Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Happy holidays" is not something taken lightly for us.

Our "National Lampoon" /ugly sweater Christmas eve!
The saying "Happy holidays" is not something we take lightly.

We had a  great holiday- kept celebrations  easy/breezy. Humor being at the heart of our family celebrations these days.  

This time last year, we didn't know what to expect.  It wasn't very a very happy holiday (although we tried). We still don't know what's a head, but this year we're happy.  In the midst of very serious circumstances, we are finding that being light hearted  is helping us maintain some sanity and regain some happiness of the day.

New things-   Terence has had some memory lapses and confusion-

It can get a little frustrating and hard for personality type I think. But I am trying!!!.

Typical conversation:
S- Have you seen the remote control?
T- Oh yeah right over there.
S- Here? really? Where? (looking, looking, looking), it;s not here....
T- Oh, I thought you were looking for your phone .  Here is  your phone.
S- Thanks but I don't need my phone right now; do you know where the remote is?
T - oh that. It's over there . 
S-Where, there? (looking, looking, looking).
T- Oh, no, I guess not.  I thought it was. Hmmm... Maybe not. I guess not.  I saw right here.
    Here is your phone though.
S- Nooo, didn't ask for the phone...
T- Really? I thought you did.
S- Nooooooo. I ASKED if you knew where the remote was. It was right here about an hour ago,
     in the drawer, where it's supposed tom be. Where did it go?
T- I don't know. Haven't seen it for about an hour.
S- (After a few more rounds I am frustrated and I give up and go to laundry room to start the  
      washer.... and I  find t remote control there).
S- What's the remote doing in here?
T- Oh the remote? I was changing the batteries about an hour ago. It needed new batteries. 
S- Why didn't you tell me that when I was running around looking for it?
T- Didn't think of it.
S-WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T THINK OF IT? ..................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that's just the remote!!!!!

(Up date, January 7, 2011: We've recently found out the changes in his cognitive behavior was negative side effect between Ketoconazole and one of is other drugs!!   We have since made the necessary adjustments- so he'ss getting better every day).


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week three on this new treatment

Grand kids inspecting the presents!

Week three on this new treatment is leaving  me feeling  tired and fatigued; running a fever with chills, dizzy, nauseated and having some memory loss and confusion  (so says Sherry; I have recollection of memory loss!).
My next oncology appointment is December 29th-and hopefully  we'll find  the treatment is lowering my PSA   (last test showed my PSA had risen from 53 to 143 in 2 weeks)!


I love Christmas!  We love decorating and wrapping presents, listening to Christmas music and drinking eggnog!  My favorite thing to do is shop for small stocking stuffers.  Sherry really inspires my joy in Christmas — I don’t know anyone that owns the amount of decorations she does or who put them up so early or leaves them up so late. When our kids were little, every room would be decorated and she would fill up our living room with  presents~  she didn’t buy expensive gifts, but would create home made gifts and buy small things....but there would get a lot for the kids because she loves to watch them open them.

This year, we’ve scaled down on the decorations and got a small tree due to the fact that I haven’t been feeling well.  Sherry thought that pulling all her decorations out of storage was too much work for her at the moment.  And I agree.   A scaled down Christmas is not a bad thing.  We also decided to forgo presents for one another and donate to another family.  That  was a great idea!

This will be our second Christmas as a family living with cancer but we haven’t let it spoil any of our celebrations and are even coming up with some new traditions.  In fact, this year we are rarely thinking about the disease — we are too busy enjoying our family time together!

I have so much to be thankful for: Andrew surprised us tonight by coming home early, and Eric is home on leave, so we’ll have our entire family together on Christmas day!

May your heart and home be filled with the joy of Jesus this Christmas~ as mine is!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

First today, then tomorrow

Handing out presents this morning.
Today was a terrific day. We were up and at'em and out the door ready to minister. Terence gave presents to all the kids this morning.  He enjoyed picking out little toys for all the kids.  We did have a long day (and late night); he came home feeling tired  but  it was worth it.

Terence has been feeling a little on the yucky side, but over all anything is better than  TOK-001!  He is on the trial and error side in regards how to deal with pain, nausea, new side effects etc. We're finding that can be consuming.  It consumes ones energy~ both mental and physical so we're trying now days to just move forward. 

"First today, then tomorrow"  is our new motto!   Good words to live by.

I am finding that I have some new energy.  I think the clinical trial sapped me of a lot of my strength- the 'not knowing' and watching Terence get sicker and sicker was difficult.... so much uncertainty.  Not that today is any different.....but I seem to be a little stronger.  Must be answered prayers!

This is "Christmas week"! We are facing it with much more anticipation than last year!  A year has brought a little more maturity in the cancer arena: not as shocked and stunned as we were last year.  Still keeping everything really simple though.

Eric will be home on leave in a few days and our youngest son Andrew is also coming home from Korea! Our daughter-in-law Callie has a birthday this week and we will also be sharing the holidays with Jon, the kids' first cousin on the Duenas side. Full house- family, gotta love it.  We're spending Christmas-eve here with appetizers and stocking stuffers and Christmas morning will be at our daughter Nadine's house- she and her husband Mike have three kids, Bella, Ethan and Annie...our hearts joy especially during this time.

Thanks for all your prayers......they work! Thanks Lord!

Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2010


Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's only a word!

My thoughts & prayer
Terence's own body has turned against him.
It is only a word!
But it is a weight pressing me down.
Help us not to fear.
Terence is more than this one word,
more this diagnosis and this set of symptoms. 
He is so much more. 
He is created in Your image Lord!

Medical update:
  • Terence's PSA continuing to rise  (from 53 to 143 in 13 days), now triple time.
  • His liver enzymes still high (his body still detoxing the trial drug)- but expected to go down soon.
  •  He is able to manage body pain without morphine or methadone since stopping the clinical trial- hooray!
  •  Started ketoconazole and prednisone this week in the attempt to knock down the PSA quickly and will stay on it as long as he can tolerate it and it continues to work.
  • Next oncology appointment December 29th.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I've learned something about those who call themselves friends.

It's tough sometimes retiring      to bed at night feeling sick, followed by a morning of more of the same; body aches, various pain and relentless nausea.  However, through the last 16 months of battling a terminal disease, I have come to learn many things. 

I believe that most men live a lifetime not knowing how many friends they have or how much they are loved.  I realize that I am a blessed man; I know family and friends from my past not only remember me but consider me. 

I've learned something about those who call themselves friends.  True friendships no matter how old, never die

Thanks Teddy Callahan for staying in contact; Danny Rose for stories that make us both laugh and Ed Goetz and Chad Cheever for encouraging me. 

I guess friends and laughter 
are the best medicine!

Terence Luttrell