1 Year!

Circumstances in life often take us places that we never intended to go.  We visit some places of beauty and others of pain and desolation.  I never imagined that cancer would be a part of my life history–especially not at the age of 23!  Like with any great trial, God uses everything for good if we allow him to heal us.  Every moment is teachable; every ounce of hurt can prune us for future happiness.  Don’t give in to weakness by dwelling on what you see today; look through it, as hard as it is, to the vision just beyond your sight.

One year ago today Josh was diagnosed with cancer.  Neither one of us will forget that day.  One year ago today we thought our lives were coming to a crashing end yet we now see it as just the first of many obstacles we have had to overcome this past year.

Phew, thank goodness we’re home

We got in yesterday afternoon, we were both exhausted! The flights home were interesting. We had a lot of turbulence from Indianapolis to Charlotte. We both hated it, Josh was scared and had I been sitting closer to the bathroom I would have probably just been in there leaning over the toilet for the rest of the flight. The flight from Charlotte to Roanoke was not near as bad. Josh was fine and I only got a little nauseous. I knew I was going to get sick on the flight, I get car sick so that on top of really being sick I knew it was going to be an interesting flight.

So I promised more about the stem cell rescue. How that works is..Josh would go up there they would take blood out and get the stem cells then they would put the blood back. Once they got all of the stem cells they would give him two rounds of extremely high doses of chemo. He would not be able to leave the hospital until his white blood cell count returned to normal which could take a while. Each round would take between 4-5 weeks. He would get 2 rounds with a week in between. However, during the week in between he would still have to see the doctor everyday so it might not be possible for him to come home during that week. Once the two rounds are completed and his white blood cell count has returned to normal they will transfuse his stem cells back into his body. Because he would get his own cells back, there would be no chance of immune mismatch or graft-versus-host disease. He would have to have this done at Indiana University because there are only a hand full of people in the country that do this. The doctor apologized for us having to come all the way up there for him to tell us just to monitor it but he explained that Josh has a unique, complicated case. The doctor has only seen testicular cancer spread to the spleen a couple of times. So that along with the lung issues Josh has made his case very complicated. I was looking for a more definite answer. I hate not know and waiting. Josh is okay. We both want this to be over but we both have different opinions on what will happen next.

This post was posted on Saturday September 20, 2008 at 11:20AM

We are here

Yesterday started out rough. I woke up sick so my mom called my doctor at home and called me in something that we picked up on the way to the airport. We got to the airport 2 hours early. Thankfully we requested a motorized cart for when we got to Charlotte. Once we got into the airplane we had to wait on the runway for about 30 minutes until we got the clear from Charlotte airport. Once we got to Charlotte we got on the cart and went to the other side of the airport and got there just in time to board the next flight. Had we not had a motorized cart we would have missed the flight in Charlotte due to the wait at Roanoke. Josh was like a kid at christmas on the flight from Charlotte to Indianapolis…we practically had his nose to the window the whole time…even though I had the window seat!

Indianapolis from our plane

After we landed, got the car, and checked in at the hotel we went to the outlets. For once in a long time Josh felt better than I did…he was walked all around the outlets while I was moving the car every time…I said it was so he wouldn’t have to walk but it was really for me since I was not feeling well.

Today we went to the cancer center….which was brand new and extremely nice! Dr Inhorn had an emergency come up and was not there so we met with Dr. Williams and some other doctor….I can’t remember her name. He basically said that he thinks Josh should be monitored monthly with CT’s and blood work to continue checking on the tumors and if they grow we will have to come back up here for a “stem cell rescue“. He thinks either the tumors will shrink more or that they chemo could have turned them from cancerous to noncancerous. If thats the case, in time, they would probably want to do surgery to remove the benign tumors but that would be once he has completely healed from the chemo. I will write more about a stem cell rescue when we get home. Thanks for all the well wishes, prayers, and support.

IU Simon Cancer Center

This post was posted on Thursday September 18, 2008 at 12:49PM