Monday, September 26, 2016

Blood Results and Updates

Last week Chad went in for his quarterly blood tests and to get some other things checked out. I didn't post at the time because everything was up in the air and I had no news.

We had a follow up appointment today and in true VA Style, it was pretty much a waste of time. It felt like everyone was so on the ball before and now they're getting lazy.

I read the results myself and analyzed them. lol We got confirmation today (but only because we asked not because anyone told us)

All of his tumor marker results are good. These test are used to measure a certain substance that is produced by cancer itself. So when the levels get high or are on the rise, it may be indictive of cancer. The test can also be completely useless but there is so little one can do to catch cancer early, these - combined with scans, are our best chance at staying above water.

Chad did experience some blood in his stool which was concerning. He did submit a test last week when we went in but we still have no results on that. It lasted for two bowel movements and then he had some dark stools. Everything cleared up until recent when it was black again.

I know this sometimes seems too much information but this blog has become a useful tool. Since he has so many odd things going on, doctors always ask WHEN. I cannot tell you the number of times Ive consulted this  blog to answer that question.

The last thing he had checked out was this spot on his leg. He had it looked at by a dermatologist in March but since then it has grown quite a bit. Since he is fearful of melonoma, we're ering on the side of caution. They took some photos and sent them to the big hospital in Marion, IL. The doctor we went to today is about 30 minutes away and just a clinic.

Anyways, Chad is having cramping again which is unfortunate since it got better there for awhile. His neck seems pretty good. He still has lower back issues but he's pushing through.

His Physical therapy is complete for the time being so we will see how that goes

Sometimes, the biggest struggle is the mental anguish that accompanies cancer. It can really mess with your outlook and causes a stupid amount of anxiety for everyone. :(

I apologiz for the typos. I am writing from my laptop and it never turns out well! ha!

Thanks for your continued love and support!

Friday, September 2, 2016


Chad went for his nerve conduction test yesterday. This has been months in the making. The VA has been good to us but getting through their red-tape sometimes proves to be difficult. Granted, I am sure that can be said for any 'insurance' - so it is what it is.

A Nerve Conduction Test/Study is when they send an electrical current/impulse through a nerve to determine how much damage there is and if it is communicating properly. Chad's spinal damage has left him in considerable pain and his hands often go numb where he drops things all the time. This will help Dr Hall (The neurosurgeon) determine how sever the damage already is.

As a result of them picking and prodding and sending tons of electricity through his nerves and muscles Chad is in an overwhelming amount of pain today. He said he hasn't felt this bad since when this all began many moons ago. :( Please send a prayer for healing and comfort. I have booked him an appointment at the Chiropractor this afternoon to hopefully offer some relief for this weekend. I tried to get him an additional Physical Therapy appointment and pay out of pocket but his therapist does not work on Friday and the appointment would have cost over $300! I would've paid it but I know Chad wouldn't have accepted that. That's neither here nor there because she isn't available anyways. :(

Someone on the website I work for wrote me this morning. He had a near-death experience and his friends and family were told to come to the hospital to say their good-byes. He miraculously pulled through but is now suffering the after effects of his body going through a traumatic event. His words brought tears to my eyes because I think he put into words what Chad is most likely feeling... Here's a few excerpts;

"I am so sick and tired of my body not responding the way I want it to. A good part of it is just damned age, but then there are the days when getting up from a chair and walking to the kitchen leave me winded... and pre existing spinal issues make it impossible to get up out of a chair without assistance."

"It gets so frustrating, and the excessive amounts of testosterone that we guys carry around amplifies the frustration. We don't want to think about it, we just want to get on with it, yet it's always there in the back of our minds."

"I feel I have survived the initial illness, but I'm not so sure about the trickle down effects. They seem to go on forever and ever and they constantly remind us just how vulnerable we are. Yet another thing we fellas aren't really keen about knowing!"

I don't think the gentleman who wrote this will ever quite understand the impact of his words and how much I needed a reminder that my husband is truly, truly hurting and it is my job to help support him and get through this.  I also know we're not alone - other people out there are going through their own personal hell and I hope we can lift each other up in prayer.

It is pretty much a constant struggle in our household. Adapting to these changes that will most likely never leave him feeling 'good' again. Half the battle is physical, half the battle is mental. How does someone adjust to something like this? People don't understand either, they just don't get it. They think "well he beat Cancer right? It's not chemo or anything causing this?" No, it's not. It's just like once he had the surgery and began to recover from that, everything else began to fall apart.

Cancer never goes away. Even when it does. It's always there. Reminding you of what it took from you and how easily it can take more.

I just hope and pray that it all levels out - sooner, rather than later. It becomes manageable - physically, emotionally and mentally - and that he and our family as a whole - can truly begin to heal and enjoy the blessings we've been given.

Thank you all for your love, support and prayers xo