Thursday, May 28, 2009

Alan's New Treatment!

As of this morning, Alan has started his new chemo treatment. The medicine is called Afinitor, but it also goes by the name "RAD". It is a mTOR inhibitor, so they say it works a little different than the Sutent...different pathways to fight the cancer. Like I said previously, he will have to watch his diet mostly with the red meat, some dairy and apparently fried foods! He will also be doing the pulmonary function test monthly and cholesterol test monthly and sending in blood work weekly. We are still not sure about the side effects, some they mentioned were shortness of breath, fatigue, chemical pneumonia. I'm not sure about the hair loss. Really we just don't know, so it's a wait and see thing. It's pretty funny at the moment b/c his hair is coming back almost black. He never lost his hair, but it did turn white. His mustache and gote are coming back red, but the hair on his head looks to be black...weird. He has been off the Sutent for about 6 weeks now. So, here we go...the new chapter begins.

It's time for me to vent...I don't do this much b/c I have complete faith in our good Lord, but I'm tired of this. I'm tired of Alan being down, I'm tired of fighting with cancer for almost a year now, I'm tired of having to leave my kids to go to Houston (even though they are in the best hands and we are going to the best place), I'm sad that the Sutent didn't work. Do you know how it feels to think you are completely on the right path and then be told it's not working. You really just think in your heart it's working and that's it.. I'm tired of putting my guard down...that won't happen again. So obviously, I'm tired of alot of things and I'm sure I could go on, but I'm not...I think that's enough.

We love you all so much and even though I've vented to my blogging world, I'm going to get through this...we all are. You know, you just have to vent every once in a while. I have no idea who all reads this, but if you have been in my situation, then you know what I'm talking about. It's hard, no matter the's hard. Please Lord, heal Alan. We do not know your plans for him, but we pray it is complete healing.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support and love. I also want to thank many dear friends and family friends for your support with the jewelry show. You know who you are and you know what I mean. You have no idea how much that meant to Alan and I!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Relay For Life 09

Here are some of the pictures from Relay For Life. I just put everything on a slide show. I have intentions of putting this slide show on the relay website, but apparently I'm not smart enough to figure this out at the moment, but I do know how to add it to my blog, so here ya go. We had a great time and I know I've already mentioned this, but it was a very emotional night. I'm already excited about next year. I hope that Ashley County supported their relay well. I'm not sure how much money was raised at the moment. Anything helps with the fight against cancer.
Thank you to everyone that supports and helped with Relay For Life!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sydney's Birthday with the family!

Well, I'm a little late with this post, but I'm trying to keep everything in order on my blog. These are pictures from Sydney's Birthday with our family. We had a fun day celebrating her 6th Birthday.

I'm still going to put Relay pictures up too...hopefully in a few days.

We had a little birthday party for Sydney at her school with her classmates.

Here we are at Johnny's at Sydney's request.
Expression...Priceless. Yes, she got a Wii....well, really the whole family got a Wii!

"More Cake!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Houston Update

Alan scans pretty much showed what we expected...the two areas that still exists in his lungs have increased in size. One is about 1/2" and the other one is a little smaller that that. There are also a few new cancer spots in both lungs. I think we were prepared for this news since the Sutent was no longer working and he had been off of it for a month now. Since Alan's Kidney Cancer is still progressing in his lungs as I type this, we are not going to wait for the trial with the RAD and Nexavar. They have about 4 more weeks before this trial starts. Alan's Drs. feel that it is imperative to go ahead and start the RAD asap. RAD was FDA approved in March of this year. I know it has been involved in many trials and has shown good results. We pray it shows the same for Alan! RAD is a mTOR inhibitor. It works different than Sutent. Sutent and RAD work different pathways, so since the Sutent did not work, hopefully the RAD will be the correct pathway to kill Alan's cancer or if nothing else, at least control it. The Dr. said that if Alan handled Sutent well, then he should do ok with the RAD. Alan takes the RAD daily with no off days. I guess the Nexavar is the drug that has pretty bad side effects to it. From what I've read from other people on different forums, that seems to be the one that gets most people.

Alan will have to have Pulmonary Function Test done monthly. Apparently RAD has been known to cause Chemical Pneumonia. They said that less than 5% of patients get this, but Alan will still be tested monthly. If he does get it, then he will stop the meds until his lungs clear. He will also have to watch his cholesterol, so that means no fried foods and a healthier diet!! Bad for Alan!! He will still have blood work done weekly.

I mentioned in the previous post about some other issues we would be dealing with while in Houston. Alan has been having some MAJOR pain in his left thigh. He pretty much has been in pain for the past month and before and not getting any rest from this pain. I promise, he has tried just about every trick to ease the pain aside from taking major pain meds or cutting off his leg (yes, it has hurt that bad!) :-) We were very concerned that the cancer had spread to his bones, so we asked the Dr. to do a bone scan. We had it done and it was clear!! That was such a relief b/c we have been anxiously waiting to see the results of this scan. I can't even describe to you how much weight was lifted off of Alan and I when we saw the scan and it was clear. That was a major gift from God!! I didn't want to mention the bone scan before, b/c I wanted to be certain what we were dealing with before we had everyone so worried. Alan had a hip x-ray also while we were in Houston, but it came back looking fine also. We still do not know the exact cause of Alan's pain, but we will be figuring it out b/c it's unbearable at times.

We do not have to go back to Houston for 8 weeks. I'm glad and also nervous about this. There is really no sense in us going back in 4 weeks b/c they will not do another scan until 8 weeks. So, on July 13th we will know if the RAD is working...BIG DAY!!

Alan and I ended up staying in Shreveport last night. It was already 10pm when we were coming through and we were soooo tired, so we just stayed and drove in this morning. Those days of waiting for scans and Drs. all day is actually very tiring. At least I finally got to start Eclipse..;-)

Thank you so so so much for you prayers b/c I know they are working. We do serve an awesome God and we know that. Even though at times it's hard to keep going, we know that there is a reason that he has chosen to put Alan on this journey. We don't question it...there is no reason to. Please say extra prayers for anyone dealing with difficult times that you know of. They need your prayers. We love you all and thank you!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Houston Again!

Hello to all. Yes, this is the Houston weekend. We will be leaving Sunday morning and as far as we know returning late Monday. This trip represents kind of new chapter for Alan's journey with cancer. He has had his 4 weeks off the Sutent, so probalby next week or the weekend, he will be starting his new chemo meds. We have some other issues we will be dealing with while in Houston, but I'm not going to go in to detail at the moment b/c we need factual information first. Sorry, I know this is making you wonder what is going on. Please just keep praying for Alan. These last four weeks have been tough waiting for this appt. on Monday and just knowing and not knowing what is ahead of us.

I've posted a couple of pictures from our Relay 4 Life last night. It was an emotional night for many people. Alan was asked to fire the gun to start the Survivor Race and he also got to carry the tourch. I was able to help with the relay committee this year and I hope that I am able to help every year after this. We had a great time last night. Penny did a great job! I'll be posting more pictures of the relay when I get back next week and I'll also be posting on our relay website.

We Love You All!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sydney is 6!

Today, my sweet little girl is 6 years old. Wow how time flies. She is such an enjoyment to us. I can't tell you how many times we have people come up to us and say, "Guess what Sydney said or did" and "Where does she get all of that energy!" I wonder that myself. She always has that fun spirit no matter where we are...well, unless it is the dentist. Today, I took a cake to her class and we had a little birthday party for her. The kids sang to her and they were excited to take a break and eat some cake. Sydney has decided for her birthday meal, we are going to eat at Johnny's Pizza with the whole family. I know we will have a good time and she is going to open her gifts then from the family. I'll post pictures later of her birthday day. We are not having her party until June 6th. Too much stuff going on in May, so we pushed it back a little. We are having a Super Mario Birthday party this year. I know...but that's what she wanted!
Happy Birthday Sydney!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meet Jet!

So, yes, we have a new puppy. Remember Max?? Well, he left a few weeks ago to a new home. Apparently he is a "hog dog" now. Poor Max. The only problem with getting rid of Max was we had to get a new puppy and here he is. He arrived around 10:00 Sunday night. Happy Mother's Day to me!! HA He is a Catahoula which is what Alan has been wanting forever, so his wish is granted and it was FREE!! We think we have decided to name him Jet. Sydney wanted to name him Cupcake!! haha Check out those beautiful blue glass eyes!! We thought about naming him Blue. Just what we need....another Blue in the family! Both of the kids are very, on the other hand, is probably not as excited. O well!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My New Car

Wow, I'm really behind on my postings, but I want to start with a picture of the new family car. Alan and I decided that it was time to invest in something that got great gas mileage since we are making so many trips to Houston and apparently will be making many more. Poor Alan traded in his, pretty much, brand new Toyota Truck, so we could get the Camry. Alan is driving the 4-Runner for a while and I'm driving the new, white Camry. It's bittersweet, but it's just what we needed to do at the moment. I'm really enjoying this car. This is my first new car in 7 years, so yes, I'm very excited!

Let me also throw in there HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! What a wonderful, exhausting, emotional and fun job we mother's tackle daily. Our preacher showed us a wonderful video this morning in church. It touched every mom in the congregation. The tears were flowing, but the video was perfect. Happy Mother's Day to my mom, my mother in law, a special Happy 1st Mother's Day to my sister in law Kara with her new twin sons and also to all of my great friends that are mothers! I love you all and thank you for everything!

Ok, here's my new car!