Thursday, September 29, 2011

Side Effects suck

Well we got in Tuesday night and the drive from Houston seemed to take forever this go around. Thankfully MD Anderson gave Chris an extra week at home in hopes to fatten him up. I must say he has been trying his darnedest to get food down, the only problem it seems it that the food is going nowhere and is just sitting on his stomach. The chemo has really messed up his GI tract.  Before we left the hospital Tuesday they sent Chris to an audiologist because he has been having constant ringing in his ears, Cisblastin, one of the chemo drugs can cause hearing loss. They said he did have some  loss and it may or may not come back. Also his nerve endings in his feet and hands seem to be getting worse, another thing that will hopefully come back but they can't be certain. So these are some of the side effects he is also dealing with ,besides the nausea and what not.
 Well we went to Natchitoches today and Chris did his blood labs , I think everything will be OK, that blood transfusion last week really did him a world of good. After that, I hit the grocery store and loaded my buggy down with lots of fattening food. There is no way he is not going to gain some weight this go around, hopefully I wont! I also picked up a newspaper yesterday and I asked Chris to read it to me while we were driving and as soon as he opened it he saw his face lol there was an insert for the Fundraiser Oct 15. He was surprised and touched. I just wanted to let everyone know in the flyer its says we do not have insurance but we do have some insurance, just no income but the bills are already racking up, each of Chris's treatments cost around 93,000 a pop. Ack! Insurance covers some of it but if you can imagine a nice chunk is left. I have just been putting the bills in a big Manila envelope and will worry about them when I have to. There is nothing I can do about it right now and they will just have to wait. It's really not my main priority. Chris getting better is. I just love him so much and I can't imagine not growing old with him. I hate cancer so much. It sucks!!! Sometimes I think I torture myself by reading about it constantly on the Internet and I have to keep reminding myself, everyone is different. Does anyone watch the Big C on Showtime? Well its about a Melanoma patient and her struggle, anyways on the season finale her son is talking to the Dr asking him how much time his mom has left and he tells her possibly 10 months -2 years but then he tells him "but sometimes there are those who defy who all odds.." And that will be my love. He has already defied many odds and he will continue. I know he is in the best hands in the world at MD Anderson and I know he has the best support system (you guys!) ever. Please keep praying.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Look at those scans!!! :D

Sometimes I get on here and I will re-read my blogs and I get embarrassed because I think I am being a little to whiny and I want to apologize for that. Well today I promise no complaining, no whining, and no worrying. We finally got to see Chris's latest scans of his lung and they are just AMAZING!!!  The picture quality is not the best because for some reason my camera is working but they are not loading onto the computer so I took pictures of the pictures with my camera phone, does that make sense? Regardless here they are:

Wowie Zowie, right?!? I hope his sinus tumor is shrinking that much as well!
I had someone ask me recently why my page is called and not something to do with melanoma. Well honestly I started this blog before they told us it was melanoma we just knew he had  a malignant tumor in his sinus cavity and we were told it was most likely Sinus cancer it is Extremely rare for a melanoma to grow in the sinus cavity. So that's the reasoning.
I also wanted to share with everyone and invite everyone to the
Jambalaya Plate Lunch Fundraiser for Chris that is being sponsored by the Nakatosh Priesthood. How unbelievably Awesome is that?  A big huge thank you to all of them and to my friend Mandi who helped bring our story to her family.  I honestly have not experienced such kindness. It makes me wanna cry!  I just want to thank EVERYONE involved On October 15 in Natchitoches on the riverbank from 10:30-1:30 They will have Jambalaya plates for purchase. This will include jambalaya, green beans, crackers, dessert, and a drink for $6. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Chris Verzwyvelt Love Fund at Sabine Bank.  I heard Mandi's mom  Mrs. Joy will be cooking so it should be extra yummy. I also wanted to  thank you Mrs. Tammy  Armstrong for Everthing. If you would like to know more please visit the facebook event page Nakatosh Priesthood Jambalaya Plate Lunch Fundraiser for Chris Well that's the story my loves. I feel so blessed and lucky to have all of you in my life. God is listening to me and that makes me happy.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

When will I ever wake up from this nightmare?

Well yesterday we found out if Chris loses anymore weight he will not be able to take his last treatment. The doctor told Chris that she didn't think Chris understood what a "miracle" this is, that this treatment hardly works for anyone. So it will be my #1 priority to fatten him up as much as I can when we get home. Ensure Ice Cream shakes.. butter.. cheese.. if its fattening its going into his mouth. I feel so especially bad for him this time around this has been the worst round of treatment for him. Stomach problems galore, throwing up, chills, fever, swelling,redness... the list goes on. It hurts my heart watching him so sick. I just can't explain the array of feelings that go through my mind constantly. Only if you have gone through this could you understand. Not to mention other worries that I have kept at bay in my mind like health insurance in the future, money in general, and once this is over with (crossing fingers) I am going to have to look into going into a new profession. I love being an Esthetician but it is generally contract work, no benefits, no steady paycheck. If I lived in a larger area I could find a salary job but really how many spas are there really in Winn parish surrounding area? Not too many. I have my makeup shop but its not enough to pay the bills, it might pay one bill!  Ugh I just feel so frustrated. Well sorry for all the moaning and groaning but I am allowed, its my life and my diary. Thank for putting up with me and please keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Strength needed

So as usual I am feeling pretty depressed. I don't want to be here as Chris doesn't want to be here either. We arrived in Houston Monday night where we stayed at my cousins Laurette's apartment. The next morning at 6:00 am we were at the hospital for testing. He had Ct-Scans and Blood work to be done. Needless to say I passed out asleep in the waiting room and I am pretty sure I was snoring.  6am is hard to do after making a 5 hour drive and not getting but a couple of hours of sleep. The good thing about 6am is that you are pretty much done with everything by 10:00 am.  We didn't have to be at MD Anderson until 10:30 Wednesday morning. I decided to call a cab to pick us up that morning instead of parking`at the hospital. The cab drive will end up being 40.00 round trip and if we would have stayed in the parking garage here it would have ended up being 72.00 so at least we saved some dough. When we arrived to his Doctors appointment the first thing they do is take his blood pressure and weigh him. He is down to 166 pounds. Last visit he was at 178 pounds. I told you he was getting skinnier and skinnier. I hate it because he LOOKS like he has cancer now.  Well in the Doctors appointment they told him the small tumors in his left lung are now totally gone and the big one in his right is still shrinking, although she didn't say how much. They didn't take a scan of his sinus tumor because they took an MRI before he left last time and I have the results to that if you didn't see it's a couple of posts down.  Well during question and answer time we asked if this doesn't work (the biochemotherapy) are there more options? They went on to tell us of new clinical trials and whatnot and but said if the Biochemotherapy is working stick with it because its the only thing that can cure it. BUT then I learned when they say cure it they mean keep it at bay for  maybe 5 years.. 10 years if he's lucky. Melanoma is not curable. It will come back. But the only good thing about that is who knows what wonderful advancements they will have made in 5-10 years!?! And just like my friend Leah mentioned on a facebook post of mine, No one has an expiration date and God is still in control and still performs miracles.  Its still disheartening though. Especially when your husband turns to you and says I know I wont live to be an old man. We also had a long talk about children and unless it just happens we will not try to have them. I just don't think having one would be a good idea if their father has a chance of dying or being so sick again. It hurts my heart tremendously but its for the best. During the appointment they also took a biopsy of a very dark mole that had recently popped up on his back in the last month or so. Hopefully it won't be a melanoma. I can't imagine  a new one popping up during all this Chemo, that would be crazy. After his appointment we went down to admissions and waited what felt like an eternity for a room.  To bide our time we went to the cafeteria, we walked around a little, we visited the Hospital Library
Chris looking for some good Science Fiction

We ended up waiting almost 5 hours for a room. Ack!
Waiting Waiting Waiting
We  finally made it to our new room at around 6:00 that evening.  They didn't start Chris on chemo right away as they wanted to give him a blood transfusion first. I guess the blood shortage is gone at least here at MD Anderson. They started him on his fluids when he got to the room and at around 10:30 they decided to give him his Temadar since its one of his only chemo drugs in a pill form and just like last time we were here, he took it then threw it up.  *Sigh* that's the chemo that really helps his sinus tumor. At around 11:00 pm they finally started his blood transfusion.

They ended up giving him 2 units. He said it made him feel a little better and also he didn't feel as cold. So that's good. Thank you to whoever in the world donated that blood. He needed it! Well folks that's the story thus far. I know I have lots of gaps in my blog but sometimes there is not much to write about and sometimes I just don't want to think about the cancer so I ignore all things related to it.  I have alot of people that tell me how strong I am but really I am very far from it. I only deal with what has been given to me. I cry on the daily and I am scared outta of my mind. I try to be strong and I pray for strength but I don't feel it really. I just feel really sad and I worry about the future. I love you all so much and thank you for being here for me I have really learned who my true friends are through this whole situation and I will continue to put on my brave face and I will continue to pray for strength ,I will continue to pray for the very life of my husband and I will continue to appreciate all of you for your kind words, your prayers and for simply being here for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Time again Already

Well its time to go to Houston again! The time at home seemed so short lived this go around. Chris's appetite is finally back but his weight is still low. We got his blood test results back and his hemoglobin levels were at 8.6 so that was great but the nurse  told me he still needs a transfusion, so hopefully they will have some blood available at the hospital this go around.  His white blood count was up at 17.4 which is high and usually is a sign of infection but since he hasn't been running fever it is probably because they gave him a shot of something or other before he left the hospital to help raise his white blood cell count. This will be his 5th treatment of 6 so this time before he is admitted we go a day early for ct scans of his lungs and head. Pray that 6 treatments will do it. I don't know how much longer I can take this. The past 4 months have felt like eternity.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My ever shrinking husband

Well it seems like Chris is getting skinnier everyday. I wish he could put a little weight on. I keep cooking but nothing seems to hit the spot for him.  After his last blood test his hemoglobin level was still at 8.1 . We went again today for his labs hopefully his levels have remained  the same or maybe they have gotten higher but I doubt it, I don't think he is eating enough to get his body to start producing any more blood cells but lets hope I am wrong.  I have only left the house twice since I have been home ( for labs) and I am feeling stir crazy.  I wish gas was cheaper! Life is just so strange sometimes, one day your doing great the next day not so good. One thing I have really realized throughout this whole experience is everything that I thought was important, isn't.  Objects and possessions no longer hold much power or influence in my mind.  I would throw away everything I own if I knew it would heal Chris. The only things that really matter are  God, each other, our family and our friends.

Love yall xo

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

X marks theTumor! Before and After MRI pictures

Well we got home yesterday and it feels so wonderful to be back! Chris already had to go do blood work today so we shall find out what the results are soon. Hopefully his hemoglobin hasn't dropped any. If you haven't already read on facebook we got back the results of Chris's MRI and his  head tumor has shrunk significantly I am so happy!

BEFORE (X Marks the Tumor)


Here is the Report if you would like to read it

Anyways thats all thats going on. Chris is eating a little but is very tired. Keep us in your prayers and we will keep you in ours.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

National Blood Shortage

Did you know we are going through a National blood shortage? I had no idea, but who would. Even our Doctor didn't know until she found today when Chris wasn't able to receive his scheduled blood transfusion for today. They have blood but they are saving it for necessary surgery. His Hemoglobin level is 8.1 and they do transfusions at 8.0 :/ His nurse just came in and said they were still trying! They have been trying all day, the staff here is so awesome. Anyways I posted my concerns on facebook earlier and when I logged back in just now there were so many of my friends ready to donate and help. How absolutely wonderful is that?  If he does end up needing someone to donate, Chris's sister has the same blood type, so that is great news.  Well Chris still isn't eating much of anything, not that he is not trying. He just can't keep anything down and everything tastes really bad. He had his MRI this evening, I am not sure if we will find out the results before we leave in the morning or not but they should give us a call if anything is up. Well I am so happy that this is our last night here. We will be heading back in the morning and aren't scheduled back until the 9/19.  I ask you all if you see that LifeCare Blood Bus  and you have the time donate a pint or two, People really need it right now. Love you all so much

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Broth? Yes Please!

In good news today Chris had some beef broth and crackers today along with some Gatorade! He is not feeling as nauseous as he had been feeling in the last few days. My Aunt Lorna and Cousin Laurette came and cheered everyone up and as of the moment he's quite awake and alert  over there but that might have something to do with the fact LSU is playing on television! ha. In bad news they cancelled Bingo today. How dare they!  They didn't bother telling anyone, just no one showed up. I didn't feel that bad for me as I did for the cancer patients who look forward to it every week. Grrrrrrrr! Anyways today went by a little faster than yesterday so hopefully that trend continues throughout the week. I have been trying to make only healthy food choices while I am here because  these hospital stays have been hard on my waistline!  I come back a few pounds heavier every time I go home.  Its difficult when they make a new homemade cake everyday and have them so nicely displayed throughout the cafeteria. I have a major sweetooth and its my downfall. So nothing but salads and water for me! Well that's the news! Pray for Chris and my waistline! :D

Friday, September 2, 2011

No change

Normally time at the hospital seems to go by fast but the last 2 days seem to be dragging by so slow. Well the results of Chris's  lung xray came back today and his tumor has not shrunk but as I have been reminded it has not grown either so that's a good thing.  I just really had my hopes up that this time it would be almost gone.  We also found out that Chris has another tumor in his other lung apparently he's had it since the beginning and its super small but it would have been nice to know about before now. Does he have tumors anywhere else I don't know about?!?  He has been really sick feeling and hasn't ate and is barely drinking anything.  My Aunt Lorna and cousin Laurette are coming to visit tomorrow so maybe that will help the day go faster and maybe it will cheer up Chris. Also Hospital Bingo is tomorrow so maybe I can win a teddy bear or something?!? :)  I gave some blood today and they gave me a T-shirt and some apple juice and cookies. It took 20 mins!  I don't know why it took so long, it was suppose to take around 5-10 minutes. I was starting to feel a little faint.  I really don't like giving blood but it still makes me feel good afterwords at least I know it will help someone somewhere. Anyways that was my day hope you all have a nice labor day weekend.
All my Love

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When Reality sinks in

So it seems like when we are home , even though I am very much reminded of the fact that Chris has cancer from cleaning his PIC line to taking him to labs, things still seem to start feeling almost "normal" again. It's easy to pretend that everything is fine for a little while but then he is admitted to the hospital and  BAM! the real reality of the situation literally slaps me in the face and it hurts. I am scared for my husband and I just feel so literally helpless in the process.  I hate this feeling so much.
 Well Chris is resting right now. He did not have a very good day and he threw up some of his medicine last night. He only takes one of his chemo medicines orally so hopefully it wasn't one that came up. He hasn't eaten since we have been here no matter how much I urge him to. Maybe later I can talk him into eating some Italian Ice or something else light. This time around we finally ended up in a small room. For some reason or other our last 3 visits we ended up landing huge corner rooms but I like the small room it feels cozy in here. The doctors have not come in yet  this morning so I don't know anything yet about his chest xray that was taken yesterday but hopefully we will soon. Yesterday Dr. Patel told us after his chemo she would like him to get an MRI  just to make sure nothing else is going on surrounding his dizziness upon standing, but I have a sneaking suspicion she just wants to see  the progress of his shrinking sinus Tumor as much as we do and can't wait until round 5.
Well that's whats going on just another fun filled adventure to MD Anderson Cancer Center!
Pray Pray Pray!