We Are Home!!!

Sorry I haven’t updated sooner, but it’s been a busy 24 hours!  We got home last night around 10pm.  Unfortunately, Greg didn’t sleep as well as we had hoped that he would.  He continues to have night sweats which wake him up often during the night.  He is also having lots of itching, which is another side effect of the chemo.  He is still having some pain and achiness.  Fortunately, no fever!  His appetite has been a little better today.

I’ve been busy trying to get appointments and labs set up with a local oncologist.  Greg will have to have labs drawn twice a week until we go back for another round of biochemo.  As of now, we are scheduled to return for the next round on June 11.  I’m sure this will be a quick two weeks at home!  Praying that Greg’s counts stay up and temperature stays down, so that we don’t have to make a visit to the ER.  We are also praying that he is able to start the next round in a much healthier state.

Thank you so very much for praying us through these last couple of weeks……it has been very difficult for all of us.  Please continue to pray for us as the Lord brings our family to your minds.

These are our current prayer requests:

1. That our family would handle our current circumstances in a way that pleases the Lord and points others to Him.

2. That Greg’s appetite would continue to increase.

3. That Greg’s temperature would stay down.

4. That we would be able to get all of the issues taken care re: getting labs drawn and results to MD Anderson in a timely manner.

5. That all of Greg’s counts would be okay, and he would not need transfusions of any type.

6. That Greg would remain infection-free.

” In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”   Psalm 94:19

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Discharged!

Just a quick note to let you all know that Greg is being discharged today!!  Don’t know what time, so that means we don’t know if we’ll actually fly home today or tomorrow.  Will post again when we know more!  Thanks for praying!!!

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Discharged Tomorrow……Maybe???

Greg did well with the blood transfusion yesterday and his hemoglobin was up today.  He was awake almost all night last night.  I think he’s sort of gotten his days and nights mixed up.  He’s been sleeping a lot during the day because of all of the medications he’s been receiving.  Today he hasn’t slept at all, so maybe tonight he will be able to sleep.

The blood and urine cultures came back clear!  So very thankful for no infection!  The doctor came in this morning and is pleased with Greg’s progress.  The one thing that he is concerned about is Greg’s white blood cell count.  It is really low, and although this is expected, the doctor wants to see it beginning to go up.  So, if the bloodwork in the morning shows that the count is going up, he said he would probably discharge Greg!  That certainly is not written in stone, but we sure hope it works out that way!

Greg continues to be really tired and has a poor appetite.  He is still really swollen from the fluid retention, although it has gone down some.  He’s had a good bit of pain today, which is probably due in part to an injection that he received a few days ago to help boost his WBC count.  I’m sure some of the pain is also due to lying in a bed for almost two weeks!  Also, his skin has the typical “chemo burn”.  It looks as if he has a really bad sunburn.  He has started itching pretty bad tonight and they say the skin will probably start peeling off soon.

These are our prayer requests for now:

1. That Greg would get some good sleep tonight.

2. That the WBC would show an increase in the morning.

3. That Greg’s appetite would get better.

4. That his pain would be controlled.

5. That the swelling would continue to go down and at a quick pace.

6.  That his itching would be controlled.

7.  That Greg would be discharged tomorrow!

Thanks again for praying for us!

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Treatment Stopped

The decision has been made….no more IL-2 or Interferon.  Greg’s BP continues to be low, so the doctor feels that it would just not be good for his body to continue with the treatment.  As much as we had hoped that he would be able to tolerate the complete cycle, it just wasn’t meant to be for some reason.  He was supposed to receive a total of four IV bags of IL-2 and five Interferon injections.  His body was only able to tolerate three of the IL-2’s and four injections.  Still, the doctor feels good about what was done.  He said that for Greg to be able to complete as much as he did was really good considering how sick he was when we first got here.

Greg’s hemoglobin has also dropped, so he is presently receiving a blood transfusion.  Blood and urine cultures have been done to rule out any infection and he is receiving IV antibiotics prophylactically.  He has felt a little better today than yesterday.  His appetite has been somewhat better and his swelling has gone down some.

Sounds like we will be here another 2-3 days depending on the results of the cultures.  If an infection shows, it will be an additional 2-3 days.  Please pray for NO infection….we are ready to go home, sleep in our own bed and see our kids!

Thanks again for all of your prayers and encouragement.

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Quick Update

Just a quick update.  Greg continues to be without a fever, but his blood pressure is still really low.  At this point the IL-2 has not been restarted.  The nurses seem doubtful that it will be restarted, but we won’t know for sure until the doctor comes by.  He will probably be by in the next couple of hours; I’ll update again then.

We really want for Greg to be able to finish this complete round of treatment, but we also don’t want it to do more harm than good to his body.  We will continue to trust in God’s timing  and in His plan.  Thank you all for praying.

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

Day 8….Not A Good Day

Last night was a good night!  We got more sleep than we have since we’ve been here!  When Greg got up this morning, he was feeling pretty good.  He ordered breakfast and decided to take a shower while he was waiting for it to be delivered.  By the time he got out of the shower, he was exhausted and felt really bad.  He got right back in the bed.  Once his breakfast arrived, he ate very little.

Most of the day he stayed in the bed, dozing on and off.  When the doctor came in, he said that Greg didn’t look good to him; although all of his bloodwork looked good.  About 4:30 pm, his temp went up to 102.5 and his blood pressure was very low at 84/42.   The doctor ordered some blood work and he was started on some antibiotics “just in case”.  At 5:30, the doctor decided to stop the interleukin-2 until further notice.  The interferon injection had already been given for today.  The nurses are supposed to keep an eye on Greg and his vital signs and check back with the doctor at 11pm to see if they should restart the interleukin-2 or not.  It is now about 8:45, and Greg’s temperature is down, but his BP continues to fluctuate.  It had gone up to 108/56, but the last reading was 86/52.

He continues to retain lots of fluid and have really red skin….looks like a bad sunburn.  His appetite has been poor, but he did eat a bowl of vegetable soup and crackers for dinner.  He’s been trying to drink Gatorade throughout the day, and earlier he drank a Boost milkshake.  Right now he is sleeping.

Please pray that Greg’s temperature would stay down and that his BP would go up so that the interleukin-2 can be restarted and that he will be able to complete the entire course.  Also pray that there is no infection anywhere in his body.

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

 

Biochemo Day 7

Yesterday ended up being a pretty good day.  Greg ate more than he has in about a week.  We walked around the unit a bit and our big outing for the day was going to wash a load of clothes!  Greg also received several pieces of mail yesterday and enjoyed reading all of the cards.  Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to send something!

Although the day was good, last night wasn’t so great.  Greg felt really bad most of the night and got very little sleep.  He had pretty bad chills once and got demerol which took care of it for a while.  He never got them really bad again, but said he felt “borderline” with them all night.  At one point during the night his temp spiked to 102.7.  The 5 am blood draw took longer than usual and he had to be stuck twice.  So, lots of interruptions and very little sleep.  When he first got up this morning, he was having some ringing in his ears, which can be a side effect of one of the drugs.  This lasted for a couple of hours, but now is gone.  He ate a little breakfast this morning, then we did a little walking around the unit.

The doctor came in this morning and is pleased with how well Greg seems to be doing.  Although to us, he seems pretty sick, the doctor says that compared to most that undergo this treatment, Greg is doing really well.  His appetite remains poor for the most part.  Despite this, he is gaining weight, but this is because of fluid retention.  His skin is also turning bright red, like a sunburn.  This, too is an expected side effect and he is keeping his skin moisturized with some lotion to help prevent the skin from sloughing off.  The doctor says that all of his labwork looks good, and the LDH continues to decrease!

For most of the morning, Greg has been feeling pretty good and has been trying to get some work done.  He will officially start day 3 of the interferon and interleukin-2 at about 4 pm today.  Tonight will be our 10th night in the hospital!  We are hoping to be discharged on Tuesday of next week, but everything depends on how the next few days of treatment go.  We are ready to be back home with our kids and in our own bed!!

Once home, Greg will have to have bloodwork done twice a week.  As of right now, we are scheduled to be back here on June 11 to do it all again!  We continue to pray that this is the treatment that the Lord will use to COMPLETELY heal Greg’s body of all cancer!

Thanks again for all of your prayers, messages, calls, emails, gifts, encouragement, etc!  We are so blessed to have you guys in our lives!

“Perhaps pain is good for the soul.  Without knowing what is painful, we may never know what is beautiful.”  ~from God Can’t Sleep

Trusting His Plan,

Greg, Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

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