Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009

Hello. Sorry I haven't been doing much blogging lately ( but there fortunately hasn't been too much to report on. Anne has been doing very well. Her liver is shrinking in size, 3 out of 4 of her liver function studies are normal (one of the enzymes is still slightly elevated), and her CEA level (a cancer marker) is down from nearly 3700 to in the 200's--a dramatic decrease. In fact, Dr. Balcueva, her oncologist here in Saginaw, thought we should go back out to Mayo Clinic to have them reassess things--instead of palliative care, I believe he thinks we can go for a cure--which of course, we know will happen, thanks to God, and all of your prayers. Anne got her chemo on June 29th without any problems. She has been having a bit more abdominal pain than usual, but other than that, everything was going along as planned.

This past Tuesday, her WBC count (1.9) and neutrophil count (0.6) were pretty low, but she has otherwise been feeling fine. Last night, however, she developed a fever of 102.5. It improved with tylenol, but during the night, it went back up and she had shaking chills. Tylenol helped again, and I tried to make her warm by cuddling (I'm good at that--thanks to being the hot-blooded Italian that I am). She did eventually get up for about 3 hours, read some, then fell back to sleep. I tried to get her to go to the emergency room last night, but she refused. I did get her to call Dr. Balcueva's office this morning--and he's out of town! But, thankfully, they recommended she go to the emergency room. Heather wasn't working this morning, so she took her mom in. They ran a bunch of tests and decided to admit her to the hospital for further workup and antibiotics. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, a dumb orthopod, this is not an uncommon event in the lives of chemotherapy patients. We had not experienced it before (thankfully). It's a "neutropenic fever" or something like that. It is treated with antibiotics and fluids--she was pretty dehydrated from the fever. They also started the Neupogen again to build up the neutrophil count. She feels fine, and in fact, her belly pain is gone as of tonight. I was worried about sepsis, an infection of the bloodstream, so I'm happy they're checking for that and using a potent antibiotic as well. When we left at 10:00 tonight (Heather had stayed all day except for a short time to take a shower at home, and Michelle drove up from East Lansing after classes), they were taking her to get a followup CT scan of the abdomen.

She should be in the hospital (Covenant Harrison) until Saturday or Sunday, or possibly even Monday when Dr. Balcueva gets back. I was supposed to go to my Centurions Residency in Lansdowne Virginia in the morning (Friday) until Sunday night, but I've cancelled that. Fortunately, since I'm not working, I can spend all day with her, as will the girls. Her parents will be coming on Saturday instead of Sunday as they had planned, and Greg will be coming tomorrow night, so she'll have plenty of company.

Please pray for her rapid recovery. She needs her white blood cell count up as well as the neutrophils, so that will give you something specific if you want. Pray that she doesn't develop any infections.

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

~ Romans 12:12, NLT

God Bless,



  1. Tony - thought you might want to read this journal entry of courage, faith, and incredible determination.

    Wishing you and Anne the same!

    Missy Curtis

  2. Tony- In a rather ironic way, I came across the You Tube video of you and your wife Anne telling your story about being at the Mayo Clinic. You joked in one of your blogs about anyone (from your past) reading your comments and thinking that you'd gone crazy because of your deep faith in God. I don't think your crazy at all.What a blessing! I too, came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior more than ten years ago and he has truly transformed my life. My husband was diagnosed with cancer four years ago at the age of 54 and our faith helped us get through it. He is doing fine now and we thank God for it every day. He will give you the strength you need to weather each and every storm. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    Nancy (New Jersey)