Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Can't believe Sat was the last post... the days are just flying by.

We decided he could hold out on Sunday and have labs drawn on Monday. Everything was okay except platelets. They were 7. The other values were low, just not low enough to need blood products.

As the white and red cells recover, the platelets are usually last to follow, so there's no shock there.

We went back over to Baptist ~we have our own parking space now :) ~ and got some platelets.

Frank didn't go get labs drawn Tues. This morning the platelets were 8. So... if you need us we're at Bapt. They have been so sweet and we've been happy with them. Frank says emotionally it's a huge difference to be home and managing this. We are very thankful!

Please pray his platelets recover quickly. Zach and I are congested and sneezing... allergy stuff. Please pray it doesn't move into a sinus infection so we can all stay healthy for daddy.

"Elijah was man just like us. He prayed earnestly." James 5:17

Thank you for your prayers. We've seen some answered prayers about school and we are experiencing some peace about decisions that need to be made. God is moving in many many ways. We're keeping our eyes open... we don't want to miss a thing.

Because of His grace,


Saturday, April 26, 2008



Frank and I got up and left at 6 am for Little Rock. When we got there, they had 2 units of blood ordered for him, but when they ran the labs.... he didn't need it!

His red counts were good. White count was up from 0.5 to 0.85. Still neutrapenic but it was great to see a movement in the right direction. Platelets were 27. Down from 50 but not below twenty, so no transfusion needed.

He's decided to take tomorrow off and just lay low and be careful. We're not going back to Little Rock for labs.

We are encouraged that his recovery from this last treatment is... well... almost over! :)

You guys are awesome!! Thank you so very much for all your love and support.

Friday, April 25, 2008

voting is for the 4-24 entry

Oh... I hate to post after yesterday's entry! I feel like I'm breaking up a party. But you can still vote. (frank thinks that's cool)

We had fun with it last night. Frank was laughing at himself. He got so tickled! The kids kept saying, "you sound just like grandaddy when you laugh hard like that."

We've been at the hospital almost every day for blood for 2 weeks. Here's what we know....

The platelet count keeps dropping after the transfusions. That seemed weird. His platelets were 17, he got a bag, but they dropped to 13. So he got another bag and today they were 9. They said he's building up a resistance to the platelets. (He also was making antibodies to the whole blood too) So from now on he'll need to get a "single donor bag". I thought that meant the same person had to donate every time he needs platelets, but I was wrong. They said some bags of platelets are full of cells from several different donors. He needs a bag that only has one persons cells in it. That made sense. He got his single donor bag today.

His platelets were 9 this morning, but 50 an hour after the transfusion. Yeah!!

We're praying they are just that high or higher tomorrow, but if he rejects this bag, they could be below 20 tomorrow. So we need to get some lab drawn over the weekend. There is no place to do that in Memphis. We are getting up and driving to Little Rock to have his labs drawn, and get some blood if he needs it. Then we're coming home hopefully in time to celebrate Nana and Jim's birthdays.

If we need to, we'll do the same thing Sunday. But we're hoping he's on his way up, up, up! His white count went from 0.1 to 0.3 to 0.5 so things look like they're headed in that direction.

The most wonderful news of all is that all the cancer markers and lab values are low and look really good! This is working! Praise the Lord!!

Please pray he remains free from infection while his white count is under 2.0. We are so thankful that with all the blood products he's needed that him being sick hasn't been an issue.

Thanks too for keeping us with us and for praying so faithfully for our family. If you're website shy, you can send him an email. He loves hearing from people and it really does make him feel better.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Thursday, April 24, 2008's been since Monday that we posted an update on how things are going. I guess we have been caught up in such a cycle of "same-ol, same ol thing" that I took it for granite that everyone doesn't know the path we've walked this week.

For starters, my Tuesday labs came back worse than they've ever been. WBC was .001, Platelets fell too under 10, and my electriclights were way low. I haven't scene people running around and getting busy like that since Chase caught himself on fire striking matches over at the Cocci's house. That burnt carpet smell lasted forever.

Anyway, once they got me stablized I rode in an ambulance over to Baptist East and halfway their a car ran the red light and smashed into our vehicle. It turned out to be some young kid listening to rap music that was turned up to loud. He was already late for school at Christian Brothers, but now he was even later. He was going so fast that he was thown through the window and it cut his ears off. I guess he will have to turn the music up even louder from now on.

Once we got that mess untangled, and I got his dad's insurance card, we made it to the Outpatient Services are for some blood.

Once I had been photographed, fingerprinted, and forced to sign one of those living will thingy's I recieved 3 units of blood; 2- whole and 1 platlets.

As I mentioned before, all week has been a repeat of the same cycle of events, minus the car wreck of course. I think this week should be named SHAMPOO. Like it says on the bottle, "rinse hair, lather up with Herbal Invasion, then REPEAT".

Of course if you are still reading this POST, you must know by now that most of this tail is made up and the misspelled words are there to drive all of you "English Teacher" types crazy.

I hope this made up story put a smile on your face and perhaps got you to chuckle. That's what I'm doing in spite of the wierd things that have been going on with my health.

The truth is I have been going in for labs every day and I really have been having a hard time making blood. My White Count is still extremly low, but making a move in the right direction. I have recieved blood products (whole & platlets) every day except Tuesday, and my body is just plain beat up. I do feel good, which is a good thing but on the inside things just aren't right.

As you pray, just lift me up so that I can avoid infection and that my body will repair itself soon. I miss being able to high five my friends and tell stories to complete strangers. Hopefully that will come soon.

May God Bless You!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Well, we're so glad the fever has gone away. But his labs today weren't as good as we were hoping for.

White count still 0.1 and platelets were 15. Yikes. They sent him right over to Baptist and got a bag in him pretty quick. I managed to beat him 3 out of 5 hands of gin in the process. Oops. I'm not suppose to let him win am I?

With his white count so low, he came home after we left the hospital and worked from home. We're having fun teasing one another, cause .. umm...he likes to work from the office upstairs.... which is where I like to be too...ummm... you know... when he's usually not home... (wink wink)
SOOOO, I brought in another chair today to try and share a little, but that didn't last too long. It's all in good fun. I know he needs to work and I'd rather him be here when his counts are so low. I know he's anxious to get back to work.

They gave him a shot for his white count today, so we should see some good results tomorrow. He was still very anemic as well. Hct 29, and Hgb 9.

Praises that he is not sick! Please continue to pray to Frank that his counts will recover. And pray for us too as we continue to make plans for the next school year and adjust to our new kinda normal.

The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised" Ps 48:1

I can't believe it's Sunday already. Sorry we haven't updated since Wednesday.

Frank did get to go to work Wednesday, (yippee) but that was the only day this week. Thursday his white count was 0.6 and his platelets were 21, so we went over to Baptist Outpatient Center. Too bad this can't be like a fast food drive through.... "yeah, I'll have a bag of platelets and a diet coke please".

Friday's labs were about the same, but he needed whole blood instead. So, we went back over to Baptist. Same song, second verse. He got 2 units of whole blood, with growth factor shots on the side. White count was 0.1 Friday.

Saturday was such a gorgeous day. Frank couldn't help himself and he and Chase cut the grass. He had to rest a lot during the process, but I know it felt good to be doing something he enjoys on such a pretty day.

We went to the final production of "7 brides for 7 sons" at school. Chase had fun and everyone did a great job. (the picture is Chase taking his final bow) Frank wore his mask the whole time and we stayed away from the crowds.

This morning, his fever is 100.1. He said he knew when he woke up something wasn't right. I'm home with him, Chandler and Chase went on to church. (Zach's out of town at a soccer tournament).

Let's pray his fever doesn't get any higher and that it goes away! We are praying for protection over his body in every way. Tomorrow will also be tricky... When Little Rock gets his labs and knows he's running fever, you'll be able to hear Dr. Barlogie all the way from there screaming "get him here stat!" But he never wants us to leave, so we have to weigh out those decisions carefully. We want to stay home until May 12th if at all possible.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
Therefore we will not fear...." Psalm 46: 1-2a

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Frank is getting daily labs at West Clinic. He's feeling good and went in to work today.

His platelets dropped quite a bit this time. They went from 60 to 33. I'm glad it's only Wednesday, because West isn't open on the weekends. His white count is 2.5 which is good for him. He had a growth factor shot before we left Little Rock so that has helped his white count a lot.

Please pray that his platelets will start to go up from here. If they do drop more, let's pray that we would know before the weekend so he can get an infusion on Friday and not go the weekend either in need, or in wonder.

Chase is the school play that opens tomorrow night. It's the musical "7 brides for 7 sons". We're excited to see him and his hard work pay off. Zach's out of town again this weekend for a soccer tournament ~ Go Lobos! Chandler is playing the piano Saturday for judges in her yearly festival. She's always gotten a superior rating and we are proud of her 8 years behind the keys!

Psalm 20: 4-5 "May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all Your purpose. We will rejoice in Your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petetions."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

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

We're home! Yeah! As I got into bed last night, I just sighed at how good it felt to be in my own bed.

We didn't see Dr. Barlogie yesterday. We saw Dr. Kiwan. He's a hoot. It's funny, cause we've been going to UAMS since Jan 2003. In all that time, this is only the 2nd or 3rd time to see a different doctor.

He set us up for return on May 12th for PET scan, MRI, bone marrow biopsy and labs. The plan is for Frank to start the next treatment (like he just finished) that week, but he's not going to do it then. Frank wants to wait until after the kids get out of school. They can come with us then and it'll be a holiday weekend so he'll miss less work.

He is neutrapenic now. And his platelets are getting low. He's at West Clinic this morning getting labs drawn.

He's going to come home and rest today and stay away from people. (SuperMan learned a lesson from last time I think!) So, he's pushing me out the door to work instead. :)

Thank you so much for praying for him and our family. We are so encouraged and know that Frank is just a miracle because of it! Peg

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Well here we sit, in our Little Rock home away from home.

We arrived last Monday, got "hooked up" on Tues and have been doing our best not to go stir crazy ever since. Finally, Saturday at 5:00, I got turned lose from my chemo bag and my spirits were immediately lifted. Carrying those pumps around just mentally makes you "feel" sick.

Now we have a few more labs to run and hopefully we can go home. Dr. Barlogie will let us know tomorrow. Our hope is to come home while I recover from this treatment.

I miss my family, I miss my friends, and I miss just hanging around all the people that make our lives special.

That sounds like such a downer, but it's the truth. Proverbs 12:22 says "The Lord detest lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful."

Honestly, I must tell you that being away from our kids, from work, and home is so hard!

Peggy and I are headed over to the know that we miss you all and hope to be home soon.


2:00 pm Got labs today. Not too bad
WBC 3.33
Hgb 9.2
Platelets dropped a lot to 74
Potassium was low but I took it orally
CRP is good ~ no inflammation

Thanks for praying for me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy 16th Birthday Chandler!

Oh, what was I doing 16 years ago today? I was laying in a hospital bed, tired but excited, wearing the most awful looking pink gown (that I'm sure I thought was pretty), watching the clock so I could hold Chandler again. Our life had changed forever. We were parents!

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we wouldn't be with our daughter on her 16th birthday. Life is full of unexpected turns... yet, no matter what challenges we face.. we are truly blessed. This may be weird, but the past few days, I keep hearing Chandler's voice on the video clip they did at church at Frank's 2005 relapse. She said she wanted to be able to share turning 16 and driving with both her parents. I am so very thankful to the Lord that she was able to that. Oh, please let it be so for both the boys as well. Oh Lord, hear our cry!

We did have fun with her on Saturday.... just look at that smile!

We had a busy day today. We didn't like the place we were. Frank thinks like a man... it had a bed and a toilet so what's the problem?? I admit I am a hotel snob. The carpet was pieced together where they had cut big patches out. Dirty, and old. So.... I win! (Actually, he wouldn't admit it but he was with me on this one.)

We checked out and packed the car in the rain, with tornado sirens going off. So, as we pull out of the parking lot ~ now homeless ~ yelling over the sirens.... We realize we have no place to go for shelter. Oh... we didn't think about that.

We ended up my hair dresser/friend's shop. So while we waited out the storm, I got a hair cut! Not too bad!

The hospital wasn't too bad today. We got in and out pretty fast. I'm so glad we had an afternoon time slot. Our nurse said they had all the patients in the hallway this morning for the tornado warning. I bet that was crazy! His labs are good. Just goes in for the bag change, shot and chemo and we're on our way... uneventful. Unless you get hit by a tornado.

We're in our new digs now. Much better!! Kroger had Healthy Choice on sale at Kroger for a buck fifty... guess what we had for dinner??

His spirits are good. He's starting to get tired. Mine are ok too. I'm missing home, missing the kids. Missing work. Our being seperated is magnified when we're gone for special days like a birthday. But we've all celebrated a birthday apart because of treatment. Chandler had her 2003 birthday with us here too. But she got a great present... Frank collected over 40 million stem cells on her birthday. We read it in the archives. That was fun to remember.

It's hard to believe we've been in this battle again since the end of November. Where have 4 months gone? We are so thankful for those of you walking this journey with us. It is an amazing feeling to know we are not alone. What incredibly patient people you are!

Prayer requests:
Strong recovery next week from this treatment.
Success from this treatment ~ visible on the MRI.
No sickness, no infection ~ from him or any of us.
Wisdom as we make decisions about school for kids next year.
God's sweet mercy on our children, every single day.
Energy for Nana.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

We are in Little Rock. I’m in the process of getting worse before I can get better…that is the way I see it anyway.

To update everyone… We had previously asked that everyone pray for the latest round of tests to show improvement in my bone lesions and that my blood counts would improve without the help of booster drugs.

The bone lesions did not shrink, but they did not get bigger. There were also no new bone lesions found in the hips and shoulders, so things are the same as they were last time. Dr. Barlogie said that it is not unusual for the lesions to remain stable, it is always better for them to shrink, but nothing to be alarmed about. So everyone lift up Praise!

Secondly, my white counts, platelets, etc DID improve from previous testing and I am “strong” enough to start treatments. We were concerned that since my episode with the flu, my counts might need a growth factor shot to stimulate them. It is always better for the body to recoup on is own. Again, everyone offer praise to God for touching my body once again.

So, here we are trying to be productive, going to the clinic every day and doing as we’re told. We miss the apt – the kitchen mostly because now we’re looking for ways to eat cheap while we live in a hotel room for 7 days. Lean Cuisines are looking good… let me tell you.

More later…..Frank

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Your comforts delight my soul"

What an exciting weekend we've had! We've been keeping a big secret at our house....

Saturday Chandler had a surprise party for her 16th birthday! She was totally shocked. I'll post a picture soon. It's priceless! (It's the 10th, but we'll be in Little Rock)

This weekend was one of the reasons we asked Dr. Barlogie for the April 7th return date. When we originally made plans, we would have been home for 3 days before the party, and Frank would've been feeling bad from the treatment. Then he got the flu. The delay in treatment would have had us in Little Rock during the party, so we asked for a few more days.

From conception to clean up, God blessed us with the gift of love. When we started planning this, our friends and family knew we were going have trouble getting this done. They tied my hands behind my back, and did this whole party for Chandler. We are so grateful and overwhelmed by all they did. It was a blast.

I didn't realize until the party started and I saw how happy we all were, how our moods have been down lately. It was the first time in a while we were celebrating something. I'm still riding that feeling this morning.

But it couldn't stay Saturday night forever. April 7th is here whether we like it or not.
Frank got up this morning and drove the Little Rock alone for his testing. They don't do bone marrow biopsies anymore so there is nothing invasive. He'll come home tonight and then we'll leave together in the morning.

I stayed behind to take Chase to the doctor for a checkup. And, of course, we'll all watch the Tigers play tonight at 8!

We are nervous about the MRI. They didn't do one the last time we were there. Frank said he was glad, because he wouldn't have come back any sooner no matter what it showed. So why sit on bad news if we didn't get the results we wanted? I agree, but I have to admit, I've been anxious about it. We are praying that it will show improvement on the lesions from the last treatment. That would be a wonderful and hopeful way to begin this next week of chemo.

"In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul" Psalm 94:19