Monthly Archives: April 2012

Not For The Faint-Hearted

Gorman jumped on this maintenance phase and began his five days of chemo Monday night.  It was awful.  Even though he had taken Phenergan with the Temodar, he was throwing up much of the night.  Then our oncologist, Mike Meshad called yesterday and had talked with Dr. Nabors at UAB.  One of the requirements for a clinical trial they have in mind is that Gorman take 400 mg of Temodar for five days, not the 300 mg he began.  Of course, our first thought was that if 300 mg made him sick as a dog, what would 400 mg do?  But those of you who know Gorman know that he is strong and determined.  Mike told us to double the dose of Phenergan and add a double dose of Zofran, another anti-nausea drug and most importantly, to take it an hour before the Temodar.  Well that’s what he did and he had a great night’s sleep with no nausea.  Hallelujah!  This stuff is not for the faint-hearted nor the faint of stomach.

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Good News

Gorman’s MRI was clear!  Needless to say, we are praising God and thanking you all for praying for us.

Gorman will now begin the stronger doses of Temodar five days each month.  We met with Dr. Nabors and he talked with us about a couple of clinical trials that might be appropriate for Gorman but he has to get started with this maintenance phase of chemo first.  We will return to UAB in two months for another MRI and an appointment with Dr. Nabors and discuss the clinical trials then.

We still have a tough row to hoe ahead of us but, at least for two months, we can breathe a sign of relief and rest a little easier.

We are anxious to go visit our kids (Ft. Collins, CO and Santa Monica, CA) but the oncologist suggested Gorman get through one round of Temodar and see how he does before we make any plans.

Again, thanks to each one of you for your encouraging messages and notes, which  have so helped us to keep on keeping on.  Your prayers have surrounded us and we know God is with us through this.  Gorman’s surgery was three months ago today and he has walked with us everyday.

MRI Tomorrow

We’re heading to Birmingham this afternoon.  Gorman has an MRI scheduled at 7:15 (!) tomorrow morning at UAB and then we will meet with Dr. Nabors to see where we stand.  Please keep us in your prayers.

A piece of good news:  Gorman’s white blood count is back up so he can begin the maintenance phase of chemo.

It Feels Good To Feel Good

A belated Happy Easter to everyone.  Our Easter was wonderful and it was great to be at our dear St. James Episcopal Church.

We had fun in New Orleans; drank and ate and slept.  Gorman was still a bit queasy but the Zofran took care of that.  Every afternoon Gorman took a little nap and I did my needlepoint (also referred to as my Prozac) and watched the Mississippi River roll by as we could see it from our hotel room.  By the time we got home Friday, he was feeling fine and that continues, getting better every day now that he’s finished with radiation and chemo.

Today we saw Mike Meshad, our oncologist.  Gorman was to start on the maintenance phase, strong doses of Temodar five days out of every month; however, his white count is too low to start that.  Mike didn’t think it was cause for concern and said he expected it to rise over the next two weeks.  While a low white count lowers a person’s immunity, it doesn’t cause fatigue like a low red blood count so that’s a blessing.  I just have to nag him to wash his hands all the time.  Frankly, Gorman is enjoying feeling good and was relieved to get this little reprieve.  He will get his blood checked again on Friday, April 20, when I expect we’ll be back at it.

Our Lord continues to cover us with His peace.  Except for tiny, temporary backslides into anxiousness and despair, we are doing okay.  Actually, I am the one who backslides; Gorman’s faith is so strong that he amazes me.  And it’s not the kind of “baby faith” that says everything’s going to be hunky-dory and just fine and dandy but it’s a deep trust that our Lord will be with us and see us through this to whatever outcome.  He inspires me.

For Christmas, a dear friend gave me a copy of a devotional called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young and it been such a balm for our souls.  Gorman and I read it every morning and we think it must have been written just for us but I understand other people  feel that same way about this little book.  It’s not specifically for this situation we’re in but just for walking through life everyday with all its joys and its sorrows.  I really recommend it.

Not A Good Weekend

We’re glad this weekend is almost over.  Gorman has been somewhat nauseated and so tired and sleepy for the past couple of days.  We kinda expected this right here at the end of the six weeks of treatment.  He has Phenergan to take at night for nausea but it causes drowsiness, not what we need.  Tomorrow I’m calling the doctor to ask for Zofran as  I’ve been told it can be taken during the day and won’t put you to sleep.  Wish I had thought to do that before now.  He took his last chemo pills Friday night, will get his last radiation treatment tomorrow and that’s it. Woo hoo!

At least that’s it for this phase.  Then we go back to the oncologist on April 10 and he will start Gorman on “maintenance”, which means that five days out of each month, he will take very strong doses of chemo, twice or more than what he’s been taking.  That should kick those cancer cells out of the ball park!  On April 23, he will have an MRI and that will tell us his exact situation and who knows what happens after that.  We’re not dealing with that yet; we’re just walking this road today.

And we’re going to New Orleans on Tuesday for several days to celebrate making it through six weeks of treatment and getting two weeks off.  We think that calls for celebration.