Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Word in Our Vocabulary

Danny is in Remission!!!! Yeah!

That is a new word I will have to get used to saying. It will be nice to be able to replace the ugly word cancer with the positive word... REMISSION!

The nurse had given us the good news that the radiologist didnt see any cancer on his PET scan from last week however, it is very reassuring to hear it from the doctor and to hear the entire report read aloud! No, no, negative, no, nothing, no, negative, no, no.... these were the words from Dr. Anagnost as he read the full report. Excellent news, not only is the mass gone but the lymph nodes that were in his abdomen & upper body no longer show any signs of cancer as well. He is completely clear of cancer! Whoo hoo... we are so very thankful!

As far as the pain goes, that remains a mystery. Dr. A does not believe it is related to the cancer at all. He feels there is a separate issue causing the pain. He really didn’t want Danny to have any more tests, especially x-rays due the radiation. But he felt with the amount of pain and the fact it was getting worse along with Danny needing pain medication he really didn’t have a choice. He didn’t want to wait it out so Danny is scheduled for a C-spine & T-spine MRI this Saturday at 3:00.

We do not go back to see Dr. A for 4 weeks unless anything changes or the results from the MRI make it necessary. In the meantime we are supposed to continue weaning Danny off of the medication. He will work on the Marinol first. He takes it 2 times a day now so we will go to only once and see how he does for a week or so and then drop the last dose for a week or so before moving on to another medication. He hopes to have him medication free by the first of the year. Dr. A expects that the ringing in his ears will subside sometime the first of the year too.

He has maintained his weight. He lost around 35 pounds in the beginning and had gained 13 pounds back at our last appointment. All of his blood test came back good with the exception of his hemoglobin, it was a little low but nothing concerning. Dr. A said his body is working hard to heal and is doing as it should & showing signs of improvement. Danny's hair is continuing to grow; slow it is very fuzzy & white. I am curious to see his new hair-do. Most people have said it would probably come in curly and white... no curls yet, we will see.

Overall, Danny is doing very well. If it were not for the pain in his chest and back I would say he was well on his way to complete recovery. We will wait to see what the MRI shows to see what, if any obstacle is next. We feel after all he has been through with the cancer and chemo we can certainly handle what is next! The Lord is good all the time and all the time the LORD IS GOOD!

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Continuing to Celebrate!

The fact that Danny is cancer free has become more real every day. I think at first I was so shocked because I had prepared myself for another fight with cancer. I just knew that with the pain being present and increasing almost daily there was no other answer for it. So when Danny said "the tests are negative, I am cancer free" I was shocked. Certainly not because I thought the Lord would not answer our prayers and heal his body but because I wanted to be ready for whatever was coming our way. Another round or two of chemo would change a lot of things for our family so I knew that I needed to be ready for whatever was ahead.

Thankfully, I am now preparing myself for a different chapter in our lives... learning to enjoy the complete healing and restoration of Danny and his health. I was telling a friend in Sunday School today that while I do realize all that we went through, at this point it is just a memory... we have not dwelt on those tough days but have continually looked forward to the morning when the Lords mercies are new every sunrise!

The Lord promised He will never leave us nor forsake us! In the dark days we knew He was right there lifting us and keeping us strong. We know that our positive outlook and willingness to fight didn't come from our own will but through the gifts of strength and encouragement from the Lord.

We have so much to be thankful for! The Lord has taught us so much through this time in our lives. Danny has said several times "that while this was a difficult time for us, it has been a great experience". I am sure that sounds a little crazy but the Lord has taught us so much about Himself, about us individually & as a couple, our children, our friends & family, & our faith. Not many people have the opportunity to slow down and really focus on what is important... we are thankful we have.

The Lord has showered us with His love & provision... He has used so many of you to minister to us, sometimes I am sure you didn't even know the ways you helped us & other times your motives were very specific. Thank you for being available and willing to be used of the Lord.

We appreciate you celebrating with us. We see it in your faces, the excitement and thankfulness you have in knowing the Lord has answered our prayers. Another reminder that we have not been in this alone. So many of you have genuinely kept us in your prayers expecting the Lord to heal so the good news is not for me & Danny alone... it is ours to share!

Cancer Free.... I just keep saying it to remind myself. Praise the Lord!

Yesterday was a wonderful time & it was great for Danny to see so many people that care about him. Last night Danny was really tired from the long day at the park. He was pretty wiped out. The pain in his chest has continued to increase and has now traveled to his back as well. The pain was pretty tough last night, he really didn't sleep well. He was restless before falling asleep, he just couldn't get comfortable. He woke after a couple of hours of sleep screaming in pain. He finished the night in the recliner & has been very guarded today with any movement. Unfortunately, he has needed pain medication in order to relax and rest. We have no idea why he is hurting so bad we can only speculate. Please continue to join us in prayer for complete healing. We have an appointment on Tuesday with Dr. Anagnost and I suppose at that point we will know his line of thinking and what our immediate future holds. I can tell Danny is a little anxious and is ready for the appointment so we can move forward.

We are continuing to trust the Lord and praise Him for His greatness & mercy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What a blessing!!!!

Unbelievable!!!! Today was so overwhelming. The day at the park was such a huge blessing in so many ways. First we would like to thank everyone that worked so hard to make this day possible. We know there were many many hours of planning & work that took place before today. Not to mention the hours of labor that went into the cooking, setting up, tearing down, the music & serving today… we truly appreciate each one of you & everything you have done!

We know there were lots of businesses & individuals that were responsible for the dontations of food, products, & services, to each, thank you! We are so blessed to live in such a generous community. It is amazing how everyone has pulled together and been willing to do so much, many have no idea who we are they were just happy to help.

Thank you to everyone that came out and joined us for the day. We are so very thankful for your support and your generosity. We know that so many of you have been touched by an illness yourself or through a family member & wanted to be a blessing, many of you work with Danny and wanted to help our family, lots of you have been friends of ours for many years & are a steady support to us and others didn’t even know us… thank you!

Danny arrived a little earlier with a friend. I came a bit later with the children and when we drove up there were a ton of cars and a huge sign that read “Danny White Benefit”. Summer, our daughter, immediately said “oh my gosh we are famous, Dad’s name is on the sign!” Summer was shocked and surprised by what she saw… people were even wearing T-Shirts with “Danny White Benefit”. I don’t think Summer had any idea what to expect nor did we.

The food was wonderful… we had barbeque, green beans, potatoes, black eye peas, baked beans, cabbage, slaw, bread & tons of desserts and drinks with so many people serving . Three different bands played; Just Woke Up, The David Tyson Band & Chicken Fried, they all did a fabulous job! David Tyson is Summer’s band teacher at school, she was loving it. I think he has a new groupie or two. We even had Antique cars for a while. There was a drawing for a diamond bracelet too. The winner was Sam Ragan… but… he chose to give the bracelet to Danny to give to me! Speechless… …….. so very generous!

Danny had a great time seeing everyone & I enjoyed meeting so many of his friends from GE. It is amazing to see so many people sacrifice on your behalf… it is very humbling and oh so touching. I struggle being the one on the receiving end of so much benefit. I have a friend that so eloquently told me “it is just your pride & people want to help so get over it!” His words have chimed in my head so many times & I didn’t see it that way, I just knew I didn’t want anyone to sacrifice so much and work so hard on our behalf.

To everyone that made this day possible…. THANK YOU SO MUCH! We appreciate your sacrifice more than you know…. You have blessed our family beyond measure!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away....

We are praying for great weather tomorrow! We are very excited our friends & family have worked very hard to put together "A Day in the Park" with our family. We are looking forward to seeing so many of our friends that we have not seen in months... so come on out and join us. There will be food, an antique car display, local bands, a local DJ, a drawing for a diamond bracelet... just lots of fun! We would love to see you. Oh, it is at the GE park across the street from the plant on Castle Hayne Rd. The bands will start playing at 11:00 and the food will be ready around noon.

Danny had his scan on Monday and it went very well. He did not get sick as I have feared so that was a nice blessing. We were not sure when we would hear the results. Naturally, we were concerned because the pain has returned and continues to worsen. BUT... we received a call from the nurse with the results they did not want us to have to wait until our appointment on Tuesday. DANNY IS CANCER FREE! They did not see any cancer on the scan... praise the Lord! He definitely answers and has been so merciful to us! Tomorrow will be a great time of celebration!

We are not sure where the pain is coming from. We are suspicious that there may be some damage in his chest bone due to the size of the mass. Of course, we don't know for sure and we are not doctors... we are just grasping at straws. We will address the pain when we meet the doctor on Tuesday and see where we go from here.

Danny is getting better and better everyday. His strength is increasing and his nausea is decreasing. Sometimes he feels nauseated but most of the time he is able to keep it at bay. However, he did have a couple of rough days this week. We did not realize that little patch behind his ear was helping so much. He removed the last patch and we didn't know we had run out but we found very quickly how much it helped. Once he got his new patch he was on the mend. That little patch is also what is making his vision blurry... so that is good news too. We know when he is able to come off of the patch his vision will improve, he will still be blind but not quite as bad. ;)

We would like to thank Lisa, Donald & everyone from GE, & our many friends & family that have worked so hard to make tomorrow such a special time for us. Also a huge thank you to all the folks & companies that have donated their time, talents & resources to make the day possible. We cant thank you enough for your many sacrifices... it is overwhelming & means so much to us!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Danny is getting better & better everyday. His appetite has picked up and he is able to eat almost anything he wants. Sometimes thicker foods are not very attractive but for the most part his diet is normal.

His hair has started to grow back. It is very light colored and oh so fuzzy! His head looks like a peach... lol. It has taken a long time to grow that small bit of fuzz.

Danny is doing great with his medicines. He has not been using any of the IV drugs and has been able to space out some of the medicines he takes by mouth. We are so very excited that he is doing so much better. He is still not 100% but he is well on his way.

Monday morning at 8:00 Danny will be having a PET scan. I ask that each of you pray for Danny at this time. The doctor has ordered this test earlier than he had planned because the pain has returned in Danny's chest. This pain is the same pain that started this whole journey so naturally we are very concerned. We are truly hoping the test comes back with a good report. However, I believe I have already began to prepare myself for the news he will need additional treatment. The thought of facing that storm again is a bit overwhelming. But, we will see.... we should hear something at our next dr visit which is Wednesday next week.

I had the great opportunity of going out of town this weekend with some of my long time girlfriends to the Women of Faith conference in Greensboro. This is an annual event for us and is a super fun time. We have been friends for 18 years and some have moved away so we enjoy coming together to catch up. This years conference was great & it seemed that the messages were just for me. I received great encouragement to stay strong and continue to fight the fight! Thanks ladies for everything!

Danny stayed home with the children and was in charge of their social schedules for the weekend. Summer had a scrimmage softball tournament on Saturday so he was thrilled to be back at the ball field. Of course, Daniel was doing his own thing with his friends. It was good for Danny to get to spend some alone time with the kids and good for me to spend some alone time away from the kids. :)

We are so thankful to have each and every one of you praying for us and coming along side us to help us during this time in our lives. Thanks so much for showing your support in so many ways. We have been showered with cards, emails, calls, and sacrificial gifts. Your support has been priceless! You have touched our hearts & have changed our lives.

A special thank you to everyone that came out last weekend to support our family at the pancake breakfast. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend because Summer had the flu but Danny had a great time. It really meant so much to him to see everyone. You have no idea how much your presence meant to Danny. Seeing everyone was better for his healing than any medicine could ever be. Your sacrificial gifts will be a great help to our family. Thank you to Andy's for hosting the breakfast and donating the food & labor to make the breakfast possible. David, Beverley & John - THANK YOU so much! I know you worked so very hard on behalf of our family to ensure such a successful event... We love you!

We don't really know what lies ahead but we do know that the Lord is faithful and that He hears our prayers. He comforts our hearts and calms our fears!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This past weekend friends put together a pancake breakfast as a benefit for me and my family. It was very successful. There was a lot of money raised and I saw a lot of people that I have not seen in a long time. Many of you were there and many who could not be there sent gifts and I want to thank you for supporting us. The owner of Andy’s said it was the best turnout he had ever seen for a fundraiser! Thanks to David and Beverly Lewis and John Stanley for thinking of us and putting it all together. There is no way for me to express how thankful we are!!!

This has been a very humbling time for our family. We have been loved and cared for by so many. In addition to the pancake breakfast friends have also organized a day in the park for November 14th. I know many of you have been involved in this and again I am extremely thankful!!

The hospital called yesterday to schedule my first scan. It will be Monday at 7:45 am. Please keep me in prayer. I have been having some pain in my chest and since this is what indicated that I had a problem to begin with I am naturally concerned. It will be another week after the scan before I go to the doctor so I will probably not know anything before then. Even though it is a bit concerning we know that God is in control and will carry us through whatever lies ahead.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cheeseburgers, Pizza & Pot Pie... Oh My!

Danny is continuing to improve every day! This past weekend we felt more like a family than we have in months. We traveled to out of town together - YES all of us. Summer had a softball tournament in Kinston and Danny was able to join us. This was a fun time for all of us. Summer's ball team played very well and they had a great time with a HUGE trunk or treat event.

We packed Danny's medicine in a cooler but left the TPN behind. We decided that we would skip the feeding just for one night. This weekend he was able to eat some real food... he started out with a baked potato and all went well so Danny decided he would try to eat more of a variety of food. He was able to eat a Subway sandwich, a waffle, a portion of a personal pizza and a chicken pot pie. He is so excited!

He is still taking the medicine on the same schedule as when we left the hospital. A couple of times he has tried to stretch out the time in between or just do without a medicine completely only to realize how much each of them are helping him. We have only had to use the Phenergan about 5 times so that is pretty good. He has reached a milestone... no more "do rag" or "pinky". He has been able to give up the wet cloth on his head and the pink puke basin that was a form of security.

Yesterday Danny was not feeling great so he did take the Phenergan and slept most of the day away. But today was a good day. Danny had his follow up appointment with Dr. Anagnost today. Because Danny is doing so good the PA asked him to cut back on the Marinol dosage and spread out the dosage on the Reglan to take it only 3 times a day instead of the 4. Otherwise, all other meds will remain the same including the IV Zophran. The greatest news today... no more TPN!!!! Hallelujah!!! Because Danny is eating so well the PA felt it was a good idea to stop the TPN feeding. Wow, what an improvement.

Danny was supposed to have his first scan the first part of December but they decided to move it up. He will have his first scan sometime within the next two weeks because he has started having chest pain again. Unfortunately, it is the same kind of pain that started this whole journey. It is not severe but it does hurt to breathe in, cough, sneeze and sometimes when he is laying down. Naturally we are concerned. The PA was pretty concerned too so she and Dr. A made the decision not to wait for the test. Of course, we started thinking maybe we shouldn't have dropped the last treatment. Hopefully, the results of the tests will be good. We ask that you continue to pray for Danny for complete healing. The thought of possibly having to go through more treatment is very daunting. However, we are going to keep a positive mindset until we know what to expect.

When we left the doctors office today we stopped at Merritts Burger house for lunch. I love their cheeseburgers and crinkle fries... throw in a cold Sun-drop and you have the perfect meal! Danny was able to eat a cheeseburger with chili and some fries, what a milestone. We are enjoying these wonderful days... and are looking forward to many more to come.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to pray, for sending your notes of encouragement, your phone calls, emails, & visits. Many of you have sacrificed so much on behalf of our family - we are so very grateful for each of you! Thank you for loving our family during this tough time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

The past couple of days have been the best I have had in a while! I have added mac & cheese to my diet. If you are not crazy about mac and cheese you should go without food for a couple of months. Man it was good. I seem to be getting better and better as time goes on. It is obviously going slower than I would like but it’s going.

It is amazing to me how quickly the last few months have gone. Sometimes when I was sick and in the hospital time would crawl. I would lose track of the days and even the month. The first week of October I was in the hospital and thought it was the first week of September. Anyway the time I was sick I was pretty miserable but God has been gracious and I came through it. I am not completely without issue now but I am so much better than I was. The nausea that I am dealing with now is bearable and I thank God for bringing me through the worst of it. In hind sight it doesn’t seem like I was sick that long.

Regina has done a fantastic job keeping up the blog. When I was sick I just couldn’t do it. I am a little intimidated now trying to follow her. I am not as gifted writing as she is and I am not so much a detail person like her but I will do my best. Speaking of Regina I don’t know how many of you have noticed but she is pretty awesome. I spent a total of 5 weeks in the hospital and the only time she was not right there with me my mother was. I am pretty sure that being mothered by such a wonderful woman growing up had a lot to do with me setting the bar so high for a wife. Anyway I am proud to have them both in my life!

I go back to the doctor next Tuesday. My hope is that I will be well enough to lobby for ending the TPN. I cannot get rid of the PIC line they have in me until I quit the TPN and I cannot go back to work with the PIC line. Hopefully after next Tuesday I will have a better idea of the future. I know I have to have some scans and they may want them before they remove the PIC line just in case they need to do something else. My hope is that I am near getting back to normal. I am eager to get back to work and choir and the ball park and all the other things I love about my life.

The encouragement I have received since this all began has been phenomenal! You all know who you are but I have continually gotten cards, donations, phone calls and have had hundreds of people praying. I feel as though I am indebted to everyone I know. I am not sure why so many people have been so kind but I do recognize how fortunate I am. It has really changed my outlook on life and people in general. People in some cases that I barely know have sent money and cards. It is extremely humbling that so many have done so much.

Well I just reviewed my post and I was right. I didn’t do as well as Regina! Maybe it at least gives you an idea of where we are.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Missing Hairs Are Numbered

Yesterday was a pretty good day for Danny. He was not feeling great in the morning but after a small dose of Phenergan his stomach settled and he fell asleep. He actually slept most of the day. Unfortunately, that is one of the side effects of this medicine. He was pretty disappointed when he realized most of the day was gone but I was quick to remind him "it is better than vomiting". Of course, he agreed and dozed off again.

We have been able to drop a couple of medications. For the past few months Danny has been taking Ativan, Phenergan, Reglan, Marinol, Protonix, Zofran and using a Scopolamine patch to keep his nausea & vomiting under control. We have been able to drop the Ativan completely and only use the Phenergan as needed (which has only been once in the last 4 or 5 days). Baby steps for sure but we are making progress!

Danny was able to eat a small amount of soup... YES, he was able to keep it on his stomach!! Yeah! Everyday he can eat is another day closer to being able to drop the TPN feeding. It really isn't that bad, it is just inconvenient. He is hooked up for 12 hours so he has to carry a back pack style bag around with him. Which really is okay because we are at home but he is a little pitiful when he has to go to the bathroom in a hurry and drag his bag with him. Just a small price to pay for a short time in exchange for the blessing of life!

His spirits seem to be getting better too. Sometimes it is hard to tell because the medicines cause him to be in a daze so he doesn't talk much or get engaged in what is going on very often. But I know he is happy to be home.

I think his hair is starting to grow just a little. We are curious what it will look like when it comes back in. Many people have told us it usually comes back in a different color and texture so they jokingly tell him it might be gray and curly. I don't see the gray in the small amount of growth but it is too early to tell. It would be funny if he had to deal with curly hair for once... then he might have a slight idea of what I deal with trying to tame my mane everyday. That could be fun!

He has been able to maintain his weight with the TPN feeding. He has only lost 35 pounds total. He lost that early when he first started getting sick so the fact he has not lost any more weight is wonderful and thanks to the TPN.

I am amazed me with the medical miracles we have today. I often think about the people who actually have the ideas & intelligence to study, invent and create the medical wonders we have available to keep our loved ones alive. Who would have ever thought of pouring poison in your body to kill cells, knowing all along you were walking a fine line between killing the person and saving their life... chemotherapy is pretty amazing!

Our bodies are such a complex work of our Creator... to think about all the intricate workings is mind blowing! 'Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; your are worth more than many sparrows' Luke 12:6-7 To think that the Lord knows the number of hairs (that are missing) on Danny's head brings peace in knowing He loves Danny and knows his body so much greater than do the doctors. He is the great Healer in whom we put our trust!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kicked Out... with options :)

Danny is doing much better. He has been able to eat small amounts of bland food and keep it on his stomach. Grits, chicken broth, & chicken soup have been the foods of choice so far this week at the hospital. He has been getting up and walking the hall a couple of times each day. So we are making progress.

Monday morning the doctor began weaning Danny off of one of his IV meds and changed it so he will be taking it by mouth. I think they wanted to be able to slowly wean him off of the IV meds and make the change a little at a time so that we would not be sure he is going to do well at home BUT we have friends in Alabama that had different plans.

We came home yesterday! Of course, we are excited to be home for obvious reasons. We really had no choice. The insurance company gave us a couple of options. Since he was still in need of nursing care & IV medications we could go home and I could continue to give Danny his meds through his IV along with the TPN or he could go to a skilled facility. Well, as you can imagine a nursing home was out of the question. Not only for personal reasons but also we didn’t feel the environment would be very conducive for a healthy recovery. We naturally took the option of coming home. I have to admit I have mixed feelings. Even though I am thankful to be home with the children and in the comfort of our own home, I am a little nervous about all of my nursing responsibilities. Let us not forget I am an accountant turned real estate agent…. Yeah that is pretty far from nursing so I am a very unskilled, quickly trained, stand in nurse.

My sister made me laugh yesterday. She reminded me of the statistics they share about women and all the roles they manage at home. You know the reports that show the monetary value of each role as if they were paid on a professional level. She said “Wow your portfolio just fattened… with the jobs you already have of accountant, social planner, domestic engineer, counselor, fashion consultant, transportation, lawn maintenance, chef, not to mention mother & wife and now nurse… too bad you can’t collect the pay!”. I think the fact the insurance company was “OK” with me handling this responsibility was a shock. They even offered to teach my 15 year old if I thought I would be overwhelmed. Pretty soon we will be performing surgery at home with training manuals printed from the internet! Hey, you never know!

So far I have done okay in administering the medications and the TPN was already familiar territory from before. It has not been too bad… maybe I missed my calling…. I could still go back to school. Funny huh, 38 years old and I am still considering what I want to be when I grow up. Just kidding! I am trusting the Lord… I know He has given me peace & equipped me to handle this situation. Danny is handling it pretty good too… he only asks me “what is that you are giving me?” and “what is that, is it time, are you sure?” every single time I have to do something. But in fairness to him, he did that to the hospital nurses too. I am sure we will have some fun stories to share when this is all over.

Danny has done really well since we come home. He has not vomited… YEAH! He has only eaten some potato soup but that is a great start. He was outside a lot yesterday once we came home. He sat on the back porch and slept a while in the warm sunshine. Later in the evening, he took a walk across the street to the lake (I guess he was hoping he would “see” some fish) and sat for a while on the front porch and watched Summer play with my nieces. He is definitely getting better & we are so thankful. The Lord has been so merciful & gracious to us during this time.

Danny did have a good night. He slept well after we were hooked up to the TPN and finished his last meds for the day. However, He was feeling pretty bad this morning but we have IV Phenergan we can use for times when the nausea is really strong or he vomits. Fortunately, we were able to get everything under control & he didn’t get sick. Maybe everything will all work out and the timing of our hospital eviction will be perfect so we can stay home permanently. I think we will be okay even if he gets sick. Last time at home we didn’t have a medication strong enough or that worked fast enough to get everything under control and it didn’t take long for Danny to get dehydrated. Hopefully, we are well equipped to stay ahead of the sickness so it no longer gets away from us.

We are very thankful the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter. We are on the home stretch of the race and the excitement continues to build. I am so looking forward to Danny feeling much better and being able to enjoy each & every day.

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers & encouragement!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Still Dancing....

Well…. We are still dancing… two steps forward, one step back… turn around, 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. It seems that we have taken a few steps in the wrong direction.

Yesterday, they began giving Danny most of his meds by mouth with the exception of Phenergan. It is on standby as needed to help calm down the vomiting or nausea. This is a huge step towards home. We must be okay with taking meds by mouth before they will feel comfortable sending us home.

Danny wants to eat! He had a small amount of grits yesterday morning and did so well when it came time for lunch he was looking forward to eating something really good. Well… really good from the hospital menu is a stretch… he was actually looking forward to beef broth. They delivered cream of mushroom soup. He was so disgusted he didn’t even try it. Fortunately, his mother brought some good old faithful Campbells. He was able to eat a small amount of potato soup. Then he had a few bites of some chocolate pudding for dinner. The fact he is eating is great news!

All was going well until about 1:00 am when he was scheduled for some medicine. Shortly after swallowing the pills we started to dance, we took a few steps back… he became very sick & began vomiting. We were able to get it under control fairly shortly because of the IV Phenergan. This medicine makes him sleep so he was out of it for a while. I finally got back to sleep around 4:30 this morning only to wake at 7:30 with him vomiting again because he had just taken some medicine. This is the same song we danced to at home when he began going backwards to the point we needed to come to the ER. This morning we had to wait about an hour before they could give the IV magic this time. But fortunately, they finally gave it to him a little early… he is still resting.

The doctor decided they would go back to making most of his meds IV today and see if he gains his footing again. Yes, we are finished with the chemo this is a direct result of the chemo treatment he had 3 weeks ago. We are so hopeful this will begin to subside soon. We know that he needs to at least be able to take his medicines by mouth consistently for us to go home. Everyone is still trying to figure out why Danny is having such a hard time with the chemo meds. We knew it would be bad but had no idea it would be this tough for this long. This has totally taken the doctors by surprise too.

Danny’s mom asked the doctor could his age have something to do with how poorly he is handling the chemo. Remember this is a young man’s cancer. Usually this cancer is found in men 15 – 25 or 30. Even though the treatment is the same a body of a 41 year old is going to take it harder than a younger man. So Dr. A thought that she was right and agreed that his age did have a lot to do with it, but he is still perplexed with how tough it has been regardless of his age.

Our prayer is that the Lord will see fit to lift some of the sickness and allow Danny to begin to recover soon. I can tell it is really starting to take a toll on him emotionally as well. This is a hard place to be when you are receiving treatment but I think it is harder for him since he is over the treatments and he (and everyone else) thought he should start to feel so much better since the blood transfusion and the fact that time is passing since the last of the drugs. I think it is harder to deal with the steps backwards since the expectations are we should be moving forward. He is so ready to go home and be with the Daniel & Summer. He just wants to feel better. We know he will begin to feel better but it is getting harder waiting for that day. It is very hard to watch him be this sick for so long.

However, all I have to do is walk the halls of this hospital and then my heart begins to change… I am so thankful for our situation because it could be so much worse! We CAN & DO look forward to happier, healither days!

Thank you for all of the encouragement we have been receiving from everyone. It is very uplifting. Being here isolated from life as we normally know it makes it hard to keep your spirits up so each one of you play a vitally important role in supporting Danny and helping to keep him keep his head up and ready to face the next day. THANK YOU!!!! We are so blessed to have such a huge family of supporters!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Penthouse Suite

The Lord has been gracious… Danny has definitely improved over the past few days. The IV medications work so much better suppressing his nausea & vomiting. In the beginning of the week he did have a few rough vomiting episodes but the past couple of days he has only been fighting the severe nausea. Thankfully he has been able to call the nurse for a shot of Phenergan. This medication is not scheduled but can be administered as needed within reason. This extra medication seems to work well and get everything under control… At least for a while.

Danny’s white blood count is climbing back up to a more acceptable range. The last they checked it was back up to 2.4 and that is a wonderful answer to prayer. We need it to be in the range of 4-6 when we leave so that he is not susceptible to infections.

The doctors decided they needed to take another look at his stomach, esophagus, gall bladder, kidneys & liver just to be sure there wasn’t something else going on that was contributing to the nausea. They ran another EGD (I think) and also took a biopsy of the stomach & esophagus. They did not find anything new but found that both his stomach and esophagus were severely irritated. The test showed pretty bad lesions from the vomiting including an ulcer in his esophagus. The ultrasound showed all the organs are fine. This is good news in that we are still only dealing with the repercussions of the chemo drugs. However, it is proving to be a hurdle we must overcome in finding something he can eat. The GI doctors want him stay away from broths, fruits, basically anything acidic that will agitate the damaged areas. But he needs to start off with those types of food for his stomach and nausea.

Popsicles have been the food of choice the past couple of days. Danny has been able to eat about ½ of a popsicle and keep it on his stomach. Some of the thicker soups have been tough so he has taken only a few bites. I have to give him credit though, he is trying to eat. I look forward to the day when he can actually sit down to enjoy a meal… I know he does.

Friends have made comments like “I know you are disappointed you are back in the hospital” or “I hate you are back in the hospital, I know you would much rather be at home”. Yes, I am disappointed because I was hoping Danny would be doing better and not feel so bad. Yes, I would rather be at home BUT it is so much easier for me with him being here. I do not have to stress about keeping his meds on schedule, about whether or not he is dehydrating, about preparing his TPN feedings and most of all I don’t have to stress about his well being. The nurses take care of all that, thank the Lord. We do miss our children, especially now since they are not allowed in the hospital with the H1N1 restrictions. We would rather be in the comfort of our own home but his being here is for the best.

The accommodations are not too bad either… we have moved to the penthouse suite! We have a large room with 2 windows, 2 TVs and lots of room. Our pastor asked “are you being rewarded for frequent flyer miles?” It is funny that we were here for a month in the smallest room on the floor and this trip we are blessed with a large room. We might get to go home over the weekend or the first of the week if he continues to improve.

We are so thankful for the many blessings we have experienced through this tough time. So many friends & family members have come along side us to help in so many ways. You have met our needs in so many areas of our lives. We know there is no way we can repay you but please know that we are so grateful. To Danny’s friends & co-workers at GE… thank you so much for your compassionate generosity! Your thinking of our family touched our hearts and means so much. Danny misses seeing everyone… I know that he is looking forward to the day when he can return to work.

It is amazing how small things that you take for granted everyday can turn out to be great blessings that you are thankful for when you go through something that allows your perspective to change.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A few steps backward....

Wow! This week has really gone by very fast. It has been pretty eventful for us. Tuesday Danny has his last chemo treatment. During that visit his lab work indicated his red blood cell count was very low so they wanted him to have a blood transfusion on Wednesday.

Our appointment was scheduled for 2:00 on Wednesday. We finally made it to a “cube room” in the Chest Pain Center by about 5:00. You know the hospital is always on time and totally concerned about operating efficiently… yeah right. And NO, he did not have chest pain, they help out when the other units are full or too busy. They were super nice and very attentive. They began the transfusion around 5:30 and finished up the 2nd bag or unit of blood around 11:30 pm. Everything went very well. When we got home we started the TPN feeding and finished it up around lunch time on Thursday. However, Danny started feeling worse through the night and on into Thursday. He began getting sick more often and had some difficulty taking his meds by mouth. This continued on into the night Thursday & Friday.

Saturday morning Summer had a scrimmage tournament in Shallotte. Since I was going to be with her Danny went to his mothers for the day. It was necessary he not be alone because he was continually getting worse. He was so sick we called the doctor on call. Dr. Testori ordered the Home Health Nurse to come and give an IV cocktail in hopes this would get his stomach to settle and allow him to take his meds by mouth. Unfortunately, it took about 4 hours before he actually received the shot from the time the order was placed. By this time he was going backwards pretty badly. The nurse left the same series of shots for me to give Danny in 24 hours if necessary. Well, we didn’t make it that long. We knew he was getting worse and so our only option was the emergency room again.

It is amazing how the Lord makes provisions for us even when we don’t expect it or ask. He totally worked out everything in the ER. We drove up the front desk lady came out with a wheel chair to help him Danny into the building. He then got registered, his temperature taken & a mask on by the time I was able to park and catch up with him. They then took us to a private waiting room where we stayed about 5 minutes before they called him to Triage where they collected our long history and moved us immediately to a room. Wow… we were shocked! We waited about an hour to see the doctor but at least he was able to lay down. The test results showed his white blood count is very low. It is .09 and normal should be around 4-6. The ER nurse freaked out and put masks on both of us and wouldn’t let us leave the room.

The Lord once again worked everything in our favor…... when the ER nurse called to give report to our new nurse on the 10th floor she recognized our name and immediately knew that the room they had assigned to us didn’t have accommodations for me to stay with him. She said she had a room she would have cleaned STAT and then they would be able to move us up to that room. The ER nurse was quite shocked when she didn’t have to give report to the nurse. She was completely aware of our case and didn’t need any new info. That was so nice because after a long night in the ER it was nice to know that everything was going to work out fine. We made it to our room about 12:30 and just as we were settling in Danny got sick again. This time it was as bad as it has ever been. He was sick pretty much all night. He did rest from about 4:45 – 8:00. Of course the vomiting started again. They are doing everything they can to get his stomach under control.

Danny is really doing very well considering. He is such a good patient. I know that if I had been through a fraction of what he has I would be in a very bad state… crying, whining, & creating difficulty for those caring for me. He is so humble and considerate even in the midst of being so sick.

I have to be honest… I am pretty disappointed. I was hoping and honestly, expecting him to be getting better not worse. We know that the chemo stays and works in his body for 30 – 45 days but it has been 14 days since he received the cisplatin which is what is making him so sick. Naturally, we thought with each day he would be feeling better… especially since they told us he would be a new person after the blood transfusion. We didn’t know it would be the turning point for the worse.

Even though we are discouraged now we know that everything is going to be fine… we just have to get through this time… and WE WILL!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Graduation Day"

It has been nice to be home and in our own environment. I can tell Summer, our daughter has really been thankful to be home and spending time with us. Daniel, he has been pretty busy with his teenage social life so spending time with us has not been a big deal for him but knowing his dad is home and on the mend is good.

Sunday and Monday were almost carbon copies of each other. Danny has felt pretty weak and tired with constant nausea. It has not been as bad as in the past but he has been sick a couple of times each day.

Last night he did eat a small amount of soup so that was very good until he got sick about 45 minutes later. I know he will shy away from eating for a couple more days but at least he keeps trying. It seems any time he has a lot of movement or excitement he tends to get sick. I think both of those could have been contributing factors last night. Summer had ball practice and he thought me might go with us and just watch but changed his mind because he knew he really wasn't feeling up to it. His Mom had stopped by so he decided he would go to her house to visit and for a change of scenery. We got a huge surprise when we received a visit from some special friends of ours. They are missionaries in Cambodia & arrived here in the states on Saturday. We thought it would be about a week or so before we got to see them but they drove from the Kinston area to check in on us. We were very glad to see them! We didn't get to see their kids because they thought it best to wait until Danny is feeling better. It was a nice treat to visit with them, we havent seen them in 2 years.

We went for Danny's LAST treatment today! YEAH!!!! He didn't seem too excited but he was so sick before we left home. He came in carrying his old faithful friend the "pink basin". The nurses were so sad to see him still carrying "pinky" but they were excited for him because "he graduated" as they said. When we left the doctors office he was pretty sick again. I think any time he moves it stirs up his system and it causes him to be sick. We will try to lay low for the next few days.

However, tomorrow afternoon he will be receiving a blood transfusion at the hospital. This came as a total shock to us. His hemoglobin is around 8 so they feel it is at a level in which the shots are not going to be as effective as the new blood. His white blood count is low too so they have advised us to take precaution with being around folks that are sick and children that are in school or daycare. So naturally they are going to send us to the hospital where there are hundreds of sick poeple. Anyway, he received a magic shot for his white blood count today as well so he will be pretty sore for a few days because is causes some bone pain.

While we are still running the race and you know the finish line is just few miles up the road... it is always the hardest to push through to the end after you have run so many miles and your body begins to wear. Even though he is having a few set backs he knows he is getting better and will continue to.... We will make it! He has a huge crowd cheering him on and supporting him!

I have always respected nurses and have been thankful for them especially when they are so compassionate and caring... After having been "nurse" the past few days I have a new found respect for them. Everyone is asking how I am doing & if I want to go into nursing... well I am doing just fine because I have the medicine scheduled perfectly and set out in doses labeled with the time and my TPN feeding routine down perfectly... and for someone like me with my Type A personality it works because I know what is required and I am in control of making it happen. (Those who know me - don't laugh! You know I am telling the truth.) No, I have no desire to be a nurse... this is truly a stretch for me. Thank the Lord Danny is such a good patient!

You know when you are young and so in love you really have no idea what lies ahead. You excitedly say your wedding vows not really thinking about what they truly mean. Lets face it you repeat whatever the preacher tells you to and you hope you don't mess up... you are on cloud 9, caught up in the moment of this special day never thinking you will have to put into action what you just said in front of all of your friends and family. "For better or for worse... for richer or for poorer... in sickness and in health... until death do we part"... I never gave thought to the negatives... worse, poorer, sickness... I innocently looked forward to the rest of our lives being just perfect!

If you would have told me 18 years ago we would have this in our future it would not have caused me to change my mind, I would have still married Danny. I know at that time it would be because I really would have no idea the totality of my decision. But, you know we have all said at one time or another... "if I had only known then what I know now". Well, I can honestly say, if I had known then what I know now I would have still married Danny but not because I was young an naive but because my love for him would have been so much deeper. It is amazing how the Lord allows you to grow and love another person despite their flaws & what life brings your way... all the while changing you to become the person He wants you to be.

This might sound crazy but... I am thankful for where we are right now, I wouldn't change a thing. This has truly been an amazing journey. I have grown so much over the past 3 months, Danny has grown, our children have grown through this, our marriage has grown and will continue to grow richer... we have a wonderful life ahead of us BUT with a new found appreciation for not only LIFE itself but for EACH OTHER!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Home... Sweet Home!

We are Home!!!! Yeah!!!!

Yes, we are finally home. What a blessing to be with our family! The children were very excited and somewhat surprised to see us come home. I think they were prepared for another month just as we were.

The transition home has not been without its setbacks. Yesterday afternoon Danny started vomiting again. We were hoping it was just the extra movement, the schedule change in his medications because I had to get the prescriptions filled, and the fact he had some company last night from his family BUT it has continued this morning. He did seem to settle through the night a little and not feel quite as sick. It sometimes seems the pattern of vomiting does come when there is a lot of activity or noise around so I am going to work hard with our children to ensure a quite home. For those of you who know my children know this is going to be a challenge... they will have to resort to what life was like when Danny was on 3rd shift. It was tough but they can do it.

As we prepared for bed last night my excitement of sleeping in my own bed quickly turned to stress. I realized I was now responsible for making sure he had his medications through the night and on time. During the day is not too tough but he gets some sort of medicine about every 2 hours. I had to set my alarm and pray that I didn't sleep right through it. Well, I didn't... in fact I hardly slept at all for fear of not waking up. He received all his medicine on time, praise the Lord.

We did have to come home with the TPN feeding. I received a quick training yesterday before we left the hospital. There is a little more involved than I thought. I have to add the insulin & vitamins with needles & syringes to the bag of TPN before hooking to the machine and then to Danny. The pump is another fun animal to deal with. I am sure it will all be fine once I am comfortable with the routine.

Last night the home health nurse was supposed to come and train me again but unfortunately she had an emergency and didn't get to our home until around 9:30. So for the sake of time she handled everything while I watched. The feeding is a 12 hour process so she returned this morning and showed me how to detach everything. She will come back tonight and it is my turn. You know... I never wanted to be a nurse, never thought I would have to be on this level, and truthfully still have no desire to be a nurse completely responsible for someones care. It stresses me for sure. Hopefully, we will only have this to deal with this part for at least a week no more than two. In talking with the nurse she told us that some people have to be on TPN for long periods of time and some folks forever. Wow! I am so thankful for our health! Even though we have hit this storm along our way we know that smooth sailing is ahead... what a blessing from the Lord!

Danny was a little apprehensive about leaving the hospital and a little disappointed as well. He was concerned about getting home and getting sick again. He knew that he didn't really feel well enough to come home. He was still very nauseated but he had not thrown up in about 30 hours so they felt it was time for him to come home. It is just a matter of time for him begin to recover. It takes 30 - 45 days for the chemo to leave your body. Once the chemo is gone he will still need to recover from being so sick and weak. His body has been through so much and is in such a compromised state it will not be a fast easy recovery. He will have to build up his muscles & stamina again. Just walking from the hospital to the car took a lot out of him. Danny realized how weak he really is.

I think that is part of the disappointment. He wanted to feel good when he left the hopsital. I think he thought he would at least feel as good as he did the first time we left. But remember that was after his very first long week of treatment. His body has received 3 times that amount of chemo so it is going to take longer. He was hoping he would be able to walk more, eat some, and feel better. I am hoping that he will begin to make great strides the next few days. Each day will be easier if he feels the improvement and gets to feeling better... even if it is just a little.

We want to thank everyone for keeping our family in your prayers. We are so thankful to be home and on the mend. We can see the Lord working in so many ways. Just as I begin to feel down the Lord uses something to remind me of how fortunate we truly are. When you hear the word cancer your life begins to flash before you and you really start to think the worse.... but from the very beginning we have been assured that we could beat this cancer... and from the very first time I heard those words I have been giving God thankful praise... because we realize it is by His grace and His mercy that we will enjoy freedom from cancer. What a day that will be... we will be able to celebrate the gift of continued life.. one that is enriched by a new found appreciation!

No matter your situation, no matter your circumstances, no matter your obstacles, there is always reason to be thankful!

Friday, September 25, 2009

One Down & One To Go

Yesterday, I was able to take my Dad home. They never could find what was going on with him for sure. The doctors are suspicious it is costrocondritis. This is what they diagnosed Danny with originally for the first 3 months. So naturally I was a little concerned BUT they ran all sorts of tests and feel pretty sure this is the case and it was brought on by the horrible fall from a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, they gave him about 10 shots in his chest and he is some better. They hope he will continue to get better over the next couple of weeks. What an answer to prayer. The Lord is so loving and gracious.

So I have one down and one to go... in way of leaving the hospital and getting settled at home.

Danny is getting a little better each day but he really doesn't feel that he is. It is taking much longer for the progress to be seen and he wants to feel better on a much faster pace than his body is allowing at this time. I think that mentally knowing our treatments are almost over created a mirage... a false sense of we are almost over and then I should start feeling great. Truthfully it is going to take a long time for Danny to recover. His body has been through so much and will not bounce back overnight or over a week. He is a bit frustrated and disappointed.

The doctors are really feeling that we should be going home soon... maybe today or over the weekend. Danny wants to or had hoped to go home in much better shape than he is now. We will go home with the TPN feeding and possibly some other medical instructions. He is very weak and is still extremely nauseated so he is not eating or drinking anything. Just a trip to the restroom is tiring and a shower is exhausting. I understand that it is going to take months for his body to recover from the trauma of the chemo. His treatment included some really nasty drugs. Danny realizes this too but is so disappointed.

I am excited... the thought of going home and having my family back together is wonderful. I cant wait to sleep in my own bed. We have been here for 29 days. Wow! Alot has happened over the past 29 days.

Looking back... when we first came in the goal was to get Danny to stop vomiting. Then the goal was to nurse his body back to a "new healthy" that was stable enough to continue treatment. We then started treatments and was able to stay on track for each one. Because Danny was so sick it caused his doctor to question the idea there may be a better way. In his research he realized we could be finished with our treatment one round early. The entire stay has been a roller coaster ride for us... Guess what... we absolutely love to ride roller coasters! This is a ride we never forget!

We will see how things go today and will hopefully be going home soon! Praise the Lord!!!

Thanks everyone for your continued prayers and support. We have been blessed in so many ways... you have truly touch our lives in ways we never expected or imagined. We have not been alone in this fight and that is priceless! THANK YOU!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Oh yea....

Sorry I have not written in a few days… things have been a little crazy as I have been dancing the hospital shuffle. Yes, we are all still here... one big happy family.

Danny is doing fairly well. He has continued to have times of vomiting but they have not been as severe as in the past. Sunday night was pretty rough but Monday seemed to be a bit better. When Dr. Anagnost came in for our normal morning meeting he told us that he was concerned because Danny had been so sick for such a long time. He felt that if something didn’t turn around he would be in the hospital another month. He wanted us to know that he was planning to contact Dr. Ironhorn a specialist with 30+ years of study and research concerning Seminoma cancer. Dr. A wanted to see if there was another chemo drug we could use that would produce the same or just as good a result that wouldn’t make Danny so sick. Danny & I talked and decided we were not comfortable with making a drug change because based on the info we had been given this was the best course of treatment and the long term outcome was much more important to us than the next 3 weeks.

Last night Danny was a sick just a couple of times but overall had a restless night. We realized that he is having a reaction to one of the new drugs they introduced this week, Haldol. It has caused him to be very on edge and restless. We have since discontinued the use of this medication. Today was a better day. He had not gotten sick until about 8:00 this evening so today was a good day. He is still not eating but he is receiving the TPN feedings. We hope he will be able to eat soon so he will not need the TPN anymore. They have to give him insulin to offset the spikes in his blood sugar due to the feeding. He is receiving shots 3 times a week for his red blood count. But we have not needed the shot for his white blood count in a while.

Good news the doctors are hoping we go home sometime this weekend. They are going to try to start weaning Danny off of the IV medicines and go to all by mouth. We are hopeful too. We realize that it is a true possibility but we are realistic and know that recovering from such a tough week of chemo might take a little longer. In the past it has taken the full 2 weeks in between for him to become somewhat human feeling again before treatment starts again… so we will see. We are ready to go home. We have been here 26 nights already.

Oh yea....... I forgot to tell you what the specialist told Dr. Anagnost…. STOP! That’s right stop the treatment course at 3! That means we only have 1 more treatment because Danny received his bleomicin treatment today. We only have ONE more chemo treatment... not chemo cycle BUT treatment. Thank you Jesus!

We were shocked to say the least. I am not sure we have worked through the shock. We are very excited but still taken back and working through this decision in our minds. We had our heads down and ready to face the last storm. My initial thought was “what we can stop running… we are only at mile 16 or so… if we stop now can we still get the prize?” We want to be cancer free! Neither doctor has any question. They are completely satisfied with the decision. It still does not seem real to us yet. We know we still have a quite a way to go before Danny will be 100% but to know we are not facing the last treatment is thrilling.

We thank everyone for lifting us in prayer… we know the Lord answers! If you have ever questioned that fact… you now have proof! We are so very excited to see how the Lord will continue to work in our lives & in the complete healing of Danny’s body.

Many of you have asked about my Dad. He is doing okay. He is still in severe pain and they have yet to figure out why. He had a heart catheterization today and they couldn’t find anything that should be causing the pain. He has had a chest CT, a nuclear bone scan, several x-rays among other tests and nothing so far. I do know that the pain is so severe it is almost unbearable. He is already on high doses of methadone & neurontin for back pain that put him out on disability 13 years ago. So if he says he is in pain he truly is. Please keep him in your prayers too. We need to know what is going on. I am concerned and realize the responsibility of caring for him as he just has me & my sister now.

I feel so blessed to have one of the largest prayer circles I have ever heard of… I truly appreciate all the time you have sacrificed on behalf of our family. I trust you are praying for us and I trust the Lord hears and answers!

God is good all the time… and all the time God is good!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sleep... sleep... sleep

The turning point has arrived… Thursday night was a difficult one for Danny. He was sick for about 3 hours but then was able to rest because of all the medication. Friday morning he was sick again. He had a great “chemo nurse” that is very knowledgeable about what works and what doesnt. She kept the right meds on board the entire day and Danny has been able to sleep. He is sleeping almost non-stop and that is so much better than vomiting. Praise the Lord we finished the last treatment for the week. What a relief… even though he has gotten sick Danny is still doing well overall.

I don’t really expect to go home on Monday since they have not been able to get him off the IV drugs & right now he is very reliant on them. I do, however, feel like we are in a much better position at the same point in previous treatment weeks. I am actually hoping we go home maybe mid week or by the end of this coming week.

Today he has slept a lot but has gotten pretty sick at different times. The doctors really do not want him vomiting. Each step backwards takes extra steps forward to recover. He is still receiving all the medications they can offer. The TPN feedings are still going very well. Yes, it is disappointing that Danny has started getting sick again but we are so thankful that he is getting the excellent care from the doctors & the nurses. It is a huge relief for me for us to be at the hospital where he can get everything he needs. We will continue to be thankful for the blessings we experience every day… sometimes it is the smallest of things but the impact is huge.

Today, I was fortunate enough to get to travel with my kids to Kinston. Yes, Kinston… I know there is nothing here but Summer is playing in a softball tournament. It has been a nice time with my children. We have enjoyed spending time together and I have had fun catching up on what has been going on in their lives. I couldn’t have come this weekend if it were not for 3 special people in my life who are such a great support & are willing to sacrifice so much. Sandra is taking excellent care of Danny. Christy is doing her best to make Dad behave and do as the doctors have asked (that can be a tough job). Today my niece, Raegan had a softball game too so Beverley volunteered & was willing to give up her Saturday to sit with my Dad so my sister could be there. Thanks ya’ll!

We had a rough time with my Dad on Wednesday & Thursday, especially through the night. But things have started to turn around and he is doing better but they are still not sure what is causing the severe chest pain. They have been running tests and giving him pain meds. They can’t send him home until he is no longer on the IV pain medicine. They ran a CT scan today so hopefully we will get some news tomorrow.

Another blessing… thanks so much to my father in law, Larry and Danny’s brother Bud for repairing both our vehicles today. Since Danny has been in the hospital, both vehicles have had a little trouble. One needed brakes very bad and the other needed a battery installed. (Sorry Freddy, I know you have offered many times.) It is amazing how many things you take for granted when things in your life are normal.

I continue to be humbled by everyone wanting to help us. It is a tough position for me… I like to be the one helping not needing or accepting help. I know that each blessing is of the Lord and is because of His prompting and your willingness. Thank you for being available and willing. Your sacrificial support and love for our family has been such a sweet reminder of how blessed we are. You have enriched our lives through your immeasurable support. The number of people that have been praying for our family blows my mind. We know that when God’s people call on His name He listens… please know that He is truly honoring your prayers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mile 14.... and on to 15 & 16....

Last night was interesting to say the least. But it was good and the Lord gave strength and alertness when needed. My sister and I stayed at the hospital last night. Danny's room is very nice and is on the 10th floor which has been recently renovated with a pull out sofa type sleeper. Dad is on the 5th floor with a roommate that was up all night getting a blood transfusion and only a single upright chair. So I slept until 3:00 in Danny's room and then switched with my sister so she could get some sleep. The tag teaming seemed to have worked well. It is amazing how your perception changes when you realize how much you have truly been given. While the bed I have been sleeping on has been tough it is SO much better than a chair.

Danny is really doing very well. He has only been sick a little (compared to before) and each episode has not been too bad. He seems to be gaining strength and looks a little better everyday. Dr. Anagost said today that he had a schedule laid out and if all goes well Danny might be able to go home Monday. Whoo hoo! He needs to be able to keep the vomiting under control and also be able to take his medicine by mouth with no issues. He will come home with the TPN feeding but that shouldn't be too bad as we will hook up only at night while he is resting. It is a slow process but we are in a much better place today than we were 3 weeks ago. We are so thankful for his continued healing... not just physical but emotional too.

The fever has been gone for a few days. His arm is healing nicely and he has not had any issues with the new PIC line. We expect everything to only improve. Today is the 4th day of his treatment this week. In the past, Thursday and Friday is when things really started to take a turn for the worse. We are praying this is not the case this week. We expect a very good day!

I continue to be amazed at the support we have. So many of you have helped out in different ways. We really could not be as strong and together without you. Thanks for thinking of us and being available to help!

Thanks Beverley for being a lifesaver yesterday! Your taking care of the girls was a HUGE help in the midst of the storm. Sonny, my brother in law is such a trooper. I am sure when he married Christy he never dreamed he would be Mr. Mom at home taking care of all 4 of our children giving baths, washing clothes, and managing two households. The Lord has truly blessed Christy and I with wonderful husbands and their families!

We give the Lord all the praise and glory for His continued blessings. I am so thrilled Danny is doing better. We know he is not out of the woods yet but even still his condition is wonderful in comparison... each step forward the light at the end of the tunnel gets a little brighter.

Having run a marathon (26.2 long miles) I remember the first part of the race was easier because you knew what you needed to do and mentally you were prepared... 1/2 way through you begin doubting yourself and the possibility that you would finish... 3/4 of the way through the race you realize (not only are you crazy but) that it is as much a mental feat as physical and you get small bursts of energy that give you the strength and desire to finish and the last stretch is horrible and wonderful all at the same time. You are so tired and worn from the race but you want so badly to finish... you MUST finish for the medal otherwise it all will have been for nothing.

Danny is running mile 14 looking toward 15 & 16 in his race and is doing well. We know that the last stretch will be hard because you become anxious, excited, and physical beat all at the same time but the PRIZE is worth it so he will push hard and will cross the finish line with so many cheerleaders there. It takes all the supporters yelling your name, encouraging and cheering you on to push you to finish line when you endure such a long physically challenging race.... THANK YOU for being Danny's supporters! We will celebrate!!!!

Yes, James you are right... God is good... all the time!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Better days....

I am sorry there hasn’t been an update in the past couple of days. Things have been a little crazy for me personally. I had the privilege of staying at home last night with my children. Sandra, my super Mother in law stayed with him at the hospital so I could go home and rest. It was very nice. The Lord must have known I needed some nice sleep.

I spent the day with my Dad at the emergency room, doctor’s offices, and now the hospital. Yep, my Dad is here at the hospital too. My sister is downstairs with my Dad & her husband is at home taking care of all of the kids and getting things together for school tomorrow for all 4 kids! My family is a super blessing on so many levels.

Yesterday and today, Danny has had pretty good days. He ate like crazy Tuesday. He woke from a dead sleep to eat almost an entire meal. He did get sick last night but then he rested through the night. He then was sick a little this morning before treatment but it subsided and the treatment went very well. He has eaten again today and has been sick a little this evening but is resting now. It is better when he has something on his stomach when he gets sick instead of the retching on an empty stomach. Even though he has been sick it has not been as bad as what we went through 3 weeks ago.

We have been on track with the treatments and that is great news. He has also been receiving his TPN feedings and he seems to be feeling better. The doctor hopes to have Danny off of all the IV medicines when he finishes his chemo on Friday… and if all goes well on Saturday… he may get to go home Sunday. Please pray with us that he will keep doing very well and will have the opportunity to go home and not be too sick. We are ready!

Thank you for being our prayer warriors. Our family has certainly had a tough time lately but I have faith that the Lord will not let us fall. He loves and cares for us… we will be just fine!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back on Track

Lots of progress was made today... finally! After a rough start our day turned out pretty good. This morning the doctor was surprised to find that Danny did not get his PIC line installed this weekend. He was ready to start the chemo early this morning. Believe it or not, there is only ONE radiologist at NHRMC that can do this particular procedure & they must not work weekends. Anyway, Danny was bumped down the line after the assessment of the weekend emergencies, of course they took priority as they should have. Dr. A tried to get Dr. Bebb to come to the hospital to do the procedure but that didn't work out either. After much shuffling and begging Dr. A resolved to have a new IV started so we would have a clean site for chemo. The VAT team was able to find one site that would work. We started pre-meds around 11:45 with chemo following shortly behind.

In the middle of the treatment Danny's number was up for the PIC line. So they took him downstairs for the procedure and it went very smooth with no issues that we are aware of. They began using it immediately for chemo. He finished up his treatment today so we were able to stay on schedule, which was extremely important. Thank the Lord for working all things together for Danny's good!

They have not yet started his TPN feeding. Good news he has only lost about 5 lbs since his feedings stopped. He had gained 2 lbs with the TPN and with the 5 pound loss he is still in the okay margin at this point. His blood sugar was high tonight. I am thinking it might have to do with the steroid given in his pre-meds. He only needed 3 units of insulin.

Danny was able to rest a lot today. Fortunately, he has not been sick & I am hoping we will make it through the night without being sick.

We have to be the most fortunate people on the face of this earth! We have super amazing family & friends... so many of you have given of yourselves to help our family in so many ways. I am always humbled when the Lord chooses to use the people in our lives, He never ceases to amaze me! Today a couple of very special friends taught me a lot about myself through the sacrifice they made on behalf our family. Not to mention, about 21 years ago they were responsible for introducing me & Danny. I don't think they really thought it would work out but it was kinda cool to have your best friend date your boyfriends best friend. It did make for some fun dates... thanks David & Beverley... for everything!

I have shared with several people today that we know we are incredibly blessed. A few folks recently have said I know you hate being at the hospital for so long and you are ready for all of this to be over. Yes, it is not ideal but we are so thankful to be where we are right now. I am content being in the hospital knowing Danny is receiving the best care possible. Of course, we will be glad when all of this is over because it is not all peachy... with the exception of loosing my Mother this is the toughest situation I have ever been through... but we also are thankful in the good times and the bad. We realize that Danny is so fortunate to have a cancer that responds very well to chemo and he is going to be cured! And now the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter as we pass the half way mark with the treatments, yeah!

Overall we are blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Super Sunday!

As I sit and take in the view of Wilmington from the 10th floor of the hospital it is a sweet reminder of the Lord. You know as I see the city as a whole I tend to not pay attention to the small happenings going on below. I am just content taking in the beauty of the view and the amazement of God's creation... I can see the "big picture”. I can’t help but relate that to how the Lord must see our situation. Even though He is aware of the smallest of details in our everyday struggle with this cancer I am sure He does not let that distract or concern Him or even take away from His view… He can see the "big picture" and can see the situation as a whole... and knows that it is beautiful!

Danny had a restful night last night with no sickness. This morning we started with an early morning walk “around the block” as Danny says. We expected he would have the PIC line put in this morning but then morning came and went. We saw the doctor on call for a second as he told us to hang in there they were going to do the PIC line today soon so we would be ready for chemo in the morning. The nurse came in about 45 minutes later to tell us they would do the PIC line tomorrow morning and start chemo in the afternoon because they do not have anyone available today that do the PIC line today. Danny's case is a little different in that the VAT team will not be doing the procedure as normal. They will be using an ultrasound during the placement and will need to make sure all goes well. The nurse explained it is because it is kinda a "one time shot" deal due to the fact his other vein and port had issues. We knew Danny was a special person but little did we know he would create special issues & situations along the way. :)

Good news… Dr. Testori also told us the MRI came back clean. Thank the Lord for an excellent report. We know now we only have to deal with this cancer and the chemo. If they had found something in the brain we would have to address that as a new issue - what a blessing! Thank you for locking arms with us and praying... the Lord is faithful!

Danny finally received his lunch and they brought him the wrong food. He had fried chicken, green beans, chicken & pastry, cookie, chocolate pudding, & a nutrition drink (Boost style). Well he was starving and wanted to try some so he did. The greens beans & pudding were his food of choice. He did well and was able to keep it down even though he was not feeling great afterwards. He really wants some pizza and French fries but that will have to wait.

Dinner time he tried to eat a potato on his plate and that was all it took to make him sick. This vomiting episode was short but was just enough to make him start feeling bad. He is still running the low grade fever but it doesn’t seem to be a huge concern since they have given him so much antibiotics.

The new IV is holding up well so far too. He is able to receive his fluids, antibiotics, and medicine with no issues at this time. Another example of the mercies the Lord provides.

Danny had a lot of visitors today including his 89 year old grandmother & Aunt from Whiteville. We truly enjoyed each visit. It means so much for friends & family to sacrifice their time to come visit. Today was a good day to visit. We had a good time laughing with our children as they entertained our friends, Freddy & Gwen. Danny had a couple of friends from work, Stan & Randy visit. It was an encouragement to me as much as Danny. Stan shared he knew exactly what we were going through as he has personally been effected by cancer with his immediate family in two different situations. As a caregiver he offered much support & comfort. Later, we even had a visitor we didn’t know that is a church & family member of Stan’s. He has been praying for us and wanted to put a face with the name… Wow!

We know the Lord hears and answers. Danny told a friend today that he knew he was in the best shape of his life right now... because more people than ever have been praying to the Lord on his behalf! We have so many here at home praying but many of you have asked friends & family across the nation to pray, we know we have people on the other side of the world praying. We received an encouraging phone call today all the way from Cambodia. James & Lynette Cottle are very close friends of ours that are missionaries. They have been joined in prayer by their missionary team and local Cambodian Christian friends. It is so humbling to know that we have so many people are praying for us.

When we lay our head on our pillow at night we never question if the sun will rise in the morning, we rest in full confidence knowing it will......

...... with that same confidence and peace we fight this cancer!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Small Saturday Surprises

I really enjoyed my time today with Daniel & Summer. It was much needed for all of us. Thanks so much to Sandra for sacrificing her Saturday & allowing me to leave the hospital with no worries.

While I was gone Danny met doctor Testori (dr on call this weekend). He offered a game plan today that we were a bit surprised by. Dr. Testori told Sandra that he and Dr. Anagnost, Dr. Arb, & Dr. McNulty had a meeting to discuss his case. They are truly perplexed as to why Danny is so sick. They know the chemo drugs they are using are very strong and make for a tough time but they feel there should be or could be something else causing the intense sickness. They decided to do an MRI on his brain to see if they originally missed something small that could have grown over time. No results yet. We are hoping they do not find anything because we know the chemo does not affect the brain and this would mean there would need to be additional measures taken.

We were expecting Danny to get the port a cath inserted today but they have decided to use a PIC line instead. They have not placed that yet. He has had 5 different IV's in the last 3 days. Danny's veins are not very strong. They function for a while and then produce fever, red streaks, and pain. The IV team has a hard time finding good veins & they are not lasting long. We will be thankful when the PIC line is functioning. I am assuming they will restart the TPN feeding at that time. He is no longer receiving his meds by mouth they are using the IV in hopes of keeping him from vomiting.

He is still running a low grade fever with no real reason to explain it even though he has had tons of antibiotics over the past week.

For some reason today the communication and nursing care has been challenging. We hope tomorrow brings good news and a much better day as we gear up for treatment on Monday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tenth Floor Two-Step

Interesting, not so fun, dance.... It seems that as we take a few good steps forward we have to take a few steps backward as well. Sad to say on my 2nd post for the day Danny has started to vomit again. He had been doing pretty good with keeping the small amounts of food down. Today they had changed his antibiotic and this one is to be taken by mouth. The pill is HUGE. He did pretty good taking it the first time. The past two times he has needed to take meds by mouth it must have stimulated the gag reflex or something because each time has been pretty tough. We are praying that the nausea will lessen and he will have a good couple of days before the tough treatment begins.

I am excited... I will be spending tomorrow (Saturday) with my children. Sandra, Danny's Mom will be with him while I am away. Besides watching Danny go through so much, being away from Daniel & Summer has been the hardest adjustment. We are all doing well and knowing they are with my sister & brother in law makes that aspect so much easier... I just miss them. Daniel & Summer visited Danny tonight, it was good for everyone.

Enjoy your weekend.... spend time with someone you love! :)

Gearing up for next week....

We are still in the hospital. Danny has been able to eat small amounts of broth and such type foods. He cant seem to shake the nausea so his eating is real dependant on how he feels. He is still receiving all of his nausea medications and for now things are a bit better.

He still has a low grade fever and is still receiving antibiotics to treat the infection (which we are still not sure what we are fighting). His white blood count has increased since yesterday so the Neupogen shot is definitely doing its job. You can tell it starts to work quickly because this shot causes pretty tough bone pain. Danny needed pain medicine yesterday about 3 hours after the shot to help cope with that pain.

Danny's blood pressure was very low this morning (82/32) so they are giving him extra fluids to try to help with dehydration. Since he has not been able to receive the TPN feedings his fluid intake was low and his caloric & nutrient intake has been almost nothing. We expect he will start the TPN feedings once his port a cath is in place. The doctor has requested that the surgeon insert the port a cath tomorrow as they expect his white blood count to be back in safe range.

It appears we may be here through the weekend and will start the chemo here in the hospital. One good side of that is that we will be here and have the constant medical care through his week of treatment. Maybe we will be ahead of the game instead of playing catch up after the treatment. Our hope is that he will recover much quicker after the treatment and go home with a couple of good weeks before his last round of treatment. Please pray with us that will be the case.

We are doing well. Tonight will be our 15th night in the hospital and the Lord has continued to be merciful to us in so many ways. Our needs are being met on so many different levels. I know we have to be some of the most blessed people on earth because we have such wonderful supportive friends & family. This fight would be much tougher without you. We thank the Lord everyday for each of you.

We have had many visits that have been uplifting and encouraging. We thank you for taking your time to come and show your support. We had a very special visit today. A co-worker and friend of Danny's came by today, Velma. She is such a sweet spirit and a testimony of the Lord's grace. She is a cancer survivor! She has been in remission for a while now and the wounds from battle were still fresh... but that did not keep her from encouraging Danny and giving praise to the Lord for her healing. We know that so many of us have been affected by cancer in some way. I lost my Mother to cancer just 2 years ago. We have a friend that found out yesterday she has breast cancer. It is all around us... we dont understand why. We can look at each situation and say why we feel it is a shame, the timing is not good, they have small children, they just retired, they are too young or have a new grandchild on the way, any number of reasons... we will never know why... but we do know the fight is extremely tough and without the Lord, for us it would almost impossible. We have complete peace in knowing that Jesus is in control and He loves Danny and will give him the strength to fight through the tough times. Thank the Lord His mercies are new EVERY morning!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Hurdles

Good news.. the past couple of days Danny has been able to eat broth, crackers, & a few bites of bland food. He has not vomited but has still been really nauseated. Baby steps but in the right direction.

The doctors found a blood clot in his port a cath a couple of days ago so they removed that yesterday. They are starting him on a blood thinner for a while to hopefully dissolve the blood clot. Because they have not been using his port a cath they have been using a regular IV. They now have used 4 different IV sites in one arm because they really couldnt use the arm with the port. His veins are not holding up very long. The type and the amount of medication he is getting through the IV makes it harder for them to hold up along with the chemo. The VAT team has been called in to start each of his IVs and the last nurse said that she thought the next option might have to be a IV PIC. Which if I understand right is a step between the port and a regular IV. We will have to see how things progress today because the last IV has started to give him trouble. They are trying not to use it more than needed so they are going to try to give some meds by mouth.

He will not be able to recieve the chemo treatments next week without a new port a cath. The surgeon will not be able to insert a new port until his white blood count increases. They are giving Danny neupogen shots & hopefully that will do the trick. Dr. A is worried this may run into next week. I am worried if it runs into next week his strong chemo will not be spread over the usual 5 days but once we add the weekend in it will stretch his difficult days out over a longer period of time and cause us to fight the very sick days longer. We are ready to push through the chemo treatments, deal with the sickness, and hopefully get through all of this as quickly as possible. Danny is ready to get his life back... so am I, the kids, our family, everyone. So we are praying for no delays or setbacks that would change our course of treatment.

The addition of the new medicine, Marinol, seems to be helping. We are not sure if it is actually the medicine or the fact we are just in that part of the cycle in which he would be doing a bit better anyway. We are hoping the medicine is a huge help and the sickness will not be as bad this coming week.

The fever has dropped. It is still around 99 or so but it has not been nearly as high. Danny is receiving 2 different IV antibiotics and he is on his 5th round of those. We have no idea where the infection is comeing from. He did receive his one chemo drug, Bleomicin yesterday and that went well. It could have contributed to him not feeling as well yesterday.

He had gained 2 lbs with the TPN feeding but since they have suspended that feeding he lost those 2 lbs but has been able to at least maintain his weight with no additional loss as of yesterday. Danny has been up walking the halls a little but it makes him really tired afterwards. Taking a shower feels really good but truly wipes him out for a while. He will gain his strength back when he is able to eat again. This might be a while away but we know this will not last forever.

In speaking with a friend this morning I mentioned that we are know we are so blessed. Our situtaion could be so much worse & we know it. We see so much sickness being here in the hospital. Yes, things are tough... yes, they are frustrating... yes, they could be better BUT they could be so much worse. Danny will beat this cancer! We know in the end the doctors expect nothing less than a "cancer free" healing. What a blessing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tests, Tests, & More Tests

Last night was a restful one for Danny. The first in a while. He has been able to keep down the Marinol tablets... good news! We dont really know if it is working or not. He still vomited about 4:30 this morning.

He just left to go downstairs for a couple of tests. They are running a port a cath o gram. They will run dye to see if there is an issue with his port. His arm is swollen and is in some pain with it. They are also going to run a high resolution CT scan of his chest to be sure something isnt going on in his lungs due to the Bleomicin chemo drug. That is a concern with that particular drug.

They are exploring the option of changing his chemo drugs but the doctors concern is they know this combo is the gospel, it works and if you go changing the meds you could change the outcome. Dr. A consulted Dr. Arb and they are very concerned about making that change. They will be consulting doctors that highly skilled in testicular cancer (this is their primary study focus) and see what they suggest.

Right now the concern is the fever, the source of the fever, along with the nausea & vomiting. They have suspended his TPN feeding due to fact they cant use his port a cath. I am not sure if he will have his chemo treatment today or not.

Will try to keep everyone updated with the latest test results. Thanks so much for everything!

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Still Kicking"

Whoo hoo... thanks Eddie! I should be able to update the blog more often since a friend was able to work some magic in the IT dept here at the hospital. I now have access to the blog using the hospital network. :)

Yes, we are still here, 10 nights so far. Danny said to let everyone know that he is "still kicking". The past few days have been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs. We have experienced times of no sickness only to be followed by a pretty bad case of vomiting, sometimes for no reason and more recently because of eating a "bread" meal as requested by the doctor. Each of these episodes set us back in our progress to being nausea/vomiting free.

The endoscopy came back with only a few irritated places in his stomach and esophagus believed to be from the vomiting and retching. Nothing was found that is contributing to the vomiting. They have increased his platonics to twice the dose previously prescribed.

The TPN feeding has gone pretty well. The only negative side effect that
Danny has experienced is the his blood sugar count. It keeps fluctuating from high to very high. The highest so far has been about 370,normal range goes up to 112. They adjust his insulin shot accordingly.

Danny started running a fever last night. It was 102.2. They were able to get it down for a while but it has started rising again. They are treating him with antibiotics and have decided to have a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. They know with the fever there is an infection but they want to find the source.

Danny is going to try to eat some clear liquids again today. We hope this will stay in his system. They are also going to try a fairly new drug called Marinol. I know I have mentioned this before and the concern was that he is not able to take meds by mouth. This is the only form of this medication and at this point we have "nothing to loose" as the doctor said. We will try it and hope that is the magic medicine. We have no other choices. If there are any the doctors have not mentioned them and I feel sure they would have at least tried them. Pray this is what we need.

Danny should finish up his second round of chemo with a treatment tomorrow. Meaning we will be officially half way through with the chemo treatments. He will receive Bleomicin which will not contribute to his being sick. This particular chemo does not cause nausea or vomiting. The true culprit is cisplatin. It is one of the chemo drugs he receives at the beginning of each cycle for the 5 day treatment week, which will begin again on Monday of next week.

I know we have said this so many times before but we truly do mean it.... THANK YOU! We have been so blessed with many friends and family that love and care about us and it shows in everything you say and do.

We know that the Lord is extending His mercy everyday. We are so thankful for the medicine that Danny is receiving because we know without it he would be in a horrible place right now. Even though the meds are not curing the nausea & vomiting we know they are helping him to survive. There are brighter days ahead and we are setting our sites on the future!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Journey Continues

Last night Danny was a bit restless but the sleep was good while it lasted. This morning Dr. A decided to order the steroid that he has been taking with his pre-meds to be taken on a more consistent basis. This is also the steroid that he received the day that he began feeling better before. There is concern with taking a steroid on a long term basis so I feel that is why he was so hesitant to do so before now.

If Danny is about the same we believe the GI specialist will go ahead with the endoscopy. They will be looking for anything abnormal along with any tears or lesions that may have occur ed with the vomiting and retching. Danny is not looking forward to that test but he found out this morning that he will be asleep.

They have continued his TPN feedings. That seems to be going well. He did get another insulin shot last night but they feel they will have that worked out soon.

We did ask the PA this morning "what stage Danny's cancer was in the beginning"? She was hesitant to answer but she did - Stage 4. She said she didnt want to tell us because stage 4 is usually really bad. You have a long way to go from stage 4 to "cancer free" BUT he is young and otherwise healthy. Which is why they are staying on course for his treatment, they do not want to give up the progress made. They truly do expect him to be cured! We do too!

We are just holding on praying for better days ahead. If he is not able to take meds by mouth I am not sure when we will be able to go home. In talking with the doctor this morning he feels that our expected (& hopeful) course may be to spend the week after his long treatment in the hospital during his next 2 courses of chemo. I am hoping that is ALL we have to spend in the hospital. Of course, we need to get better now so we can go home & rest up for the next tough round.

We have had wonderful nurses! The Lord knows just who to send our way. One special nurse that has unknowingly comforted me in so many ways is Sharon. It takes special people to be able to take care of strangers and do it with genuine compassion & concern BUT she is extra special in that she not only has taken care of Danny but me too. The 10th floor nurses are true angels!

Thanks everyone for your prayers! We are so grateful for each of you & how you have made an impact in our lives!!! We love you!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Change of Address

I think it may be time to change our home address to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. :) We are still at the hospital and really are not sure when we will have the opportunity to go home.

Tuesday and Wednesday have been about the same. Danny is still vomiting for no reason. He has not eaten or really tried to eat and the vomiting continues. They have experimented with his medication some but nothing has really worked. He may get away with not vomiting for a few hours but then he has a really bad attack.

Yesterday in talking with Dr. A we learned that the mass in Danny's chest was about 10 cm. He said it was about the size of a large softball. No wonder he was in so much pain! Good news... it has definitely shrunk! The pain he had in his chest exists no more, Praise the Lord! We know the chemo is doing its job but in the meantime his body is having an extra difficult time tolerating it.

They ran some tests on his gall bladder, pancreas, and that area but all were negative. Good and bad news. I was kinda hoping they would find something that we could point to and know was contributing to the vomiting so that we could address it. But it is still good news he is otherwise healthy & has no issues in that area.

He did have his chemo treatment for the week yesterday. We are certainly not veering off schedule for the chemo. That is the focus and all this sickness is secondary.

The doctor called in the GI specialist for help as well. We had 3 visits today between the intern, the PA and the doctor. The plan for now is to add some Platonics and hope this helps within the next 12 to 18 hours. If not, they may check everything out by sending a scope down to take a look.

We skipped TPN school today as the nurse didnt want to stress us and teach us if it is going to be unnecessary. We are not sure when we will go home and in what condition. Time will tell. Their hope is that the TPN will allow him to maintain his weight. They do not want any more weight loss. He did have to receive a couple of insulin shots last night and this morning because the TPN is going in at a faster rate as of yesterday afternoon and this caused his blood sugar to go to high.

At this point we are just hoping something will break through soon and we will find out what works. If he is unable to take his meds by mouth I am not sure what we will do. I dont know if they will send us home with a home health nurse or what. Someone told me I could administer the meds (that didnt sound right to me) to Danny. We are just not sure.

Thanks to everyone that has been praying for us. We appreciate your concern and the fact that you take time out of your busy schedules to lift us up to the Lord. We know that He is in control and that in His time He will provide mercy through healing. We appreciate all the cards, blog posts, emails, phone calls, visits, meals, and gifts. We are so blessed to have friends & family that care so much!