Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blessings All Around!!

We received very good news from Houston. Alan's treatment is continuing to work and still "chipping" away at his tumors. On Alan's scans, it appeared that most of the smaller tumors in Alan's lungs are gone. Now, we can't be 100% sure about this, but we will know for sure when he does scans again in 7 weeks. There are still the larger spots in both lungs, but you could see a distinctive change in size from these scans and the ones from January. The tumor in Alan's abdominal area was the best change. The tumor appears to be dying. It is becoming a solid dark mass, so this was wonderful news. I think the Dr. said it is about 35 x 36 mm in size. The tumor in Alan's vertebrae appears to be stable. Dr. Amato pointed out there is no new growth anywhere either. So, I think I've gone over the main areas...lungs, vertebrae, abdomen. I'm going to try and get Alan's scans pulled up and post sometime soon. Alan will continue the same treatment...Sutent, Cytoxan and Metformin. They are increasing his Metformin from 500mg to 1000mg daily. Maybe this diabetic medicine is the magic trick to renal cell. Right now it's working for us...thank you Lord!!

Vertebroplasty....didn't happen. I can't say I'm real upset about this either. I was dreading every single moment of this surgery. Basically the reason they don't want to do anything yet is b/c they want to start weaning Alan off of the steroid first. If his pain comes back like before, then they will know that they need to try and do the Vertebroplasty again. The surgeon is hesitant about doing the surgery again b/c of the major risk involved with Alan's spine and tumor. He used the work "catastrophe". He does not want to get too much cement in there that bone fragments start to break off and rub against each other, and he does not want to push the tumor in to the spine or push things where more damage than good would be done. It's very risky. We sure do not want to make things worse, but we also don't want Alan to be in pain forever, but he can't live on these steroids forever either. They make him a little "moody" too...;-). haha

So, it was really a good appointment. We got to enjoy a few movies while we were in Houston. That was nice. The last time we got to watch a movie together was last summer when Alan was having his radiation in Houston.

Blessings All Mrs. Wanda Garner for getting a good report with her CT. To Jeff Woods....heard from Lisa earlier...Jeff's cancer is stable and the Dr. felt very good about his checkup. To Alan for reaching a milestone. We've been climbing this mountain for a while, but we have reached a high peak. Praying no valleys in the future! We will enjoy this good news for a while.
God is good...All the time!!

PS....I had to change my comment settings. Someone went through and left inappropriate comments on most of my post. If you would like to leave a comment, you just have to log in and then I just have to approve it. only takes one to ruin things for everyone!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vertebroplasty...Round 2!

Well, we are off again next week to Houston. We will leave Sunday. Scans will be Monday and then we will meet with the Dr.s Tuesday. We found out a couple of weeks ago that Alan will be having the Vertebroplasty again. They can't inject more cement into the areas they did last time. They have fixed it the best they can. This time, the surgeon is going to put cement on the sides of the vertebrae for hopefully better stability. Looking at the picture below, you can pretty much see why Alan is in so much pain and does not have the best support in his lower back.
The picture above is what a normal spine should look like.
With Alan's consent, I have put this picture of his CT spine on here. The arrow is pointing to the areas where the cancer has eaten the bone away. This scan is after the first Vertebroplasty in December. The arrow is pointing to the vertebrae that is pretty much flat like a pancake. The surgeon was not able to help it much. The other one, right above it, is the other vertebrae the surgeon injected cement in also. Looking at the vertebrae above these, you can see what his should look like. Imagine looking at these scans before the Vertebroplasty and how you would feel seeing these vertebrae full of holes and chunks missing. Not a pleasant sight and makes you cringe. You can also see how his spine is now curved. It also appears his whole pelvic area is shifted.
OK, so I've probably given a little more descriptive detail than you really wanted to know, but I'm a detailed person and I want to know everything. I just thought it might help to show a picture so our readers can have a better understanding.
We should find out Tuesday when Alan's Vertebroplasty will be. It should be either Wednesday or Thursday of next week, so we will be in Houston all week. My dad is going to fly down Tuesday or Wednesday to be with us. PLEASE, PLEASE pray for Alan....and me. The last Vertebroplasty was not a pleasant experience for any of us. I pray Alan's scans show shrinkage with his tumors and I pray this procedure helps Alan so much that he is able to get off some of this pain meds!! Lots of prayers and always prayers for strength and healing!! Please say a prayer for my dad and Steve as they fly down to Houston. I'm a little nervous even though I trust Steve, but....I'm just sayin!! Also for Jeff and Lisa. They will be in Houston next week also. One big Crossett party.....I WISH!!!
Real quick, I want everyone to know that Alan is doing much better just within the last 3 weeks. He is able to get around without his walker and walking stick. We did have to increase his pain meds and he is on a steroid right now, but whatever...he is walking and playing with the kids. What a great gift from God!!
"For I am the Lord, who heals you."
Exodus 15:26

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My parents are 60!!

This year, my parents are both celebrating their 60th birthdays. My dad's birthday is January 23 and my mom's birthday is February actually. Last night Alan and I hosted a surprise birthday for them at the local Mexican restaurant. They really had no idea. It was so funny to see their expression when they walked in to a room full of their closest friends. Happy 60th Birthday gigi and pops....remember, you are no longer mom and dad!! haha We love you both dearly! Thanks for all you do for us too!

Joanna made this tile for my parents. I'm showing it b/c it looks so good. It is also sitting beside the cake, that I'm not posting pictures of, LOL. It was kind of a "gag" cake. It was funny and my parents loved it!


"Did you know about this?"

Alan and I did our "prom pose", LOL. That's why I'm laughing in the picture. He always has to do the prom pose whenever we have a photo moment. It's just funny to us.
Hope everyone has had a wonderful Valentine's Day!! XOXO