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 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 followers...be 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!!