Thursday, April 29, 2010

CEA Test Results

We're excited to give everyone a quick update about the test results we got back today. We met at the house for lunch so we could give the doctors office a call in to see about getting the results back. Tim had to leave a message for the nurse and got a call back a little while later. Before chemo started Tim's CEA counts were 5.7 where the normal person is preferably below 2.5 but 3.0 is considered to be the start of the "normal" range. Tim's test came back at a 3.4 which means the chemo is working!

Although we still have a long journey to go this was some great news for us to get today and makes it all just a little bit easier to bear.

Thanks to all of you for your support over the last few months, we wouldn't have been able to make it this far without you!

Tim & Jenny

Chemo Round #5

Well I am back again writing this week.  I will not be able to remember everything that happened over the past 2 and a half weeks but I will highlight a couple of days that I do remember.  I was on my way to my house for lunch this past Wednesday when Coach Smith from Furman called me and asked if I would throw out the 1st pitch at the Furman vs. PC baseball game the next night.  He told me that I needed to be there by 6:30 and the game started at 7:00
Now before I get into this story I must say that if you cant make fun of yourself then who can you make fun of.  Jenny and I got to the field on Thursday at 6:15 and went up to our box that Brody let us have for the night and put our things down.  I then made my way down to the main concourse and caught a glimpse of Coach Smith and he asked me if I want to come down there and throw a little bit to get warmed up.  Now this was mistake #1.  I told him “nah I am good,  I will just sling it when I get out there”.  Now keep in mind that this will be the 2nd time that I have thrown a ball in the past year and the first time went perfect. 
I was down in the dugout with Coach and some of the players that I coached a couple of years ago just talking about the season and what they were going to do next year when they graduated, when they called my name out to the mound.  I went up the stairs and make my way to the bump and stopped just short but I was still on the dirt of the mound.  I looked in at one of my former players Chris Cowart who was catching me, and I went into my BP throwing motion.  This was mistake #2.  I should have just stepped and thrown the ball but I wanted to put a little extra juice on it tonite.  Well I threw it pretty hard considering everything I have gone through this past 4 months but the ball short-hopped the catcher and got past him.  Coach Smith threw his hands in the air in disbelief and I dropped my head in shame.  How can a former D-1 pitcher not get the ball all the way to the mit.  It was a very embarrassing situation that I’m sure I will hear about for a while.  As embarrassing the situation was for me I would still do it all over again b/c it was such an honor for me that Coach Smith wanted me to do this.
On Friday after work Jenny and I made the short trip up to Gaffney to do a little bit of shopping that lasted all of 20 min because there was nothing there we really wanted.  We then made the short treck over to Cracker Barrel and had dinner before we headed back this way.
Kip came into town on Fri. and hung out with some of his former football buddies in Pickens and I was planning on meeting them on Sat. at 1:30 for a round of golf.  Kip called early that morning and told me that we moved the time forward and were going to tee off at 11:30.  So I hopped in the shower really fast and made my way over to Pickens to meet up with these guys.  I felt pretty good out on the course and was back to swinging like I used to.  I hit the ball pretty good and we had a god time until the sky opened up on us while we were on hole 8.  We decided to stop after 9 and get rain checks and when Kip comes back up this way we will go and play again.
I got back late in the afternoon on Sat. and just relaxed on the couch while Jenny did her cousin Rebecca’s hair and make-up for her prom that night.  Once she was done we both got ready for Ryan Earl’s birthday dinner at Bin 112.  We picked up John and Christy and made our way over to Greer.  The food was really good and it was good to see all of those people again.
Sunday I went up to the Club to watch my dad and brother play in the shootout for the Member/Member Tournament at Thorneblade.  They ended up missing the shootout by one shot.  We decided that we would go out there and watch the shootout anyways.  I lasted about a hole b/c they started the shootout late and I left to come home and eat dinner with Jenny. 
Everything has been pretty boring since Jenny posted last time, we are just settling into married life which still sounds pretty strange to say. Today I started Round 5 of my Chemo treatments.  Things are going ok I am mainly just tired and kinda loopy from the medicine that I am taking.  I will try to give another update by the end of the weekend talking about how this round went.  Again I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers and I actually have a favor to ask about that. Today they took some extra blood from me to look at my CEA levels which are also called tumor markers. This will let us know if the chemo is working or if the cancer has progressed while I’ve been doing the treatments. The doctor was really positive about everything today so I think the results should turn out to be alright but if ya’ll could just keep us in your thoughts as we wait for the results I’d really appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chemo Round #4

So I decided to give Tim a little break as he is so exhausted from the events over the past week.

His last chemo treatment went pretty smoothly, he even went and hit a few balls with Steven on Friday after work and getting unhooked. By Saturday Tim was feeling a little rough but rested all day and we went over to Jay & Carolyn's engagement party that night. Sunday we laid around and got ready for our last few days at work before the wedding.

Tim worked on Monday and Tuesday before heading down to Augusta to watch Bill play a practice round at the Masters. We ran errands on Thursday and had dinner at Tim's parents house with all of his family members that had already arrived and my family.

Friday, Tim rode around with his brother, dad, cousins and uncles while they played some golf. He even managed to get in about 4 holes himself. He came back to the house and quickly got ready for the rehearsal dinner before picking me up to meet some of the guys to get their tuxes. We went straight from there to the rehearsal where we were entertained by our flowergirls. Hannah and Emma's placecards were in front of the groomsmen and because they knew they were supposed to be standing on their nametags, they picked them up and moved them in front of the bridesmaids instead. They also informed the wedding director that they "might have to play" when she told them that they would need to stand really still during the ceremony.

After the rehearsal we went over to the rehearsal dinner at the Lazy Goat which was absolutely incredible. We had a great turnout, the food was amazing and the story Steven shared about Tim was priceless. We went out for a little bit to Mojito's and Connelly's before Tim dropped me off with my parents and headed with Kip over to his for the night.

Saturday we both got up and got ready for the big day. We had such an incredible turnout at the wedding and were entertained throughout the ceremony by the flowergirls again. They were incredibly cute and even gave Tim a scare by taking so long to get down the aisle that he didn't think I was coming. The only time Tim didn't really feel well was after the ceremony and pictures but he perked right up once we got to the reception hall where our amazing wedding planners met him outside with cheese and crackers and a glass of wine for me.

We had a fun time at the reception and carried it later into the night by meeting everyone out at Connelly's and even making it to the Fiddler before heading to Waffle House, dropping Steven at his house and finally getting into our hotel room around 5 in the morning. We woke up the next morning to some cheez-its and a glow stick thanks to some very thoughtful friends of mine who were afraid that we "might get hungry and would need a light to find our way to the food." Kristen, Lindsey and Jen came by to check out their work from the night before and Kip and Ryan stopped by to drop off Kip's tux and sample some of the wedding food we were sent home with.

Tim and I got up and headed over to his parents to drop off the tuxes we had before going by my parents to drop off my dress and finally we came home to pack before heading up to Highlands to stay at the Old Edwards Inn for our "mini-moon". The 2 hour drive up the windy mountain roads was not fun without Dramamine but it was all worth it.

The Old Edwards Inn and Spa was such an incredible place and our room was really nice. I think Tim's favorite part (and pretty high up there for me too) was that they had a freezer completely full of Dove Ice Cream bars that were available 24/7. We had some great meals, had fun shopping and both really wish we didn't have to leave yesterday!

Today we had to be at the Cancer Center at 8 for all of Tim's testing, doctor's appointment and infusions. A stitch had been poking out for about 2 weeks so they decided to cut it out today, hopefully that will be the last one for him. His levels have dipped a little but that is to be expected with all of the activity over the last week so Tim is working on relaxing and getting himself rested back up.

Thanks to all of you for all of your support, we're excited to finally be official and are working on settling into our house together.  Tim will be back soon for your entertainment pleasure!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chemo Round #3

Well I am back for another update.  I said last time that I wasn't going to wait a whole week to write another update but that is exactly what I did.  I am not going to go all the way back a week because to be honest my life really isn't that much fun.

Ill start with Friday.  John and Christy Groome and Ryan and Casey Earl threw us a great "Entertainment Shower" on Friday night.  We had a really good time and it was good to see people that Jenny and I haven't seen in a while.  The food was absolutely amazing.  I still can't get over how good the "dirt cake" was.  I think that I could have eaten the whole bowl.  I would have been incredibly sick but I would have been happy being sick from that.

Andi and Aaron came into town on Friday afternoon and their gift to us for the shower was a turkey fryer.  Now I have been wanting one of these for a while now and I finally have one.  Jenny thinks that I will burn down the house and honestly I don't blame her for thinking that about me.  So, thankfully Aaron was in town and he has fried his fair share of turkeys and we fried a 12 lb turkey Saturday afternoon.  Soup came by that afternoon when the turkey was finishing up and then Kip got here about an hour after that.  The turkey was so good.  Over half of the turkey was gone after about an hour of us picking on it.

That night was my mini bachelor party.  We had 16 guys meet at Rick Erwin's downtown for dinner and then off to my folks house to chill, play a little poker, and watch the fight.  We met at the restaurant at 7:00 and it was really good.  We left and got back to my parents house by about 9:45 just before the fight started.  We had a good time and it was very laid back just like I wanted it to be.

On Monday I went into the Cancer Center and got my blood work done and met with the Doctor.  All of my counts were really good and still up to great levels.  Over the weekend I had a really sharp pain near my incision on my stomach.  I had the doctor look at it and she said it is just scar tissue and nerves building back.  This was a great relief because now its like Rodney Carrington says "if I stump my toe I think I got cancer" well I have that, but you get my point.  I did receive some great news that day as well.  I asked if I could start playing golf again and she said that I could.

Tuesday when I got to work the first call I made was to my surgeon to see what he thinks about this golf idea.  I left a message for his secretary and she called back about an hour later and said that I am cleared to play but if it hurts just stop.  I haven't played since late Jan. and yesterday after work Steven and I went up to Thornblade and hit a couple of balls at the range and there was no pain.  Just the pain that I don't hit it nearly as far as I used to.  But that will come with time.

Chemo started today and I felt pretty good.  I was there at 9:00 but it took much longer today than it usually does.  I left there and went to grab a little bit to eat and then headed over to work for a little bit.  By about 2:00 I couldn't keep my eyes open from the medicine I took at 1:00.  So I left and got home close to 3:00 and before I knew it 7:00 had crept up on me.

 Hopefully this round will go by fast and without too many problems.  I am ready for this week to get finished so I can get ready for next weekend with our wedding and "mini-moon" to Old Edwards Inn and Spa.  Like always I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.  My love to all.