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 1:30....so 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,


Jill Sullivan said...

God will use Alan's story in ways you can never even imagine right now! Your whole family's testimony is amazing...your faith is always shining through, even in the midst of discouraging news. God will honor that, and Alan's storm will not be wasted!

Downing Diaries said...

Consider me one of those random people who stumbled across your blog. I will pray that your family finds strength in eachother during this rough time and that God's work will continue to be with purpose. I lost my Dad 18 years ago to cancer when I was only 19, I can relate on some level to the pain and struggles you face. Stay strong, live for today's blessings, and continue to have faith in God's healing.

Delisha said...

Hi there, I just came across your blog and your story really touched me. I'll pray for Alan and your family and I am sure that God will definitely help you.
Be strong and have faith in God

The Tipton's said...

All the time..God is good! Melissa I think of you often! I am in this field and see this everyday, but I still tear up everytime I read your blog. You are an amazing woman, wife and mom. And Alan is such a strong christian man. I pray for you all often.

Leigh said...


God truly is Good....all the time! First of all, I was so happy to read that Alan was able to "go on vacation" with the family. Even if it wasn't much of a vacation, what a trooper to be able to mix "all the fun" in with all the appointment stuff!

I am so happy to "hear" the good news part of your medical report ... no cancer in the brain! That's awesome! Glad to hear he's able to start back on the medication. We will definitely be praying it works on all that cancer that has taken up shop in Alan's lungs (those uninvited guest need to take a hike). Also praying that he does not have repeat issues with the blood clots, etc.

Know that you and your family are truly a blessing to so many! God is definitely using all of you!

Love and prayers ~ Leigh
His Anchor Holds!

mrs.boss said...

Melissa and all of the McCone family... I will pray for you. Your Faith in the Lord is remarkable. Life is not about trying to "make it" through the storm.. its about learning to dance in the rain. Keep shining your light and many will follow!