Wednesday, January 28, 2015

First 2 radiation rounds done on the new C6 tumor.
We found out that instead of doing 3 treatments, they were going to do 5 instead, which means daily trips across town to the hospital. The first day was a little rough getting lugged in and out of the cabs with the slush and all, I was so grateful to Brandon Buckner for the muscle man he is!  I spent about 5 hours upright which really took its toll and wore me right out.
While the mask and the mold they have me locked into during the radiation treatment has really improved over the years, it still lacks a lot. Trying to lay there and not move while not comfortable and trying to manage the fact that my arms started falling asleep from the position I was in... Not to fun. I laid there and quietly prayed that the Lord would help me make it through the next half hour, and that he would help remove the pain and discomfort. Within about 5 minutes, the pain and discomfort were all but gone.
I have never doubted that the Lord hears me. I love the reassurance I get each time my prayers are answered, no matter how small the prayer, no matter how trivial the situation, He cares, and hears us.
With the second treatment done today along with an additional follow up visit, I was up for about 7 hours. It really wipes me out but to see some further progress each day is encouraging.
We did find out that there are a number of wheelchair accessible cabs in the city that make all the difference in world in getting across town to the hospital. They even a hotline we can call for it. Just wheel in and it out the back!
Tomorrow we will also have a physical therapy consult to determine what I might be able to do to start regaining anything at all below my waist. I can wiggle my toes and slightly straighten my thighs (barely and not every time) but everything is so weak I have to physically have my legs lifted on and off the leg rests on the wheelchair. They are just dead weight for now.
We have adjusted some more meds again in hopes to reduce the pressure on spinal cord some more. The steroids have been increased and with that comes the irritability and the mood swings which I am not used to. I find myself being frustrated at the dumbest things! The simplest things also seem to get me emotional very easily. This is going to take some being used to.
In find I am learning more and more about patience and the importance of not running faster than I can. Some things just take time, when it is out of your control, don't stress over it, just do what you can for today and then move into tomorrow.
We are seeing many blessings and small miracles each day, I am so grateful for the continued support through all of your prayers and thoughts, they are making the difference. Amy Hirschi Buckner and I are blessed beyond measure to have the support that we do.
Thank you!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

This last week has been probably the hardest of my life. I didn't anticipate the psychological blow that it would have on me. Physically, the pain has been more intense than I have ever felt and the slow loss of function from my lower body has dealt a blow that has struck fear into my mind multiple times. Although I feel the paralysis to some extent will be temporary it is something I am not looking forward to working through.
We are working through the pain with some new pain medications, hoping this will allow me to maintain some endurance to be able to get out of bed and into a wheelchair. It will be nice to not feel bed ridden.
How will I make it through the rest of this I have no idea. And at times I feel like I don't want to know. It causes me to think too much, to try and think how I'm going to fix it when I don't know how to fix it. Sometimes I just need to take it one hour at a time. I feel this is the best way to handle it for me for now. It's probably the best way to handle many difficult challenges in life, 10 minutes at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time.
The one thing I do know is the only way I have made it through this week is through your prayers and thoughts. The strength that has given me has been huge. The Lord is there he has not left me alone. In my darkest hours He's the only one who could be with me and truly understand me. Despite all the clouds and the darkness around, he has helped me find the light. I am so grateful to know that I can call on him at any time and receive his comfort and peace. There is a plan in all of this, one will lead us to find true happiness and joy, one that will give us understanding in the end. This will undoubtedly be the greatest learning moment in my life. For this I will be eternally grateful.
Once again Amy Hirschi Buckner and I thank you for your support and your love as we could not do it without you.

Friday, January 16, 2015

So the last week has been so overwhelming to us, is a good way. Everything seems to be falling into place the way the Lord has intended it to. We are being watched over in so many ways. Love has been poured out upon us like we could not imagine. The support from all of our Family and friends has been fantastic and we have been strengthened beyond our own comprehension.

My recent outpatient procedure went well and I was able to recover without problems, (post dural puncture headaches being the main concern). I have had Family by my side the whole time as well which has been SO comforting being far from home.
I returned from an important appointment today that was in prep for my next procedure and actual treatment. I will be undergoing a clinical trial that has only been done over the last 3 years. I will be the 16th person to ever have this done. It is a direct arterial chemo infusion into my tumor. They will feed micro catheters into the tumor and then deliver toxic concentrations of a special chemo drug that will effect the tumor directly vs feeding the whole body with the chemo hoping to effect the tumor in question. There is only the one doctor who does this and I feel so fortunate to be a part of this.
I will do 3 initial treatments of this being spaced apart by about 3-4 weeks each. This will require more travel back and forth but it will be worth it.
I can't begin to tell you how blessed we are to be where we are, with who we are, and at the time we are right now. God is laying out the path before us and it is fascinating to see where it is taking us.

From our Family to you and yours Amy and I thank you with all our hearts for the never ending love and support we are feeling from you all.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wow 2015.
Do I really have any hope of maintaining this blog? Much has happened in the last few years. More tumors,  surgery, radiation, pain, recovery, hope, love, patience, generosity, Family and so much more.
The end of 2013 and beginning of 2014 had me in NY City for about 4 weeks. I underwent another surgery but this time they did focused Radiation during the surgery, something that has been pioneered by the amazing Doctors as Sloan Kettering. I truly believe that I  am blessed to have the best Doctors in the world to help me fight my fight. Dr Yoshia Yamada is a saint and seems to have a number of wild cards up his sleeve. Just when I think I am out of options he has something else to try.
A year later and after much recovery we discovered that the Cancer had metastasized all over. I underwent Microwave ablation to my right lung and right hip, (after fighting with the insurance on the coverage of this procedure for about 4-5 months, the finally approved it, what a joke). Now they have found a new tumor on my C6 vertebrae and also found swelling on my spinal cord.
The effects of this have been very noticeable. My legs are losing strength, I am walking with a cane so I don't fall on my face and the pain has increased dramatically. I am experiencing tingling throughout my lower body and some numbing in my right thumb.
The pain being as it is has me back on prescription pain meds. WHICH I HATE!!! It takes some time for your body to get used to them, the nausea, headaches, constipation, woozyness, and the overall feeling of ugh...all sucks. I was up last night vomiting from the nausea but I have been able to sleep at night otherwise due to the pain relief.
I just got off the phone with my Doctors, I have an impingement of the spinal cord which will require immediate attention. I will be on some steroids for a while to reduce any swelling and hopefully get some function and feeling back to my lower body.

We still don't know why we are going through all of this but I know it is all a part of the Lords plan to shape, mold and purify us.