Monthly Archives: June 2012
ByThursday night Gorman began to feel better and last night he was cooking supper; his favorite thing and mine too! He kept saying that it felt so good to feel good. We are grateful to have about three weeks to feel good and enjoy life!
We spent Sunday night in Birmingham, went to UAB Monday morning for blood tests and ECG and then headed for Fairhope. Also on Sunday Gorman finished the five days of chemo and, although the side effects were not as strong as the last time, they seem to have lingered longer this time. The clinical research nurse scolded him for having lost six pounds in one week but it’s hard to eat when nauseous. I have almost made him eat, even when he’s not hungry because that helps with the queasy stomach. This morning I said to him, “Hunger has nothing to do with it; just eat and you’ll feel better” and sure enough, that’s what happened. He went to lunch with some friends and this afternoon we went to the local farmer’s market. It seems that being out in the hot weather causes him to feel queasy. Maybe we’ll have to move to Maine for the summer!
Speaking of Maine, we are trying to plan a trip up there this fall. It’s one of our favorite places. Of course, we will have to work it around UAB appointments and chemo. I’ve already found a LabCorp there. The closest one is in New Hampshire, two hours away from where we want to stay but we can just drive there one day. Two hours sounds pretty easy compared to almost five hours to Birmingham. And let me say that yesterday as we drove one mile to the local LabCorp for his blood work we were celebrating not having to drive to Birmingham twice in one week! Our next appointment at UAB is next Wednesday so we get a nice little break here. Now if Gorman can just get to feeling better so we can enjoy it. He really gets discouraged when he continues to feel bad.
And just to help us have a great big pity party, last week we learned that someone had gotten into our online banking and attempted to transfer $1500. Fortunately the Fraud Dept. at the bank caught it but they were concerned that all our accounts were compromised so we spent two and one-half hours at the bank closing out everything. I’m talking accounts that we’ve had for 40 years. I knew the account numbers by heart. One week later, everything is still in a mess with the new accounts and we still can’t get online for our banking. I’ll bet there’s some scripture in the Bible that talks about the problems caused by having money.
Sorry to be so tardy in posting an update on our trip to UAB. Several people have asked me about it but life is crazy these days.
So, we appeared at the Clinical Research Unit at UAB this past Monday at 7:00 a.m. and were there for 10 hours. Gorman’s nurses were so friendly but professional and he began to feel at ease after being very anxious about this whole process. We had a private room and our very own nurse. They had to take blood tests throughout the day so they put in a port (I guess that’s what you call it) so they only had to stick a needle in his arm that one time. They also had to do EKGs several times and kept him hooked up to that. He was given his first dose of the trial drug, XL765, in pill form and 30 minutes later he took his chemo pills, the Temodar, along with Zofran, anti-nausea med. The continual testing was to see if he was experiencing any adverse effects from the drugs but he did just fine, especially after he was allowed some coffee around 10:00. So basically his day consisted of staying in bed and reading a book. Of course, he was covered with his St. James prayer quilt there and I’ll post of photo if I can figure out how to do that. We went back to the hotel, drank a glass of wine, ordered room service and thanked God for a good day.
On Tuesday morning, we went back so they could do more testing (blood work, EKG, etc.) and we were on our way back to Fairhope by late morning. It was really easier than we had expected and we didn’t have to stay as long as expected.
Gorman will continue to take the XL765 everyday for the next year unless some problem arises. We have to keep a diary of his doses and any other medications he takes and, of course, any symptoms that might develop. He is taking his five days of Temodar right now; will be finished tomorrow, at least for this month. Thanks to Zofran and Phenergan, he is doing okay; not great but okay. The fatigue and nausea come and go but this month seems a little easier than last month.
We hope to go to church tomorrow morning if Gorman feels up to it. Then we will leave tomorrow afternoon to go back to B’ham. Originally we were scheduled to go up there every week for three months but it turns out that sometimes we can go to the local LabCorp to have blood work done, eliminating one of those weekly trips each month. That will be a big help. After the first three months, we will return every other week, staying sometimes one, sometimes two days. At various points, Gorman will get an eye examination. Also he will get an MRI every other month. After that we only have to go once a month. If that’s confusing to me, I know it is to all who read this. Then I remind myself of this: every morning when he takes that XL765, I get a mental image of a wall going up inside him, blocking those molecules that want to feed the tumor and if that truly is happening, all this is a picnic!