Sunday, December 25, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Since my last post also, Alan has hit his 3 year mark with Cancer. WOW, he has been living with this stuff for 3 years. That is absolutely amazing. We continue to give God all of our blessings for such a miracle and we also have some pretty awesome doctors to thank as well! This was my post on Facebook about Alan's 3 year mark:
It's been 3 years since our 1st date. During these three years, you have bruised, broken and ravaged my husbands body. You have made his appearance change many times. So much at times, that some didn't even recognize him. Basically, you have turned our world upside down. But, let me tell you what you haven't done and never will....stole our faith in the ultimate healer or broken our spirit. We will never stop fighting or believing. We know God has a plan for all of us!"
Also, I'd like to announce that Alan and I will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary Thursday, September 22nd!! WOW Actually, it will be 15 years together....WOW...ha!! Happy Anniversary Alan! I love you! Every year on our anniversay, I think of 9/11. I will never forget getting ready to go make the final food arrangment for our wedding when these crazy planes started hitting the towers. It was awful watching it and disbelief was everywhere. Alan and I had a candle lit during our wedding in honor and memory of the victims of 9/11. That was the least we could do.
Hopefully a new post is on the Horizon!
Monday, June 13, 2011
About 3 weeks ago Alan and I decided together that it was time to get off the Interferon and let him have his life back. This medicine had just completely taken over his life and the side effects were never slacking or getting any better. Even when he tried to take it every other day and off on the weekends, it just continued to to make Alan's mental and physical state deplete. We did discuss this with his Dr., but basically we just told him it was time to have some quality of life back. You can't fight cancer and be in the state of mind that Alan was daily. Alan really tried to fight through it...no one can say he didn't. Anyway, it was just BAD. Like we told his Dr., we will NEVER give up, but we also have to have a life...esp. when you have a young family...you just can't lay in the bed for 3+ days at a time...in the dark. Alan is still taking the Thalidomide, Nexavar and Metformin. I think the Thalidomide and Nexavar are really causing some sluggishness and extreme tiredness in Alan....beside the heat! O lord, the heat. It's been pretty hot in the south. Anyway, we are back in Houston the last week of June. Please pray that Alan's scans still look ok....esp. since he is off the interferon.
So, recently we have had Sydney's birthday, finishing up softball, end of the year school awards. Sydney had all A's and B's (she finished the year with an 89 in Literacy, yeah, I was a little upset about this...I'm trying to get over it...she is an all A student. Maybe next year, but we were still very proud of her), and she also received a very nice trophy for not missing one day all school year. For our family and as much as Alan and I are gone and everything else....that's pretty dang good!! I was shocked. I guess all of those mornings dragging her out of the bed paid off. She was WAY more excited about that award than the all A's and B's....I was pretty proud myself! ha Alan and I took the kids fishing last week and today is the first day of VBS! No rest for the weary!! Hopefully my next post will be pictures of all of these things.
We are headed to the beach the first week in August. I CAN'T WAIT!!! We have tried to plan a beach trip for the past two summers and well, life kept continuing to get in the way, but this is the summer....my kids are super pumped....and so is their mama...the condo is booked!!! Alan just wanted somewhere with a good view and big balcony. ha Hopefully we will all be happy.
Wishing you all a wonderful day and praying for all of our cancer friends and KCW!!! Thank you everyone for your continued support and friendship! We are blessed!
I'd like to ask for prayers for two special friends that just had babies....Leigh Carter and Robin Robinson. Creed Carter is doing very well...I got to hold him for a while last night..hehe and Eli Robinson is still at Baptist in the NICU, but doing well.
Also, continue to pray for our precious nephew Cannon. He is still at Children's, but making great strides daily. We are hoping they will be home the first part of July! We love you!!!
Friday, May 6, 2011
Alan had another very good report. Still no visible signs on cancer in the lungs. There is a small spot on the liver and in the abdomen, but it's all continuing to get smaller!! Praise the Lord!! Seriously, after dealing with all of the ups and downs we have for the past 2 1/2 years, we will gladly take all of this good news. The only downside to the appointment was Alan's thyroid is all out of wack. He has Hypothyroidism, which is due to his chemo. Dr. Amato put him on some meds to hopefully control this. Since we just found out about Alan's thyroid issues, we are hoping that some of Alan's pain, etc he has been having might be due to his thyroid, so hopefully this new med will bring some needed changes. He will do blood work in a month to check the levels and go from there. Poor Alan is continuing to deal with the awful side effects of his chemo drugs. Some days are ok...other days...well, they just suck (that's about as nice as I can say)! We will return to Houston in 8 weeks...going through all the motions again. Dr. Amato did say that at the next 8 week appointment, he may decrease one of the meds that is causing Alan's medically induced depression. That would be wonderful. He also said that at the end of summer, he is going to have Alan do a PET scan. He said if there are no "hot spots" showing up, then he is going to possibly start tapering Alan off of some of his chemo!! This is MAJOR!!! Holy cow...scary, but exciting too. Anyway, we won't count those chickens before they hatch, but it's something to push for and most definitely pray for!
Dr. Amato said that out of all of his kidney cancer patients, Alan has the best "quality of life" if you can believe that. Apart from the side effects, I would say that Alan does have a better quality of life right now than from where we were last year. He has responed so well since January to this last treatment. Dr. Amato, whom is also a professior, is even writing papers about Alan. I mean...that's pretty impressive I think!
Please continue to pray for our little nephew Cannon. He is still in the hospital but gaining weight and doing very well. Christian's blog is on my blog roll.
Thank you all for your continuous prayers!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Once again, Beth came through with our birthday cake. So cute!!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Ok, so since my last update, Alan and I have been back to Houston....February 7th and 8th. Alan only had a CT of the abdomen b/c we were checking his liver. The liver met had shrunk some and everything else we could see with that scan was still stable. Praise the Lord...some good news!!! The bad news was two of the drugs Alan is on is causing him a medically induced depression. It really doesn't matter what he takes to treat the depression, it's not going to help. This was disappointing news b/c right now we really want to be able to enjoy what Alan's treatment is doing and instead the side effects from the meds are making it worse. He is also having EXTREMELY bad abdominal cramping (from another medicine) and basically just feeling like crap....everyday! The weather is finally getting nice.....the time to get outside and be with family, but Alan doesn't feel good and just wants to be in bed. It's like you can't win for losing.....so frustrating! Alan is tired of it. He NEVER complains, but lately, it's really getting to him. Seriously, if this was me that had cancer, I would be the worse patient!
Right now Alan is taking Interferon Injections daily, Nexavar, Thalidomide and Metformin....all to treat the cancer. All 4 of these drugs target the different areas that the cancer is at in his body. Honestly, can you imagine having to take all of these drugs daily....and this is just some of the meds Alan has to take. Alan is such a fighter. I know there are days he just wants "stop" everything, but he pushes on for his family b/c we really want him here with us.
Well, I guess that's about it. We are back in Houston March 7th and 8th for full scans. Praying everything continues to be stable or shrinking and this treatment continues to work. Praying for all of our kidney cancer friends and our cancer fighting friends. Having cancer in your face daily will really open your eyes up and you realize there are so many "non-important issues" people are complaining about and these people do not have a clue. I pray these people never have a "clue" b/c I would never ever want anyone to go through what we are, but people should understand that there is so much more going on in the world than.....well, anyway.....I'm sure you can guess where I'm going with this. I'm sorry, I get on my soap box. I guess b/c this my outlet and I vent to the world.
Also this month, we've had snow in SE Arkansas, I've started a new job (still with the same company), Sydney got Star Student, our twin nephews turned 2, Sydney had Kiddie Kamp, and I forgot Carson's snack day at Wee School (go me)! So, needless to say...it's been a busy month and it's not over yet...HA!
God is Good...All the Time!
Praying for Miracles,
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
All in all, it was a pretty good appointment! Dr. Amato was VERY pleased with Alan's progress from these past two months with his new combo treatment. He said it was "astounding" and he also said that is not a word he uses alot, lol. Pretty much all spots in Alan's lungs have either disappeared or shrunk, the spots in the abdomen and bones have shrunk tremendously and apparently there is a spot on Alan's right kidney that we knew nothing about, but it has shrunk as well. Let's talk about this right kidney briefly. I think Alan and I both know that Dr. Amato does not fully give us the full report each time...especially if things are bad. I know he sees us as a young couple and I honestly think Amato thinks we might not need to know everything and maybe we don't, but I like to know everything. That's just how I am. We have never been told about the tumor on the right kidney, but it was there and it was pretty big, but it's shrinking, so that's great. Dr. Amato did say that these results might be all we see with this treatment, but again, that's ok and that's good....stable is the word. Just understand that it is very rare for kidney cancer to just disappear at stage IV. I'm sure it can happen and possibly has, so that's why we are satisfied with stable.
Our only big concern coming from this appointment is Alan's liver. We have been monitoring a spot on Alan's liver for many months now. Well, instead of it shrinking like everything else, it is actually growing. We are scheduled to come back to Houston in 4 weeks for another CT to see how the liver looks. If the liver area has gotten bigger, then Alan will have a biopsy done and we will go from there. We might have to tweak Alan's meds some. You know, nothing can be simple.
But honestly, we feel really good about this appointment! Alan is feeling good so now we just pray that this medicine treatment is right for Alan and he is able to be stable on this for a long time.
2011 is starting off really good. We just pray that all of these good things continue and we pray for complete healing, but hey, with kidney cancer, we will take stable! Praying for all of our kidney cancer friends and all of our cancer fighting friends.
FYI....Ashley County Relay for Life - May 13, 2011 in Crossett this year!!!! YEAAAA
God is good...All the time!
Love and Prayers,
Sunday, January 2, 2011
First, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I think our family had an awesome Christmas, the kids especially, but health wise, it was just a great holiday. Alan is feeling really good right now and that makes this holiday season more special than anything! Here are a few pictures from Christmas.
Here are the cousins....Grant, Carson, Sydney and Ethan. These are our twin nephews. Let's just say this years Christmas at the McCone's was a little more....ummm....loud! This was the best picture I got. Ethan didn't want to slow down for the picture. We are expecting another nephew in May. Alan's brother and wife Christian are expecting their first. So exciting!!!
Special little girl to get such a nice gift. I guess she's been pretty good! (no, it's not a phone..ha)
My parents house for Christmas. Good ole self timer button.
Just thought this was a good pictures of the kids. Wish I would have had it for the Christmas card. O well!
Let's move on to Alan. Alan has been doing sooooo good lately!! Feeling good...looking good...being able to enjoy what he loves most...hunting! There are really no words how wonderful it is to see him like this. These past two years have been so difficult and there were times we didn't know if he would ever walk again without that walker. Well, he is without that walker. That right there is an awesome Christmas gift. I guess Alan kind of looks like his old self again....the red hair is coming back and he has lost some weight. Finally getting some of that steroid weight off. I think that is also helping him get around better....less weight. With the help of the Lord I feel so strongly that 2011 is going to be a good year.
Alan's 8 point he recently killed. Somewhere in our new home this head will be perched on a wall. Along with the fish, other deer and bob cat! O goodie!!!
So, I've been promising some house pictures for about 3 months now, so here are a few. They are backwards, but I got frustrated with downloading these pictures, so I wasn't going to redo it. I'm sure you can figure it out...HA!!
Ok, so this is the finished product....kind of....minus the tile that still has to go on the hearth. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do.
Here is the middle of the project. We had a friend come in and float the drywall for us. Something Alan and I know nothing about. Jeff did the drywall and Alan and I did the texturing (which is the phase you see above). Yes, the insert is vented just like a fireplace. They run a pipe through the ceiling.
The insert is a pellet insert. It runs off of pellets that you buy at Atwood, Lowe's...stores like that. You just pour them in the top and walla.....start that baby up and you have a fire and heat....no wood chopping involved at all!! It's great. Even I can do it.
And, here is the beginning. Of course there is an interesting story to our pellet insert, but that happened back in October, so it's in the past and that's where we'll keep it! Nothing is ever simple.
We are off to Houston next weekend. We will leave on Sunday. Alan will have scans on Monday and we will see Dr. Amato on Tuesday. This will be Alan's first set of scans since he started his new treatments. It's been a little over two months since our last Houston trip. We should have already been back, but we had a little issue with getting Alan's Nexavar, but that's in the past too, so we will move on and not worry about that now. Anyway, please pray for our trip, Alan's scans our report. We know and we feel God all over our life. He is always in control.
Love and Prayers,
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
"There are no easy answers to such "Whys." What is comforting, though, is that God does not forbid us from asking. Job, David, and Jesus himself asked hard questions about suffering, and were not discouraged from doing so. We may even get glimpses of the answer to why we have cancer: Perhaps to give us time and the impetus to restore relationships with family, to shift our priorities in life, to help us appreciate each day, to see health as a gift, to reach out to others in need. But the greatest response to such questions is to turn our eyes away from ourselves and lift them to God."
It's Thanksgiving people....please give thanks for your health, family, friends. Never take anything for granted....we never know what tomorrow will bring.
I hope you all have a Wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm so thankful for my family and friends, but more than anything, I'm thankful for my God b/c without him, I'd be lost in this cancer journey and just every day life issues.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I just wanted to give a quick update about what Alan's new treatment will be. He will be on Interferon, Thalidomide and Nexavar. He actually started the Interferon injections this morning and will start the Thalidomide this evening. We are still waiting for the Nexavar to arrive.
Alan has not felt good at all the past three weeks or so....running fever daily and many other issues. He did go to the Dr. yesterday and we got a few answers. For now, I just ask you to pray that he gets over this before the side effects kick in from his new meds.
Maybe my next post will be pictures or something really fun!!! We have made a few changes with our house and some still in the works. Maybe I'll show pictures of those changes. I keep saying that don't I...HA!!
Love and Prayers,