Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Round 4 Done, Chemo - 1, Tim - 2, Tie - 1

This past treatment wasn't the easiest that I have had but it wasn't the hardest either. I got to catch up on a lot of sleep those three days, and really didn't do much else. As Jenny posted earlier we did get some good news as we found out that my CEA level has dropped around 75%. As Dr. Edenfield said "this is a great sign and one that hopefully we have found the right drug combination." That news definately made Wednesday's treatment much easier to get through.

I went to see Dr. Westmoreland again this past week about my new look that I have going on my face. She said that she thinks that it getting better, I don't see this but she is the expert. She now thinks that what is left on my face is due to all of the steriods I am taking and not really the Vectibix.

I am looking forward to this weekend as Jenny and I are planning on going on a short trip to Asheville on Saturday and then I will return to the links again on Sunday with dad and Steven. Hopefully I will play better this Sunday than I did the last time that I played. (Dr. Rogers, I promise that I will be back to church extremely soon.)

Ok I need to run Jeopardy is on and it is the "Teen Tournament" so that means I will get at least 3 questions right. I hope that everyone has a great week.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Round 4

So I'm running a little behind on my updates and the past 2 weeks have been somewhat eventful which will make this post a little longer than usual. Our weekend after Tim's chemo was pretty low-key, we went to the Haas' for the Superbowl as well as to some of our neighbors, the Lenars.

Monday was Tim's appointment with his dermatologist, Dr. Westmoreland, who prescribed a couple of new drugs to try to alleviate his rash. Dr. Edenfield seems pleased with the progress its made thus far but there is still a good ways left to go before they will let him start taking the Vectibix again (which is really important to keeping the cancer at bay). Hopefully it will clear up enough over the next 2 weeks that he can start getting it again (as he did not for the 2nd time this week). Apparently his very pale complexion may be a contributing factor to why he has experienced such a severe reaction to the rash.

Tuesday we had some friends over for dinner and Wednesday was the big day of fun for us. We both worked but we had our first dance lesson that evening. Tim gave me lessons at our engagement party to learn how to shag for our wedding but with his diagnosis and surgery we never had the time before the wedding and finally got around to taking them. Now anyone who knows anything about our abilities, especially mine, knows just how much of a challenge this presented to our instructor. In high school my dancing "abilities" were a constant source of entertainment for my friends and continuing into college I won an award from my sorority for being the best dancer, it was a joke. I say all of that to make a point as to just how bad I am and yet Tim is even worse, for once in my life I actually looked like a pro.

We had a great time and finished up our last 3 lessons over the weekend and early the next week. Thursday, we made our friends Josh & John come over to sample our new healthy food (this month hasn't been our best attempt at eating correctly). For once everything actually turned out to taste good (aka it actually had some taste). If anyone has any really healthy recipes that actually don't taste that way please send them our way!

Friday we went out to try Nose Dive with a big group of friends and had a great time. They have some great food at very reasonable prices for anyone who has been thinking of trying it out.

Saturday I drove up to Asheville just to poke around an antique warehouse I had been trying to get to for a few months now and planned to have dinner with my mom while Tim met up with an old neighbor of theirs that came back to town and had dinner with his parents and grandparents.

Sunday, Tim played golf with his dad, brother and Dr. Vann while I did our grocery shopping at Trader Joe's (which we are now cult followers of).

Monday (aka Valentine's Day) was a typical day with Tim's lab work and doctor appointment. We worked for the rest of the day and because Tim had to work that night I grabbed some dinner for us and brought it up to the office for him. I'm not too upset as my dad has trained me to believe that Valentine's Day is a Hallmark holiday...lucky for him I also believe the same applies for Father's Day.

Tuesday was a slow day and Wednesday started another round of chemo. It wasn't the best one he's had but I'll leave that part up for Tim to share.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Prep for Round 4

I'm working on getting everything updated from our last 2 weeks but we just got some pretty amazing news that we wanted to share. As we've mentioned before they take a little extra blood from Tim every couple of weeks to run a CEA test which marks tumor activity and is what triggered testing to find the spots on his lungs. His counts have been climbing rapidly over the previous 3 tests but we just received news from Tim's doctor that the counts actually dropped 75% from the last test that was run 4 weeks ago.

This is huge news and we are really excited to find that his medicine is working and doing what it's intention is. It really makes it all worth it. There is still a long way to go and by no means does this mean that we are out of the woods as the CEA could shoot right back up 2 weeks from now but these days we celebrate every little achievement.

Thank you all for your incredible and unwavering support and please continue to keep Tim in your prayers for the miracle he needs, they seem to be working! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Round 3 Done, Chemo - 1, Tim - 2

Well as Jenny wrote in the previous blog, this round was actually kind of easy. I was not given any Vectibix this round to hopefully stop making me look like a 13 year old boy. I think that I actually slept more this round than any other round and I don't have a reason why that is, but it was quite enjoyable.

The highlight of the week was Thursday night at the "Tending for Tim" event (go here to see all of the pictures). I can't even begin to say how thankful we are for everyone that helped to put the event together, spread the word, and everyone that was able to make it. It was truly a humbling thing to have that many people show up. I was only planning on staying there for a little over an hour but it was so good to see so many people that I didn't want to leave. I paid for it on Friday being a little bit sleepier than usual but it was worth it. It seemed that all of the guest bartenders had a good time and I really wanted to thank them for taking the time to do that.

After all of that excitement, we had a quiet weekend just watching movies and relaxing. We were able to make it to both of our Super Bowl parties on Sunday. We started off by stopping by the Haas' and then finishing with the Lenars. As embarrassing it is to say, I grew up Cleveland fan so it is weird that I was actually cheering for Pittsburgh. The game was good but to me it didn't feel like Super Bowl Sunday for some reason. I guess since I didn't have any money on anything it was hard for me to get into the game.

We are really hoping that the momentum from the event will carry over and help us to gain even more exposure and awareness about colon cancer and its prevention. If everyone just told 5 people about this disease just think about the impact that alone would make. I hope that everyone has a good week and thank you again for all of the support.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Round 3

Apparently I forgot to hit the "Publish" button on the last post. I know you all were anxiously waiting to read my entertaining posts (just kidding).

This round has gone pretty smoothly, I have to say that this is the best I've seen Tim while on chemo. I think some of that may have to do with the 5 hour nap he took yesterday but I'm happy with whatever works! Right now we're both just getting ramped up for tonight (i.e. he is napping and I'm sitting on the couch getting some work done). We really can't thank everyone enough who has played a part in helping out with 'Tending for Tim; whether you've been planning, spreading the word or just plan on attending we really appreciate it.

We're hoping to get Tim up there for about an hour tonight but that will all be based upon how he feels after his nap today. We did want to ask that everyone who is able to come to be careful with your interactions with Tim being that we are around the peak of cold & flu season. His immune system isn't compromised but as much as it is possible to do so, we want to avoid him getting sick as that could delay a treatment and one of our goals is to keep him on schedule this time. Please don't be afraid of coming up and saying hello as I know Tim is really excited about getting out and seeing people.

Once again, we really did want to express just how much we have appreciated the outpouring of support over the last few months. Your comments, emails, texts, calls and kind words have been what has kept us going through all of this. You hear so much about the bad things happening in the world and it is incredibly overwhelming to see so much good from so many, including people we have never met. So thank you all, you're amazing!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Prep for Round 3

So Tim and I have started the new diet from the nutritionist. I have to say that its not as bad as I thought it would be although the amount of meat we are allowed vs. the amount of vegetables/fruits we are supposed to eat has been a big adjustment. What has been a challenge is planning our weekly meals. It took a solid hour to get everything straightened out for this week and I only needed to plan out 3 dinner meals (Tim doesn't eat full meals when he is on chemo and breakfast & lunch for us are the same thing over & over & over again for awhile :) ). The complicated part is that we are supposed to be getting different colors of vegetables each day and there are guidelines for how many of each color for each week. Confused yet? Me too! Here is the chart we were given if that helps.

After getting the menu all planned out I went through our cabinets, pantry and fridge and got rid of the banned products (sugar, processed stuff, white flour, sugar and pastas). At least hopefully we can lose some of the weight we gained when we were making funfetti cakes every week awhile back (such a deliciously bad idea by the way). Unfortunately the cake I made is not the pretty one as shown below...Tim can give Betty Crocker a run for her money.

So I went to Trader Joe's restocked our pantry and we've had 2 healthy meals now. I have to say they are not as bad as I thought (not as good or pretty either) but it will be a transition to learn how to cook all of this stuff.

In other news, Tim's doctors are going to hold the Vectibix this week in order to clear up his rash. Hopefully it will be much better so he can pick it back up the next week though. Other than that we're just cruising through this new routine. More to come later this week!