Friday, July 26, 2013

Medical Update

Terry hasn't been feeling very well the last few weeks - he has been suffering with a recurring series of symptoms such as; intense aching, chilling/trembling, fever, some vomiting, lack of energy - it wipes him out for a couple days or more.  

We went to the doctor on the 2nd of July, got an antibiotic and thought it might be under control, but it's happening again. 

Our oncologist called Tuesday evening to report on what she heard from SCCA about the transplant. That was a bad day for Terry, so I told her how he was feeling.   We set up an appointment for the next morning. 

The lab results from Wednesday's visit:
WBC = 4.7 (it's normal - it hasn't been normal for a long time. We have a record of the last 6 draws and they are all low.)
RBC = 3.57(L)
Platelet = 31(L)
Neutrophils = 1.7(L) (this is low still, but higher than it has been for a long time.) 

I don't mean to sound ungrateful or negative, but there has been no rhyme or reason for Terry's counts the last few years, so we cannot explain why the WBC is normal and the Neutrophils are higher than the last several months have been.  We do know that we will not expect them to stay normal or better, because past experience shows us that they will not, but we are grateful for the occasional good report.

Dr. Smith called this evening with the results of the other testing they did to check for infection in the blood - they drew blood from his arm and from his line, and found that an infection is present in both.  We wish he didn't have an infection but we are glad that it did show up so that we know what to do about it.  He is currently on a stronger dose of antibiotic and for a longer period of time, and we hope that it takes care of it this time so he can begin to feel better. 

Note - the report from SCCA is pretty much the same as what we mentioned in the previous post - mid to late September for transplant, with some sort of treatment to lower the CLL counts before treatment.  However, we must clear up this infection before starting any other treatment. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our Call Came In!

We received the anxiously awaited call from Dr. Hansen, from SCCA.
He shared some info with Terry about the bone marrow results, and the short of it is  the MDS is stable, but the CLL is 80 to 90% - that's not good. 
They say to come for the transplant as soon as possible.
We are talking this over and trying to come up with a plan, thinking that it will take place some time in September. Terry will be contacting the doctor soon to set it up.
It isn't exactly the timing Terry was hoping for, but we realize that this timing is what is best for his overall health.  Some times we just gotta do what we gotta do, and this is one of those times!

Fun and Frustration!

The last few days have been filled with fun and frustration. 
Those aren't two words that are normally used together are they?
Do you think you would be anxious or eager to attend a family reunion or other gathering with the invite reading something like;
"Come join us for a few days of fun and frustration!"?
Well, that wasn't the way our invite read, but that is the feel of the gathering we are having....
It began with fun Monday when everyone gathered for a sleepover in preparation for baling ..., it continued with fun celebrating Terry's birthday Tuesday, beginning with cake and ice cream for breakfast ..., and it is continuing with fun ...,

there was a bit of frustration in the middle of the night when the rain started to come down just as the crew was going to bale.
... they went back to bed ...
and this morning it started to hail ....

WhAt's Up wiTH that?
Very Frustrating!!!!
But, we had a good night the night before and got one field harvested nicely.
We are still having fun together!
Fun and Frustration do sometimes exist at the same time ..., but we'll get over the frustration ..., and continue having fun.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


We spent Saturday morning at the city park for the community fun run and parade.
Tawnee and BJo helped Dana with the fun run.
Anthony ran the 5k,
and marched with the band in the parade.
(He is playing the snare drum - right of photo, on the end of the second row from the back.)
We enjoyed the rest of the day at home - visiting, eating, and playing Kubb (a new to us game that Michael has).

It was a good day to have a good day, and we did have a good day!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Our day started out with a celebration we have attended almost every year for the past 33 years (and for Terry it's been even longer).  Our church flag raising program and breakfast is always a wonderful event we love to attend, but this year it was a little more stressful since I was responsible for the program. 
I began several weeks ago and put together a program that many other wonderful people presented.
This is all we would have seen if others had not done their part on the program. (And many of these things were set out by other people ... what did I do?) Each did a wonderful job and presented their part perfectly.  I couldn't be more pleased!  Thank you!
We had a wonderful group of men responsible for the flag raising at the beginning of our program ...,
and again for the flag folding ceremony at the end of our program ...
We had a great choir, and a couple beautiful solos ... 
We had a few awesome Readers and Stage Hands ...

And, of course, we had a great audience ...

We also handed out patriotic favors ...
(a choice of flag, pinwheel, star bead necklace, or tassel)
I am grateful for all who helped and shared their talents with us.
After the program we each took our chairs to the other side of the yard for a delicious breakfast ..., that I had nothing to do with,  ;) except enjoy!
On our way home the kids came up with a great idea - we stopped at a special spot - a perfect place for a flag ...
Now we rest!  I mean, I get to rest after the busy work is over for this morning. I suppose I'll get up and do a few things, but I'm not sure I'll get into anything that requires much today. I do think I'll make a potato salad - that sounds delicious.
We plan on staying home because Terry is not feeling well, but as usual, we will be able to see a few fireworks around the area tonight.

Oh! here are a couple cute pictures of Akleigh - they stopped by for a couple minutes.  She and BJo were playing with a tassel - and lovin' it!

Happy Independence Day!
image from here
FYI - to read through the program click here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Today's Report

We went to Wenatchee to see our oncologist, but didn't get to see her, though we did get to see another in her place.  We were well cared for and are grateful for that care.
Terry had blood work done again (taken from his arm and also from his line to test the two for any infection), he had a chest x-ray to make sure there was no lung issues, a neupogen shot to help increase the neutrophils, and we picked up an antibiotic prescription to help him get over this illness he has had for a couple weeks.
In some ways it seemed to be another "long" day, but it went well, in spite of the heat.
We are so grateful for good doctors and nurses and for medications that can help us in times of need ..., and for air conditioning.

Our day started off in a great way - BJo made me a birthday cake (yesterday while we were in Seattle) and we invited family over to enjoy cake and ice cream for breakfast.  (They brought some awesome gifts for me too - they are so thoughtful and kind and giving.)

(We continue our family tradition of cake and ice cream for breakfast on birthday mornings.  It is a great prelude to the day.)
Terry encouraged me to stop at a couple favorite thrift stores on our way home from the doctor. (I have an awesome husband!) He sat in the warm car while I searched for my special finds, and I did find a few items to buy for myself today.  I felt kinda selfish leaving him in the car while I went shopping, but it really was at his request.  I hurried!
Anthony had the lawn mowed when we got home today and BJo made dinner for us tonight, so it's been an awesome day from start to finish.  (I have awesome children! Every one of them!  Terry and I have 22 descendants at today's count and we love each one of them.)
We are hoping that Terry begins to feel better, but the neupogen makes his body ache, so even though some things might feel better, he is going to be aching - from the biopsy and from the shot. 
I wish I could ease some of the pains and problems he suffers with.  If only I could twinkle my nose and make it all good!   
I am so thankful for him!  He is a good man!
 Life is Good!
(even though there is bad - I guess we have to have the bad to help us recognize and enjoy the good.)


Monday, July 1, 2013

SCCA Visit

It was bone marrow biopsy at SCCA for Terry today.
It was a very interesting day.
There were many people there today, making the wait very long.  It is always a sad thing when we see so many people at SCCA.  We saw some familiar faces there for treatment, and that is even more sad to us. 
After they drew blood they could not flush the line and that caused some concern.  We were instructed to go ahead to the bone marrow biopsy and we'd get further info as to what to do about this obstructed line when they figured out what we should do.
We then had to wait for the doctor and a form patient and doctor needed to sign.  That took another long time, but Dr. Hansen was so kind and friendly when he arrived - like we were all best of friends.  It was so pleasant.  Everyone we met today to help us along our way was so helpful and friendly.  It made all of the waiting okay.
The bone marrow biopsy went well - it was one of the better ones.  This was the first time that this person performed a biopsy for Terry, but she recognized him from other visits and was a very pleasant person. 
After biopsy we went upstairs to figure out what to do with the obstructed line.  We couldn't draw or flush it so they had to wait for something from the pharmacy to inject into it to help dissolve the clot and make it usable again.  It was injected into the Hickman line and then we waited a half hour to let it do it's magic.   And ..., it did!  We were then on our way home a few hours later than we had originally thought.
We decided to stop at Cle Elum and by the time we got there Terry was chilling and sick.  This has happened frequently the last couple weeks, so I'll call our oncologist in the morning to see what we need to do.
He is resting tonight and happy to have the bone marrow biopsy go well and be done.  We are anxious to hear the results, but don't expect anything for several days.
Here are today's blood draw counts -
WBC = 2.86L  norm is 4.3-10.0
RBC = 3.73L  norm is 4.40-5.60
HCT = 34L  norm is 38-50
Platelet = 34L  norm is 150-400
Neutrophils = 0.17L  norm is 1.80-7.00
We'll be checking on those neutrophils tomorrow too! 
It is nice to have today over, and hope that tomorrow will be a bit easier, but one never knows when dealing with so many tricky diseases and problems.  
PS - Both of our boys sounded real good in their letters home today - that makes any day a good day!
We hope you have a good day!
(It's too late for a picture, though pictures make a post more pleasant ... sorry!)