Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday's Treatment

I'm drawing a blank on what to title my post...Houston, Houston Update, Treatment # today is Monday's Treatment!

Actually, I'm going to go back to this past Saturday. Alan and I headed to Katy, TX to check out the Bass Pro Shop and the VERY LARGE outlet heaven! It's about 20 minutes west of Houston. The trip there was crazy. I ended up on the toll road (thanks to the GPS) and was freaking out about it, but after a $1.50 later, we made it. (Later I found out I didn't have to take the toll road) We got to the mall and Alan started feeling a little light headed and just not so great. We ended up getting a bite to eat, thinking that would help, but he still did not feel too well. We headed back to the Bass Pro Shop and walked around a little and of course picked the kids up something and came back home. It could have been the radiation or he might have been having a little anxiety from everything going on. Anyway, we came home and just took it easy the rest of the day. Sunday, he felt much better and we went to the movies and watched "The Proposal"...great/funny movie. It was good to laugh.

Monday....Neither Alan or I slept very well last night. I think we were just worried about today. We were excited that our preacher, Bro. Eric, was going to be here with us for the day though. He came over from Lake Charles and got here in time to go with us to the appt. We were at the Dr. today for about 2 hours. Alan got his treatment and then we had to meet with the Radiologist Oncologist and then the Neurosurgeon. Alan has a team of about 6 people...Radiologist Oncologist, Neurosurgeon, Physicist, Radiation Therapist and the nurse. After talking to the neurosurgeon, we learned that the tumor is in Alan's spinal canal. He is saying that it appears to not be in the spine. Apparently the spinal canal is at the base of the spine and that is where the tumor is and attached to the 2 or 3 vertebrae and pressing against the spine. Apparently it is also in some nerves. This would be so much easier to explain if I had pictures or was extremely knowledgeable in this area, but I'm, just go with me here. The neurosurgeon also talked about Alan having surgery if the radiation does not do what we need it to do. He said the surgery is very hard....alot of bleeding, the possibility of not getting all of the tumor b/c of location and it is a very hard recovery, so we will continue to pray that the radiation gets it. I am not 100% sure about this, but the Dr. today said that since Alan is getting the high dose, then we should be able to see results about a week after treatment.

I guess that is it at the moment. We are trying to stay positive, it's hard at times, but we know we serve an amazing God and there is a reason for all of this. We know there is....we'll figure it out. We love you all and I'll update as things change or we find out new information. Please just continue to send us your prayers and please say extra prayers for Alan and just give him the strength to get through this....emotional strength, physical strength. I pray that Alan will soon have some relief from his back pain and will once again feel normal.

We Love You All and thank you for everything!


Jill Sullivan said...

We are continually praying for you guys...for relief of pain, for effectiveness of the radiation, for strength for the journey...

Brad & Jill Sullivan

RADstitches said...

We love you both!

kscarp said...

Hi Melissa and Alan – My name is Kaylynn and I ran across your blog after googling Dr. Amato’s name for something. My husband Phil has kidney cancer also. Dr. Amato has been treating him for the past 4 years. He was on Nexavar and did very well. Phil had surgery in February to have a spot removed from his lung. We thought he was finally cancer free until his next scans. They found a spot on his left shoulder blade near his spine. Dr. Teh prescribed the same 5 day radiation plan the week before Easter. Phil handled the treatments very well. I believe on Wednesdays they offer free neck/back chair massages for anyone in the Methodist Radiology waiting room. I took advantage of it! Phil said the pain in his back didn’t go away until a few weeks later. You mentioned in your blog that you plan to go home Friday and return Monday. Just wanted you to know Phil didn’t have scans until two weeks after the final radiation treatment. The scans showed the spot to be larger, but Dr. Amato said that meant the radiation was working. As you know, you just gotta go with whatever he says. It also showed another new spot. So, Dr. Amato started Phil on Afinitor May 1st. I know you miss your kids, but it might be worth finding out what the next plan is before driving all the way home and back. I know only too well how that is. I am originally from Houston but was living in Lafayette, LA for the past 11 years. We used to drop our son, Chase off to school in the morning, drive 3 ½ hours to the medical center, have the bloodwork done, wait, have scans done, then as you know, really, really wait, and then drive back the same night to be with Chase, now 12 years old. But it was all worth it. We love Dr. Amato. We just moved back to Houston last summer to be closer to Dr. Amato and his wonderful staff. It was hard leaving Chase in Lafayette with friends each month for Phil’s appointments. I now have my family here in Houston for support. What a blessing that is! Phil’s scans in June showed shrinkage in all areas. So we are happy with that. Phil lives an active life. He loves to play golf and doesn’t slow down. He does have side effects from the Afinitor, but he is learning to live with them. Anyway, I’m telling you all of this because I do know what you are going through. It’s not easy, but you have to have faith. Phil and I feel blessed that we have made it this far. It hasn’t been easy, but what else can you do. You just have to try and live your best life! Please email us at if you would like to talk and I’ll give you our phone number. Kaylynn and Phil Carpenter
P.S. My Mom had kidney cancer also. Hers showed up 15 years later in the pancreas. It just happened to be the same time Phil’s returned after 5 years. They cut the cancer out of her pancreas and she is doing well. Needless to say, they have a special bond.

Pennington Posts said...

Hey girl, thought about you guys all day yesterday, and prayed for everything that you and Alan need, healing..peace...strength... I found this in my reading this morning.

Who says that cancer cannot bow to prayers? God declares emphatically in His Word, "…I am the LORD, who heals you" Exodus 15:26. In Exodus 23:25 the Lord continues to declare that He will not only give us food and water but He will also take away sickness from us. Any sickness in Gods eyes is the same as the other. Our Great and Mighty God is still the LORD our healer.

One of the names of Our Mighty God is "Jehovah Rapha". The LORD God that heals us. Cancer roots dry at the command of our Great Lord. It's cells will stop spreading at the command of God. His Word will restore health to you. The bible further says this in the book of Philippians 2:9-10 "Therefore God has exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father”. This tells me whatever name the cancer has, be it prostrate, lung, kidney, breast, or cervical cancer, all will bow at the name of King Jesus. Healing can be attained by trusting in His Wonderful name.

Just know we love you and continue to lift you up.

Craig and Susan

Melissa McCone said...

Hi Kaylynn,
THANK YOU so much for the information! It's always so nice to meet one of Amato's patients and know someone that has also used Dr. Tae. We figured that since Amato set us up with him that he was a great RO. I'm going to email you with probably alot of questions soon. You might not ever check this post, so I want to make sure you see it..:-)! I hope everything is going well for your husband and your mother and you also. Believe me, I know how stressful if can be on the caregiver. You are right, we just have to continue to have faith and push on. Thank you for posting!