Journal

Journal entry by Lea-Ann McGregor

I was just perusing the upcoming appts to make sure I had everything in my calendar and woah .... the PET scan is scheduled for August 31. The tumor board will meet September 3 and the oncology appt is September 4. 

When we spoke with the NP on Thursday during a video call {while enroute to Michigan, I might add}, she did say they would move quickly after chemo #12 on August 24. I'm so glad. Now to get him  {and me} through the next 3 weeks!  

I have a feeling I'll be listening to the relaxing sounds of Lake Huron many times over the next few weeks. Enjoy! 

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Journal entry by Lea-Ann McGregor

Some lake therapy and metal detecting, along with a last minute family gathering was sooooo needed. And thankful it was the end of Tom's 2 weeks so he could attend and enjoy. I so enjoy Lake Huron. 

I realized Thursday that in as soon as 4 weeks, we could know whether the whipple and chemo had stopped the cancer. Wow! Count down time for sure. 

Preparation for Monday's #11, groceries and meal prep. Prayer for platelet and all the tests. Praises for feeling good, travel capabilities and staying safe from covid, for friends and family who uphold and encourage us. Love to all.

Journal entry by Lea-Ann McGregor

The good news:
Tom's glucose was only 103. I'm so thankful he doesn't have to deal with diabetes alongside chemo. 

Parkview and anthem came to an agreement.

Long term disability is in process and well know August 27. Doctor has given him of work until October. 

The waiting: fatigue,a loss of appetite, and extreme gas seem to be the side affects right now. I'm really thankful that's all it is. 

Being thankful for what we have, the Lord watching over us, our health such as it is, home, family, friends, a new sunrise. We have a friend who says, I'm alive and anything else is a bonus. What memory will today bring? 

Journal entry by Lea-Ann McGregor

Platelets are still low, but consistent, so they continued with the infusion. Please pray for limited to no side affects this week. So ready to be done! 

Also, prayer needed for transition from short term to long term disability. Also, I haven't heard anymore about the contract negotiations between our insurance and Parkview which is supposed to terminate by end of July. 

We're spending a lot of time talking about being thankful for the moment, each moment, instead of focusing on what could happen in the future. Thankful we have a Lord who cares about all those details. 

Here's Mr. Handsome during treatment. He's gained a couple pounds. 

Journal entry by Lea-Ann McGregor

It has been an active couple of weeks. Tom's side affects were pretty much controlled by any medicines, so my notes show basically he was limited to fatigue on the Friday and Saturday following chemo. The doctors say to push through that fatigue and get out and move. He has been busy doing lots of things around the house, reorganizing, purging, cleaning, painting, fixing, working in the lake. If he stops moving, I start to question if he's feeling okay. All that movement and exercise, add to the weight issues. He seems like he loses 5 pounds the week of chemo, and then gains it back the week after. They want him to gain more. 

We've started talking about life beyond the next 8 weeks. As far as we know, a Pet scan to confirm the chemo did its job, a discussion about whether radiation is necessary, and how he intends to return to UPS and get in some more work time.

Since he started driving the semi, I went from seeing him for 2 hours in the morning, to having him home 24/7. And now I'll have to go back to that 2 hours a day. I feel like I'm on a ferris wheel that never stops. My new work was gearing up, then got put on pause, now is part time, and then I'm kind of afraid to gear up again just before retirement hits, but I want to and need to get back to serving my knitting customers and adding some bucks to the budget. We're thankful for all the donations that have helped us get through this time so far. We are so blessed. The financial journey from his broken ankle in 2009 to today has been educational. Anyone who is going through a medical crisis, woohee, if we didn't have our insurance and donations from friends and family, I can't imagine where we'd be. It has given us a mission to help others for the future. 

So, our prayer for this week coming up: increased red blood cells and platelets, decrease glucose, limited fatigue and other side affects. 

Again, thank you all for following along on this journey, being a part of our prayer team, and letting me share our story. Love to all -- Lea-Ann

P.S. He brought me flowers. Aren't those glads beautiful!

Journal entry by Lea-Ann McGregor

We did go to see Jim and see if there were nutritional changes Tom could be making. The one thing is his nexium is too high of a dose. That's what is depleting the iron. Given that he has no reflux symptoms, halving the dose and see what happens, adding in some absorbable zinc and low dose iron for the blood, b6 for neuropathy, and live foods. And, he has to avoid chocolate, which is basically in all his protein drinks, protein balls, and oatmeal.

Chemo is rescheduled for Monday, 6/22. 

Glad to have something to try. Thankful for resources. Good health to all. 

Journal entry by Lea-Ann McGregor

On Christmas Eve, Tom went back for more blood tests. The NP called Christmas Day and sent him back to the hospital as his liver levels and billirubin were elevated once again. 

Dr. Sharma did another ERCP, replaced the plastic stent with a metal stent and alerted the family that he had found abnormal cells and was sending them off for a biopsy. The attached picture shows where the stent was placed and the red dot is the Ampulla where the cells were found. 

Tom’s Story

Site created on December 29, 2019

Thank you for supporting Tom and our family by checking in here for updates, praises and prayer concerns. 


Update 3/17/2020: Whipple procedure performed 2/13/2020; chemo commenced 3/5/20 and the plan is every other week for 8-12 cycles. 

In August, Tom started breaking out with hives whenever he ate. We thought it was likely a food allergy and he stopped gluten and lost 10 pounds, but still had bouts of hives here and there.

In November, Benadryl wasn't controlling the itching, which was internal, and the first blood draw was done that showed negative for hepatitis and elevated liver levels. Soon after, Dr Egli referred us to Dr. Sharma at Parkview Oncology and several procedures were done as needed to open up the bile duct, introduce pancreas enzymes, reduce bilirubin levels, control the itching, etc. And, Tom lost 20 more pounds. All was well for a couple of weeks until the itching and jaundice returned at Christmas. another procedure, this time with the Spyglass equipment and Dr Sharma was able to observe and biopsy abnormal cells. The tumor review board covened and agreed Tom needs the bile duct Ampulla removed (Whipple procedure) and we will meet with Dr. from IU Health, Indianapolis, for that procedure .....
thank you for following along and praying.


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