Monday, October 31

home sweet home

we made it home today around two.  i got james situated then headed to the grocery store for prescriptions and high protein food.  the trip home really took a toll on james.  he is exhausted and hurting a bit.  i will update again later but would appreciate if everyone would hold off on visiting for a day or two.  james has not been sleeping well and now that we are home, i would really like to give him a chance to rest. 
the lift chair has been a real life saver for james!!!  good idea!
love to all~ amy

Saturday, October 29

Out on a date

Tonight, we busted out of the room to a romantic hot spot recommended by one of the docs.  We hopped three elevators to the 24th floor of the hospital to the observation deck.  We enjoyed the music of a piano, sipped delicious cocktails (water), and watched the sunset over the west side of Houston!  It was a beautiful view of the city!!! 
James has felt good today.  Little to no pain all day.  They are leaving the incision open so I counted the staples...38!  He is being held together by 38 staples!!!   James is walking regularly, using his breathing exercise thingy, and transitioned from liquids to food today.  There has been no mention of discharge and we are not rushing it.  If they can keep him comfortable here, there is no reason to rush home!
Please pray for a restful night.  James struggled to stay asleep last night sleeping no more than two hours at a time.  Little sleep at night makes for some loooonnnng days! 
Goodnight my little peaches!

Friday, October 28

Evening update

James is practically jogging down the road to recovery!  He had a great almost totally painless day!  He has done his breathing exercises hourly as ordered and walked six times today!  We are practically running laps around the nurses' station and down the halls! 
Tonight, James is experiencing what is called "deferred" pain in his shoulder.  From my understanding, they had to do some real mulling around to get the lymph node out which includes disturbing nerves.  James real pain is from the surgical sight but through his nerves his brain is telling him his shoulder hurts.  Weird huh?  The strange thing about it, his shoulder hurt before surgery.  I thought it was sore from shooting his gun during teal season but now I wonder if the tumor or lymph node was bothering a nerve?  Maybe. For now, the pain management doc has given him a shot in his shoulder and he was given pain meds around 6PM.  Needless to say, he is pretty drunk right now but at least he isn't feeling any pain!
In other news, Pawpaw is doing the same as James in Conroe.  He sat in a chair most of the day, walked twice, worked on this breathing exercises and talked to his favorite grand daughter on the phone!!!  
Thanks to everyone!  We love you!

up and at 'em

james sat up in the chair and walked two laps around the unit!  he is still pain free for now!  wahoo!
we should be moving to a regular patient room this morning.
love yall!

Long night, Good morning

It was a long night and we were up with the chickens this morning!  James spiked a high temp, had an unstable heart rate and blood pressure.  Good news is his pain has been very well managed and has been very comfortable.  He tried getting up late last night but was too dizzy.  We will try again this morning.  His sweet nurse let him have ice chips early this morning.  He is handling that well so he may move to clear liquids sometime today.  We'll likely see the doc early this morning.  I will update then!
Make it a fabulous Friday!

...and the doc just walked in...
Everything looks good.  Drain output is good...did I tell you James has a drain tube?  It should come out before we go home.  They are bumping up his fluids a bit and he will come off a few machines and tubes today.

Goals for the day-
  • breathing exercises
  • sit up in the chair
  • walk around the unit
  • continue to manage pain
  • and the best of all...clear liquids!  James likes this one!

Thursday, October 27

James will be in the overnight recovery unit.  The surgery was intense and the doc thinks extra observation is in order through the night.  James has been stable in recovery and this is just precautionary.  He should move to a regular patient room tomorrow.  He's still somewhat groggy and heavily medicated but he has no pain at this time.  I am hoping he will stay ahead of his pain and not try to tough it out this time around.  I will post as things happen and do my best to keep everyone updated.  I am exhausted today but it is so worth it!
We are so thankful to God for making it possible to remove this nasty disease from James' body. 
Love to all,

Out of Surgery...

Spoke to Dr. Curley and Dr. Coscio at 10:22 AM and James is out of surgery.  He did great in surgery and is in recovery now.  They were able to successfully remove the liver tumor and the affected lymph node.  The surgeon informed us James has a fatty liver.  He was not pleased about this.  A fatty liver takes a bit longer to recover and regenerate.  When James wakes up, he will be on the South Beach diet for the next ten weeks!  I'll let you know how well he takes this news!  For now, I am thanking God for answered prayers.  I am eagerly waiting to see my husband!  Thanks for the out pour of love and support!  You'll never know what it has meant to us
May God bless you all today, my friends!!!

i got the hook up...

because our favorite doctor is in the operating room, we've been updated. 

8:55 AM
Dr. C says, " I am on my way to join them in the OR."

9:01 AM
Amy says, "Can you please let me know something?  I am freakin out here!

9:12 AM
Dr. C says "They are doing it.  Won't be a repeat of last time.  He is doing fine."

9:17 AM
Dr. C says "Liver tumor is OUT! Working on lymph node."

I want to scream and shout praises in the waiting room!  Maybe even dance!
Giving Him all the glory!

...and we're off

they took james back and should begin surgery at 7:30.

prayer specifics
  • the doc can find and remove all affected lymph nodes and the tumor.
  • there will be no complications accessing and removing the lymph nodes.
  • the surgery will be a success and not aborted again!
  • steady hands and clear focused mind for the surgeon
  • limited pain for james
i will update again later. love to all.

Monday, October 24

Here's a quick update...
  • James and I will go downtown on Wednesday for pre-op appointment with the surgeon and pre-op screenings.  Surgery is still on for Thursday.  We find out the time of surgery on Wednesday.
  • Pawpaw Blanton had a heart attack on Sunday morning.  He is doing much better now and will have a 5 bypass surgery on Wednesday.
  • Aunt Donna started the first of twenty radiation treatments today.
I have been in and out of the hospital with Pawpaw for the last two days.  It has been a long week and it is only Monday. I am so glad God is in control! ~Amy

Thursday, October 13

worth a shot...

so with the upcoming surgery, james and i are trying to prep our home to be more patient friendly.  we learned from the almost surgery in march that our furniture sits too low for james to get up and down comfortably.  so we are exploring some options...
  • do you have or know of anyone with a power lift chair that we could borrow or purchase cheaply?
  • do you have or know of anyone with an elevated potty seat? 
  • do you have any tips for making recovery easier?
we are looking into renting the items he needs and we might be able to get some things covered by insurance but if we can find what we need second hand within our budget it would be easier!
leave a comment on here, email, or call if you have any connections!
much love my darlings!

Wednesday, October 12

It never hurts to ask...

So after the pet scan two weeks ago, we asked Dr. Coscio again if surgery was possible.  Knowing us as well as she does, she had already emailed the images to the surgeon.  His assistant call last week to let us know he would reconsider the operation because James' tumor and lymph nodes have been stable for a while now.  We went downtown this morning and Dr. Curley agreed to surgery on October 27.  
James and I know there are risks involved but we are ready to take some risks to achieve results.  We are very excited about the upcoming operation and the possibilities it brings!  
Things should be quiet for the next two weeks.  James is to exercise daily and eat a low fat, high protein diet to prepare for surgery.  Surgery will probably be four hours and James will remain hospitalized 5-7 days afterward. 
Thanks for joining us on this journey!  We appreciate the love and support from everyone!!!
Love to all,

Tuesday, October 11

Life Happened

Saturday we were back again for the second night of the ten year reunion.  James and I spent the majority of the weekend with our good friends, Justin and Joanna.  We partied like rockstars on Friday but we were feeling our age by Saturday night.  The dinner was delicious and the company was good.  Afterward, the four of us, Justin, Joanna, James and myself, headed out to the after party.  As we sat on our bar stools, yawning over and over, Joanna and I kept asking "what has happened to us?" The young women in this place looked like children and seemed to be a lifetime younger than us.  The four of us have spent many nights sitting by fires visiting or fishing all night long but then it came to me...
What has happened to us???  In the past two years, among the four of us we have:
  • Lost Justin's dad
  • Lost 4 grandparents
  • Had 4 family members battle cancer
  • Joanna and James have both been diagnosed with different but equally life changing incurable diseases.
  • 2 unsuccessful surgeries
  • Justin and I have had to cope with the fact that we can't "fix" our spouses.  We can only support and love them through the pain.
  • Both couples are faced with the possibility of infertility
So as I was thinking, the answer came to me.  Life happened.  We are not the same people we were just two years ago.  Life happened.  And while all that we have been through when you type it out really is a lot of hurt and misery, we are all better because of it.  These trials, obstacles, and tough times have taught us to look to God for strength, cling tight to the precious bonds of marriage and cherish our friendships! 
It is my hope that the four of us attend James and Justin's twenty year reunion together.  I pray in the next ten years, James and Joanna's conditions will be behind us.  I pray when we go out for the next reunion, we have to pay a babysitter.  I pray we can look back on this time and smile.  As for now, I thank God we are not who we once were and we can lean on Him through the trying times! 

Saturday, October 8

My how time flies...

when you're having fun!!!  This weekend we are hanging out in Huntsville for James' 10 year class reunion!  We had a great time laughing, dancing and meeting/catching up with old friends!  And tonight...we do it all again at a Dinner and Dance! 
~Bobby, Amy, James, Joanna and Justin~
~Good times~