Saturday, March 21, 2009

Big Decisions Ahead

Brent is doing very well. He had his fourth treatment from February 20-24. On the 20th, he had an MRI to see the change in the tumor. His doc said that the tumor has shrank quite a bit; probably from the size of a small orange to a key lime. The one area of concern is that the cancer affected part of the tibia and part of the fibula, and the tissue where the tumor was is now dead. The nerve/foot drop is also a problem. So there are only 2 options for Brent’s surgery.

A.) A total knee replacement including taking out part of the tibia and fibula with a skin graph from his upper thigh, and a nerve graph from his other leg for the foot drop.

B.) Above-the-knee amputation.

I think that the amputation is the most logical choice and probably the choice Brent will go with. With the amputation, the chance of the cancer coming back in the same area is 5% compared to the knee replacement which is 15%. This is a HUGE difference when it comes to cancer. Also, with the knee replacement he will have scars all around his knee, then on his thigh where they do the skin graph, and also where they take the one nerve out and then another where they put it in. As for the foot drop, the nerve graph only has a 10% chance of working, so Brent would be more functional with a prosthetic. We went to the prosthetic company and looked at what they have to offer. It was funny because Brent actually thought it was cool looking at the different types of knees and legs. Of course his engineering side came out and he wanted to know everything about them. I think we are going to talk to the surgeon one last time to make sure we have all the facts straight.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Third Times a Charm!

Treatment #3: January 30-February 3
I LOVE Brent’s doctor!! Since round 2 was so horrible, he lowered the doses for the chemo meds. It has made a HUGE difference. We had little scare a week after his treatment when the doctor called and said he thought Brent’s counts were too low and that he might need another blood transfusion. So we headed back to the hospital to have more blood drawn to see where his counts were. Luckily, it turned out that they had gone up so we got to go home without a blood transfusion. Brent has had so much more energy; he even took me to Cheesecake Factory on the Thursday before Valentine’s Day… DELICIOUS!! Our lives felt a bit normal for a whole evening. Laura and Erik came into town for Valentine’s weekend. We love having them here and wish we could see them more. We all goofed off shooting BB guns Saturday and then had a “romantic” Valentine’s dinner at Sweet Mesquite. The week before Brent went in for his 4th treatment, he was able to go to work for a few hours each day and was doing really well.

Laura and Erik got a new puppy. His name is Hurley and he is ADORABLE! Natalie and Robby loved playing with him.

The Other Cancer

In the midst of Brent's terrible #2 treatment, I had minor surgery (well...I wouldn’t call it surgery) to remove more abnormal moles. I had three spots cut out of my left foot. Luckily, the reports came back as abnormal and not melanoma again. The best part about it was that I was awake during the procedure. The dr was going to sedate me, but I forgot I wasn’t supposed to eat after midnight the night before. I woke up that morning, started eating my toast and halfway through it, I remembered. Brent started yelling at me “Spit it out, Spit it out!” At the hospital, I was referred to as “the girl who ate toast”; they didn’t know what to do with me. After quite a bit of embarrassment, the anesthesiologist decided they would just numb my leg. It was so neat being awake during the procedure because I got to talk to the nurses and dr the whole time and he let me sit up and watch part of it.

The Pathetic Patients

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Terrible Two

Brent’s second round started on Jan 9th. This round didn’t go as well as the last one. One problem was that we didn’t get to the hospital until around 2, so by the time they got Brent admitted and the meds were mixed it was around 10:00 at night. Another problem was that since Brent has so many different fluids being pumping into him, he has to go to the bathroom A LOT; so he decided that this round he wasn’t going to drink as much water. BIG MISTAKE!! The number one rule while going through chemo is to drink, drink, drink because it helps flush out all the meds, and he can start feeling well sooner. By Sunday, Brent was completely wiped out.

the beginning

the end

Tuesday he was released and got to come home, and we were greeted by this wonderful sign our friends' cute kids made. We love you guys!! Thank you to Robby, LuLu (Natalie), Mark, Elia,and Lauren (and Jess!!).

That night Brent started getting nauseated. He threw up once in the middle of the night and again when we woke up the next morning (Wednesday). We headed to the hospital for his Neulasta shot and when we got to the hospital, he threw up again. The nurses called the doctor and 10 minutes later, Brent was readmitted. They decided they would keep him for a few hours to give him Zofran and Decadron for the nausea, and fluids since he wasn’t keeping anything down. He was released the same day and was feeling much better when we got home. Everything after that was going pretty well until the next Sunday (January 18th) when Brent got a fever. We called the dr. and were told to give him Tylenol to keep the fever down until the office was open in the morning. Monday we headed up to the Medical Center and Brent was admitted once again. Brent’s counts were extremely low. His white blood count was 0.18; normal is between 5-10. I don’t remember what his reds and platelets were, but they were really low too. The doctors tested him for all kinds of infection, but didn’t find any. This means that most likely his fever was just because his white counts were so low. They also gave him blood and platelet transfusions!


Brent felt so much better after all was done, and we had a nice last week before he went in for the next treatment.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fun with Family!

New Years day we went to the Aquarium downtown with all of Brent's family to celebrated Grandma and Grandpa Cassell's 50th wedding anniversary. We are so happy for them!! Love you guys!

Giant sting ray

the Weaver kids

After the holidays I got to spend some time with my grandparents so I have to post some pics of it. I love them so much and was so happy I got to spend time with them.

Papa, Vicki & me