Friday, June 13, 2014

Much needed update 2014 and prayer request

sometimes I forget our readers are not just friends and family that keep updated with us on Facebook .. I know some just stumble upon this page wanting to know more about melanoma or have melanoma themselves and just want a little hope that there are stage 4 survivors out there... I am sorry I haven't updated you all. I am happy to announce Chris has been doing good and for the past few months has regained so much strength and has become  a close version of himself before this whole cancer journey. It took a few months for him to get most of his energy back after the radiation but he everyday he becomes better and better. He honestly looks amazing!  His last scans were in March and they came back clear. Thank God ! So now his next scans should be soon... He has a doctors appointment early July. So now comes the prayers part... I am trying not to overthink or freak out about this but Chris has had a nonstop headache this past week and night sweats which makes me very nervous.. I asked him the call the doctor but he hasn't yet and I am just feeling afraid. So please say a prayer that it's not a tumor or some other horrifying disease that has invaded. It's hard not to be on constant edge  and  paranoid at any health symptom after everything we have been through !So as always thanks for reading , thanks for your prayers and thank you for your love and friendship. Xo-k

Monday, December 16, 2013

Radiation update

Well I kinda thought chris was going to start keeping the blog updated but I guessed wrong lol well since the last post chris went through 15 rounds of high dosage radiation. We are actually headed to to the feist weiller cancer center for an appointment with dr. Nair right now. Chris hasn't had a pet scan or MRI since the radiation and I am assuming this appointment is to get those scheduled. Physically chris is suffering from severe fatigue. I don't know how long this is suppose to last for but will talk to the dr about it today. Mentally neither one of us are doing that great. Depression and anxiety have plagued our home and it's a hard thing to cope with. I really don't know how to hold it together sometimes. I just pray that God will bring both of us peace. I know we are blessed but I don't always know how to feel blessed. If there are any spouse/caretakers out there reading this I am sure you can understand. I don't really want to talk anymore about this as I could go on and on but just keep us in your prayers because if there is one thing I do know and that is prayer works. I will let everyone know when chris has his next pet scan. I just want to hear the words all clear! Now that would be an awesome Christmas present. Love you all xo kendra

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aug. 25th

The latest PET scan is clear!

I spent the day in Shreveport yesterday to get scanned and meet with the radiation specialist. He said that he (as well as the other 3 that work at Willis-Knighton) recommends treating the area with radiation. I asked how effective it is against Melanoma and he said there has been success with using it in higher doses for Melanoma patients, however if Melanoma metastasizes in that spot again it won't be able to be used there effectively. I agree with him though, it is in such a sensitive spot that anything to keep it from forming there at all has to be done.

He said the most common side effects are burns/rash to the area and also fatigue. Probably a total of 15-20 rounds will be needed. I'll have to take two treatments a day for a week or so. First I have to get another brain and spinal MRI so they can look at that area in better detail than what the PET reveals. I'm not sure if I am going to try and stay in Shreveport that week or if I will have to drive back and forth.

I'm still healing up from the back surgery and it feels like its taking forever. I'm still having night sweats too and I hate waking up in the middle of the night peeling the sheets off me. Regardless though, I feel like I'm in good hands and I know deep down that everything will turn out just fine in the long run. Thank you everyone for the continued prayers and support and I'll let you know more when I do. I feel so blessed that I have so many people that care about me. In that sense I'm very lucky. Take care everyone and God bless.



Friday, August 16, 2013

Aug 16th Update.

   So now that I'm actually feeling well enough to sit behind a keyboard and type a little I thought a blog update would be appropriate.

   The last 2-3 days I've been feeling well enough to spend more time out of bed than in it. Post surgery healing was alot of pain because my body just does'nt heal like it used to. Yesterday was the last day (hopefully) that I have to take any painkillers for it. I do still take pain medicine occasionally because the nerve damage from the first round of IL left me with some neuropathy in my feet, but I still only try to use it when I absolutely have to.

   I have a few weeks before I have to take another PET scan to see how effective the surgery was. The Dr. not being able to get 100 percent of the spinal cord tumor is what worries me. That's such a rare place for Melanoma to metastasize (38 people worldwide have been known to have Melanoma on their spinal cord like that) that I know they can't have much experience with it. So I'm going to have to do as much research as I can and really discuss with the doctor what he wants to do.

   One thing I've noticed since this whole ordeal began, is that death seems to be a really taboo subject in our day and age. Funny thing that I never really noticed how much I was guilty of it too, until I got sick with this damned disease. I think our society and culture tries its best to keep the thought of death at bay, that's one big reason youth is glorified and revered and nursing home residents are often shunned. Ancient people knew that death is just ultimately a part of life and that nothing ever truly dies. Today it seems too many people look at it as the end of life, but it's only the end of this earthly one. I believe that my true life is with my Creator. The "Great Architect" that put that divine spark in all of us humans when he created us. That divine spark is in us all and around us all. If you ever get a chance to go out in the woods and just get your body and mind still and quiet, you can see it all around you. I guess that's one reason sitting in a deer stand is so enjoyable to me, even when I don't kill anything. I guess rednecks practice meditation all the time and not even realize they're doing it!

   I'm still determined to not give up. It gives it power over you when you fear something, and I refuse to give Melanoma that kind of power over me. God wants us strong. God created us to be powerful beings, to be FEARLESS.  Jesus, Buddha, Ghandi, etc. All of the great teachers and wise men in history have one thing in common, they always tell their followers to not be afraid, that fear is the ultimate killer of the soul. I must say I agree with them. Courage actually IS being afraid. If you talk to a war veteran who has ever won a medal for a heroic battlefield deed of some sort, they will tell you that they were scared as hell the whole time. Courage is not feeling fear, it is feeling it and doing that which you are afraid of.

  Well, I know I went on a bit of a rant there, but I will definitely update here when i have more news.

   Take care everyone, God bless and thank you for reading.

 

 

   

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How the surgery went......







Every entry in here has been written by my wife. I think its time to take that burden off of her for a while and write a few myself!

OK, so last you heard we were waiting on an MRI appointment. Well they moved it up to Aug. 25th. We went for a follow up that next week with the neurosurgeon and he wanted me admitted to the hospital A.S.A.P. The tumors had grown some (he did not say how much) and it would be 2-3 weeks for him to schedule the surgery again. So I told him that was fine with me, because I know exactly how fast this stuff grows and the sooner its gone, the better. I was admitted and the next day went under.

What was supposed to be an hour long surgery ended up taking over seven hours.

The Dr. said that the tumors were inside the spinal fluid sack. When they opened me up they could'nt find them. So they had to do x-rays on my chest. The x-rays showed that they were actually in the spinal fluid sack that surrounds your spinal cord. The tumor that was by my T4 vertebrae was 100 percent removed. But the tumor that had grown by my T9 vertebrae might still have some there because the tumor was growing into the spinal cord and the bone there. The Surgeon said he had never seen anything like it in his 13 years of  practicing Neurosurgery. 

The right side of my abdomen is numb, which is weird feeling. After the surgery they weren't sure if paralysis of anything would be an issue or not. I don't use the right side of my belly that much, and not being paralyzed and being able to walk and performs my main daily activities is a major blessing.

Its still pretty painful to move. However, I can tell today that the soreness is not as bad as it has been since the surgery. 

I have to go get my sutures out in a few weeks, and after that its time for another PET scan. Then my Oncologist will decide if he wants me to do radiation or not. Its a possibility since the Neurosurgeon said he is not sure if he got all of the spinal cord tumor. I sure hope so, that's not a good place for melanoma to start growing.

But that's about it! I started taking liposomal Vitamin C and turmeric supplements. They do make me feel better and have a little more energy than usual. They are supposed to help gt rid of abnormal cells in your body like cancer. I'm just taking it as easy as I can for the time being.

Thank you everyone for the words of love and encouragement. Please continue to keep myself and others who live with this disease in your prayers. I can only hope that one day they find a cure for this damned devil they call Melanoma.

Thank you for reading, God bless.
















Where the tumors were Located in Spine

A

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Where we are now

So Chris finally met with a neurosurgeon named Dr. Sin from Willis Knighton last week. I still don't know we were referred  out of LSU to Willis Knighton..? Regardless..  Dr. Sin discussed with us that he wanted to remove both spots since they were so small and then send them off for biopsy. So that sounds good , I mean get that cancer OUT, right?!?!  So all week we have been waiting on ANOTHER appointment for a MRI for Chris because they want a better picture before operating... no one ever calls.. so I call them today  and finally get a hold of someone who tells me that his appointment for an MRI is in September... seriously? That's almost 2 months. Needless to say Chris called Dr. Nair his oncologist at LSU  but unfortunately he wasn't around today. . We know how fast and aggressive melanoma is and its nerve wracking when it seems no one cares to speed things up. Chris is till having drenching night sweats and today broke out in hives! I miss MD Anderson tremendously...

please pray

xo
.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Melanoma you suck.



Ok so I didn't even want to write this blog (I am about a week late in doing so)   because I don't want to think about it more than I have to and I don't feel like crying and all those other emotions... but I am afraid Melanoma has reared its ugly head right back into our lives. Chris ended up taking his Scans early instead of the end of this month and they discovered 2 spots near his spine mid back. So.... he took an MRI for another look and of course it wasn't an infection or injury like I hoped it to be but something real and solid something that has a very likely chance of being Melanoma. I was afraid of this happening as Chris has had a couple of night sweats the past month, a clear indication your body is fighting something and often an indicator in cancer. So now we wait for an appointment with the Neurosurgeon who will take a biopsy or possibly remove the spots if possible. Did I mention the good news that the spots are small?  Less than 1 centimeter a piece. So thats all I know. Its depressing honestly... I hoped it would have stayed at bay a little bit longer but I guess we don't always get what we want. So before  I get into too much of a panic I will wait for the biopsy. I am just afraid really and I don't want Chris to have to go through this again nor do I want to go through this again. I ask you to pray for God to heal Chris. For all you survivors keep on surviving and remember those who have gone to a better place. I hope they find a cure for this awful disease soon.

xo
k

 In my last post I asked you to pray for a man named Richard. I want to thank you for those prayers but sadly I must say he lost his battle with cancer. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Richard Dale Porter 
(July 16, 1944 - May 29, 2013)