Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Asking Hard Questions

Recently a very sweet friend sent me this small little book entitled "What Cancer Cannot Do". I haven't even read all the way through it yet, but I wanted to share a little bit of it. I started in to the chapter about "Asking Hard Questions". If I said we have never asked the question "Why" about Alan's cancer, I would be a big fat liar! "Why did my husband have to get cancer", "Why does my husband have to suffer daily", "Why does my husband have to take all of this medicine daily", "Why do my children have to watch their daddy suffer"...SO....., with that said I'm going to quote what I just read in this book....
"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.
Much Love,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Alan's New Treatment

Ok, I'm so behind. I'm just not doing well with keeping up with anything these days and my blog has definitely been put on the back burner. Maybe once we are completely settled in our new house (probably after Christmas), I'll do better.

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,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Houston Report

It's been a week since our last Houston trip. As always...sorry for taking so long to post. I still do not have my wireless hooked up at our new house (b/c I'm lazy and just have not called the phone company). I have looked up their phone # a couple of times and then start doing something else. O day and I can get to work on the ole laptop again!!

Any who....our Dr. report was not what we were hoping for. The tumors in Alan's lungs have started increasing in size and there were also numerous new spots. So that means....our chemo combination is not working any more. The abdomen and other places are still stable, but not the lungs. Wednesday morning the hospital worked us in for Alan to have a biopsy of one of the spots in the lungs. I'm not going to go in to full detail, but lets just say it was more invasive than we were prepared for and apparently they hit an artery with the VERY large needle. Alan coughed up alot of blood afterwards. He told me later he was really beginning to hate that room. The room they did the biopsy with CT is also the room they did his Vertebroplasty in...neither one great experiences!! With this biopsy they will take it and do a Proteomics test which is where they work with the tissue and do basically different drug combinations or trials on the tissue and see what might work. This is the second time Alan has had this done on his tissue. And can I just add that insurance doesn't pay for this test. I'm not trying to have a poor pitiful me party, but dang....why would they not cover it??!! Why do I feel like insurance controls my life!!! Honestly, I don't even need to get on this subject!! Sorry...had a weak moment, lol.....we should hear something back in about 10 days from the Proteomics test and hopefully get Alan's new chemo started. Right now he is off all chemo so it will all get out of his system before he starts something new. PLEASE say a prayer for Alan. Mentally/Physically things are hard. We always try to keep a positive attitude, but you feel like you work soooo hard and then the blow!! Spiritually, we are great!! Yes, we questions this, but who wouldn't! We know God is in control though.
I guess that's about it! I do want to add this. Even though cancer is so bad, I have to say, it has brought some amazing people into our life. I have met people through my blog and facebook and it's always encouraging to read others stories and just to know you are not alone....esp. the ones that have a similar life to ours....young kids, disability, working full time, cancer....just trying to juggle it all. It's hard....maybe that's why I always look tired and my eyes are always red!! HA

Have a wonderful week!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Backyardigans

I love having a backyard where my kids are trapped and can't run around in the street...that was until I looked in the backyard and saw THIS!! You know how "The Backyardigans" are always on an adventure on their TV show, well, I see my kids enjoying many adventures in their backyard...starting with this one. I can only imagine what they were shooting at. Yes...I had to put a stop to the adventure....but I took pictures first. I'm sorry, but a 3 year old and 7 year old on top of a plastic house with wooden sticks is not very safe. I still don't know how Carson got up there! I'm sure there was some help from the 7 year old.
This was when I broke up the party!
Sorry, still no pictures of the house. I'm not ready to post yet. But here is the backyard, lol. That blue storage thing in the background is two story. The kids have already designated the upstairs as the new playhouse.
We are in Houston...waiting on Alan to get finished with his scans...which is the only reason I had a second to stop and post. Anyway, praying for good news and I'll post our report soon...I hope!
Have a wonderful week!

Monday, September 13, 2010

2 Years with "the C word"!! lucky can you be....two post in two days. I said I wasn't going to post again for a while, but I forgot to add this to my last post. I started to just add it to the bottom of the previous post, but deserved it's own posting.

August 31, 2008, Alan was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer....or "the C word" as we like to call it. The word Cancer is just too hard to say sometimes...most times actually. There is no way I could go in to full detail about everything that has happened or changed in our life, but if you follow my blog, then you pretty much know close to everything. It's been a very interesting journey to say the least. Although cancer is the devil and has put my husbands body through more pain than I thought humanly possible at times, it has also brought some amazing changes spiritually to our life. We are all much closer to God because of this and you know what...It Feels Good!! No, It Feels Great!!! How many times have we said, we don't know why Alan was chosen for this, but he was. We just make the best of it and push on and continue to show Alan how loved he is and encourage him to never give up.
On an uplifting note....Alan is doing really great right now. He is getting around so much better and hardly having to use his walker. Of course in my opinion, he should use it more, but he just wants to feel normal...I don't blame him. The normal issues with Sutent....tiredness and feet sores, but for the most part, doing great and enjoying life!
Love and Prayers

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just a little behind...

So it's been around 7 weeks since my last post and I am SOOOOO sorry to keep my blog followers in the dark, but these last 7 weeks have been busy. We've had Baptisms, 1st days, birthday parties and another Houston trip. We've also bought a house!!! YIPPEE!!! This post is going to be a quick run through of those past 7 weeks and needless to say...August has been pretty good. Lets start with....

Sydney's Baptism!
Not only is this sweet girl my daughter...she is also my sister in Christ!! What a great day this was. Besides this being a wonderful day for Sydney that I hope she never forgets and I know I will never forget will probably be a memorable day for Carson since he was literally behind the scene while Sydney was being baptised. Long story short...there was no teacher in his room yet, so he ended up being with Sydney and I in the back. I just prayed he didn't cannonball in the baptistery!!! HA
Sydney and Bro. Eric. This man is awesome!! We are so blessed to have him as our preacher.
See Carson. I was panicking.....ughhhh!
1st Days....
This pic is of Carson's 1st day of PreK 3 at Wee School. He is such a big boy and is learning so much.

Sydney's 1st day of 2nd grade. I don't know what the deal is with my kids but they do not want to give me the "pretty smiles" as I call them....everything's fake....ughhh!

Sydney and some of her friends in her class.

Birthday Party....

Yes Sireee....Alan McCone is 38!! I planned a birthday party for him the night before we left for Houston. This was his birthday weekend and even though I knew we would be tired traveling to Houston on that Sunday, I wanted us to have a fun night before we left and we did. We were able to celebrate with many of our friends and family. This party came complete with funny cards, great gifts, cake and an awesome band!! Thank you all who helped make this party such a success. Couldn't have done it without you.
Me and the birthday boy!

The birthday boy with his gift from the kids and I. He loves to bow hunt and can't pull back his regular bow anymore, and we love some deer meat and couldn't got without, of course, so by the look on his face, I think he will be able to put this to good use!! He was so surprised. Thanks Lee for helping me with this!

Houston Report...
Our last Houston trip was August 23rd. Alan got a really good report. The tumors in Alan's lungs have all pretty much decreased...not to where they were before he got off his chemo, but very close. This was wonderful news b/c this meant we did not have to change treatment and also that his chemo has worked pretty quick in those 4 short weeks. Praise the Lord....good news!! We will be heading back to Houston October 11 and 12.
House News....
Back in June we found the perfect house for our family. It was the size we wanted and in the neighborhood we wanted....the only catch was we had to wait for the owners to find a house in a different town since is was a FSBO. Since we loved the house so much, we were willing to wait. Well, they found a house. We closed this past Tuesday and should be getting the keys this coming Friday and then the painting will began and then the big move. We are all SOOOO excited and the kids talk about it daily. I'm sure my next post will be house pictures, etc. Speaking of the next post....who knows when that might be, so I'm already apologizing....the next few weeks are going to be busier than normal.
Wishing you all a wonderful day full of blessings!!
Woooo Pig Sooie!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Houston Vacation / Cancer Report

Hummmm, that's an interesting Title....doesn't really seem to go together!

Ok, I'm breaking this post into two sections...the vacation part and the Dr. part! I'm going to start with the Vacation part b/c it was alot better than the Dr. part.

Our first stop on our whirlwind of a Vacation was the Downtown Aquarium. The pictures below pretty much speak for themself. This is a great place to take the family. They have a very nice Aquarium and a small amusement park with it. Really the perfect size for my young kiddos and easy for Alan to get around. My mom and I took the kids back to the Aquarium a couple nights after this to eat at the restaurant and do the rides again. They loved this place...and so did I!!

The family at the Downtown Aquarium in Houston.

OK, this might be one of 3 pictures ever taken of this octopus!! I was just a snapping away when Alan said "Melissa, read the sign." It said "No flash pictures of Octopus" Woops!!! But, it sure is a good picture....hehe!!

"I bet Nemo is in there somewhere."

We are all about some polka dots, so we loved these little guys!

Awwww....look at these pretty sparkling fish.....

.....or maybe NOT!!!

We all loved this turtle. He was pretty neat looking.

There are no words!!

This was pretty neat. It's not everyday you see a Seahorse or two....or however many are in there??!!

This is the small shark and stringray tank where you can pet them and get in this bubble and see inside the tank.

Sydney touching her first starfish.

Can you spot the Tiger?? This was a very pretty exhibit! This is just half of the Tiger's area.

The Shark Tunnel!!

This would be Carson's happy place....sitting on the blue train!

My mom and dad.

The Aquarium and Restaurant.

A very small part of Downtown Houston.

The next pictures are from the Kemah Boardwalk. This is about 30 minutes south of Houston on the Galveston Bay.

These pictures of my mom, Sydney and I are...well....HILARIOUS!!

Look at those faces, LOL. I was laughing at Sydney the whole time...Priceless!!

This is how Carson drives a boat. Can't wait for the real driving years!! Maybe he won't take after his dad!

These are the little boats they were driving with the HUGE stearing wheels.

This was my favorite purchase from our trip. It's just not complete without a big head picture! HA Ok, that's not the real name, but that's what I call it!

Here is part of the final project. I don't have a pic of the full version, but it is too cute. I didn't do a color pic, but I had him color in their eyes. Sydney said "OK, my face is NOT that fat!!" LOL He really got Carson almost perfect. Also, the artist looked like a young Jon Gosslin...just sayin!

OK, I'm sorry, but I cracked up when I looked over and saw the other guy drawing this baby. It was just funny. I hope the mama doesn't read my blog....ughhhh!! Sorry mama....couldn't resist. But even the mama had that look like "What tha??" Seriously, she did!

This is at the Aquarium at Kemah. They had a huge tank where you could feed the sting rays and pet them. It was so cool and there was some Huge rays in there.

Sydney and I riding the swings. This was a fun ride and not scary!! It was a great view of the Galveston Bay too.

Next....the Dr. Report!
Ok, I guess I will take this day by day and try to be short about it.
Monday Alan had scans. We had to get up EARLY to start bloodwork and then get to the scan area for his knee MRI and CT. Well, of course the MRI machine is not working, so we have to wait for his CT apt. time. The tech. came back later and said the MRI was working and that would be around 11:30...ughhhh....more sitting and waiting. After lunch, we were free and I think this is the day we hit the Aquarium first.
Tuesday started off early again. We had to see the Gastroenterologist that morning. After waiting 2 hours, he basically tells us nothing and we just set up Alan's EGD for Thursday...which we already knew anyway. After this apt., it was time to go wait at Amato's office for Alan's scan results. I think we got in his office around 1:30 and we left around 7:00....I'm not even lying. I think he saved us for last for this reason. Alan did not get the best report. As I stated in my previous post, Alan has been off his chemo for 6 weeks...trying to get his infarcts around his knee to clear up, well, his knee looks better and so do the blood clots that are in his lungs, but his lungs took a major beating by the cancer. His Dr. said "the cancer has exploded in your lungs!" If you look at Alan's CT of his chest, his lungs look like a snow shower of cancer. Now, everything in his abdomen and spine were stable. Amato says that since we have the issue with the lungs, Alan has to have a brain study (MRI).
Wednesday was supposed to be a day of fun with the kids and no Dr. visits, but that all changed. The earliest they could get us in for the MRI was there goes that day. After the MRI we were to go to Amato's office for the results. THANK THE LORD, the MRI came back fine. Nothing showing in the brain, so we will take that good news. I think this is the day my mom and I took the kids back to the Aquarium. Alan was just worn out, so he relaxed with my dad at the hotel.
Thursday was the EGD day. Another early morning. Alan had the EGD done that morning and then again back to Amato's we go to go over results. Alan's EGD came back fine. It did look like he might have had a tear which could have been the reason for all the throwing up, but it has corrected itself. Basically the reason for the blood loss and counts dropping was from the cancer going rampant in his lungs! Thursday we finished up everything just after lunch. Got us a bite to eat and headed to Kemah for the afternoon. It was a hard afternoon on Alan, but man he was a trooper to do Kemah after the week we had already had.
Friday, we headed home. We wanted to try and do the kids museum before we left Friday, but...we were all just ready to get home. What a vacation. I didn't get to sleep in once or even get in the pool...:-(....not much of a vacation, but the kids had fun and they did get to swim everyday!
The plan is for Alan to be on his normal chemos for 4 weeks. We will go back to Houston August 23rd for repeat scans. If the lungs do not look better, then we will have to switch chemo and start a new treatment. This also means that since Alan is back on his chemo, the infarcts will flare up again and possibly the clots.
I guess that's about it. I'm sorry, I try to make my post short, but it's hard!!
We will always believe that God's has chosen Alan for a reason. Even if Alan has to suffer like this for one person. Even if it was for the guy we were sitting by on a bench at the Boardwalk that asked us if we mind that he smoked his cigarette. We actually told him we did mind and then Alan told him why and pretty much gave him is testimony right there and they had a nice long talk. Even if it's for the random person that just happens across my blog. Yes, we live a hard, tiring, crazy life, but we just make the best at what we have been handed!
God is Good...All the Time!!
Love and Prayers,