Thursday, January 30, 2003

We are privileged to announce the arrival of the newest Carlton grandbaby!

Dave and Neely are the proud parents of a little girl!!
Marissa Louise ~ 6 pounds, 14 ounces, 191/4 inches long.
Everything went well ~ praise God for the miracle of life!

Neely, we are anxious to see her, hold her and kiss her in all those fun baby places. We will get well first though!
Frank is only one in the house that isn't sick! All those anti-viral, fungal and bacterial meds must really work good! He doesn't swallow all those for nothing!

Our joy is unspeakable........sending love to all reading.....Peggy

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Hi everybody. Things seem like a normal winter day at our house. All the kids are sick! Don’t ya just love those winter viruses?

Chase is getting over his, but Chandler and Zach stayed home sick today. Pray with us that Frank doesn’t get it. (Actually, I don’t want it either!)

Frank went for his blood work Monday. Everything was fine. His lab values aren’t within “normal” range, but nothing unexpected showed up. We are waiting on the next phase – bringing him closer and closer to the transplant.

We talked with Dr. Barlogie’s nurse today and got more details about our time in Little Rock. She’s encouraging and full of information, and if things go as planned, the timing will work out better than we had hoped. Roughly, we’re looking at March 17-April 12 for his stem cell collection.I wouldn’t be honest if I said that everyday is great, and that we don’t have days that seem dark, but God has been faithful to put people in our paths during those times that encourage us and bring us out of it.

Among others, Emily V. has encouraged me this week. What a testimony that family has! Frank has had people from his childhood and college call him and lift him up. Not to mention so many others that we are blessed to have in our lives on a daily basis. I am definitely learning what trust is – complete trust in God. Trusting Him to provide, comfort and heal are hard things! I wish I were a graduate in this class, but I’m finding out I am only a freshman. And Frank is my tutor. (A cute upper-classman.)

We enjoyed watching the Super Bowl over at Lisa and Jim’s, and celebrating Alexis’s 5th birthday. We also got to see our cousin David on Monday.Thank you for constant prayers, calls and messages to us through this Website.

Please pray for us as we nurse our short people back to health. We are praising God for all He has done thus far and look forward to what He will do in the future.

May God bless each one of you, and your families. Peggy

Monday, January 20, 2003

Hope everyone is having a great day.

Frank's 2nd round of chemo is over!! And not a moment too soon for him. "Fanny-Packs" are okay when you're a tourist at Disney World, but they aren't fun to sleep in. We went to the clinic to get his "bag" dc'd, blood work, etc. Everything looked great.

We are waiting on word about the newest member of the Carlton family. Neely and Dave's baby is trying so hard to make her way into this world. We're ready to see her, too!

Thank you for your prayers for both Jim and Frank. Jim has a CAT scan and PET scan scheduled in a few weeks. The results will determine his next plan of treatment. He starts radiation soon - every day for 5 weeks. We are praying for good results.

2 Chronicles 20:15 "Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's."

God Bless, Peg

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Good Pun Deserves Another!...I didn't think of this stuff, but it seems a good way to lighten up the place:
Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.
A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
Shotgun wedding - A case of wife or death.
I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.
If electricity comes from electrons, does that mean that morality comes from morons?
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?
Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.
Without geometry, life is pointless.
When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.
Reading whilst sunbathing makes you well-red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Hi everybody...Peg here. We are home in Memphis!! Yeah!!

It felt good to see the bridge and the pyramid. I tried to wake Frank up to see it, but he was out of it! We doped him up pretty good this morning - which was good. The test is painful. There is no getting around that, but I think the meds -and prayer - took the edge off. We requested sedation next time and got our appointment enough in advance to get a slot in "the room".

Frank starts chemo tomorrow at the West Clinic. He'll have blood drawn twice a week, a shot at home, lab to send back to Little Rock, and journals to fax every week. We don't return to Little Rock until Feb. 13.

Having a plan is wonderful! Knowing we can stay in Memphis for a while is even better!We will probably make weekly entrys now unless something changes.

Thank you John for all you have done with the site.Thanks to all of you for keeping us in your prayers. This web site and your comments have been so uplifting and encouraging to the both of us. We have indeed been blessed!

God Bless you! Much love.......

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Hey Everyone….this is Frank…….Today was a good day.We spent the day meeting with different staff members to review treatment protocols, learning about our responsibilities for reporting over the next few weeks, asking questions about my diagnostic report, and Peggy even taught me how to give myself a shot.The ability to give myself a shot will come in handy. I also found out that I’ll be giving myself shots for long, long time.

Some of you know, but some do not know that in my business life I spend a good deal of time in healthcare businesses. I have sometimes wondered why ‘older’ people cannot keep up with their medications. Well count me in the ‘older’ crowd. I have so many pills, shots, chemo, preventative procedures, urine collections, and blood samples to turn in that this whole treatment business gets very confusing.

Thank God for Peggy. She is of course much more organized than I am and has a much better handle on things. I sometimes think that if I were alone in these meetings, the clinical people would want to strangle me for obsessing on what are probably simple procedures. Peg’s being a nurse smoothes things out.Doing all this is a lot like going back to college. You have to learn a new language, everyone hands you books to read, we are always filling out forms, there are all these professors (clinicians) that you meet, there’s a cafeteria with OK food (watch out for the tacos), and finally there are the students (patients).

Out of everyone, hanging out with the upper classmen is becoming my favorite. They tell you what is real and what is hospital precautionary BS, and who to REALLY listen to. They’ve walked in my shoes before me, so I’m all ears.

If you’re ever in Little Rock and want a great and reasonable place to eat, go to the Purple Cow. They are kind of like a cross between Johnny Rockets & Huey’s. It offers great food, great desserts, and a fun atmosphere but more family oriented.

Well the prayer request list is still the same…pray for pain relief on my Wed marrow test, pray for a marrow match with my sister, and pray for the Chromosome 13 test to come back normal. An abnormal result makes things much harder to treat.We love you all, and the message board is really cool……I think Peggy mentioned this before, but if you have a really long message to send just email it (our addresses are at the top and bottom of this page.)

Frank and Peggy……..XOXOXOXO

Monday, January 13, 2003

Hi friends and family, this is Peg.

Let me just tell you on the front end this will be hard to write, and probably long. Sorry. The weekend was very emotional for me, and today was emotional for Frank. God’s presence is very near to us both, but that doesn’t mean the road wasn’t rough…it means we will never walk it alone.

When God knows you’re hurting, it is so awesome how He always sends exactly what you need. He did that for me this weekend, and He did that for us both today. This is how the Lord comforted us today:

As you go through this day know that I am gently protecting you. I am as near to you as your very breath, as close to you as your heartbeat. I can see the fragile state of your emotions. I know how close to the surface your tender feelings are. I am aware that the wick of your spirit’s inner flame is flickering in the winds of your dilemma. But you are my child, and I am on your side today. I will not allow the flame of your spirit to be snuffed out. I will stand between you and the wind. I will hold you in my love until you are strong again. Do not be troubled or afraid. Do not strive in your own strength, but lean into my love. Be strengthened by my Spirit. Find comfort in my mercy. I am your Shield and Defender (from Postcards from God).

God knew all Frank’s feeling, and heard our conversation at breakfast. Those words were so comforting to him this morning.After a few appointments, we saw Dr. B. He looked exactly like his picture, dressed in blue jeans. A likeable guy! He made us laugh, which is always a plus.

We went over everything – mostly stuff we already knew, but some new stuff. The real meaty info came from his assistant. He works in research, and attends medical school. The neat thing is that he was raised in Greenville and graduated a year behind Neely in high school. He knew her and it was instant bonding for “the boys back home”.

We learned about the timing of the treatment, and when to expect the stem cell collections and the transplants. They went into detail about his lesions and other tests. It was in this meeting that all of our questions got answered and we felt very much at peace.He’ll start chemo on Wed. – either here or in Memphis. But he has to have another gene array on Wed. That was the very painful test he had last week. We pleaded and begged for some stronger medicine so he can be more comfortable, and I think we won!

The other news was that he is going to look closer at Neely’s blood work. He was under the impression she was a match, and will recheck her results.One other neat thing: We met 2 patients in the library today. One is an Internal medicine doctor in MO, and the other a police officer from FL. The FL one is in remission, and was very very encouraging to talk to. He’s done all Frank is about to do last year and he looked great and was very positive. The doctor just got diagnosed in Sept. He is here for his stem cell collection, and was also very encouraging. Being a physician he researched the best place to go, and said this is the best place. His sister was with him. We shared some of our faith, exchanged emails and are going to pray for each other. Very neat!

Our prayer requests are specific:
1. That Wednesday's test will be tolerable.
2. That Neely is a match.
3. That his myeloma DNA will not have a chromosome 13 abnormality (we won’t know for a week or two).
4. Chase has chicken pox, and for my mom as she cares for sick one.
5. Jim has 4th chemo tomorrow. We love you!

Frank is sore from his biopsy today, and is on meds. He says he’ll write tomorrow, and loves you all. And so do I.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

This is day the Lord had made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Happy Sunday to you all. It was great to be in church today singing praises and getting fed the word of God. We got home Friday just after school. The children looked the same, but the dog had grown! Momma got a few days to be with Daddy and friends. I hope she rested…because this week will be different.

Chase has the chicken pox! The timing is not great, because we won’t be here to care for him. I hate having to miss this milestone in Chase’s life. But the sweet thing is that he got them from Frank. Not many children can say they caught the pox from their daddy. When Frank got shingles over Christmas, we knew this might happen, so we aren’t surprised at all. Keep Chase and momma in your prayers.

Frank has a CAT scan guided biopsy early tomorrow. At 11, he has behavioral medicine. ??? Yeah, us too. And then we see the doctor at noon. They said this would be about 3 hours long.

We’re anxious to hear his opinion about all Frank’s tests. We’ll let you know.

Jim, we are praying for you. If Frank gets to come home, you guys can have chemo together on Tues.
Neely, we are praying for you, and your sweet baby. We’re praying she’ll stay put a little longer.

Much love, Peggy.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Greetings to all. We are done in Little Rock until Monday! Yeah! We’re in the car on the way home to hug the kids and play with the dog until Sunday evening. What? Cat? What cat? Oh, the one that stays outside all the time since we got the puppy? He's mad at us.

A big “Thanks” to all those who have helped us this week with the children, carpool, lunches, prayers and more. Grateful doesn’t even touch it. All of you are blessings indeed.Today’s tests were simple. Frank had an ECHO this morning, and then an exercise study. This is part of a research program, with the drug Procrit (a drug that boosts the blood count) and exercise. Frank was happy about this b/c he agreed to exercise for 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week, minimum. Frank says this would hold him accountable and help him keep active.

After 12 hours in the hospital yesterday, we enjoyed a good Italian restaurant very near the apartment. He couldn’t eat 8 hours before his 2:30 scan that didn’t actually begin until after 5, so he was hungry. I didn't want to eat if he couldn't eat. The result of this was the funny look on the waiter's face when he saw how fast we ate. We were more than a little excited for our food to come! We had a great time.

We have so enjoyed the messages on the guestbook page. Thanks for writing them. We got on line together and read every one of them together last night. They got to us! I know I speak for Frank (especially since he is reading this while I'm typing) as well as myself - your notes are really special to us. We want you to know that without the support from people such as yourselves, this journey would be so much harder.

God has answered prayers indeed. Praise me to Him. Enjoy your weekend! We plan to! Love, Peggy (2 pm)

Yes we are back from Little Rock. (7pm) The enormity of my (our) diagnosis is coming into focus. In the beginning it (understanding that you have cancer) is kind of like trying to examine an elephant while it is sitting on your chest.Not only can you not see the entirety of the subject, but you can't breath or move either.Visiting ACRC (Arkansas Cancer Research Center) in Little Rock was like a crane for me. ACRC lifted the beast off my chest, and I was able to view it from a distance. If there is a group of people in this world that can help me, it is this crew.They know what they are doing, they have the best tools, and I am a healthy/compliant patient. Let the battle begin!

Peggy and I, to the best of our ability, offer you our heartfelt thank yous to all of you! You have been faithful and prayed for and with us, written cards, fixed meals, fixed our web page (no, we didn't figure it out), stopped by, hugged our kids, heck…taken care of our kids, made us laugh, wiped our tears, sent us information or books, or have offered to help us in hundreds of other ways. Until you experience the overwhelming love of others you have not lived. It is very uplifting! Really, the outpouring is more than I can describe.I've been taught that our expressions of love are a way of participating in the will of God and fulfilling the servant-hood of Christ.

Read Galatians 6:1-10 vs. 2 - Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
With our arms outstretched, we say THANK YOU! Frank

Please pray for the kids this weekend. Chase has 102 fever and Chandler a low-grade fever. Frank will be on chemo next week. Love in Christ, Peggy

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Country Music is not a good way to wake up.

Peggy and I were almost late to our first appointment this morning because we were lulled back to sleep by the ballads of Nashville.Today was my 3-hour, head to toe MRI. That experience reminded me a little like being 12, in Greenville, and having to hide in the sewer pipes because some BIG kids were out looking for us. The MRI makes a lot more racket than the cars driving down Reed Road but both places were tight fits.

Peggy and I are in the Cancer Center Library right now. At 1:00pm, I have a Bone Density Scan, then a PET scan soon after that. The painful stuff was done yesterday. Man, having bone marrow being sucked out of your hip is not fun. These last few tests are non-invasive; it should only be mildly uncomfortable.

Hi, everyone, it's Peggy. Frank and I are reading a book about web pages. We're getting your emails, which are wonderful to read. Thank you.

I messed up the guestbook and I'm sorry.

Jim, our brother-in-law, was here on business and spent the night with us. We got to eat together and watch a movie. Actually, we ate, and then watched Frank sleep while we watched a movie. :) I know Frank was glad to see him, and I really enjoyed his company. The best part was that Jim found the lost entries that I threw away the other day. I am learning! God is good all the time. He is good to you, and He has been good to the both of us.

We love you all. Peggy

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Well, here I sit. For those of you who have been on the web site, you know that it looks different. The other entries are gone. I hit some button and it got deleted!! I have a big bad feeling in my stomach that I know will go day!!

Frank is asleep. Dinner is in the oven. I feel terrible that I erased his sweet entry! I didn't think you could just erase everything with one button. That only happens in the movies!

Today was long, but good. The testing today was hard on Frank, I think. We got to the hospital at 8. We spent 2 hours with the nurse giving a detailed history. Then we went to Insurance, and then Frank had 16 vials of blood drawn. His eyes got big when he looked at all those vials. The nurse looked like she was restocking the supplies - and then she started labeling all of them with his stickers! But she didn't take it all...he still has some left. We saw a social worker at 11. She got to hear Frank's testimony. She never indicated that she was a believer, so I think it's neat that she got to hear about the Lord.

We ate lunch, and then went for his bone marrow biopsies. This was painful for Frank. They let me sit at his head and be near his face. Not a good place if I didn't want him to see me cry. But the best place indeed. They took 2 bone samples, and 9 syringes of bone marrow. We went for his pulmonary functions after that and then he was done. He was ready to get out of there.

But I don't want to go on without saying how nice everyone is. We never felt like we were anything but their top concern. We met people from Jonesboro, Knoxville, Michigan and Germany today. All men with Myeloma.We stopped at Kroger on the way back to the apt so we didn’t have to go out. Frank is sleeping. Maybe he'll feel better and make his own entry later.

Mom seems to be doing great at home. Aren't you mom? I love you. The kids all talked to us last night. It was report card day, and the first day back to school.

Happy Birthday to Lauren and Jimmy. Sweet 16 and the Big 10! That is exciting! We both love you very much and hope you guys are having a great day!

Frank and I are so blessed with wonderful families.My scripture verse today is Isaiah 40: 28-31. Our Everlasting God and Creator never becomes weary or tired. Thank you, Lord. He gives strength to the weary. Thank you, Lord. He gives His strength to us so we can run and not get tired, we can run and not get weary. Thank you, Lord.We are thanking God for our family, our friends, for the provisions He has made for us, and for the love He has so freely given.

Love to all, Peggy (if it's not too much trouble, please pray that I'll get smarter with this computer and this web page)

Oh yeah, the feeling in my stomach is finally gone. :)One more thing! The guest book won't let you write more than a few lines.
If you want to get in touch with us, you can email us.

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Hello Everyone:It's me, Frank, and this is my first web entry. I wish I could take credit for the page, but up till now I've been watching ESPN while Peggy figured out how to edit the Web page.

Now I know why it's called Yahoo.................Kudos’ to Curtis England, Kris Mathesen, Patrick Casey, and Greg Adams for answering my last minute questions and helping get the best darn domain deal on the Internet. The page wouldn't be here save for your efforts!

Well...the first day of the rest of my 'new' life gets cranked up again tomorrow. Peggy and I are in Little Rock to begin the analysis phase of treatment. Tomorrow, Thursday, & Friday I get to be "sampled". Not exactly my idea of fun, but hey things could be worse. They promised to be nice and use small needles. I'll report on the veracity of the travel brochure claims later.Monday, January 13th is the day that we will be meeting my Dr. Bart Barlogie. (He’s an M.D. and a lot of other abbreviated titles,) IF there is a man on the planet that can help, he is the guy.Pray for him while you’re on your knees for us!

Speaking of Physicians on the case, the original & greatest physician Jehovah God has been working in a mighty way.As far as I know the work has mainly been done on developing my faith in Him. This has been an awesome experience. For a slight explanation read I Peter 4:12-19 this passage is really directed at those who suffer because they ARE Christians, not just suffering in general.However, no matter the cause of our suffering, our response should be the same. ...Commit yourself to our faithful Creator and continue to do well.

That's my prayer for me and for you!More later..........May the God creation blow the winds of joy into your sail!

Hi everyone, it’ Peggy. I am thankful to be here. I am thankful for a lot of things...but I am calling "Trading Spaces" for this apartment! I thought Frank was going to laugh at me for bringing my own plates and coffee mugs, but after we got here, I think he's happy with me. I love brownie points!

He wants to watch basketball on TV tonight. Msu vs. Florida. Better put: the #6 against the #8 teams in the nation. The fact that I know that means...right, more brownie points for me!

Today's scripture for me to read was 2 Cor. 1: 3-5. God is the father of all mercies. And the God of all comfort. My prayer for tomorrow is verse 4. I want to find someone in that large, strange place that I can comfort. I want to give comfort to someone else with the comfort that God has given me. It may be another patient, it may be a staff member...and it may be Frank! (If it were, I would hope that that didn't mean I had been neglecting him) To be honest, his attitude about everything has been a comfort to me. He has been amazing. The game is about to start. GO DAWGS! God bless you!


Sunday, January 5, 2003

Happy Birthday Scott!
Well, This is definitely a new experience. It's almost midnight and I have clicked on so many buttons! I am trying to make a web page without having a clue what I am doing! I successfully clicked on the text box, so I am going to go for it while I have the chance and hope this makes it to the home page.
Frank and I are preparing to leave for Little Rock. We can feel the prayers of all of you, and the anxious feelings we both have are being replaced by feelings of calm and peace. God is so awesome. I don't think I could panic even if I wanted to. We have a to-do list that is not getting done as fast as we would like, but I know that things are going to be fine. We'll put prayer request in the next update.
We had a nice visit with Frank's family. It was a joy to study God's word with our small group this afternoon. And now, here I am.... trying to make a web page! After we know what we are doing, this should be more fun for you and me!