Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Blessed.That is the only word I can use to describe things right now. 
I know I have been MIA lately .. but there has been A LOT going on.
Since you heard from me last my dad has completed his radiation treatments. 
 He finally got to go in and do the trial run (2 days before the schedule radiation) and we got a HUGE shock. Prior to the treatment they do an MRI to make sure they are getting the right thing and when they did the MRI and compared it with a MRI done 3 weeks prior and .. 

THE LYMPH NODE had gotten "CONSIDERABLY" smaller

The doctors gave no medical reason for this and basically were baffled. Of course we were SO excited but we had no idea what caused it to shrink. They decided to do the radiation on just his liver and watch the lymph node. Basically, one doctor talked to another doctor and that doctor talked to this doctor and they all decided we should just biopsy the lymph node and know for sure whether it was cancerous or not. 
We got that set up and he went in last week and much to our dismay .. 


Yes, you heard me right ... the lymph node was MIA. 

 Which is an amazing thing because that one stinking lymph node was what was holding him back from being able to get a transplant. His medical oncologist (the one who manages any chemo, sets up radiation, etc) had him come in on Monday and discuss everything. She basically said they presented his case to the Tumor Board with Piedmont the previous Friday and they are moving towards placing him on the transplant list. 
As exciting as that is, it is still nothing DEFINITE.. 
No one has said "You are getting a transplant" or anything like that yet. 

Well, we got some definition yesterday. 

When he went to the medical oncologist on Monday she apparently rechecked the blood work that they made the initial diagnosis with. There is a blood level you can check that will aid in the diagnosis of liver cancer. This level can be elevated for various different reasons in healthy people and can be totally normal. In a normal healthy adult the level should be less than 10. Initially, his was over 4,400 (which is basically, along with the MRI showing the mass, how they made their diagnosis). After having the TACE procedure at UAB and then the radiation at Piedmont they wanted his blood level below 500. 

Yesterday, we got word that it came back at 22



This level will only INCREASE his chances of getting a transplant because it basically means the procedures and radiation have worked!! 

Again, nothing is set in stone and all we really know is that his blood level has gone WAY down, the lymph node is no where to be found, and most importantly, he is feeling good. Right now, that is all we could ever ask for.
To say that prayers can be answered and miracles happen everyday is an UNDERSTATEMENT. We are SO thankful for everything going on right now that I cannot even express to you how overwhelming this entire process has been. 

We have received THREE miracles within LESS than a week!!! :) 
We have been through the ringer when it comes to emotional ups and downs and finally it seems things are working the way they should. You always read about miracles and things happening to people that are outrageously amazing and such a phenomenon but you never actually think they will happen to you.
THANK YOU to everyone who has kept my family in your daily thoughts and prayers, something is working here people!!

 I will do my best to update more frequently but we were trying not to get too excited about each little thing happening and just trying to keep level heads about it all. Which we have done, but with some actual concrete evidence (blood work) that the things he has done thus far are working, we can be a little excited! Besides, I think we owe it to you guys who have been praying for us to give you a little bit of an update :)
Please keep them coming!!! :)

I will leave you with some pictures of the latest happenings .. Football, football buddies, and lazy weekends with PawPaw. 

Much Love!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


There has been SO much going on lately that has lead me to become slightly overwhelmed.

- Coleman started KINDERGARTEN. Yes. Kindergarten. Makes me cry just thinking about it. He has done so good the past three days and is growing up so fast it's bittersweet. I am so excited to watch him grow as we start this school journey but that just means my baby is not a baby anymore. Sniff, sniff. But I am extremely proud of the little man he has become and will continue to grow into from now on. I just love him.

- Coleman has started FOOTBALL. Which has completely consumed our lives. We practice Mon, Tues, and Thurs nights from 6:15-7:30 (or 8 which is when we've been leaving). Games are on Saturdays and we could travel up to 40 miles to get to them. WHAT?!? He is 5 (almost 6 .... vomit!!!!) and I know it seems crazy and a bit too much but he LOVES it. He has been wanting to play for years so we couldn't pass it up! He has decided to take on PawPaw's football # and is now #71 on the Jackson County Giants. It's precious!!

Now on to why you are really here ......

- My dad is such a trooper let me just start off by saying that. He is doing quite well (although he is on no medications) and other than losing some weight he is doing well (I think). He has been scheduled twice now to start the radiation treatments and try have rescheduled him twice. We are set to start them next Thurs and them 5 more every second or third day I think. Apparently radiation in this particular area is a VERY delicate procedure and it is critical that they are exact with their measurements because the lymph node they are shooting for is right beside Jose stomach, kidney, and aorta. Which, to be honest, kind of freaks me out a bit. I just pray for wisdom of the doctors and for their healing hands to lay on my strong daddy! He got to come and watch Coleman play football this past Saturday and that was SO special. I know he is one proud Grandpa (whether he admits to it or not). Pray. Please.

Emotionally I am a little drained right now between getting situated in my new job, Coleman starting Kindergarten and football, trying to maintain a household and keep it functioning while trying to be at my parents as much as I can. It's hard. Really hard. But we will make it. I will make it.

Please pray for my daddy - strength for him not to give up and to continue fighting. Pray for the doctors who are doing his radiation - wisdom to make all the right decisions and for it to be done correctly. Pray for myself and my family for strength and peace during this tornado that is our lives right now.

God bless.

**I'll end with a few pictures from lately.**

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jump start

After finding out the horrible "C" word has intruded our family one of the first thoughts I had (for other people) was EDUCATE yourself, LISTEN and GO TO THE DOCTOR. After some research, I learned that those with chronic (unresolved) Hepatitis C are basically bound to get the type of "c" word my dad has. Had I known this I would have totally been on his butt about that. We finally got his other (non complicated) health issues under control except one thing. Blah!

One of my sweet friends' father has Hepatitis C and after the hurricane subsided and the dust settled a bit she was one of my first thoughts. I had to tell her so maybe they could learn from my horrible situation and hopefully prevent a similar situation. It is VERY important to be a part of your loved ones health and sometimes that means being a little nosey and pushy but it's in their best interests. You can be discreet about it by doing your own research and then very subtly help them make better decisions.

Another almost family members father found out he had cancer after not going to the doctor in a few years. I cannot stress ENOUGH how important it is to go to the doctor. Every 6 months or a year GO TO THE DOCTOR!!!! Some things that could be prevented or detected early can kill you if you don't go to the doctor routinely! Mountains can be made from mole hills rather quickly if you don't listen to your body. Good Lord just GO TO THE DOC!!! Make your appt tomorrow :)

Even though my situation completely SUCKS (as mature as that sounds), I really hope whoever reads this learns from it and takes a stand in maintaining their health and taking part in the health of those around you.

***Ill leave you with some pictures of this afternoon. Dad and I made some DELISH peach preserves!! Too bad this picture is not a scratch and sniff because the aroma these are giving off it redonkulous!!!!***

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Let it Be

Sometimes I have an experience where I step back, realistically look at the big picture and think, "this is not my life."

But it is.

Dad starts his radiation on 7/27 and has 6 treatments total within about a 2 week span. Please pray this doesn't weigh too heavily on his body and that he is able to tolerate it. Having him off the chemo while he does the radiation has been a completely blessing because he fees better and is able to interact and not be so exhausted.

I am so proud of him.

A song that I have been humming daily for a few months now is an amazing song by The Beatles. It's goes a little something like this ...

**When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Yeah there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Ah let it be, yeah let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music,
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Yeah let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah let it be
Oh there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah let it be
Oh there will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Ah let it be, yeah let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be**

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Family Sunday

Coleman always finds his way to Pawpaws lap. I walked into the living room and saw this ......

Today is a good day.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I have some wonderful friends who are standing by me and also some who are actually going through similar situations and she sent me this verse that I take comfort in. Used in any circumstance, you could take comfort in these words also.

Philippians 4:6,7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God Bless!

Chemo and the next best thing.

Mom and dad have taken a MUCH needed mini vacation down to stay with their friends Brenda and Gary at their house in Panama City Beach. I am so glad they were able to go and get that time together.

The oral chemo they have (had) dad on is called nexavar. He has been on it for about 2.5 weeks now. He did really well for the first week with little to no side effects. This last week has been really hard for him. He is extremely tired and has completely lost his appetite. I'll spare his modesty as he would probably hunt me down for having this blog in the first place, but let's just say some more unpleasant side effects were more aggravating than others. We got a call yesterday from the doctor who will be doing the radiation and he gave him the go ahead to stop taking the Nexavar. In one sense I was like "good! Now you'll feel better" and then I thought wait .. But now what?

All chemo medications are different and each one has different effects on different people. Some people can tolerate some medications and others cant. So basically they start you out on the medication proven to be most effective for your specific condition and then if you can't tolerate it you go to the next best thing.

For now, he will be able to feel good enough to enjoy things going on around him until we get to the next best thing.

I have to give him credit, he is a fighter. In the same situation I would probably not been as "bounce back-ish" as he was and immediately start fighting - and for that, I am glad everyone has different reactions! He is fighting and I believe it is 95% for Coleman and 5% for us. Which is fine with me ... JUST DO IT!

Prayers are continuously welcomed around here.

God bless!