Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Time

I just wanted to post a few pictures of our Christmas. We all had a wonderful Christmas. Of course our kids got way too much stuff. We have not celebrated Christmas with Alan's family yet. The majority of them had the stomach bug during Christmas....very bad case!! So, everyone is better and we will have Christmas with them tomorrow. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has a wonderful year in 2010!

Sydney sitting in the live Nativity Scene at our church. She really does look like a little angel there.
Here is Carson practicing with one of his new toy guns. I think he got 4 new guns. No one is safe in our house.

And this is what he was practicing on!! We have deer daily that come to our backyard. That will be one thing I will miss so much at our house is watching the deer.

Here we are at Gigi and Pops house Christmas day.

Carson got a new bike and he did so good riding it at only 2 years old.

Sydney still loves to play with her Little Petshop.
So, that's really all of the Christmas I'm going to post. Of course I had alot more pictures, but I've got to go get some boxes packed. We have to be out of our house by the 28th.
We head back to Houston Sunday. Alan will have scans Monday and we will meet with his Dr. Tuesday to go over everything. Please say a prayer for us. I feel very nervous.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Alan's Vertebroplasty and alot of other stuff!!

First, I am so sorry I have not updated in a while. It's just been a little busy around this house. I don't think I ever let everyone know when Alan's surgery was. It was finally scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15th in Houston, so obviously that means he has already had the Vertebroplasty. I'd like to say it went pretty well, but.... We had to be at the hospital at 7am. After many many hours of waiting, Alan was finally taken back a little after 12pm. They took him back around 10 from the preop room, so we thought he was going straight to surgery....WRONG!! They finally came and got me about an hour later and said they were waiting on a different type of needle for the surgery. They had told Alan that b/c one (they were working on the L2 and L3) of the vertebrae was almost completely collapsed, they were not sure how much they would be able to help it. This was disappointing news, but we just prayed they would be able to do the best they could. After they took Alan back he was in surgery about 2 hours. Basically, they numb his back, but Alan was awake. Then they start HAMMERING long rods with these large needles in his vertebrae....4 of them. After the first wack...Alan came up off the table...he felt it. They gave him more meds. After the third time of doing this...they finally just knocked him out. Lets just say that was the start of a rough experience. They inject cement through the needles into the vertebrae. I guess we will see on Alan's next scans just how much it helped. After the surgery, Alan was hurting pretty bad. When he got to his recovery room, the pain was worse. They told him he had to lay on his back for 6 hours. Alan has not laid flat on his back in almost 3 months, so this was going to be hard and he was in so much pain. The nurse was pumping him with pain meds, but it was just not doing the trick. Finally, he got enough for some relief and was able to rest...until that wore off. About three hours later the Dr. came in to check on him and told Alan he could move around in the walking yet. I don't think Alan quit moving for the next hour just trying to find a comfortable position. Finally, after the full 6 hours, Alan was able to get up and try and walk with his walker. He did pretty well, but couldn't do much. Alan's mom and I left the hospital around 9pm to go get some rest and Alan's dad stayed the night with him in the hospital. He had to have his pain better managed before he could leave. Apparently alot of people just walk right out of the hospital after having this procedure, but of course, not us. Poor Alan, I don't think he ever has a text book experience.

Cookie (Alan's mom) and I picked the guys up from the hospital about 9am and back to the hotel we went. Alan took it easy most of the day and then we came home Thursday. He made the ride home pretty well. We stopped a few times to walk around and that helped.

Yes, Alan is still dealing with alot of pain...mostly in both hips and legs. He had trouble with these areas before, but right now it is pretty bad. He is still using his walker and his walking stick to get around, but trying to be Super Man and not use them. I don't blame him...I know he is tired of it, but he has to use them and I have to remind him that sometimes. Alan did try and sleep in the bed a couple of nights, but he is just not to that point yet, so he will continue to sleep in the lift chair and recliner.

The month of December has been very busy and overwhelming to us. I know in one post I mentioned we had our house for sale...well, we sold it. It happened very quick, but we are glad and excited about what is hopefully in our future. Did I just use the word excited...I think I did. Finally, I can say we are excited about something. We are just praying everything works out the way God intends for it to. We sold our house to a wonderful family and I could not be more happy about it. I prayed for a family to buy this house that would enjoy it as much as we have. So, for the rest of the month, we will be celebrating Jesus Birthday, packing up a house and praying for Alan to feel better. We will probably have to be out of our house the middle of January.

The weekend before we left for Houston, Sydney had a solo at church for the Children's Live Nativity Play. She sang "Away in a Manger" and did sooo good. Man, I can't believe how she can just get up there at 6 years old and do that. I'm so proud of her and she is a wonderful child. Carson, well, he is just busy and going through the terrible twos I think. Lets just say he is a little whinny, but we still love him too, lol. Actually, he can be the most loving little boy at time and then....well, there's the other side!!

Let me apologize in advance, but the McCone's will not be sending out Christmas cards this year. I have not been able to get anything together and I wish I did, but I just don't have the time. Maybe something in the spring with a new address, ;-).

We will be back in Houston January 4th for Alan's regular set of scans. I'm very nervous about this visit. Praying that new mass in Alan's lung turns out to be nothing. If it is still there, they will go in from the side and take a biopsy.

Merry Christmas to your family from ours and I hope you all have a Wonderful New Year with many blessings!! We love you all dearly and always we thank you for your prayers, friendship and love!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Home from Houston...for a little while!

We are back from our whirlwind Houston trip!! In 3 days we have gone from a major low, to Alan being put to sleep expectantly, to a high. These past 3 days have been tiring and stressful.

Alan was a trooper for the whole trip. He did pretty well traveling and sat up the whole time. Of course we stopped for him to stretch. Once we finally found our hotel we were staying at (new hotel this time), we crashed so we could leave our hotel about 7:30am the next morning. If the lady that took my reservations reads my blog....your directions were not good! Even the GPS couldn't find this place. Anyway, we do our normal blood work, wait, scans, wait forever, go to Amato's office...wait even longer. Once we finally got in...2 1/2 hours later....I'm not kidding...they had good news and bad news. The good news was Alan's inflammation had cleared up...the bad news, there was a new very large mass in Alan's upper left lung. Of course we were not expecting this. You try to prepare yourself for bad news, but you don't really expect or want to hear it. THEN...after they tell us this, then they come back and say, "Well, it might be a collapsed lung or mucus build up." Apparently there is no way for them to tell 100% without doing a biopsy. So, next two Dr.s and two nurses are on the phone getting Alan set up for Tuesday to have a scope put down his esophagus to check for any obstruction. He did great during the scope. He did have to be put to sleep for this and could not take his normal pains meds. I know he was hurting, but once again, handled everything like a trooper. Apparently they were thinking that is might be blocking his breathing. I'm not exactly sure why they thought it might be, but they did the scope and it came back clear. I guess they were thinking that if it was tumor, then it might have spread to that area and they could get a biopsy from it. When we go back in 6 weeks, Alan will have scans again. If the same mass shows up in his lungs, then they will go in from the side and do a biopsy and see what we are dealing with. In the end, Dr. Amato really thinks it is mucus, but we still need to be sure. All I know is it was large and scary!

Pretty much nothing has changed in Alan's lungs as for the smaller tumor spots. They are the same from what I understand. Please remember, we had so much thrown at us in 10 minutes, that I don't think we even went over the whole scan. They were so concerned about this new mass and Alan's back. Speaking of...

Alan's back:
Alan's vertebrae is still deteriorating from the tumor. He has lost about 1 inch due to deterioration. I don't even know how he is still walking. He is such a fighter. It's amazing. Next week, we will be back in Houston and they are going to do surgery on Alan's back. They are going to go in with a needle and fill in his deteriorated vertebrae with cement. I have no idea what all this in tells, but I do know it is called a Vertebroplasty. I have not had a chance to do my research yet. Obviously, the tumor in Alan's back has not changed. We are praying this surgery will help with Alan's pain or at least let him walk around without the walker or his stick.

The other spot...yes that spot in his abdominal. Unfortunately, that spot has increased in size. I could tell Dr. Amato was concerned about the change. It was a pretty significant change.

So, I guess basically, we will be back in Houston next week for a few days for Alan's surgery. Then we will go back to Houston January 4th for our normal visit. If things are worse, then Alan will have to take a different direction with his chemo. Of course, we just ask for prayers and strength to get through this next month. I still can't believe we are dealing with this over a year later. I've said this before, but I don't really see a light at the end of the tunnel in the near future. Alan says I look at our situation as "the glass half empty", I don't really think that, I'm just the realistic one and I'm a planner....and this cancer is messing with my plans. To my on guard....cancer is real and it's scares the you know what out of me daily....yes daily...I mean that when I say that. It's a sick feeling to watch the person you love deal with this, but have the most amazing attitude. Also, I just want to say how amazing our kids are. Sydney loves her daddy so much and is always so worried about him and would do anything for him. She is a sweetheart. Carson is only 2, but he cares and loves his daddy so much. Anyway, I've typed enough and I've probably left out a few things.

I'm off to bed. Going to say a special for our friends the Wood's. Jeff and Lisa are in Houston today. Jeff had scans today and will meet with his Dr. tomorrow. Praying for good news for them!! Of course, praying for all of our cancer fighting friends and always Alan!
We love you all!!