Friday, November 17, 2017

Happy Birthday?

November 16, 2017 - We went to Marion, IL to drop of Chad's 24 Hour Urine test and to see the chiropractor. While he wouldn't even touch Chad's neck because he said it was so bad (from the images, said Chad needs surgery. Ha. No Kidding) He did adjust his back and give some exercises to do at home. The end goal is to get them to refer Chad to a local guy but it will take 6 visits with this guy since this is a new program with the VA here.

We also found out Chad's PET Scan has been scheduled. For. November 30th - 8 am. His Birthday. *sigh*

We won't get the results that day but we're really, really hoping it is going to be the best birthday present ever with another "NED (No Evidence of Disease) |Report"!

He's been doing pretty well lately, all things considered. We count our blessings.

Many thanks for the love and continued prayers.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Full Circle - Another Trip To The ER

In January of 2015 I rushed Chad to the hospital for crippling stomach pain. It was not the first time. A couple years prior - same thing. And it happened several times before I came in the picture. The visit in '15, is what inadvertently led us to his cancer diagnosis.

Since then it's been one thing after another including a massive hernia which was repaired a few months ago (June 2017).

On November 7, 2017 the stomach troubles struck again. I was working/at the gym when Chad was communicating how sick he felt. After he got home from work, with the help of his super awesome nurse Brenden (his son, he was SUCH a trooper) Chad slept for a little over an hour. Hoping he could just push through it. By the time I had gotten home, he had thrown up for about 6 hours straight with the exception of his nap.

All his symptoms pointed to food poisoning and he tried to get it to settle on its own. At about 8:30 after vomiting so violently I have no idea how he could still be conscious, we made the decision to take him to the ER.

It's never an easy decision. I wouldn't normally recommend people go to the ER for some sort of virus but in this case - I didn't see any other option. He could not stand, sit, walk - nothing. The only position he found any comfort in was kneeled over with his face in the couch. The second he tried to move - off to the bathroom he went.

As a wife, it's horrible to see. Being so absolutely helpless. Considering what happened the last time we went through this, I can't even begin to express the fear and concern that was shooting through me.

To be frank - while we are trying to remain optimistic, he has a lot of symptoms lately - paired with the blood test results that are just concerning. When cancer touches your life, it changes you. When you get a super aggressive strain, every ache and pain is worrisome.

When I say he was violently ill, I'm not exaggerating even remotely.  We arrived at the ER around 8:30 PM. The waiting room was full. We got into triage and once they seen his condition and knew his history - we were immediately taken to a room.

Again, he couldn't sit so picture Chad face down in the gurney, arms hanging over, butt up in the air - dying from the inside out. The nurse came in almost immediately, drew his blood and gave him anti-nauseous medication. She was a God send. Everyone there was.

Once the doctor came to see us, he said the blood work is what he would expect of someone who had been that severally ill for that long. He did say he was concerned though due to Chad's history and wanted to run a CT Scan to ere on the side of caution and make sure everything intestinal looked alright and also that his Hernia Repair mesh was still in tact.

All was well. The medication helped a ton and within the hour Chad had improved enough to lay back on the gurney. His Mom came to the hospital and she said ever since he was a kid, his stomach has put him through pure chaos when he had to vomit. It's intense. Very, very difficult to watch. I can't imagine what it's like to endure.

We got home and eventually got settled just before 2 AM. He woke up about an hour and a half later and began vomiting again. I really thought we were going to head back to the ER. Fortunately, he was able to keep a tablet down which calmed his stomach enough to fall back to sleep.

He has not gotten ill since about 4:30 AM.

We later found out, there is a really bad stomach virus going around the town. Apparently, Chad fell victim. I believe I even got a touch because I began getting sick but my stomach is a steel cage, so I'm alright (haha)

This is a mighty long post to talk about a stomach bug but it is representative of our lives now. It doesn't matter what it is, the mind goes crazy with the worse case scenarios spinning through your head. The harsh realities of life are overwhelming sometimes. I am just SO grateful for all the genuine and thoughtful people out there who truly understand what this is like. Who reach out, offer prayers and support and are truly in our corner. I will NEVER be able to properly express how much it means to me.

Much Love

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Appointment Update

Today we ventured to Marion, IL for two appointments.

Oncologist - This was much anticipated because we had a few questions. Mostly concerning the CgA (Chromogranin A) Blood test that she ran. Why did she run it? What were her concerns? What are her thoughts on the results being elevates.

She ran it because it is a new test she adds for all her patients. Something I guess she is doing just to dot I's and cross T's. Chad has had on-going stomach issues, so she wants to cover her basis.

Her thoughts on the results are inconclusive but she said she is not at all concerned about it because;

A) His CT Results were clear
B) His other Tumor Marker test are within normal range
C) All other blood work results look good

She is getting him to do a 24-Hour Urine test which will test his levels of protein. He's been instructed to do this previously by another doctor for his kidney so now we're armed and ready! She also said numerous other factors could contribute to elevated results on the CgA so by itself is not conclusive of cancer. (All this I already read on Google but it was reassuring to hear a live-human being say it out loud)

She is still waiting on approval for the PET Scan. Her intent to get this done is precautionary. Stated simply she said "Because he is young and a veteran" :)  So, she may be loopy and a bit weird but at least she is being pro-active which is refreshing.

Physical Therapy - This consult was just one of the many hoops to jump through to get some sort of better quality of life for Chad and his back pain. She was feeling around his back and was quite shocked at how tight his entire back seemed to be. She has put an order in for physical therapy (locally) and if the traction helps, they will get him a home traction device. So - there's some progress and hope in the distance!

Thanks for all your love and support and prayers. I can't speak for Chad but I am feeling more optimistic about at least the potential of less painful days ahead for him :)

Much Love!