Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hi everyone, Sarah here. Peter and I are just home from seeing Dad up at MDA.

His doctors are doing a lot there to try to help him feel better. He got a massage today, and they've been able to give him some medicine for the pains he's started having in his stomach. We're trying really hard to get him home, but it will be at least another few days.

Reading the post from Tuesday we've decided it was a little misleading. It's a fine line we walk with this blog - so many people check it for news, but it's hard to decide what bits to share, especially when it's not Dad writing. The truth is that the doctors don't think Dad will get strong enough to do another round of chemo. Since this type of cancer is so aggressive, that is really bad news.

We'll try to update here when we can. Please know that all your prayers and comments mean the world to us! It's wonderful to know Dad is so well-loved.

- Sarah

(I know Dad would still write - one day at a time, piece of cake...)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Back at MDA

Just to give everyone a quick update... Dad's back in the hospital today. He went in this morning for his 10th and final radiation treatment (yay!) and then had an appointment with the symptom management doctor. This department at MD Anderson specializes in treating the symptoms that go along with cancer, and can really help make patients feel better. One of Dad's main symptoms right now is gas and bloating in his stomach. This in turn puts pressure on his diaphragm and causes pretty severe shortness of breath when he first stands up. They're going to give him some treatments to reduce the bloating and therefore hopefully the pressure. He's a little grumpy about being in the hospital again, especially since he really feels about the same as he has for a week or so, but he's being a good sport.

Tomorrow Dad's brother John and his wife Barbara arrive for a couple of days, so that's something really good to look forward to.


(One day at a time. Piece of cake.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

California Visitors

It has been a wonderful couple of days and we feel surrounded by love. Barbara and Mark’s visit was just what the doctor ordered to lift our spirits. Bob isn’t feeling very well physically and tires easily but he sure did enjoy seeing them. They are the kind of guests that just come in, mow the lawn, come to the doctor with us, fix wonderful salmon dinners, give many hugs, and just make the house feel under control somehow. In other words, they are perfect guests that helped me more than I can say. They headed home today.

The kids were also here a few times in the past couple of days to give their support and love. Mike Esparza was in town from Virginia and came by, too – a life-long good friend we were delighted to see. Busy couple of days but we have an empty nest day today so Bob will probably rest until it’s time to watch the Rice baseball game from Omaha.

Bob enjoys sitting at the kitchen table watching our bird feeder. The table looks out onto our auto court and our sweet little neighbor children McKenna and Tayden added the perfect decoration to the court so now Bob can enjoy their message while enjoying the birds.

Bob’s radiation is more than half over (6-of 10 treatments done) and we are just hoping the positive effects of these treatments will be felt soon. The doctor told us that most people begin to feel some relief between 6-8 treatments which would mean today, tomorrow or Friday. He’s not feeling very well right now. He’s very weak and has a hard time swallowing, but is a real trooper in every way.

He wants me to add: One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Home again home again jiggedy jig

Home again and very glad to say so. Bob thinks that 5-days and nights in the hospital is more than enough. He was x-rayed, cat-scanned, cultured (not like British royalty but like Petri dish germs), infused, transfused, and even poked and prodded. After all of this, we still didn’t learn anything specific about an infection but with 4-pints of wonderful wonderful blood and 3-of 10 radiation treatments completed, he’s on his way to a better quality of life situation. MDA has very nice people who really care about helping Bob feel better but we still are delighted to be out of there.

Barbara and Mark (sister and brother-by-sister) arrive on Sunday for a couple of days. We can hardly wait!!!

Sarah arrived safely home from England. Katy continues to blossom and has very few discomforts from her pregnancy. I am hanging in there and am so so so happy to have Bob home.

Hopefully the next Blog will be from Bob himself.

One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday morning


Good morning. I just wanted to give you an update on Bob – he’s doing much better this morning than he was just 24-hours ago. As he said in his last blog, he had a doctor’s appointment on Monday. Blood work showed such low hemoglobin that he needed another transfusion. When he got to the transfusion unit he was running a high fever so they sent him to emergency where the doctor decided to admit him into the hospital for “observation”.

Now, on Wednesday morning, Bob has received 3-pints of blood, lots of IV antibiotic, and tests from top to toe. He will get his first radiation treatment today to shrink the tumor and to stop the tumor from bleeding – apparently the cause of the low hemoglobin. I don’t know if they’ll send him home today or tomorrow but it won’t be too soon for me. He’s still not eating easily and hospital food isn’t nearly as yummy as everyone tells you it is. Plus, he misses his new chair.

Sarah comes home tomorrow!! We can hardly wait to see her. Five weeks in England is a long business trip and we all want to give and get some big hugs and hear all about her adventures.

One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Looking forward to Monday

I was hoping the endoscopy on Friday would give me some relief so I could swallow more easily and eat some real food rather than liquids. That didn’t happen. We see the doctor tomorrow (Monday) and I hope he’ll have some ideas about how to proceed. Right now we’re waiting again.

Our day on Monday will begin with blood work and then a doctor’s appointment. We’re getting smart now and taking along everything we need to stay at Katy’s house in case we end up at MDA far into the night as has happened before. Probably just taking everything will mean we’ll finish early enough to head home to our house.

Katy, Scott, and Pippa came here for brunch today. Monday is Katy’s birthday – Happy Birthday Katy.

Best purchase of the week – a zero gravity chair. It’s a very nice chair that saves my back and makes it comfortable to sit and watch TV. I think it’s called a zero gravity chair because it makes me feel like I’m floating.

One day at a time. Piece of cake.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday Morning

Big highlight for the week was a music concert in our own house by Beth and Steve Jordan and their friend Cheryl. A while back I’d asked Beth if she’d play my guitar for me because I haven’t ever done it justice. Instead, she brought the band and gave us about an hour long personal concert. Our good friends the Hammens and Peter came over to enjoy it with us. Beth says they will play for ice cream sundaes any time so maybe we can get them to come back sometime.

No news yet. Sometimes waiting for news from the doctor’s office seems like it takes forever. But I’m feeling better today. Just weak. The plan is still to have an endoscope exam early this week and chemo late in the week but it isn’t scheduled so I don’t know exactly when that will happen.

Rice won the regional NCAA baseball tournament this weekend. Super regional begins Friday. Go Rice.

One day at a time. Piece of cake.