22 April 2010

Such a Good Day

Today has been one of those days where you pray for the best and then brace yourself for whatever may come.

Ford's first appointment at the Huntsman Cancer Institute today was at 6:30 am. When we opened the garage door at 5:20 am, we could not believe our eyes. Snow?! We had expected rain, but snow? No way. The past three days have been record highs in the 70's. The roads were wet and the storm increased as we made our way to SLC. For me, it was a white-knuckle drive. I used to love to drive in all sorts of weather. I guess I am getting old. The fact that the lines on I-15 are all screwy because of the construction sure didn't help. With the precipitation, the dark, and the glare of headlights, it was hard at times to see where the lanes were.

Anyway, we made good time and closer to the HCI, the roads were clearer. The first appointment was for the PET scan. The procedure usually takes around 2.5 hours although the tech told me to expect about 3.5 this morning. Ford had some difficulty with the insertion of the IV, but said that he really got woozy when the radioactive sugar began to flow. He said that he struggled with not passing out. He came through with flying colors and the test took only 3 hours. We had anticipated staying in SLC until the time came for the labs to be done, followed by the appointment with Dr. Glenn, the oncologist, for the test results and checkup.

Instead, we opted to drive back to Provo (the sun was out by this time and the weather had cleared significantly). Ford was able to enjoy his usual breakfast routine and we both took time to get some more sleep.

It turned out to be a fairly beautiful day. The drive back up to SLC was uneventful. We were a bit early when we checked in yet it was only a very short wait before they called Ford back for his blood draw. For the first time in 15 months, I did not shadow him. I sat out in the waiting area because it typically takes less than 5 minutes, they send us back out to wait, and then call us back for weigh in and to take other vital information. This time I figured it would be a breeze because the morning crew had left the IV connection in so it would be easier to draw labs. I waited and waited and waited. After about 20 minutes, I asked if I could go in and see where Ford was. He wasn't in the general lab area. I was a little nervous. The area where they usually have inserted the IV before doing the chemo treatments was a little way down the hall and that is to where I was directed next. Sure enough there he was. He was sitting in a comfy chair that could recline, if needed (and it was needed). The lab tech was getting ready to fetch him some juice to drink to see if he would help him.....he was very sensitive today to the procedures and again was feeling faint. Even after this short recovery time, we made it back into a room 25 to 30 minutes ahead of our scheduled appointment. Our doctor usually has so many patients to see that she is often later than the scheduled time. I was just beginning to get a bit anxious about what the results might be, when she walked in. She was smiling as she announced that "Everything looked good!" "In fact," she said, "the irritation in the stomach (the MALT lymphoma that we were told was incurable at the present) shows a decrease."

I let out a huge sigh of relief. WOW! Not only is Ford doing well with his recovery, and not only has the Diffuse Large B Cell lymphoma been kept in check, the other cancer seems to be receding!!!! Ford and I were ecstatic. Dr. Glenn gave a slight chuckle as we celebrated with high fives. After checking him over and getting answers to all the important questions, she told us she would see us in three more months. We were actually leaving 10 minutes before our appointment time.

It has been a good day. And we are very grateful for the healing Ford has been blessed with. The short, simple expression says it all: God is Good! And especially today, we are filled with an immense gratitude for His goodness.

Oh, BTW, Ford's INR on Tuesday was 2.4. !!!!!!

13 April 2010

On a Roll

Last Tuesday Ford's INR was a 2.1. )-: While this was still in the GOOD range, it was a drop from the week before (2.6). There was disappointment that it was in the downward direction. Ford had started back with running the day before, so this may have impacted the results. There is no really good way to tell except to wait until the next week and see what happens.

Today was next week. His INR came in at a 2.3. Hurray! We may, just maybe, have found a balance. The next INR is one week away. If it comes in within the desired range, then the INR checks go to two weeks.

Next Thursday, 22 April 2010, is Ford's check at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Bright and early (don't know how bright it will be at 6:30 am) he is scheduled for the PET scan. That is the test where radioactive sugar is run through his system via an IV and then tracked to see where it goes. If it gathers in any particular area, this is referred to as a hot spot. A hot spot indicates cancer (cancer feeds off sugar). We do not want to see any. We anticipate that there will be an area in his stomach where the MALT lymphoma was centered at the last check. It would be fantastic if this area was a no-show. The bigger question at this point is whether there are hot spots any where else. Last January 2009, there were hot spots in the stomach, lungs, and bones from the Diffuse Large B Cell lymphoma. In June 2009, after the chemo treatments were completed, those areas were no longer considered hot. We are hoping and praying that this is still the results. In the afternoon, Ford has his appointment with Dr. Glenn (and the resident Fellow doctor).

Thank you to all who are still tracking us and are caring and praying for us. There have been so many in our neighborhood that have had need of prayers and healing. Many have been in critical situations and had miracles happen. A few have literally been brought back from death's door. What a great witness of the power of God! We are so blessed with dear family, friends, co-workers, and amazing neighbors!!

01 April 2010

No Foolin'

Our normal unusual routine has been delightfully interrupted this week with the visit of our daughter and granddaughter, therefore, the INR news of the week has been delayed in getting posted.

With a week of no exercise due to a pulled muscle, and with no lettuce on his regular veggie Subway (lettuce is an almost instant coagulator), Ford's INR result this week was a whopping 2.6. That is a record so far since he began this round of coumadin!

(While today is 1 April--April Fool's Day--this is a legitimate result and blog.)