Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Avastin it is NOT!

This picture was taken almost 3 years ago this coming Thanksgiving!! Those little boys are 3 years old now - and just as cute!!

Well, David was not on Avastin for the study - which is a very good thing. Avastin is considered the "big gun" when it comes to a reoccurrence of brain cancer and right now it can only be prescribed when there is a reoccurrence. The study he was on was to determine how effective Avastin was at the onset of brain cancer, but, we won't be a part of that study now, but the doctor can now prescribe Avastin if there is an occurrence - and the doctor was very happy about that. But what about the cause of the strokes? Who knows? But all we can do is treat those things that cause strokes like keeping the blood pressure down, taking a cholesterol reducing medicine, and taking an aspirin a day and hope for the best. He will continue to do a 5-day chemotherapy treatment every 28 days and so far, it looks like it has been successful.

Unfortunately, David took a bad fall last night and almost had another one this morning. He is very unstable and his right leg just doesn't want to work or support him. He cannot walk without someone helping him and he's pretty scary on the stairs!!! I really worry about him and I'm not quite strong enough to hold him up when he's going down, so we're trying to be very slow and careful. He's probably safer with Russell than with me!!!

David will have another MRI in a month and until then, we just watch closely and hope and pray he will improve with no more seizures and no more strokes - your prayers and good wishes would be much appreciated in that direction. We have a long way to go.

With love and gratitude,


Monday, September 12, 2011

Home and an Update

Well, we finally came home Friday evening and we were both very glad to be home. I think a hospital is where you find out what's wrong and then go home to cure it - there is no rest for anyone in a hospital!
Dr. Colman came in to see us a few hours before we finally left. Yes, David had another stroke on Thursday per the MRI results. We find out tomorrow, Tuesday, if he was on the Avastin or not and then Dr. Colman will decide on further treatment. If he was NOT on Avastin, then we have another problem to deal with but they did not find any other clots in his body, so we were happy about that.
David is very weak and very tired. His vision is almost gone on the right side so he is bumping his way around now! He is not very stable but is using a cane and Aunt Chris' walker which I think will be of great help to him. Whether he will be able to go back to work full-time is a decision we will make in a few days or weeks if he can get stronger. He can't be left alone now and needs to have someone to walk with him all the time. I'm not sure his crew at the JCC is up to being with him constantly!!! He can be pretty demanding some times!! But I'm sure they know that. Finger foods are the options for eating now and that's fine with me!!!
We hope David will get stronger and be able to get around better in time. Right now, he is being "babysat" by his brother, Russ, during the day so I can go back to work, and he is VERY happy about that. I'm not sure how Russ will feel about this after a few days, but right now I am very, very grateful for his offer to help and sit with David during the day. Hopefully, next week David will be a little stronger.
Our home is for sale and we have had an offer, so we might be moving to an apartment in the next few months if the offer goes through. We will be moving into Mike's new house in Lindon in the spring when it is ready, but an apartment would be great to be in for the time being. I'm packing a few boxes every day and getting things ready to move. It is liberating to throw so much stuff away!!!
Thank you for your kind words and your prayers. They are needed and felt by all of us.
We'll update again after tomorrow.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Just got a text from Mom - They are leaving the hospital!!!!!

Friday's Info

New text from Mom:

David did have another stroke yesterday afternoon per the MRI results.  He is very tired today but very coherent and responsive which is very very good news! Again we have been told that we will be going home this afternoon with a lot of new medications, so I'll let you know when we ACTUALLY leave the hospital.  We just want to go home - I'm sure our grass is probably dead by now! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Can't Catch a Break

Latest info from Mom:

David has possibly had another stroke - just as we were getting ready to leave.  It may also just be a reaction to the anti-seizure medication but he has been on that before and had no problem.  So they are doing another MRI to check the brain again.  No anniversary dinner tonight!.  39 years today. . .  Anyway we probably will not be going home tonight.  He also has a severe headache so they will be keeping him for observation for a few hours.  He is a little more coherent now but very tired and weak.

Doesn't seem we can catch any kind of break this week!

Afternoon Update

Another text from Mom:

We will be going home after one more CT scan - hopefully around 3.  David will be using a cane and cannot walk without someone with him.  He is in good spirits and anxious to get back to work. 

Happy 39th Anniversary Mom & Dad!!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dr. Coleman

Just got a text from Mom -

Dr. Coleman just came in and here is the diagnosis:  A seizure, a few mini strokes, no new cancer growth.  The study Dad has been on is now ended until they know if he was on the avastin or not and if he is they will stop the drug.  Avastin causes strokes.  (We didn't know that).  He will be in the hospital another day or two depending on obtaining further test results.  Depending on that and how he responds he will either go home or to a rehab facility for a few days.

Finally!! some news and direction.  David is able to see now but is still not able to get around too well, but now we have some help!! Thanks for your prayers.

** I talked to mom and got some further info.  They are going to rule out other causes of his stroke before they determine if he can stay on Avastin or not***

Morning update

I've gotten several emails and facebook posts asking about Dad.  I talked to Mom a little bit ago and she said that when she got there this morning Dad was looking almost normal, feeding himself, less droopy smile and his sight was much better.  They still have not seen Dr. Coleman yet, but she's hoping to know more when the neurosurgery team comes for their morning rounds.  If we learn more, someone will post!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quick Update

Mike and Rob spent the day at the hospital with Mom and Dad.  It was mostly a waiting game.  We have no definite answers yet.  Dad was sent over to the Moran Eye Center.  I wasn't there, so I don't have many details.  When I have them we'll up date.  We are still waiting for contact with Dr. Coleman (Dad's neuro-oncologist).

Andy offered to take the night shift at the hospital so Mom could go home and get some good sleep.  I just sent Andy a text asking for an update and his reply gives us all hope,

"He's doing better.  Eye sight is back... still not sharp but he can see me and Mom.  No Dr. Coleman yet."

We are grateful for you thoughts and prayers... they are always answered!

Set Back

After going so long with good news, I hate to report that Dad is facing a set back.  I just spent the night with Mom and Dad in the ER at University of Utah hospital.  Dad had a series of falls outside in the garden yesterday afternoon, and after mom finally got him all cleaned up and resting in his chair, she took a second look at his face (which as scraped up) and noticed he was no longer able to focus his eyes or see anything.  She took him up to the ER where I met with them a few hours later.

They did a CT scan, with no obvious signs of stroke.  Then an MRI, which we were finally told showed something new on the right side of his brain.  They were unable to tell if it was a recurrence (new growth from the tumor) or if it was a stroke.  They said if it was a stroke it looked like it was from a few days ago.  They were leaving it up to Dr. Coleman to determine how to move forward.  We don't know when Dad will be able to see him, we are hoping sometime early this morning.

It is not a comforting feeling to walk into an ER, and realize your Dad can no longer see you.  We have no indication if Dad will regain his sight.  We ask for any and all prayers, good wishes and thoughts on his behalf.