On January 27, 2011 Eric Merkley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. An aggressive cancer that we hope and the doctors to this point seem confident that is contained to one spot on his leg. Prognosis is good. Treatments and recovery will be long and painful.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Uncle Dave and Aunt Teresa came to visit from Alaska

Uncle Dave and Aunt Teresa came to check on Eric all the way from Alaska. We had a great visit. At first we thought that he would only be able to handle a few minutes because he as pretty sleepy, but we had an awesome visit. Eric was joking and telling stories. Then Uncle Dave and Aunt Teresa bought him some nacho supreme (to save him from hospital food :) ).

Unfortunately Eric experienced the worse pain ever yesterday and then again last night. So needless to say, it was a pretty rough night. The pain doc is on her way to see what we can do to adjust his meds, so that we can control this. He is having muscle spasms in his left leg. They said that when you mess around with those muscles that they will go into spasms. So if you have ever had charlie horse in your leg, times that by 10. There were some pretty strong prayers being said by me last night. It was so hard to see him in that much pain.
So hopefully we will be able to get this under control. They have told the physical therapist to hold off for a while today. Right now they are giving him valium to relax his muscles. The wonderful side effect is sleep. So hopefully he will rest good all day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Still doing well

Eric is doing well. He was able to get a few hours of sleep, but the tubing in his back to block any pain from his waist down was causing some discomfort. But then he does not have any padding in his back to cushion it. But for the most part he is doing well.
Last night after he ate his peaches and watermelon, he was still starving. Since he tolerated that, and was craving Red Robin, off I went to pick up a burger and fries, which he devoured.

He is awake and watching TV, but will just take it easy today. I hate to disappoint any possible visitors, but I am going to keep it to family. Friends will be welcome to come and visit when we make it home. We send our love to all! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We are done and well

Daryl took this picture yesterday, to show off his chicken legs one more time, but Todd as said that he has now been down graded to sparrow legs.

This is the third time I have tried to write this blog. Sorry, I know you are all waiting for news, so this is our day...

When they took him back they commented on how calm he was. The surgical team was enjoying visiting with him, before he went under.

When dr. Randals part was through he came and said how pleased he was with how thing went. That Eric made the right decision. One thing about taking the tumor this way, is that they did not invade the tumors space, where you take the chance of contaminating tissue around it. So the tumor is GONE!

It took a little longer to finish up the stitching, sounds like he may have some designer stitching going on there. But it is okay for them to take their time. The anesthesia doc said that his vitals stayed strong and consistent. Eric lost very little blood,  they did not need to give him any blood. All I can say is there were angels guiding the docs and protecting Eric.

I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about seeing Eric for the first time without his leg, but as I walked into the room, my focus was on Eric and making sure he was okay, and as hard as it will be to get use to his leg not being there, I know that having the tumor gone and knowing that Eric has made huge progress in his regaining his health and strength and that is what is important.

When we got Eric up to the room, the family came up to see Eric and he did a magic trick where he made his leg disappear. :).

He woke up and asked for details today, where I tried to recount all that I could. Then he said he was hungry, so he is busy eating peaches and apple sauce and if he does okay with that, he can move up to more of the good stuff...I will to run and get it, but that is okay. Oh and he did gain four pounds in the last two days. I was saying how wonderful that was and he said, yeah but I am about to lose a bunch of weight in a hurry.... So as you can tell, his attitude is really good. Daryl and Mckell were on a quest to find an eye patch to put on Eric when he woke up...Daryl is determined to turn him into a pirate.

I know there is so much more to write, but my brain is not functioning very well. I just hope this made sense.

We send our love to all of you and a big thank you to Dennis Dunn for being such a great friend this morning. I will be forever grateful to all you for your prayers. Thank you again.

Here we go

They are actually ahead of schedule.  Eric is is great spirits.  We had a great talk on the way up to the hospital, and I am not going to lie, there were tears.  We both feel very good and comforted about the decision, not to mention he is in good hands.  I know that he will go on to lead a very productive and healthy life.  I will keep you updated on the progress.  Thank you for all your prayers, words of encouragement and love! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We are all set!

Eric Entertaining himself during the required lab draws.

Lacy (SHHS Trainer) and her mom gave Eric a blanket for his legs today.

We had to run up to the Riverton PMC for some blood workup today, so he is now officially sporting his cute little hospital wrist band.  (He hates those things).  But he will survive.  The offical time of his surgery is 10:30.  Eric has to be at the hospital to check in at 9:00am. 
Ty's mom, Kim sent over these links of Ty walking on his leg. 

This is pretty exciting!! 

Eric did ask Dr Randal if it would be okay to play kick ball with his new "Bionic" leg.  Dr Randal just laughed at him and told him he could do what ever he wants.

So Here we go on our new adventure!  I will keep you posted on our progress.

Lots of Love to all of you!  We have truly appreciated all your prayers!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Surgery is Set

Dr Randal, Eric and Dr Price

Eric and Tonya at PMC

Eric and Dr Spraker  She is pretty short, so Eric has to crouch. :P

When we got home it was time to hook the TPN back up (Mountain Dew and Milk)

Here I am trying to be so professional, but getting lots of grief from Eric!

Well It was a good thing I took off as fast as I did last night, because Eric had Tonya pretty nervous when he told her she needed to rub this special ointment on the bad rash located on his tush!  Then he told her she had to check his IV pumps every 2 hours during the night.  When she didn't, he told her in the morning that because of her, his line clogged 3 times.  He also started to scare her when he told her that IF he gets a runny nose and a fever that she was going to have to run him to the hospital.  He told her this as he is wiping his runny nose....  Can I tell you how wonderful it was to run away with my sweetheart?  It was a great night!

Well Eric told Dr Randal that he wanted him to take his leg.  He said this with complete confidence and peace.  We then had the opportunity to ask questions about the surgery and recovery.  The surgery should last about 2 -3 hours.  He maybe coming home on Sunday or Monday.  Eric is not nervous, I know he wants that tumor out of his body as bad as I do.  They said that he could possibly have his prosthetic leg in about 6 weeks... So it will be quite the adventure. 
Eric has put on 10 pounds this week, he walked in the hospital and did not want a wheelchair.  He wanted to visit Irish (the RN that had his record broken because he could not put the feeding tube in Eric a couple of weeks ago).  Heather Abbott sent a link that I will include with the story of a young man, and there is a picture of Jerem in the hospital with the RN sitting on his bed... the RN was Irish.  So we had to go verify that was him.  But watch this clip.  It is amazing.

next time I will get a picture of Irish and Eric.

So all is well in our home.  Eric is happy and at peace with his decision.  I am so proud of him and know that he did make the right decision.  We are just looking forward to have the tumor gone.  Once he is healed, then we can concentrate on attacking the micro cancer cells still in his body!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Full Afternoon

Eric giving the nanny (Tonya) a hug

Tonya just had to feel his head... not to mention she is thrilled that he is not bugging her to cut his hair.

Tonya was trying to get her fingers on his Chubba Wubba treat... but Eric, being the brother that he is had to take it away from her... He did give it back to her. 
Today was a day full of research and 2nd opinions.  First we began our research on amputations by watching "Soul Surfer". I know wrong limb, but we got the gist of it. :).  It was a very good movie, by the way. I highly recommend it.  Then on the way home we stopped by Dr. Veronica Feild for a second opinion.  Eric climbed up on her kitchen counter and asked if she would do the surgery.  She said she would love to but didn't have enough super glue, but could run to Walmart and get some.  Eric was in a hurry, so I guess we will have to stick with plan A.  Dr Vee put Eric back together last summer when he was attacked by a metal basketball hoop and cut his chest up pretty good.  She loved the opportunity to glue his chest.  So needless to say, we will have to go back to Dr Randal.  Dr Vee did say she would be happy to assist Dr Randal.   I wonder if they use much super glue?

The nanny has arrived and will be taking care of my cute little bundle of joy tonight.  Tomorrow is mine and Todd's 6th wedding anniversary and we are running away for a night.  WOHOO!!  Tonya (Eric's sister who is living in Elko with her husband, Clint) came into town to take care of Eric.  I have not mentioned to her that Eric is starting to eat like a horse and he will keep her pretty busy running after food.  Tonight he wants a meat lovers stuffed crust pizza.  (I have to admit that I really love it that he is eating like a horse)  Then tomorrow Tonya and Eric will meets us at PMC for an appointment with Dr Randal, where Eric will tell him his decision on what type of surgery he wants.  This is totally his decision and I stand by him whatever he decides.  So wish Tonya lots of luck, because not only is Eric very demanding, he just thinks it is pretty funny to play practical jokes... and it is not even April's Fools day.  I am going to keep my mouth shut, because I don't want her to change her mind about me leaving with my honey.  :)  I tried to publish some pictures, but it did not work.  Sorry.  Will put some on tomorrow, but I am out of here!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Big Surprise

We just had the most exciting news ever!!  Eric is going to be a Uncle!!  And I am going to be a Grandma!!  WOW that is weird!  Isn't he just handsome?  Not only is Eric going to be a Uncle, but the Easter bunnies are going to be Aunts!  Daryl and McKell are expecting Nov 3!!  YEAH!! 

I need to clarify.. Daryl and Mckell not only are making Eric an uncle, but Madi and Lexi aka the Easter bunnies, will be aunts. Madi and Lexi are Mckell's sisters.

Easter Bunnies visit

Eric had some really cute visitors today

They even did a dance for him

Madi and Lexi make awesome bunnies

Love those new "Bunnie Glasses!"

Today has been a fun day of taking it easy and enjoying the awesome visitors!  Yesterday a couple of Cheerleaders from Salem Hills brought by a poster with messages of love and support, and a fun care package.  Then today the easter basket!  Have I ever mentioned that he is pretty spoiled??

All is well here at our home.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Night Out

Eric is getting more energetic.  He was willing to venture out last night for a movie.  We went to Arthur (not my favorite) and some of his friends met us there to watch the movie with Eric.  This was the first time we tried venturing out with him attached to some bags, but it went well.  Eric showed his friends his dinner of "Mountain Dew and Milk".  The TPN (IV nutrition) has 2 bags to it.  One looks like Mountain Dew (because of the vitamins in it) and the other looks like milk, which is the fats.  Needless to say they were impressed with his gourmet dinner.  It was good for him to get out, he was laughing and joking last night while he was getting ready for bed. 
He has spent a lot of time texting Ty again and is learning so much.  Ty is an inspiration and so willing to help out with this adventure Eric is about to embark on.  I was telling Eric that pretty soon he is going to be the bionic man (I loved that TV show when I was growing up).  Eric said that "Yeah it is going to be cool."  Ty was telling Eric a little about how his new foot worked.  It will not be long and Eric will be out running all of us.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We are doing good, I promise!

The Linfords left this poem, and I love it and want to share it with you.  I know it is on their comment, but for those who do not look at the comments, here you go!

Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit

Today Eric has been visiting with a young boy that Dr. Randal told us about last night.  Ty lost his Right leg just under the knee.  He is a hockey player and Eric said he is learning how to skate again on his new leg.  He is 15years old and got his new leg not to long ago.  So this is still pretty new to him.

There is no doubt that there has been a lot of tears... from me, but Eric is coming to terms with the choices he has.  But I asked him if I could share a funny story from yesterday, so you know that Eric is still Eric...

With the last metho treatment, Eric kept falling asleep and did not suck on the ice and Popsicles like he should have, which means that he has some pretty nasty sores.  His lips look like he just got braces and someone punched him really good in the mouth.  The sores are healing, but his lips have some big mean looking scabs...Not attractive to look at, I am not going to lie.  Well when Dr. Spraker finished looking at his mouth, she commented that we did not need to worry about Eric making out with any girls.  I busted out laughing, because Eric had this look of "What are you talking about!"  And then she said as she is crinkling up her nose "Well I am just saying that this (and she points to her lips) don't look like something a girl will want to get close to."  Then Eric's look changed from outraged to "Don't challenge me!"  Gotta Love him! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Erics tough decision

Eric Getting his MRI
CT Scan (Chest X Ray)
And last but not least Bone Scan

Can I first start out with letting you know how grateful I am that Heavenly Father has granted me this precious opportunity to raise Eric.  He has been a joy in my life from the night he was born.  Grandpa Lew was a little upset with me because if I would have held off just 1 1/2 hours longer, Eric would have been born on his birthday.

 Eric has been so patient through this whole Cancer process.  It has been torture on him and he has never been in so much pain or been so sick in his life as he has been since the end of January.  And he has never once complained.  I look back and think that January was not that long ago, but it feels like years since we found out that he had a tumor on his fibula.  As life has it, we must take a deep breath, and a baby step forward.  ... Having said all that, today Eric was presented with a lot of information to consider.  First thing, his CT scan shows a clear chest!  NO tumors in his chest!  YEAH!  Second thing, his bone scan is also clean!  The tumor has not spread to any of his other bones.

Now for the hard part... I am not even sure how I can even put into words the emotions that we are facing.  When Dr. Randal came in, he was explaining that the tumor is not smaller than it was when we first came to him.  Not that it means that the chemo is not working, but sometimes the tumor cells react and explode (for lack of a better word).  He showed us an image of his leg from the MRI of the cross section of his leg.  He pointed out where the Tibia is, where his Fibula was and where the nerves and tumor are.  If he were to take the Fibula out, along with the tumor, nerves and part of the tibia, that would be about 80% of his calf....  This would leave him with a foot that does not function, and a leg that is barely functional.......  He recommended that we consider amputating his leg from under his knee down. .... I immediately was taken back and the tears started to flow.  Dr. Randal said that his first impression of Eric was of his spirit and his athletic ability.  If they amputate the leg and fit him with a prosthetic leg that he would be able to play ball again, and run and goof off with his kids and live a very active life.  But if we try to save the leg, he would not be able to play ball EVER and he would walk with a limp, and would live with a lot of pain.... Now I know as we put all the logical facts in front of you, it is an easy choice... But when a mom looks at her son that was so very active just 3 months ago and  know that not only is he fighting for his life, but in that process he is going to lose a leg, the choice is very hard to comprehend.  Dr. Randal did say that if it were him or his son, there would be no question of what his choice would be.  But I also know that he has seen examples of both worlds.  I asked if we could think about it and let him know, so we are going back next Tuesday to ask more questions and Eric will let him know what he is going to do. 

The thing I have to keep telling myself is that he will have better chance of kicking this cancer if he chooses the amputation.  I could live with this option easier, than losing him all together.  To lose him is not an option.  As we were driving home and talking about the options, he said "the thing is, even though I will be losing my leg, it is not who I am.  I won't be losing part of my personality."  I know that he will continue to "grow up" and become an even stronger individual.  A young man with even more compassion.  He is the type of person who will never want you to feel sorry for him or he will never feel sorry for himself.  He has never asked "why me?"  All I can say is Heavenly Father must have a very important plan for him and I am very humbled to be his mom! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Uncle Tim's Visit

Uncle Tim stopped for the weekend on his way from Canada back to his home in Anchorage Alaska.  He not only came to give Eric his love but also to pick up his "Strength Endures Bracelet".  He is always quite entertaining, but we still love him!  Eric was eating apple sauce and giving the thumbs up in the picture, but it is hard to see.  Last night Eric wanted Ramen noodles, and I do not know how to make them like Grandma Reva made them.  I am not allowed to know the secret recipe (which I am okay with! :)), so Eric climbed out of his man cave to make his Ramen noodles.  He was in a hurry to get back to the cave and rest, so the noodles did not quite turn out as good as Grandma Reva's, but he still enjoyed them.  Then Tim and I promptly  ran for Mexican food!  I will say that, all is well and we are happy to be home. 

Tuesday we have a full day at PMC with MRI's, CT Scans, bone scans and appointments with both Dr. Randal and Dr Spraker to see what we are looking at on April 28th, the day of Surgery!!!!  Eric will have 3 weeks off of treatments, not only to have that tumor removed, along with his Fibula, but the time off will give Eric a chance to regroup and start to feel a lot better... and of course gain some weight.  Please keep Eric in your prayers so that when they do the surgery, he will be considered a "Good Responder"!  If 90% of his cancer is dead, he will be considered a Good Responder and will finish treatments on September 9th.  If he is a "Poor Responder" then he will have 12 additional weeks of treatments and they will add 2 additional chemicals into the treatment plan.  We have been so blessed in many ways through this process.  We have seen and heard stories that will break your heart.  So if you would please remember Eric in your prayers that his body has responded well to the Chemotherapy.  I will truly appreciate it.  I  know that because of all the prayers and thoughts of love and concern that everyone has sent our way, that Eric has been able to make it this far.  I can not thank you enough!!  We love all of you!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Welcome Surprise

Eric finally cleared the metho out of his system this morning.  So we did not start the TPN (IV Nutrition).  But the Home care nurse is coming tonight to help set everything up.  When we made it home, Eric was greeted to a nice surprise!  Erin Clawson, an awesome neighbor, she went around to the neighbors in the this area and had them write a message to Eric on a heart.  Have I ever mentioned that we have the most amazing friends?  Well we do.  It made his day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

We are still here.

We are still at PMC. Eric has not cleared the metho yet, so they will retest him at 4:00 this afternoon and hopefully start the nutrition by six tonight. They are still saying we should be able to go home tomorrow,so we will keep our fingers crossed. Uncle Tim will be in town tonight, so it will be fun to see him and we both hope we will be able to hang out with him tomorrow.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Preparation for Surgery

Yesterday and today we have discussed a plan to prepare Eric for Surgery. Because his weight is too low, we have consulted between the doctors and decided that IV nutrition is necessary. They claim that it is usually the last ditch effort, but considering we need to put weight on Eric as soon as possible, that we have no choice.
Because the IV nutrition is not as easy as hooking him up and sending him on his way, we will be in the hospital until Saturday morning. They can not start the nutrition until his metho has cleared from his system, so tomorrow morning they will, hopefully, be in a position to start the nutrition. Then they will watch him closely and monitor his electrolytes. Once we have it all under control, he will be free to go home. He will still be able to eat and encouraged to eat a lot, with the help of my friend the appetite stimulant. The Nurse practitioner said that once we get his weight up and the nutrition in him, he will start to feel so much better. But this also means that he will be hooked up to the IV and receiving these nutrients until surgery or possibly after. It also means that I get to learn more about how to care for this.... :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

#6 complete with 12 to go

Eric completed #6 yesterday and slept all day, I know that comes as a surprise to you, but we are getting use to the pattern. :) We are working on a plan for his nutrition, so he will be ready for surgery on the 28th. But mainly it will be to continue with the appetite stimulant and eat, eat and eat some more.
I did learn something interesting about Methotrexate. It originated from mustard gas. I remember hearing the stories of vets that were exposed to the gas, in world war II, I believe and they came home with bad sores in their mouths, throats and stomachs. Not to mention that their immune system was compromised. Sound firmilar? I want to check, but they were saying that it is the first chemo treatment. Metho is a yellow liquid, looks like Mountain Dew, but they say there is also an orange and blue chemo treatment. We already know about Doxorubican (Named the red devil for a reason), which is... red. Eric will not get the orange or blue chemo. WOHOO! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We love the medical professional...but

Last night was interesting, because of the blood transfusion, they were not able to dump the fluids into Eric as they normally do. Eric has to flush so much water out of him that is also at a certain PH level before they can start the Methetrexate. Well the first two times we did Methetrexate, Eric had really bad sores in his mouth, throat and stomach. They claim that it actually goes through his intestines also. Well as I reported last week, we tried a method to help avoid the sores, by keeping something cold in his mouth, and it WORKED!! WHOHOO!!
Well at ten last night, Eric's body was not ready to start the methetrexate. The nurse mentioned that by midnight, hopefully we would be ready. The drip takes 4 hours, so Eric asked if we could just do the treatment tomorrow morning (this morning) so he could suck on a Popsicle or ice. The nurse said that he would have to ask the Nurse Practitioner on call. So after about a half an hour I went and asked what he found out and the NP was apparently very put out. I asked why and he said that she wanted to get the chemo started as soon as possible, well a few hours are not going to make a difference, but mostly she was put out because there are no "Scientific data" supporting the method of keeping something cold in your mouth during the drip! Well it worked last week and it is worth keeping the sores away! I wanted to tell her to just chill out!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Treatment #6

We have made it back to Primary's for treatment #6. I was telling Eric on the way up, that I can't believe that I am giving up my trip with him to Moab for Primary's. Oh well we will make it up later.
He came to PMC with a big box of fruit snacks and was offering to share with all the nurses... Which Irish was happy to take part in the snack fest.
Eric is getting a blood transfusion before they start the next treatment of Methetrexate. Which is okay. Last time they did the transfusion after the treatment. This time they wanted to give it before to see if it helps with his energy. He did gain one pound at home. :) I am sure he will lose it before we go home, even with all the fluids. But I figure we have 3 weeks after this treatment to put some weight on him. :)
Eric put a pair of shorts that he has not worn for a several weeks on Saturday and came out holding the waist band. I said why don't you tighten the strings so they don't fall down, he said "But I did!" Poor guy.

Okay so Eric read the blog and informed me that these particular shorts would have fallen off him anyway, because they are size 38. So I misled you earlier. Sorry. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Michelle & Mike's visit

Michelle, Mike & Rachel Moss (Eric's cousin) came to visit Eric today.  They decided to rub Eric's head for good luck, but Rachel did not like that at all.  She could not get her hand off his head fast enough.  While Mike and Michelle went to the movies with Daryl and McKell, we were left in charge of cute little Rachel.  We talked Eric into watching Tangled and she knows that movie.  She was singing along with the song "I've got a dream."  Then she would whisper "Shhh Eric's sleeping."  She also thought that Eric's "Chubba Wabba" basket from Aunt Theresa, was Christmas.  If you ever have a sweet tooth, we have plenty of variety to satisfy any craving.  We have to put some "Chubba Wabba", as Aunt Theresa says, on Eric immediately.

Friday, April 8, 2011

We made it home

Yesterday morning when they told me that Eric's Methetrexate level was .14, I was a little surprised.  It has never been that low before at this point.  So I asked if they would retest him a little later.  I didn't even want to get my hopes up that it will be .10 or lower so I didn't even pack things up.  Well at 4:30 the results were in and it was .10!!  Eric was feeling pretty good and was wanting to go home (which is a great sign) because he wanted to sleep all night long and not be interrupted.  Which I don't blame him.  So by 5:00 we were on the road heading home. 
Wednesday night the nurse was in his room and he starting telling her "Eric" stories and he had her laughing pretty hard.  After about 45 minutes she interrupted him and said that she needed to check on another patient and to hold that thought because she wanted to hear more....So after a few minutes she was back wanting to hear more.  I love those "Eric stories".
Yesterday morning, he was awake and wanting to eat, thanks to the appetite stimulant (my new friend :) ).  So it was a great day all together, not to mention that I got to come home to my amazing husband!  So this weekend, we are just hanging out.  I am still giving him fluids at night, just in case, and it was suggested that I get him protein bars to eat in between meals.  He hates the drinks like Boost, Ensure or Carnation,  But these protein bars will do the same thing, so I will be loading up on those.  I can't believe I didn't think about that earlier.  I would buy him a big bag of those bars during basketball so he could have them before practice... What a great alternative.  I am going to try to get some pictures posted of Eric this weekend, so stay tuned.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yeah we are coming home

We just got the word that Eric has cleared the methetraxate so we are coming home tonight!!!
He is feeling great and has been munching on food all day! Yeah!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New discoveries

Last time when Eric had the methetraxate, the nurses had said that there are a lot of patients that swear by keeping something cold in their mouth, like ice or popsicles, while getting the chemo treatment, will help with the mouth sores. Last 2 times we did not do this and Eric had bad sores in his throat and stomach. So as we were coming up, I talked to him about the different things we could try to help with the side effects. He was willing to try anything. So he sucked on popsicles, ice and drank frozen drinks for the 4 hours the chemo was dripping. He was really cold, but willing to try.
The doctor came and checked on him and I mentioned we tried that and she wanted to know who told me that. I instantly got protective of the nurses. She continued to tell me that there is no scientific data that supports that ice helps with the sores. As I was telling Todd about this he laughed and said that the nurses are witnesses of that "scientific data" on a daily basis. And guess what... he does not have sores as of right now. He has lost more weight and I was ready to start the tube feeding again, but he is willing to start to eat again and even try a appetite stimulant to encourage more eating. So we will see how we do with that plan before the tube feeding. His coloring is really good and seems to be feeling better... now if we could just get some weight on him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Surgery Update

I just spoke with Dr Randal, who is Eric's surgeon and he was telling me that after looking at Eric's schedule and his response to the chemo, we are going to plan on April 28th (Thursday) for his surgery. There are a couple of things they need to consider when scheduling the surgery. One is the amount of time that has elapsed after the Methetrexate is complete. They need to get as much of the poison out of his system as possible, so his body can heal more effectively after surgery. 2nd to give his body time to get nutrients in there for a better healing time. Dr Randal said that it will be a all day affair and that he will be in the hospital for 3 - 7 days afterwards. Then they will pick up on the treatments on May 9. So we will be 2 weeks later, at this point, but that is okay, it will be fun to have my Eric around to joke with...knowing that there is no April fools, I can handle the joking...:)
They are planning on doing a MRI next week with his treatment so Dr Randal knows what he is looking at as far as the tumor and what needs to go, including discussion about the nerve that runs down his fibula to make his foot lift up. But so far everything is looking really good. It was encouraging to hear the confirmation about staying on schedule and how it is more effective in destroying the cancer cells. If to much time goes by, it gives the cancer cells a chance to regroup.
We had to take Eric down to Xray to look at his port to find out why it is not working well. It appears that some fibers had built up on the end of his tube. They were just preparing to add a stronger drug to dissolve the build up, but it is working like a charm right now. So they are going to give it another hour to make sure it was not a fluke and try again. If it still appears to be flowing well, he will be hooked back up through his port and we can breathe a little easier knowing that, one he will not have to have chemo through his arm next week, nor will they have to replace his port during surgery. What a learning experience.

#5 complete

Eric completed treatment #5 last night around 9:00, which means he has 13 more treatments to go. (I say that as if he will be a "Good responder". I know he will otherwise he will have 11 additional weeks of treatments, so keep him in your prayers that he will be a good responder.)
Danee and her mom came and visited yesterday, she was getting some test done so she can start her radiation today. Bless her heart, she will have radiation everyday for one month. It was good to hear her stories and for Eric and Danee to rub their bald heads at the same time. She is beautiful with no hair. She had a really cute hat on, even though she doesn't need it.

Early this morning Eric's port (under his skin) clogged with a blood clot. So they had to give him an IV in his hand to keep the fluids going, it is important for his kidney's to clear out the Methatrexate. The had to inject a medicine into the port (as far as it would go) to start to dissolve the clot. It has been 3 hours and they are starting to get some movement, but we are not quite there yet. In the mean time Eric is just wanting them to leave him alone so he can sleep. They have been waking him up at least every 2 hours, but with the fluids they have going into him, it is more like every hour he has to get up and go to the bathroom, and then as soon as he is back in bed they are checking vitals, giving pills, etc etc etc. So when the doctor came in and asked how he was doing, he said "I just want to sleep!"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Treatment #5

We are just getting checked into PMC for treatment #5. Right off the bat, Eric had a little visitor named Molly. She even came with a calling card. Just as she left, Eric turned to me and started complaining that I would not let him have a dog... he said "look how much joy she brought me." With a sad face. My comment was "did you see how quickly you were tired of her?"

Eric did insist on driving himself in his wheel chair up to his room and the nurses were all shocked at what attitude he had. I was begging them to take him. :) Right now he is off all pain medication but his weight is still extremely low. I made a deal with Eric that as long as he continues to eat 2000 calories, I would not make him get the feeding tube put back in, so we will see how he does.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eric is now in the DOG HOUSE

Tonight Todd and I went to Dalton's for dinner, enjoying a night out before I leave for another 2 weeks in the hospital and I had asked Eric if he would like something from Dalton's. They were offering Prime Rib tonight and so Eric was pretty excited about dining on something besides cereal. Well we walked into the house and as I was bringing his very delicious dinner to him...He was doubled over groaning. He was obviously in SO much pain and I asked him what was the matter and he said that his stomach hurt so bad. As I was asking questions to try to find out as much information as I could so I can call Primary Children's hospital. My thoughts were that I needed to get him to the hospital immediately. Todd could hear what was going on and came to see what he could do to help....Well Eric started to laugh and said "April Fools!" Can I tell you that I was about ready to slap him. I was grabbing the prime rib and was going to throw it away. Todd was being nice and offered 1 french fry to sustain him till morning, when I cooled down enough to consider feeding him again....
Have I told you that he is feeling really good right now? Well I think he is feeling a little to good... I can't believe he did that to me, I was so worried, thinking that the hospital did not prepare me for this major stomach pain nor did they prepare me for April's Fool Day. Did I mention that Dr. Spraker said that Chemotherapy does not cure Smart-alicks? This is going to be a very long treatment!!! So if you would like to visit Eric, he will be outside in our new dog house!

Great start to a great weekend

Eric has been feeling really good and ready to go out of his "cave".  Last night he came with us as we previewed the movie Source Code, which he enjoyed.  Then this morning the boys... (Jordan, London, Eric and Josh)
came and watched Hop this afternoon.  They all said that is was really "Cute".

We just made it home and Eric was settling in having a afternoon snack... gotta get some weight back on! :)  and Coach DeGraffinreid came by with his son to present Eric with his certificate of Achievement (to show he lettered in Basketball)
Can I just say how wonderful it is to have Eric feeling good, laughing, EATING and willing to get out and about.  Life is good! :)