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Saturday, December 24, 2011

{A Woman's Work}

Pardon me, but this will be somewhat of a long post while I do some catch up here!!

Adam is doing good! We got home, got settled in and had a few set-backs. Adam, Mr. Independant, felt he could take on his home-care on his own which resulted in not eating / drinking enough and then taking his meds on an empty stomach. This resulted in some nausea and throwing up - so we immediately re-grouped and I informed him he is not allowed to do this so independantly! My Dad came over on the 22nd and buzzed Adam's hair for us. He looks good!! And when his hair starts thinning / falling out, it won't be nearly as pronounced and hopefully he won't get too itchy. He still has the beard, and is looking very distinguished these days!

Adam had his follow-up appointment this past Friday at OHSU where he received his 10min. dose of Chemo (the Bleomycin) and then about 45min. of fluids. While doing this, we were able to meet with both the Pharmacist and the Social Worker. They were able to help us get a better understanding of Adam's medications and how to use the ones labeled "as needed" so that we can stay on top of Adam's symptoms before they become a problem! The Social Worker was a huge help in working with the both of us to address the stress and overwhelming part of handling Adam's diagnosis. I think our biggest challenges since leaving the hospital are making sure Adam is drinking enough so that we can keep his Kidneys from being affected by the Cis-Platinum part of the chemo, and making sure he is eating a balanced diet (one can only eat so much Lipton Soup!) so that his body isn't struggling even more! Otherwise, he is still in good spirits and has been a lot more active since coming home which I thinks makes a HUGE difference when trying to get back into  a "normal" routine!

Many have asked how I am doing, and I want to assure you that I am doing OK. Yes, this isn't the ideal situation but we are very blessed and extremely fortunate for the amazing friends, family and faith that have surrounded us during this incredibly challenging time!! My beautiful, amazing, and incredibly selfless Mother had a stroke yesterday. I happened to be the one who called and felt she was talking weird and rushed over to find her in a distressing situation. I took her to the ER where it was confirmed that she had a minor stroke. So while I was in the hospital with Olivia waiting for family to get there to help support my Dad so that I could get home to Adam and the girls, I couldn't help but think how fortunate we have been that I am no longer working so that I could be home to take care of everyone! I just wish there was something more I could do...I feel a little helpless at the moment!We appreciate all the love and support that have been shown to us...Love to you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

{Home Sweet Home}

Hello Everyone! I apologize for the late post but saying today was a crazy day would be a complete understatement! We are home and getting settled back into the swing of things. The girls are very happy to be home with Mom and Dad, but I think it will take some getting used to with Adam still be down a lot. It took four pharmacies and over three hours to get all nine of Adam's prescriptions filled!! Apparently you can't get Oregon-written prescriptions filled in Washington, especially when they are filled out by a Physicians Assistant (note to self...) so it was a bit of a headache.

Adam is home and getting situated now that he isn't on the routine of the nurses. We are hoping to be able to manage his pain to the same degree that he had in the hospital. Tomorrow we have his shot that will help boost the white cell production so that he isn't so prone to infections. There is risk of delayed nausea so we received a couple of prescriptions to counteract that, as well as the potential for insomnia. So we will be watching for all of those carefully.

We thank you all for the many visitors that we had while in the hospital, it definitely helped Adam remain in good spirits! We now face the reality of being home and trying to settle back into the routine with the girls (oh how I missed them!!). Onto the next phase!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

{Could It Be?}

It is hard to believe that we are already almost done with Adam's first round of chemo. Even harder to believe that we made it this far without falling apart! How does one summarize the feelings that have been coming at us for the past week?! It is impossible, because they change every minute with every possible new issue / diagnosis / test...it is truly amazing how well Adam has done this round.

Today was a good day! The muscle relaxers are working so his hiccups are manageable and the stomach cramping was prevented, he was able to eat today just a little bit slower than his normal pace. But he still has an appetite and that is a blessing! He is growing increasingly tired from the pre-meds and the chemo so I've been trying to make him as comfortable a possible. But other than that, he has been in good spirits and his color looks a lot better!

Today the doctor came in and wanted to know more about the loss of muscle/nerve control in his trunk area. They were concerned that it could still be associated with something else because this is not a common issue. They had Adam do an MRI of his complete spine and we will hear those results tomorrow morning. They did try to take the foley tube out to see if Adam had regained any nerve sensation but he had not so a new one was put in. I could tell that Adam was bummed about this, but I tried to remind him that we just barely started treatment and we have a long way to go, that there is so much room for improvement - I didn't want him to feel like he failed (as he put it)... I could tell it was an emotional set back so we tried to move on and talk about getting to go home tomorrow!! The girls are really excited for us to all be home, and I have to admit that while sleeping on a bed that is roughly the size and comfort level of a park bench has been appreciated, it is not my cup of tea! I am ready to be home. I'm ready to not have to be holding a 16lb baby all day, I'm ready for Adam to be in the comfort of his own home and I'm ready to be distracted by the girls squeals for Christmas!!

Thank you to the visitors that we had up to the hospital today! We had a good visit with Adam's sister Alicia and her new daughter Langley. We also had the chance to visit with Adam's brother Aaron and his aunt Felicia, uncle Steve and cousin Richard! Thank you everyone who has come to see us, it has definitely allowed us a welcomed distraction! Love to you all :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

{We Are So Lucky}

Adam has had a harder day today in regards to the onset of side effects from the chemo. But consider ourselves very lucky because it could be a lot worse for our situation! He did really great this morning and was able to visit with my Aunt Diane, my Grandparents, and then get in a good visit with his Mom, sister Ania and her family. Shortly after they left, he was getting quite tired. While Diane was here, they walked all the way to the Starbucks in Doernbecher and back which is HUGE progress as far as Adams mobility is concerned. He really hasn't been able to get out and about because if the pain he has been suffering. He took a good nap until I made him wake up to eat because it was almost 3pm. But as he started in on his lunch, he started to feel nauseous. So they immediately gave him some more medicine and he slept it off. He was able to work slowly on dinner and get something down. He also was able to get rid if the hiccups that started up yesterday - another glorious side effect from the chemo!

But other than a little nausea, the hiccups and being tired - he really is doing great! We got in a really good visit with his friends Michael and Amanda from Clatskanie and my friend Erika and her family came up to make sure Adam knew they were thinking about him. Her kids were so sweet and made Adam some Christmas presents (pictured below)...we are just so grateful for our amazing friends and family and church family, you have all been so wonderful to us! I will honestly admit that th idea of going home is as much thrilling as it is overhwhelming because there is so much to do before Christmas!! I am just so happy Adam will be home to celebrate with the girls! We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season and are grateful for our many, many blessings. We have been visited by our Bishop as well as my brother-in-law's pastor who are such great men of God and I am so appreciative of them for being there for Adam during this rough time. We look forward to another good day tomorrow, we have officially made it successfully through day three!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

{Another One Bites The Dust}

Today was another very successful day up at the hospital! Adam was the happiest and most energetic I have seen him in weeks! He is getting some color back in his cheeks and was able to hang out with all the visitors we had today.

Adam is feeling really good still, those meds are working to control his side effects and so far he has only gotten a little tired. He completed his second round of chemo this afternoon, and we are really just looking forward to getting home and getting back into a schedule.

We had many many visitors today and that was great because I really saw Adam be able to relax. It was so helpful to have him see the support and care surrounding him, I think it came at the perfect time! We got to see the girls this afternoon and it was hard because they are having a hard time without us, but they understand that this is all necessary in order to get Adam well again!! I've attached a few pictures from today's visits, and we are looking forward to get past another day of chemo tomorrow!! Love to you all!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

{And So It Begins...}

Adam has had a long but really productive day! They started our morning with a lung function test to get a baseline reading of his lungs before starting the chemotherapy. He then had a PICC line put in for the duration of his chemo. This will help alleviate the stress on his veins during this process. He will be sent home with it in and they will flush it and clean it every time we go in for subsequent visits. His first day of chemo was good. It lasted about 2hrs and the nurse was really great about explaining each of the medicines as well as the potential side effects. Adam went to sleep at the beginning of it and is still out. When he woke up to get his blood pressure checked, he wasn't feeling queasy so we are grateful that he is able to still be comfortable!

We were able to get some really good news today - Adam's brain MRI from yesterday was CLEAR!! Not that we were too worried, but it is now officially one less thing to be concerned about! The nursing staff has also been so amazing in regards to Adam's pain management. They separated out the oxycodone and Tylenol so that they can give him Tylenol and ibuprofen more often as needed. This has been a tremendous help as he has now been asleep for almost 2 straight hours -- the longest he has been able to sleep in one stretch since the leg pain started! So many wins today and we are happy to be officially past his first day of chemo.

We really appreciate all of the visitors Adam had today, it meant a lot to have your support. We know this isn't the easiest hospital to navigate but it means a lot to us! Miss Olivia continues to do exceptionally well as a resident of floor 13K, I think she slept better than all of us last night! The girls have been well taken care of throughout this process and I just really really appreciate all of the help that we have received! We really couldn't be doing this without any if you. I will post more tomorrow, but today was definitely a win in my book! Love to you all!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{Why We Are Here}

Hello everyone! With the sudden uptick in movement as far as Adam's treatment goes, we have decided to do all future posts through the blog instead of my email updates! We have received an overwhelming number of requests to keep updated and I want to make sure all get to see it who want to be a part of this! This blog will be later printed so that we have record of this journey. We ask you join us as we support Adam throughout this fight!

{Let The Fighting Begin...}

As you all may be aware, Adam has Stage III Nonseminoma Testicular Cancer. It has spread beyond the infected testicle to his spine, his liver, his lungs and the abdominal cavity. This is the blog that will house all of the ups and downs that we go through as Adam fights this fight. We aren't doing this for anyone else but to have a record of what it is he goes through and how we all come out in the end! We invite you to share in this journey with us, hold our hands when need it, be our comfort and laughter when it is necessary but above all...be our support.

Today Adam was admitted to OHSU to begin chemotherapy immediately. He will be hydrated tonight and begin treatment immediately tomorrow morning. Olivia and I are sleeping up at the hospital with Adam and my parents are coordinating care for the girls with my sisters help. Adam will be taking a BEP cocktail and will have this chemotherapy for five days. We will then return for outpatient chemo every three weeks for a minimum of four cycles. They are doing an MRI tonight to get a view of his brain and torso. We were told his hair will all be falling out and what to prepare for in the way of side effects.

We really appreciate the amazing generosity of those who have reached out to us during this trial in our lives. You are all amazing people! We thank you for your continued support and for loving our girls so much that I am able to focus on getting Adam through this. Love to you all!