Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Scan and The Results

DeBary, FL.

87 deg. clear, NW wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast = tonight, Partly cloudy skies. Low near 65F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

Tuesday, Lila took Jim and Linda over to the same place where Jim had his radiation treatments so that he could get a PET Scan. The scan went off without a hitch and in about 2 hours, they were on their way back here to the house.

Today, they again headed over to Dr. Graham's office to talk to Dr. Graham to learn about the scan results. This last 24 hours has been quite stressful, wondering weather or not the cancer is gone or not.

The appointment was at 10:00, but of course, Jim and Linda didn't get in to see him until about 10:30. :-( When he came in, he informed Jim and Linda that the scan still showed something in the lung, but he said that he didn't agree with the diagonis of the person that wrote the report.

The spot where the tumor was, showed no tumor at all, but there was another spot lower in the lung that the person who wrote the report thought might be a problem. Well, Dr. Graham, showed Jim and Linda the scan pictures that were on his computer, and proceeded to explain why he didn't agree!!

The spot lower in the lung was not solid, but rather spotty on hazy in the photo. He explained that if it was cancer, it would be a solid spot and not spotty and hazy. In stead, he thinks that what it shows is scar tissue that was caused by the high doses of radiation that Jim recieved. He also believes that if it were cancer, it would show up where the orginal tumor was located and not way down in the bottom part of the lung.

So,  ,  ,  ,  , his diagnosis is that the cancer is gone and he expects that in the next PET Scan, to be done this fall, will show that he is correct. :-)

Oh, and also, he doesn't have a problem with us heading North for the summer and seeing him when we return in  October or November!! ;-) 

Did you know that  Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia who started Mother's Day celebrations also filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the over- commercialisation of Mother's Day? She lost her fight. Anna had hoped for a day of reflection and quiet prayer by families, thanking God for all that mothers had done.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Some Good News

DeBary, FL.

77 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast =Saturday Night 04/23
A few clouds. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 62F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday 04/24  Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 86F. Winds NE at 10 to 20 mph.

This past week has not been the best for Jim, but then I think it was better than the week before it. You see, he's still had a lot of bone and muscle ache and it's been especially bad at night, making for some very unrestful sleep periods. His appetite hasn't been too bad, but much of the food he's eaten didn't taste right and some of it, really tasted bad to him. And, he also still has a lot of fatigue, making it hard to do just about anything.  :-(

Yesterday morning, it was time to go back to Dr. Saferali.s office and get another blood test to see how the counts were doing. The test went off without a hitch and when Brittney, (the lab tech), looked at the results, she said, "Wow!!! Your test results look really good!!!"  :-)

Yep!! Almost all of the counts are right in the "normal" range, and those that are not, are just barely outside the normal range!!!!

Tuesday, Jim has his PET Scan and then Wednesday he and Linda will go to see Dr. Graham to get the results. I hope they're good results.

Did you know that all rose species have 5 petals, except for the Rosa Sericea, which has 4 petals?


Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Roughest Week Yet and A Secret

DeBary FL.

69 deg. overcast, N. wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast = Windy with thunderstorms. High 77F. Winds ENE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.

The injection with the "on body injector", went off without a hitch and by about 7:15 Saturday evening, the little machine was beeping and beeping, letting Jim know that the injection of the Newlasta  drug was complete.

Sunday wasn't too bad, but by evening, Jim's bones and muscles were starting to ache so  he took a couple over-counter pain meds before he retired for the day. By 2:00 AM he was up taking more which didn't really have any effect.

He struggled through the day on Sunday, and before heading to bed took a prescription pain medication that the Chemo Dr. ,(Dr. Saferali), had prescribed for him when he started the chemo therapy,  It helped and Jim slept pretty much throughout the night and well into the morning. (This med also makes you sleepy).

And, so it went, with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Lots of pain during the day, even with over-the-counter medications and restless sleep under the influence of prescription drugs at night. :-(  Jim was able to sleep some during the days, (probably from the lasting effects of the night medication), so he was able get some rest.

But during these days, Jim was not able to do anything. It hurt to walk, sit, or do just about anything else he could think of and when yesterday, (Friday) rolled around, he was very happy to realize that his pain was no longer near as bad. :-)  It's a good thing too because he needed to go back to see Dr. Saferali to get a blood test and have a "visit" (as they call it), with her.

Dr. Saferali looked at the results of the blood test and was satisfied that although all the counts were not in the the normal range, was sure they were moving in the right direction and thought that within another week, should be getting back to normal. :-)

So, now starts the recovery and then the "dreaded" PET Scan on the 26th and "nerve wrenching" Doctor's visit with Dr. Graham on the 27th of April to get the results of the scan.

Oh, one other thing!!!! Dr. Saferali asked Jim and Linda what their travel plans were for this summer and was wondering when they were thinking about heading North!! (She's well aware of our travels ever since treating Linda back in 2013).  Jim told her that he din't have any definite plans and she said that as far as she was concerned, it was all dependent on how Jim felt and how fast he could recover!!! :-)

Now, don't tell Jim I leaked this information, but Jim told Dr. Saferali that if it was at all possible, he and Linda were looking at the 13th of June as our departure date to head North for the summer!!!! ( The rent for the lot over at Paradise Lakes RV Park comes due on the 13th).  Well, she said that unless the PET Scan showed something that she didn't expect to show up, she didn't see why that date shouldn't be possible. She really expects Jim to be recovered enough to do what is necessary with the trailer by that time!!!! ;-)

Now, remember!!!!!! Don't tell Jim I told you this!!!! He doesn't want anyone to get their hopes up too high yet!!!!

Did you know on this in 1900 - The first book of postage stamps was issued? The two-cent stamps were available in books of 12, 24 and 48 stamps.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Catching Up and Jim's Last Chemo Treatment

DeBary, FL.

76 deg. clear, S. wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast for Sunday =  Partly cloudy. High around 80F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph.

Well, most of Jim's hair is gone. Linda did cut it last Saturday and now it's only about 1/2 inch long. Jim said that he hadn't had hair this short since his military days back in the early 60's!! ;-)

Sunday, not much happened around here, but Monday, Linda and Jim decided to go grocery shopping. They went to the  Publix Grocery store in Orange City and they both grabbed one of those electric shopping carts to ride around on in the store. Everything went fine, but by the time they had carried the groceries into the house, Jim was completely wiped out and Linda was dragging her feet too. (These stronger Chemo treatments are really taking a toll on Jim's energy level).

For dinner, they had a Pizza delivered here to the house so no work was involved.

Wednesday was a "recoup day" but by Thursday evening, it was decided to use one of the gift cards that they had received for Christmas and head over to the 5 Guys hamburger place in Orange City. The burgers were good, but neither Jim nor Linda thought they were worth the price and were glad they had the Gift card to pay for them.

Yesterday morning, Lila took Jim and Linda up to Deland for Jim's Last Chemo Treatment. It was another one of the stronger treatments and by the time they stopped at Gram's Kitchen for a bite to eat and got back here, Jim was really tired and starting to have a lot of bone and muscle pain. Some medications that Jim had received from the doctor, helped that a quite a bit though.

If you remember, the last time Jim had received one of these stronger treatments, his white blood cell count had dropped to a level where he could have easily caught some type of an infection. Well, this time after the treatment, they put this "On Body Injector" on Jim and as of about 7 PM this evening, it will inject a drug call "Neulasta" into his body.  "Neulasta" stimulates the bone marrow which raises the white blood cell count. It also causes bone pain, so I'm sure Jim will have to take more medications tonight. :-(

This is the little device that Jim has stuck to his body. There's a little green light that flashes about every 4 or 5 seconds and tonight, it's supposed to "beep" 2 minutes before it starts injecting the drug and then it will take about 45 minutes to inject the drug. Then, after it "beeps" again, Jim can remove the device.

What won't they think of next??? Oh!! I guess I'd better explain that this Neulasta drug has to be administered no less than 24 hours after the chemo treatment. It was about 4:00 yesterday when the chemo treatment was finished. so 7 PM tonight will be 27 hours. 

This last treatment has really sapped Jim's strength and endurance. Hopefully this side effect won't last too long and he'll be able to do some things without getting tired right away. 

Did you know that on this date in 1833 - Peterborough, NH, opened the first municipally supported public library in the United States? 


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Doing Better and Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

DeBary, FL.

75 deg., overcast, SE wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast = Thunderstorms. A few storms may be severe. High 84F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 90%.

To all that e-mailed, commented, called or contacted Jim this last week, Thank You very much!!! He needed that after the rough week he had.

Jim has continued to feel better this week. He's been eating better and drinking lots of fluids and has gotten some of his energy back. :-) In fact, yesterday when he went to get his blood test, the test showed that all of his counts have come back up to normal or near normal readings so he doesn't have to worry too much about his resistance to germs, etc. so much.

Through all the chemo treatments so far, Jim's hair has not fallen out. He's had times when it seemed like there was an excess of hair in his comb after combing his hair, but nothing real serious. But, yesterday, Jim noticed a whole lot of hair is starting to fall out, so Linda called Laura yesterday afternoon and last evening, she and Lindsey brought their hair clippers over so that it could be cut. More than likely, sometime today, Jim will get his last haircut for quite awhile. :-(

Jim's not looking forward to not having any hair, but there's really nothing that can be done about it. If it's not cut off, he'll end up with bald spots and that will look really bad. And eventually, it'll all fall out anyway. :-(

If everything goes according to plan, Jim will get his last Chemo treatment this next Friday. It'll be another large dose treatment, so he probably won't be feeling too well for awhile after he has it. Then, if the PET Scan shows that all these treatments were successful, the recovery will begin.

On a lighter note, Jim and Linda went out to eat at the Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant in Orange City yesterday evening. From what I understand, the food was pretty good, but overall, neither Jim or Linda were too impressed with the place. They enjoyed themselves though and it was nice to get out of the house for a change.

Did you know that April is "National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month"?