Get ready.....it's long!!
Sorry I'm just getting to post. We got home late Wednesday night and I've just not had time yet. Anywhooo....
The trip going down was hard on Alan. We stopped many times just to get out and stretch. We arrived in Houston a little later than normal, but at least we missed the heavy traffic. Fine with me!!
Monday morning, Alan was supposed to be scheduled for a CT, Brain MRI and Bone Scan. Amato added the brain and bone just to have some new scans to look at. Alan did well with the CT on Monday. We were not able to get the bone and mri done until Tuesday morning. Someone dropped the ball and never scheduled them with the CT. So anyway, Alan did well with the bone scan, but could not complete the mri. It was just too hard on him and it made him very anxious. So anyway, they tried to reschedule it, but Amato said after looking at his bone scan, he was not too worried about the mri, so we just skipped it all together. We got to the hospital at 9am to start scans Tuesday and did not finish up until 1:30. From there we go and wait at Amato's office and we finally left there at 6:30pm. YES, it was a very long day and it's very hard on Alan.
Alan's appointment with Amato went very well for the most part. Alan's cancer appears to be stable and some areas are shrinking. That was really great news. Amato said this is the first time he has seen Alan that he actually felt good about the report. It seems like Alan's two combined chemos are continuing to work. Since everything is stable, Alan will start taking a diabetic med called Metformin. Basically they will be putting Alan in a diabetic state and he will have to check his sugar levels 2-3 times a day...yes, this is the finger prick. I'm nervous about him taking the meds b/c he has to eat no later than 30 minutes after he takes his meds. If he doesn't then his blood sugar could bottom out and could lead to something bad. With him having a hard time getting around, it just makes me nervous. Anyway, if you are a diabetic or know someone that takes diabetic meds, then I'm sure you understand my concern. Amato has about 50 patients taking this drug also. He says it's showing great things with Renal Cell patients. He has also put Alan on this med. b/c of the pathway Alan's main tumor took. It's supposed to help. We'll see and pray it does. That new spot in Alan's lung is shrinking, well, actually, there were two new spots, but they only talked to us about the larger one the last time we were there. Anyway, they are both tumor related, but they are both shrinking. I feel like these spots have been there for a while, but if you remember me talking about the time that Alan's lungs had all of that inflammation in them....his first scans after he started taking these new chemos together, I think these spots were just hidden behind all of that inflammation and they couldn't see them. Just my theory!! You know I'm a Dr. now....I feel like it sometimes.
Alan continues to be in constant pain. It seems like it's worse. It's not better...that's for sure. He still has to use the walker to get around or his stick. He is still on alot of pain meds, but they are just not helping enough. Looking at Alan's scans after the Vertebroplasty, I think the Dr.s were hoping for better results. The lower vertebrae is flat like a pancake. There was just not much they could do for it. This is the main reason Alan's continues to have pain right around his tailbone. The vertebra right above this one looks better. They were able to fill it with more cement to help make it more stable. Alan's poor spine looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He just does not have enough stability at the bottom to keep it up right. It just hurts to look at it. We go back to Houston in about 6 weeks. While we are there, we will be meeting with the surgeon to talk about Alan's back. He said he might can put some cement on the sides of the vertebrae for a little more support. We will pray that he can and that it helps!! All of the hip and leg pain that Alan has is all nerve related from the tumor being in the nerves in his back. We also talked to Amato about putting the rod in Alan's back....long story, but this will be the very last resort.
Lets see....what else. We have to be out of our house by the 28th. We are going to stay with Alan's parents until we find a house. Remember that "exciting thing" I was talking about in my last post, well, it's not going to happen. We were talking about building a house...something that would work well for Alan and everyone right now, but as we all know the economy is bad and so is the housing market. It's just not a smart time to build, so it is what it is and that is fine. I said from the beginning that if it was not meant to be then no big deal. I feel very strongly that everything happens for a reason. We don't sweat the small stuff!! I know everyone thought we were crazy for wanting to build, but we were kind of excited about focusing our stress in a different direction. So anyway, we will continue to look for a house in town.
Please just pray for Alan's pain to get under control and healing. These are very hard days for him and hard days for us to watch him in this pain. He is amazingly strong. I don't know if I could be as strong as he is. Say a pray for Blayton Craig and pray they receive good news. Pray for Jeff and hope he is feeling better.
Thank you all for everything!!! There is no way I could express how much our family/friends/community means to us. Ya'll have listened to me vent, read my long post and given in so many ways. I truly mean it when I say Thank You!!