Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not yet settled...

Sara and I have spent much of the past week inside the confines of Wilford Hall Medical Center. Is it a bad sign that we are already sick and tired of being at that hospital? We spent about 8 hours there on Tuesday and 6 hours there today, and will be there for another appointment tomorrow.

Sara's results from the tests on Tuesday came back with good news. The chest X-ray looked good (i.e. no cancer in the lungs) and the blood counts came back regular. I asked about the blood tests and what they were looking for specifically. They were testing her alkaline phosphotase levels. Had these been elevated (hyperphosphatasemia), there would have been concern that the cancer had spread to the bones. We're pleased that these tests confirmed that the cancer probably has not spread!

Some of our friends, Hans and Analisa, passed through San Antonio on their way to Mountain Home, Idaho. On Wednesday, we met them at the Riverwalk for dinner and spent the evening catching up. Sara grew up with Analisa and Hans was in my pilot training class. It was great to see them.

Analisa and Sara

The Riverwalk

Most of today was spent in the "info-gathering" mode. We met with the oncologist again this morning to discuss Sara's chemotherapy regimen and what to expect during treatment. Most of the info shared during the session was as expected. She will begin her chemo treatment on May 18. She's getting 4 rounds, spaced at 3 week intervals. The drugs she'll receive are Adriamycin (Doxurubicin) and Cytoxin (Cyclophosphamide). She is going to lose her hair and will be immunosuppressed, due to low blood counts (red and white blood cells and platelets). We were BUMMED to find out that her chemo treatment will continue after she gives birth to Baby Sullivan. One of the drugs they want to administer is not safe to inject during pregnancy, so there will be an additional 4 cycles of chemo soon after she delivers. The additional drug is called Taxol (Paclitaxel). We thought that Sara would be able to breastfeed, but after the discussions today, that is not going to be an option. Once the last dose of chemo is done, the radiation will begin. Ugh!

Sara also had an electrocardiogram today. It was amazing to watch her heart in action. We got the see the different chambers of the heart and watch her heart valves open and close. They got a baseline measurement and will check her heart again after the chemo.

Our final appointment today was spent in the Complicated OB clinic. Despite the delay in being seen, we are happy to be under the direct care the Chief of OB/GYN. He was awesome and we are happy to have such an experienced doctor taking care of Sara and Baby.

In the midst of all these appointments, we are still trying to find a home. We have made an offer and are going back and forth with the seller about the price. We're playing hard-ball and are going to walk away if she does not meet our price. We have bought one car (an '03 Honda Pilot) and will pick it up in Houston next week.

Our new home?!?

As we realized that this "road to recovery" is going to be longer than expected...We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed: preplexed, but not in despair. --2 Corinthians 4:8

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly, we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. --2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Keep praying! Thanks.


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who shares your story. She's since delivered a beautiful little girl and is involved with ongoing treatment. I would love to introduce if you would like.

Much love and prayers,
The Valente Family

Jackie Knox said...

I am so glad you are back home in Texas and have no doubt you will come thru this like a champ...with a bundle of joy to love and cherish. I will pray that you get the home and are able to settle in soon.

Thinking of you always!


Melanie said...

I just wanted to let y'all know about breastmilk banks (like a blood bank, but for breastmilk!). It may be worth your time to check into whether Tricare would pay for you to use this.

Otherwise, there are also milk sharing websites ( is one) where you can get donated breastmilk for free. You would be responsible for testing the donor to make sure the milk is safe in this case.

I just wanted to share because I believe that breastfeeding is important. However, there are many, many, many healthy and wonderful babies in this world who do not receive breastmilk. If Baby Sullivan is one of them, I'm sure (s)he will be perfectly fine!

Jim said...

I have some dreadlocks you can borrow when the time comes. I got a few laughs with them. Seriously, you all are in our thoughts and prayers everyday. I am glad you had the port-a-cath inserted. It will be much easier on you. Wise decision.

Jimmy and Charleen

Julie said...

Happy 1st Mother's Day, Sara! Thinking about you and praying for you. God is so good, all the time.
Lots of love from Misawa,
Julie U.

Clinton said...

Sara I can understand how you are feeling to some degree. My dad is undergoing treatment at MD Anderson and the roller coaster is hard but God is good and he is seeing us thru as he will you. I have never met your husband but he seems to be an awesome and very informative person!! Stay strong, I will be praying for you!!

Clinton said...

by the way Sara clinton is me...Kami Smith (loftin)!!

1968mustang said...

Hi Sara, I'm a friend of Charlotte Goza's (a friend of Sandy's) from church here in League City. She gave me your blogspot info because I, too, had breast cancer. It was just one year ago that I had double mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemo (C and T), and 5 weeks of radiation. I'm now on Tamoxifen for 5 years. Anyhow, if you'd EVER like to talk to me about what it was like to go thru all that (losing your hair, (now listen, not shaving your underarms and legs is a real perk!) your fears, etc.) please call or email me -- I mean it! (oh, and we went house hunting in the middle of my chemo treatments and the day after my last chemo we moved from Dallas to Houston -- I understand your moving stresses). Michelle Schwibinger,, 832-632-2212. Take care in your fight. As Charlotte and I say, Fight Like A Girl! :-)

Angela said...

Brad and Sara! Welcome to Texas!!! Sara- it was great to meet you over the phone today and Joel and I will definitely keep you in our prayers. I can tell you have a strong faith, and that alone can move mountains!! Can't wait to meet you in person. Call if you need anything!

Rachael said...

Sara and Brady-
I'm so glad you have made it to Texas! I think of you guys often and you are always in my prayers. Keep smiling, you're doing great Sara!!


sjahn said...

Just letting you know we're still thinking about you and praying for you guys. The house and car thing is a challenge but the Lord will give you what you need...that home looks beautiful so I hope it goes through. Good to hear the cancer hasn't spread. Sara you're a trooper! Brad, you crack me up with your "Remember the Alamo!", and appreciate your details in the updates. Yes, we are hard-pressed but not crushed, thanks to our precious Lord!

Cory said...

I am glad to hear everything is going well. Congratulations on having a baby girl! That will be exciting.
Would you send me your home address? I have some things to mail to you. You can send it to my email:

Thanks, and you are still in our thoughts and prayers.