Wednesday, June 29


We are back from our trip to see James' dad and family in Kentucky.   It was great to visit with everyone and we were able to attend a family cookout last night.  The trip took a toll on James and he started running fever on Monday.  So as soon as our plane landed tonight, we headed to MD Anderson ER with a 103 degree temperature.  The ER doc just ordered fluids, pain meds, chest X ray, blood work and urine analysis.  I am sure we'll be in for a long night! 
Here's an update on other info:
  • We did not receive approval from our insurance for clinical trails.  I knew it wasn't covered but I was hopeful there was a loop hole or a way around it.
  • Because we were waiting on the insurance, the drug trial James was to begin has filled.
  • We will meet with Dr. Coscio tomorrow depending how late we are here tonight!
Stay tuned my dear readers!  I'll update again soon!

PS~ Pray for me to have patience with this ER nurse.  I am not impressed with her attitude this evening.

Thursday, June 23

Today's Appointment

James had an appointment downtown with the Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy (clinical trials) today.  We were informed that this is no longer curable because "standard treatments" did not work.  Now, at best we will only be able to treat the cancer.  We are considering clinical trials for rare tumors and also hoping James' surgeon will be open to the idea of extensive risky liver resection and affected lymph node removal.  We are waiting for financial approval from our insurance regarding clinical trials and to hear from the surgeon.  We are expected to make a decision of participation in the clinical trial by Monday. 

  • Praise God for the medical team that has treated James for the last six months.  We could not ask for more.
  • For everyone that has shown love and support for us when we've needed it most.
  • Thank God for the much needed rain!
  • Thank him for all the firefighters that have been working around the clock to control the wildfires in our area.
~Prayer Request~
  • Pray for the victims of wildfires surrounding counties.  Many people are without a home tonight and have lost everything they've ever known.
  • Dr. Curley, surgeon, will decide what is very best for James' condition.  We pray will be able and willing to successfully perform surgery.
  • Ask God for clarity for us to make the best decision possible for us.
  • Pray for friends and family members to accept our decision and find peace and comfort during a very tough time!
We love and thank God for everyone this blog reaches!
James and Amy

Tuesday, June 21

After 16 hours...

So all the results are in...
  • CT Scan shows the tumor to be slightly larger.  What does that mean?  The last chemo did not work and we made the right decision to discontinue treatment.  Did this cause the sudden onset of pain?  Don't know.  I am not satisfied with this answer and I am putting some pressure on this ER doc to find the source of James pain. 
  • The fever broke last night and once again, we are not being clearly answered on what caused the fever.  Blood work is close to normal and cultures have been drawn.
  • X-Ray and Urine analysis are clear.
  • The ER Doctor says they have ruled out major complications such as bowel obstructions or the need for emergency surgery.  Be that as it may, that doesn't explain what's going on!
I am very frustrated and don't understand why we were sent 54 miles from home at 11:00 PM to have no answers!  Pray and pray hard!
The CT scan, chest XRay and blood work all came back fairly normal.  We don't have the final report on the CT scan yet.  Hemoglobin is a bit low so we're waiting on a blood transfusion.  James should be discharged after the transfusion. 
Pray for the following questions to be answered-
  1. Why the sudden onset of pain?
  2. What caused James to spike a fever?
We have an effect and it would be nice to know the cause.  I'll post again later.

Tuesday Morning

James has completed all tests to be performed.  We are waiting for the results and to see the doc again.  We're both pretty sleepy so I am thinking a nap is in our near future!  No need to visit.  They are pretty strict only allowing one person in the room and others have to wait on the first floor.  If we need anything, we'll let you know.  I will update again as results are available.
While you are on your knees, thank God for the caring staff here!  James is being cared for by a sweetheart of a nurse and a kind man just rolled in a chair that converts to a bed so I can rest while we wait!  Great people down here! 
We arrived safely just before midnight.  James was just seen by the ER doc.  He's had blood work, blood cultures and is gone for a chest X Ray now.  The doc will check over the blood work and likely do scans.  Pray for wisdom for James' care team and minimal pain during all the testing!

Monday, June 20

Prayers Needed

For anyone still up, we are headed to the MD Anderson Emergency Room.  James' pain on his side has worsened and he has started running a fever.  Please pray for a safe trip and James' comfort.  I will post again when we arrive.
Love to all,

Friday, June 17

James saw Dr. Coscio this morning.  After three rounds of A/I chemo, we are exploring new options.  Dr. Coscio is making arrangements with specialists downtown.  I will update later when we have a more details. 
Thanks for love and prayers!

Thursday, June 16

Catching up...

Its been a while so let me bring everyone up to date.  James and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary last Tuesday, June 7.  We took an overnight trip to Kemah Boardwalk for some delicious seafood, a lovely Ferris wheel ride and an awfully scary roller coaster ride!  We browsed the shops, toured the aquarium and went swimming.  The photo above was taken on our trip.  We've been spending most of our time indoors because its over one hundred degrees here most days.  James had a blood transfusion last week which helps as always.  Other than being unable to tolerate the heat, he has been feeling just fine since chemo.  We were even able to get some small projects done around the house this week and he just headed out to an Astros game with a buddy from work. 
Tomorrow morning, we will see Dr. Coscio for his regular appt.  If all is well, we will start chemo as usual next week! 
Praise the Lord~
  • Aunt Donna got a great report on Monday.  Her tumor and lymph nodes are responding well to chemo!
  • James feeling good!
Love to all,

Sunday, June 5

James has not felt great this weekend.  The heat is really hard on him.  He got disconnected from his pump, the WBC shot and  his port deaccessed yesterday.  Hopefully his tummy will settle and he can enjoy the next two weeks off!  His only appointment this week is blood work.  He will likely have a transfusion later this week.
Love to all,

Friday, June 3

Although I was told not to do it, I spent the last hour reading this blog from the beginning.  I laughed at the number of typos and cried as I remembered some of the toughest times.  I am sitting here reflecting on the past six months.  Wow, six months.  Its so strange how a place you never wanted to be can become so comfortable.  Never in my wildest dreams/nightmares could I have ever imagined this for our lives.  We've been here so long, they no longer call us Mr. and Mrs. Abell but just James and Amy.  We know a bit about them and they know about us.  James' doc has two kids and a dog.  Like me, his nurse, Tracy, likes Sonic Dr. Pepper but she prefers vanilla to my cherry.  Lillian, another nurse, always offers an encouraging word and prayers.  Who knew our home away from home would be a hospital room?  The road is long and hard but He never said it would be easy.  He just said we would never be alone, right?

James had a rough morning.  He was given two nausea meds and he's asleep now.  Today is the last day of this round of chemo.  He will go home on the pump, be disconnected tomorrow and get his WBC shot.  We come back on Tuesday, our 3rd wedding anniversary, for blood work.  As usual, I am sure we will be looking at a blood transfusion by the end of next week.  Please continue to pray for strength for James and I to endure this challenge!


Thursday, June 2

Isa. 49:16 "See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..."
Today is in God’s hands and so are you.
His hands are strong and will uphold you;
His hands are great and will enfold you;
His hands are gentle and will embrace you;
His hands are protective and will cover you;
His hands are reassuring and will quiet you;
His hands are powerful and will defend you;
His hands are parental and will train you;
His hands are masterful and will conform you;
His hands are compassionate and will care for you;
His hands are healing and will renew you;
His hands are calming and will comfort you;
His hands are giving and will bless you.
The hands that hold you will never let you down.

Wednesday, June 1

Day 2 of Round 7

Day 2 is underway and there's not much to report.  This is the third round of this regimen.  Other than hating the take home pump, James is doing alright.  They've reduced the fluids they were giving him during treatment because of the bloatiTng and discomfort he experienced. 

  • Thank God for bringing down the AFP number so James did not have to start another chemo.
  • Praise God for meeting our needs!
  • Thank God for a clear PT scan for Papa!  He is cancer free!
Prayer Request
  • Pray that Tracy, James' nurse, will recover from her cold!
  • Pray for Aunt Donna.  Her treatments are getting tougher each week.
  • Pray for the family of a woman I only knew in passing here at MD.  James and I refered to her as the girl next door.  She passed away leaving behind a young son who will never know just how strong his mama was.   
  • Pray that James will continue to do well with treatment this week.  The heat is not helpful!
You'll never know what your love and support means to us!  Love to all!