#OneDegree

The idea is that we are all one degree away from cancer.  True, right?  We all know somebody, love somebody or are somebody who is being or has been touched by cancer.  Therefore, it would only make sense that cancer would and should be in the forefront of American minds, all American minds – including Congress (I know – oxymoronic), but it’s not.  To put it into perspective, funding is down 26% since 2003 for government funded cancer research. Uh, no sir.  Not ok.  My mind automatically wonders to ‘If that funding had remained consistent or increased, would we even be in the situation we are in?’  I’ll never know, but I do know this.  I know that you and I can do something moving forward and this is actually super easy.  Simply watch the video (to make it easier on you, ladies, Pierce Brosnan is featured – devastatingly handsome and a doer, very cool) and then follow the directions and then, of course, like it, share it, tweet it, pin it, post it, tag it.  It’s that simple.  Thanks in advance!

http://action.acscan.org/site/PageNavigator/OneDegree_Microsite_Petition_Page.html?utm_source=acscanfacebook&utm_medium=0331&utm_campaign=sharevideo&s_src=acscanfacebook&s_subsrc=sharevideo

Well…Dammit

If I haven’t learned anything through this entire ordeal I have learned to expect the imageunexpected and I thought we had both prepared ourselves for every variable. Turns out I still, apparently, know nothing.  Trent has to begin another round of chemotherapy.  Different this time.  Adriamyacin (yes, vet people, that one) and Doxorubicin.  He’ll do 3 days of chemo, one day off, then receive his neulasta shot, likely beginning Monday.  The reason for this change of plan?  The bigger tumors showed growth and his MDA doctor wants to change up the chemo and give it another go.  She’s not comfortable beginning a daily chemo until his tumors are stable.  Yeah, that just happened.

I don’t think we know what to think about this yet, other than it sucks. We haven’t really talked about it yet, but we will.  What we do know is this means more change for everybody, and we don’t like that.  The list goes on and I’m not ready to rant yet, but for now this is what I’ve got.  As always, thank you.

Oh yeah. I realized I haven’t posted any pictures so here’s my sad attempt at a tour.

image
Thanks PawPaw Laywon for always making sure we arrive in style.

 

This is actually an aquarium that is not on yet because we were so early the fish were still asleep.

 

"Tree of Life"
Tree of Life in the main lobby area of The Mays Clinic. This thing is huge.

 

image
Me, waiting…as usual when we are here.

 

image
I believe this was pre-Dr. entrance, but post-Nurse Practitioner acting weird because she knew we had been waiting forever for not so good news.

 

Posted by Adrienne Gibson
Hosted by WordPress

Short but Sweet

As a result of my request via YouCaring we were able to pay 1 month of rent in advance and the late fees and current month and all bills! Praise God and thank you.  I don’t know if I have had to do much more difficult than reveal our money issues.  I great at giving, not so much with the asking or receiving.  I will say though, the amount of stress that has been relieved is beyond worth it alone. I had no idea until it was lessened.  Thank you.

In the time between posts my uncle also passed away.  He was a twin. His twin passed away three weeks ago. My mother is number 8 of 9 and these two are the first of her siblings to go on.  Please think about her as well. She’s hard as nails but I know she is having a difficult time with their passing, as you can imagine.

Chemo is the worst! Trent woke up two nights ago with the worst bone pain thus far. Like, almost made a trip to the ER painful, but that’s to hear me tell it. Via Trent, there’s no way we were going in. Tough? Yes. Stubborn? Oh yeah. Prideful? Absolutely. But guess what? Mama don’t care! I’ll make that phone call in a second regardless of what you know who has to say about it, but only If I need to. It is his body after all. Anyway, he pushed through and is up and down now. He does WAY too much when he’s feeling well and usually ends up wiped out at the end of the day and for the next morning as well, but we manage. With patience. And love.

On another note, Trent and I had a very difficult situation with his cancer treatment center.  We had actually had a very difficult time with all things cancer care from day one.  The most recent instance in particular was really jarring and I decided that we’d had enough, but instead of just cursing out the voice on the other line on their office I asked for a call back from the office manager, when she had a moment.  Oh boy.  There was a lot of attempted dissuasion, I even got an apology call back from the oncologist himself (UNHEARD OF) but I stuck to my guns and held out for a discussion with the lady in charge.  Long story short, a phone discussion turned into a request from the clinic medical manager for me to come and speak to their staff about our experience as patient\caregiver.  So, I did that.  We even held a more intimate talk session after the big talk where I was able to give clinic staffers advice on how to better accommodate patients.  Real talk. Totally a great experience.  The ambulatory director was there as well and wants to speak to me more as well. We have a pending engagement to speak to the CEO of Seton hospitals as well. I cannot express how good it feels given our situation to feel like I am affecting change.  Unbelievable. This is what I want to do, forever maybe.  We have so much support and WE nearly fell through the cracks.  Unacceptable.  There are so many people who are so sick who have no one to advocate for them.  It makes me incredibly sad.  Sad enough to do something about it.  I can’t wait to see where this goes.  I’m still in a very “One day at a time” mindset, and other than the kiddos we haven’t done much superfuture planning.  But I think I can look a little bit forward to this.

As always, thank you.

image

image

image

image

Posted by Adrienne Gibson
Hosted by WordPress

Chemo No Mo!

Trent is finished with chemo!  No more 6 day stays in the hospital.  No more nights sleeping alone for either of us, although I never really sleep alone because Gavin. But for Trent, no more. No more well-meaning strangers barging in any and all hours of the day with no more than a haphazard knock-warning. No more repeating to every doctor who’s on-call his story over and over and over again when it’s right there in the chart. No more take out (he’ll miss this one).  No more tiny hospital tv so. Far. Away. No more carafate!  No more I.V. pump BEEPING! Holding his arm above his head just so the chemo will run. No more sharing a bed with God knows who.  No more feeling like he’s missing everything. We might see a whole lot more of Gavin and a whole lot less of Kevin, who is Gavin’s alter
ego and mysteriously appears when his father is not with him. The girls don’t have to pretend anymore. I don’t have to feel torn in 3 different directions, split between home, hospital and work, constantly feeling like I’m not giving enough to someone or something. 

What we do face is Trent possibly being the sickest he’s been thus far.  So far, that’s the track we’re on, but damn, he’s tough and he fights it so hard.  No hair.  Anywhere. His eyebrows are pretty stubborn, but is is likely a losing battle.  Lots of bathroom humor and some business that’s not so funny. Scans.  CT, PET, heart ect.  Hoping, but never verbalizing, that said scans will benevolently give us more time. The unknown. We just don’t know. How long, what to expect, how will it happen, how to act, how to tell anyone.  How to tell the kids.

Things that we can control. How we treat each other. How we spend our time. How many trips we’ll take.  How many hikes, fishing and camping trips we can get in. How much time we can spend with friends that we love like family.  How much good food we can make and EAT.  How much fun we’ll have at Sabrinna’s graduation party, the boys birthdays’, IN SUMMERRRR🎶🎶⛄How much we laugh.  How much we love.

Cancer is so strange. As much as it’s horrible, and it is, it’s also this black nasty little amazing gift.  It has given us the ability to discern the necessary from the insanely stupid and excessive.  These are the Things that matter (according to Gibson Party of 6, plus 1):
Your health
Your relationship with our Creator
Finding joy in the little things
Tiny toddler laughs and tears
Triumphs and failures of teenagers
Transformer moves
Dog vaccines on the back porch
The kitchen
Night-night songs
Tears with a good friend
A good nurse
Wine
Stinky cute baby feet
Cuddling
A 13 year old head on your shoulder
Support from friends
Support from strangers
A good night’s sleep
Education
Making love of any kind
Holding hands
Hard work
Family of any relation, not just blood
Water
Saying thank you
Memories – making and keeping
Love of any kind

As always, thank you.  The above list is not exhaustive. We’re adding to it everyday.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image
image

Posted by Adrienne Gibson
Hosted by WordPress