Going to Cincinnati

Hello All!

I have been so busy with school and with worrying, praying, and thinking about my cousin, M. I still can’t get my Google Reader cleared-lol. I haven’t even been posting for my memes or visiting particpants-aahhhhh!

I want to thank you all for you continued support and prayers for my cousin, M. Betty, a fellow blogging buddy, asked me how I was holding up. Whew-it is hard, especially trying to maintain at school too.

My aunt and I just decided that we would take a rode trip to Cincinnati to be with our family during this trying time. M is still in ICU at this moment. It is about a six hour drive from where we live. Thank goodness we decided to leave in the morning instead of right after I get out of school today. I would so not have been able to get it all together-hehe. We will be leaving early Saturday morning and return sometime Sunday evening. I am nervous, because I will be assisting with driving her truck. I get really nervous driving interstates. She is so fun to talk to. I am sure after we get on the road and start talking that I won’t be as nervous.

We are planning on surprising them-so please don’t mention it to M and his family…unless they post about it. I believe I will call M’s dad when we are closer to them and let him know. We will ask him not to tell Lo, so we can surprise her.

Thanks again for your support. I also want to thank my friends that have visited M’s site and/or have been leaving comments. It means so much to them and to me.

I am going to ask my dear friend, Gina, to check in at Mercedes Rocks to fish out any participants from spam. I will let you know how everything goes when I return.

Here is M’s link, for those that haven’t seen it yet. I am so glad they started this website-it is wonderful to have that place for updates and a place to send our love. Just a reminder: They know me as Mere (not Mercedes-lol).

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/matthopper/

Posted by Mercedes at Mercedes’ World at https://mercedesrules.wordpress.com and only for Mercedes’ World

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M’s Website

For those that don’t know what I am talking about-please read here. I just received an email from my uncle, J. They have created a website for updates and communication while they are in Cincinnati, Oh for the next 2-3 weeks. Feel free to check it out. Just a reminder: They DO NOT know me as Mercedes-they call me by my nickname too-Mere. Here is the site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/matthopper

Posted by Mercedes at Mercedes’ World at https://mercedesrules.wordpress.com and only for Mercedes’ World

Prayers Needed

My cousin, M, has been battling Renal Cell Carcinoma for the past six years. It all started at an indoor soccer game. He will be 20 in August. This has been a long battle for him, his family, and all of us! He has had six major surgeries, been through chemo and radiation numerous times, and now he has four tumors again.

One tumor is sitting on his one kidney and bladder. It is 6 inches long and the doctors say they can’t operate on it because M would not make it through the surgery-he would hemorrhage to death. He is having surgery this morning and they are putting in a stint to relieve the pressure from his kidney and bladder. After this, the doctors will decide what to do next.

He applied to a cancer study in Maryland but didn’t qualify-due to him being on chemo numerous times. There is another study in Cincinnati that is more targeted to his specific needs that we hope he qualifies for. The hospital will fed-ex his scans to that hospital today.

He is a very strong young man. He has accomplished so much during his journey fighting this horrible and rare cancer in children. He graduated from High School with honors. He has also completed his first two years in college.

I have a luncheon to attend today and then I am headed to Chattanooga to be with him and the family. I believe in prayer-I believed it helped this time last year when we thought he was going to have his colon removed-he didn’t have to have it removed. Please pray with me for my cousin, M, and his family. Thank you so much!

EDIT: I did not go to Chattanooga today-M’s Mom said it would be better to come on Sunday. They are warn out and he will be coming home tomorrow-which will be another tiring day for him to get settled in and have to deal with the feeding bag. Still waiting for the exact outcome of the surgery and what the future holds.

Posted by Mercedes at Mercedes’ World and only for Mercedes’ World

Going to the Vet…again

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Patch is going to the Vet again Friday morning. Jedd has to work, so my Dad is coming over after he gets off of work to take Patch to Doc C. I have the honors of going on a Field Trip to the movies to see Horton Hears a Who. This is my list I made for Dad to take to the Doc. I hope I have it all covered. For those of you that don’t know about Patch-he is my 11 year old dalmatian that has been going through some tough times these last four months. You can read my Dogs page to learn more.
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Patch
3-28-08
Needs, problems, & thoughts
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• Yearly Shots
• Teeth & mouth cleaned (horrible breath, drooling, & sores-we have thought this might be part of his problem)
• Is it possible for him to get a bath (no perfume) and nails clipped if needed-Today?
• Has hard time breathing and swallowing. He smacks and makes weird noises with his mouth. Could there be an obstruction in his throat and/or nose?
• Trembles/Shakes-at various times. He also will do this in his sleep and sometimes has a rhythm with his breathing.
• He has been blah for a week and looks like he is miserable.
• Sneezes often-but no blood yet.
• Hasn’t been for a car ride for a week (favorite thing to do, but can’t get into the car)
• Front legs (behind the “knees”)-noticed lumps/swelling of nodes possibly
• Limping (possibly arthritis-or could it be the lymph nodes/lumps behind the legs/knees?)
• Cipro made him sick-not taking it now
• Not taking the nerve meds either (I believe now that it is pain and not nerves)
• Has a knot on the right, back side of his neck
• Ears and Nose bother him and he scratches/ rubs them. (Wants to shake head often, but looks like it is difficult for him-thinking it could be the knot or the ears-not quite sure). I have continuously wondered if he has ear and/or nasal mites. Is there a test that can be done to check for these?
• Sores on body again and he continuously cleans/licks them and other places-creating more bad spots.
• We sometimes wonder if we should have just left him on Prednisone and Tramadol for pain even though we know Prednisone isn’t a good long term thing and Tramadol kind of made him wobbly. We understand arthritis and can handle that, but we feel there are other problems that we wish could be pinpointed.

*Medicine & Drugstore: Please do not copy/steal this post.*

I Can Poop, But…

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Hey All! Thank you for your concern about Patch inI Can’t Poop!Here is an update:

I called the Doc and talked to his wife.  She said to put grease on his food: bacon, vegetable oil…She told me that Doc was going into surgery (HE is having surgery) in a bit: two hernias~probably from lifting animals.  She said if he had time (he was leaving in 30 minutes) he would call back. 

Another Vet there called me later that afternoon.  I asked her the question that had been on my mind:  Why hasn’t Doc told me to pursue other treatments?  Is it because of the stage of the disease, Patch’s age, the cost???  I like to try to analyze things all the time.  She explained that I could pursue further treatments~but there isn’t a cure~and treatments can be costly and have side effects too (she did go into detail).  She also asked me what type of lymphoma is it-B-Cell, T-cell?  I don’t know?  I told her when she found out, to let me know. I really love Doc and trust him, but do I need to see another Vet right now?  I really would like to just sit and talk to another Vet-talk and ask and ask and talk…Anyone? Anyone?

Ok~so I get home and put vegetable oil on Patch’s food.  This helps tremendously! Patch CAN POOP NOW!  BUT, when he gets in “pee” position (he squats now) and he isn’t peeing (when he does pee-he floods-side effect of the meds I think) blood is coming out-not in a stream either.  The blood is thick-phlegm-like.  GREAT!  What do I do now?  Patch has had urinary infections before where he had blood in his urine-do I need an antibiotic or is this disease related?

I have met another friend, Patty, via wvcobere’s blog (my friend that lost her precious Bill two weeks ago) that is going through the same thing.  She has told me about the meds her dog is on.  He is on Prednisolone, Tramadol, Amoxicillin, and Theophylline. At first I thought Patty misspelled prednisone~prednisolone.  NOPE~that’s right.  So I begin to research prednisolone-researching now.  I just came across an article about the side effects of prednisone (the drug Patch is on) and read this:

Prednisone must be converted to prednisolone in the liver. Animals in hepatic failure should receive prednisolone rather than prednisone.  GREAT!  Doc had said at the last visit that Patch’s liver and spleen are enlarged.  I don’t know what this means-if Patch has liver problems or what. Should he be on prednisolone instead?

OK! I am one to talk about too many things at once, talk to myself and answer back, and always asking questions out loud.  I hope I haven’t thoroughly confused everyone now.  Especially with the prednisone and prednisolone-I know I am REALLY confused-aaaaahhhhhh-lol.

Bottom Line: Patch is doing better~pooping now.  Friday night and last night were much more peaceful-sleeping now-both of us.  Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers.

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Do you have any ideas, thoughts, or suggestions for me?

I Can’t Poop!

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Patch is having a hard time tonight. 

If you don’t know about Patch and his sickness, you can click on the links to read previous posts to catch you up on the story.

I have been meaning to call the Doc to discuss treatment options for lymphomashould I pursue cancer treatments-yada yada.  Then, as most of you know, Patch started doing so much better (Miracle Patch).

 Anywho~Patch is having a hard time tonight.  I believe he is constipated.  He paces around and wants to go outside.  When we go outside, he squats (hasn’t hiked in awhile) to pee and nothing happens.  Then he squats to poop (since he has been sick, he poops and walks at the same time) and stays in one place, like he used to do-but nothing happens. 

Fifteen minutes later we go through the whole process again…and again…and again…I took him out about 30 minutes ago and he threw up all over the driveway. Thank goodness he made it outside.  He also did the no pee/no poop move.  We went out about 15 minutes ago and he repeated the no pee/poop move. 

Patch is laying down now and seems to feel better-hopefully.  I WILL definitely be calling Doc in the a.m. to discuss what I have wanted to discuss all along, to inform him of his progress, and of course, tell him about tonight.  I so hope he is better in the a.m.~I don’t want to take him to the Doc again-he so hates it now.

Again, I want to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers! Please keep them coming. 

p.s.  I apologize for not being here as often.  School’s back in session: report cards, testing, meetings…Also have been visiting various relatives that have had various health issues going on.

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Last Lecture

I was watching the news a few weeks ago on a Saturday morning and they had a clip (similar short news clip above-3 min 47 sec long) about a special on a college professor Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer-science professor, giving his “Last Lecture”.

This is a common title for talks on college campuses today.  Schools have created “Last Lecture Series,” in which top professors are asked to think deeply about what matters to them and to give hypothetical final talks. For the audience, the question to be pondered is this: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?

At Carnegie Mellon, however, Dr. Pausch’s speech was more than just an academic discussion. The 46-year-old father of three has pancreatic cancer and expects to live for just a few months. His lecture, using images on a giant screen, turned out to be a joyous and captivating journey through the lessons of his life.

“He began by showing his CT scans, revealing 10 tumors on his liver. But after that, he talked about living. If anyone expected him to be sad, he said, “I’m sorry to disappoint you.” He then dropped to the floor and did one-handed pushups.

Clicking through photos of himself as a boy, he talked about his childhood dreams: to win giant stuffed animals at carnivals, to walk in zero gravity, to design Disney rides, to write a World Book entry. By adulthood, he had achieved each goal. As proof, he had students carry out all the huge stuffed animals he’d won in his life, which he gave to audience members. After all, he doesn’t need them anymore.

He discussed his techie background. “I’ve experienced a deathbed conversion,” he said, smiling. “I just bought a Macintosh.” Randy displayed  his rejection letters and talked about setbacks in his career, repeating: “Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things.” He encouraged us to be patient with others. “Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you.” He shows pictures of his bedroom he had as a child.  He had drawn mathematical notations all over his walls. Then Randy says: “If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let ’em do it.”

While displaying photos of his bosses and students over the years, he said that helping others fulfill their dreams is even more fun than achieving your own. He talked of requiring his students to create videogames without sex and violence. “You’d be surprised how many 19-year-old boys run out of ideas when you take those possibilities away,” he said, but they all rose to the challenge.

He also saluted his parents, who let him make his childhood bedroom his domain, even if his wall etchings hurt the home’s resale value. He knew his mom was proud of him when he got his Ph.D, he said, despite how she’d introduce him: “This is my son. He’s a doctor, but not the kind who helps people.”

Dr. Pausch’s lecture, in the same way, became a call to his colleagues and students to go on without him and do great things. But he was also addressing those closer to his heart.

Near the end of his talk, he had a cake brought out for his wife, whose birthday was the day before. As she cried and they embraced on stage, the audience sang “Happy Birthday,” many wiping away their own tears.”

Dr. Pausch’s speech was taped so his children, ages 5, 2 and 1, can watch it when they’re older. His last words in his last lecture were simple: “This was for my kids.”

What an extraordinary individual! To be that positive in the face of death is something to admire.  He has such a loving family to carry on such a positive legacy.  His message is very powerful and heartwarming with so many lessons to give.  He is such an inspiration. The full lecture is long, but it is so worth  your time guys.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/front_im/pausch_9-18-07.wmv