February 19, 2010

in the home stretch...

james is in the final weeks of treatment, and things are going alright. after having some weeks off he was feeling much better and the rash was calming down. now, with 2 weeks of treatment in him, it is all returning. it doesn't seem as bad yet, so we'll keep hope that the lower dose will keep it that way.

we don't have to meet with our dr. anymore, before the treatments, which makes for a really quick appointment! this week we were in at 9am and done at 12:45. it would have been earlier than that, but the lab for blood work had some problem. it was nice to be done early for once! we had lunch and then went to see avatar... he has been waiting so long to see it. we really enjoyed it!

next week he is going to travel by himself, and make it a quick 2 day trip. he'll be home late tuesday night, and i'll be able to be home with the kids for the whole week. abbie will love this, as she has been really desperate for time with me. it will be nice to give it to her all week!

after next week there is another treatment with an MRI. then the following week he has a PET scan and the final treatment. we'll see what they say after the scans, to see if there are any changes in the size of the tumors they are targeting.

thank you to everyone who has given their time and treasure to help us through these months. everything has gone really well, in all aspects, and we thank God for providing that for us.

have a great weekend!

February 16, 2010


the wait is over... the family slideshow from our disney trip is here! i'm sure you're not as excited about it as i am- just to have it done feels great. we had such an amazing time, and looking back at all the photos was a reminder of how incredibly blessed we are.

the group of prayer warriors who put this trip together for us are still a mystery to us. our dear friend, marjorie, shared the idea with them when they asked if there was anything big they could do for us. to have a gift like this given to us was incredible and we have so many great family memories from this experience. thank you, thank you to everyone who helped make this possible for us.
enjoy the show... it is a little long, so sit back and relax

February 13, 2010

happy valentine's day!

we've had a good week!
james' rash has calmed down a lot! this is partially to having one week off, but then this last week they lowered the dose on both meds. this will still prove itself in the end, but we believe it will work and at the same time allow james to not be so incredibly uncomfortable.

i was able to reconnect with many of my favorite clients and their awesome kiddos! i packed 9 sessions into 3 days, and will work hard to stay caught up with everything!

my dad, uncle and niece all celebrated their birthdays this month, so it was nice to be able to get together to have dinner and have a little party for them. finding the balance of work and 'play' is a challenge, but i think we're doing okay.

enjoy the love of valentine's day and make it an important day for all those you love!

February 7, 2010

a quick trip to the ER

tonight, during our superbowl party, james and i made a quick trip to the emergency room. his rash has been hurting him more, especially on his legs. it looks quite a bit more infected in areas, and we wanted to make sure there was nothing serious going on. because the rash is uncomfortable, having it on his knees makes it difficult to walk, sit and get up from sitting... and he's been having some shooting pains in his knee when he does get up.
so, right before half time we went to the er.

we were having our annual community group superbowl party (our 3 year anniversary party too!) at micah and jeremy's house, so we were able to leave the kids with all our friends. because we see each other a lot, abbie and asher are very comfortable with them, and love any time together. that made it easy for everyone!

so, after a quick x-ray of his knees, and blood work done, they didn't see anything unusual. they gave him a shot of a steriod that should help with the rash and swelling and switched him to a higher level of antiobotics. hopefully all of this will make a difference, and quickly, as it will be a pretty painful plane ride tomorrow with all that sitting. once again, we've been blessed with tickets for the flights, which is a huge blessing! i hope the snow doesn't deter us from leaving.

he'll start the second (and final) treatment on tuesday, after we see doctor wheeler.
they are going to lower his dosage, hoping to still get the positive effect they want with a little less of the negative side effects. we'll see... and we'll keep you posted...

February 3, 2010

whistle while you wait...

neither of us can whistle, but some days i sure wish i could. we waited to see dr. wheeler this week, and though it wasn't as long a wait as some weeks have been, it still was a little while. i try to 'jinx' us, by waiting a bit to get the laptop out to work, knowing that as soon as i get everything plugged in and loaded they will call us back. it didn't work as quickly this time (so i did get a few more disney photos ready for the upcoming slideshow!) but it wasn't 4 hours of waiting. hallelujah!

we first met with a dr. that james had seen on his first visit. i guess he is the one with the really good information, because he explained a lot to us in very simple terms. as he looked over the rash he commented 'it must be working'. i asked him if they say that just to make the patient feel better, or if there is truth in the statement. he explained that there definitely is a connection between the treatment working and the evidence of the rash. the chemo treatments are targeting cells, and killing them. of course they are targeting tumor cells, but if the chemo is killing skin cells, causing the extreme rash, it is most likely killing the tumor cells as well... that should have an exclamation point... it is most likely killing tumor cells!!!!

so, though it is horrible to endure, the rash is a good thing. it is spreading all over his legs and arms and is bigger and more red in these new parts. the simplest of things, like his t-shirt rubbing his chest, or the edge of his socks rubbing his legs, are all becoming painful. we talked about wrapping some of the big parts up, with some ace bandages, and the word 'leprosy' came up...those people probably wrapped themselves up to make the itching less bothersome... we haven't tried it yet, but just might.

so after this dr. gave us the explanation they took more photos of the rash. it was suggested that he not get the treatment for one week, to let the severity of the rash die down a little. the other dr. and coordinator all agreed.

so james did not get his scheduled treatment this week.

he is very relieved in thinking how this week might be better, without new drugs making the rash increase. he will only have to endure what is there now, not adding anything new... we hope. it seems crazy, and a little waste of time and money, to go all the way there just to be told they would skip the treatment. but, we needed the dr. to see him to be able to allow him to take the break.

this means that his cycle #2 starts next week. four more weeks of treatment and then one more week for a series of pet scans and mri's. that puts us into the second week of march, one week before the family ski trip we are looking foward to. 5 more weeks... i am tired just thinking of it.

so, i will get back on the care calendar and add some new things for the weeks in march we'll be gone. it has been amazing to have so much help, even though the kids were sick and many of you didn't have to come over for your time. i so appreciate your willingness and flexibility.

we will continue to fly southwest, because the flight and the seats are very comfortable. we have only one more week lined up for tickets, but many people have chipped in to provide for us to be able to purchase more tickets. i can't say enough what a huge blessing our community of friends and family have been.

let's all continue to pray that the treatments will work, and that God would grant James endurance with the rash, hope for some daily relief, and peace that he is in the best Hands possible.

we love you guys!
enjoy a fun family photo from florida... thanks marjorie for capturing this one for us!

summer time

summer time
(click on image)


click on image for hawaii pics