Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summary to Date

I struggled with a name for my blog. I wanted it to be Danny’s Journey but the more I thought about it I realized I am not on this journey by myself. So I called it “Our Journey” May be a little hokey but sometimes when in these situations you get hokey.

In April I went to the doctor with chest pain. My concern at the time was making sure I didn't have anything going on with my heart. I have a family history of heart problems and being somewhat over weight it is always in the back of my mind. The pain at that time was not unbearable. Some of the lab work the doctor did showed that my alkaline was high which led him to do an ultrasound on my abdomen looking for a problem with my gall bladder. It came back showing some sludge but nothing that the doctor was overly concerned about. After examining me on a 2nd visit the doctor decided that I had costochondritis which is a swelling of the cartilage between the breast bone and the ribs. He said that it was not serious and should go away over time. I was relieved and decided I could handle the pain until it went away.

Over the next month or so the pain became increasingly worse. I was having trouble sleeping at night because I was in the most pain when lying down. I can remember at that time being able to get into a comfortable position and going to sleep but as soon as I moved I would wake up from the pain. I set up another appointment with the doctor and this time Regina went with me. He was still confident in his diagnosis but was willing to have a chest x-ray taken to set our mind at ease. The chest x-ray showed nothing. I was supposed to take two aleve twice per day and come back to see him in 3 weeks if I was not better. The costochondritis he said could last 3 weeks or 3 months. He didn't want to do a CT scan because of the expense. Hind-sight is 20/20 but at the time I actually thought that it was nice the doctor was being so responsible with the insurance company's money.

It was more than 3 weeks before I tried to get back with the doctor. Tragically to my surprise he was dealing with a condition that took his life before I could see him again. I did call his office and they referred me to Dr. Wortman. In fairness to my 1st doctor by the time I got to see Dr Wortman I was in much more pain than I had previously been in. When he tried to examine me I could not lay down on the table without a lot of working and maneuvering. He immediately ordered a CT scan. It took about a week to get approval from the insurance company but the scan was done last Tuesday 7/21/09. I went back to doctor Wortman’s office on the following Thursday the 23rd and he knew that it was cancer. He set up an appointment that same day with Dr. Bebb to talk about doing a biopsy. The first doctor came in and shared what they found from the CT scan. I have a mass in my chest and an area in my abdomen. Then they decided they would do the biopsy there in the office to see if any lymph nodes were affected. They found some that showed the cancer and they decided to biopsy now instead of waiting. This is when things started to spin but also become real. I have cancer.

Now I told everyone last week that it was lymphoma. This is because everyone who was willing to say anything was saying lymphoma. Dr Bebb called me back over the weekend and told me that the biopsy actually showed that it was seminoma. Seminoma is actually a testicular cancer. It is the same cancer that Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with and beat. 98% of the time it starts in the testicles but they have not made that determination with me yet. The good news is that it is extremely sensitive to chemotherapy.

Monday was a full day. Regina and I 1st went to GE and saw Lynn Nubil. She gave me the paperwork necessary for me to get back to work once the doctors release me and got me set up on short term disability. We then went to the oncologist office Dr Anagnost. He gave me an idea of what to expect but did not give a lot of details because he still wants to run some test. I left there and went to the surgeon’s office. He installed the port a cath which is the port they will administer the chemo through.

Wednesday I go 1st to have an MRI done on my brain. Then that evening I have a testicular ultrasound. (fun, fun)

Thursday I have a PET scan. This is new to me. I have never heard of it. What they do is inject me with some radioactive sugar. This sugar is then drawn to the organs and defects in the body. One example given was a broken or fractured bone. It is also drawn to the cancer. This gives them an image of where the cancer is located and how big it is. They can then use this as a baseline to figure out later how effective the Chemo is being. I also have Chemo school Thursday at 2:30.

Friday I am meeting with Dr. Anagnost again and preparing to start chemo on Monday. I will have chemo 5 days a week then have it once a week for two weeks then start the 5 day cycle again.

My doctors so far have been great. Dr. Bebb the surgeon is the type of person that you just want to put your confidence in and at the same time is so pleasant you would love to hang out with him. Both Dr. Bebb and Dr. Anagnost called me the weekend to keep things going and assure me that everything would be ok. I am sure they are always this kind but it feels like I am getting the royal treatment!! I cannot over state how appreciative I am for the urgency that has been shown by every office and their staff. Dr Wortman ordered the test that found the problem 1st visit and then made calls to fill in the next steps. All within less than a week.

I am also very appreciative of my friends and family. Everyone I have spoken with has expressed the desire to help. I know this is not a put-on. I sense that you are all genuine in your concern and your willingness to do for me. I want you all to know that it is up-lifting to see that so many people care!!

Finally, I am thankful to God. I was a little anxious when they were about to do the biopsy on Thursday. The radiologist was playing K-Love on her radio and as I was laying on the table the song playing was "Your Grace Is Enough". We talked in Sunday school the other week about the apostle Paul who was given a "thorn in the flesh". After pleading with the Lord 3 times to remove it the Lord said to him "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in your weakness". I am thankful that in my weakness He is strong. I am thankful that His grace is enough!!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Danny. We continue to pray for you and trust that God will receive much glory through this.

  2. Praying and Praising... We love you all!

  3. Deuteronomy 31:6
    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

    Matthew 11:28
    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

    Danny-You, Regina and your family, friends, Physicians, Nurses, and anyone that will have impact on your journey will be in my prayers. God Bless you and you already have a headstart-God is where your heart belongs first.


  4. Danny & Regina and family,
    Thanks so much for sharing this journey with the rest of you. You are constantly on my mind. Please take comfort in these words "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will hope you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10. Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals all of your diseases is holding you in His right arm. He will give you the perfect measure of strength and grace that will see you through.

  5. Danny,

    Thank you so much for having the courage to share your journey with all of us. I would also like to tell you that Dr. Bebb was also my surgeon when I was diagnosed with Melanoma. He is a wonderful, Christian man. We will continue to pray for you and your family. God bless you, and know that He is with you.


  6. Precious Friends, God's grace will carry each of you through every step of this journey. My favorite verse, Phil. 4:13, states "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Lean on Him...He will hold you up. May HIS name be glorified in all things!

  7. Danny you and your family are in our prayers. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  8. Know we are earnestly praying for you. God is good...all the time. I know you know, He is walking before you on this journey, ordering your every step.
    Joy Coats

  9. Please know that you, your family and all those that surround you are in my prayers.
    Carol Campfield Hedrick

  10. DANNY,
    It is so good to hear your faith in the Lord and to know that you can not be in better HANDS. I was told about your situation on Sunday at Church and asked to pray. I am praying that the Lord will do exceedingly abundantly more than you ask or think and that this whole circumstance is an opportunity for Him to show Himself strong and mighty in your behalf. May your faith and that of Regina be multiplied during this time and know that He has angels stationed to care for each of you. Rest in His Love and know that with God all things are possible.
    Sorry I get carried away sometime when I think of how good He is! See you soon my friend.
    Harold T. at GE

  11. Thinking of you and the family... Much love, Lorri

  12. Danny Edgar AND I are praying for you and family.We are positive about your recovery. If there is anything we can do let us know. We love you.
    Edgar and Helen Rivenbark

  13. Danny thank you for sharing with us we love you and Regina and think of you as part of our family.We are praying for you and know that God heals in many ways.
    Love Betty and Kenney



  16. Danny,

    As soon as Ken heard yesterday about what was going on, our family started to pray. We will continue to lift you and your family up and we know God will use this situation for His glory. Thank you for sharing.

    Monica & Ken

  17. Danny and Regina,
    Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We will be praying each day for you and your family.
    Karen and Shawn

  18. Danny,
    I am grateful to you for listening to me when we took our walks at work. I went through my divorce and you always took the time to ask about my boys and how they were doing. Your words were comforting and helped put some bad times behind me. I hope you have a speedy recovery and make it back to work soon. You are blessed to have such a beautiful family and their support and love WILL pull you through.

  19. Danny and Regina,
    I know that we've only known each other for a short while and Danny, I can truly say that I looked so forward to singing with you on praise team. I still believe you'll be singing with us again and I personally appreciate the humbleness that you have and exhibit in all that you do. I've been truly touched by your remarkable courage and strength and I know that it truly comes from the Lord. You are in my prayers daily as you and your family begin this journey and I thank you for sharing this time in your lives with us.

    Suzanne Jones

  20. Danny and Regina,
    I am praying for you all. Please don't hesitate to call me if there is ANYTHING I can do and I mean ANYTHING. Stay strong. God will see you through this.


  21. Danny, Regina & family,
    I pray for your whole family at this time. The word cancer is so scary but I know that it can be beaten. My mom was diagnosed 7 years with stage IV thyroid cancer that had already metastisized to her spine/vertebrae. Her prognosis at the time was not good and she was paralyzed as well by the met on her spine. She beat the odds and she has been in remission 7 years from the thyroid cancer and she also learned to walk again. Prayers do work and miracles do happen. Sadly she was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She never smoked a day in her life. Cancer knows no age, religion or gender. It strikes people whom we love the most. But I have learned that you really cherish the friends and family who stand by you and lift you up with their prayers. My mom has a good outlook and she said she will fight this cancer as she did 7 years ago with faith, prayer and family and friends by her side. You can do the same Danny. Have faith, remain optimistic and let your friends and family help you and Regina out. I pray that your PET scan results come back good. I pray that the cancer you have responds well to the chemo you will be receiving. I pray that you will not be in pain and that you will sustain your faith in God. Thank you for sharing your story. It takes courage. Sheila Klutz Wills, Leland, NC

  22. Danny,I know what your are going through, just keep your faith and belief and everything will be fine. You are right we are given this journey to glorify our God. If I can assist you and your family in any way, any time let me know. Get plenty of rest and try to eat well. You are in my prayers and my heart.