  I know this isn't the case, and I realize the the task single moms bear is tremendous.  However, the Sundays when I have had to gather my flock and head out to worship alone, leaves an ache in my soul.  Corporate worship seems to be where the tears come easily as I attempt to leave that burden at the cross and really reflect on who the Lord is.  However, throughout all of this, my church family and friends have cared for me, watched my kids for me, reminded me that they are always here to help me, and encouraged me that I am loved by the Lord and that He is good.  I will be forever grateful to you all.  You have encouraged my spirit more than you will ever know.

And on that note, Scott mustered all his strength today to attend worship.  He has missed so many Sundays due to sickness and hospital stays.  He desperately needed the comfort found in corporate worship and hearing the Word of God spoken to his soul.  I think as difficult as it was physically, he was refreshed spiritually.

So, on that thought, I will end this entry for now.  I just wanted you all to know that we love you all so much, and without your assistance we would not be able to carry on as we have been doing.  It is because you live out the scriptural commands to love each other and give up your lives (time, resources) for each other.  Please continue to pray for healing and for strength for Scott.  He is attempting to work as much as he possibly can in order to provide for us.  I am amazed that he does what he does in the condition he does it in!  

Pray that the nausea will quickly subside.  Pray that his brother will return safely to his family tomorrow... we are so indebted to his presence here this past week.  Please pray that my love for my Savior will continue to grow and that daily I will choose to serve my husband.

I hear the kids and their uncle playing the game show "Wipeout" in the living room... they set up their own obstacles (which is Uncle Corey).  So, I'd better go get a good seat before the show is over!  Thank you all for everything!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wishing for the Hilton, But Getting the Hospital

Scott called me this morning saying that he has another room with a view.  Maybe someday we'll take the money we spend on his mountain-view hospital rooms and go take a real vacation with better views!

Well, the docs admitted Scott to the hospital last night... actually early this morning.  They took a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and did some blood cultures to check for a bacterial infection.  He started on IV antibiotics early this morning.  He then woke up around 5 Am with severe itching and shortness of breath.  So, now we know he's allergic to that antibiotic... I just need to find out which one that was!  Anyway, he's slated to stay for at least the weekend to take care of any infection, if there is one.  

Satan chose to attack me last night as well.  I had so many fears... many of them imagined.  I usually don't run in that vein, but while I was weak, Satan took the advantage.  Thankfully I had a dear friend yesterday that mentioned Psalm 91 to me.  I read over it numerous times, prayed through it, cried over it, and slept beside it last night.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling--even the Lord, who is my refuge--then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will be with him and honor him.  With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

I am praying the last part of that Psalm for Scott, and that through this physical trial, he will see the Lord's hand and rest in it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

ER Trip

As I write this, Scott is sitting in the ER at University of Colorado Hospital.  We had decided that for his safety he should go and stay with couple in our church, to avoid our germ-infested house.  Well, just tonight he called me and was complaining of chills.  He said he was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt.  Just hearing that made me sweat.  He said his temp was 100.3

A few minutes later he called the oncologist and relayed what was happening to him.  After that he called me back, told me his temp was now 101.4, and said he was headed to the ER.

Because his immunity is so low, the oncologist is concerned.  He is definitely in a "danger zone" so to speak.  He did receive an injection of a drug (Neulasta) in order to stimulate white cell production.  The problem is that he might not have enough white cells to mount a defense if he is indeed experiencing an infection.  That is very dangerous.  

So, they will most likely draw blood, check his WBC (white cells), culture the blood to check for infection, and determine if he is indeed producing any more WBC's.  I don't know what the plan of treatment will be yet.  I can't be there with him due to all the sick and recovering kids I have around here.  I'm sure I'm crawling with bugs!

Anyway, that's all I know at the moment.  The only thing I can do for him is pray.  Why is it when that's all we can do is when we feel the most helpless; the most useless?  Is it because I measure everything in terms of what "I" can do, and not in what "God" can do?  Isn't this where God wants us... when we can't "do" anything, and we leave it in his hands?

I think this is my struggle... to accomplish it on my own, to find strength in and of myself, to be self-sufficient and therefore self-reliant.  Is this what it takes for me to learn?  I'm sorry, Lord for the sin of my heart; the pride of myself.  Please forgive me and send healing to my husband.

If you read this, please pray that Scott will be healed and that he will be spared another hospital stay.  Also, pray for me as I stay here alone with the kids this weekend. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Delay of Game

Yesterday we went to the hospital ready to knock down the third chemo treatment.  After that, only one more to go!  That's not what happened.

As we were waiting for Scott to be called in to the infusion treatment center, his oncology doctor's nurse came in to talk with us.  She informed us that he would not be able to receive treatment due to a low blood count.  

When he receives chemo, it lowers his immunity.  In order to have the treatment, his immunity must be at a certain level.  Yesterday his immunity was below the allowable level.  He received an injection called Neulasta, which will stimulate his bone to produce the much needed cells.  It is similar to the injections he received in the hospital... for the same purpose.  

The difficulty of this medication is that fact that it causes severe bone pain.  When he was in the hospital he took morphine for the pain.  Here at home he has Vicodin.  

The nurse cautioned us to keep him away from crowds, sickness, watch for signs of infections, etc.  He doesn't need to be hospitalized, but we need to be careful.  Well, to further compound matters, that afternoon Aspen came down with a 101 degree temp, and has been visibly miserable.  Then, last night, Forrest was lethargic, said he felt warm, looked miserable as well, and began exhibiting a croupy cough.

I'm not too sure how I'm going to keep all this away from Scott other than by the grace of the Lord!

So, Scott's next chemo treatment has been put on hold until two weeks from now (which would have been that last treatment... sigh).  We will wait for his body to build an immunity and attempt to keep him from contamination in the meantime.  

The kids and I read through Isaiah chapter 40 on Tuesday.  It's a good reminder for me right now of the power of the Lord and where my strength comes from!  

Well, I need to go because I have a sick baby that needs me!  Please pray that my children get over their respective colds, and that Scott would NOT get sick or an infection!  Thanks so much for the prayers!