Sunday, June 28, 2015

"How is Brett?!"

The question we get the most.  So here is what the days were like after his first Chemo last Wednesday!

Wednesday night & Thursday:  The first thing we noticed is that he had NO MORE FEVERS!  The chemo nurse had suggested that could happen because of the corticosteroid he received prior to the chemo drugs.  Well - we don't know what it was, but we are really happy.

If he gets a fever now (over 100.4º), he needs to go immediately to the ER - and typically will be admitted for a 3-day stay to determine the source of the fever and run tests.

Brett felt pretty normal, and was able to tolerate food okay as well.  Thursday evening he even went out with friends (he made sure they were all healthy).  

Friday:  A little more fatigued.  Water started to taste strange, but he kept hydrated and still was able to eat.  He noticed he would get a little queezy if his stomach was empty.  Eating/drinking something helped and he was really tired.  He slept most of the day, but still went out to eat with Eric.

Saturday/Sunday:  Fatigue really hit hard.  He didn't care if he got up to eat or drink.  He didn't want to take the energy to shower.  He would walk out to the living room and lay on the floor.  It was hard to see him so out of it.  We got him to eat our Sunday dinner with us - and he started to feel better.  

Monday/Tuesday:  Much better.  Still sleeping a LOT, but much better.  We started to feed him some (more) high-calorie foods to maintain his weight. 

MORE DISEASE SYMPTOMS DISAPPEAR!  The tumors have already gone down some and the drenching sweats seem to have disappeared!  Huzzah!

Wednesday-Saturday (today):  More energy!  He and I actually went to Walmart to pick up a few things.  It really wiped him out.  He sat in the car while I loaded the groceries.  I carried most everything upstairs (and the rest by Scott and Eric).  

This Friday: We went out to dinner - we went to a non-busy place for fish fry (Pegasus by State Fair Park for the locals - it was surprisingly good!) and we went before it got busy (about 3:30pm).  Doing everything at non-peak hours is really the way our life is for now.

Our little freezer right now is all frozen treats!
Today he's doing REALLY well.  We are keeping him rested - and eating!  He's been craving ice cream and frozen snacks.  Our freezer is packed with Drumsticks, Fudgcicles, Italian Ice pops, Ice Cream Sandwiches, Popsicles (Bomb Pops), Ice Cream and more!  

He weighed himself and he's down to 145 (he was up to 152 - but I don't think he was eating enough when he was out of it for those couple of days).  He now has Half-and-Half on his cereal!

ANOTHER SYMPTOM ALMOST GONE:  Coughing!  Brett's coughing had been getting pretty bad because lymph tumors were pressing on his bronchial tubes (he has tumors all throughout his lungs and around his heart).  So that means those tumors have shrunk enough to give his lungs a reprieve!  (It was one reason Texas was doing testing for Tuberculosis.)

THIS IS NOT BRETT!  But it is very similar to the CT scan we saw of Brett's lungs.
It looked just like this!  The small white spots are normal.
The large white spots are tumors and interfere with breathing.
I'll have to get our DVD back of Brett's tests to share with you all!

Scott is handling things really, really well.  He doesn't like seeing Brett like this because he can't wrestle with him and it's tough to see your big brother almost the same weight as you!  Scott is handling increased chores and doesn't mind anything EXCEPT giving up "his" room to share again.  He thought the next 2 years would give him his own room!  

Scott is busy with football weight training, plus he went to EFY (Especially For Youth - a church youth retreat) for a week in Mankato, Minnesota at a college there.  He got to stay in the dorms and they had SO much fun!  And then in July he gets to go to Scout Camp for the week - so he's keeping busy.  More football practice and such when he gets home - plus church Youth Conference weekend, and a week or so up north at Grandma Debbie's and fishing with his cousins!

Dad is great as usual!  He really is the source of patience and strength in our home.  Even in the quiet moments - he worries about Brett and all that is happening, but he knows we're in good hands (spiritually and physically).  He doesn't like looking at things on the Internet because this is "our" cancer and "our" Brett.

Mom is concerned, happy, upset, sad, feeling blessed, resentful... but my overwhelming feeling is peace and comfort.  Every day I'm grateful Brett's cancer is treatable - and curable.  I'm grateful he's home and in good spirits. 

So many people are with us on this journey and we have been sustained by prayers.  I'm in awe of the physical body and medicine.  But the well-wishes and spontaneous notes and cards, hugs and even treats and a meal (thank you, Paula!) have been beyond what I could even imagined.  Last Sunday at church we spoke with friends who have (unfortunately) had children with cancer.  It's not a club we wanted to belong to - but their experiences have allowed them to share with us... and the talks and advice have been really great.  One mom said, "I didn't think you could feel prayers."  Until you've been through this - you realize you really can.  The moments when I am the most worried, or not sleeping again, a peace comes over me and I realize we aren't alone in this fight.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!


  1. We live reading your blog! It gives us comfort, wait what? We are supposed to be giving you comfort! Someday we will meet and we will have big hugs waiting! We continue to pray for miracles for all of you! We send our Love

  2. We live reading your blog! It gives us comfort, wait what? We are supposed to be giving you comfort! Someday we will meet and we will have big hugs waiting! We continue to pray for miracles for all of you! We send our Love