Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A long needed update...

Dear Friends and Family,

My apologies for not updating the blog sooner. Life has been very busy around here, and there are lots of updates. I will try to start from the beginning. 

As you know, Courtney had a pump placed in his abdomen in January. It was an overall successful surgery, although they were unable to remove the tumors they encountered during insertion of the pump. The idea of the pump was to deliver direct chemo to his liver, without him having to deal with the side effects of systemic chemo. The port was filled with chemo through a needle inserted into his abdomen to reach the device every 2 weeks. He was doing well and having minimal side effects. 

In the meantime, renovations on the cabin at Johnson Lake were completed, and I must say it was stunning! Chris and Karen, the contractors worked long and hard in the cabin during the winter season to finish. The renovation enlarged the kitchen, added a dishwasher, washer/dryer, and made the bathroom more functional. Walls were taken down, and the cabin is so beautiful! As soon as the snow melted, Courtney and Sue said "goodbye" to the increasing Texas temperatures for the cool summers at Johnson Lake, Nebraska. Tyler and I have missed them very much, and have traveled three times to see them this summer. Days at the lake are amazing, filled with family and friendship, things seems to move at a slower pace. 

Courtney had been seeing an oncologist in Nebraska with consultation from his physicians in Texas. During one of the routine "fills" of his pump, it was noted that none of his chemo had delivered. They attempted to flush with a heparin solution without success, the pump was clogged. We knew that clogging of the line was a possible complication, but it was still a disappointment. After the pump clogged, this left him on no chemo. Since the pump is in his abdomen there was no way to "unclog" it without additional surgical intervention, which was not an option. His latest scan revealed that his tumors had metastasized to his pancreas and also there was overall tumor growth. 

Thus, with much thought, reflection, and consultation with the doctors, the decision has been made... no more chemo and no more scans for now. Courtney is feeling good, and enjoying his time at Johnson Lake. His medi-port (the implanted port that they use for blood draws and medication) is being flushed every 6 weeks in case he were to ever need it again. 

This past weekend we traveled to spend Fourth of July with the family at Johnson Lake. There was a huge party for Diana and Bob's Birthday. Thought I would share some photos from the weekend. 

More updates to come...


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Digging out of the snow

Well we've been digging out of the snow and ice here in Texas, and I must say that most of us have had cabin fever being cooped up these past few days by the weather. We are finally making it out of freezing today for the first time since Tuesday morning when I was awakened at 4:30 am with the sound of ice hitting the roof. Conditions only deteriorated from there, and of course the panic button was pushed in our Dallas area and all operations were halted...except at the Children's hospital where I work. Tyler (with his foot in a cast) graciously drove me everyday in the snow and ice to work to make sure that I safely arrived.

Not to be outdone Courtney drove the Rover up to the dealer to get some maintenance done from Denton to Dallas, only to be stuck behind some semis that couldn't make it up the hill on the interstate outside of Denton. Thank goodness for a full tank of gas! He made it home safely.

Courtney is doing well and had his pump filled with chemo last week. He is feeling good, and has started doing some painting with his extra time. Diana has given him a few pointers and his fist painting I have to say is fabulous! Tyler gave him the idea to paint some flies and hang them in the cabin at Johnson Lake. I think its going to be awesome.

Renovations continue on the cabin at Johnson Lake and I know Courtney and Sue are anxious to get up there, even though lately it has felt like we live in Nebraska and not Texas with all the ice and snow! (By the way, I haven't worn my wedding ring at all during this snow event in Texas, just in case you know?)

Here are some pictures of one of our dogs, Nixon enjoying the snow in our backyard. I think we had close to 5 inches, and for us, that is a lot!

More updates to come, keep checking in!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Staples are out!

Well, Courtney got his staples out on Monday, thank goodness. Lets just say all parties involved survived unscathed. I think it hurt a little less than he remembered from the first time he had staples out. He also got a good report from the doctor. He has been having some back pain, which has been keeping him up a night or two, but overall we are very happy with his progress. Now, we will wait for the healing process to continue, and then fill the pump with chemo.

I have recently been reflecting on how fortunate Tyler and I are. I must say that Tyler and I are so blessed to have such wonderful co-workers and employers that allowed us to work our schedule so that we could be with Courtney while he was hospitalized. We are also fortunate to have such a wonderful extended family and friends that offer support, prayers, and comfort, especially in the most difficult past few weeks. We will never be able to write enough thank you notes to fully express our gratitude.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Doing well at home!

Courtney continues to recuperate at home, and is doing well. He is taking no pain medication and Sue is doing her best to get him to "rest." Tyler and I had a good visit with them today. He does tire very easily, but is still getting around very well. He gets his 33 staples out on Monday, which he is dreading! He will also have his follow up visit to make sure he continues to do well. Hopefully, it will all be no big deal.

His plan, like most others tomorrow, is to sit and watch football. I will let you know if the doctor survives after taking out his 33 staples on Monday.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Courtney's test went well today, so he was able to come home! I don't know who was more excited, he or Max! Now for a good nights rest in his own bed and some non-hospital food. There will be periodic updates on how he is doing, so continue to check back! Thanks for all your prayers, comments, and kind words as Courtney traveled through another phase in his treatment.


Waiting for the test

Courtney is doing well, and even asked Sue to bring him a Vanilla Latte from Starbucks this morning. He is currently waiting on the testing to be done on his pump so that hopefully he can head home! He still has some "tuning up" to do, but much better to rest and heal in your own bed! More later...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Home tomorrow?

Dr. Yopp came by this afternoon and is encouraged at how well Courtney is doing. He is up and moving around in the hallways, which means he is meeting his nurse Amber's plan for the day...see the photo below...

They did take off Courtney's dressing today to reveal his incision.  He says he now has more staples than Office Depot! Those will come out in 2 weeks at a follow up visit.

Hopefully after Courtney gets his nuclear medicine scan of his pump tomorrow he will get to go home. Dr. Yopp really thinks its likely, and for Courtney its certain. HE IS GOING HOME. I know it will be difficult to keep him in this hospital bed another night. Max is certainly ready for Courtney to come home. He has been staying with Tyler and I, and I sent this picture to Courtney this morning....

Max sent this message to Courtney... "I am so ready for you to come home Courtney, please hurry. These people you stuck me with sleep too late. I am ready to start getting up at 5 am and have coffee again."

Don and Dana Moody are here for a visit now, and we are trying to keep him from laughing too hard...more later.