Too Long To Respond

I had to look back at previous blogs to see how long it has been since I had posted anything. Two weeks!!! Way too long! Let’s see, let’s talk about health first and get that out of the way. Last we spoke I was having a lot of problems with the gabapentin and Lyrica side effects. Those have now passed but I continued to have problems with dizziness, my stamina was gone, and pain was still an issue. After visits with Dr. N and Dr. S I have really shaken a lot of the side effect and can say that I really do feel better. I was very concerned that I may miss chemo this past week but my blood count looked acceptable so I got my chemo as planned and came home and missed Thanksgiving.

Let’s see who I missed that I am really thankful for… Most importantly, Lori as a wonderful and understanding caregiver, Christopher and Ashley as troopers, through this whole ordeal, Judy for all she has done, Dad and Sally for prayer and support, Bob and his family, The Johnson’s and the William’s. We will have to get together soon and call it Thanksgiving.

What did I miss sharing while at Thanksgiving this year… In the coarse of treatments this year I have met so many nice people I can’t mention them all. Good fortune is coming our way with this cocktail of chemo. Most recently, The surgery that I will have to have soon to repair my chyle leak will be orthoscopic, is very successful, and will have a very short recovery time. Next, an MRI that I had to help diagnose some of my side effects showed NO growth in my brain, ie, NO cancer in my brain.

Another story for Thanksgiving. I had been doing some research on a dog to replace the two fireballs I had to give up the year before. The labs were 170 lbs. total, 220 volts, and regardless of age combined their age was only 6 months. They were much more than I could handle at my present condition at the time. Well a Boykin Spaniel kept coming up. They have the right temperament trainable to hunt, but they are excellent inside dogs. Through the Boykin club I found a Boykin Rescue site that was affiliate. I was amazed at the amount of information I had to forfeit to become approved to adopt a dog. However, after seeing the quality of animals that they adopt, I understand. 1441203_10200754515681081_1389486235_n_editedI ran across Abby, a 2 year old female that was relinquished by her former owners at the veterinarian’s office. She had been living with her foster parents for a week. The rules for Boykin Rescue was a minimum of 14 days. I had planned on making the trip to Hattiesburg, MS and this was right in the midst of the worst of my side effects from that stupid medicine. I was crying because I knew this was going to throw off all the timing and was God’s way of passing us up on a dog that I felt attached to. 1467196_10200754516321097_620359865_n_editedWhen you have friends stepping up for you in the Boykin Rescue and a friend like Lucy that “volunteered” to drive 12 hours, 1 day to pick her up. Only by the grace of God, and the help of numerous friends did Abby make it from Hattiesburg, MS to Rome, GA.1476325_10200756351326971_1194788242_n_edited

Getting Back To Normal

Well, Lori and I had a talk with my pain management doctor and we got off the nerve pain medicine. I really feel for people that suffer from fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, etc…The side effects of gabapentin and Lyrica is awful. My doctor put me back on my old regimen and I have felt better literally hour by hour.

Now this does not include the chemo effects, they still suck. I have felt like a heavily warmed over …. well you know. Today was a tough afternoon, I slept this afternoon which is a vast improvement over the early days where I was sleeping 2 days after each dose.

old coupleGod reached out to Lori and I this week. We passed a couple in the main hall of CTCA, both pushing walkers, both laughing and smiling each laughing and each pausing as the other needed the break.. The gentleman, probably in his later 70’s, was the cancer patient and the lady, also in her 70’s seemed to have something like cerebral palsy. While there were many things about this couple that were not evident to us as we met in the main hall, somethings were significantly evident. Like the smile on their face, the love in their heart, the great relation that they had. God had given them a long and happy relationship with each other. I can imagine a couple of kids some grandkids, the holidays and traditions made at the home. Houseful of friends at times, warm stories and memories made with best friends. A home like that filled with the love of God should be the goal of every new couple as they enter their life together in marriage. I see the fruit of marriages like this in my life. I was fortunate to live out this type of marriage through the Boyd’s, Black’s, Roger’s just to mention family. Not to say we don’t see it in numerous friends, too. And to imagine all the trials and tribulations that thesevlives have had to pss to get where where they are now makes you realize how they had to count it all joy to face these trials. God loves us tremendously to give great families. I posted the following on Fb on Nov 1 (mine and Lori’s 16th Anniversary).

“Do you want proof in God? Well, hear it is, 16 years ago Lori Black stood before friends and family and said “I do.” There is no way I could have found and married such an angel here on earth. No way our union could have been engineered here on earth without God’s divine intervention.

Happy Anniversary to my Angel here on earth. I love you Lori. More each day.”

I posted this because I belive that God has huge plans for Lori as our lives continue progress. We’ve already got the two kids, no hurry for the grandkids, good friends, got ’em.

Enough babbling, and that is what I am doing thanks to the reduced effects of Lyrica. I guess I’m just showing off that I can make a coherent sentence. Haha

News Flash

Lori took me to the doctor here in Rome today. I took several attempts to hand Lori my tablet after writing that last blog I was losing my balance and was falling around sort of drunk feeling, falling, etc…  Lori took me to see Dr. Spencer and they took my blood pressure (132/82) which was fine, and my EKG (122 bpm), which showed I had tachycardia, or accelerated heart rate. He gave me some meds to help. This happened once before several months ago. The CTCA was not too concerned at the time. So I’m not too concerned at the point. Lori keeps leading me around like an old man, it frustrates me to be led around, it makes me feels like an invalid. Bless her heart, I know it scares her to death to see me that way. It scares me, too. Lori thinks it’s my sleeping meds. We’ll back off these for a bit and see how and see how they effect my sleep. If I go back to not sleeping we will get them straitened out. Anyway, just wanted to let you know how bad this cancer sucks. I always seem to fluff up the truth and make it seems like I’m doing so good (the sin of pride is the toughest to lay down, even when I do lay it down it is just me trying to do the right thing), but in actuality it has been a tough row to hoe. This disease being so tough is why I love you guys so much.

I’m going to my friend house on Saturday afternoon, apparently to celebrate Maya’s birthday. but it is the LSU vs. Alabama game. Guess I need to crack out some gold and purple. Haha    No just afraid that the game will be better than the  Appalachian State vs. UGA.

Grapes in a Bunch

Friday and Saturday I felt really good. The ‘pre-meds’ and steroids helped me feel better. Sunday came crashing down on me like a wave. Not a good feeling. Chemo brain the shakes, everything. The next morning I had all that and mucus in my throat. Lori has me on Mucinex just to try and break it up. Well yesterday around 3:00PM Lori asked if I wanted to go pick up the kids from school and I felt well enough to jump on it. So here I sit, trying, to gather me thoughts, shake some of this chemo brain. Lori bought me a Mean Bean this morning to help get me going toady.

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Enough rambling, we have lost a very dear friend this week. His cancer started in an un disclosed origin but it had worked it’s way to his brain. In August CTCA told his wife the there was nothing left for them to do. After spending about a week at home Doug had to go to a hospice center to get the care that he needed. Come to think of it grapes come in bunches, a small community, a family or people bound by something we all have in common. He was part of our group and I will really miss him, and I know that the others in the bunch feel the same way. He will be greatly missed. The sense of community that we have felt at CTCA reminds me of a bunch of grapes . We look at the bunch in it’s perfection. You take out one or two of the grapes in the middle and it leaves an awful gap.

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That gap in our bunch is beginning to look like a whole in our bunch. Sweet people are dropping out of our bunch. People look at our bunch and they may see the holes but what they are not seeing is the fine wine that the Lord is making out of each and everyone of the grapes that fall out. The wine Christ makes out of us is perfect and delicious. It is his perfection that covers us. Just like the water at the wedding at Galilee, Jesus just has to pass over us to make us perfect. Our friends have reached perfection already.

So today it makes me feel better to think about the sweet wine of perfection that Christ can make out of each us. I’m comforted by the way Christ loves us, the way God cares for us, the way the Holy Ghost walks with us.