Wednesday, September 5, 2018

First Treatment Behind Us!

   On August 27th Brian had the first treatment of Keytruda. This is his second round of immunotherapy. The first was Ipilimamab and Nivolumab. The first few days were a bit rough. Stomach issues, extreme tiredness, weakness, etc. This regimen is every 3 weeks so maybe he'll be able to recover in between times. CT scans every 3 months. Hopefully we will be able to travel! We have plans to meet Wayne and Pam in Florida in October. Then my Dad and Carol will be there for our second week!
   We were able to visit Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC before treatments started. We went mining for rubies and sapphires! 
Brian's New Shirt!


Brian at the sluice

Beautiful travels!
Check them out on Facebook

Friday, August 17, 2018

My Toes Hurt!

So I can't let Brian have all the fun at the Dr.  I had hurt my left foot several years ago and damaged the nail bed but just ignored it. Then I hurt my right foot while redoing the deck. Both my big toes kept getting ingrown because of the damage. I was tired of it so went to a foot dr. He decided to remove both my toenails! He says it will give the nail beds time to heal and then hopefully grow back correctly. Meanwhile, this is what they looked like a few days post dr. YUCK!


Monday, August 13, 2018


     We have been so numb about the news of cancer recurrence that we went to Bledsoe Creek State Park as a distraction. It was very hot so we sat at a picnic table and some deer came over! Brian offered her some crackers and she came closer and closer. Then her spring baby came closer with her newborn baby! Never saw that before! Check out these pictures!

Look how close she got!
Even the squirrel had to get involved!

Can you see both babies?
Full of crackers now... family headed home.

Not The News We Wanted To Hear

     We have had a very relaxing summer. We have traveled to Arkansas and to Gatlinburg. We went crystal mining while in Arkansas and ruby and sapphire mining while in Gatlinburg. We actually traveled from Gatlinburg to Franklin, NC to do the mining. Then we came home to see the oncologist and have a CT scan.
     On Thursday August 9, 2018, we went to Vanderbilt's Ingram Cancer Center again. Brian had a CT scan at the hospital and then we went to see a new oncologist. Dr. Johnson is the head of the melanoma clinic at Vanderbilt. The news he shared was not horrible but great either. Another spot in his right lung...very small...but there. Advised us to come back in 3 months for another CT scan. We were OK with that even though we were hoping for no cancer at all. Then we got a message from Dr. Johnson on Friday. He had called Brian's cell phone several times and couldn't reach him. Of course, we called him right back. The news he shared was devastating to us. Brian has several spots of cancer in various places in his body. Dr. Johnson wants to start treatment again. He will agree to waiting 8 weeks but not more than that to repeat the CT scan and start treatment. We were supposed to call him back today (Monday the 13th) and conference about options. Brian couldn't make it happen...maybe tomorrow. I'm not sure what our options are right now. We are numb. Here is the CT report:
     Here are some pictures from our travels while we were blissfully unaware of any bad stuff.

Great guitar playing!

Brian and Miss Arkansas!

A ruby I found!

Brian finally met Santa Claus!

This big bear came to our hotel every night!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Great News!

Yesterday, May 9, 2018, we went for Brian’s surgical follow-up. We saw Dr. Lambright the thoracic surgeon. He was happy to tell us that he got all the cancer with clear margins! That means Brian does not have active melanoma in his lungs! We are not aware of any other areas of melanoma at this time!  Also, Brian’s lung function has recovered more than the Dr. expected! That will continue to improve over the next few months. It is like a reprieve for him right now. The hope is that the Nivolumab has changed his immune system enough that new melanoma won’t grow. We have to continue with periodic CT scans but Brian wants to wait until at least August for that. He has also requested a new oncologist and is set to meet Dr. Johnson in August. Right now the plan is to enjoy our freedom from the hospital for the summer! Please continue sending prayers his way.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday Update

     I gave Vanderbilt yesterday to update me about the HVAC incident. We never heard a thing. Today I called Aaron Hirsch to get the last names of Brian's nurses and to get an update from him on what he might have heard. He gave me the names with no problem. Then he called Karen Broch with infectious disease for an update. He called me back with the info that there would be no investigation as they decided it was just regular dust. I told him that it would be regular dust at my house but not at the hospital! I then called Danett Guy:left a message, Susan Johnson:she has laryngytis. She sais the same investigation asit wasjust regular dust. She gave me  the name Vickie Brinsko the Director of Infection Control...had to leave message. I called Betsy Kay-Hall with Dr. Lambright to give him an update. She said she'd let him know. Haven't heard from him. I called patient relations and had to leave a message. Then I called Jamie Wyatt to give him an update. He called me back and I let him know how dissatisfied I was with the nonsense. He agreed. Said to give Patient relations time to call me back.
     Mike Garrott Director of Patient Relations called me back around 4:30! He tols me what he had heard about the incident and then asked me my side. I tried to be very deliberate in my retellin and gave him names of people involved. He asked if I would give him til tomorrow to contact these people and get back to me. I agreed and thanked him. I also let him know that I was very unhappy with the situation in it's entirety and the fact that we were left in that room for almost 12 hours repeatedly asking to be moved somewhere else. We'll see. Then I called Jamie Wyatt back so he was up to date on everything. Tomorrow will be another day.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Another update

     Apparently most of the hospital has heard about what happened. It involved 10-12 rooms. Some of those people are still in those rooms! Dr. Lambright is especially concerned as his patients are sent to that exact area!
     Brian has developed a bad headache and severe sore throat. We are still in the hospital on Sunday...probably go home on Monday. I want to know what they are going to do about this whole thing. I requested that Dr. Lambright’s office let us know what they hear. I also want copies of any reports that are generated from this issue. We’ll see if that happens. Brian’s nurses where Layaneh, who first saw the stuff on him, and Athena who came on duty that morning.
     I will update as I get more info.