Sunday, April 29, 2012

Half Dose Here I Come!!!

My blood work came back better, and trending in the right direction, so Dr. Perez ordered the half dose of Sylatron.   After a few hours, BCBS had it approved (I almost had to start a 'look, it's just half of an apple' from my previous speech) but it was approved and set for a Saturday delivery.   Saturday afternoon the half dosage arrived at the front door, but I was in the middle of smoking about 100 pounds of meat, and took the shot around 5:30.   I felt great at dinner that night, and felt great on Sunday also.   I had a small headache this afternoon and my hands and knees are aching, but nothing compared to the full dose.   I'm really hoping this keeps up, because this is doable.    I'll update Monday or Tuesday on how the transition to work on the half dosage is going, and I'll have reports back on the pulled pork and brisket.   I'm not sure which is more important....hmmmmmmmmm......

I hope everyone had a blessed weekend and great week!!!!!!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

All clear!!!

I thought I would do a quick post to update everyone on my PET/CT scan.   I got an email, well after my surgical oncologist had closed, from the nurse that saw the report while she was home......all clear!    The PET/CT scan was the test that showed the cancer had returned in a lymph node in January, so this is a huge answer to prayer!

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.....they are felt, appreciated, known and ANSWERED!!!!!!


(Dasha tells me I don't have to be funny every time, so I'll try to jump on and post Thursday if I get the results of my blood test that I took today.....hopefully the levels are good and I'll be able to start treatments again on Friday)

(a duck, a priest and a three legged dog walk into a bar.........ah never mind.......)

Monday, April 23, 2012

NO Shot For YOU!!!!!!!!

"No shot for you!!!" is what I heard again last Friday.   I had an appointment with the great Dr. Perez, and he said my blood work had come back with low white cell count, and a bad liver function number.   (The Cribbs of Columbus, OH could explain this better........or any number of the lawyers that think they are doctors in my family).   So he is holding me off for another week.   I have another blood test on Wednesday, and hopefully they will have the results back Thursday so I can start the half dosage shots on Friday.  

One concern, and it's an odd concern......but I'm feeling great!    We had a really good weekend with the girls, and had a fun dinner with friends Sat night.    The concern over feeling great is upon starting the Sylatron again, if you have taken a "break" from the drug, it's like starting over again with the week 1-2 side effects........and those sucked!    So I'm really hoping to start the half dosages this Friday, so I'm not too far away from my last shot.  

I also am now doing my PET/CT scans quarterly, and those are tomorrow morning at 7:45.    Hopefully those results will come back better than they did in January!!

Thank you again for everything friends and family are doing for us.    I feel covered in prayer daily, and blessed beyond what I can describe!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Streak ends....

There aren't many things that are known by a single word in the world, as it takes a huge amount of respect and worldwide knowledge to knowingly nod when someone says "Sting", "Madonna", "Labron", "The Punch" get the idea.   With that said I write to you with a heavy heart this evening as the "Streak" has ended.  The "Streak" to those of you who have lived under a rock for the last 23 years, is the fact that I had not thrown up in 23 years.   Yes, you read that correctly.......23 years.    Do you remember where you were 23 years ago???    Bobby Brown had a #1 hit with "My Prerogative" and Poison "Every Rose has a Thorn" was making people question whether Poison was hard rock enough to really like.   Joe Montana led the 49's to a Superbowl and the Cubs were pretty good, but about to start sucking again.   So with that said, that is how long it's been since I have yacked.....until today.

So this week has been well documented, and it has not been good.   So I went to the oncologist for a multitude of fluids and other stuff, and made it home.    My headache was no better, so I went to bed.   Dasha checked on my several times and my headache was getting really bad again, and I was nauseous again.   So she calls back to my oncologist and has a conversation with my super nurse, Rita, and she makes a suggestion for a couple of things.   One was a suppository and the other was a Magnesium Citrate drink.

I'll take them one at a time.....suppository.   Who in the HELL came up with this????   I mean, back in 1850 some guy pulls up with a cart and starts in with his "New super medicine that cures everything".   People crowd around and his potion sells well before he is about to pack up when a desperate man for "comfort" asks "what is in that jar???"   The medicine man says "oh, that is for only the most desperate of man, and it's of the highest level of experimentation that it's only been used on horses."
Decades later the "Rectal Suppository" product slowly starts to spread across the country as a way for people to get comfort from numerous ailments....

The second product is the main culprit of the Streak coming to an end.    Dasha walks into the bedroom, while I'm lying in bed, and says "You need to drink 1/4 of this and no more....Love you!!!"  So I sit up, take a sip, and think "WOW, this stuff is strong, but the Streak is not in danger, I'm good."   Two sips later I decide to try to get the 1/4 of the jar down, and drink up.....BIG mistake.    My stomach decided to turn completely over, and the Streak was in danger...........check that, in a matter of 4 seconds the Streak was over as I was running towards the bathroom.    One mini throw up was followed by every bit of fluid in my body, in a violent manner that literally pulled a muscle in my lower back.   My dad had come up to the house and was a huge help.

So I come out to the living room and my dad has a great idea, why don't we dilute the solution in water and you can give it another try.   Great we do that, and I'm back in the bathroom ending what was only about a 20 minute Streak II, the son of The Streak.  

So I have an idea.   I grab a secure phone line, and call my dear friend Dick "monkey heart" Cheney.

DC:     Go
MP:    Hey Dick, it's Mike Peters.
DC:    Hey Michael!!!!!    How is the Streak going, I was just telling that story to a conference in Washington DC yesterday!!!!
MP:    Not ended about an hour ago....but I have an idea for you that has to do with national security.
DC:   My condolences on a streak that rivaled Cal Ripkin.....but you have my attention with anything that has to do with national
MP:   You may not be able to discuss this, but are you still running the "Torture" program for America??
DC:     (silence)
MP:    Hmmmm.....I thought so......just say "bulldozer" if you are, then don't say another word.
DC:   Hey Mike, I forgot to tell you that I was at the farm last week, and did a lot of work with our new bulldozer.
MP:   (smiling that someone who knows how to administer pain is still running the program)   So, the Streak ended because of the most diabolical concoction every created, and it could be used to get Osama Bin Caveboy to talk.    One little sip, and they will be dry heaving.....two sips and they are yacking up a lung.....three sips and they are telling us where the Weapons of Mass Destruction were!!! Water boarding has NOTHING on this stuff.   Here is a picture, and Jack Bauer style, you don't need to say anything, just nod.

DC:    Blue Horseshoe is nodding.
MP:   I'll order it by the case and will have it to you in a was good talking to you my friend.
DC:    You are a patriot and a hero.
MP:   Thank you sir.

So the Streak has ended, and tomorrow starts another day, and another streak.   Thank you for reading the International Super Hit blog.....(thanks Rhodes) and God bless!!!!!!!

We've had better days

We just thought Mike would be taking shot #7 today....not so fast! Looks like shot #7 and #8 are on hold for now. Today was a rough day for him. In fact, "rough" is probably an understatement. I called the oncologist to let him know how bad Mike was feeling today... nausea, dizziness, and that killer headache is still hanging around. All of this plus he still isn't sleeping- not a good combo. The doctor wanted to see him and once he saw Mike, he realized how bad he felt. Long story short, he felt like the best thing for Mike is to hold off on the next shot and give Mike's body a week to rest. He will reevaluate next week and either go back to the two remaining full dose shots or move on to the half dose shots. He set Mike up with a bag of fluids again and some meds for his headache and the nausea through the IV. I'm so thankful the doctor was aggressive in treating Mike's symptoms sweet husband is miserable and needs some relief.

Just wanted to share a portion of the beautiful song, "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns, that so many of you know. I've been listening to it over and over again lately because the words seem to bring me great comfort right now.

"Voice of Truth"  by Casting Crowns
....But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story
    The Voice of Truth says "Do not be afraid."
    The Voice of Truth says "This is for my glory"
    Out of all the voices calling out to me
    I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth

I know that Mike and I are feeling so many voices calling out to us right now. Voices of doubt, sadness, worry, "what-if's"....I'm so thankful I only have to listen to the Voice of Truth and can trust it completely and know that God is going to use this trial in our lives to bring Him glory. Thank you again for your generous prayers for my brave husband and our family.    -Dasha

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Random Thoughts....

Just had to sit down and highjack the blog today to write some random thoughts. 

1. Tomorrow Mike will take Shot #7 out of 8 "full dose" shots.  Please pray for Mike these next two weeks, as you have graciously done these past seven weeks. He is certainly feeling the effects of the Sylatron and I know he has forgotten what feeling good or normal feels like. He never really complains and I know when he says he has a headache that it really is more than just a normal headache and that I'd be doing way more complaining than he is. He is so dizzy and can't sleep and is having so many side effects. My prayer is that the 1/2 doses will be a breeze compared to these full dose shots and that these next two weeks will race by. He is getting a bag of fluids right now and we hope that will make a difference in how he feels. He has missed work almost every day this week b/c he feels so rotten, which he hates to do....which brings me to Random Thought #2....

2. One of God's greatest blessings in this midst of this trial has been Capis, where Mike is working right now. Two years ago it was so hard for him to leave Cantor and God opened the door at Capis. His boss, Joanna has been  wonderful. She has been invested in our fight with Blue Cross to get his shots covered and has been amazingly flexible about Mike working when he feels good and leaving when he feels bad. I'm thankful that she has been so wonderful to him and is giving him so much time off. She is giving him the rest of this week off. There just aren't many people like that and I'm  very thankful for her and the gracious people Mike works with who have stepped in and taking over for him while he is recovering and resting.

3. Speaking of Capis and Blue Cross Blue Shield...I'm sure you've read Mike's blog about them. ;-( Mike heard from them on Monday and they have agreed to pay for the shots. This is a huge answer to prayers for us. We now will pay a very minimal co-pay ($55) vs. the $700 per weekly shot we were paying. This is such wonderful wonderful news for us!

4. Lastly, this year in my weekly biblestudy we are studying the book of John. A few weeks ago we studied John 13 where Jesus is having the Last Supper with his disciples before He is crucified. In verse 34 he says "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Mike and I can't begin to thank each of you for showing us that kind of love and for living this verse out in front of us. We have been humbled by the many people praying for our family, friends cooking for us, taking our girls for us so Mike can rest and we can go to doctor appointments, cards sent (shout out to the Kossmeyers and the cards sent DAILY), the kind gestures made so we know we are thought of, the emails, calls and texts, our sweet family who has taken such good care of us...we are so grateful to be witnessing God's love being poured out on us by those around us. "Thank you" isn't sufficient enough to say. 

5. REALLY the last thing... Campbell's sweet friend Libby Serber who is 6 yrs. old and goes to school with her found out she has cancer two weeks ago and has already had two surgeries at Children's. She will start radiation and chemo this week. Campbell's school had a big parade for Libby yesterday (it made the news) to welcome her back home. Please pray for brave little Libby and her family as she goes through this tough treatment.

Have a blessed week....

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  James 1:2-4

Monday, April 9, 2012

Anatomy of a Shot...

As I promised a couple of weeks ago, I documented my last shot for a blogging pictorial adventure.   Well, not too much of an "adventure", but you get the idea.

The week starts with a call to the BCBS pharmacy (see post below for commentary on that subject) and one round of Sylatron is on the way.

Ding Dong:   UPS delivery man here!
Me:  You can just leave it on the doorstep, what is it?
UPS Man:   It says "SUCK" on the box......
Me:   Ah yes, that is for me....thanks Chief!!

It comes in a nifty box with a guide that includes cartoons to show you exactly what to do after you open the box if you can't read the giant print  (insert Aggie jokes here)...

This is everything in the box.......two syringes and the actual medicine is in the gold vial.  That is a quarter that I placed in front of much "suck" in such a small package!!

The red vial is just saline.   I draw out 7ml from that one, and put it in the other vial.   The gold vial has the actual Sylatron in a powder form, and it takes about a minute for it to dissolve.   

Then I withdraw 5ml of the dissolved solution...

and inject into my leg.   Good times!!!!!

Yes this was by far the most boring post I've done, but the people asked for it, and the people get what they want!!!!

I will try and post more often, especially since JFA has been posting from a hospital bed!!!   Impressive to say the least.

I'm officially in the home stretch though, with 6 shots down and 2 to go...then I switch to the 1/2 dosage.  The last week and the weekend were pretty rough, and I think that the cumulative effect of the Sylatron is starting to beat me down a bit.   Mostly a headache and dizziness that just won't go away, no matter what I take.   But work has been great, sending me home most afternoons when they see me sitting at my desk with my eyes closed......I am very thankful for the people I work for and with!!!     I'm also thankful for my bride, as she has been great, and has kept the girls relatively quiet as I've come home and slept most days.

We've also been overwhelmed by the cards, calls, meals and help with the girls.    There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thanking our amazing God for the people He has put in my/our life....what a blessing!!!!!