Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Quick Medical Update

Chad had a few appointments at the VA today. His legs have been fitted for the fancy compression socks. He had the ultra sound and a follow-up appointment with the doctor and all looks okay there. No 'reflux' which is what the concern was. So no urgent need for any procedures where that is concerned. They've given him topical cream in combination with the socks and will keep an eye on it.

Aside from that, we got the results back from the endoscopy. Mixed feelings. First and foremost - relief. The biopsies came back clear. Results = just stomach irritation.

This is good because well, there's no cancer or anything seriously bad happening in there.

This is so-so because we were hopeful there would be some treatment and his pain would get better. So we're back to square one. There is one other test the doctor wants to run but we've basically concluded this is just going to be something he has to live with and will be a life-long complication from surgery. I feel bad for him because he just has to learn 'deal with it' ... but I also feel thankful that this is 'all' he has to deal with. I know, easier for me to say than him ... but it sure as heck beats some of the alternatives.

So, in conclusion. I consider it a good day. :)

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
Onward and Upward
Shan & Chad <3

Monday, March 28, 2016


I seen this photo and it made me laugh :)
I've been waiting for the results of the biopsies prior to making any updates but we still don't have any. Some folks have been checking in to see how things are going - so here I am!

It means so much to us that people seem to always have our family in their thoughts. It truly is touching. Chad has been having some better days lately. His neck and back is still stiff but the spasms are minimal. His belly is still super distended but aside from yesterday (which was a bad day cramping wise) he's been digesting things better. I reached out to the Support Group with respects to the bloating and weight gain. There were quite a few people who responded and said they experienced the same sort of things Chad is experiencing.

It's such a crazy disease. For some it makes them so super sick and they can't maintain weight. For others it's the opposite.

We did finally hear back from the VA..

Good News: Chad has an appointment with a Neurosurgeon
Bad News: The appointment is in May.

Chad explained that his life is on hold right now. He can't work due to pain and fear of making everything worse. The woman on the phone was very apologetic and suggested we call and get put on a wait list for this surgeon in the event he has a cancellation. We've done that. So we wait.

Tomorrow we head to Marion for three different appointments. Nothing major and nothing related to spinal/stomach issues. It will just be a very long day.

Thanks again world.
We love you

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Endoscopy Complete

Chad had an upper endoscopy this morning. For those who follow this blog, you know that Chad has had on-going stomach issues pretty much since surgery a year ago. Nothing showed up in the CT Scans in December and the colonoscopy was clear. All the blood tests he ever has, shows zero indications of anything 'out of the normal'. The upper endoscopy was one of the last things we could try (aside from a digestive track test, which we're pursuing)

Fortunately and unfortunately, the doctor did see some areas of concern. I say fortunately because - God willing - this is something they can address and hopefully treat to give this man some relief. I say unfortunately because - well, we don't know what it is.

The best I can gather based upon what the doctor told me and what I could confirm on Google is the endoscopy showed reddening toward the bottom of him stomach and in the upper intestine called the duodenum. He believes Chad has Gastritis and has taken samples to have them biopsied.

Cancer? From what I gather and what I read; cancer is not the concern at this time. I asked specifically what they were testing for and the doctor said; inflammation, infection, parasites, etc, He did not mention cancer. According to google stomach cancer would present itself with tumors, ulcers or at least some visible sign of a cluster of cells. So unless the doctor was leaving that bit of information out, I am going to try my best to push that concern out of the picture.

Should this turn out to be Gastritis, there are two types. Acute and Chronic. Both are usually caused by some type of irritant. Chronic has an underlining element of Helicobacter pylori. This wouldn't be great because it destroys the stomach lining and increases the risk of gastric cancer.

In conclusion: We'll know more in a couple days. I am praying for a best case scenario again which would be this is something not-so-serious that can be treated by either tracking down and removing the irritant from Chad's diet and/or taking antibiotics or whatever else is required to give him comfort.

While the concern is not removed completely, I do feel confident that the doctor didn't indicate there were any tumors or anything of concern in that domain.

Quick Update on Spinal Issues: Chad is still stiff and sore. The VA is screwing up in their usual method with the Veterans Choice program. He was supposed to see a Neurologist and they made an appointment for a chiropractor, so we're back to working on that to ensure we see the correct type of doctor.

The job search continues. We're just trying to take everything one day at a time. He isn't physically able to work right now in most jobs he is qualified for but I have faith that this (seemingly never ending) road will lead us in the right direction.

Continued thanks for your love and support! I know which of you out there are genuine and my heart will never be able to say thank-you enough xoxo <3

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Year Or A Lifetime

One year ago today Chad was being prepped for surgery. We had absolutely no idea what the doctor would find when they opened him up and every possibility you could imagine was running through my head. I prayed and cried and begged and hoped ...

We've had some positive outcomes but we've also had some seriously difficult struggles. Chad's belly pain has come back in folds and his bloating has been very bad for a couple days. I know his CT and Colonoscopy came back clear but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still concerned it could be the big "C". In my heart, I don't think it is. I think his digestion is just very different than it used to be and I think the scar tissue is the cause for the pain since it is in and around his scar.

Today, right now, he is in Mayfield getting his 3-Month Blood work done. God willing, the results come back normal. Your prayers are appreciated beyond words.

I'm just thankful. To have him with me. Every day. And I pray the road gets a little less bumpy for him. I pray he heals and he is able to get back into the working force. I pray that he has more good days than bad and appreciates every one for the blessing that it is. I know it's 'only been a year' but it does feel like a lifetime.

I pray for good. Good news. Good days. Good life.

Thank you for your love, support and prayers xo