Monthly Archives: July 2012
Here’s a milestone: Gorman’s surgery was six months ago today. If someone had told me that we would still be standing today, having a nice normal day, we never would have believed it. But God has given us the strength for each day. Gorman and I so relate to that AA slogan, “One day at a time”. It’s the only way I have been able to cope, reminding myself that God does not give us strength for next month or next year, just for today. I read somewhere that a reporter asked the author, Joan Didion if it was true that she used the good silver everyday and she replied, “Everyday is the only day we have”. I like that.
Last Sunday was Gorman’s fifth and last day of the chemo and that afternoon, it began to take it’s toll. He felt awful through Tuesday and then turned the corner. Today he is cooking; actually he’s been in the kitchen all afternoon, just so happy.
Several folks from out of town have stopped by to see us on their way to the beach. My dear friend from Jackson came last Thursday and spent a couple of days with us and that was fun.
Tomorrow we head to Birmingham to spend one night and have a short appointment at UAB.
For everyone’s prayer list, please: Gorman’s next MRI is August 8. Please, dear God, give us another clear one.
Thank heavens we are home until July 24. Next week Gorman can go to Lab Corp for blood work, in lieu of a trip to Birmingham. Our last two visits to UAB were fine, just long. With the research nurse’s approval, Gorman had stopped taking his blood pressure meds a few weeks ago because it had been so low ever since the surgery in January; however, it began to spike at the end of a long day at UAB. Everyone got very anxious and didn’t want him to leave the hospital. He was so ready to leave and I could just watch his blood pressure rising the longer he had to stay. Of course, his pills were back home so they got one of the doctors to call in prescriptions to the UAB pharmacy. I ran and picked those up, he took them and we left with blood pressure still pretty high but trusting it would go down. Sure enough, the next morning it was back to normal.
There are two things about this clinical trial that Gorman doesn’t like. He has to get an eye exam every other month, complete with dilated eyes and we always have to wait a long time before he sees the doctor. Next, he gets an MRI every other month. Aside from the anxiety involved, trying not to worry if it will be clear, he finds it very uncomfortable to be confined that long and it’s noisy. There’s that word “long” again. And a third thing is that he can have nothing to eat or drink before any of his appointments and that continues for four to five hours, while they continue to draw blood and do EKGs. Okay, now I’m finished complaining. It’s really not too bad. They do everything possible to keep him comfortable; everyone is so nice and pleasant. He just covers up with his St. James prayer quilt and that seems to bring some calm. We are grateful for this XL765, the trial drug, that gives us another layer of hope.
The inn in north Georgia, Barnsley Gardens Resort, was lovely. It is in the middle of nowhere, somewhat near Rome, GA in a beautiful setting in the foothills. Sorry to report that the weather was definitely not cool but we still had fun. We found a sweet little Episcopal church about 30 minutes away and went there on Sunday.
Gorman is now in the middle of his monthly five days of chemo pills. So far, so good. He takes the fifth dose tomorrow. Usually at this point he is feeling pretty rotten but that hasn’t happened yet although that can change quickly. We’re hoping this round might be a little easier than before. He continues to look good; everyone says so. He has probably lost a total of 12 to 14 lbs. but in January when he went under the knife he was pretty heavy (he would hate to know that I put this in our blog!) so now he looks good. He just doesn’t need to lose any additional weight. During the five days of chemo, he doesn’t eat much but he tries to make up for it when he feels good.
Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while. When Gorman is feeling good and we’re just bumping along, I forget to let everyone know. He’s cooking and eating and enjoying feeling good.
This Wednesday, July 4, we will drive to Birmingham for an early Thurs. appt. That will be another 10 hour day and then another early Friday morning appointment, this one shorter. I try to find ways to make these trips fun so we are staying at Cobb Lane B & B, in the Five Points area, very near UAB. It’s way up on a hill so Wed. night we can sit on the front porch and watch the fireworks around the Vulcan statue. Thursday night we’re going back to a really good restaurant, Hot & Hot Fish Club, where we ate last week; got to take advantage of this time when
Gorman enjoys eating. We have few days off and have to return to B’ham soon so, instead of driving all the way back to Fairhope, we’re going to a little resort north of Atlanta for a few days. It’s in the foothills of the mountains so we’re hoping for cooler weather. We will chill out and then return to B’ham for two days and then back home on July 11. He starts his five days of chemo that day, ugh. But also thankful for the good that it is doing.
We have prayed and worked on our attitude, trying to have grateful hearts, instead of grumbling and complaining. Despite all the driving, we are grateful that Gorman got into this clinical trial. Despite the side effects, we are grateful for the chemo that is keeping this cancer at bay. Last night we were talking about the clinical trial and both agreed that going to UAB had not been as bad as we had anticipated. As a friend said to me on a phone message the other day, “attitude is everything”. And it’s really about the only thing we can control.