Monday, November 21, 2011

As the saying goes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

First off I want to start by saying thank you to everyone that helped out with the BBQ benefit. I appreciate everyone who sold tickets, came out and bought plates, helped make food, brought food, helped set up, and helped all day. Most of all THANK YOU to Point of Grace Church for donating the brisket, showing up with smiles on their faces and working all day for us, and for cooking the food. We are so very thankful. I could not have done it without the help of so many great people and some that Nathan and I do not even know! What an amazing thing to realize there are still caring people in this world!

It has been awhile since I have updated. We are going on almost four weeks out from Nathan's transplant. The transplant went really well. It took most of the afternoon but Nathan held up really well through everything. Before the transplant he was a B negative now he is O positive. I am so grateful to the amazing young man that did this for my husband and the fact that hopefully Nathan will now have his non cancerous cells and he can live a normal life for once without the fear that at any minute his cancer will be back and he may not have anymore options. The days after the transplant were a roller coaster. Some days he was doing decent and then some days he was not good at all. He was pretty down in the dumps, to be expected he has been through alot and it's hard on him to be in the hospital especially for so long. He didn't eat really anything for about a month. A little soup, but pretty much just drank fluids and was feed through the port. He had a great deal of nausea and vomiting. Before transplant his counts were knocked completely down by the chemotherapy. Then they do the transplant, after that they give him more treatment to knock the counts back down and then they have to rise again on their own. This is when the transplant starts to take. He had some severe bone pain for about two days but the doctors said that happens to some people when his counts start to rise. He had a slight rash due to his platelets being so low, and a little jaundice due to an indirect liver function being off, but since it is indirect that was not serious and after about a week his color started to get back to normal. His counts rose pretty quick and the doctors say he is doing really good. So far no signs of GVHD (Graph vs Host Disease), although his doctor says that could change at anytime even years down the road. We have to keep an eye on any sings of at all times. He was released from the hospital early and went to mainstay close to hospital since he has to be within so many miles and has to go in for treatments and labs. He was supposed to be going everyday but is now going twice a week. He gets labs, test, fluids, port dressing changed, as well as meet with doctor, pharmacy person, and whatever else comes up. On the other five days he gives himself everything through his port. This concerned me at first that he wasn't going in but for Nathan it is better because of his anxiety and sickness the hospital seems to cause him. He is doing really well taking care of it all himself. He is taking quite a few medications in the mornings and in the evenings. The other day he had really severe stomach cramps that kept him up all night but that was due to one of the pill he is taking. Today he moved to an apartment close to the hospital. His lab work today showed that his counts have dropped again as well as his platelets and his kidney function was off but the doctor said it could be because of his meds and he is not getting enough fluids and is dehydrated. All in all he is doing well. His energy is up. He is eating alot more everyday. He lost over 20 pounds and lost his hair about two weeks ago, but he is still as handsome as ever! Despite that his color looks good he isn't nearly as thin or frail as the first time he went through all this. Just taking it day by day, that is all we can do. Continue to pray for him please, he has been through so much! I read this the other day and thought it was so true and beautiful.......
The hard lessons learned through the tough times ready us to deal with better days by building into our lives needed virtues such as grace, dependence, and perspective. Bad times produce good things in us that mold us into the type of people God can trust to handle more good things.
Nathan is just that, a person of grace, and amazing perspective. He always calms my soul and makes me want to be a better person. I do feel that God in some way is molding Nathan into the person he is and that good good things are ahead for him and for us as a family. Everyday is always a blessing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hard week ......Transplant today

Last week started at 3 am Monday morning. Nathan had to give bone marrow and had a ton of tests. It was a full day. Tuesday started early as well and he received the port in his chest, again a full day of more testing. In those two days we were exhausted and it was hard on Nathan he had to go through a lot. Day three we met with his stem cell doctor, he was supposed to be admitted but it was pushed back a day and we had to come back to the hospital that night for out patient chemotherapy. We spent the next morning together he was pretty sick vomiting at hotel. I had to leave to go home and be with Aedyn and work. It was really hard to leave him knowing how hard going into the hospital was going to be for him. He got sick several times on the way. Thursday night was the first night we ever spent apart. It's hard to be torn in directions of work, a child, a husband. It's hard to watch Nathan suffer so much and I can not be here every second. Friday he started getting his new regimen of chemo. This time around is a combination of several things and combined they are a great deal stronger therefor harder on Nathan. Five straight days. Saturday when I came back to Houston he was pretty sick. He's lost some weight and is pretty much at this point getting fed through his port. He's eaten a little soup and a bite of applesauce. Gatoraid is about all he's taking in and a few Popsicles. Staying up here Saturday and Sunday it's a lot to take in to watch the slow effects of this transplant preparation. I shaved his hair back at home but what's left is slowly beginning to come out. He's pretty thin and they are constantly coming in doing vitals taking blood doing all kinds of tests. He's having to eat buckets of ice so he doesn't get mouth sores from the chemo. He sleeps a lot. So.......the big day. He's supposed to get his transplant around 11:00. To anyone who doesn't know his donor is a 19 year old kid. How amazing is that! He had to go through a bunch of tests and get a port in his chest as well as be in the hospital for awhile to do this for a complete stranger. I have no words for what that does to my heart. If only more people could be so selfless. I will update after transplant and let everyone know what the process was. Yesterday he slept most of day and he's been sick all day today. I know he's scared and nervous so pray for his strength through the day!!! This has been a world wind of emotions. Being at home is hard, leaving Nathan is hard, leaving Aedyn is hard, not being able to ease his pain is hard. It's funny the little things we don't notice until something like this when I went home I could smell him in the house and his stuff is everywhere but he's not there it sucks! We've watched tv on same channel some and text back and forth or talk on phone anything to feel together. We did our first Skype tonight with Aedyn. That gave me so much comfort and Aedyn was so excited to be able to see Nathan. One week down in this long journey. One week and I'm exhausted. Doing financial paperwork, the short sale on his home, being here for him, the back and forth driving, working, running a business, taking care of Aedyn, housework. No sleep! I hope next week is better. When I type these things and share all this it's to not only TELL of his journey it's to show how going through this with him is. This is the reality of cancer it SUCKS!!!!! When he's home and we have our life back I don't know that I can ever complain again. Getting through this has given me even more strength and I was already a tough cookie and my God what Nathan's been through since he was 20......look out world these tough cookies have lots of life to live!
Pray for strength for him today!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Transplant is scheduled.

Nathan goes in next Wednesday October 5th for a meeting with his stem cell doctor and will begin a series of scans and test to prepare for his transplant. He is scheduled to come to Houston on October 17th for the remainder of his test and then on the 18th he will go into the hospital to have his port put into his chest. He will be admitted into the hospital on October 19th. He will stay in the hospital doing one last dose of strong chemotherapy that will begin on the 20th and end around the 24th or 25th. His donor is a 20 year old male in another state, so the cells will be flown into MD Anderson around the 25th and he will receive the transplant on the 26th. After the 26th if everything goes as planned he will be in the hospital for 30 days if there is no complications. At that point he will be expected to be in Houston for no less that 100 more days. For several weeks he will have to make daily trips in for transfusions, labs, test, check ups and so forth. If there are no problems and his body does not reject the transplant he could come home some time around February 2012. It's hard to imagine all of this and to grasp all of this. We have not spend a day or night apart and it is going to be a struggle not being there every step of the way. With Nathan not working and me missing work when I am able to as well as me being here at home for Aedyn, it is going to be a struggle for us in so many ways. We feel blessed that he has this opportunity and has a person amazing enough to do this for a complete stranger to save his life, but it is still hard. We will miss Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and so much more. Please send lots of love and good thoughts and prayers Nathan's way he has a battle ahead of him and it is going to be hard on everyone but really hard on him and his body. It is hard to ask for help but when you are left with no choice you have to, so I am asking if anyone out there can help us through this time it is appreciated more than we can ever express. Nathan is completely unable to work and probably will not be able to for around a year after the transplant. I will be missing a great deal of work at the salon and will have hardly any income. On top of all of that we have medical expenses, my travel expenses to be able to be at the hospital with him, and our living expenses at home. If you can donate even a dollar it helps us. We need help or I don't know how we will make it through this. For those that judge the fact I am asking this, put yourself in our shoes it is a very scary and uncertain and stressful time for us and we are doing everything we can. The fact that Nathan has been working when he could over the past year as sick as he has been speaks volumes for his character. He is strong and a true fighter and he is an amazing, amazing man. Keep Nathan in your thoughts through the coming months please. I will update through the whole process for his friends and family to follow. I can not wait for the day we are back on our feet and Nathan can live his life finally, he has been though so much to only be 27. It will be an amazing thing for us to be in a good place to return to others the blessings given to us. Thank you to the amazing young man who is doing this for us its a shame it is anonymous!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Feeling like it's close to an end but it's really just the beginning of something else!

So since I last wrote Nathan has had another round of chemotherapy and we met with the Dr. on Tuesday of this week. He has chemotherapy again on Monday morning. The doctors are continuing the treatment until everything is set up and ready to go for him to go into the hospital for his transplant. He was approved for the transplant so we finally have some peace as far as not stressing about what we would do if he had not been. It's kind of strange how you want to feel happy about the coming remission but at the same time you dread what is ahead. Nathan has been through the transplant process once before, and it was very hard for him, but this time will be much different, and much much harder. Due to the fact that he has a donor this time instead of his own stem cells and the donor is not related to him it makes it a great deal more complicated. Nathan will be in the hospital for a lengthy amount of time and then have to stay close to the hospital until he is in the clear from his transplant. I have been reading up on GVHD, the disease he could develop from the transplant. It scares me so much to know that we have to sit and wait to see if his body can handle this and if his body can not then it could kill him. That is the reality of the situation. Hard to know what to do because if he does not do the transplant his cancer will most likely come back and the doctors say he will be out of options. This is a chance to cure him , prolong his life, save him, if it works. The last transplant was successful he had five years of remission, so I am holding on to hope and faith that this will go smoothly for him. If you are interested in Graft-vs-Host disease I could post lots of links, but easiest way is just google it there is tons of info on the disease, what causes it, as well as treatment of it, risks, and statistics of survivors. Please keep Nathan in your thoughts. He still has a long road ahead that is not going to be easy. I never realized how much of you life is affected by an illness such as cancer. It takes over EVERY aspect of it. It is hard to plan things and hard to spend time just living and being happy because you have to worry about the things going on, the things ahead, finances, being apart from people, the pain, the sickness. It puts a strain on everything and it is the hardest thing I have ever been through and I am not the one who is sick. So unfair to watch an amazing, pure, beautiful person who is so amazing and loving and full of life suffer through this war on cancer!!! On a positive note Nathan had two weeks off from treatment and it has been awesome. He has been to Aedyn's baseball practices, able to go out and eat, able to go in the living room and watch TV, eat dinner with Aedyn and I , basically everything except lay in bed. It's amazing the simple silly things we do day in and day out that we take for granted. Live your life and love every second of it because all the petty crappy things we complain about daily do not mean anything at all!!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rough two weeks!!!!

The last two weeks have been tough to say the least. Nathan had to wait over 6 hours on last Friday to get his chemotherapy treatment. He got really sick on that round and wasn't really out of bed much except for late Wednesday and Thursday this week. He felt good just to go back and do it again on Friday. He had to go do blood work on Thursday to see if his counts were high enough for the second dose of the chemo. Again a 6 hour wait just to get the results. Then on Friday they only had half of what he needed ready.... a LONG wait again. When the nurse started giving him the second part of the treatment she did not do something right with his IV and the drugs got into his arm and he had a bad reaction. His arm was burning and he had severe swelling. She had to move the IV to the other arm to finish the chemo. After the 3 hours it takes to do the treatment we were then sent to MD Anderson's Emergency Center. We ended up leaving because they said it would be 4 to 6 hours to see a doctor. His arm is hurting him today but last night we did heat compresses and took the swelling down. He is really sick today and for some reason his whole body is in pain. I am sure as the chemo goes on it is just breaking his body down. I thank God we can go through the frustration of the last two weeks and still laugh together and have fun at the hospital together. It takes my mind and his mind off of things. I can not wait to have or normal life back, we have not had that our whole relationship/marriage. I look forward to being able to do things together and watch him play football and play with Aedyn, I look forward to so much. We go back to the doctor on September 6th and I hope we will find out around when he will stop chemo and be ready to do his transplant. Still no news on if he can get it or not from financial department. Please pray insurance approves it, that Nathan's arm gets better, that his pain stops, and that he can eat and get out of bed. Also please pray for his chemo to continue to work! Through it all still smiling..... still laughing...... still loving me and concerned for me! What an amazing person!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

THE GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!

We found out Tuesday that Nathan's CHEMOTHERAPY IS WORKING!!!!!! Thank God. Finally after starting all this last May, and the last two things they have tried, we are getting results. He has shown incredible improvement since just two months ago when they did his last PET scan. He will still need to undergo chemo until in complete remission. He is close to the donor stem cell transplant. Here is a link with some great information on stem cell transplantation, also info on how to be a donor, Nathan will need an allogenic stem cell transplant. Basically they look for the closest possible match. His siblings were not a match and we don't have a baby for cord blood so they are going to a donor list and finding a match. Last time we met with his stem cell Dr. she said they had two COMPLETE matches. Great news the closer the match the less chance of complication like Graph vs Host disease, where his body will reject the transplant.
The doctor said they are working on contacting the match they found for Nathan and getting everything prepared. We are dealing with the insurance right now and if they will not approve the transplant we will have to find a way. Not too sure at this time of our options but we will do it somehow! Please pray he keeps getting better, that his donor works out, that the insurance will pay (the hospital financial person we talked to said it cost around 700,000, WOW!!!!!), and pray that everything with the process of the transplant will go smoothly! Everyone's spirits are so high for Nathan now. It is such an amazing feeling, he knows all too well from the first time:) We have been doing a great deal of natural things at home like milk thistle to restore the liver, aloe vera juice (does a ton of things) and anything else I can get him to try:) I believe that a GOOD attitude, mixed with a good diet and anything natural and healthy, good doctors, prayer, and of corse good caregivers ;) LOL , makes ALL the difference. Cancer is draining and it SUCKS but Nathan is a STRONG person.He always kids that he's fine, and that he is superman and in my eyes he IS:D cheZZZZy I know but true! Don't feel like proof reading lol hope this makes sense!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cycle Two DONE!

Nathan was able to get chemotherapy on Monday since his counts were up from Friday when they sent us home. He has been in bed since we got home late Monday evening. He is feeling pretty weak, after completing two cycles of this chemotherapy. He has a CT scan, PET scan, labs, and MRI on Monday to see how it is working. This will be the first time they will check him since starting this new type of treatment. We will get the results of the test on Tuesday morning. He has lost a little weight not too bad, and has had no hair loss so far. Pretty much his side effects are loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, and his arm is pretty sore and swollen from the injection site of the chemotherapy. Prayers for Tuesday it would be really nice and uplifting to finally get some good news from all he has been through. If this is not working he will most likely go into the hospital for the extensive treatment and we are praying he does not have to go through that. I will update after we get the news on Tuesday.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Unable to get Chemo

We went to Houston yesterday for Nathan's chemo. He did his blood work and it came back way too low. His counts are extremely low and he can't receive the chemotherapy until they go back up. We are going back in Monday for them to check him again. Pray that in the next two day they go up so he can get the treatment he needs. This sets him back now a week. He needs two more rounds to be checked to see if it is working. We were supposed to find out on the 31st, now it will be sometime in September. I will update after Monday.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday's Chemotherapy

Yesterday we had to see if Nathan's platelet count was back up before the doctor would order the chemo. His count actually jumped way up from what it was at on Monday morning when they did the blood work. He was able to get the treatment yesterday. Good news so we can stay on track. He will have chemotherapy again next Friday and then the week after they will check him and see how it is working. Please pray that is working and that he is finally getting better. If it is not we have to decide to stay on this longer or AGAIN try something else and the options get smaller and smaller. Most likely he will go into the hospital and receive something much much stronger that will keep him in the hospital for close to a week and then he will have to stay close by in case of ANY complications. Yesterday was a very hard day, I think one of the hardest. As each treatment passes Nathan's anxiety gets worse. He has what they call anticipatory nausea. Basically he makes himself sick just knowing that he has to go into the hospital and receive the chemo. A great deal of cancer patients get it. After the chemo yesterday he was really sick. Today he has been in bed all day. He has also had another bad reaction to the injection site where they administered the chemo. His arm is very swollen, red and it is hurting really bad. We will see what tomorrow brings. I am so anxious for this cycle to be over and them to do the PET, CT, and MRI. PATIENCE is the biggest thing you learn from waiting ALL day at the hospital to waiting what seems like forever to get tested to see if it works. It is all a waiting game and now I see why Nathan has always been so patient with Aedyn and I:) Prayers for him to feel better and be healed PLEASE. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Update after Monday

Nathan's platelet count is about the same. Everything else still looks good with his blood work. His platelet count was not low enough to need a transfusion, but it is not high enough for him to receive chemotherapy on Friday. His count needs to be much higher before he can get treatment. He will have it checked Friday and hopefully the doctor will order the treatment. Apparently there is still a shortage of the D that he needs so he would still only be getting the G and the N.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yesterday's check up 7-20-11

We went to Houston yesterday for blood work. Nathan's white blood cell counts are up. The shots he was taking at home must have brought them back up, that is good news! His platelet count has lowered even more since last week. They are concerned about that so we have to do blood work again on Monday if it's too low he will have to do a transfusion. He is still at home not really able to do much, just trying to gets lots of rest. Yesterday was his first day out for our hospital trip he did pretty good, just tired and a little sick to his stomach. All in all he is doing pretty well. It has for sure been harder this second round for him to bounce back. Treatment one of his second cycle will be on Friday. Next thing up see how his platelets are on Monday.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Update from yesterday

Yesterday Nathan had round two of the GN chemotherapy treatment. He has not been feeling very well. He is tired, weak, and pretty sick. His appetite is pretty much non existent. His blood work did not come back very good. Mainly it's his Neutrophil that is low, that is a type of white blood cell that is designed to fight off infections and diseases that enter the body. His counts are low and immune system is very compromised right now. Lots of laying in bed and staying away from anything he could catch. He has to take daily shots at home until we go back to Houston next Wednesday to check his counts again. He does have a week break from the chemotherapy then we go back on the 29th for round three. On a personal note, its so easy to take so many small things for granted. Just living life, doing daily things. Someone with cancer has to put EVERYTHING on hold and it SUCKS to watch. It is really hard to watch someone go in and out of the hospital and watch them go through so much and then come home and be sick and you can't do a thing about it!!! You know throughout my life I have known people that have known someone with cancer and I have heard stories but until you experience it first hand it is so hard to fully understand. I know people sympathize but it is so different going through it personally with someone you love. Some days I feel strong and some days I feel weak. On the weak days I feel guilty because it is not me who is sick it's Nathan. He is the one who has it hard not me. I think cancer brings up so many emotions it's hard at times to sort them all out. It's like you become a part of this club, a club you don't really want to be in. A club full of fighters, survivors, and care givers that understand completely what it is like to live like this, because they have done it. This morning as I am getting ready for work Aedyn jumped on the bed next to Nathan and said "lets play super heros", and I said "baby he can't he is sick today." Those moments are hard especially when you expect a four year old to understand sickness or cancer in this case. It's hard to go to work and leave Nathan and carry on my normal days and I guess that is why I feel like this today. On the positive side it could always be worse and I am blessed that we have this day, so please don't take my personal thoughts as me being ungrateful or complaining. Thanks for reading. Hope to see everyone at Nathan's benefit tonight at Hanovers in Pflugerville, it starts at 8:30. $5.00 cover at door. We have great music, raffles, food, and much more. God Bless!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nathan's journey GND (- the D) Infusion One

So the last couple of days have been stressful to say the least. I have been online researching other people with Hodgkin's Lymphoma to see their journey, what kinds of treatment they have had and hear what they have to say about there experience. I read a story today about a girl going through the same battle as Nathan her father had written it from his perspective and he said "This is a marathon, it’s not a sprint and this journey is filled with peaks and valleys" so true so so true! It is a marathon. The first time around I was not there to experience this with him but I have heard stories and let me tell you that I had no idea how hard this all is for Nathan for family for doctors it is not easy for anyone involved. No one can tell you what the right thing to do is because every case is different and that is what makes cancer so scary. Nathan had a long battle the first time around and this one is going to be a struggle as well. The doctors started him on a trial called JAK 2 to start, he had no results. He had to try a treatment that failed to be admitted into the trial of SGN 35. Doctors really had high hopes for that drug. It was kind of going through the motions with the JAK 2 and trust me that is hard to say going through the motions when you are facing life or death disease and you are wasting away about three months of your cancer spreading but as I said no one knows what will work and what won't. The SGN 35 helped a little with some areas but it progressed so much in his liver we were left with no choice but to stop that and move to something else. Last trip the Dr. said we should probably try the GND if you read the last blog we had heard they were out of it, a nation wide shortage. When we met with the doctors yesterday at MD Anderson they informed us that they have the G (Gemzar) they have the N (Navelbine) they are out of the D (Doxil). Basically they left Nathan with three options 1. Do the GND without the Doxil 2. Try one of two optional trials that are lead through same research as the JAK 2 another pill form 3. Nathan could go into the hospital to be administered a very toxic chemotherapy that would take about four days to administer and depending on how it went he could possibly leave the hospital but would have to be in Houston close by incase of an emergency. As I said it is so hard to know WHAT to do but we were all in agreement that option two would not be best. Ultimately the decision was Nathan's and rather than go into the hospital he decided to do the GN and we are expecting the Doxil to be in by late July early August at that point he can receive the full regimen. Clinical research has shown that a regimen of Gemzar®, Navelbine® and Doxil® (GND) was an effective salvage therapy for patients with Hodgkin Lymphoma who had failed chemotherapy or an autologous transplant. Doctors seemed to be hopeful that Nathan will have results. If he does not we are left with no choice but for him to be admitted and doing the strongest things possible and pray that he can go into remission and receive his Allogeneic stem cell transplant. If you would like info on that here is a great website that explains it

A ton of people have asked about it and it's so much to explain. Basically Nathan had a transplant with his own stem cells that failed last time so now he needs a transplant that uses someone that is a close or perfect match for him. You can join a registry here is the link for info on that

So as far as today goes Nathan was the strongest I have seen him yet. He did very well with the line they gave him to give him the chemo. We then went in a they started by giving him Zofran through IV for nausea, took about 30 minutes, then they gave him the Navelbine that took about 30 minutes or so, then last he received the Gemzar, again about 30 minutes. He had a little trouble with that it burned his veins for about 10 minutes then he was fine. We are back home now. He vomited some then I got him to eat a little bit of soup. He felt bad so now he is sleeping. All in all though it was a good day. He held up very well. We will se how this effects him in the next six weeks until they evaluate him to see how successful it is. I can tell you that Nathan is so courageous and that he does not EVER complain and by far he is the most amazing person I have ever seen in my life. I don't say that because he is my husband I say that because it is true spend five minutes with him and you will see what I mean. He is a true inspiration to me. I am lucky to learn and grow from him each and every day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nathan being admitted into the hospital. Please PRAY!

We just found out late yesterday that Nathan will not be receiving the GND like the Dr. had originally said. Apparently the hospital is out of it. NOT SURE how something like that happens especially at MD Anderson but that is what Nathan's nurse informed us this morning. Apparently there is a shortage of that particular chemotherapy nation wide and will not be available until late July and Nathan needs treatment now. They will be putting him in the hospital tomorrow in Houston at MD Anderson. I am not sure on the details until we speak with the doctor but Nathan will be put on another form of chemotherapy that is stronger. It will take three to four days straight to administer. He will have to get a central line or a port we are not sure yet what they will do but that is how the chemotherapy will be given to him. Here is info on that I got it from yahoo answers.

The term "central line" is used to describe a catheter (small tube) usually placed in the chest that goes into the heart to deliever medications and make it easier for blood draws.

A Port-A-Cath is a small metal or plastic "button" like thing with a silicone top. It is placed under the skin on the chest and a tube is connected to it and t goes into your heart. All parts of a port-a-cath are under the skin and all you can see is a bump on the persons chest. The pros to a port-a-cath can take baths. The still get needle pokes.

A Hickman or a Broviac are types of central lines with the catheter on the outside of the body. It is put in the same place as a portacath but is only a tube and it dangles down the persons chest. So, you can see it.They are usually white and some have more than one opening (lumen). The pros.. no needle pokes. The baths, and they can get infected more easily.

This is done so you dont have to get lots of IVs and your veins dont collapse.

Nathan will start the chemotherapy tomorrow and will be done on Sunday. If he is well enough he can come home if not he will have to stay in the hospital. Please pray that he goes through the procedure with the port or central line smoothly and please pray that he makes it through the treatment as well as possible. Nathan had some problems with his central line the first time around. It can become infected very easily and that is very dangerous. Keep him and family in thoughts and prayers this weekend it is going to be rough! I will update more when I know more. About type of treatment and what will happen and how he is doing. Nathan is dreading the fact that he has to go through this all again for a second time. He is tired and he knows what to expect it's going to be so difficult for him but I know he is strong and he will MAKE IT through this battle AGAIN and be happy and healthy we are NOT loosing HOPE AND FAITH!!!!! Thank you for reading!

Monday, July 4, 2011

GND (New chemotherapy Nathan will be on)

This is the new chemotherapy Nathan will be on for anyone who is interested. Here is the link with the information.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


After two long days Nathan's spirits are down. He needs everyones thoughts and prayers. His day started yesterday at 7:00 AM and ended at 12:30 AM. After having two IV's as well as blood work he had to have another IV today as well as a direct vein injection for a cardiac scan. He is still undergoing the cardiac scan right now. He has to have his heart checked to see if it can withstand the new chemo they are putting him on next week. We meet with Dr. Fayad this morning and he said his MRI was not good. One area of the cancer in his spine has gotten worse and the lower area that they were very concerned about has not changed at all. That is not good. If they can not control it he will be paralyzed. Basically two different types of treatment have not shrunk those areas, although his pain is better and it didn't progress he can't continue on the SGN 35 because the only areas it worked on were around his heart and in his neck. Since his last scan the cancer in his abdomen and in his liver are much much worse. He has been listed as difficult case with the physicians at MD Anderson and they are having a meeting about Nathan on next Wednesday. Normally Hodgkin's Lymphoma (Nathan's type of cancer) does not spread into the liver. Nathan's is worst in the liver and area around. Due to the fact that they have given him two different types of treatment and neither have worked it is a possibility that it's another form of cancer in his liver to find that out Nathan will have to have a liver biopsy. The liver biopsy is what they wanted to avoid it is a complicated procedure due to the fact that the liver can bleed very badly. He starts chemo next week they are going to do two cycles and then check to see if it's still spreading then at that time make a decision on the biopsy and decide is his spine needs the radiation. This chemo will be hard on Nathan. He probably will not be able to work or function like he has been. It is done on day 1 and day 8 labs in between and then a break then starts over again. We will have to travel to Houston every week. That is going to be very very hard on us. The treatment will probably cause Nathan to be sick, loose weight, his hair, at this time we are not sure. It is very similar to the chemo they had him on five years ago when he had cancer the first time. The doctors are hoping that he will respond to this since it is so similar. Although we both feel beaten down and discouraged there is still hope we aren't out of options yet. Thank god that his pain is better things could be worse. We ask you please pray for him. Pray this chemo will not damage his heart (a side effect of chemo), that he will be strong and not that sick, and that it will work on his spine and his liver to prevent the biopsy and the radiation. Nathan has been through so much and this is going to be a LONG battle again for the second time for him. He needs encouragement and love and support. I thank God for everyday we have had to spend together up until this point. Most likely Nathan will have to get a port in his chest. If you know Nathan that was very difficult for his the first time. PLEASE PRAY he is strong enough to get through the procedure. One last thing VERY IMPORTANT his plan with MD Anderson cuts out in 11 days unless we can get our hardship letter approved they are dropping him and won't continue treatment. To continue we will need 268.00 a month and 2,000 out of pocket regular expense, 7,000 out of pocket by December for chemo and other treatments, and first 500.00 of his prescriptions. On top of that we have to have money to travel and stay in Houston for his chemo. If you can do anything to help us there is a donate button on this blog and we appreciate anything that anyone can do to help Nathan through this battle. We have a benefit on July 16th also at Hanovers in Pflugerville please help us raise as much money for Nathan so there in no lapse in treatment and his cancer won't spread worse. Thank you for taking the time to read and God bless.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Long day for Nathan

Today was a very hard day for Nathan. He was unable to eat after dinner last night because of his test today, so he is feeling pretty weak. It's around 10:00 and they just took him back for his MRI so about 12 hours total today of testing and waiting. He got pretty sick right before his PET scan but was feeling better before he went back for the MRI. Please pray that tomorrow brings good news for him and that his MRI comes back good, so that he does not have to do radiation. CANCER sucks it really does. It's very hard, the things that cancer patients have to go through. I swear they are all angels on earth for going through what they do.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Update on how Nathan is doing

Nathan has a couple of really busy days ahead. He has test all day tomorrow starting early morning and his last one is tomorrow night at 10:30. He starts off with lab work, then he has to go meet with his stem cell doctor. He then has to go for a CT scan and then a PET scan. His last thing tomorrow night is an MRI. They are doing another MRI to see if the areas around and in the spine are better to decide if he will need radiation or not. We are very hopeful of the results of that because since his first treatment he has had a great deal less pain. That is such a blessing. On Thursday he meets with his lymphoma doctor to go over the test results. We will find out if this new treatment he is on is working or not. Please PRAY that it is. The last time we went in the doctor said they have had a 75% response with this drug and that everyone on it is doing really well. Nathan was sick for about a week the first treatment. His second one he was only sick for about 2 to 3 days. He has a tiny bit of fatigue and a slightly lower appetite. For those couple of days he is sick to his stomach. He has only had two days of pain in the past 21 days, amazing! All in all he is doing so well. His spirits are high, he truly is a very strong amazing person. Nathan has been trying to stay busy he is still working as much as he can and is trying to enjoy everything he can while he feels good enough to do so. He went skydiving on Saturday and its so awesome that he felt well enough to do it. It made him so happy!! Pray we get good new please from his doctor on Thursday. The sooner he gets into remission the sooner he can receive his transplant and be done with this battle. Also, please pray we have a good turnout at his upcoming benefit on July 16th. We need to raise as much money as possible. He was approved for the PCIP but we have to pay the first 7,000 out of pocket. It's a blessing that he got approved because no one could afford this kind of expense out of pocket but it's going to be a struggle to keep up with the monthly premiums as well as the deductibles. We have applied for an assistance program from MD Anderson but have not received an answer yet. I will post an update about what we find out Thursday. I just want to say thank you to everyone that has kept up with how Nathan is doing and a HUGE thank you to everyone who is a part of the benefit show at Hanovers coming up. All of the bands that are playing, the owner of Hanovers, and all of the bands that donated songs for the CD. You can purchase a CD at the show or online through a paypal account WFA set up. If you would like to purchase a CD to help Nathan please email Ben at Thank you for your prayers and God bless!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Round 2

Today is Nathan's second treatment. He has labs this morning then treatment at 12:30. Please pray it doesn't make him sick. We find out if this new treatment is working on June 30th. His pain has gotten much better thank God. Hopefully that is a good sign. Applications are in for MD Anderson assistance and PCIP please pray one gets approved so we have no lapse in treatment. God bless.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Update on how Nathan is doing

So today was the first day of Nathan's new treatment the SGN 35. It went very well. Nathan did very good with being in the hospital and I am so proud of the strength he showed today! He did not experience any sickness today or any difficulties while they were administering it. We pray that this treatment will work. It has shown such great results with other patients that they are actually getting the trial FDA approved and will be giving the treatment all over now. More than half of patients are seeing a response from this treatment. The last time we went in for Nathan's scans the doctor ordered an MRI because of the amount of activity showing up on the scans in Nathan's spine and because his pain has been so severe. Nathan did the MRI late last night and we discusses the results with the Dr. this morning. The news was not good. Nathan has bone destruction in the vertebra. The cancer has spread in his spine and areas around it. It has also gone into his bone and is causing damage to it. This is what is causing his pain. The doctor informed us that if once he starts this new treatment the pain gets worse or he experiences other side effects he will have to do immediate radiation in that area to target it. It could cause a lot of damage to his spine and worse case could cause him to be paralyzed. Please pray that now that he started the new treatment his back pain will go away and that he will not experience any other symptoms and that he will not have to go through radiation. Also for those of you that know Nathan you know his heart and passion for football. The new season for his team is starting end of this month and the doctor said he can not play and we don't know when or if he will play again. Nathan took that very hard he loves to play and cancer effected him playing after high school and now is again. Its hard because if and when he plays it is dangerous due to the damage to his spine he could be hurt badly or could be paralyzed. Please pray that there will be no permanent damage and he can play again. I know to some that seems so trivial now but football is what Nathan loves and its very important to him! It's hard to see him be sick and in pain and to have to stop everything that makes his life normal to him. One last thing. He is being dropped off his financial assistance in July. Without an approval from PCIP (pre existing condition insurance) he will not be able to afford or continue treatment. Please pray we get approved for that or find some other alternative and that it is not a strain on us at this time so we can continue and focus on treatment. Without some sort of assistance we can not afford the treatment. Thank you for your prayers and for taking the time to keep up with how he is doing. Day one of his way to remission is complete!!!!!!! God Bless!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Story on Nathan

Below is a great write up that the town messenger did on Nathan. Please take a look. They did an amazing job and really helped to promote our Cut-A-Thon we had back in April!

Thirty-One Fundraiser for Nathan

Please use the link below and click on Nathan's Cancer Fundraiser event. Heather who is awesome for doing this for us is donating 50% of the total sales from the event. Thank you so much for your help!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Funds to help Nathan through this battle!

We are asking if everyone could please share this blog with your friends and family. We have had two fundraisers so far. We have raised enough money to help us out for a couple of months of trips to and from MD Anderson. We are hoping to have more fundraisers coming up. We have some wonderful friends throwing Nathan a benefit concert in July at Hanovers in Pflugerville. This is going to be an ongoing battle for us. First, Nathan will need to go into complete remission and then he will need a transplant. The expenses are going to be very difficult for us. Nathan is missing more work and soon may be unable to work at all. With everyday expenses and bills, both of us missing work, plus trips to and from Houston it is very difficult and stressful. I know times are tough for everyone and it's hard to have extra money these days! We appreciate anything anyone can offer us to help even if it's just keeping Nathan in your thoughts and prayers or offering time to help with up coming fundraisers. Nathan has an MRI on May 18th. He starts his new treatment on May 19th. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share this for us!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Nathan had his scans done last week. He is not responding to the treatment he was on (SB1518). Some of the irregular lesions in his liver are better while the lungs and spine areas have gotten worse. The areas around the spine are what is causing his severe back pain. Nathan has also developed new lesions in other areas of his body. They are taking him off of the current treatment and putting him on a new one called SGN-35. He will start the new one in a few weeks once this one clears his system. New treatment will be in 21 day cycles with 30 minute injections through vein at MD Anderson. Nathan has had a great deal of pain and has been sick more frequently, mainly he is having extreme fatigue. We ask that you please pray for him!!!!