Beauty is not so much what you see, but what you dream.
~Old Proverb~

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our December

Our December has been a good one, and a hard one a few times!
My parents planned and paid for a trip to send us all to a resort at Eagle Crest for a week, the beginning of December. It was a wonderful time of relaxation and fun. We had a cooking contest and every couple made breakfast and dinner one day of the week. My parents did the grading and we were scored on everything from presentation to food flavor. It was awesome! We had all kinds of different things, but Dan and Liz one the honors on Wednesday night with a beautiful Hawaiian Luau Style dinner. Everything was beautiful with seafood kabobs, grilled potatoes, platters of tropical fruits fashioned into palm trees and tropical fish and a delicious creamy drink served in hollowed out pineapples. It was nothing short of amazing. The guys spent time playing pool, Settlers of Catan and Monopoly and one day we ladies got treated to an afternoon at the spa. We all came home refreshed with such great memories!
      Starting pretty much right after we got home, Andy experienced a week and half of rather miserable nausea and chemo side effects, that up until this time, had been mostly nonexistent. It came on fairly suddenly. He woke up feeling yucky and nauseated one morning and it pretty much got worse through out the day. I did my best to keep him nourished, but despite all my efforts he dropped all ten pounds he had gained in the last month and a half. Sad day. I admit to feeling very discouraged and unqualified for the task of taking care of my sweetheart. I took him to see the nurse about three days into it and she was pleased that despite Andy's nausea and vomiting, he was still well hydrated and his blood and immunity looked wonderful. I breathed a sigh of relief and took my husband home. Turns out that the chemo side effects started to diminish as soon as his cycle of oral chemo was over and he has gotten a little better everyday. Those were hard days for him and me, as Christmas got closer and closer and we felt discouraged ,thinking that we were mostly likely going to have to spend the holidays by ourselves. ( We were both having a pity party) ;) The day before Christmas Eve we made the decision to stay home because Andy was still feeling so ill in the evenings and we were afraid that going out might make him worse. The day was gray and rainy and I was having a hard time in general just watching Andy lay on the couch looking gloomy. I knew what he was thinking and how he was missing his family and wishing he could just beam himself there with them. ;)  Suddenly the whole idea of staying home just seemed ridiculous. I knelt down by the couch and smiled at him. "Lets go" I said..." Shall we just go?"
  "hmmm, maybe? Guess I'm gonna be sick no matter where I am and Id rather be with our families for Christmas. "
  It was settled in a matter of minutes. We packed some clothes and got in the car and in a few hours we had made it to his parents. It was a wonderful time! We spent a few days with his family and then a few days with mine and the long drives were pleasant and totally worth it! I found a new appreciation and awe for our mothers who, pretty much single handedly, prepared amazing meals for the families they love so much. All of the work they went to, to take such good care of us! Mothers are truly amazing! And the fathers too! I definitely seen two wonderful fathers, thoughtfully deboning the turkeys after dinner and helping with the cleanup. We came home thoroughly spoiled and so encouraged! It is amazing how uplifting Godly families can be to tired hearts and sick bodies! :)
   Today we came in for Andy's next chemo infusion and a check up. Doctor Kornfeld did the regular labs and then cut two of Andy's chemo meds in half. He put him on a new one that is supposed to shrink the small cancerous spots by his left kidney. The nurse told us that hopefully this will get everything contained/small enough that they can perhaps operate to remove it. We are looking at one more infusion for the middle of January and then another CT Scan. Andy's labs again came out looking fabulous and the Doctor said that he is very surprised, but very pleased. Andy is continuing to maintain good health despite everything. Praise God!
   We are supplementing the chemo with as much natural medicine as possible. We took a break from juicing when I was sick with pregnancy, but thankfully my nausea has been leaving and we have commenced once again. Andy thinks it helps him and I am pleased because I can get so many nutrients into his blood stream. Please continue to pray as we experience the ups and downs that come with Chemotherapy. Things are looking very encouraging and we are hopeful that soon the chemo will be over.
  Lots of Love from us to you! Thank you for praying!
                                                    Andy and Trin

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More Wonderful News :)

"Do not be afraid for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. "

  Hopeful...I guess that sums it all up! We were just so hopeful that things would look good on Andy's CT Scan today. I was trying to hard to curb anxiety and trust God and sometimes it is SO HARD!
  The day started out with sweet husband passing out after his lab draw! He has never done that so it was quite a surprise. They think it was because his blood pressure dropped suddenly, but it was much better within about five minutes and he was up and ready to go! He was laying on the clinic bed asking me if I thought he could just walk out there and tell them he was ready to start his chemo. :)  About then the doctor came in and told us that there was good news. I breathed a sigh of relief. :)
 He told us that the large mass of cancer in Andy's abdomen had shrunk significantly. "Well how much is that?" we wanted to know. 
   Dr. Kornfeld smiled:  "About 80-90%. "
Wow! Just WOW! We couldn't quite believe it!  This was way more than we had expected!
We had both agreed that we would have been happy with any amount of shrinking! To have so much was above and beyond what we had hoped for! But then isn't that how God works! He is always there, ready to bless us above and beyond what we could have EVER imagined! He is so amazing and we are in so much awe of his amazing work in Andy's body!
   The doctor is very optimistic about Andy's progress. He is pleased that blood work is consistently coming back looking fantastic and vital organs are functioning just as they should. He is pleased that Andy is finally gaining weight and all around, just looking well! I'm sure there are people out there who are thinking, "WOW what a powerful drug! Medicine has really come a long way!" To you I would say...yah, medicine is a good thing, but God is so much more powerful and as a dear friend reminded me last night, HE is the great physician and the only true HEALER!
  As far as other news goes, we are still loving our new home in sisters! I had hoped to have pictures ready to post at this point, but alas, I have not even thought of putting them on the computer! :)  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting my side of the family, this year. We ate much delicious food and took many naps. :) There was much laughing and conversation and we came away with many good memories. We are looking forward to our first Christmas together this year and enjoy spending lots of time talking about the baby to come. :) We are due on May 28th and can hardly wait to meet this little one, but at the same time enjoying the wonderful journey of getting there. SO IMPORTANT to enjoy each day in its own since we've no guarantee of tomorrow or even another breath! This is something Andy reminds me of almost daily as I try to get ahead of myself or start voicing my concerns about this or that in the future. :)
  Thank you to every one who is praying! We still have a few more concerns, especially with the two lymphnodes by Andy's left kidney. The cancer in them has grown  about a centimeter since his last CT scan, even thought the rest has been shrinking and the doctor thinks the cancer there has mutated slightly. He is going to try a different drug at Andy's next infusion, and cut back on the two he is taking now. His next infusion is scheduled to be sometime around the first of the year and then he will have one more after that before having another CT scan. After that the doctor said we will be talking about some other options, although we don't know what at this point. Possibly biological trials or even a surgery to remove what is left of the mass in his stomach? It is all a mystery for now, but it IS comforting knowing that God knows exactly what the future holds, and on that note I have to get going, but thank you once again for all the prayer and support! We love you all!