Wednesday, August 5, 2009

If I ever write on here again that we are going to have a "light" day -- be sure and chuckle. Tanner and I've just come to the realization that most of the hours of our days are going to be at the hospital. We have spent all day the last couple of days at the hospital; most of that time spent just waiting on Doctor's orders.

Monday they did a dose of Velcade and waited 48 hours and today performed another bone marrow gene array. The first bone marow aspiration they performed on him last week wasn't too bad for him to endure but today was quite painful. I was sitting at the head of his bed with my face resting against his head and he would squeeze my leg and his tears would fall to the floor. The RN who perfomed the aspiration said that he thought it was so much more painful because the draws were taken on the right side of his back where his pelvis has a lot of myeloma lesions.

This afternoon they gave Tanner a dose of melphalan via IV and Friday they will do another bone marrow gene array and compare it with the other ones. The bone marrow RN told us that they would be sure to take it from the left side and see if it's less painful than today's procedure was. I went over to Dr. Barlogie's office and talked to our nurse, Marti, and she called in some pain pills and other medications that he is to take Friday morning before we go for the bone marrow. I don't want him to go through as much pain Friday as he did today if he doesn't have too.
I went to Target after we finally left the hospital to get some essentials that we will need for our stay here in Arkansas, and one of the nurses called me to tell me that Dr. Barlogie and the other doctors were looking over Tanner's MRI and Pet Scan at their weekly meeting and it was decided that since the right femur (Tanner's good leg that is not in the cast) has such a narrow margin of good bone left, they have decided to refer him to a pediatric orthapedic surgeon. She went on to explain that while undergoing chemotherapy, the bone will be even more at risk for breakage than it is now.

So, tomorrow in addition to Tanner's daily blood work, we will go for more x-rays and then on Friday, they will schedule Tanner for another bone marrow aspiration, lab work, consultation with Dr. Nicholas (orthopedist), and will put in his "line" for future chemotherapy treatments and blood draws. Needless to say, it looks like the rest of the week is going to be very busy.
Yesterday we rented a small one bedroom apartment close to the hospital. Fortunately, they don't require leases and you just rent from month to month -- and if the doctor releases Tanner to go home mid-month, they will pro-rate the rent and refund us the difference. They also told us if we get released to go home for a few weeks or a month, we can let them know and they can sub-let the apartment and we won't have to give up our claim on it.

I have to admit, it feels really good to have somewhere we can call our own (even temporarily) to go after the end of an exhausting day. This gives us a place where Tanner can relax and unwind and though small, has the comforts of a home.

I spoke to my boss, Bruce, this afternoon and he told me that many of our PIE agents have asked what they could do to help us while we are here in Little Rock, so he has gone to Bank of America and opened a fund where deposits can be made for Tanner's treatment and living expenses.
I can't tell you how much the love and support we have received from our friends and family (including my PIE family) has meant to Tanner and myself. There are just no words that can truly express how touched we have been. I don't know how we could survive this journey without all the help, love and support of everyone who has been there for us.

I find myself somtimes wondering, how this could happen to Tanner. I've always been so grateful that my sons were so healthy and then something like this comes out of the blue. We will be driving down the road and I will look over at Tanner and see the weight he has lost and think about how the chemotherapy is going to affect him; and I'm just brought to tears all over again.
I know that Dr. Barlogie and his team will be able to cure this cancer, but it's just hard as a parent to watch your child go through something like this. To watch him in pain and tears and know that there's nothing I can do but be there for him, try to take care of him, and give him all of my mother's love; it's just almost more than I can bear. I know that he's a six foot tall seventeen year old with a mohawk, but in my heart, he will always be my sweet baby Tanner.

Like I've said time and time again, as a mother I just don't have the words in me to express the fear and stress of watching what Tanner is going through. The emails, calls, and comments that we receive daily from people who truly love us is sometimes the only bright spot we have in an exhausting round of tests and treatments.

Thank you all. We love you each and every one.


  1. Today's "Our Daily Bread" - "As you travel life's weary road, let Jesus lift your heavy load."
    Tanner, if it were possible I would take your place right this minute. I know you are tough but it is ok to cry. It is ok to get angry. Keep your faith and my wish for you is that these drugs and tests will show a marked improvement very soon and then the tests won't be necessary, at least for a while. When this is all over you can go back and read your journal. Maybe one day you will write a book about this. You can help others who have to travel this road that we didn't even know about until about 2 weeks ago!! I will see you guys on the 14th. We love you very much. God's blessings, Granny and Jerry

  2. I have to agree with Jane that it's okay to cry, to be angry, to be sad, etc. I wanted to be the strong one when I was going through all my stuff. It's the normal response, you want to show people you can handle everything, but you have so many people who love you that you don't have to handle this by yourself. After it all, I learned it was okay to be weak, to ask for help (I still struggle with that). My advice is to share the burden- trust me it will make you happier in the long run. I don't know how many times a day I check this, probably everytime I'm at a computer. I wish I was closer so I could be there for you. If there is anything you need, let me know.

  3. I was reading that melphalan as very minimal side effects if any. Hopefully this will be the worst of it. Apartment looks nice in the photos. I know you were hoping to get to stay with Aunt Tencey. It's still nice knowing you have her nearby. You'll be closer to the hospital and still close enough to her if you need her for anything. I just hope if I every have to deal with anything like this I can be as strong as you two. I can't even comprehend what ya'll are going through. Stay strong. Love, Cathy

  4. Angie and tanner,
    I'm so glad you got the little apartment. It'll be nice to have some where to go to relax after all you two have to go through each day. I really feal for you both. I know what it's like to have to go through Chemo and the endles blood test. Been there, done that.It sound like a lot worse than what I went through though.
    I also know what a help bosses are. I would have never made it without the help I recieved through the company. I thank God for what Bruce and the rest are doing for you and Tanner. Hang in there and keep the Faith.
    I love you both,

  5. Hi Guys:
    I like the pictures of the apartment and Tanner, you actually have a recliner! Nice. It sure will be nice being close to the hospital, but too bad it didn't come furnished with a maid and cook too.

    Tanner, my heart just aches that you had to go thru that pain with the aspiration today. Ask you mom to teach you the deep breathing exercises she learned in child birth classes. Ha. I know I have used that technique several times. She's probably already got you doing it.

    We love you and sure do miss you all.