Sunday, February 1, 2009

Merry Christmas and A Happy New YOU!

Despite all that is going on, we had a great Christmas. Brent had enough energy to get out of bed and open presents with everyone.

I stole these pics of Christmas from Whit's facebook.

Brent got this really cool book from Nick called Weird Texas. It has all kinds of Texas urban legends.

Erik and Laura


Christmas evening we played the Wii Fit board a bit and Brent was able to play for a bit with us.

He even got the highest score!!


On the morning of New Year's Eve, Brent realized he was continuously losing quite a bit of hair, and decided this was the day for a NEW Brent. Aunt Kelly was coming in town this day so we had her take some family pictures of us before Brent lost his hair. That night, instead of partying like it was 1999, we said goodbye to the old Brent and welcomed the New Brent and the New Year.

Nick did a test to see how much hair would come out if he barely tugged at it.

Here we go!



And it begins…

So I know I am a bit behind on posts but here is some info about the first round of chemo.

Round 1 started on Friday, December 19, 2008. The night before, we had Ken Barrow and Paul give Brent a blessing. Ken gave one of the best blessings I have ever heard. I loved it. On Friday, we arrived at the hospital around 3:30 p.m. and were placed in room 826. Brent's vitals were taken and we realized he had a fever of 101, so the doctor started him on Levaquin, an antibiotic. Since Brent had been in so much pain, he was also started on morphine which made him very groggy. After a few hours of waiting around, the chemo meds officially started around 10:00 p.m. It will typically take 3-5 hours after we have arrived for the chemo to be started, because his blood has to be taken to check his counts and also because they need time to make the meds once we get there.

Brent's lines coming out of his port.

Some scary stuff!

All the bags Brent was hooked up to.

On Saturday, Brent was a bit tired for most of the day. I think this was mainly due to the morphine, BUT… after all these months, the pain finally went away. The doctor says this was either because the tumor was shrinking and not pressing on the nerve anymore, or because the nerve is damaged enough to not feel pain anymore. Either way, no more morphine or pain! This day Brent noticed a case of Drop Foot, probably also due to the nerve damage. He can’t lift his foot at all, it just hangs there. He was fitted for a brace that helps with this. The doctors are unsure if he will ever regain the ability to lift his foot. When he goes in for his surgery to remove the tumor, his doctor might also decide to do nerve reconstruction in which they would take part of a different nerve and piece it into the nerve in his leg, and hopefully it will regain function again.

Sunday and Monday Brent started to look like a cancer patient. Very weak, pale in color, eyes slightly darker, speech is uncharacteristically slow and soft. Tuesday we got to bring him home. He seems to be getting sicker. Stays in bed except to go to the bathroom and then when he does, he would work to sit up, then rest, then work to stand up, then rest (with aid of crutches), then make his way to the toilet, then the same on the way back.

Wednesday he had to go back to get a shot. The shot is called Neulasta and it is given to boast his white blood cells. Brent got really sick when they gave him the shot, but it was probably because he was nervous about getting it, and also because he was already so whipped out from the chemo.

Days 6-7 - Very weak, but not getting sicker.
Days 8-12 - Gradually regaining some strength. Can walk with crutches short distances (40-50 yards), but is exhausted afterwards.
Day 13 - Hair has been slowly starting to fall out, so he buzzed it short.
Days 13-16 - Continuing to strengthen. Can walk without crutches short distances, but when tired he uses the crutches.
Days 17-20 - Able to go to work for a few hours a day, but is real tired at end of day. Uses crutches to conserve energy.

According to his doctors, he is progressing as expected. After all is said
and done, they expect a full recovery from the cancer.

Thank you to Paul for keeping track of all the progress Brent made over the days.

These were a few thoughts from Paul (Brent’s dad):

“We are all coping with this as best we can. We have occasional bad days, but remain optimistic. I think I am gaining an understanding of what others in my position have been through, and are going through. At times it feels like I'm living in a different dimension watching the rest of the world go by. Everything feels different, even though it looks the same. It's like when there's a partial eclipse of the sun, everything is just... eerie. And I'm not even the cancer patient, just a parent of one. My heart goes out to all who witness the suffering of a child.

Well, life goes on, and we're going along with it. We will learn to adapt, and everything will be fine. Thank you so much for your love, prayers and support; it really does help ease the burden of dealing with this.”

Thank you to all our wonderful friends and family who were able to come by and visit Brent. Mandy and Nick flew for the holidays on the 19th and came by over the weekend along with Whitney. Big Nick, Jennika, Brody, Chris and Desiree came by Sunday, but sadly Brent didn't remember much from that day. Ken Barrow and Rex Robinson also stopped by that day. Larry Alemany came by Monday. Also, thank you to Bill and Lynn Moore for sending us gorgeous flowers. Thank you to any others that I didn't mention. It's hard to remember anything from a month ago.

Our beautiful flowers from the Moores!