Monday, January 31

Back again...

We are back again for a hospital stay.  James came to the ER on Saturday afternoon for a golf ball sized lump in his throat.  He was admitted for an infected and inflamed salivary gland.  They're giving him antibiotics and warm compresses.  His blood counts were extremely low.  He was given a blood transfusion yesterday for the low hemoglobin and a Neupogen shot for the low white blood cell counts.  Not sure when we might get to go home.
As most of you know, James was given Neupogen shots everyday last week to help boost his white blood cell count.  Even with the shot, his wbc was low when we checked into the hospital.  Because of this we ask:
1.) Please call before coming to our house.
2.) Please do not visit if you or a member of your household has been sick or shows symptoms of being sick.
3.) Please do not bring small children to our home until James has completed chemo.
We are hoping to get James through chemo without illness or major infections and we need your help!  We greatly appreciated thoughts, prayers, love and support.

Praying for healing,
James and Amy

Tuesday, January 25

So happy... report James' counts are staying up and there will be no need for a blood transfusion this round!!!  James is still experiencing side effects from the chemo...ringing in the ears and vision issues but he's had little nausea.  He had Bleo this morning and for now, he's feeling good. 
James will continue the white blood cell booster for the rest of the week.  Next week's schedule consists of Bleo and scans to see how small that tumor has gotten!!! 


Monday, January 24

This week...

I am sorry I haven't kept everyone better informed.  Chemo was uneventful last week and Stan was well enough Friday and Saturday to take James so I could return to work.  Praise the Lord James has not been running fever this round.  However, he did manage to pick up the cough and congestion Stan had last week.  Please pray he gets over this quickly.  We did not start the white blood cell booster because it was a bit out of our budget.  Dr. Coscio will arrange for James to go into the clinic everyday for the shot. 
James will have blood work, a doctor visit and Bleo tomorrow.  Please pray his counts will be high enough for Bleo, the Bleo will not be so hard on him and pray he will remain fever free this week!
We love and appreciate everyone this blog reaches!

Wednesday, January 19

God is so good...

So James just gave me his blood work report from yesterday and I am so happy to report that his AFP (tumor marker) has gone down from 38000 to 20300! This is a huge indication the cancer is responding to the chemo!!!
Also, our friends Beverly and Ronnie got great test results.  All the tests Ronnie had done came back negative for cancer.  They are back home in Alabama tonight. 
Our God is still on the throne, still working miracles and He is still in the healing business!  Can I get an Amen? 


Tuesday, January 18

Day 1 of Round 2

We are settled into our infusion room at MD Anderson for the first day of the second round of chemo.  There is not much to report.  James is feeling well at this time but we know that will change.  We have a few options to minimize/manage some of the side effect James experienced with this first round.  I will administer the white blood cell booster shot at home at the end of each chemo cycle to prevent another emergency hospital stay.  Dr. Coscio is also considering changing the infusion rate of Bleo to minimize the side effects. James' dad, Stan, made it to town on Friday and they enjoyed hunting over the weekend.  We are looking forward to having Stan stay with us for the next two weeks!
Love to all,

Oh and that couple I told you about from Alabama is still at MD Anderson downtown.  James and I met them last week and they are precious.  If you don't mind, please include Mr. Ronnie in your prayers today and everyday as he begins a clinical trial treatment today!

Thursday, January 13


Good morning~  I wanted to update everyone since James has gotten out of the hospital and we've had a chance to catch my breath.  James had his ophthalmologist appointment yesterday.  Chemo can effect his eyes but as of now there is no permanent damage and he is still has better than perfect vision.  We are downtown again today for endoscopy.  Dr. Coscio wants to explore the inside of the stomach to rule out 100% there is cancer there.  In the hospital, we learned from an ultrasound the tumor is not responding to the chemotherapy yet.  Dr. Coscio expected to see response after the first round.  With the results of the endoscopy and blood work, we will meet with Dr. Coscio to determine our course of action.  We may continue with the same drugs and chemo schedule but...we may change.  Its still in up in the air.
In other news, James' dad, Stan, will be in town tomorrow night.  The two have big plans to hunt and fish for the weekend.  Lucky for James, Monday is MLK day and our MD Anderson branch is closed so he snagged an extra day of fun! 
James is feeling well.  Once his wbc rebounded, he has felt close to normal!
Happy day, friends!

Tuesday, January 11

Home Sweet Home

We are home from the hospital!  Thank you for love and prayers.  James' counts were high enough for Dr. Coscio to discharge him today.  We will be going downtown for appointments for the next two days so please keep that in your prayers.
Thanks again to all!

Monday, January 10

The Unknown...

There is so much that is unknown today.  James is feeling ok and I'll take that considering how lousy he's been feeling.  He is still on neutropenic precaution which means he can not have visitors while in the hospital.  Please continue to pray for him.
Thanks to all,

Long Day

It has been a long day and its only 2 pm.  James is not feeling well.  Ultra sound shows infection around James' port.  He'll see an infectious disease doctor today and a surgeon to drain the port.  Hopefully, the two pockets of fluid buildup are the cause of the fever.  More to come later.  It is nap time!


Sunday, January 9

A new hairdo...

~Thank you, Heidi~

Neighborhood Cancer Kids

James and Jan, our neighbor with breast cancer
Wish I were writing better news but here's what we got...
  • James spiked a temp of 102.7 last night and was started on a second antibiotic.  We thought it was working until today when it hit 101.7 about an hour ago.  The attending physician at the hospital ordered blood cultures if his temp went up.  They are no longer calling it a neutropenic fever and they're looking for infection.
  • If James is still in the hospital, he will not receive his regularly scheduled Bleo treatment tomorrow.
  • Because of the fever today, we will likely be here until Tuesday.
  • James is feeling pretty bad this afternoon.
Please continue to pray for healing and praise the Lord for Dr. Coscio's knowledge and caring ways.  She's not on call this weekend but has been in on Saturday and Sunday morning to see James! 


...and as i was finished and getting ready to post, james' iv has come out and he must be stuck again.  please pray for this to be the last stick because he is beginning to feel like a human pin cushion!

Saturday, January 8

Just want to let everyone know James' counts bottomed out last night and he spiked a fever.  Dr. Coscio sent us to the ER and James was admitted.  He is being given antibiotics, fluids and a daily white blood cell shot.  We'll be here until his counts come up and he's fever free.  This could effect his treatment on Monday.  We'll just wait and see. 
He was feeling better this morning but is getting run down as the day wears on. 
Because his counts are so low, the doctor has recommended limited visitors while he's in the hospital.  He is at high risk for illness and infection.  Please pray he will make it out of here soon and can maintain his regular chemo schedule!
Love to all,

Friday, January 7

  I didn't post yesterday because there wasn't much to report.  James is not feeling well.  He's still experiencing the same side effects: fatigue, nausea, ringing in the ears and a sore throat.  So for now, he's eating popsicles and drinking lots of tea and water!  Hopefully, he will rebound and get his Bleo on Monday.
  As for me, I am doing laundry, cleaning house and reorganizing the closet after Tuesday's mess.  Hopefully my Christmas decorations will come down today.
Say a prayer for Papa today as he is getting his port put in this morning!

Enjoy this beautiful day, friends!!!

Wednesday, January 5

Today's Appointment

James had blood work and an appointment this morning.  Blood counts were still high enough that he didn't need the shot.  He's been pretty sick all day today...nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, sore throat and the list goes on.  These are all side effects of the chemotherapy.  Dr. Coscio recommended seeing an ophthalmologist at MD Anderson Downtown for the blurred vision.  If the chemo is causing irreversible damage to James' vision, she will change the drugs and or dosage.  To sum it all up, James just feels like poo!

Some of you know my Papa, August, also has cancer.  He was diagnosed over the summer and had surgery in September.  He has been released from his surgeon and is scheduled to start chemo treatments Monday.  Please pray for him as well as James.

In non-cancer news, Tate had a check up and immunizations today.  He is a healthy, happy puppy!
Be blessed all,

Tuesday, January 4

If it ain't one thing...

...its another!!!  So we made it through the night without any major complications.  James cooks breakfast.  Bethany, Tate and I go out for a two mile walk.  All is well, right?  WRONG!!!  As I am getting ready for work, I walk in my closet to find standing water.  I head into the laundry room which is on the opposite side of the wall from my closet and there's water on the floor there too!  Turns out we have a busted valve at the manifold.  UGH!!!  The plumber has come and gone but the mess remains.


Monday, January 3

Day 6

James had blood work and Bleomycin today.  Bleo is the chemo drug that caused James to be sick last Monday and is maintaining its rep by doing the same tonight.  Dr. Coscio, in an effort to be proactive, recommended that James start Tylenol every four hours until tomorrow for fever and keep his nausea meds on hand.  James has complained of  "not feeling good" all afternoon.  He can't pin point what's bothering him.  Its just an all around yucky feeling. 
Since he started chemo, James has experienced severe heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux.  For this, Dr. Coscio started him on Prilosec today.
 - The first of the month has come and gone and all of our bills are paid.  Thank you Lord for making that happen!
 - We are cover in love and prayer by family members, friends and people we don't even know!  We are so grateful for everyone!
Prayer request~ 
 - James will not be sick tonight like he was last Monday.  Pray for a fever free night.
 - James' blood counts will remain high and we will remain healthy.
 - Please pray tonight for a man at MD Anderson from Alabama.  I don't know this man or his wife but I know they are waiting for results and diagnosis.  I know their agony and pray for peace for them tonight!
Love to all,