Monday, August 31, 2009

Still here....

Yes, we are still in the hospital. Danny is having a tough time. The nausea and the vomiting will just not let up. Yesterday was a very long and difficult day. Danny was sick almost all day. He tried to eat an ice chip or two a couple of times and this brought on a violent vomiting attack.

They did place the patch late yesterday afternoon and it seems to have helped a little. He has not had any water, ice, or food hit his lips today. He has lost about 33 pounds since he started chemo 4 weeks ago. The doctors are very concerned. They do not want anything to get in the way of his treatments. So they are going to try feeding him through his IV what they are calling TPN, I think. It is basically 3000 calories of nutrition. Unless something changes we will probably come home having to feed him through his IV & may have to do that for the remainder of the time he is having treatment, we just dont know.

The doctor had some other tests run today on his gall bladder. Just to rule out the fact that something else could be affecting him other than the chemo. We have not heard any official results yet.

Danny is really becoming very tired and weak. We know that we are almost 1/2 way through with his treatment but as sick as he has been it makes for a long day... the hours just creep by. Please join us in praying that he will soon have some relief. We know that the treatments are a necessary evil and he wants to fight the cancer but sometimes I think that gets blurred in the midst of the storm fighting the vomiting.

The nurses have been great and have really taken great care of him. We are very fortunate to have the doctors and nurses we have had... what an incredible blessing!

A friend and I were talking today and he said sometimes we wonder why tough things happen to good people... we never get an answer to that question. I am not asking the Lord "why" I am asking Him "what". What is it Lord that you want us to learn from all of this... what is it you want us to do... what are we going to do about our situation... what is it you would have us do when we get through all of this, when the outcome has been determined and we are on to our next phase? We know that He works ALL things together for GOOD to those who love Him. We trust Him... Our desire is to praise the Lord during the fight and give Him the glory for our victory!

Please pray for my sister, Christy and her husband, Sonny. They have been such life savers to me and my kids. She has stepped in and taken on the responsibility of my children and caring for them everyday. If she thought her life was wild before adding my two children has definitely mixed things up a bit. The sacrifices Christy and Sonny have made on behalf of my family are truly priceless. I am sure when we were yelling at each other and throwing punches 25 years ago we never dreamed we would actually love and care for each other. I sure am glad she grew up and decided to act right! :) Just kidding... she is a such a special person in my life, I dont know what I would do without her!

Thanks to everyone for being our support... so many acts of kindness that have meant so much to our family!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hospital again....

The past week has been a tough one. This is Danny's second week of having chemo 5 days a week. This second round has proven to be tougher than the first.

Wednesday and Thursday Danny was pretty sick but we were able to withstand because we knew in the morning we would see the angels at the doctors office and they would give him fluids and pre meds that would make him feel better for a while. But Thursday night was one of our worst so far. Danny had a very rough night with lots of vomiting.

Yesterday they gave him more fluids and some additional medication but they were not enough to keep him from having a very rough time yesterday afternoon. As it grew later in the evening he became worse and the vomiting was very consistent. We knew it was time when Danny asked to go to the hospital. Sandra (Danny's mom) and I decided it was best to call for an ambulance this time. He was very sick and was in a very weak state. We also knew we would have to wait hours before he would even be seen. I was scared we did not have that much time.

I was able to ride with Danny in the ambulance and of course they took him right back. That was a very good thing. The waiting room was packed, there was a 3 -4 hours wait just to get checked by the initial nurse before going to the back in a room. Their were patients on beds in almost every hallway. We were put in a room that was almost private in the ER. How fortunate we were that the Lord worked that one out. I feel they put us there due to his weakened state and the fact he is a chemo patient with a weakened immune system. We arrived at the hostpital around 9:00. They began fluids and several meds. He was still very sick and the doctor on call, McNulty decided he needed to stay overnight. We were moved to our room about 2:00 am. We both slept well from about 4:00 am to 7:00 am. We needed that rest as we did not get much the night before.

Dr. McNulty came by this morning and didnt really like what he saw. He wants to get control of the nausea and vomiting because he wants Danny to have some nourishment. He asked how much weight he had lost and as of 1 1/2 weeks ago he had lost 23 pounds. He has had nothing to eat this week and only about 5 glasses of juice, most of which would not stay on his stomach. I would not be surprised if he has lost 30 pounds. Dr. McNulty said that with that "catastophic weight loss" we need to do something about it. They may have to resort to feeding him through his IV. The doctor is going to try 2 new medications along with the others he has been taking. One is called Marinol and the other is an anti nausea patch. At this point we are up for almost anything. :)

We know we will have to stay again tonight and I would suspect we will stay Sunday night too unless something changes. Both, Dr. Anagnost & Dr. McNulty have said we will not let up on the chemo treatments. We must stay on course! We are just going to have to figure out how to get him through this because slowing down is not an option.

Please pray for our children. They seem to be doing okay but it is definitely having an effect on them. They are watching him... as he is so very sick, leaving in an ambulance, staying in the hospital... I know it is scary for them. We are trying to keep them busy and live life as normal as possible. Today Summer is playing in a softball tournament in Clinton. Thank you to my sister, Christy and my friend, Beverley for taking her and being her fan club! It is hard... I am torn, I would love to be there with Summer but I need to be here. Daniel is spending time with friends today at a birthday party. I am very fortunate to have friends & family, especially my sister, who are willing to sacrifice themselves & their time for our family.

Please pray for Danny... he is in a very weakened state and is very sick. He needs some relief. We are hoping that the introduction to the new meds will help turn everything around and things will begin looking up.

We are so very thankful that Danny has this particular kind of cancer. Although it is a very agressive cancer it responds extremely well to chemo. We know that through it all, the good, the bad, the ugly... he is going to be cured!

We aplogize for not keeping the blog up everyday. I will try to do a better job. I know you would love to hear from Danny and I assure you as soon as he is up to he will write.

Thanks everyone for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers... it means so much!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Please forgive me....

I am sorry for not posting the past few days. The truth is I was sick Saturday and Sunday and have been sleeping a lot due to treatment yesterday and today. Regina and I both were a little dejected. We were looking forward to a good weekend after Thursday & Friday being so good. In hind sight I am thankful to God for the good days. I am thankful for the grace He has given me to get through the "not so good days".

I started my 5 day chemo treatment yesterday. They started me on a little heavier pre meds this time and I do feel a little better. Not nearly as good as Friday but a little better than the weekend. Saturday and Sunday the only food I was able to hold down was a few bites of grits. Yesterday, I was able to eat a little rice and some sherbet (went back for 2nds on the sherbet). Today so far I have eaten a couple bites of scrambled eggs. My daughter helped cook me breakfast this morning for my birthday. I was able to eat some rice & a sliver of cake for dinner that some friends cooked for me (thanks Lisa, Diane, & Helen Rae). The nurses did give me some sodium today before I left to help with the dehydration. I have been very tired & sleepy the past couple of days. When I sleep the nausea does not bother me as bad so I am glad for the rest.

I have had a lot of down time the past couple of weeks to reflect and it is funny to me the things that we set as priorities. When everything is "good" or "normal" we try to aquire stuff... houses, cars, stuff for the kids, job promotion... all of this sometimes takes priority over everything in life. I am not saying that our job or our wanting a promotion is not important... I am just saying everything should have its place behind God and our family. Nothing should get in the way of my relationship with Jesus and my relationship with my family. I vow to change...

Thank you for keeping me and my family in your prayers - we appreciate your support!


I think what Danny is trying to say is... that it is hard sometimes to focus on the important things in our lives that really matter until the important things in our life are ALL that really matters!

It is so true - this has been a sobering process for us and we hope to live our lives differently - with new priorities!

The past few days have been tougher emotionally... I think because we had those couple of good days and we saw how good it could be. We know that is the doctors goal but for some reason we are having a difficult time acheiving it. I hate Danny has to be so sick and the hours just seem to creep by. The last 3 weeks feel like we have been in the fight for a few months. I know it is because we are starting to get tired and I think too, that we are still processing everything. From the time we found out he had cancer it was only a week before we started chemo and there were tests everyday in between. There was not much time for the reality check because you are just rolling along. All of which are a HUGE blessing from the LORD. I am so thankful things have progressed so fast and we are well on our way to beating this cancer!

I too, am thankful for the 2 good days and for Danny being able to withstand the tougher days. We are so blessed because we do have the hope at the end of the battle we will win! That makes it all so much more worthwhile and the fight a little easier!

Danny is doing better this week so far than he did with the last 5 day treatment week. If we can finish up and not spend time in the hospital we will have done much better than before. He is such a super patient. He handles everything so bravely and with such resolve. He has taught me so much the past few weeks. Yes, he really does have his sense of humor... yesterday he fell asleep on the table while we were waiting on the PA to come in to speak with us. When she came in he woke and sat in the chair. She said to him please dont get up, rest. He said "no, I need to get up I am messing up my hair". It took her by surprise, she was not sure what to say and then couldnt help but laugh. :)

We are doing well. We know there are brighter days ahead & the Lord promises He will not put more on us than we can handle. Of course, the key is to lean on Him and trust Him for our strength. It is in the tough times when I try to handle everything myself that I find I am so insufficient BUT only because in my strentgth I am weak but in the Lord's strength I am strong - He is Sufficent!

THANK YOU! We appreciate each & every one of you! We are so fortunate to have family, friends, and friends of our family & friends that care so much for us. We truly could not stay as strong & positive without your support. We know our prayer warriors are locking arms and standing tall on our behalf... thank you!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Another great day!

You will not believe the day this poor sick cancer patient has had!

I woke up this morning with no nausea. Got up and woke my children, fixed there breakfast, (toasters strudels both with their own special icing picture) and got them out the door and on the way to school.

My wife then went to work so I decided about 10:00 I would call a friend from work who normally goes out to eat for lunch on Fridays to ask where he was going today. He said “2 Guy’s at Porters Neck”. I said “great if you will drag your feet a little I have a doctor’s appointment at 11:00 I will meet you right after”. Well the doctor’s appointment went long and the traffic was bad so I was later than I planned. Normally there are 4 maybe 5 guys at this lunch but when I got there I had 16 people waiting for me. It was a shock to say the least. They were all folks that I haven’t seen in a month and all were laughing and having a good time. They were all waiting on me to order. I had a crab cake sandwich and ate every bite!! It was so good!! I also had some good laughs, good handshakes and good hugs. It was a really uplifting time for me and I want to make sure that all of my friends involved in putting it together know how very much I do appreciate it!!

I was still feeling pretty good so I headed over to mom’s house. Dad got out of the hospital while I was feeding my face so I wanted to check on him. While I was there I enjoyed a visit from Uncle Stan and Aunt Burlyne. Dad was doing well and is chomping at the bit to get back to work. Hopefully we will be able to get him to relax at least through the weekend.

When I got home another friend was putting a gutter across the back of my house. Regina and I have been trying to lay pavers for a back patio for months. One reason or another has delayed our progress – gutters being one of them. Thank you, Sonny & Troy for thinking of us.

I can’t overstate how appreciative I am of the acts of kindness that have been poured out on me and my family. I know I have not mentioned everything along the way or called everyone by name nor could I possibly... but the blessings have been endless.

My brother, Bill, this past week chose to shave his head in an effort to show support for me. His words were “so you know you are not alone”. I feel very fortunate to have family with such a strong bond. His act of support is not a surprise… knowing him I would expect nothing less than his all. Feeling helpless a shaved head was all he had to offer.

The doctor wanted to see me today when I went in for my shot. He has been concerned about my overall well being due to the fact I have been sick the past 3 weeks and we are gearing up for another full week of chemo. He was pleasantly surprised with how well I was doing, I even gained 3 pounds. On Wednesday one of the shots he gave me was a steroid. He said “I now have an idea of where to go with this”. So we think he may have the perfect combo of medications for me this coming week. I am thankful to have a doctor that cares not only about curing the cancer but also about me & my quality of life during the chemo.

Again, we thank each of you for your constant prayers. We know the Lord hears and He has been answering. The cards, emails, blog posts, phone calls, visits, and acts of kindness have been a great blessing to me and my family. Knowing each of you are there for us means so much.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What a Wonderful Day!

Today has been a great day for Danny!

Today has been the best day since chemo started! The medication from yesterday and the reintroduction of the nausea medication must be the perfect cocktail. This morning he felt so good he actually cooked the kids breakfast and was able to eat with them before school.

He was able to drive himself to the doctors office right here in Waterford for his shot today. Which was a huge help because I had a meeting for work that I needed to attend. Sandra, Danny's mom was going to take him to the doctor but unfortunately Larry, Danny's Dad was admitted to the hospital early this morning with chest pain. The doctors first thought it was a blood clot in his lung but as it turns out they believe he has pneumonia & slight case of pancreatitis. They are treating him with heavy antibiotics. Larry seems to be doing better and hopefully will go home tomorrow or Saturday. Please keep he & Sandra in your prayers. We need healing for Larry and Sandra needs rest, physically, mentally, & emotionally. She has been a tremendous help to me with both Danny & our children. Of course, this has been tough on her... it is hard for a mother see their child so sick, no matter their age. :) And now her husband too... please lift them up!

Larry forbid Danny from visiting the hospital even though he wanted to and was feeling good. Since Danny has been stuck in the house for the past 3 weeks and he was feeling so good, he decided he wanted to go eat lunch out. Danny ate a small cheeseburger slider from Applebee's. Yes, that seems to be his food of choice to satisfy his hungry stomach. He felt so good he took a very short bike ride when we got home. Later this evening, we took Summer to the batting cages to hit a little and had dinner at Chick fil A. Danny ate a few bites of a sandwich and a couple of fries. What a difference... he is like a new person! (I think he is trying to make up for the past month in one day)

As for the blood clot, they told him to continue to elevate his arm along with warm compresses. They say the blood clot is superficial and will not be of concern unless something changes. Praise the Lord for answered prayer! Danny is already on a blood thinner. They give it to him with his pre meds. What a relief!

The only set back for the day is back pain. He has been hurting pretty bad with lower back pain for the past 3 hours or so. We believe it is due to the medication for his low blood count. The nurse told him he may have some bone pain so that is what we are assuming. He has taken some Advil and it seems to be getting better.

Praise the Lord for His mercy! We are so thankful for a wonderful day!

Thanks to everyone that has been praying for us. We have been showered with so much love and support... priceless!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Concerns

Today was interesting...

Danny woke this morning and drank a small amount of water to take some medicine and just a few minutes later he had another vicious vomiting attack. Afterwards, he was exhausted and slept for about 4 1/2 hours. The low grade fever from yesterday persisted. I noticed a red streak going up his arm from the entry of port a cath towards his shoulder early this morning but Danny just ignored me. He mentioned his shoulder hurt too and he thought maybe he slept on it wrong.

While he was sleeping (with our little dog Coconut who has not left his side) I grew a little concerned because he hadn't eaten anything of much value in a couple of days and what he had eaten he had not been able to keep it down. I feared he was becoming dehydrated again. Also, I thought maybe the pain in his shoulder could be related to the red fevered streak at his port a cath site.

I decided I would call the nurse to see if she felt I had need for concern. Of course, after speaking with the doctor he wanted to see Danny. Dr. Anagnost was so disappointed to hear that Danny was no better. He said "I have been doing this for a long time and you are one a very few that I have seen in this shape". It is mind boggling to him as to why we cant kick this nausea & vomiting.

End result of the doctor visit: Danny was dehydrated, his white blood count was really low, he has an infection, doctor is concerned about lack of nutrition due to the nausea/vomiting, he has lost 23 pounds and there was concern of a blood clot at the port a cath exit.

He did receive fluids in the office, a shot for his blood count (which he will get another tomorrow and Friday), he also received some extra meds for nausea through his IV, he is back on his high dose regimen for the nausea meds. Dr. A rushed us over to Dr. Bebb's office for an ultrasound which did show a blood clot where the port a cath empties in his shoulder/heart area.

We will see Dr. A tomorrow when Danny gets his shot for the blood count issue. I guess at that point they will decide what to do. The good news is "it is not in his deep tissue". Not really sure what that means but I know it is good!

Danny was feeling much better when we left the doctors office today... he actually asked for a Wendy's burger. He ate the whole burger! He wanted some fries but abandoned that idea because the burger tasted so good he didn't want to waste his eating privileges on fries. You know he was starving if a Wendy's burger was delicious! So far he has been able to keep the burger on his stomach... thank God!

Please pray with us the doctor will have the wisdom to make the right decision tomorrow regarding the blood clot. I pray it will be something easy. I hope they do not have to remove the port a cath. It was a little difficult to have put in and I would hate for Danny to have to go through that again but we will see...

I have a great concern for his treatment next week. I am afraid because the first week of his "5 day treatment" he started as a healthy person and still ended up in the hospital for 5 days. At this point he will be starting his treatment way behind the curve. Dr. Anagnost understood my concern and agreed with me - that is why he is trying so hard to improve his overall health in the next 4 days.

I am trusting the Lord will answer our prayers and Danny's health will greatly improve!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

25% Complete!

Good news... we are 25% complete! We only have 75% of his treatment plan left to go!!!

This morning Danny had his only treatment for the week. Last night was a rough one for Danny as he became sick about 2:00 and never really got back to sleep due to the nausea. He is such a good husband... he let me sleep. He said he didn't see any reason to wake me so I could watch him while he was sick. He felt it would be better to let me rest so I could deal with the kids this morning getting them to school, working, and taking care of him. Not many patients are that considerate!

The treatment went very well, it was a shorter one. They did give him extra fluids and meds as part of his pre-treatment. I think this has helped him through the evening. He did eat a few bites for dinner and has been able to keep it down, thank God! He has also been sleeping a lot since treatment, I hope the much needed rest will give him a better day tomorrow.

However, for some reason he has been dealing with a low grade fever the past two days. He is okay until it reaches 100.5, then we have to call the doctor. So far it has only reached about 99.5. For some reason it just keeps teetering back and forth, up and down. I am so thankful it has not reached the magic number. I am not sure what the protocol is at that point but I would love to never find out. ;)

Danny has really enjoyed all the comments about his bald head. We have received some by phone & others on facebook. In fact, when he went in to the treatment room one of his nurses said "ooohhh Danny I love your head, dont you look so cute!" Danny said "Well cute wasnt what I was thinking but I will take it". She then came over and before kissing his head said "ohhhh let me say you look hot!" Of course everyone in the room laughed. Danny said "well hot was not what I was thinking either but I will take it". It was really funny because a friend posted on facebook that the girls in her office thought he looked "HOT". Who would have thought....

He really has has a wonderful attitude about everything especially loosing his hair. I, on the other hand, struggled a little more because for the first time I realized "He is sick". Of course, I have known it, I have seen it, I have felt it but I guess he actually looked sick to me. With the weight loss, him being in a weakened physical state, and the loss of his hair...the reality check was a bit overwhelming at first. The kids really did have a fun time shaving his head. It really made an uneasy time much lighter. I think them playing a part in the process and the fun really helped them adjust. What a Dad! Looking out for the well being of your children in the midst of the toughest time of your life. Through it all the kids have been super too. They are real troopers!

Again, we can not thank everyone enough for the cards, calls, visits, gifts, food, notes, blog posts, love & support and most of all your prayers. We do not deserve the friends & family the Lord has blessed up with but we are sure thankful for each one of you!

I am so very thankful to the Lord for my Mother in law... not only is she a wonderful Mother to her three sons but she is an awesome Mother in law whom I love so very much!!!!

Praise the Lord who's mercy is new everyday!

- Regina

Monday, August 17, 2009

Big Fun!!

Today was one of the more interesting days of this ordeal so far. I felt pretty good this morning and was eager to get out of the house. Regina was working here at home and I finally convinced her to take a break long enough to run to the mall. I figured since I was not going to have to pay for a haircut over the next few weeks that should justify a couple of new hats. So any way we got to the mall and by the time I got to the doors from the car the heat was getting to me a little. We sat for about 5 minutes at some benches by the entrance where we came in. We then headed to Lids and bought two hats that I am rather proud of, one Boston Red Sox and one Carolina Tar heel. I have been going to buy a Boston hat for a couple of years and just never bit the bullet and well you can never have too many Carolina hats. So by the time we were done shopping I had to let Regina check out while I went back out to another nearby bench. I felt like and old sick person.

We talked about lunch but nothing we discussed sounded even remotely interesting to me so we headed home. I knew I was probably going to be sick but somehow I coaxed my way to the house before vomiting. I did make a point to let Regina know that maybe she shouldn’t be so critical of Daniel’s driving. In other words her driving made me just as sick as his did! I felt fevered later on and took my temperature which was 99 deg. I go to the doctor tomorrow so I guess I will see if this is something to be concerned about or not.

We did have some fun today. My hair started falling out yesterday so Regina bought some clippers and after school the kids went to town on my head. I look pretty good balled if I do say so myself……………Well anyway my daughter likes it. She likes to touch it and I don’t mind saying I like for her to touch it!! Mom came over and joined in the fun. My niece was here and got in on it. It was a big time!!
I am sorry to say that I really don’t feel like writing anymore tonight. I am going to try and upload some pictures so that you can have an idea of the big party we had. I really appreciate knowing that you guys actually care enough to keep up with what is going on with me. I have heard a couple of stories about friends being somewhere and hearing someone else talk about the blog and make the connection that it was me they were talking about……………..Fame. Who knew? Just kidding. It is pretty cool though!

Don’t forget regardless of how we feel. God is God and God is good!!

By the way, since my haircut my hats no longer fit……………….looks like another excuse to get out of the house on another day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I went to church today. It was nice to be able to see so many people. I have not been nauseous at all so far today and I haven't taken any medication since this morning. I am supposed to be weaning myself off of it. Any way so far so good.

I did have a handful of hair leave the shower with me this morning. This may be a little more emotional than I was originally thinking. I mean it is still nothing to even think about in comparison to surviving cancer but to be honest I was anxious to look in the mirror and I haven't even lost enough you can tell yet.

There is not a lot to tell today so I thought I would try and explain an earlier misunderstanding. Dr. Anagnost was out of the office week before last when I was expecting to get test results back. One of the test was the testicular ultrasound. I reported that I had a cancer in one of my testicles. This was a mistake. A misunderstanding between me and one of the nurses who took a look at my file for me. The growth that I was calling cancer is something that 25% of males have anyway. As it turns out I am actually 1 of the 2% of people who get this type of cancer that it starts out side of the testicles. It is referred to as an extra-gonadal tumor. I am sure the spelling is suspect. Other evidence of this is that normally cancers will grow at much the same rate so if it had started in the testicles it would be largest there then a little smaller in my abdomen a little smaller than that in the chest and then smallest in my neck. I n my case the large mass is in my chest then small areas in my neck and abdomen. This is good news in that after the treatment, unless something needs to be done about a residual mass in my chest, I will not need any surgery.

To be honest this 2nd week was much more difficult than I anticipated. I thought because I only had the 1 treatment it would be much easier. As it turned out I was sick from the previous week. The good news is that the single treatment that I will receive again this Tuesday seemed to have little effect on me. So since I will hopefully not already be sick this week should be much easier. Then the next week will be back to 5 days...............bring it on!! I am sure my wife will remind me of this when I am puking crying for my mama..LOL

I will go now. I know I keep saying but you guys keep praying and keep encouraging and you have know idea how much it means to me. Thank You!!

My family keeps taking care of me. Thank You!!

When I am weak Gods grace keeps me going. Thank You Lord!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Need to Slow Down....

Danny has been doing so well I think he may have over done it today. He was feeling pretty good after a nice nap so he decided to eat some lunch (homemade vegetable soup). He was getting pretty excited because he did not feel nauseous and everything was staying with him. He has not been sick since early Wednesday morning.

I think he was ready for a change of scenery so he decided he would ride with the family to Wilmington. Before we left Danny decided he would get his basin just in case. Well our son was driving, he was doing a pretty good job but unfortunately Danny got sick before we could make it to 16th Street from Leland. He is such a trooper... he handled it so well. He decided he was okay for us to finish our appointment. Then he decided he wanted to go visit with his parents. He actually did okay but was fighting the nausea the whole time so we decided we would come home. He took his 9:00 meds a little early and is taking another nap.

Please pray with us that the nausea will subside. He is supposed to try to wean himself off of the medication by tomorrow morning but I am not sure his body is going to cooperate. We were hoping that maybe since they had a medication regimen down he would be able to take the meds his heavy week of chemo and then actually do without them and feel okay during his 2 light weeks.... now we are not so sure. We need for him to be without the medication so they do not loose their effectiveness during his most desperate times.

Danny's attitude is so good. He doesn't get upset or frustrated like I would he just takes it one day or one hour at a time, sometimes minute by minute. He understands & accepts that this is what he has to deal with for now. There is light at the end of the tunnel - the finish line is there even though he cant see it, he trusts & knows to keep pushing toward it. His driving force to fight and get through this is Daniel & Summer. He keeps telling me - I want to enjoy watching my children grow up. We trust he will - the Lord keeps answering our prayers!

Home – Thank God!!!!

Home – Thank God!!!!

Last night feels like I slept through a party. I am sorry to any one at my house that I was not much of a host to. I do appreciate you coming by and doing all that you did!! I had a friend send food, had one fix my wife's vehicle that has been out of comission for a couple of weeks and thanks to all of you for the continuous encouragement through cards, emails and the like. I know I don’t deserve the fantastic friends that I have but I just accept them as a gift from God and give Him thanks for you all.

I am on 5 different medications not including my pain medicine. It is hard to get used to taking so many pills. Then I also have to look back over the notes from the doctor because some of these I need to start weaning myself off of. I feel pretty good right now. Sometimes I get a little nauseous but it doesn’t last long. It’s just enough to scare me.

I just wanted to thank my friends for their love & concern, thank my wife for keeping the blog going when I could not and thank God for His continued faithfulness!! Also, to let you all know that I survived the hospital.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Are Home!

We were released from the hospital about 10:30 this morning... whoo hoo!! We are so thankful to be home. The Lord is truly answering prayers.

Danny is sleeping now. He was kind of restless last night and didn't sleep much but yesterday was a super day! He started his morning eating a small amount of the very bland hospital breakfast. That went well and at lunch he was able to eat some bland green beans, mashed potatoes and some kind of mystery meat. He was so hungry I think it tasted pretty good. By the afternoon his appetite increased and he was able to eat some snacks and then almost a whole plain cheeseburger for dinner. We are so thankful he was able to keep all of this food down. His energy level has increased as well. He walked the halls a few times yesterday.... he was ready to come home and I think he wanted all the nurses to know so they would let Dr. Anagnost know too. He ate all of his hospital breakfast and some of my omelet. You would think he hadn't eaten in over a week or something! ;)

We have come home with 6 different medications. Four are for nausea & vomiting, one for hiccups, and one for pain as needed. The doctor feels Danny should be able to ween off of all of the meds by Saturday morning and not need any again until his cycle begins again with the 5 days a week treatment. The doctor is hoping that this combo of drugs will allow the next heavy week of chemo to go much smoother. He may still not feel wonderful but hopefully will not be nearly as sick.

He received his once a week treatment yesterday in the hospital. He will go to the office for that same treatment next week.... good news, this chemo drug does not make you sick. However, it is the one that causes the hair loss. We are over 1/2 way through our first round... only 3 more rounds to go!

Hopefully, Danny will feel like writing a little later.

We cant thank everyone enough for the cards, visits, phone calls, food, gifts, flowers, emails, blog posts, offers to help, and prayers. All the love and support has been a huge blessing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still at the hospital

Praise the Lord Tuesday was a good day!

We expected to be going home from the hospital today but it looks as if we may be staying another night. On Monday night Danny was given several medications before bed and he was able to sleep through the night. Tuesday morning he was feeling pretty good. He was able to eat some vegetable broth. He said it was the best broth he had ever eaten... I think it was because he has not had any food for several days. He sampled other foods throughout the day like a cracker, some Gatorade, some juice, pudding, and even some mashed potatoes. Not much of any one thing but a spoonful is more than he had been able to eat before. His color was good he felt pretty good. We had right many visitors and he was talking and upbeat.

Unfortunately, this morning at 6:00 he lost everything he had eaten yesterday and was feeling horrible. The doctor ordered his chemo treatment to be done in the hospital and we would reassess things later in the day. We could still come home but I am not sure. He has actually eaten some food today but I think he is pushing himself so he can come home. He has lost 15 pounds in the last week. They expect and hope he will gain some back as his appetite increases.

Danny is taking 4 different medications for nausea and hiccups. This seems to be working pretty good. They also gave him a shot in his stomach today for blood clot prevention. He was a bit grumpy about this one but finally gave in and allowed the nurse to go ahead. He is definitely getting tired of feeling bad, getting tons of medications, & being in the hospital.

Good News!!!!! Danny is expected to only have 4 cycles of chemo. His cycle includes 3 weeks (week one 5 days, weeks two & three one day). We are 1/2 through the first cycle!

More Good News!!!! Danny is special :) He is a part of the 2% of men who's testicular cancer starts outside of the testicles. This would explain why he has no symptoms and was unaware until the pain in his chest. This is why they suspected Lymphoma to begin with. The only places they have found the cancer is in his chest, abdomen, & some lymph nodes near the neck. All of these areas allow the cancer to respond very well to the chemo... whoo hoo! There was a misunderstanding on our part somehow. There are some calcifications and an enlarged nodule but at this point they are going to watch for changes. They will test him every 3 months for a while but the urologist (William Russell) is not too concerned. He also reminded us "this is a good cancer to have". Both he and Dr. Anagnost are excited & have talked very positive because they expect Danny to be cured.

Even More Good News!!!! Danny's chest is not hurting nearly as bad. He really has not taken any pain medicine in a few days. He can tell the mass has began to shrink already because he has a little trouble feeling where it is. Before you could see it through his shirt.

We know that the hospital stay has been inconvenient and not much fun but it was necessary. The nurses have been wonderful. We are on the newly renovated floor so the sleeping accommodations for care takers are not too bad either.

I want to thank my sister & brother in law for taking such good care of our children and making this time as normal as possible for them. Thanks to a wonderful mother in law too... I know she loves her son & wants to care for him but I am one of the lucky daughter in laws that knows she loves me and wants to care for me too. The love & support of our family has been priceless!

The Lord has truly blessed us with good news! We are on our way to beating this cancer... we know we will be stronger in the end. Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement and for taking the time to pray for us. It is a huge comfort knowing that people all over the world are petitioning the Lord on our behalf. We are very fortunate to have so many good friends!

When you are praying will you please remember Mrs. Buchanan. She is recovering from surgery they had to remove her kidney as she found out she had kidney cancer. She is a sweet lady who loves the Lord and is also trusting Him for healing. Mr. Buchanan (her late husband) married Danny & I 18 years ago. I understand she is doing well but I am sure would covet your prayers.

Thank you so much - We love you!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hospital Stay

Well our overnight hospital stay has lengthened... it looks as if the earliest we may go home will be Wednesday.

Last night was a long night. It was 11:00 pm before Danny was settled in his room. We are in room 1004 at New Hanover Hospital. We are on the oncology floor. The facilities are very nice and relaxing. Once again the Lord has blessed, we have had super nurses. Today our nurse was Amber. She was wonderful... Danny had a rough day and she was there at every call.

This morning the PA visited and said that everything was looking good. The x-rays came back fine and his blood work was looking good with the exception of the sodium. They are still giving him Sodium through his port. The PA said we would be there at least another 24 hours but then when Dr. Anagnost came in he said it would be at least another 48 hours. They are trying to find a medication or a combo of meds that will kill the nausea and hiccups. The doctor said he would not go home until he could keep fluids and food on his stomach. I am afraid we have a long way to go. Today was one of his worst days. The hiccups were vicious and the nausea would not let up. He was getting the hiccups about every hour to hour & half and they last at least 15 - 45 minutes. The hiccups are still causing a great deal of pain in his chest due the mass. So far the medications have not been successful. I am sure they are helping but we still have a lot of improvement to be seen.

It is a very helpless feeling seeing him in so much pain and misery and not being able to do a thing to help him. He is weak & tiring as he is not resting much. He is very restless due to the discomfort.

Daniel & Summer both sent me a text today from school out of concern for their Dad. It is on their mind more than I realized. They were able to visit for a short while this afternoon and I think that was helpful to them and Dad.

Danny has been blessed by all the phone calls, cards, & visits. Just knowing so many care is an encouragement to him.

I will update as often as I can but the hospital will not allow me to access this site. You can always email me at or call at 910-231-3333.

We were thinking this was a set back in his treatment but Dr. A reminded us that he has a mission to get Danny cured and this is just something we will deal with and go around... treatment will continue. It is priority! While this has been difficult the Lord has given me peace and reminded me this is just a bump in the road and we will make it to the end. I am thankful they are really taking the sickness seriously because I think that once we resolve this issue his treatment will go much smoother and allow everyone to focus on his healing and not his sickness.

Thank you for being faithful in praying for us, our children, & our family. It is so obvious the Lord is in control. He has worked so many things in our favor and He will continue to bless!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ER Visit

We did end up having to make a trip to the ER. We spent most of the day contemplating going to the hospital or not. We didnt want to go unnecessarily but at the same time didnt want to discount his nausea either. It became very obvious that Danny was not going to be able to keep down any fluids and he was beginning to show signs of dehydration.

After waiting almost 2 hours in the waiting room, once the evaluation nurse saw Danny she moved him pretty quickly to a room in the ER. They drew blood then sent him for some chest and abdominal x-rays and then immediately began fluids through his port o cath.

The labs revealed his sodium is low. A normal level should be around 140 and he is just below 120. They have decided it is in his best interest to admit him. I am home now getting the Daniel & Summers things packed for school tomorrow. They will be staying with my sister tonight.

Danny is pretty miserable and is looking forward to feeling better soon. Please pray with us that all will go well and he will be able to come home tomorrow and the rest of the week will be a little easier. This is just a little bump in the road to healing...

Also, please pray for Daniel & Summer along with my sister and brother in law as their kid population has just doubled,.. they have 4 children to get ready for school and out the door by 7:00 in the morning! I am so thankful for Christy & Sonny!

Thanks - Regina

We made it through the night!

As the night progressed it seemed the medication was working. You could tell in about 45 minutes Danny started feeling better. He did drink about 4 oz of fluid and then wanted to go to sleep, he was exhausted. So Sandra (Danny's mom) and I decided we would wake him after about 1 1/2 hours to drink a little more and try through the night to get the 4 glasses of fluid the doctor wanted in his system by morning.

2:00 am I wake him and ask him to drink some juice. He does, several swallows, all seemed to be going well until a pretty fierce case of the hiccups came out of no where. He struggles with that for a few minutes and then drank a little more. As he began to sit back in the chair to relax again he lost all the fluid we worked so hard to get in his body. He walked a while and once his stomach settled he fell asleep again. I decided to let him sleep until it was time for his medicine again. He has been taking the new meds and while that is allowing him to rest his is still not able to hold everything down.

This morning he has been trying to drink some water and juice off and on. I think he probably has been able to keep about 6 oz down. We will be watching him through the day and if he is not able to take on more fluids we will visit the hospital for a 24 hour fluid and med treatment.

The good news is he is finally sleeping! He is actually snoring & that is rare for him. Summer came downstairs and was shocked and even a bit disturbed. She wanted to wake him so that he didnt sound so bad. :)

The kids are really starting to see the effects of this treatment and they are now realizing how serious and scary this time is. They are putting up a strong front but it is obvious they are very unsure of everything. I keep reassuring them everything is going to be okay and I think they feel it is too but in the times when they see how sick Danny is it is hard to see their Dad in that condition. James your words of wisdom with the children was a true blessing. You knew exactly what I am experiencing with each of them - sounds like our children are very much alike... thanks for sharing.

We are trusting the medication is the combination needed and today will be a better day!

I cant tell you enough how much it means to us to know that so many people are lifting Danny up in prayer. This time is definitely difficult for us because we are going through so many things that are new & scary. There are still so many questions still unanswered but we know that the Lord Jesus Christ will be our rock & our comforter in our time of need. He has already used so many of you to meet our needs. We appreciate the calls, cards, emails, blog posts, visits, food & outpouring of love and support! Gods timing is perfect & it is amazing how a blog post can lift your spirits and comfort... the right words of encouragement at the right time... My God is Good All the Time!

We love you all - Regina

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Treatment Free Day

Danny was looking forward to today since he was not having treatment.... but today has been one of his worst. He has been very nauseated and restless all day. He has tried to eat a little but that did not go so well. He has been drinking some and that was okay until this evening.

He has been very sick and is having trouble even keeping water on his stomach. He has been vomiting for a while. We called and spoke with the doctor on call and she has called in a couple of new medications to the 24 hour pharmacy. He has just taken them and should be much better within 30 - 45 minutes. Pray he is.... if not we have been instructed to go to the ER for fluids and meds.

This morning started out very good. He seemed to be feeling a little better and was getting around really good. He was more talkative and seemed more relaxed. About lunchtime is when things started to turn and he was needing to take his nausea medication more often.

We had a good friend come visit and bring some homemade vegetable soup.... we loved it but Danny couldnt eat any. Shortly after they left he was really feeling pretty bad. He has not rested all day. We hope the medication works so that we do not have to go spend time in the hospital. Danny does not want to go & his fear of catching infections is high so the longer we can stay at home the better.

Please pray with us that the Lord will take away the nausea and will give Danny rest!

Thanks so much - Regina

Friday, August 7, 2009

Treatment Day #4 & #5

I am sorry that we didn't give an update yesterday. As you can imagine, I have been a little busier than before and Danny has not felt up to blogging.

Yesterday and today have been about the same. The treatments each day have lasted about 3 - 3 1/2 hours. The nurses have been wonderful! They are true angels on earth and are definitely special people. Sheila and Frances have taken care of him the past two days. Their compassion and love show through in everything they do. They both go beyond their job not only to care for the patient but also the family. The Lord worked everything for good when he allowed us the opportunity to be a patient with this office.

Danny has been very nauseated but has not actually gotten sick in the past two days... yeah! He has been able to keep down watermelon & a little bit of pork & rice Sandra cooked. Mama knew just what her baby needed. He is pretty weak and tired. He is sleeping a lot during the day but is very restless at night. This is when he seems to feel sick the most. I guess the good drugs he receives at pre-treatment begin to wear off and he is relying on the pills. They do help even though they are not a cure. A cold cloth seems to be the ticket.

We are hoping he begins to feel better tomorrow since his treatments are over for the week... whoo hoo! He said today he is thankful he is getting a break from treatment & is glad next week he will have chemo only one day.

The pain in his chest is not as bad as it has been. He can actually get himself out of the chair now and is able to move a little better. We believe it is because he is taking a stronger pain med AND hopefully the mass is beginning to shrink.

We are doing good over all. I think we are still trying to process what we are going through. Everything happened so fast once we found out about the cancer we have been just going through the motions doing what we need to but as time goes on the reality of it all is becoming more tangible.

Daniel & Summer seem to be doing very well considering. They are both in school now. Summer is very in tune to what is going on with Danny. She is always checking on him, trying to help him, & making sure he doesn't need anything. She is her daddy's girl! Daniel is a little harder to read. A friend reminded me last night that he is a deep thinker, very analytical and internalizes his feelings & thoughts. She is right. Daniel did ask for his head to be shaved when he had his haircut on Wednesday but the lady wouldn't shave it completely. He ended up with a very very tight buzz cut. He wanted to support Danny and make him feel more comfortable when he begins to loose his hair. Which so far he hasn't. The nurses say we have between one & two more weeks, give or take a few days.

Thank you again for praying for us. It has been very encouraging to hear from so many of you. We are truly blessed to have so many friends & family that love & support us.

We know that we will beat this cancer and will be stronger in the end. The Lord will use this time to grow us closer to one another, to our children and to Him. While we do not understand why this has happened we trust the Lord for mercy, comfort, & healing and know that He will be glorified!

Thanks - Regina

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Treatment Day #3

Danny is unable to tell you about his day yesterday because... he slept through most of it.

His nausea continued into the morning. His treatment was at 11:30. When we arrived he became pretty sick. It is tough on the other patients in the waiting room when they hear someone going through a familiar territory. When we entered the chemo room I think it was obvious to the nurses he was not feeling too well. I think the green color & wet cloths gave it away. They were able to give him an additional medication to help with the nausea. This one knocked him out. He slept through the entire 3 1/2 hour treatment. He slept on the ride home and the entire evening as well.

The doctor prescribed a new medication for him to have at home for the nausea and one for the hiccups. That was a surprise... I didn't know they made a med for hiccups. He fell asleep in the recliner in the living room. He slept through Daniel, Summer, and Raegan (my niece) running through the house, fighting, playing the trumpet, playing wii, the dog barking, & company coming in and out. He did not move!

Danny woke about 8:30 pm. He was able to eat some watermelon but then he headed back to the recliner (his temporary bed). About 12:00 am he woke with the hiccups so he took his medicine and tried to go back to sleep. He then woke about 2:00 am feeling nauseated. He spent the rest of the night fighting a sick stomach and vomiting.

This morning it seems the medication has started to work again because he is sound asleep. He is in another world. He didn't even budge when Summer was practicing her trumpet this morning in the same room. I am thankful he is resting now and hope we learn how to time the medicine so he does not have to be so sick.

Again, I want to thank everyone for your prayers, calls, emails, blog posts, & cards. The outpouring of love & support has meant so much. It really helps lift Danny's spirits.

We know this is going to be a long tough road... we are going to make it! God is good! He is faithful!

Thanks - Regina

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rough Night

Last night was a surprise for us. Danny was doing so well yesterday afternoon right after treatment. I left to take Summer to ball practice. He got a bad case of the hiccups. Normally that wouldn't be too bad but with the mass in his chest it increased his pain significantly. Since I accidentally left my cell phone at home he called his Mom. He was thinking he may have to go to the hospital. The pain was so bad and wouldn't let up. She called the doctor and he said that hiccups are a side effect of the chemo and was an indicator that nausea & vomiting were next.

He told him to take additional nausea medication to try to help with the hiccups and nausea. It seemed to work.... until about 2:00 this morning. The hiccups had returned along with nausea. We tried cold cloths, medicine, water, anything we could think of to help him but it didn't work. He still had the hiccups and he began vomiting. He said the pain from the hiccups is a lot worse than getting sick. He laid down to rest about 5:30 and was only down for less than 10 minutes and the cycle started again. It has been on and off ever since.

Since he is in so much pain he needs help getting out of the recliner he is sleeping in. This is tough because he has to wait for help before he can get up to try to deal with the nausea or getting sick. I think I responded quickly enough but I know it just adds to the panic feeling when he feels the nausea coming on. He is a very good patient & tries to do a lot himself. I know it is hard for him to depend on someone else to do simple things we take for granted.

This morning he has eaten some grits and so far he is keeping it down. The nausea is there and he has had some hiccups too. We are hoping when he goes for treatment the pre-treatment meds will help to settle his stomach.

Please keep Danny in your prayers. Under normal circumstances they do not want you getting sick so you can keep all the meds and nutrients in your body but he really doesn't need to be sick due to the pain in his chest. We go back for treatment #3 today and hopefully the doctor will be able to prescribe something a little stronger for the nausea and we can prevent the hiccups as well. The doctor has said once the mass begins to shrink the pain should lessen. We are hoping that is begins to shrink soon.

Thank you to everyone that is sacrificing your time to pray for us. We have been so blessed by all of the support. We love you - Regina

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day Two

I had a different nurse today. Mazell took care of me and she did a great job. I was still in the same area where Amanda and Shelia were working so I got to talk to them a lot. Probably more than they cared for me to all though they are both way to nice to ever indicate that. I also talked to Frances. I actually called her over to make sure that I was spelling her name right for the blog and once she came over the conversation turned quickly to me and how I did the night before. She told me what I did right and what I did wrong. My biggest fault to this point is I am slower to take meds than I should be. I have never really liked taking pill’s and am having to get used to the idea for instance of taking pain medicine before I hurt or nausea medicine at the first sign of nausea. I have always taken pills as a last resort.

I really think I am in good hands with the nurses. I am thankful. I was thinking today that it would be miserable to go through this with a bunch of nurses that hated their jobs. These ladies see this as a ministry and it is obvious!!

I guess the biggest news today is that the test results came back and there is no sign of cancer in my brain. I thank God for this because if there had been it would have probably derailed the treatment. They did however find cancer on one of my testicles. Dr Anagnost is out of town right now and will not be back until next week. I do not have an appointment with him until the 31st but I am not sure if he will want to see me sooner. I guess he will give me some idea of a plan from here. I know from talking to him before that the chemo is the most important thing right now in order to kill the cancer in my chest area and abdomen so that it spreads no farther and so that I get relief from the pain. Once the chemo is started they don’t like to interrupt with surgery or evasive procedures unless there is no choice. The decision will have to be made after the chemo treatments are complete whether to do surgery, radiation or both. I have to tell you this was a great concern to me when it was first mentioned but compared to brain surgery, I’ll take it.

Regina and I have talked a lot lately about not having any symptoms of testicular cancer. I did not have any symptoms at all other than the pain in my chest. I guess there is no telling how long I have had it or how long it would have been before it was found if it had not been for the pain. I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes pain can be a good thing. Don’t get me wrong. I will be glad to get rid of it but it certainly served its purpose in revealing the cancer.
I feel pretty good right now. I was there 5 hours again today but I also got that 3rd medicine. It may not be as long tomorrow. I hope not. I don’t go in until 11:30. I took a nap again today once I got home but not as long as yesterday, just a couple of hours. Regina treated me to a Merritt’s burger after my treatment. It sounded like a good idea at the time…….. I don’t know. It sure tasted good. I had trouble eating after I went to sleep yesterday so I decided I would eat right after the treatment today. I think I feel as well and actually ate something so it was probably not a bad plan.

I am continuing to get cards, emails, face-book post’s and comments on the blog that are all positive and encouraging. You guys have no idea how much it helps to know that there are so many who care. I ask that you continue to pray for Regina. I am zero help to her. I thank God for my mom and Regina’s sister and her husband who have stepped up big time in helping us to get the kids where they need to be. We would be in sad shape without them. And I know most of you have also offered to help and it is greatly appreciated!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Treatment

Finally, I got started with treatment today. The chemo nurses were really nice. They were Sheila, and Amanda. The nurse that I talked about in the last blog I for some reason wanted to call Jesse is actually Frances. Frances didn’t work on me today but I did see her. I had a past connection with Sheila. She and I used to sing together in the choir at Scotts Hill. I spent about 5 hours there today. I had a doctor’s appointment at 10:00 and had to wait a little while. Then there was trouble with my IV. They like to get a back flow of blood coming from the port o cath but were unable to with me. The theory is that the tube is up against the wall of the vein. It flushes extremely easy which indicates that it is going in the vein and the x-ray done after it was put in looks good so they are not concerned. Anyway late start means late finish. By the time I got out it was a little after 3:00. I then came home and slept for 4 hours.

I woke up not feeling very well. I wouldn’t say I was nauseous just a little queasy. Regina cooked a roast today and for some reason the thought of eating it (nothing to do with her cooking) was not appealing to me. I opted for the old stand-by peanut butter and jelly. I really feel pretty good now.

I did not get the results from all of the tests that I took last week. The PET scan came back with no surprises. It was about what was expected based on the CT scan. Hopefully the others will be back tomorrow. The truth is they expect to find something in the testicles and nothing in the brain……………….hey wait a minute that didn’t come out right now did it? You know what I mean. If what they expect to find is what they actually find then there will be no change in my treatment until after I finish chemo. Then there will be a decision about surgery, radiation or both. The only thing that could possibly change the course of action at the moment would be cancer in the brain. At this point based on everything else they have seen they don’t think this is very likely.

I thank you guys for reading the blog. It does me good to write it and it does me good to know that people are interested enough to read it. The notes I get from you are extremely encouraging. I was never all that popular growing up. I think the fame may be going to my head. LOL

I am thankful for my wife who is amazing and is taking awesome care of me along with my children and my mom.

I hope you do not get tired of me thanking God. I do not know at this moment what He is doing in this and may not know in this life but I cannot help but think that something good will come of it. God is too good for me not to trust Him to do His will!!