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Saturday, July 22, 2017

ER Visit

Emergency Room
The one we went to at 6:00 on Friday night was PACKED!  And they just kept coming in after we got there!  I knew it was going to be a long night!  And, it was!  We got home around 3:30 a.m.

Tim began having double vision again yesterday.  We had been advised by the doctors to go to the hospital if the double vision came back.  We were hoping it would go away during the day.  So, we finally left the house around 5:40.  Better to be safe than sorry!

Long story short, it was almost 11:30 before they did a CT scan of his brain.  It was another 2 hours before he finally got a "room" and the nurses started attending to him.  Finally a neurologist had looked at the CT scan and compared it to the last brain MRI and came into the room to talk to Tim and check him physically.  He told us that it looked like a lesion on the front left upper lobe of his brain had gotten bigger and was "brighter" compared to the MRI.  We waited another hour or so when he informed the nurse attending Tim that he felt it was safe for Tim to go home.  But, we are to follow up with his regular doctors on Monday.

I am praying the double vision is from lack of restful sleep while he was taking the chemo pill (which he took the last one last night for this round).  I am praying he will be able to sleep better since he didn't take a chemo pill tonight.  We shall see.

So, if the side affects Tim experienced during the first 5 chemo pills is an indication of what is in store every time he takes it, it won't be too bad.  I just pray it kills the cancer.  There doesn't appear to be any tumor shrinkage yet, however.

As soon as he got up today, he checked his iPad to see if he was going to be able to teach his Sunday night lesson.  He says he thinks he will be able to do it!  I sure hope so!

Tim says he feels just fine.  We went to Walmart this evening and he had to hold onto me or the cart due to the double vision.  Thanks for your continued prayer support!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Day Three

Still no nausea/vomiting for Tim!  Praise the LORD!  But, his sleep was really messed up last night.  He was up several times.  Once, he got up at 12:45 a.m. and ate a bowl of cereal and then came back to bed!  He didn't sleep much all night.  I think he finally got up around 6 and went to the recliner to watch the news.  At 8 he came back to bed and I got up, hoping my not being bed would allow him to sleep better.  He said he went right to sleep.  He slept for maybe an hour and 15 minutes.  Got up, took his shower and we went to our local thrifts.  Surprisingly, he was perkier, but a little unsteady on his feet.  We ate at Pizza Hut for lunch.  I had a salad and breadsticks.  He ate pizza.  I wish I would have told him to eat some salad because he has been constipated since taking this chemo pill.  He sent a note to his oncologist to suggest a laxative.

The rest of the day was spent doing odds and ends around here.  Tim went to the office for awhile and then took a nap and slept for maybe a couple of hours.  I finished up and printed the bulletin, edited my devotion for the ladies meeting and printed it out, swept and mopped the kitchen, dining room and my bathroom floors.  Supper was salad with leftover chicken and corn on the cob.

Tomorrow will be a full day.  Liz and the kids will come in the morning/afternoon for a visit.  We plan to do brunch.  A preacher friend and his wife from WV will be visiting sometime tomorrow on their way back home after making a visit to a former church member who is in Baptist Hospital.  Tomorrow night is the ladies' meeting for me and Tim plans to attend revival services at Damascus Baptist in Statesville, with one of our members taking him.

Sorry, no pictures today.  Today was the hottest day this summer so far at 96 for the high.  OY VEY!!  But, the humidity must have been lower because it didn't seem as hot today as it has on lower temperature days of late!

Have a great rest of the evening!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day Two

Praise the Lord!  Still no nausea/vomiting with "the pill."  Tim was tired all day, but when he laid down in the afternoon to nap, he couldn't sleep.  Still eating pretty well, so I am thankful for that!  Thank You, LORD!

We had to make another trip to Walmart to refill my acid reflux med, Pantoprazole, to the tune of $52 AFTER the discount card was used!  That is double what it was 3 months ago!  I would LOVE to be off of all the medicine I have had to start taking!  Before all of this started a year ago, I boasted only having to take tylenol for headaches and tylenol pm at night.  How soon things can change!  Now I am taking 3 different meds!  I've been reading and listening to lots of things on whole-food plant-based nutrition.  I'm just not ready to give up my protein in the form of meat yet!  I did buy a container of steel-cut oats today and some strawberries so I could eat that for breakfast.  And I will try sweetening the oats with mashed up banana instead of sugar.  Maybe I will get us healthier a little at a time!

We didn't do a whole lot today.  Tim was up at 6 and ate his breakfast and retired to his recliner to watch the news.  At 8, I finally got up to get some tylenol for the headache I had.  I gave Tim his morning dose of meds and put a roast in the crockpot for our supper.  Tim and I laid back down for a little while.  We couldn't go back to sleep, so we got up and he went to the office and I got on the computer to clean up my email, etc.

When Tim laid down for his nap in the afternoon, I took some more tylenol and laid down, too.  I never could go to sleep.  He didn't sleep much.  Eventually we just got up.

Church tonight and now it is bedtime for real, LOL!  I have one more episode to watch of the Truth about Cancer series which I will do before I go to bed.

We plan to do the local thrifts tomorrow and that is about it.  I want to hang close to the house so Tim can lie down when he needs to.  I will work on the bulletin and try to get it finished except for printing it out.  Friday Elisabeth and the kids are going to come and hang out for a bit.  Tim will be so happy to see them!  I will too, of course, but he will especially.

Thanks, again, for your wonderful prayer support!  I would love to meet all of you someday.....if not here, heaven will be fine!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

First Day Done

Tim took Zofran 20-30 minutes before he took the chemo pill last night at 9:00, his bedtime of late.  He got up for the bathroom a couple of times last night, but no nausea!  Thank You, Lord!

We got up around 7:00 today.  I finally got the blood work done that they wanted to do almost 2 weeks ago but couldn't because I had not fasted before I went, like I was supposed to know I needed to fast!  So, they scheduled for me to come in the morning of the endoscopy.  So, I had to fast for the endoscopy, but I was allowed clear liquids up to 3 hours before the procedure.  So, I drank a bottle of water yesterday morning before I went for the blood work!  WRONG!  The blood work had to be done with a TOTAL fast, meaning no clear liquids!  Well, how was I supposed to know that?!

Anyway, the lady drawing the blood work said we could still do the labs, but the results won't be accurate.  I said, then why do them?  So, they scheduled for me to go back AGAIN this morning!  It was called "Gastrin" blood work.  "Gastrin is the main hormone that controls the release of acid in your stomach. When there is food in the stomach, gastrin is released into the blood. As the acid level rises in your stomach and intestines, your body normally makes less gastrin.  Your doctor may order this test if you have signs or symptoms of a problem linked to an abnormal amount of gastrin. This includes peptic ulcer disease."  Not sure how long it will take to get the results back.  But, I'm not scheduled for a follow-up until 8/31.

When I got back from the doctor's office, somewhere between 9 and 9:30, Tim was back in bed.  When he got up to use the bathroom and get a drink, I thought he was getting up to stay.  But, he went back to bed.  When he finally did get up, he said he just really wasn't feeling well.  He said he was just very tired.  He sat around in his recliner for awhile watching TV.

Around noon, we took the white car to be serviced.  We have had an oil leak for quite awhile, but when Terry, our son-in-law looked at it to fix it, he thinks it is the gasket which is more than he could take care of.  But, we really didn't have the money to get it fixed.  But, the Lord blessed us with the funds sent to us by one of our sister churches here in NC.  When I asked the pastor for an address to send them a thank you card, the pastor told me, "The Lord made the impression that we should send this."  How awesome is our God?!!!  He knows what we need even before we ask.  And when we ask, he supplies "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!"  Ephesians 3:20

I fixed us some lunch when we got back and then we went to Walmart.  Tim wanted to look for some long sleeved T-shirts to sleep in, along with some lounge pants.  But, there are no long sleeved T's this time of the year!  So, we will have to wait for a couple of months.  We got a few groceries and headed for home.

Tim laid down and I started looking for recipes for cancer patients.  I want to try to keep his strength up as much as I can through food.

This was tonight's supper, pre-cooked.  Sweet potato wedges with cinnamon, chicken with a tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil (all blended together) marinade, and corn on the cob.  It was yummy!  The thing I liked about the meal was that the chicken and the sweet potatoes could cook on the same temperature for the same amount of time.....400 for 30 minutes.  I used parchment paper under the potatoes, so clean up was a breeze!  :D  The chicken dish is soaking, however!

And we finally got a decent amount of rain, but still not as much as we really need.

We couldn't even sit outside in our chairs under the carport because the rain blew in and soaked the chairs!

Tim and I are praying that the affects of the chemo pill will not be any worse than what his side affects were today.  He has his heart set on getting back in the pulpit, so I am just praying the chemo doesn't interfere with his desire!  Thank You, Lord, for your blessings through the trial!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Nothing Confirmed

Today was the endoscopy.

"Erythema in the duodenum compatible with duodenitis. (Biopsy)
Ulceration in the antrum. (Biopsy)
Diverticulum in the esophageal."

The doctor said she saw nothing to give indication as to why I am still having nausea problems.  She gave me another pill to try.....FDgard, which "calms the upper belly."  Just what I wanted.....another pill!  Ugh!  I sure hope the 4-hour scan that was done Friday reveals something!  Tomorrow I am to have Gastrin blood work.

I forgot to mention the possibility of it being my gallbladder.  And I also wanted to ask her about probiotics.  But, I was a little "foggy" after the procedure, so I totally forgot!  I have a follow-up appointment for 8/31 to go over the pathology results of the endoscopy.

We picked up Tim's new cancer medicine today, Temodal, at the hospital pharmacy.  Five capsules in a blister pack.  This is the scary part.  We were instructed to pop each dose into a cup, not the hand.  We are not to touch the capsule, just ingest it!  WHAT??  You can't touch it, but you can swallow it?!  WOW!

Please pray with me that Tim does not get sick with this treatment!  I am really nervous about it!  Especially after watching the "Total Truth About Cancer - A Global Quest" episodes!  Speaking of which, here is the link to Episode 7.

The temperature was cooler today.  And by the time supper was over, the clouds were moving in and there was a slight breeze.  It was very pleasant under the carport for bird watching.

Do you see it?

White breasted nut hatcher

Lori came for a visit while she was waiting on someone to come to her house.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Almost There!

God has blessed us in so many ways during Tim's illness.  All you have to do is walk into the Cancer Center of Baptist Hospital to realize that!  His condition could be so much worse!  God has answered so many prayers!  Your prayers and my prayers!

Calvin Russell, the adult Sunday school teacher at our church, was on vacation last week, so Tim taught in his place.  He was anxious about being able to stand through the whole lesson.  He took an anxiety pill last night before bed.  I'm glad he did because it helped him sleep.  We sat up a folding chair on the platform behind where he is standing, just in case he felt the need to sit down at some point in his lesson.  He could just step back, sit down and still be elevated for people to see him.  But, praise the Lord, he didn't need it!  That was a BIG step for him as he prepares to get back in the pulpit full time.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for Tim's healing!  Bobby, who is preaching for Tim on Sundays, "instituted" praying for Tim every service.  The congregation gathers around in a circle in the front of the church.  We all hold hands and Bobby prays a fervent prayer for Tim.  I believe the Lord is listening and answering those prayers!  It is such a sweet and emotional moment for me as we all unite ourselves in prayer for my beloved husband!  Thank You, Lord, for this family!

Bobby Smith has been preaching on Sundays for Tim.  He does a wonderful job, too!  This morning Tim told Bobby that he would relieve him from filling in next Sunday night!  I told Tim that I would let him, LOL!  I told him I thought it was a good idea to break in slowly instead of trying to jump back in all at once!  That would probably set him back some!  I'm praying that when he begins the new chemo pill treatment tomorrow that it won't set him back any.

Lord, please hear my cry!  I pray the chemo pill will have minimal affect on Tim's strength and that it will have maximum effectiveness on the melanoma!  Thy will be done!

Love him!
Tim rested a lot this afternoon after standing for the entire Sunday school time.  He actually got up at one point, ate some ice cream, and then went back to bed.  He said there was still too much time til time for the evening services to begin.  He's bored, in other words!  :D

I'm trying to think of ways to help him build up the strength in his legs again.  I might ask him if he wants to go to the mall and walk some each day.  That way it would be in the AC and not outside in the heat, which I cannot handle!  We won't be able to start that tomorrow, unless we do it in the afternoon after I get back from the endoscopy appointment.

After church I worked on the new saying for the church sign, "Better to be pruned to grow than cut up to burn."  Then I swept all of the spider webs off of the front door.  It had cooled off quite a bit outside, so I told Tim I was going out under the carport for awhile, so he joined me.  I took our Spurgeon devotional out and read from it while out there.

And, of course, I got a few bird pictures and a few of the clouds and sunset:

Tobacco plant flower

When Jon and Chuck were here this weekend, Jon said the tobacco here is way ahead of the tobacco up in Kentucky.  I guess that makes sense with us being further south.

OK.  That's it for me.  Time to watch Episode 6 of the Truth About Cancer series.  Click on the episode if you are interested.  Have a great week!