Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chemo on Monday or Tuesday

Steve is doing better.

They plan a lumbar puncture on Monday morning in the continuing quest to have a diagnosis and will start the Chemo on Monday or Tuesday attempting to stop whatever is growing.

Hopefully we will have an uneventful weekend.

Happy Easter

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Chemo until next week

The doctors all agreed that the blood clots (one in each lung and one in his left leg) need to be resolved before they start chemo. They feel he is too sick to start treatment.

His sodium levels are too low. He has been placed on a high sodium diet. Bring on the chips!!

And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
D&C 78:18

A Bumper Sticker

A bumper sticker I saw this morning on the way to the hospital:
The most important things in life
are NOT things.

I've seen it before, but it means more today.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 8, 2009

The doctors reviewed the latest MRI. There is a new small lesion in Steve's left frontal lobe that has formed since mid March.
They also found a clot below Steve's left knee and some clots in his lungs. His hemoglobin is low and they will be giving him 2 units of blood this evening.
The debate today is whether to start Steve on Cytoxan tomorrow or wait a few more days for him to get stronger. Because of the new lesion, the neuroimmunologist wants to start asap. Cytoxan is a generic chemotherapy that is used for both demyelinating diseases and lymphoma.

I am praying that the doctors will be inspired to know the best action to take.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009

Valerie suggested I start a blog about Steve's health. Steve is loved by many people who are interested in how he is doing, but don't want to disturb us by calling.
I follow several blogs - Sarah and Veronica have blogs - Grandson Josh - Margaret's blog - NieNie, CJane.
I enjoy them all.

Thank you for caring and for your prayers.

Steve is back in the hospital. They are trying to get his body stronger and even out medications, before starting the next treatment - as yet undecided. They are still debating lymphoma vs demyelinating disorder.

February & March 2009

After the February MRI, Steve started taking dexamethasone (super steroids) for 3 1/2 weeks to hopefully reduce the lesions. He gained 40 lbs. and got weaker each week. It was awful!! And after another MRI in March there was not significant change in the lesions.

This picture was taken March 24, 2009 when our granddaughter Natalie was blessed.

Quite a difference from last summer.....

Jacob, Veronica and their girls left on Saturday, March 28. Steve enjoyed having all the family fun, but was exhausted. I expected him to bounce back as he got off the steroids and rested. He continued to feel more exhausted.

For those who have not heard

In early August 2008 Steve & Bret went on a 10 day cruise to Northern Europe. This picture was taken on formal night. A GQ guy in my opinion.

On the way home Steve passed out on the flight. We do not know if it was fatigue or related to his illness.

In late August 2008 Steve was having some symptoms that made us think he might be having heart problems. Many tests were run and it was determined that he had a great heart, lungs, etc, etc, etc. Then they did a MRI and found several brain lesions, with one particularly large lesion in the pons region of his brain stem.

In September 2008 a brain biopsy was done that was inconclusive. There was necrosis (dead tissue) and T cells. The debate was lymphoma (cancer) vs demyelinating disorder (in the Multiple Sclerosis family).

A follow-up MRI was done in November 2008, the lesions were slightly larger and the doctors decided a second brain biopsy needed to be done. The surgeon took five samples (two is usually the max) and did get some diseased tissue. Again the pathologist found NO cancer cells. The diseased tissue showed severe demyelination.

Soooooo, in December Steve started a treatment for MS related diseases - Beta Seran. In February 2009 Steve had another MRI and the lesions were larger and had spread to the mid brain.