Friday, April 20, 2012

{Another week later}

we've been home for a week
from our 'vacation' to Huntsman.

We are fans of home.
It's wonderful to be here!

Many of you have sent e-mails wondering
how Travis is feeling.

He's doing OK.

Still battling the raging
fever that wont die.
 And his mornings are rough.
He's battling quite
the case of the 'morning sickness'.
 And his energy isn't all back yet...
but he's getting there.

Each day he goes to work a little earlier.
And I think each night he has a little more energy.

And I really feel like with another week he will
start feeling a bit more like himself again.

Scans are set for May 10th.
And I don't want to even think about it yet.
It's scary.

We are praying for some good changes in the scan.
Cause good changes means 2 more weeks of
living the dream life at Huntsman.
(How sad that we are praying for 2 more weeks of hell!)

If the changes aren't good,
then we choose a different route.

So keep your fingers crossed.
And any other crossable body parts.

We are Eternally grateful to everyone for their kindness to us.
I may never catch up on Thank you cards.

Our dear, dear friends have put this together for our family.
We have no words to express how awed we are
for all the hard work they've done for us
and the hours they've put in to make it a special day for us.
It's a weird feeling to see your family on one of these posters,
and we'd trade it if we could...
with that being said, I'm fairly certain we
were given this challenge because we have the support system
to help us deal with all that comes along with it.

We are so very-very humbled, grateful, thankful, and blessed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

{IL2-Round 1-Part 2}

We made it yet another week!
And we are happy, happy, happy! to be home.

I cannot even write down how full
of fear I was for last week to come.
It was
the first time.

I am very happy to report that
our experience this time was better.

When we went for Round 1-Part 1,
Travis was feeling so sick to begin with.
I think we both would freely admit that
those couple of weeks were the hardest
we've encountered in our long cancer journey.
(And that is saying something.:)

He went into last week with more energy.
His rib pain feels better. Still not 100%,
but so much better.
And he's figured out how to manage
his fevers better and get a little more sleep.

When we checked in on Monday
they put in his PICC line and our
wonderful Doctor who is really
in charge of every decision made
for us over the week came in to see us.

She looked right at Travis and said
"You look so good."
And then she admitted she was
VERY reluctant to try again with his IL-2.
She said she was full of nerves about how
his body would react again and pretty leary to dose
him. But after seeing him she changed her mind.

And when we met with our other Dr. there
who is the RCC specialist, he walked in
and said,
"Wow, you look so much better!"

Which makes me wonder how sick he
really must have looked to them before?

My rock star of a husband,
got 5 doses in.
That was the goal.

(You may not care about details, but they are listed below
for our own good. Feel free to skip.)

Dose 1-no side effects.
Dose 2-rigor for 25 minutes.
Afterwards had very low blood pressure
and the medicine they gave him made him pretty sick...
They waited till about 10 in the morning for,
Dose 3-We learned with this dose that he
back spasms just before he rigors and they
had a hard time getting his pain under control.
He rigored for about 45 minutes and they gave
him...a lot. of drugs.
Dose 4-His first night dose of the week.
And it was the roughest for sure.
His back pain was just unbearable and he rigored
for over an hour. His heart rate got up to 199
for a minute, and was up to 180 for at least an hour.
It took a long time for his body to calm down.
But by the next afternoon they felt ready to dose again.
Dose 5-About 30 minutes before the rigors usually start
his back spasms began, and they were worse
then ever before. They gave him a lot of meds
to get him to calm down, and by the time
the rigors really hit, he was almost asleep.
He felt them, but they weren't as strong or painful
as usual. And after and hour they were through.

I'm hoping next time we go they can remember
dose 5 and try to figure things out before
the rigors start so they aren't so violent.
After each dose his blood pressure was
really, really low and they had to give him some really
strong blood pressure meds-but everything
else was looking good till dose 5.
And then the liver decided no more.(Picture above is his tree sometime after dose 3...
these are just the bags. Besides all of this he got 2 bags
of fresh blood, a heprin shot in his belly every 12 hours,
pills every few hours-plenty of them, and when they give him
pain meds during the rigors they shoot them right in his PICC.
And I counted, during 1 rigor spell he got 8).

He just did so well.
I'm so proud of my husband.
He is strong.
And awesome.
And I'm lucky to be his wife.

The RCC Specialist during part 1
was pretty pessimistic about this working for Travis.
He really didn't give us much hope and
we both came home from the week from hell,
feeling like it may not have been worth it at all.
When we left he basically was saying
IL-2 Was too toxic for T and he was coming up with plan C.

And while he still isn't 100% convinced it will work,
he was SO much more optimistic.
He was SO happy with Trav's rigoring,
(means it's working.)
And his fevering.
(Another good sign.)
And just overall with the way
the week went.

And the other Dr. who takes care
of us for the week was really, really pleased
with how things went.

We go back in a few week for scans.
I'm already nervous.
I've never,
in my life wanting something
as much as I want good scan results.
(Good results meaning, a little shrinkage.)
If they are good we do another round.

If not-we go to plan c.
And we don't want it.
We want a cure.

We are home.
Trav's feeling ok.
Tired, but ok.
And we are feeling so
grateful that this week
wasn't as awful as the last one.

Yes, it was still awful,
but in comparison...
it was doable.

We continue to feel so loved and blessed
and know we have it good.

Thank you all for all you do for us.
We love you all.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Here. We. Go. Again.

how has it been 2 weeks already?

I'm sitting here full of dread
because we had to say goodbye to
those lovely ladies of ours tonight,
so we can head back down to Huntsman
for a week tomorrow.

We hate saying goodbye to those girls!
Have you seen them?
They are adorable.
And they hug real good.
And they smile a lot.

And we miss them already.

did you read our post about our first week
at Huntsman?
Well then you understand
why the stomach full of dread.

it's happening.
And we can't do anything about it.

We are praying.
That this week is better then our last
experience and just praying for it to FLY by!

We cannot express our gratitude for
how taken care of we are.
I write that every time,
but it always astounds us,
and it's never ending.

I cannot keep up on the thank you cards.
We hope you know how deep our gratitude goes.

Wish us luck!
Love to all.