Friday, December 31, 2010

Midday blogging...

I figured since I was too tired to blog last night. I would blog this afternoon and that way I would be fully alert. Of course the UK vs. U of L game is on but that doesn't really distract me too bad. I came across a couple of websites this morning that had alot helpful information. The first site is, the site is "founded by and for young adults affected by cancer, i[2]y- The I'm too young For This! Cancer Foundation- is the nation's largest support community for the next generation of patients, survivors and caregivers between 25-4. This next site has just recently joined the forces with the LIVESTRONG foundation to "combine resources and efforts  to reach and serve young adults with cancer.

I've had so much running through my mind ever since I found out that my cancer had returned; do I want to start my own non-profit organization focusing on TC? Do I want to join an organization that is already in motion? Or, do I want to branch out into a totally new direction and go to seminary? Seminary is something that I have thought about here in the past week or so, especially in the field of youth ministry. I have always been good with the 12-18 age range and it makes me wonder if maybe this cancer is sort of a wake up call for what I should be doing. Or, maybe, I'm overreacting having had a pretty close call a couple weeks ago.

No matter what the plan is, I know that it is His will not mine, and I will support it no matter what.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I loathe the hiccups

I've had the hiccups now for roughly 8 hours now. This happened the last time I went through chemo, but I forgot how much of a nuisance they really are. Today was a really good day overall though.  I've been doing physical therapy on my ankle. I'm walking around the floor (about 6 laps) I am also on a stationary bike for about 35 minutes. Also, I have few exercises that I am required to do.

I'm still going through my chemo right now, but my parents came to visit this morning. It was wonderful, as always. I haven't had any nausea today either. Well, this post is gonna be short and sweet because I can't keep my eyes open. I promise tomorrow wil be more informative and exciting!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Orange Sherbet and "King of the Hill"

I'm currently laying in my bed watching "King of the Hill" eating Orange Sherbet. I feel like I've been on cloud nine since yesterday, but I'll try not dwell too much on that, since that's all my post was about yesterday.

Today went well, I did get sick around 9:30 pm last night, but fortunately they got me good and relaxed with the use of phenergan (a nausea medicine that also has a relaxer in it). That being said, I probably didn't  wake up until around 9 am, it was wonderful. The chemo has been relatively fair thus far, no major issues, such as vomiting constantly or not being able to eat. Actually, my appetite has been better since I've been here at Vandy.

 I'm keeping a positive attitude throughout all this, especially after the news I found out yesterday. Prior to hearing the news I figured it was for sure that I was going to have to undergo Stem Cell chemotherapy. But, I am so thankful that isn't the case. It instills a new hope in me, and makes me want to work harder to overcome this. Today, I did about 6 laps around the hall as well as ride the stationary bike for about 30 minutes. I also had a physical therapist come in today and show me some exercises to help with my ankle. Overall it's been a really good day. I'm so thankful for those of you who have been keeping up with my blog. Please continue to check it out and invite your friends.

** Also, if you, or any of your friends have any questions regarding TC feel free to send me a Facebook message or email me @**

 Thanks and God bless

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thank you God for answering prayers

I found out the best news I could have possibly heard today. I went and spoke with my oncologist this morning and I asked her what kind of number she wanted to see at the end of my second cycle of chemo (which I'm currently prepping for). She said she wanted to see my tumor markers down around 300. Now, keep in mind that when I started chemotherapy, my numbers were in the upper 3000's so I had a pretty big hill to climb. I found out today though that after only 1 cycle, my numbers had dropped to 380. That being said, it looks like I will not have to got through stem cell chemo.

This is just proof that God does answer prayers. I have been praying constantly, and I know that I have a prayer army spread out all over the country lifting me up in prayer. So, I want to take a second and thank you, for everything you have done. I wish I could have the opportunity to meet the people (especially the ones I don't know) who have been praying for me. Maybe one day I will.

I am so thankful for what God has done for me. I know that sounds weird saying that I am thankful for cancer, but I am. Having lived with cancer the past 8 months has helped me to learn alot about myself. It has also strengthened my relationship with Dianne, and brought us both closer to God. Please continue to pray that God will lay his healing hand upon me and continue to watch over myself and Dianne.

I know tonights blog may sound a little jumpy, but I was given a pretty big dose of benadryl about an hour ago and I am struggling to stay awake right now, so, good night.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Back to the Grind

Well folks, tomorrow I head back to Vandy for my second cycle of chemo. I will be arriving at 8 am to have blood work done, then at 10 am I will  have a picc line put back in (that's what they'll be using to administer the chemo), after that it's back to a room for a week.

This is a big week because this week will determine whether or not we will continue the lower dose "salvage" chemo, or if we are going to have to move on to the stem cell chemo. I am praying with all my might that the numbers at the end of this week will be low enough to continue the "salvage" chemo. But, I also know that God is going to take care of me no matter what the numbers are, and those are some pretty good hands to be in. Please just continue to pray for me and keep thinking positive thoughts this week as I go in and kick butt this week.

I got to spend Christmas with the family, which was absolutely wonderful (as always). My little sister got a new puppy for Christmas. Lucy, is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen. She is a Scottie/ Westie mix, and she is perfect for my sister. My parents were really good to me this Christmas as well. They got me a really nice tool chest to put in my garage. Which is great because Di had a friend of mine build me a workbench for Christmas as well. So, I have alot of incentive to get well and start building things again.  But, it was nice to be able to spend quality time with my folks and just sit around and talk. Not even talk about cancer or finances, just talk about anything and everything. That to me, made this Christmas the best ever in my book.

Well, tomorrow is a busy day and I still have to unpack from being at the folk's house this weekend. I will keep you all posted on how things are going tomorrow. Thank you all again for showing me so much support through this. Have a good evening.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

For the first time this whole month I am FINALLY starting to feel like myself again. And, Christmas is only 3 days away.I feel like a bad person not having posted these past couple of days, but honestly, I was out enjoying life. Yesterday, Dianne and I drove to Nashville under pleasant circumstances and met with our wedding photographers to look at our pictures from the wedding. Dianne also stopped by Vanderbilt Children's Hospital to drop off some toys for Christmas. She has become really involved in wanting to do volunteer work there. It makes perfect sense. She's so kindhearted when it comes to children and her being able to have the opportunity to help out while I'm stuck in the hospital is pretty awesome.

I'm going to be driving home to see my parents on Christmas morning. I always love being able to watch my little sister open her presents up on Christmas morning. It's very nostalgic watching the twinkle in her eye when she sees that Santa came. The unfortunate thing this year is that I'm not going to be able to go to my Grandma's house when the rest of my family comes over. Since being in the hospital last week, my immune system is still very weak and the fact that I have a very large family hanging out in a relatively small area probably doesn't bode well for my health. It's really sad, but that just means I'll have to do it even bigger next year.

Well, Dianne's mom is making lasagna and it smells amazing so I think I might go lend a hand. This Christmas season, take a moment to sit down and reflect about what you're thankful for. I've been doing alot of that here over the past couple days and it really makes you realize what really is important over Christmas. It's not the presents, or the food. It's the little things. It's being able to be with your family, talking, playing games, just laughing. So, cherish the little things. Because at the end of the day, that is what really matters. God bless.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Long December"

You would think having spent the past 5 days in the hospital, going to sleep when you get back home would be a breeze. But, alas I'm sitting here in the living room watching Sports Center on ESPN. For some reason I find it more comfortable to just be sitting, as opposed to laying in bed sound asleep. There are a million things weighing on my heart right now, and my brain won't turn off long enough for me to sleep.

I had never been so scared to go to sleep as I was on Wednesday night. When I got brought to the hospital I don't remember anything that happened from the time I was taken back to the ER room until I arrived at Vanderbilt. The one thing I do remember as I was making it onto the bed is telling myself not to fall asleep. I was scared that if I did fall asleep, I wouldn't wake up. I have too much going for me right now to have it end so soon. I'm a husband, a big brother with a sister that thinks the world of him, with another brother that couldn't call me every time the colts scored. I am someones son, grandson, friend.

But, it wasn't my time.

So I sit here tonight, writing to two, trying to put together exactly why (on a spiritual level) this happened.

I have always tried to live my life to be the best "person" I can be. I don't put on fronts, what you see is what you get. My wife and my family are the most important people to me, and I would do anything for them at the drop of a hat (they've been doing the same for me). The one problem that I have with myself, is that I continually tell myself that I am going to start spreading the word of God, and never follow through. When I started my chemo over the summer, I would sit in my room and think of ways that I could relate to different people through cancer, then show how God's healing power helped get me through my hard times. I thought about how I take my testimony to different places to help raise awareness for TC. But once I was told my tumors markers were (at the time) normal, I just put God on the back burner. It was time to get back to life.

I now know differently. I realize why I was given this wakeup call.

I was asked on two different occasions by two different men at Vanderbilt how I found my testicle had a tumor. And the fact that I got asked twice about my cancer in the period of 24 hours proves that God is using me to help raise awareness. And I have a strong feeling that is what I need to be doing with my life. I need to start an organization and have focus and support groups that are available at anytime to answer the questions that are specific to TC.

I am so thankful to be well again. It has been a long couple of weeks. Thanks to you as well for your prayers and support through this rough time. I plan to be back every day this week now that I'm well. So, until next time; "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday, December 17, 2010

And Now for Something COMPLETELY Different...

NOTE: This post is REALLY stinking long.  But- if you want to know all about what has been going on with Paul the last 48 hours or so and why he is back in the hospital, you'll get all the juicy details. So get comfy : )

DIANNE:  So it's Thursday night, a little past 10pm.  Last time we checked in it was Monday and Paul was talking about what it was like coming off of chemo this go-round.  At that time he knew he wasn't feeling as good as quickly as he had when coming off of chemo during this past summer.  Well... since then things have certainly taken us for a wild ride.

The last couple of days, Paul just didn't quite seem himself.  He was up and doing as much activity as we expected for his circumstances, but being at home with him he just didn't seem "right."  Of course our parents were both talking with him over the phone and they all seemed to think the same thing to a certain degree.  We questioned all the medicines he was on, and some of the dosages, wondering if perhaps some of what we were seeing were the more ill side effects of some of the medicines.

PAUL:  During all of this I know that I wasn't always catching onto everything going on around me.  Sometimes Dianne would talk to me and I didn't really know what she was saying.  Imagine if you will the parents from Peanuts: "WhawhaWHAwhaWhaWHA?"

DIANNE: I couldn't tell to what degree he was "off" because even though it sometimes took him a minute, he was still coherent from what I could see.  It was like I could tell he was a little zombie-like, but figured it was to be expected because of all of his medicines.  After all, I'm the one who has been giving him all of that stuff.  However, parents being parents, by Wednesday afternoon the four of them were starting to call each other, unbeknownst to me.  But they love us, so I guess it's okay : ) 

PAUL: If Dianne didn't know that was happening, I definitely didn't know that it was happening.   Obviously though, I didn't want to go to the hospital.

DIANNE: Neither did I!  And I say this knowing that it was oh, about 90% selfishness, but I didn't.  I didn't want to go to the hospital knowing that even if it turned out to be nothing too serious that we would be stuck there.  Even when it's a small thing, once you're at the hospital, that small thing grows exponentially.   I didn't want to repack the bags I hadn't even gotten unpacked from returning from Vanderbilt last week, and then the stint at my parents' house.  I wanted to be at home, sleep in my own bed, and for everything to be fine.  I wanted to be able to take care of Paul.  And let me say, that when you are put into a position to take care of someone else, it is really difficult to swallow your pride when you simply can't give them what they need. 

PAUL: Sometime during the evening I realized enough of how I was feeling that I changed my mind about wanting to go to the hospital.  I knew I really didn't feel good.  My chest was really sore still.  I had talked to a doctor at Vanderbilt earlier in the week about the chest pain but they mentioned the fact that I'd had hiccups so bad while I was doing chemo that it could be some bruising.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that I fell down at 6 in the morning and twisted my ankle.  I was up trying to get to the kitchen for some water and tripped in the dining room.  So along with everything else, I couldn't really walk on my right leg.

DIANNE: Which was pretty crappy.  I'm not exactly cut out to help lug Paul around if he's having a hard time walking.  But, when we did decide to gear up and head to the Emergency Room, I asked our always amazing neighbors Jackie and Michael for a little help, and once I got a little overnight bag together, Michael came over to help walk Paul out to the car.  This was especially good because it was getting icy outside by that point. We told our dog "bye" (again, our neighbors are awesome because they took her 'outside' and then got her situated back in the house so that we could be on our way), and then we were off to the Murray-Calloway County Hospital Emergency Room.

This is also where I will pretty much take over... because, well, Paul wasn't coherent enough to know what the heck was going on at that point. (And, they just came in to give him his bedtime meds... nighty-night!)  SO:

We got to the hospital, pulled up to the ER patient entrance and popped inside to ask for help getting Paul out of the car and inside the building.  They said they'd have someone right out.  In my mind I simply expected the Brawny paper towel man (in scrubs) to be coming out ready to help.  Alas, it was a very petite nurse... my brain apparently read all over my face as she said "yeah, people don't usually expect to see me when they call for help. It's okay, I'm used to it".  Whoops.  I chuckled and told her while yes, that was true, I was sorry for the 'look' hahaha : ) 

Anyway, got him in, took my handy dandy medicine chart (check out that post here) which has (much to my ego's approval) been very helpful to the doctors and nurses who have seen him, and provided a much simpler way of reviewing that critical information with people over and over again.  They were concerned about the pain and nausea.  He was given hefty injections of standard ER practice pain meds, and our old friend Zofran.  Right about the time they were doing this though, Paul became nauseated, and got violently sick, and following each bout, he did what my mind can only compare to seizures.  I don't know if in fact they were seizures, I'm just saying that the type of shaking he was having looked like that.

This was a pretty big concern to all the medical team there.   He was running a fever, throwing up, shaking, sweating, and had a sore chest and a swollen ankle.  His biggest complaints were chest and ankle pain.  They drew lots of blood for tests, and took him for a chest x-ray.  They looked for things like pneumonia, which they said didn't seem to be an answer.  However, with his level of dehydration, and that one of pneumonia's tell-tale signs being fluid in the lungs, they probably wouldn't ever see that sign because his body had no fluids to spare.

They also checked his blood counts.  As I also mentioned in my previous post (here) the chemo hurts a lot of good healthy cells along with the bad ones it's attacking.  So naturally, after chemo, those numbers are nowhere near what they should be compared to a normal healthy individual.  Paul had some blood levels checked on Monday or Tuesday (can't remember which) and his white blood counts were, I want to say, around 500 or so.  If you'll check out this handy page from Medline/NIH you'll see that the numbers they indicate as being normal for this are "4,500-10,000 white blood cells per microliter (mcL)."   Okay... well, they told us at the ER that his numbers were more like 0.000nada....  He basically had no immune system.  Because of all of the other symptoms (fever, for one) they could pretty safely assume there was a pretty serious infection somewhere in his system.  His lack of immunity makes him susceptible to becoming very sick, very quickly from things that might not even affect you or I.  Although I'm not sure they should have necessarily told me this, albeit I DO ask a LOT of questions, they said that a big fear was that he could be Septic. Not good. 

They got to work pumping fluids and mega antibiotics into him through IVs.  Then they started getting in touch with Vanderbilt.  Because the more definite answers about his condition would come once they got results from his bloodwork back, (and that would be something around a minimum of 24 hours.) They wanted to prepare for all the worst possibilities, including things like kidney failure.  Now I realize I'm throwing a lot of stuff out there without a lot of the conversation that went with it, but I'm still running on a quarter of a tank, and the highlights are about all I can give. I don't remember the "why" of all of these things, I just know they were brought up.

So, overall, they knew they wanted to try to get him to the much bigger Vanderbilt with the thought that they were better equipped to handle all of the "what ifs".  They kept him on fluids, pain meds and nausea meds and prepared for ambulance transportation down to Nashville.  I had only planned on a visit to our local hospital, so while they were waiting for transportation, I ran to our house and threw whatever into a bag, kissed the dog again and got back to the hospital.

Now, for those of you who have experience the joys of driving over the lakes on your was from Murray to Nashville or Cadiz, etc.-  riding in an ambulance on that crap-tastic-ness is a whole other level of yuck.  I was, however, happy that they said his condition was stable enough that I would be allowed to ride in the ambulance (up front.)  I didn't want to be driving there in the middle of the night (I think we finally left around 1 am?) with deer and possible ice.  So, even though that meant no vehicle once we got to Nashville, it seemed like the better choice.  I got to doze off a little, Paul not so much. 

Got to Vanderbilt and was brought into the Emergency Department here (approx 3 am).  We had already been told that is probably what would happen because they wouldn't have an available bed (room) for him.  We saw several different people (techs, nurses, doctors... you name it) right away, and they evaluated much to the same effect as they had in Murray.  Again: fluids, antibiotics, pain meds, nausea meds, and so on and so forth.  Stayed in this BIG room for quite a while (lunchtime or so?) just doing that.  They were focused on keeping him comfortable and continuing to hunt for clues on the mysterious infection.  Oh, and they did an x-ray on the ankle- not broken! So yes, hung out there for a while.  Then we moved to what I shall lovingly call the closet.  Where it should be illegal to have one person, let alone the point when it was Paul in bed, me standing up out of the way of the nurse so she could reach him, plus three doctors.  Those doctors talked about things that could potentially be causing the chest pain, and also about how they wanted to do some more tests, but they would hold out until his kidneys were behaving a little more normally so as not to overload them with the chemicals involved in those tests. 

We've been in the closet the rest of the day.  We've seen a few different crews taking care of Paul, and his parents came in for a while this afternoon.  They had to wait to make sure they could travel safely because there was a lot of ice where they live.  We're just continuing to wait for better, more specific answers.  Paul looks better than he has in days.  Which is interesting, because that still isn't great.  He still hasn't been able to eat, but no one here seems to have said much about it, so I guess the hydration issue really trumps the eating business.  He tried to sleep all day, but in the ED, the intercoms are inside each room, so you hear every announcement for everyone for everything.  However, they've kept up the pain meds and then tonight gave him something to help him rest, so right now he mostly sleeping soundly. 

We were told by the trio of doctors that we should expect for him to be here for 3-5 days assuming he recovers in a good and timely fashion, longer if not.  Hopefully tomorrow will lend itself to better answers, bigger (non emergency) rooms, and shorter blog posts : )

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in Murray...

Sorry about not posting yesterday,  I've been pretty miserable since being released from the hospital. But, thanks to my awesome wife for keeping you up to date. Which, as you can tell, is a little more visual and descriptive than myself. So in retrospect, this past week wasn't too bad. I actually really enjoy being in Nashville. Vandy has it going on as far as care, they have the most attentive nurses I have ever been around, and you can tell they honestly care. Over the summer, I saw my oncologist once or twice a week, if I was lucky. I saw my Dr. at least 3 times a day last week. So, I guess if I had to be anywhere doing my chemo, I'm glad I'm doing it in Nashville.

I mentioned how I was unable to post on my blog yesterday, When I leave the hospital, my blood counts are extremely low and it usually takes a few days to bounce back (at least it did over the summer). I don't know if it's because I'm temporarily living in the frozen tundra, but nevertheless, it's COLD OUTSIDE! And I'm having a hard time with it.

So, I've been thinking about letting Dianne have a post once a week. Not just because I'm lazy, but I hope that there will be many people looking at this and it's very important to see other points of views during my treatment. Cancer doesn't just affect the person with cancer, I learned that quick. It affects everyone around it in many different ways. So I'd like to know what you think...

Post and let me know. Well friends, goodnight and I'll see you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Guest Blogger: The Wife : )

That's right.  It's Dianne.  So sorry to have missed Saturday here, but we're back! And we're coming at you from the comfort of my parents house.  No more hospital.

Yesterday we were pleasantly surprised to have Paul discharged from the hospital on the date we originally anticipated (despite starting his chemo regimen a whole day late).  He woke up and started his pre-meds pretty early yesterday, and they moved right along to ensure he'd be discharged in a timely fashion.  Part of that was to help us avoid driving in what some of our fellow Kentuckians consider a blizzard:

Ahem. Yeah. But, alas it is pretty. 

Other new developments include all of the medicines that Paul has learned to tolerate.  Right before our wedding he started having severe pain due to what the doctors can only assume is the location of the tumors.  So that is one thing that has just been something we continue to deal with on a daily basis.  The upside of being in the hospital is that they are able to manage his pain much more efficiently through things like him having an IV, as well as just being able to regularly change and update his medicines and dosages. 

During this trip, some of those dosages were changed.  He is now able to use a longer acting medicine that he can take much less frequently and is his primary means of pain management.  

Paul has also been on anticoagulants (blood thinners) since this summer.  They changed some of that up this week with the pill that he on because they were closely monitoring his blood "thickness" while they were planning to remove his chemo port.  He is now back on pills, as well as an injection, called Lovenox.  He will have to have a shot in is belly twice a day for the next 10 days.  Guess who does that? Yours truly.  It's not too big of a deal, but I did it once with the nurse before we left for safety's measure.

He will also be on supersized antibiotic for the next 10 days, as well as a special steroid for 2 days.  These both help to counteract all the mean aggressive things the chemo has done to his body this week.  Right now, he's on the couch across from me just trying to sleep it off.

Also, he two medicines for chemo related nausea:  Zofran and Phenergan.   These are both something he used over the summer with his first cycle of chemo.  Nothing too exciting here. 

Last but not least, he'll have one shot of Neulasta.  This is pretty interesting stuff. It helps the body regenerate white blood cells after chemo since the chemo harms those good cells while trying to get rid of the bad ones.

Considering how much stuff he now has to keep track of, I drew up a little chart when we got home last night.  This will make it a little easier for knowing when he had what, and when he is supposed to take it again.  Why does the pharmacy not have some awesome print out of this?  Better yet, why is there not an "App" for this?  Sheesh.

I suppose that's all the big news since leaving.  I'm sure as soon as Paul has rested and feels up to it he'll be back to let you know how he's doing. Thanks for checking in : )

Friday, December 10, 2010

Week one..... ALMOST DONE!!

Well, today has been interesting. I had my "malfunctioning" port removed this morning. It was actually quite interesting. I spoke with the surgeon during the procedure about the Colts game since I was just given a local anesthetic. Definitely was a moment that I will never forget, just because of the sheer, awkwardness of it all.

Unfortunately, I'm now starting to feel some of the side effects of the chemo. I woke up this morning with severe pains in my knee and ankles. It has made it extremely difficult to move around. But, I did get Di back today, which always makes me happy. She is such a trooper, doing things for me constantly, never putting herself first (although she did just get a beautiful haircut). She's currently looking into volunteer work that she can do on the weeks that I am staying here. Mainly stuff in the children's hospital, she's such a sucker for kiddos. Here is a link to an event she is doing,  Help Bring Christmas to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

This being my second time going through chemo, I'm really trying to do better about getting to know my nurses and doctors. I also ask numerous questions about my medication, just to make sure I am as schooled as I can possibly be. I have twice as many meds this time, compared to the last so I want to really know what everything does. I'm also realizing that I am rambling, therefore, I need to head to bed and get ready for another full day tomorrow.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Colts football and everlasting hiccups

So, I have officially had the hiccups for around 24 hours now. Not going to lie, starting to drive me nuts. But, at least the *Colts just scored*. Everything went well during treatment today, and I am getting my port removed first thing in the morning (finally!!). This week, despite all the hiccups (no pun intended) has flown by. I think it's because of the fact that I have a new attitude, as well as a new found confidence in God to help me get through this. Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" *Colts score again*. And through Christ and the support of my family and friends, I WILL beat this.

Well, have a good night and thank you all for your continued support.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So far, so good

Officially through day 2 of my chemo for the week. On the menu today was ifosfamide and cisplatin. Both  were a breeze. I find that the first week of treatment is always the easiest, because your body is equipped to handle it better in the early stages. You learn alot more after going through chemo once before. The two biggest things I have learned are; you can never have enough water. Water helps to keep you flushed out and gets those kidneys working overtime. Also, fruit, fruit, and more fruit. A good banana or an orange really helps to keep your energy up. I wish I would've done that over the summer. There's no telling how much better I would've felt.

I was saddened today about the death of Elizabeth Edwards. Edwards, who had been battling breast cancer since November of 2004. My prayers and thoughts go out to the Edwards family as they cope and deal with their loss. She made a statement in 2008, shortly after she discovered that her cancer was back. When asked if she was ready to go forward with her husband's bid for the White House, she responded;  "Either you push forward with the things that you were doing yesterday or you start dying," she said. "If I had given up everything that my life was about ... I'd let cancer win before it needed to."
Dr. Lisa Carey, the oncologist treating Edwards, categorized the cancer as metastatic stage four cancer, largely confined to the bones.

Which leads me to my next point, early detection. I was fortunate enough that I found my lump very early. Di (my wife) came across a poster that deals with men and early detection of TC. I know it's something that guys don't take into consideration (I didn't), but it is vital that you check yourself frequently. There is no telling what kind of shape I would have been in if I waited to start self examinations. I was also fortunate that Di's father is a doctor and told me to get to the Dr's office ASAP. I still count my blessings for that.

Does anyone have any home remedies about how to get rid of hiccups? I have had them since noon today, and cannot get rid of them. Any help would be most appreciated. I've tried all the typical remedies; holding your breath, gargling water, etc. but, nothing is working...

If anybody following my blog ever has any questions regarding my blog, or wants to discuss cancer in general, feel free to comment, and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.

Thank you so much for all of your support, LIVESTRONG.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Picc lines and white mocha fraps.

So after a 24 hour delay, I am finally hooked up to my first treatment of the the week, a 24 hour drip called Paclitaxel . Also, I got my PICC Line inserted today, which works like a charm.

(My super cool PICC line)
This is good because I found out today that my port is no longer functioning and has to be removed this week.  My mom and grandma visited me today and I was thankful for that. Unfortunately, I was too tired to be sociable, but they brought me cupcakes and peanut butter balls :-)!! 
So, since I've found out that my cancer was back, I've been studying the book of Job. It has actually helped tremendously with the stress and frustration I've been feeling. Back in October, when I found out that my tumor markers were on the rise again I was extremely frustrated. I was frustrated with myself for letting myself believe my cancer was cured, and most frustrated with God, for allowing this to happen. I mean, TC is 95% curable in first line chemo and here I am now in that 5%, what the heck. I spoke with my dad to try and find some comfort in my situation and he urged me to read Job.  
The Book of Job (in the Bible's Old Testament) is a long poem. The Book of Job discusses why innocent people suffer. God cares about people who suffer troubles. And God will help them, although sometimes they must be patient.
Job was a good man. But Job lost all his possessions. Job's children died. Job became so ill that he wanted to die. But Job refused to insult God. Job's friends supposed that Job was ill because of his evil deeds. But Job was innocent. Then, a wise man named Elihu explained the truth to Job and his friends. And God proved to them that God is great. God also showed them that he cares. Finally, God wanted Job to pray for his friends. In the end, God made Job successful again.

***White Mocha just showed showed up***

The thing I got I got most out of reading Job is that God has a reason for everything. And I have no doubt that he is using me for something greater in the long run. I have a good life, a great wife, and an amazing support group to help me get through this trial. 
Well, I'm going to get off here and enjoy this frap that Dianne has painstakingly hunted down for me. So, until tomorrow,  LIVESTRONG.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Slight Delay

Well, I'm sitting in my room here at Vandy and still haven't started my chemo.  My port (the device which the chemo is administered) is all jacked up, and they won't use it. What does that mean?? It means tomorrow morning I'm going to have a Picc Line inserted tomorrow to get the chemo flowing.
Overall, today has been a pretty good day. The nursing staff here is great and the doctors are very professional. Also, I was able to leave my room this evening to head downstairs to the cafeteria and eat dinner with Dianne.

I ran across an organization that is an advocate for early detection of TC. Good stuff...

Well, hopefully, I will be starting chemo sometime tomorrow morning, more to come later.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let's begin again...

It's Sunday night, and since I can't watch the Colts game, I figured it was time to get this blog going. For those of you who don't know my story, I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer (TC) on April 1, 2010. I had an orchiectomy on my left side on April 8, and went through my first chemotherapy treatment (BEP) from May 8 until July 16. Normally, with TC, that would be the end. It wasn't...

Around the first of November my tumor markers spiked to the same number they were when I started chemo originally. I'm now prepping for my second treatment (TIP) which will hopefully knock my numbers low enough to have surgery. If not, I will be starting stem cell transplant chemo, which will put me in the hospital for around 4-6 months. But, hopefully, I won't need the stem cell transplant.

I have a huge army of family and friends to support me through all of this. One person in particular, is my wife. She has stuck right beside me from day one. She is actually the one that designed this page for me and will quite possibly be dictating what I say on days I'm too sick to type on my own.

This is where I will leave this for tonight. I hope this will help keep you posted on what's going on. Please continue to pray for me as I start this journey again. So, here goes...