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.