Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dear Pam and Leeann (and others in the past who have been kind enough to ask about Blaine and his ongoing cancer saga),

Dear Pam and Leeann (and others in the past who have been kind enough to ask about Blaine and his ongoing cancer saga),

Thanks for asking. He is doing ok. To be honest, from a medical standpoint, the move to OK has been one of adjustments for him. Partly physical, as it is so much colder here in the winter than in Georgia. Currently, the temperature is 30, with winds out of the north at 40-45 mph – what the hell is THAT about??? --- and the cold weather causes a lot of head and neck pain. He has taken to wearing a black neoprene-sort-of-ski mask whenever he is outside that covers everything but his nose and eyes, to try and keep the radiated areas of his head and neck warmer. Otherwise, the restricted blood flow due to surgery and radiation (we have no idea if that is the real reason why, but it sounds good, so we keep saying it) causes his tongue to turn white and his neck just throbs. Fun, huh? So we call it his “ninja mask” and I remind him every morning not to stop at any convenience stores on his way to work or they will think he is robbing them.

The other simple adjustment has been all the new doctors and specialists who don’t know him or his history. It wouldn’t be untrue to say he hasn’t been as impressed with the people taking care of him here ---- not because they aren’t just as capable, but because I think when you spend five years seeing your oncologist, your head and neck surgeon, your pain management doctor, etc, you establish relationships with these people and you feel truly cared about. It’s only natural to flounder for a bit as you try to adapt to new facilities and new rules and people who aren’t as vested in your care, or don’t have a history with you. But he’ll get there.

In the short term, we’re waiting on results on his four-month cat scans. The initial report came back on Friday with “suspicious areas of growth”, which is of course slightly worrisome. We’re hoping that once they compare the scans of four months ago to the scans of last week, these new radiologists (again, doctors who aren’t familiar with his case history) will determine it is nothing more than scar tissue or already-existing fibroids from the previous surgeries and radiation. So, a little anxious until we get the all clear there.

In good news (because by golly, I am determined there will be SOME good news!) he was able to avoid the tooth extractions, and therefore, the hyperbaric oxygen treatments, that his dentist in Georgia said he needed. The dentist here was able to get down low enough to save the teeth in question with root canals, so that was a relief. It sounds odd to say root canals are the *better* outcome, but in this case, they are, and he was glad for them.

In other news, he’s really getting on my nerves because he keeps leaving his pants lying on the floor by his side of the bed when he takes them off each night, which is where my new vanity is now located, and I keep tripping on them every morning in the dark. He better start picking up his pants, is all I’m saying.


Sherri said...

Thanks for the update on Blaine. Please keep us posted on the latest scan results. I'll be thinking good thoughts for good results.
And really, I had no idea it was that cold, and windy out there in Oklahoma. Of course, what do I know, I've never actually BEEN to Oklahoma either. Hope you guys, especially Blaine, all stay warm!

Sherri in NC

Anonymous said...

Well, here's to good results and no bad news. That would be hard making that big of an adjustment. I hope his new set of doctors get up-to-speed quickly and take a vested interest in him and seeing him get well.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for the test results on Blaine.

Leeann said...


Thanks for the updates. It really does sound beyond-freezing-your-ass-off cold over there. I had to laugh at the idea of the Ninja mask! ;-)

I truly hope and will pray that the results of "suspicious areas" turn out to be nothing at all. You guys have Just. Had. Enough. It is unconscionable that there should ever be illness in your family, ever again.

I will be waiting for the surrogacy stories with great interest!


Jane said...

Hello?!? Cold?? "beyond-freezing-your-ass-off cold over there."??? May I introduce you to South Dakota ... where over the weekend we enjoyed very balmy temperatures of around 40 degrees (that's *above* zero mind you!), where today it wavered around 3-4 degrees *below* zero (without windchill) and we had to put our coats back on, and where tonight the low is forecast to be -15.

New to your blog Kristie, though I had followed Kendrie previously, and join those in praying for good results for Blaine.

Um, yeah, stay warm! ;)


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that Blaine is OK, and will pray that the scans turn out okay.
I just wanted to say that I have followed Kendrie's and your story for probably 2-3 years now and you are always talking about being connected. Well I just got a laptop and wireless internet connection:) How cool is that. Anyway, now I feel like I can't live without it. AND I finally feel like I have time to type comments and replies to 2 or 3 blogs that I take time to read.

Your blogs are a nice bright spot in my days and I completely know what it is like to have a house full of children (mine are ages 16, 7, 4, and 2 1/2).
Anyway, love the blog....again, hope that Blaine continues to improve.
Sandy Gay
Edison, GA

Pam D said...

Ooooh, Jane, it truly is all relative! I see folks walking around here in Georgia in 40 degree weather in shorts, and I think they're just trying to show that they're "tough" and we're wimps. And, um, yeah... .maybe they're right. My pharmacist was leaving work last week wearing her big, furry coat; she was so excited because she'd gotten to wear it four days in a row! And yet, on those very same days, there were probably folks from anywhere on the border with Canada who now live here who were in short sleeves and flip flops. As I said, it's all relative.
Anyway, Kristie... I'm sorry that you have to spend even a nano-second worrying about that stupid c-word again. Is there no way that Blaine's former docs could look at the scans and give a report based on knowledge of his history? I'm praying for good results and warmer weather soon!

Pam D said...

P.S.... come on down, come on over, come on in to the Lighthouse.... I put in our app for Retreat 5 and am SO looking forward to it! Will you guys make it back down for that?

Anonymous said...

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Unknown said...

I will keep Blaine in my prayers. I'm sure the scan shows nothing more than scar tissue that was there last time.
Hang tough....and no convenient stores.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, I hope the results are all good. I can't imagine getting to know all new drs.