Friday, November 27, 2009

How Things Are Going Today!

Steve has finished his treatments for his lung cancer. His cancer has shrunk by almost 60%, and there is nothing but a residual effect in his lymph nodes.

His weight is stable at 192. He is eating good, and his hair is beginning to come back.

He tires out pretty quickly, and he starts to cough whenever he gets up off the couch. He pretty much coughs until he sits back down again.

He has been drawing a retirement check and a temporary disability check from where he worked since June 8th, but the temporary disability will run out on Dec 15th which will make things pretty tight until he gets his first Social Security check on Jan 26th.

I have not been handling the stress to well. My blood pressure has been high even after taking to pills to treat it, and I started having a tightness across chest so I went to see my doctor who ordered an EKG. The EKG suggested that I have a blockage somewhere so that I am not getting adequate oxygen to my heart so he wants me to go to a cardiologist for more tests Monday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How are Things Going? You Decide!

I have gotten so far behind in updating. Hubby has finished his regular radiation treatments, and he has 7 more boost treatments to go. His back has what looks like a third degree sunburn on it, and he is in constant pain. His throat has been so raw from the treatments also that he has eaten very little in the past two weeks. He has also been throwing up every morning, and his hair has been falling out. I think that his hair falling out is caused by not eating, and not by the chemotherapy. He has been on a lot of different medications including a pain patch, and he started having prostrate problems two weeks ago so he went to see Dr Peters his family doctor yesterday. Dr Peters thought that hubby's problem was caused by an infected hair and wanted to put him on three types of antibiotics, but when we went to pick them up we found that these three antibiotics were going to cost almost $85 even after the insurance paid their share, and Steve told me to just forget about them because we just did not have that much cash left. I wanted to look up the common reactions to his pain patch because his symptoms started about the time that he started taking them, and sure enough the common reaticons to this medicine was throwing up and difficulty urinating. It did not say anything about the swelling, but I am pretty sure that this was caused by the pain patch also. Hubby took off his pain patch last night, and I do not know how things will go with him today.

I am stressed out. We have never had much extra, but our bills were always paid, and I always thought that if we had something to eat and the bills were paid then we were doing okay. We sold an old 1978 Mustang that hubby had been fixing up last month to pay July's bills, and now hubby is trying to sell his work truck to pay August's bills. His work truck is an automatic 1991 Ford F150; and the only thing wrong with it that I know of is that the brakes grab a little when you first use them, the right side door handle has came loose, and it has two scratches in the exterior paint. Hubby is asking $1100 for his pickup, but everyone that has looked at it has been trying to get him to come down on the price instead of buying it. I don't know what is wrong with people, but I am not complaining because I don't want him to sell his truck anyway. Somehow we will get through this. Maybe hubby will start getting his early retirement checks on August first, and since they will owe him for July and August both then we should have enough to pay everything. Until then we just got to make do.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hubby is in Pain This Week.

Hubby has been sick and throwing up since he left the radiation lab Friday. His throat is raw and sore and he has blisters in his mouth so he has eaten very little over the weekend. All he ate Monday was half a pickle and some ice cream. I don't think that he ate anything at all Tuesday. He got out of taking his radiation treatment yesterday because he was sick, and today the radiation treatment machine was down so he got out of it again. Now he is saying that the machine was down Friday and Monday when they gave him his treatment because it about cooked him. He was happy that he did not have to take it today, and says that he is not taking it again until he talks to his radiation doctor who will not be back in until Friday. He also did not have to take his chemotherapy treatment today because his white blood cell count was down to low. Sounds like getting him to take any more treatments is going to be a battle.

After his chemotherapy visit was canceled today I took him in to where he used to work to get their help with some paper work for his retirement benefit from IAMS, and he seemed to enjoy the visit. He went off to visit with the guys he had worked with while Kim helped me with the legal papers that IAMs wanted filled out. He weighed himself on their industiral scale while he was off visiting the guys, and told me that he was down to 207 pounds now. I think that he looks better now then he did back before we found out that he has lung cancer, but his doctor is still concerned that he is losing to much muscle.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hubby is Counting the Days Down Now!

He is counting the days down now until his radiation treatments end in 11 more days. He has been having so much trouble swallowing because of the radiation that the doctor gave him Morphine drops to take so that he could eat. The nurse told him today that they will be weighing him again tomorrow, and that he does not want to be loosing any more weight. He told the nurse that he would not mind getting back to 200 pounds, but she told him that now is not the time to be losing it because what he is losing now is muscle and not fat. He is talking about putting a handful of quarters in each pocket so that she will not have anything to fuss at him over.

He has had to stop working now, and his boss has given him his last two checks. Our bills will be paid for July from these last two checks, but I am really concerned about how we will pay them in August. He is supposed to get a part time disability check for $200 Friday which will help us out, but if this is all we have to live on for the month of July then even if we spend nothing else on gas or anything it will just barely cover the house and car payments in August. His company has agreed to cover his medical insurance for him as long as possible, and we are hoping that this will be until the end of the year. They have also signed him up to begin drawing his retirement benefit, but we do not know when this will start.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday at the end of week three.

Hubby has been having a lot of trouble this week swallowing because of the radiation treatments. The doctor gave him some very big pills to take to help with the sore throat that are very hard for him to swallow, but they do not seem to be helping him much. He has not been eating much all weekend. He is also moody and irritable, and is talking about stopping his treatments. He has decided that he is going on the short term disability next week.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Week two of Steve's Treatments

I took Steve to his chemotherapy appointment Tuesday, and while he was taking it he started talking to a couple about our age. The wife had cancer in her neck to start with, and it had spread thoughout her body in the three years that she had been taking the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He also talked to his chemotherapy doctor who told him that the plan was to send Steve to 7 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy in the hopes that the cancer would shrink enough that he could be sent to surgery to have the rest of the cancer removed along with the lower part of his lung. He came home in a very glum mood.

Wednesday he decided to go ahead and file for his disability since he will not be able to work at his job after having this surgery. I wonder how he will pay for the surgery though since he will be in ICU for three days after the surgery and in the hospital for a week. He is out of his bad mood now and I hate to get him back in it so I don't want to bring the subject up.

His boss told him yesterday that they had found him 10 more vacation days. Steve argued with him that he did not have any vacation days left, but I just wanted to hug him. It has been so hard to pay our bills lately with Steve working less then 20 hours a week. We would have not been able to pay the house and car payment which was both due this week if he had not sold his fixer upper 78 Mustang Friday so it will be nice for him to get paid for a full week for a change tomorrow.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Antique Quilted Heart Nodder

Steve needs to keep a positive attitude and does not need to be worrying about bills at the moment so I don't want to remind him that our city and county land taxes have not been paid yet, and that soon the city will be sticking our name in the newspaper along with all the other folks that have not paid their land taxes yet for this year. We really need to get the taxes paid though so I think that from time to time I will just add some of my craft and doll items here. Here is my first one.

These hearts are straight from grandma's dusty old attic. She knocked off all the cobwebs, and blew off a little of the dust to bring these cute little hearts to you. She also has some of the pink shimmery silk ribbon for cancer patients who are looking for a cure just like my hubby. Also no two of these hearts are just a like.

To order one of them click on the link below.

Worrying About Paying Our Bills

I was not working now, but we had been making all our payments on time until Steve got sick. We had put our tax rebate check in the savings account, and we were trying to not spend any more of it then we had to. Then Steve started having to go to the doctor about every day for three weeks, and every time he went they wanted their co-payments. Then Breanna sprained her ankle so she had to go to the doctor which was another co-payment, then they wanted to put her in a cast which was another co-payment. Then I had a problem with my blood pressure which took three trips to my doctor and two trips to the emergency room to solve which all took co-payments. I finally picked up the nerve to look at our checking and savings account, and there was not much left. We will need about $1000 to make our payments on the first and we had less then $500 left, and with Steve working less then 20 hours per week there was just no way that we could come up with the extra. Steve has been restoring an old 1978 Mustang that he had put about $1400 in so far before he got sick. He told me to put the Mustang on Craigslist and sell it for him for $1000. It sold the next day. Our bills will be paid for this month, but I hated to see him have to sell his car to do it. I am not going to tell him that we are still going to be a little short because we still need to pay the land taxes on our house.

Hubby's First Radiation Treatment

Steve had to go in to be fitted again on Wednesday, and on Thursday they started his radiation treatments. He has appointments now every day of the week at 2:45. The girl who gives him the treatments is young, pretty and really nice so he has not been complaining to much about having to go yet, but I know that the complaints is coming. I take my doll dresses with me to hem while I wait on him, but he is in and out so fast that I don't have the time to hem but just one dress.

On Friday his radiation therapist surprised us by giving us four $10 gas cards to help us pay for the gas to get there for his treatments. She said that the cards came from the American Cancer Society.

Hubby's First Chemotherapy Visit

Things have been getting kind of hard here lately because Steve has not been working much at all. We kind of wondered if he would get paid for Memorial Day Monday since he had not been able to work Friday because they had wanted him to come in to the radiation lab to to be fitted for radiation treatments. We thought that he might stand a chance if he worked until lunchtime Tuesday then came home to get ready for his Chemotherapy appointment which we thought was at 1:00. That thought quickly died when I found his appointment letter while I was straightening the living room before I went to bed. I left Steve a note to wake me at 7:15 because he had to be there at 8:00 AM.

At the chemotherapy appointment I gave the nurse two disability papers to be filled out by the doctor then I sat down to hem doll dresses for the three hour wait. I am supposed to pick the disability papers back up when we go in for Steve's chemotherapy appointment next Tuesday. One of these papers was a paper that his work wanted him to get filled out for temporary disability, and the other was for a loan that we got to pay off some medical bills. It looks like they may pay this loan off for us from the way the disability papers is worded, but I am not sure. This is the only loan that we have with disability or life insurance on it, and sometimes I wonder how the rest of them will be paid.

Nagging Cough

Steve has had a nagging cough since last fall, and we finally were able to get together to take him to the doctor when my job at Jackson Hewitt was over at tax seasons end on April 16th. The doctor found something suspicious on his chest X-ray during the physical, and sent him to have a CT scan on his lungs. They also did not like what they found so they sent him to a cancer doctor who ordered a whole body CT scan, then sent him back for a head scan, then a lung biopsy, then finally a lymph node biopsy. After three weeks of waiting with a doctor's appointment somewhere just about every single day of these three weeks the doctors finally told us that he had small cell carcinoma of the lungs that had advanced to the lymph nodes giving him a C3 rating with a 50% chance of putting the cancer in remission with radiation and chemotherapy. This is the story of our fight for Steve's survival.