Thursday, March 30, 2017

Consult One - Complete

Today was... interesting. Long. And Interesting.

Chad had his consult to get his hernia repaired. It didn't quite go as planned.

The surgeon who performed the consult (Dr Hayley) told us the hernia was worse than he anticipated for two reasons.

1. It was larger than they're used to repairing.
2. History of infection. When Chad had his Right Hemicolectomy, his wound got an infection. They had to open it up, to drain it and allow it to repair on its own.

The VA Surgeon said the mesh that they had available is not the desired kind and also that he would have to basically re-open almost his entire wound.

Long story short, he is recommending Chad for an out of VA-Consult for the hernia repair surgery. The 'normal' next step would have been to send us to St Louis for a consult but after our experience with that hospital with Chad's cancer, we were very much opposed to that idea. Dr Hayley basically agreed that for the complexity of the repair, Chad would be better off going outside the VA. It was quite interesting to hear a VA doctor basically say the care received at VA Hospitals is subpar.

So now - we wait for the decision on that.

In other news. Chad woke up with a pretty bad headache, borderline migraine. When they took his vitals, his blood pressure was high. After the consult, they basically made Chad go to the ER.

Gracious. It took ages to get into a room. Ages to see a doctor. Once the doctor arrived, he did a quick look-over and ordered blood work, an EKG a chest x-ray and a CT Scan on his brain. FOR A HEADACHE! Mind blown. It took about 4 hours in total. All the test came back fine, so they gave him a blood pressure machine to monitor it and if need be, I guess follow-up with his primary physician.

If nothing else, I am thankful for them being thorough and going above and beyond to make sure he was alright. It took way too long but at least there is peace of mind that everything appears to be A-Ok.

That's all for now! Thanks for your continued love and support!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dr Sardi's Office Has Been In Touch

For those just tuning in. We have been trying since the beginning of December to get Dr. Sardi,  Chad's specialist in Baltimore, to review his latest scans. For peace of mind, more than anything.  It is always a good idea to have someone who is intimately familiar with a disease to be involved. Appendix cancer is tricky and if the doctors or radiologist are unfamiliar with it, they may not know what to look for.

Originally we were told that an in-person visit was required. Due to various circumstances, it just wasn't feasible to travel at this time. When I wrote to cancel our appointment, by the grace of God, Dr Sardi had passed along the great news that he would review the scans and let us know by Friday of last week.

Dr. Sardi is a super busy man so we were just waiting patiently to hear from them and the call came today! His assistant called Chad and told him that everything looked good! The hernia was visible in the scans and it may be the cause of Chad's cramping/pain. They had no answers to his bloating.

It's a tough situation sometimes. It just sucks so bad that Chad hurts and no one knows 'why' but I can't pretend I am not super relived to hear that Dr. Sardi sees no evidence of disease. It just fills my heart with gratitude for both Dr Sardi for taking the time to look - and for God, for watching over us.

We're blessed and just so so thankful! <3

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hello World!

I have been meaning to update for a few days but ran into a slew of computer problems.

Briefly: We did meet with Chad's primary physician and they have submitted another request for Chad to see the neurosurgeon and also to address his hernia. We also got them to draw blood for his tumor markers. Which reminds me, I should check online to see the results of those.

In another turn of events. I wrote Dr. Sardi's office earlier this week to confirm cancellation of the appointment. I received a response back and was told;

"I am working with Dr Sardi to review his images. We received your email. I will be reviewing this week he just returned from out of the country.
Have a good day I hope all is well. Please write me a summary of how Chad is doing and any questions you have for Dr Sardi."

I am not sure what changed but I am super happy to hear that they will hopefully be able to read the scans. I was told we would hear back by Friday but that date has come and gone. Hopefully next week! 

That's all for now! I'll keep you posted!

Thanks for the love and support! xo

Friday, March 17, 2017

More Red Tape

Remember how I said Chad had a neurosurgeon appointment on March 20th - FINALLY?

Wrong. Long story short. Tri-West has, yet again, dropped the ball. It turns out that not only did he not get approval for the appointment but now he has to start all over with his primary physician because it's been a year since the original request. (I won't mention how we've been going through this since November and it expired a few weeks ago).

Now -  Wednesday March 22, he has an appointment with his primary physician and we will go from there.

Still no response from Dr. Sardi.

Thanks for your support and love xo

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I Forgot - Baltimore

I forgot to mention, during yesterday's brief update - Baltimore.

Chad's specialist works out of Mercy Medical in Baltimore. We had an appointment for March 24th for him to review the scans because they refused to do it without an in-person visit.

It doesn't look like we'll be able to make the trip. I am not absolutely certain yet but it's unlikely. With the finances involved, even with vouchers from the airline - it'll be costly.  We would have to kennel the dogs since I have no one reliable to care for them. Transportation to and from. Hotels while we stay, etc., etc., I am fine with spending the cash but Chad on the other hand... He gets in these moods where he just wants to give up and not bother. He's a grown man, I can't force him.

I emailed Dr. Sardi a week ago to see if there's anything he can do but I have not had a response. Dr Sardi is a great surgeon. The experience we had two years ago was a wonderful one. Since then though, it hasn't been the best. Unfortunately. :(

Anyways, if anything changes - I'll remember to post. xo

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Finally - Progress - Dr. Hall Coming Soon

Brief Recap:

Cancer Stuff - Chad is doing pretty well in this area. He has his usual problems of still not being able to eat barely anything. We went out for dinner the other night and he kept the food down for less than an hour. I'll spare you the details but I felt really bad for him. He CAN eat, just some days are better than others and it's only ever small amounts at a time.

He should have blood work coming up before long, I will have to check with him on that.

Neck Stuff - Chad has been dealing with the neck spasms for over a year now. They caused him to lose his job last year. We've been back and forth with the VA for awhile now trying to get his neurosurgeon appointment re-approved. Finally, it has happened.

March 20th - We will be going to see Dr. Hall on March 20th. Most likely, surgery will be scheduled and I am sure he will order another MRI to see if the damage has gotten more severe or not.

In positive news, a couple weeks ago we went back to Dr. Love (His Pain Management Doctor) and it seems like the shot has actually worked this time. He seems to be doing decent in that area!

That's all for now! Thanks for your continued love, support and prayers xo <3

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The New Normal

For fear of sounding like a broken record, I don't update as much anymore.  Things are still the same.

Cancer Stuff: Two years ago today we were in Baltimore as Chad was getting prepped for surgery the following day. So tomorrow will be his 'official' two-years cancer free! We had received the results from the colonoscopy (a few polyps removed but all was well) and he was admitted into the hospital.

Life sure has changed since that day. While the health is still touch 'n go, with all things considered - we have been blessed by God in the most wonderful ways. God willing I can post these same type of updates for the rest of our lives. He's a fighter, that's for sure.

I had the CT Scan results sent to Dr Sardi, out specialist in Baltimore. After going rounds with his receptionist, who I used to love but who has been kind of rude for the past year and a bit - we were told that our specialist would not review the CT Scans without seeing Chad in person first. I understand that they may have protocols but traveling right now is difficult for a number of reasons. We do have an appointment booked for March 24th but I'll be surprised if we make it. Chad's already told me to cancel. It's just heart breaking because he REALLY wants Dr Sardi's perspective but they're not willing to help us at all unless we get there in person. Sad. :(

Neck News: Tri-West has yet again declined Dr Hall's request for appointments. This is getting really frustrating because Chad spends endless hours on the phone with these people trying to find out why. According to them, they see no reason why it shouldn't. He spoke to a lady Monday and she personally put in a phone call and said he should hear by the end of the week. God willing it's an approval and he can get this surgery once and for all.  He still has on-going pain and flare-ups and while he's miserable, he continues to push through it.

That's life in a nutshell. It's tough but it's good. We appreciate your love and support xo