A Week Off or A Week of Wating

This week at CTCA, even with the barium swallow test and a specialist visits, the week actually went pretty smooth. First of all, due to all the damage, changes, radiation, and scar tissue in my throat and now the addition of a paralyzed diaphragm on the left side, I was a high risk candidate for silently aspirating food or drink into lung. The good news is, outside swallowing a large mouthful of fluid, nothing went down the esophagus. So chugging beer is out (haha), other than that I’m good to go. One of the specialist, my pulmonologist’s partner wants to continue to watch my paralyzed diaphragm since we are not seeing any decrease in quality of life at this point and give it more time to heal on it’s own. Also we met with my plastic surgeon (the other specialist) to look at my neck. Now that we are off the Erbitux he is beginning to see some change and change is good. He also wants to watch and see if it will start to heal on it’s own now. Chemo went smooth.

Speaking of chemo, this was my third dose in my second cycle. So that means I am off next week to complete Cycle 2. And as of November 30th, I will have a new PET/CT scan. It will be time to be “re-staged”. Dr. Randolph and Lori and I will see a few different options. Either the cancer is gone and the chemo will be done or the cancer is going away and we continue with more stages of the same cocktail, or their is no real change or changing the wrong way and that means another formula for the cocktail and a different cycle. Obviously, we are praying for these in the order I have listed. No cancer – no chemo would be optimal. Less cancer – continue what we are doing is second since it means we are eventually on our way to no cancer- no chemo.

We finally saw Joann of James an Joann C. even though we never were in a place where we could see James. His cancer has not changed at all even though he has not had treatments in quite sometime. They are going to check him once a month or once every three weeks to make sure the cancer has stabilized. It was great to see Joann. She is always full of cheer.

So pray for my friends James and Joann, our dear friend Gene who felt some effects from his chemo but has made it back to work. And pray for Lori and I as we try to remain strong for each other as we wait for me to get restaged and my family who will not be silly enough to try and be strong, they will just be truthful and prayerful. Pray Lori and I can set our pride aside and pray together about the worry and concern we both feel and that the Holy Spirit will get right in their with us and comfort and strengthen us.

I want to thank you for taking time to read my blog. Make sure that you read Links, Prayer Request, and Random Thoughts. Help me with the Prayer Requests, and laugh at what comes out of mind in Random Thoughts. Links are important connections that you can make if your interested. If you have a friend that knows me or would benefit from reading about the path God has me on, get them to subscribe, too (at the top of the column on the right.)

Love all of you in the Love of my Christ,

Alan, Booger (according to Lori)

James and Joann C

Pray for James and Joann as James continues to battle a puzzling cancer. It has not grown or shrunk or changed at all recently. He has been taken off his treatments and will be watched CLOSELY for any changes.

Roy Woods

Ken Woods father, Roy Woods, broke his leg badly on October 4th. They had to install external rods to lengthen and realign his lower leg. In the process of healing this started throwing clots from his legs to his lungs. They put him on blood thinner and told him he will have to stay in the hospital until after his next leg surgery, now scheduled 10/25. Please be in prayer for his continued and timely recovery, and for his family who will be there to comfort him.

UPDATE FROM KEN ON Fb around 10AM Saturday 10/19: Ken Woods Shirley Gilley Worthington, broke/crushed both bones in lower leg, had 2nd surgery yesterday, in for a long recovery. Been a very scary 2 weeks after having multiple blood clots in both branches of lungs & several other complications. Keep him in your prayers- hope to come home Monday..thanks

UPDATE FROM KEN: 11/15/2013 11:30 Ken’s dad id past the critical blood clot stage. He still has a ways to go with rehab etc… on the broken and surgically repaired leg. I’m sure prayers are still requested.

Boykin Search

Maddux2Well, Lori and I have found the dog we want. His name is Maddux. He is 8 years old. Trained to duck/dove hunt, fetch, house broken, kennel / crate trained and 45 lbs. He is not exactly what we started looking for but being fully trained means A LOT to me. This is Maddux. We are waiting tonight to see if another couple decides to take him. I’m praying that for some reason he just doesn’t fit their criteria.

Secondly, we are waiting on the BSR to approve our application. They are quite intent on weeding out people that are less than serious about these dogs. I had to give (3) professional references and (1) personal reference. They asked about all my past dogs, I had to call our vet to release our pets information. So that is still hanging over our heads.Buddy2

Lori found one named Buddy. This is Buddy. He is 3 years old and is house broken and obedient but does not have any hunting skills and has boundless energy, unlike Maddux who calms down relatively quickly (due to age and wisdom). He is a gorgeous dog, 35 lbs. But he is admittedly rough around the edges by the foster parents. Also, he is not ready to adopt so we would have to wait until he is ready.

We are getting ahead of ourselves as usual. We need to put some more knee time into this one and God will work it out as He see’s fit. And with the things I’ve seen Him do lately, I can’t wait to see what He wants us to do.

Just my thoughts,

Alan

UPDATE 11/15/2013 9PM           God has provided in his timing. He has given us an opportunity to adopt a 2 year old Boykin female. We will try and get her next week. This is Abby sleeping on her foster parent lap.

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Tough Day

I knew I would have to pay for the last two  days. They were fantastic. No side effect, energy beyond anything I could expect. Well today is not one of those day, but I still thank God for it. I am extremely tired, joints hurt like flu symptoms, not hungry but struggling to eat. I laid in bed until 3:15 and the rest of the day I have been in my recliner. Oh well this is another great day that the Lord has made. I’m sorry I could not fully enjoy it like He would want me to but I enjoyed it the best I can. Days like this remind me that the chemo is the Kung-Fu chemo we have prayed for and it is kicking that cancers butt. I knew that there would be good days and bad days, and that didn’t bother me a bit. Because I knew that there would be no day that God was not by my side. So, I’ve thanked God the past two days when I felt so good, and thank you Lord for being with me on this bad day. Knowing you are with me makes it tough to call today a bad day. I love you Lord and I love my 10959342-gold-christianity-crossfamily, friends, and prayer warriors.

Y’all have a great day knowing God is right there with you, too.

Sincerely,

Alan

A Book Report

AngelI just finished reading “The Shack” by William Paul Young. And this morning my devotion was talking about how God has sent angels into our lives. And reading the Bible and listening to sermons we always hear that when angels appear to men the first words out of their mouths are “Do not fear …”.  It has really opened up my imagination to what Heaven will be like when we get there. Is it going to be warm and familiar or will it gold and silver bright lights or will it be different for each of us yet us be able to react as if in the same reality. Or will it simply be beyond anything we can comprehend with our limited mental capacity that we have in this tattered tent (according to Paul) that we live in now. My mind keeps going back to “Do not fear …” and how that will come across when and if I see an angel while I am still on earth.

Angel1We have all heard stories of angels that appear as normal people that show up out of no where, save someone from a tragic end and then vanish into the gathering crowd never to be identified or seen again. So we know that angels can appear to us in forms that we need to see them in. So if God has installed this power on his creation (angels), it is obvious that He has that power for Himself. I feel believe that He could not appear to us in a manner that we need would be limiting His power of love for us. God loves us so much that He can do anything He feels necessary to reach out to us.

Well that’s my random thought for the morning. I hope it makes you think about what heaven, God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels, other loved ones that have gone before us, will look like and how we will be able to react with them. You know, without all the baggage we carry as humans on this planet. All I know is it will be more than we can imagine with out finite minds and it will be more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

Just thinking (Lori says that is when it gets dangerous),

Alan

 

I Want a New Dog

To be more exact, I want a Boykin Spaniel. I am including some pictures to let you know what they look like. They are small dogs that have a big heart, love to hunt , love to cuddle, and are great companion dogs. I am including a puppy picture (just to show how cute they are) but I want to rescue a 2-3 year old female, the smaller the better. Males range from 30-40 lbs. Females about 5 lbs. less.

I have a picture of one with a woodduck in it’s mouth on another post on this page.

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Hoss3

Boykin2Shaved and brushed out.

boykin puppies

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BoykinSpanielDove hunting.

Good Morning Sunshine

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Good morning sunshine!!

This morning has been quite a God thing. I have had energy like I haven’t had in months. Arm doesn’t hurt (jut tingles). And I got up and jumped on a to-do-list that must be 6 months old if it’s a day.

I hope this God thing becomes a regular thing. I may end up paying for this later but I am going to enjoy every second of it.

Let me give you a run down on this week at CTCA. Dr. Castro, who is with “Quality of Life”, was my hero this week. My arm was hurting so bad and she came to my rescue during infusion and gave me morphine to stop the pain immediately and she changed my meds to a type that works on the nerve to stop nerve pain instead just covering up the general pain. This nerve pain med takes 4 or 5 days – 3 doses per day to build up in my system to take effect. But this morning (only after 2 doses) I have no pain. That is why I call today a God thing. Other than that, the time at CTCA was lighter and smoother than we have had in a long time. After lab draws, meeting with our PA to set up chemo, scheduling for the following week, and infusion we were out of there.

We did not run into Linda and Jonathan, even though we communicated on Facebook while we were there and looked everywhere to see if we could see them. Pray for Jonathan as he is on a 5x a week chemo regimen. I can’t imagine how that has to effect him.

Please continue to Pray for Gene. The last we heard, his first chemo injection was supposed to be today.

Connie an Doug I. still need our prayers. We have not been able to reach them for Doug’s exact status but God knows exactly what he needs.

There are other prayer request on the “Prayer Request” page so browse those as you have a chance.

God is so good to us and I love to be able to share what he is doing in my life. Today I feel well enough to go with Lori to pick up the kids from school for the second time, which is a milestone. This is usually way out of my capabilities.

Love all of you guys! I hope you are having a good day, too.

Sincerely,

Alan

Can’t Believe My Eyes

IMG_20131009_091551_426One of these is mine and the other belongs to no other than my no coffee drinking, no tea drinking, supposed to stay away from caffeine, wife, Lori. I can’t believe she is drinking the Kona blend. She said she couldn’t tell any difference, but I could. I guess I am becoming a bad influence.

 

UPDATE: October 21,2014

Lori has been stopping by the store after dropping off the kids and buys me a Kona Blend Monster. When I pop the top she always wants a small cup full. She has not bought one this week and I have not had any energy. I’m going to have to get her back in the habit of stopping in the mornings. It is easy to get hooked on those crazy things. But I love ’em!

¡Hasta la vista!

Alan

Here We Go Again

Tonight we are packing and will be leaving out as soon as the kids are off to school. I pray this week doesn’t turn into a duplicate of last week. {CRAZY!} So far this week appears to be a quick in and quick out. No specialists, no tests, no scans, scheduled to stay on site.

I seem to be having two major side effects from chemo lately. First, and most troublesome is the pain in my left arm (shoulder, elbow, wrist). Secondly is fatigue. I have some new meds that are working on the fatigue (I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism due to radiation damage and will be on meds for it the remainder of my life. As far as the shoulder, I just can’t get relief sometimes. I have (2) strong meds for breakthrough pain that barely put a dent in it. I am using (3) different types of rubs and I have just about worn out a heating pad. Dr. Nathan has talked about giving me some shots at some trigger points to help me with the pain. He feels the nerves might be impinged farther up my shoulder/neck (sounds similar to my paralyzed left diaphragm – I wonder if we can kill two birds with one stone) and this could stop the pain above the source.  I am also experiencing peripheral neuropathy in my left arm which is making me lean more toward the nerve scenario as being the source of the pain, too. Unfortunately, my appointment with Dr. N is next week.

So I am asking this week that my prayer warriors pray for comfort, and increased energy level for me. Also keep Jonathan in your prayers along with Teena. We met these two (separately) at CTCA last week and each are fighting their own fight. Also keep our dear friend Gene in your prayers. He is doing better now and is at home. His chemo should start this week as long as his test come back OK.

Also keep Lori in your prayers. As I sit and watch her do all the things that she does to keep us floating I am more and more amazed and more and more appreciative of what all she does for me. I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again, I could not do this without her. It’s just that simple. Caregivers cannot be overlooked so also add Jonathan’s mom, Teena’s husband, and especially Jeannie, Gene’s wife to the prayer list as caregivers. I pray they will hear and understand the scripture below, cross-tattoos-272as we all should.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)

God bless you all!

Alan