Friday, April 30, 2010

This update took TOO long

I have heard from many of you about updates on Kendall and why I stopped writing the blog. Truth is....I felt like if I wrote something, then things might be over. But isn't that what we want...for it to be over. The last 8 months of my life has been turned upside down. Not to mention what it has done for Kendall...for Tammy, Whitney, Bragan and Dylan and many..many other people in her life. It has been "a journey". Today is
May 12. I'm gonna post in this post, what I wrote when we got home......

"Today is April 29, around midnight, and I am going to write the last official entry into the journey of Kendall Thomas. I know that its been a couple of weeks since the last post, I just couldn't find the words to write to you to truly express how I feel. I'm gonna give it my best shot though:

Kendall and me went to the doctor on that next Tuesday, 13th. We meet with them and she was cleared to go home. Kendall was so excited and wanted to go right then, which we couldn't, we still had to have her PICC line removed and finish gathering a few things at the apartment. None the less we did leave that same day, she was determined to get moving. And as usual, I did it to make her happy. Its been a while since she has been that happy. And knowing this in the back of my mind, I was not ready to go. I became scared about what could and can happen. How are we gonna fix it if we're in Gardendale. The doctors are in Houston and I wanted to stay around them. Kendall would have no part in it. She was ready to go. So we did.

Kendall is home now and wont go back for three months. She is still going to be tested for blood work every month. We pray that all the test show good positive things.", that's as far as I got before I had to quit. Writers block or facing reality of what is going to happen next. I just took some time to try and become normal again...with my family. It was hard to do. Me and Tammy have not hardly been together in some time and we keep getting into each others way. She had developed her routine as had I. And it didn't seem to mesh anymore. Work was hard to go back to, not knowing where Kendall was every minute of the day and wondering if she was ok. That took some time to adjust. Dylan, my baby boy.... that has grown up too fast and I feel like I missed the last moments of him being a child. He is turning out to be quite a teenager. Very independent and doesn't need his daddy anymore..or as much. Whitney and Bragan have their own families now and are not as needing anymore either. Everybody grew up...but not apart. We do feel stronger as a family. The family has even grown. Our neighbors have become closer, more like family and we have all developed a special bond during this journey. People we have meet in Houston have become family, doctors, other patients and even strangers.

Out of all of this, Kendall is fixing to return to school. Getting ready to move next week. I keep telling myself that a move to Montgomery is a lot better than a move back to Houston. Kendall has started back training and exercising for school. I know she knows I am having a hard time with it but she always tries to make me laugh by saying that she has been with me every day for 8 months and she doesn't have to see me every day anymore. She has saved them all up.

We go back to Houston in July for our first three month check up. That should be a pleasant trip. I don't know if I will ever get Kendall on a plane again.

Me and God have spend a lot of time together lately. Mostly me giving him thanks for his miracles. I never gave up on him and never will. It's easy to see how we need God when things are not going our way. He is easy to talk to and always listens. It did make me feel better trying to find scripture that would give me hope, faith and encouragement...and love. Now that things are returning to normal around, I want to keep God around more. I know he has always been there, but like the other people, neighbors, strangers and family that we have made stronger bonds with...God is one of those..too. I know I can't always get my way, but as long as I can keep God with doesn't really matter
"which way" it is.

PS. This is not really the last entry...that was a little dramatic on my part!

May 13, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Is This Our Final Week?

Well, I thought that we might be packing up and getting ready to drive home. Kendall went to the doctor today to have her blood work checked. The doctor said they were starting to improve but that they were not where they wanted them to be at before she goes home. So instead of packing we have one more weekend to spend in Houston. Kendall did not need any blood or platelets today and her white blood cells are really starting to climb. Some of it may have been due to Kendall being sick the last 3 days. Nothing but laying in the bed with headaches and being nauseous. When I got up this morning I noticed that she had gotten up sometime during the night and fixed popcorn, so I knew she was feeling better.

Kendall goes back to the doctor Tuesday and that might be the day we can come home, as long as her blood counts are still improving. But the doctor wouldn't say for sure. Kendall was a little upset, I know she's ready to come home. She didn't have to say anything, her facial expressions said it all. When we were in the car on the way to the apartment we talked about it a little. She was looking forward to packing up today and heading home. But she said she guessed she could stand a few more days but not many more. I'll find us something to do to take her mind off of it. But it ain't going to be easy.

We have to go back to a physical therapy session this afternoon to start Kendall's road to complete physical recovery. They're gonna show her how to start off slow and work into a regular training routine for exercise. Kendall is really excited about that visit. I still can't get her to go walk with me outside. I can't really blame her though. The last time I made her walk outside with me, she threw up in the parking lot and she reminds me of that every time I ask her to walk.

Kendall's going to get a nap to rest up for the appointment this afternoon. Maybe by Tuesday I will telling you that we are driving home.

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Verdict Is In

I'm sitting at work today doing some paperwork. My cell phone rings and it is MD Anderson hospital. A million things begin to go through my mind as I answer the phone. It's one of Kendall's PA's(physician assistants)calling to tell me some news about Kendall. She says that Kendall no longer needs to have anymore lumbar punctures or chemotherapy. Kendall is 100% tumor free and she has 0% leukemic cells. Speechless! All of Kendall's test results from last week were very good. At this point, I don't seem to hear anything else. The last 7 1/2 months flash before my eyes. Is it really over. Can Kendall come home to stay this time? I didn't know what to say. I hang up the phone and almost instantly get a phone call from Kendall. I will never forget the excitement in her voice as she begins to tell me what the doctor told her today. I tried so hard to reach through the phone and hug her. This is almost over and we can make that final journey back home. Then I talked to Tammy and the excitement continued. Tammy was crying so much I could barely hold mine back.

After several hours of the news sinking was such a relief to finally just say out loud that Kendall's cancer is gone. Can she now resume her life before it was so abruptly changed?

Dylan and myself are going out to Houston this weekend for one last visit. Then Dylan and Tammy will come home while I finish out Kendall's journey in Houston for the next couple of weeks. It will be so great to load up the apartment and head for home.

I can't wait!!!!!!

John 16:32
But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Official Last Round of Chemo

Once again, I take Kendall and Tammy to the airport for their final journey back to Houston for Kendall's last round of chemotherapy. I dropped them off this even and gave each of them a long hug and kiss and told them that I loved them. Letting go still remains hard for me to do as I know the day nears when Kendall is off to college again. That is already storing a supply of tears to fall. Kendall has been so anxious this last two weeks and is also so confident about getting started. They made it back about 7pm and safely entered the cozy surroundings of the "apartment". I am so looking forward to packing it up and moving back home.

Kendall will be at the doctor early this morning to get things started. I pulled up her schedule and the next 30 days is filling up quick with things to do. I will make sure over the next couple of days to post the last reports of her doctors visits and procedures as they happen. God has performed such a miracle already and I want to make sure that to God be the glory. He has been with my family extremely close over the last 7 months and we all have been truly blessed and touched by his power.

I always meet someone around Gardendale that asks about Kendall or the family and it is another blessing that we have received from all of you and your prayers and thoughts. I mean it when I say that you have meant a great deal to Kendall and my family as well and I hope to be able to personally thank and hug each of you and touch you as you have touched my heart.

Well as you can see by the time stamped post, its past 3:30am and I can't sleep. Anxious, nervous and praying that this goes well one more time. Good night.

Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Catching Up To Do

In just over a short week, so much has happened in the way of Kendall's schedule, I wasn't sure what I needed to write because things changed so fast.

On that Friday, February 26, Kendall did have to have platelets again that morning at the hospital. But we did manage to make the late afternoon flight to come home. Wasn't sure we were even going to get to come home. Kendall has had several more infections come up and that has caused her blood counts to really be out of line. But we did come home. Kendall was still really tired and she didn't do much while we she was home. The only thing she really wanted to go and do was to see her team play softball on that Friday. They were playing at 1:00pm, nut we were late coming in. So I wanted to tell Coach we're sorry we couldn't make it but maybe we can catch one soon.

Kendall and Tammy flew out on Tuesday afternoon headed back to Houston. Kendall has to have another lumbar puncture with chemo in her spine and also have a bone marrow aspiration. I especially couldn't wait to get the results of the bone marrow aspiration. This test was going to assure us that Kendall was still in remission. Her last test showed that she had around 3% blasts cells (leukemic cells) in her body. They want that number to of course be at zero(0). But anything under 5% and she is still in remission. Even a lower number than the previous will shoe=w that her treatment is still working. That test was giving on the March 3rd and she had to meet with her doctor on March 4th to get the news.

On Thursday, March 4th, we received the results for the aspiration and it showed around 1% blasts cells. Which was GREAT news! It could still go a little lower and maybe when the next treatment is over it will be lower. But around 1% is just what we all needed to hear. Kendall could have left the doctor's office that day and everything would have been a great day. But then she received some other news about her blood counts, The doctor said her blood counts were too low to start the next round of chemo. She said the blood was working on its on now but that they were just not recovering enough to go through the next round. Tammy said Kendall's face turned red as they told her it would need to be post poned for a week. Then I think Kendall had steam coming from her head as the doctor told her that she needs a two week break instead and told her to go back home to rest. I knew Kendall was furious as she was so ready to start the next round to get through. Tammy called me to tell me all of this news and and I felt like I was back on the roller coaster, up and down up and down.

I booked Kendall and Tammy a flight home for Friday, March 5th and anxiously awaited their return. I spoke to Kendall later on that day and she was a little better. She was still upset and disappointed that she couldn't start chemo but was instead dealing more with being sick from the lumbar puncture. So we had a reunion on Friday only though Kendall was gone for just a few days but we still celebrated the results from the blast cells. Kendall is still in remission.

Over the next few days, we will look over her schedule on exactly what day Kendall and Tammy will be going back out. But for now I will enjoy my family all together for a short week or so. And Tammy wasn't even mad that I had not done anything on my "to do list" that she gave me because they weren't gone long enough for anything other than me to read it. I of course was working on a game plan to tackle the lists. But now that list is gone as Tammy has already revised it for a newer one.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sleep, Rest...we need it

I thought I would be writing this post from Gardendale tonight but Kendall and me are still in Houston. Kendall and myself spent 3 wonderful nights in the hospital with Kendall's fever. Running test and drawing blood. Well her fever broke but she still had a slight infection but we were able to go back to the apartment. Although she is having to take IV antibiotics for the next 13 days. Every 6 hours. Try sleeping with that routine. The medicine is refrigerated and had to be room temperature prior to giving it, then after running for an hour it has to be unhooked and the lines flushed so they won't clog. Midnight and 6am are the toughest but so far it has been ok. An hour of sleep here and an hour of sleep there. Not to mention that Kendall has all of her other medication that she is taking twice a day.

Back to being home. The lab showed that her platelets are not recovering very fast and she is having to have them transfused every other day. Some of it was due to the fever and infection. It leaves her really tired and doesn't have a lot of energy to do anything. She has also been bleeding more than normal from her mouth as the result of low platelets. They have been low before but not for this long. The doctor said Kendall needed to stay around close because of the way her platelets keep dropping so fast. She goes back Friday for another check and maybe by then we will be able to go home. They want to start the last round of treatment next week. So much has to happen before she can start again. For now, I make sure she is resting and eating some hoping that her body pulls itself together for this last cycle.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fevers Means Larger Hospital Rooms

Back in the hospital for those long nights,no sleeping and general discomfort. Kendall ran a fever that could not be avoided so we made the trip to the Emergency Room. 3pm till 2am is not as bad as it seems. Really, we were able to sit in the er with lots of people that even somelooked to be in more pain that Kendall. I tried to be patient>The nurse told me that she was putting us in a wing that nobody is using. I said you will forget about us and we'll be here forever. She assured me that, that would not happen. Well it did, we didn't see a nurse for hours. Finally got in the roomabout 2am and Kendall slept a little but I could not. The nerses where in her room every 39 minutes now. So I stayed up and are now feeling the affects of no sleep.

Kendall hasreceived two units of blood and 6 units of platelets and on all the antiobiodics anyone could imagine. She's doing fine,just notreal social causeshe is tired so much. Won'tkeep you long just wanted to give the quick update.