Tuesday, September 1, 2009
So it's my turn to write on the blog so I figured since we were just at Cedar Point on Sunday, I should write about how he loved roller coasters. My Dad used to love going on roller coasters. Now as most of you know I'm average when it comes to height and I think I was maybe 6 or 7 and I had just gotten to 48inches which at cedar point means you can go on some rides. I don't really love to go on big hills either but, my Dad got me convinced to go on the Magnum which at the height I was then was the biggest ride I could go on. So those of you that now Cedar Point well the Magnum is the ride that has red tracks and one big hill and a bunch of dark tunnels. Anyways, I went on that sitting next to him and Craig and Sam Olsen in front of us the whole time my dad had one hand in the air and the other one hold on to me because I was scared to death. I don't really know why I remember this so clearly but I do, and that's one example of my dad loving roller coasters.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Walnut Creek Country Club
South Lyon Michigan
Questions ?? Contact Tom Bacon TBacon@zebra.com
Click on flyers below for more information
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
p.s. we are very buzy
Monday, May 18, 2009
Please mark your calendar for the first annual Gary Latham Memorial Golf Outing – which will be held this summer on August 10th. Proceeds from the event will go toward the Latham Children’s Fund.
Lots more details will follow and in the coming weeks we will post information about the event on this blog and we will send invitations to as many people as we can.
Monday, May 4, 2009
This is Craig, the best son, and from what i hear we are still writing in the blog and it is my turn. So what i am going to write as my memory or story about my dad is quite a funny one. I think. Its about the time my Dad bought the best pair of shoes, in his mind that is. :)
So it was a Saturday and my dad realized that he needed a new pair of shoes. So we go to Dick's which is probably the only place that we go to get shoes. O, just clearing up for you disgusting people we went to Dick's SPORTING GOOD'S :). so we all then helped him pick out a good pair. And after countless hour we picked out some Adidas Shoes. (I wear those shoes now)
We got home and my dad decided that he wanted to go on a family walk with his NEW SHOES. If you don't know when you buy a pair of shoes, you usually wear around the house to break into them. My dad was so excited about the shoes he made us keep walking around the 4 mile square near our house.
It took us about 1 hour to do that walk, which is a pretty long time for a walk. I think it was good for him because he didn't walk for another two days because his feet were sore. They were so big. I just laughed at him the whole time. :)
Well that's my funny story/memory with my dad. Hope it was a good one. Well gtg(In text Lang. means GOT TO GO). See you guys when i see you. Later.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Okay, anyways it was the night after the funeral. Me, Aunt Patti(dad's sister), and Uncle Kelly( brother in law) were doing a puzzle (to keep everything off our mind. It really works actually.) and it was like I think 1000 pieces and our family had been working on it for a few months. Even before my dad got in the hospital. Anyways we had all the pieces in the puzzle, but one of the pieces were missing. It has kinda been a game in our family to be the one with the last piece of the puzzle. I think dad started the game in which all of us end up hiding a puzzle piece in our pockets so we can put in the last piece. So we had worked so hard to get the puzzle done and then we can't find this one stupid piece. So I yelled to my mom and said something like "Have you seen the last puzzle piece?" and we looked everywhere. Finally for some reason she told me to look in her hospital bag. It turns out it was in there!!!! My dad had gotten the last piece! Nobody knows how the piece got in the bag but I think my dad had something to do with it.
Thats the story I wanted to tell. Me, my brothers, and my mom will keep more stories about my dad before and after death. It is a really rough time at the Lathams but we are trying to Stay strong and hopefully things will get a little bit better. Keep reading. Thanks for all the support.
Love you all,
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
An account has been established in the names of Craig, Hannah, and Scott for their education.
If you would like to make a contribution to this fund, please make your checks payable to the Latham Children’s Fund;
Please mail your contribution to
Sara Olsen at 23986 Elizabeth Lane, Novi, Mi 48374
Thank you so much for your continued support for the Latham Family.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
He shouldn't had died he did nothing wrong. He was a fighter. Now we are going to the funrile home today to see my dad. He was a great loss and a really good friend to some of you. We are staying strong and trying not to cry that much. So we are now 1 day befor the sad event. I hope you people keep reading and I will update every day.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Hi I am Scott Garys son. My dad is dead and in heaven right now. He was my best friend I had in my life. He was the only person that played with me when I was sad. So now we will go on and stay strong. He died April 4, 2009 6:00pm. He was then best father a son could have. We will keep typing about our family. But with out him we are not a familly. The last thing I heard from him was " I love you Scotty and stay strong". Today is the worst day of my life. And god wanted him to come and live with him forever and I hope something will be good to us. He was a good man and I love and I am pouring tears and can not stop. He did nothing bad to god or us. To the Latham family in Novi Michigan this is the worst day of our life. If you are reading this don't cry. Dad if you are reading this i love you even if your dead. Bye and have a good night. My familly is miserable with out him. Stay strong people.
Friday, April 3, 2009
The drs kinda recommended stopping the neutrophil transfusion for this evening. Gary kept asking when am I going to get the blood. Gary's sister arrived from Denver this afternoon and we decided to go on with the transfusion. Donor #6 volume 253cc- they are going to work hard in those lungs.
Gary is restless but his overall happy self making jokes which we do not always understand.
I decided that the kids needed to visit him this evening. We are not sure how his condition will change in the next few days. All he could talk about his having a pizza party with big Cokes. None of us were hungry so I ordered one from food service for him. It arrived and he said this was not what I was expecting. I think we will have a big pizza party with him tomorrow with pizza from Pizza House or Cottage Inn.
We also moved to room #4 at the hospital. A large double room that Gary has all to himself.
God is surrounding our family with his love and lots of angels which seems to arrive at just the right moment.
The bone marrow could decide to recover at any time- the time in now the time is tonight. Keep the faith- God has a plan!
He is ready for another batch of angry neutrophils tonight.
Pray for Gary to remain calm and for lots of peace.
"For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who ARMS ME WITH STRENGTH and makes my way perfect." Psalm 18:31-32
Thursday, April 2, 2009
His breathing is more labored today - which we think is due to those neutrophils eating away at the infection. He is getting a higher level of oxygen with a face mask now instead of tube in nose. It will help him to breathe more comfortably.
They were able to put in two new iv's yesterday- we really need 3 with all of the medication that he is getting. The iv team will be back later to try for one more.
He started IVIG transfusions last night. It will put antibodies in his system to help boost his immune system. Another product that comes from blood donors taken from plasma in blood.
I have the lights off and shades drawn- he needs some sleep.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Another chest cscan this morning- still seemed pretty full of stuff.
He just had an ultrasound of his legs to check for blood clots- the tech thought they looked fine. Med lesson: veins carry blood toward the heart vs arteries which carry blood away from the heart- I know I learned that in some science class long ago.
Platelets bumped to 36 today...wow. If we could only figure out why/how did he get such a great increase in platelets- they have not been this high in a long time. We are told that fevers eat platelets but he did continue to have fevers even up to 104 all night???? FYI- normal platelet levels are 150-300.
Another neutrophil transfusion tonight--- how will Donor #5 rate?? or how many stops will the cabbie make this time??
7:00 pm Neutrophils started volume 253cc for donor #5. Pray for the fevers to stay under control. Hospital protocol states that blood transfusions must be stopped if fever changes 1.8 degrees. Gary is getting close to that- this is when a intelligent decision needs to be made instead of textbook- he has been spiking fevers for the last 4 weeks we know that it is not related to the transfusion so just let it continue!!!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
ANC 4.0 very good!
Friday, March 27, 2009
They have arrived 7:00 pm Donor #3 volume 260cc in the lead yeah! Let's hope that bag is full of neutrophils!
7:10pm The infusion has been stopped. Gary has a fever and the doc wants to wait until it gets down to 100.4 or lower. Cooling blanket in place!! The blood doesn't expire until 9am tomorrow but lets hope it doesn't take that long. Did I mention that it has been a rough day??
10:00pm- Neutrophils are making their way into Gary after a stressful delay. The fever dropped to 98.3 and it isn't going up anymore tonight!!! The infusion will take about 4 hours with blood pressure taken every 15 minutes. After the infusion, blood pressure will be taken every 30 minutes for 4 hours. So much for a good nights rest!!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
They only last about 1 day- his counts did return to .4 WBC and 0 WBC last night before the transfusion. So Donor #1 is in the lead with volume and Donor #2 leading neutrophil count.
Gary is fighting away today which takes alot of his energy. He is frustrated with his mind thinking slow. His breathing improves with the use of oxygen.
The pseudomonas bug that was found in his blood was also found in his lungs. It is a difficult bug but with the antibiotics and increased neutrophils - the bugs will be gone.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
He is having some issues with his other eye but I tell him its ok he just needs to close them and sleep anyways.
Gary says "hey everyone thanks for your prayers!" He has been laughing in his sleep today and I ask him what is so funny- he said that God is telling him some jokes- laughter is the best medicine you know :)
Pray for a restful night and agressive neutrophils!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I didn't mention yesterday that the doctors took away Tylenol. He pretty much watched the clock every 4 hours for next dose to Tylenol to relieve the fever. His liver enzymes shot up so the doctor said during morning rounds he was going to "cut back" the Tylenol. I asked what does cutting back mean and he said he won't get any. The big meanies- cutting back is different from cutting out! We are looking for the new white blood cells to help out!
Here's to a day of hungry neutrophils!!
Monday, March 23, 2009
5:00pm They just came in and did a type and screen- which checks Gary's blood type. Now really why do they have to do that- blood types don't change and if they don't have his blood type correct by now- we are in big trouble. The good thing is that a STAT type and screen means neutrophils are coming soon!!
7:05pm Here they come- the neutrophils are traveling into Gary. He is zonked out with premeds. Donor #1 had 248cc - let's see which donor can make the most neutrophils!! The transfusion process is scheduled to take 4 hours. So far so good!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Temperature regulation remains a problem. It has been hanging out in the 103's. He is using a cooling blanket - picture a rubbery 10lb blanket resting on top of you- really great for breathing out of his pneumonia filled lungs.
Tomorrow at 9am our first donor gets the blood sucked out of him. We are anxious for it to get into Gary's body and work away. Pray for the neutrophil transfusions to go smoothly and the bugs to get out!!
Friday, March 20, 2009
He has had some drastic drops in temperature today. It was hanging out around 103 for awhile and then dropped to 98 in less than an hour. This is exhausting for Gary's body.
We are looking forward the granulocyte transfusion on Monday.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We are moving forward with the neutrophil transfusion (also called granulocyte). This is a rare transfusion which is used to treat infections in patients whose bodies will not produce their own neutrophils. We are creating a list of potential donors with O+ or O- bloodtypes. These donors will go through a screening process to select the best match for Gary. The donor will get a shot to boost their white blood cells. The next morning blood will be collected through a special machine that filters out the needed cells. Gary will receive the cells within a few hours. As the new cells work in Gary's body to fight infections, Gary will probably feel sicker. This process is repeated with multiple donors over the course of a few weeks. He will need to remain here at U of M until the infection and fever get out of him.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We have heard preliminary results from the bone marrow biospy. His marrow is pretty much empty- not much going on which was suspected by his low blood counts. Is this good news or bad news? Well it is good to find out that the marrow is not full of active leukemia but we would like to see something going on in there. Due to the infection in Gary's body he needs white blood cells (healthy ones) to help the drugs fight.
Now for a quick Tammy lesson in blood. Blood consists of white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and plasma. One component of white blood cells are neutrophils. Neutrophils help the body fight infection. Gary's neutrophils or the ANC number that I refer to are too low to measure. His body has nothing in it to help fight the infection which is pretty much in his lungs. How do you get more? Well your body is supposed to make more and that is what we have been waiting in the hospital 19 days to happen. No one really knows when Gary's marrow will start making neutrophils. He is getting neupogen shots to try to kick start the process but no action yet.
Pray for more neutrophils to be made in Gary's body tonight !!!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Gary is pushing to be released from U of M on Tuesday- he is ready to come home. This will require lots of coordination among the many teams of specialists that monitor him daily. He will need to have his blood monitored frequently. Although his blood counts and fevers are not ideal for being sent home, they are not getting worse and the infections seem be under control.
We are anxious to see what tomorrow holds for us!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The fevers are definitely going in the right direction. Although I spiked a fever in the night and we quickly added Tylenol and fever was gone.
I am not in pain but still need to rest.
The CT SCAN showed that all the lymph nodes are normal or very close to normal which is very good.
I am scheduled for a Bone Marrow Biopsy on Monday which will tell us why my blood counts are not recovering. Once we get that piece of the puzzle figured out I will have a clear direction on next steps.
It is pretty funny not having hair because my body is used to regulating my temperature but with out hair is seems I am slightly cool or hot. Tammy brought me Craig's skull cap which works to regulate the temperature.
I ask everyone to continue pray for no fevers, no infections, and increased blood counts.
Thanks for checking in,
Saturday, March 14, 2009
After a bit of experimentation the doctors have finely got the right combination drugs (we think)! So, I have not been running fever for most of the morning. The only time I spiked a fever was when they gave this one drug called Zossin. The doctors decided to stop the Zossin and start me back up on Clindamcyin and Aztreonam which basically replace the Zossin but are chemically / biological different which is why I won't get a fever from the drug.
They have also scheduled a CT SCAN for today which will stage me to see if all my lymph nodes are reduced and if I have any issues in the gut (I don't but it will show it).
On Monday, I am getting a bone marrow biopsy to see what is going on in the the marrow.
If I can continue to keep no to low grade fever everyone around here will be much more happy because then they don't have to be so diligent about infection.
I can see light at the end of the tunnel but not sure how long the tunnel is.
Some of you might be wondering about how my spirits and attitude are and I can firmly tell you that I am positive, strong in faith, and feel very loved by my family and friends.
As always, all the prayers make the difference and I keep thank you for sending them my way.
Thanks for checking in,
Friday, March 13, 2009
The past 15 days have been very difficult and tiresome. But, I feel all the infections are gone and I am really just waiting on my own immune system to increase.
I get mild fevers under 101 but we would like to see that regulate out to normal.
I have started to complain to the doctors that I want to get out but they are wise and tell me that they need a few more days to see why the numbers are not improving.
I have asked today about not doing cycle 2 of the Chemo and going straight to transplant. They are going to consider this because I had a Great response cycle 1. If I just wouldn't have gotten sick after chemo 1.
So, I would ask that everyone continue to pray for my blood counts to improve. I also ask that everyone pray that I go into transplant as soon as possible.
Thanks for checking in,
Thursday, March 12, 2009
WBC (white blood cells) went down to .3 this morning and ANC (infection fighters) disappeared again.
We moved to another room. After you are here for a while you learn the system. This room is much larger and easier to get around- same floor just down the hall.
I went home yesterday to a sparkling clean house and dinner on the counter. I haven't mentioned it in the blog lately but we really appreciate all of the help that we are receiving. So many people are stepping up daily to help us out, we couldn't do it without you!! I don't always know what to ask for but I like what is showing up!
Here's to another day of rest and increased blood counts!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Gary's lil sis from Denver came in this week and she spent the night with him at hospital. He slept much better. He has been sleeping as much as he can today. His body is working hard to heal itself.
We figured out the bed today. Gary is not a tall man and has a 29" inseam. His feet were hitting against the end of the bed. We kept asking how taller people can use this bed and they would try to get him to sit up higher in the bed. This morning the aid showed us the hidden button with key that moves in and out the end of the bed. Lesson learned: keep asking the questions, you will eventually get the answer that you are looking for.
No more significant findings in tests. Still wondering why fever is not going away. We have no idea when he will be released from hospital.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
He has had some relief from the fevers. It does not go as high and has dropped in normal range at times.
His WBC is .4 today and ANC still not measurable.
Doctors feel that the current medication is working. Gary hates the antifungal med voriconizol due to side effects of vision issues. But it is the best fungus fighter the docs can find.
No further tests scheduled for today. He had a spinal this morning and we should get some results this afternoon.
Gary asks "can you just leave me alone and let my body rest and catch up?"
Jeremiah 33:6 I will heal my people and let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
Monday, March 9, 2009
CTScan of his lungs this morning showed more irritation in the lungs- his meds have been changed to cover any type of lung bacteria/fungus.
He is still drinking and eating some throughout the day knowing it is important to keep nourished.
They have not been able to do lumbar puncture/spinal tap due to low platelets. Although he did receive a transfusion last night his platelets lowered to 34 and need to be 50.
WBC is .5 again and ANC not measurable. Enough time was elapased since neulasta shot so he will start neupogen shots today.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
He was having problems with peripheral vision in right eye. A few optholomogists checked it out and seem to think that the infection spent some quality time in his eye and left some blood residue. They will continue to monitor it and it should heal with meds that he is already taking. Although it could take awhile for his vision to be back to normal. Just another issue not as concerning as lymphoma.
He had a MRI of head this morning and it seemed to be clear. A spinal tap to look for more infections will be done as soon as platelets can be raised to 50.
We are beginning to think he would be better off without any meds and heal on his own. But unfortunately that would take white blood cells and neutrophils which he isn't making. This stuff needs to go away as quickly as it arrived!!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I did not expect any of this.
Tammy has done a great job letting you know day to day stuff and sometimes hour by hour.
But, today I am going to tell you how my night was (Don't Worry It Will Stay Clean)
Tammy went home last night and I began to turn down:
Turn Down Procedure
Step 1: Doctor fixes a small leak at port removal site
Step 2: Get the three antibiotic drips and many drugs.
Step 3: Fever Returns 102.4 (Moving in the right direction)
Step 4: Receive Pain Medicine
Step 5: Labs at Midnight
After all this I did not sleep very well.
This morning has been less challenging.
Did the usual stuff (shower , breakfast) but is the unusual that is nerve racking:
- Meet with Hemo Dr at 6:00
- Meet with Infectious Di eases at 7:00
Here is today's plan.
1) Continue antibiotics and adjusting one
2) Stopping Anti-Fungal because it worked
3) Start New Anti Fungal to cover other stuff
1 Bag of Platelets
2 Units of Whole blood
I am worn out but continue to march forward with Tammy and God by our side to combat this.
Did you see the blog passed 10,000 hits, this means so much to Tammy and I that so many of you care and are sending us your prayers.
Thanks for checking in,
Friday, March 6, 2009
We took a walk down the hallway- didn't like having him out in the sea of germs but he needed a little fieldtrip. Another disadvantage of IV is that it beeps alot with little movement.
White blood cells dropped this morning to .5 and ANC .1. These are the disease fighters so they need to increase not decrease. Keep talking to God about that.
The doctors have identified one of the bugs in Gary and changed meds to kill it. They are going to be more strict with visitors in and out of the room- it is not a good bug to pass around. His outside vistors (that is you!) are also restricted until his white blood counts improve.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The temperature is still pretty high. It does lower at times which he appreciates. They have switched some of his antibiotics.
He started anti fungal voriconazol and has had halucinations all night. It was kinda fun at first but getting old now. We are told it is not a long term thing just temporary.
His appetite still in not too great. He tried a supplement shake last night and did ok. Everything has a metal taste. Just a few weeks ago, I was trying to get him to stop eating junk and lose weight and now doing anything to encourage him.
Gotta go! Although Gary is not up to writing in the blog he is reading the comments. I was going to read them to him last night and he already had read them on his Iphone. We love all of the support- keep the prayers coming!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
He took his first dose of antifungal med- voriconazol. This drug has a side effect of hallucinations or visual disturbances. Gary is kinda looking forward to experiencing it. I am looking forward to it clearing up his infection.
He took a shower this afternoon and lots of hair came out. I will use the clippers to even it out tomorrow. He immediately put on a baseball cap. He will get used to it.
Have a good night.
I'm not sure if we have mentioned low calcium levels. He is taking calcium via IV and a few different types of calcium pills. The pills are so large I break them into quarters to be swallowed. Tests indicate that the low calcium levels are not due to kidney issues or parathyroid glands. They are probably from the chemo treatment. The symptoms of low calcium are muscle twitches and bone/joint pain. Gary's levels seem to fluctuate and he can tell when it gets low.
Gary's ANC increased to .3 today. Neutrophils fight infection and they weren't able to calculate them the last few days- we are happy to see an increase.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
We have confidence that they are going to figure this bug out but it will take longer than we had hoped.
Monday, March 2, 2009
He told me there was alot of hair on his pillow. So I pulled at a gray one on his head and it came out easy and he didn't feel it. Losing hair is the least of his worries at this point.
He is getting a platelet transfusion now and will get two more units of blood next.
Keep the prayers coming!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Some bacteria was found a blood sample from his mediport. He has just started a new antibiotic to target the infection. We are hoping the antibiotic will work and the port will not have to be removed.
This is day 11 in his REPOCH treatment cycle. The doctors don't expect to see improvement in his blood counts until day 14.
He was able to take a shower and eat some dinner before the pain pill wore off.
The fevers need to be gone for 24 hours and his ANC need to raise from .1 to 1.0 in order to be released.
He is not feeling good. He gets lots of chills, cold sweats, bone and muscle pain. Although it is no fun to be in the hospital we all know that it is the best place for him now. Once again our friends have stepped up in a moments notice and helped out with the kids. We are so fortunate to have so much support!
Friday, February 27, 2009
He is still pretty tired and achy, we are hoping to see improvement in the next few days. He finally slept last night with the help of some pain killers and Ambien. He is hesitant to take them but I encourage him to do what it takes to get through these rough days. He is not going to become addicted to them in just a few days. He has lost 13 pounds and finds it difficult to eat with mouth sores. I tried to get him outside yesterday for a short walk in our balmy 40 degree weather and he said "I am exhaused just sitting here" and took a hot bath instead. One day at a time....one day at a time
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We made it back to Novi! It took a bit longer than expected but we still arrived on Tuesday night back at the old homestead!
I was delayed because my pesky Platelets and Hemoglobin decided to drop on my last night, so I had to get a bag of platelets and 2 units of blood before leaving OSU! Good News is that I have begun to go longer periods of time without needing supporting blood products which means my body is beginning to support itself again. The doctors believe in a few weeks my blood numbers should bounce back.
As you might have guessed based on the posting time of this note I am not sleeping as soundly as I would like but hopefully that will improve.
Thanks again for keeping me in your prayers!
and thanks for checking in,
Monday, February 23, 2009
I am sitting here working on my computer and have less than a day left in the hospital. I am very glad to be getting out of here tomorrow.
I spoke to the doctors this morning and they are all encouraged with the response to the medicine so far! I still have a ways to go but it initially appears that the treatment is performing as expected.
Another nice piece of news!
I will be able to receive treatments at UofM in the coming weeks, which will make it a lot easier on my family and I. My doctors here at OSU will be working with UofM and coordinating my care.
It is really amazing how well the doctors work together!
I still feel pretty good and have been able to workout on the stationary bike.
Keep up the prayers because I really feel that God is listening!
Thanks for checking in,
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Well, since I have let everyone know that I am bored I have had a few suggestions as to what I should do with my time! Let me share a few ideas friends have had for me...
- Buff up on OSU sports trivia
- Learn how to scrap book
- Get back to work and finish a few projects
I think I will skip the first two and just get back to work and finish a few projects.
Today we started to visibly see some improvement in my lymph nodes which is very encouraging. My doctors say that the treatment I am on works over time but is durable which is what we are looking for.
I still have a few more days here but am on track to go home Tuesday!
The biggest challenge for me is not seeing my kids and Tammy, it is very difficult to not be able to see the ones you love. I know I should not complain since people who are in the military are away much longer than I am. I truly feel for the sacrifice they make for us.
Well, I am going to get back to work! So, thanks for checking in...
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I am really bored! I have been here since Wednesday and I am just a little bit bored!
So, let me tell you about my room! I actually have a nice private room on the 10th floor with about 14 x 20 sq ft so it is very big. It has a window that over looks downtown Columbus. I have a small 10" TV with a DVD player. There is a small refrigerator to hold drinks, etc. The bathroom is nice size with a bathtub/shower.
The people here are very nice and have been giving me wonderful care!
So, what kinda of Chemo are they giving me? I am getting a wonderful cocktail called R-Epoch which is a combination of six (6) drugs. It is infused in me over 96 hours which is why I have to stay in the hospital while I receive the chemo. The doctors believe the chemo should work well with my cancer and get me into a remission. The question is how many cycles will it take? I hope not many ... because it is very boring sitting in a hospital room.
So, not much to report other than I am feeling good, staying mentally strong, loving life, and missing my family!
Keep me in your prayers and thanks for checking in,
Friday, February 20, 2009
So, you might have heard my Leukemia is misbehaving and has decided to turn into a lymphoma, Large Cell also known as Richters Transformation. Typically, you don't want this to occur because the Large Cell is much more aggressive than plain old CLL which is what I started with.
So, what to do? Ok if you have lemons you make lemonade if you have oranges you make orange juice and if you have both you get the best of both worlds. I have both lemons and oranges meaning CLL and Large Cell Lymphoma.
So, we are attacking the Large Cell Lymphoma and the CLL at the same time with an intense chemo treatment called R-Epoch.
R-Epoch introduces a few new drugs I have not had and runs for about 5 days straight. Literally, I am on a constant stream of medicine 24 hours a day. I should be going home on Tuesday next week. The nurses tell me the treatment is well tolerated but of course the first day I threw up. So, much for well tolerated.
My doctor expects that I will complete at least two cycles of R-Epoch with a 21 to 28 day cycle time. If she thinks I can get additional benefit by doing more that 2 cycles we will make that decision after cycle 2.
Finally, the same goal is to get me into transplant "Cure" which is still a big reality and very foreseeable.
We had a setup back with the large cell. But, I am not whining, it can always get worse and by the grace of God I feel relatively well. I am actually feeling up to riding the stationary bike today. Yesterday, I had a heart stress test and did great, no heart problems!
I am working on my computer and bothering my work colleges who all tell me not to worry and just get better. Funny thing is I like working and feel I am out of the loop when I don't work. I feel work is therapeutic for me. I just wish I could do more. I really appreciate my collegues at work who have all stepped up while I deal with this cancer.
I will overcome this cancer and by this time next year will be celebrating life with all you!
Please, keep me in your prayers because God is the greatest healer and only through him will I truly be cured and saved.
Thanks for checking in,
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Gary went to OSU this afternoon to be admitted into the hospital. The chemo treatment requires a 6 day inpatient stay. We don't know many more details. We are pretty sure that treatment will be more intense and longer than we had planned for straight CLL.
I am in sunny Florida with the kids for the week. Garys parents are in from Colorado doing the caregiver role while I am gone.
More news soon!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Thanks for all of your prayers over the past few days I sure did need them. We got back to Novi tonight around 6:00 pm. I am very weak and not very comfortable but hope with time to feel better.
It appears that I am in store for a wild ride during the next few months while we take control of the Leukemia. Right Now the Leukemia is in control of me!
I am not giving in to it and will fight it with all my heart! So, keep praying and I will keep fighting!
Thanks for checking in,
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
He is feeling better tonight- back pain seems much better. Still alittle drugged. He is getting more blood tonight. As long as all goes well we will go home tomorrow. Test results hopefully Monday.
Surgery is "scheduled" for 3:30pm. That lymph node needs to be removed! Results should be available Monday or Tuesday. Treatment will follow quickly.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
We got BAD news today, my tests from last Monday have shown that the Leukemia might have transformed into a more aggressive form.
So, around 2:45 pm today we were told to come down to OSU for surgery scheduled for earlier Friday morning. It appears that the transformed Leukemia has congregated in my right armpit lymph node. On Friday they are going to remove it.
Also, since the Leukemia appears to have transformed I will begin a very aggressive chemo next week.
We are upset but still have tremendous faith in GOD and I am confident that we will take control of the cancer and begin the Stem cell transplant.
We will keep you posted. We just ask that you continue to pray and ask for God to help my family deal with all this.
Thanks for checking in,
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Yes, I am one Royal Pain in the ___ and Tammy has to put up with me every step of the way.
I get cranky, loud, mad, angry, rude, mean and just plain not nice to the one person I LOVE THE MOST IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.
So, yes I am one Royal Pain in the ___.
Tammy is an Angel, she puts up with it 99% of time and on the occasion that I cross the line which lately is more frequently she reminds me that I am misbehaving in an ever so gentle way.
You know the people in life who we love make us better and Tammy has made me be the best I can be. She is truly an amazing woman.
OK, I think you all realize I love my wife! :)
On Monday we went to Ohio State University Medical Center for testing, I received the following tests:
- Blood Tests (14 tubes)
- Physical Exam
- PET Scan (They put radioactive material in you that the cancer sucks up and then they scan you.)
- CT Scan (X-RAY of whole body, drank 2 bottles of barium then too much time passed made me drink a 3rd bottle, yuck)
- Bone Marrow Biopsy (They had to go in 3 times. Ouch!)
Of course on the way home all the stuff they put in me wanted to come out! We ended up stopping about every 40 miles!
I am now at UofM Hospital getting platelets but my hemoglobin was high enough that I do not need whole blood.
I start my next treatment next Monday and my mother is flying in from Denver to be with me during the first two weeks. I am looking forward to seeing her.
Well, that is it for now. Tammy is strong and hanging in there and she and I appreciate all of you who have been helping us so much lately.
Thanks for checking in,
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Yesterday, I was not feeling good. It turns out my Hemoglobin was the lowest it has ever been. I received 1 unit of blood last night and another this morning and a third bag of platelets.
Here is what happened to me when my body was low on oxygen:
- Severe leg pain (Sciatic Nerve)
- Joint Pain (Knees, Hands)
- Stiff Jaw
- Chest Pains
- Shortness of breath (just with walking)
- High Blood Pressure
- Moderate Head Ache
- Overall Weak and Tired
It turns out that I was at the Hospital until past 9:00 pm, so, our neighbor and friend Dan Welch came and picked me up from U of M, so Tammy could be with the kids. We did not expect any of this to occur yesterday.
I am feeling a lot better and very Thankful to Dan for helping us out.
Late Breaking News: I start my next clinical study Feb. 23, 2009 at Ohio State University Medical Center. It runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday for 4 weeks. It will be a scheduling nightmare but I got to do it. We will tell you more as we find out.
Thanks for checking in,
Monday, February 2, 2009
Lately, I have been experiencing more problems and it is beginning to wear away at me. I know that most of my symptoms will go away with time and treatments but today I am tired of it all.
Yes, sometimes it just gets to be too much!
I don't want to bore everyone with what I am going through but rather ask you to ask God to give me his strength.
That is what I truly need.
Thanks for checking in,
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
OK, my blood is starting to make me mad. It will just not behave. I have recently been struggling with low platelets and low hemoglobin (two components of blood). My doctors have been giving me weekly transfusions of platelets. We are concerned that my bone marrow is not replacing the platelets. The problem with having low platelets is that it makes doing treatments for Leukemia more complicated. I really don't need anymore complications.
So, what do I do now? Really, my options are limited.
SO, I WOULD LIKE TO ASK ALL OF YOU TO FOCUS YOUR PRAYERS TO INCREASE MY PLATELETS AND HEMOGLOBIN.
The good news is that once we get to transplant all of the platelet issues will go away.
Currently, my doctors and I are focused on raising my platelets and eventually moving on to one more treatment to reduce the Leukemia even further.
That is the latest.
Thanks for checking in,
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We made it back to Novi but it was cold. I had to rest a few days after taking the steroids but I am feeling better.
I must tell you, if you never have to take steroids be happy because they really mess you up. I took the steroids for 4 days and it literally has taken me an additional 4 days to feel normal. I have lost my sense of taste, felt tired, achy, light headed, etc. but with each day that passes it becomes less and less. I hope that by Sunday I am back to my old self.
Scott turned double digits on Friday! We cannot believe that our baby is 10 WOW!
Well, I am trying to stay warm so I am going to go get a hot cup of tea.
Thanks for checking in,
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Well, we just finished the steroids and my lymph nodes have responded well! :)
We are traveling back through another snow storm in Ohio, Tammy gets to drive this time! We have been traveling about 1 hour and haven't gotten out of Columbus.
So, here is the latest and greatest!
I will not be starting chemo next week!
My doctor wants my bone marrow to recover from my last treatment!
So, we will probably sometime in February begin the next treatment. (Another Clinical Study)
After which we will look to transplant! We were hoping for March on the transplant but that will be pushed out based on the latest treatment schedule.
The most consistent thing in medicine is the timing never is what you expect.
Anyways, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Well, as you can tell from the title my platelets are not cooperating and are too low for me to get the next treatment in the clinical study at Ohio State University. My doctors want me to wait a week and then recheck my platelets. I have a feeling that I will not be much higher next week but time will tell.
The unfortunate thing about this is my mother flew in from Denver to be with me at OSU for the week and now it is not going to happen. Don't get me wrong I love having my mother visit us but when you plan on going somewhere and at the last moment you can't you kinda of feel cheated.
Anyway, I feel pretty good except for the occasional bruise (caused by low platelets). I am trying to get stronger by doing some mild exercise. Hopefully, I will be stronger when the doctor lets me go into transplant which could be any month.
We are hoping for March but you never know exactly until the doctors think I am ready.
Thanks for checking in,