Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hubby Got New Tats

The husband had his appointment with Dr. Nguyen and Nurse Kim today. Ugh, I hated that I wasn't there. To help me, the hubby asked if he could record their conversation so I wouldn't miss out on anything. Dr N allowed it. Plus the husband took notes.  Then they gave him additional info to bring home. Dr N even said on the video if I had any questions, for me to call him and he'd answer anything I needed clarification on. Can I say how much I like them?! But unfortunately, Dr N is leaving in two weeks!!! He is getting the husband's treatment plan in order and will turn it over to the new radiation oncologist coming in to take his position. Dr N is headed to Washington DC. Boo. Guess what the new doc's name is? Dr Nguyen! At least we don't have to learn a new name!

The husband also had his planning CT scan today. They took measurements and got him tattooed. Now, he'll be able to go right in and get zapped. They set his tentative start date for Februaury 12th.  He'll go in the afternoons daily (except for the weekends) for at least 25 treatments. He should be able to work while getting radiation. They said side effects and tiredness would most likely start about week three. So he may need to take some days off just to rest during that time.

Dr N reiterated over and over he is not to lift anything. The husband even had Kim ask the doc for a weight. He can't lift over how much? Dr N said NO lifting! Nothing over 0 lbs! Do you know how hard that is going to be for the husband? Gonna have to keep an eagle eye on him. Maybe I can put a shock collar on him. That way when I see him doing something he's not suppose to I won't even have to yell.  Just zap. Bet he'd drop whatever he was lifting!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Up Wednesday....Not much...

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Not much to update.  The husband has his appointment with Dr. Nguyen, the radiation oncologist, tomorrow.  It'll be a short meeting for the husband to sign treatment paperwork.  Then he'll have a planning CT scan so they know exactly where to zap him.  They told him it would be about 7-10 days from tomorrow when he'll actually start radiation.  It takes that long to get approval from the insurance for his treatment.  It will be the first appointment I haven't attended with him.  I may call Nurse Kim and have her pin a note to his shirt of all the important points discussed. ;) But they did say it is pretty much the same appointment that we already went to previously so I'm a little less worried about missing any details.

Wanted to also thank everyone that supported my half marathon run.  I completed it this past Sunday.  We raised $150 which covers the cost of 1.5 bone marrow tissue typing for a donor.  Pretty cool!  Also wanted to thank everyone that came out and got swabbed to be a part of the registry.  The husband personally thanked the people signing up while I was getting swabbed.  We are just so fortunate.

Gonna leave you with my race pic.  This was around mile 12.  I was almost done!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

Today was the day. The day we got results from all the husband's tests.  The day we were so anxious to arrive and also wished would never be. Crazy huh? Want to know but you don't. I think the 10 minute wait in the exam room was the longest EVER!  Dr D and Dawn came in with a bunch of paperwork. Dr D asked how the husband was feeling after their bone marrow torture session. Then he got to it. Said he had some good news for us. He went over the results of each test and all lab work. Everything returned NORMAL! There were no signs of cancer anywhere else. He and Dawn said it was nice to give good news as it doesn't happen often for them.

Dr D advised us to remain cautious though. As this type of cancer tends to creep up in other bones. As well, myeloma can be "patchy" in bone marrow, not appearing in portion they tested but being in another area of marrow. So the husband will continue with follow up labs/tests to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Appointment made for March for follow up.

Monday, we will get the appointment to meet back with Dr. Nguyen, the radiation oncologist, to get the husband's radiation started. They will zap his tumor into submission. :) I told the husband I'd ask Dr. Nguyen if it would help to zap the husband with the hotshot between treatments for added effectiveness. Hehe

We want to thank everyone for their prayers and positive vibes. We are blessed.

Now, tomorrow we have a bull competing in Guthrie, OK. Go Crazy M Buckers!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Some Normalcy within the Crazy

Saturday we headed to Stephenville to buck the little bulls.  I was quite proud of myself Friday evening though.  The husband had went to get the trailer tire fixed right before I got home.  The yearlings were not cooperating with him to pen.  So when I got home, I thought I would give it a shot.  I sent the husband a text not to come home until I let him know, didn't want him messin' me up driving back up with the trailer! Sure enough, I got the little ones penned.  Plus, the husband didn't need to be moving panels around.  They are pretty heavy.  Momma handled it. ;)

Next morning, I got the babies loaded in the trailer for the husband too.  I don't know what I'm thinking.  Aren't I suppose to let him think I can't do these things?! ;) He'll go expecting me to do more stuff now! He was still pretty sore and miserable from his bone marrow biopsy times THREE. When we arrived to Stephenville, we had a lot of help.  Dean, Bob, Jay and Wyatt took care of the bulls.  They made the husband sit and watch.  I so appreciated that.  Because I know for a fact, the husband would have done something he wasn't suppose to.  Anyhow, here is one of the guys from Saturday...


Sunday, we hung around the house.  Sherman came out and unloaded feed for us.  He also helped the husband put the bed back on the pug (like a gator).  I happen to be watching from the kitchen window as the husband attempted to lift it.  UGH!  So I had to go out and let him know that I was watching.  Gotta keep an eye on him!  He told me to quit spying. LOL

Today, he had his PET scan and bone survey.  I really don't know why they tell you to get there so early.  We just sat for an hour waiting for his appointment.  Sure enough, they called him in right on time.  But by then, he had grown impatient from the unnecessary wait. He goes back on Wednesday for an MRI.  I told him to not go early.  They already pre-registered him today for it.  So he just has to stop by and pick up his ID bracelet.  Plus I won't be there to cool his jets.

After his appointments, we went grocery shopping.  He actually told me he wanted salad fixins! Whoa, the things I never thought I would hear come out of his mouth.  So we loaded up on veggies and fruits.  Came home and cut everything up.  He'll be able to just throw it in his lunch bag and go.

The evening ended with us putting out hay.  Who knew the simple task of putting out hay would be so comforting.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Adventures of Cancer, Crazy M Style

Today was the dreaded bone marrow biopsy. All the horror stories turned "it won't be that bad" turned to reality.  It started off with his blood tests. They let me come back and hang in the lab with him. The nurse asked if I wanted to observe the biopsy.  Um, no. I'm good with sitting in the lobby and lettin' the professionals handle that. She said it would take about 20 minutes and then she'd bring him out to me. Alright, I'll go hang out. 

Well I sat there for 20 minutes.  Then 40 minutes passed. Hmm, now we're getting close to an hour. This can't be good. Finally the nurse walked out. She said they had problems getting the marrow. She had tried twice with no success so she had the doctor come in and try. He was finally able to get the sample. Of course, nothing can ever go simple with us. She took me back to the lab where the husband was sitting.  As I rounded the corner, I said to the lab tech, "I'm so glad y'all got my email about the new torture technique."  ;)  

The nurse explained possible side effects and issues that may arise. Told me to call her directly if we needed anything.  Then we were on our way.  I went back to work and the husband went about his day.  He had lunch with a friend. Ran some errands in town and came home to clean out the stock trailer! 

He's very sore but it hasn't slowed him down much. I got on to him about lifting a heavy tool box this evening. Have to keep my eye on him! Tomorrow we're headed to Stephenville to buck some yearling bulls. 

We also got the remainder of his appointments scheduled. His PET scan and bone survey will be Monday. An additional MRI will be on Wednesday.  Friday afternoon we meet back with Dr D to get all the results.  Next week may be the longest week EVER.

On a side note, I'm running a half marathon next Sunday, the 26th. The race benefits the bone marrow registry. I have a fundraising page if you'd like to support us. When I registered for the race last year, I had NO idea how important the bone marrow registry may become to us. How ironic, huh?! Anyhow, here is the link if you're interested.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gettin' It All Lined Out

This afternoon we met with the husband's medical oncologist, Dr De La Casas and his nurse, Dawn. Dr D did medical background with the husband and a quick physical. He explained the additional tests he is ordering. Dr D is very thorough. He wants to put a "first name and last name" on this cancer then we can build a treatment plan. Again, we both really liked this doc and his nurse. 

So he ordered the husband to have a bone survey, a PET scan, bone marrow biopsy, urine test and blood labs. He also wants the husband to see the lung specialist to rule out the very small nodule that was detected on his lung during the upper chest CT scan. He stated it is so small they couldn't even put a needle in it but he wants to cover all bases.

We have the bone marrow biopsy and blood labs scheduled for the morning. I told Dawn the husband was nervous about the biopsy. She performs the procedure and explained the whole process to him from getting numbed up, to hearing the drill, to the brief pain he'll feel has she removes the marrow. It really helped ease his anxiety.  The lab tech that assists also reiterated that everything would be fine.  Everyone we've encountered at the new cancer center have been SO nice..  

As we were getting the appointments set up this afternoon, I mentioned to the lab tech that we had a mutual friend. She looked at me and said, "Oh! You're Butch's mom!" How funny is that! We got a good laugh out of it.  Before we leave the clinic tomorrow, we should have the appointments for his additional tests. 

Gonna leave y'all with this. The husband eating his salad. He said I needed to take a picture for proof. He really has been putting forth effort to eat healthy. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Let's Get Zapped

After much frustration with appointments, the husband finally got at least one straightened out with the radiation doctor. We went this afternoon to the new cancer clinic in Waco and met Dr. Nguyen. He and his nurse, Kim, listened to our ramblings and frustrations about the appointments. Then they went to work to get everything situated for us. 

Dr. Nguyen discussed radiation with us and what the husband could expect. But until we meet with the medical oncologist and find out exactly what we're dealing with, we can't develop a treatment plan.  The husband really liked Dr. Nguyen and his nurse for their straight forwardness. Plus he was a hoot. Who thought we would be laughing out loud while discussing procedures at the cancer center? That goes a long way with me.

So Nurse Kim got the husband an appointment with the medical oncologist at the center. His appointment is next Thursday afternoon.  It's a consultation to start everything. Finally on the right path. Today really did a lot to relieve some of the anxiety.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait

That seems to be the plan we're on right now.  Still waiting for the oncology appointment.  The husband called them on Monday to check on it.  He was told the just received the referral and were pairing him up with the appropriate doctor. We should hear back from them either Wednesday or Thursday.  Well, didn't hear anything today. So let's hope for tomorrow.  I have a problem with the unknown, as I am a planner. And the husband has a problem with patience.  :)

The husband decided to start eating healthier since his diagnosis. Cut out a lot of his coffee consumption and replaced it with green tea.  Came home Monday and told me he had a salad for lunch and "it had a LOT of lettuce." Oh he makes me laugh. Then he added that he had to have some dessert with it. Baby steps. Yesterday he stopped at Shlotzsky's for a sandwich instead of a burger. But do you know what they have a Shlotzsky's? Cinnabon. Apparently, he was drooling over a pecan carmel cinnabon but he only got the plain minibons. Baby steps.  He's actually doing really well though.

The husband wanted to share this as well:
"Thank You everyone for the kind words and support. This is a tough situation but I'm pretty dang tough myself and my wife is ten times as tough as me. We are going to fight and be strong. 
Thanks again, The Husband"

Monday, January 6, 2014

Five Things I've Learned in the Last Month

1.  Wives rejoice, nagging saves lives. Men are cringing at the thought, I know. But if I had not nagged the Husband about going to the doctor, this would have not been detected. So there!  Nag away my sistas.

2.  Hot doctors do actually exist outside of my television! The Husband asked me what I thought of the bone cancer doctor after our first visit. To which I quickly responded, "I like him!" Husband said cause he's cute!  Well yea! I advised the Husband I would be sending his orthopedic doc a thank you note for that referral. 

3.  The biopsy prep area has a great rapid response time. I may have fainted as I attempted to walk to the bathroom after getting lightheaded while the nurse was jacking with the Husband's IV. A doctor caught me on my way down.  I woke up thinking "please don't pee on yourself, please don't pee on yourself!" The Husband thought it was pretty funny.  I told him I just needed a quick power nap. Now I am known as "Oh, you're the one."

4.  Taking a very doped up husband to eat pancakes (because he dreamed about them while he was asleep for the biopsy) can be quite entertaining. However, when he becomes impatient waiting for the check and starts banging his coffee cup on the table, one must use her low, very stern "stop that right now" voice.  Of course, he remembers none of this which makes for good blackmail. ;)

5.  And most recently, we learned that we're surrounded by tons of awesome supportive friends and family.  We have always joked that I have no friends but now I can prove him wrong. And seriously, I live to prove him wrong. :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The "C" Word

How did we get here?  The "C" word? The husband and I seem to have told the story countless times since last Thursday.  But that happens when a lightning bolt strikes and no one saw it coming.  We figured it would be easiest to recount the past month here.  That way the story doesn't get construed, everyone will be all up to speed and perhaps we don't have to keep retelling it.  We'll just give you the blog address. ;)  

December 6th- The husband FINALLY went to the doctor after me nagging for a month.  It was for some stomach issue.  I figured he had an ulcer or something.  His doctor had retired so he saw the new doc.  She had him take an X-ray of his abdomen.  Well she didn't like what she saw (turns out she did the x-ray wrong) so he was sent to the hospital for a CT scan.  We spent all afternoon doing the CT scan to find there was nothing wrong with his abdomen.  But they did find a "spot" on his left hip.

December 9th- The husband talked to the primary care doctor and she referred him to the orthopedic doc that he had seen before for his shoulder.

December 11th- The husband met with the orthopedic doc to go over his CT scan.  Dr said the spot was not something he could deal with, it needed to be checked out by a bone cancer specialist and referred the husband to The Bone and Joint Institute.

December 18th- We met with Dr. Ward.  He ordered another CT scan, a biopsy and a full body bone scan. Once we got those results, we would know more of what we were dealing with and how to treat it.

December 23rd- We spent the day at the hospital.  First thing in the morning, he had an upper chest CT scan.  Then he went in for his biopsy.  After that, I got him over to the bone scan.

January 2nd- Met with Dr. Ward for the results of the tests.  He said the upper CT scan looked good.  Nothing on it that he was worried about.  The full body scan didn't show any bone abnormalities.  However, the biopsy results were not as positive.  The husband's hip tumor is cancerous.  It's called a plasmocytoma.  Basically, it is a malignant plasma cell tumor growing within his hip bone.  We have to rule out multiple myeloma though.  Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that develops in the bone marrow.  It causes plasma cells to reproduce uncontrollably.  So we must figure out if this is an isolated tumor or if it is throughout his system.

The next step....a bone marrow biopsy.  We have not received the appointment for that yet.  We'll be calling first thing Monday to see what the hold up is.  Once that is completed, we'll know exactly what we're dealing with and start a treatment plan.  If it's the one plasmocytoma, he will undergo radiation.

We very much appreciate all the kind words and support we've received.  We'll take all your prayers, good juju and positive thoughts you send our way!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Un-welcomed Guest

We're usually pretty inviting to pop-ins.  Doesn't happen very much way out in the sticks but occasionally.  Just never know what will show up at your door. About a month ago, we got a knock.  The guest came in and hung out for awhile.  Alright, no big deal, we'll deal with you for a little while then you can be on your merry way.  Well, it didn't work out like that.  Here it is nearly a month later and the guest has taken up residence.  Seriously, no one said this was a permanent situation.  Actually, I believe we asked you to leave nicely.  Nope, the guest wasn't going anywhere.  He was here to stay and cause trouble.  Okay, it appears we're going to need to take serious measures to rid you of our home.  No one comes in MY home and takes things from me.  So the fight begins.....