Monday, April 28, 2008

Chick-fil-A...Ice Cold Water!

Not all students at a high school know who the athletic director is or what he does. Heck, some of those not involved in sports don’t even know such a person exists. Most students at Richland Northeast High School didn’t know Mike as the athletic director; they knew him as “The Chick-fil-A Man.” Mike earned this title by selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the courtyard every day, chanting “Chick-fil-A…Ice Cold Water!” There was a rhythm to it. A chant. The kind of thing that really got on the students’ nerves. (Though the word on the street is they miss it now and tell the others who have been selling the sandwiches since January that they don’t do it right.) In fact, I think Ringling Brothers was waiting on Mike’s retirement in a few years, so they could recruit him to pawn off cotton candy and fresh, fluffy popcorn.

The faculty at Richland Northeast is planning to create a memorial for Mike to be placed near the courtyard where he became famous. (Or is that infamous?) Though nothing is carved in stone yet (still waiting on those price quotes!), they’re hoping to have a three-foot cavalier mounted on a three- or four-foot pedestal. They know this is going to be pretty pricey, so some fundraisers are in the works. Friday, May 16, is going to be Mike Starnes Night at the Chick-fil-A on Decker Boulevard. (This is just about a half mile or so from Columbia Place, formerly known as Columbia Mall.) A portion of sales from the evening will go towards the purchase of the memorial. All you have to do to help is dine at the Chick-fil-A on Decker Boulevard between the hours of 4:00pm and 8:00pm on May 16 and place your receipt in the one of the baskets at the registers. (The receipt part is very important…no receipt, no portion of the proceeds!) The staff at Chick-fil-A is planning on having all sorts of things going on that night…I believe karaoke was even mentioned! I sing about as well as Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding, so don’t even think I’m getting near the microphone. I’ll be happy to cheer others of you on, though! T-shirts will be available at Chick-fil-A on Mike Starnes Night. They are blue with white writing and the cost is $10. The front has a cavalier boxed in with a braid (symbolizing Mike bracelets) and the back has Mike’s famous words, “Chick-fil-A…Ice Cold Water.”

If you can’t make it to Mike Starnes Night but would like to make a donation towards the memorial, you can send a check made payable to Richland Northeast High School to the school. Donations may be sent to the following address:

Janet Bush
Richland Northeast High School
7500 Brookfield Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29223

I do have to give a shout out to the Chick-fil-A on Decker Boulevard for donating the food for Ava’s birthday party. Ava turned 3 on Friday, and she just loves Chick-fil-A, so that’s what was on the birthday menu for Little Miss Priss. (Her father did not brainwash her…I think this penchant came from the fact that her mother doesn’t cook and she has frequented the establishment often.) Chick-fil-A donated all of the food to us at no cost to our family, and Ava loved, loved, loved her birthday dinner! And being the proud mother that I am, I have to take this opportunity to share a couple of pictures from the festivities. I know, I have no shame. (And, by the way, for those of you who don't know--Ava has NEVER had a hair cut. That is all her hair has grown in three years! On the bright side, it's a breeze to fix when we're running late and I don't have to have her battle with hair dressers to sit still for a cut.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

What Happened?

Thanks to all of you who came to visitation and/or Sunday’s service. I was able to talk with many of you on Sunday, but there were some names in the registry that I missed. I think Mike would have been pleased with the service and honored by those of you who came. Though he wasn’t too keen on the whole idea of the blog to begin with (“It’s a woman’s thing,” he said.), I think he ended up being glad that we had it. When he was discharged from Lexington Medical Center in January, I had to read the entire blog and all of the comments to him. (I guess I had to read it to him instead of him reading it for himself since computers weren’t really his thing…if you’ve every seen him type, you’d know this quite well!) He nodded his head and had tears in his eyes—okay, maybe not tears, but they were glassy—when I read many of the comments.

I know many of you are curious as to how things unfolded on that last day. And since this blog isn’t just for you—it’s for Ava and Savannah as well—I want to share what happened. Last Wednesday while Mike was in ICU, his cousin Roz was visiting and we discussed the whole idea of not having the doctors go to any heroic efforts should Mike’s health start to go further south. It just didn’t seem to be the right thing to do given all of the issues Mike was having. Sure, he could live on life support for 20 years, but Mike wouldn’t have wanted that, and it’s not as if it’s painless to have to go through those extremes. He wasn’t exactly one who liked to stay in one spot for any length of time, so I know he was already going nuts having to sit in that hospital room for two and half months. That’s exactly why he loved to take cruises for travel, because he didn’t have to stay in one place for more than a couple of days. Heck, when he planned our trip to Europe back in 2002, we visited eight countries in 22 days.

Anyway, there really wasn’t much eventful that happened on that Wednesday other than they found two blood clots in his legs and put filters in to keep them from going to his lungs. I stayed at the hospital until 10:00, when ICU closed. Around 1:00 that morning, the nurse called me and said that Mike’s heart rate had been dropping and in her twenty plus years of experience that meant that she would have to soon “code” him. In other words, she would have to go to extreme measures to keep him alive. I brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, and headed to the hospital. I called Mike’s other cousin, Regina, to make sure she was on the same page as Roz and I about not doing anything heroic. Regina and Roz were next in line on Mike’s health power of attorney, so if I got killed on the way to the hospital, then they needed to know what was going on and make the right decision. I arrived at the hospital about 1:20, and Regina got there shortly after that. Mike’s heart rate was all over the place. It would go from the 40’s then up to the 50’s and 60’s and jump to the 80’s then drop again…all in a matter of seconds. It did that for quite a while. I informed the nurse of our decision of not to go to any extreme measures. She telephoned the on-call doctor, so that I could tell her. The nurse handed me the phone, and the doctor said, “So we’re not going to DNR?” I responded with, “I don’t have my medical degree yet, but I’m assuming you mean do not resuscitate, and that would be correct.” The doctor then said something about having a second nurse confirm, and I told her I was the wife and handed the phone back to the nurse on duty.

It was rather amazing how much nicer the staff was around there when then knew this was the beginning of the end. I had been none too happy with the ICU staff since Mike arrived there Tuesday afternoon. Those are completely different stories that I could probably do another few posts on—and he was only there a couple of days. They brought a tray of snacks and drinks and it suddenly didn’t matter how many people were in the room. Mike’s aunt and uncle arrived around 3:00, and Mike’s heart rate began to stabilize in the 50’s. I was exhausted and pulled up a chair next to Mike’s bed and slept (if that’s what you can call it) beside him, holding his hand. Just as I was getting to sleep, they came in and did a chest x-ray on Mike. I’m assuming that had already been ordered as a follow-up to check on the blood clot they found in his lung on Tuesday. After the x-ray, I got back in my makeshift bed and slept for a few hours.

The pulmonary doctor came by around 7:00, and Mike’s heart rate had been staying steady in the 50’s. He said all of the swelling in Mike’s brain was adding pressure and that could cause problems with enough blood flow in his brain because there’s only so much room in the skull. No blood flow would mean more brain damage. Our oncologist came by around 8:30. He said since Mike had stabilized and we weren’t going to go to any heroic efforts should something happen (which he thought was the right choice and would do the same for him family members—we had had that discussion the day before), he was going to have Mike moved out of ICU to either a step-down unit or the pulmonary floor, so we wouldn’t have to deal with all of the visiting regulations. I asked him if he thought it was safe for me to leave for a while to go home and do something to myself so I could be a little more presentable. He thought that would be fine. Mike’s aunt, uncle, and cousin were there, so I felt okay with leaving for a bit and they could fill me in on anything that happened.

I came home and washed my hair and took a bath. (I’m not a shower person, okay?) After drying my hair, the phone rang, and it was the nurse. She said Mike’s heart rate was now skyrocketing and his oxygen rate was dropping despite being on the BIPAP machine--she thought it was just nature taking its course, and she needed to know if I still wanted her to not “code” him, even though I wasn’t there. I told her not to do so, and I would be up there shortly. There was the chance that Mike could have been gone by the time I got the hospital (and I confess that I did run a red light, but it wasn’t a real red light, and there was not traffic coming), but I thought it would be selfish of me to have him go through all of those extremes just for me to see him again. We had already decided it would be best for him not to go through that, so changing my mind would have been what was best for me, not him. Fortunately, I arrived back at the hospital before anything happened. Mike’s heart rate was indeed up and his oxygen was dropping. Both would jump around. They would seem like they were okay, then they’d change. Knowing my husband was in his final moments, the nurse thought it would be a fine time to call me away from him to tell me that she didn’t get any reflexes from him this morning and his eyes didn’t change when she flashed the light in them. She was going to tell me more, but I was watching Mike’s oxygen level drop even more, so I just walked away from her and back to Mike. I’m guessing the only reason she didn’t say anything while I was at his side was because his aunt, uncle, and cousin were there and it might somehow violate those lovely HIPAA laws. Anyway, his change in oxygen and heart rate continued for a while and the nurse asked if we wanted to take him off the BIPAP machine. I said yes because I thought that might be a little more comfortable since the end was inevitable anyway. I think I got about an hour or so with him before he drew his last breath.

Last night was the first night I had Ava with me since there was so much to take care of the last few days. She had not been told about her daddy. I didn’t want to tell her last night before she went to bed, so I talked with her about it this morning—I broke one of those cardinal parenting rules and let her sleep in my bed. Telling her was definitely one of the most difficult things I’ve done since all of this started back in January. How does one explain such a thing to a child who really has no concept of death but does know she doesn’t see her father? Saying nothing wasn’t an option because I don’t want her to think Mike just up and left us. I told her that sometimes when people are really sick and in the hospital for a long time like Daddy was, they can’t get better. Ava put her hand over my mouth and held her head down. I knew she wanted me to stop talking, but I had to tell her. I told her that Daddy died because he couldn’t get better. That meant that he couldn’t walk or talk or do things anymore. I told her that you know how some things have batteries and the batteries make them work? (She’s very familiar with the battery concept—when the garage door wouldn’t close, she told me it needed new batteries.) We have a battery inside of us that’s called a spirit, but it can’t be replaced. When the spirit stops working, it goes to stay with God, so He can take care of it. I told her anytime she wanted to tell Daddy something, she can just ask God to tell him for her. When we said our prayers tonight, we asked God to please tell Daddy we said hello and that we love him.

Friday, April 18, 2008


This is one of the last pictures taken of Mike on his birthday this year with girls. Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 Saturday night at Dunbar Funeral Home—Dutch Fork Chapel. Services will be at 3:00 Sunday afternoon at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. The church has a Columbia address, but it’s in the general Irmo area—on Old Bush River Road, just past Saluda Shoals Park. Don’t be surprised if Mike is turned over in his casket at the visitation; the price tag on all of these services just might do that to him!

The Dash
Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the second with tears,

but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth,

and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own--the cars, the house, the cash.

What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard,

are there things you'd like to change?

For you never know how much time is left.

(You could be at "dash mid-range.")

If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,

and always try to understand the way other people feel. less quick to anger, and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile,

remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read with your life's actions to rehash...

would you be pleased with the things they have to say about how you spent your dash?

Thank you all for all of your kind words, calls, e-mails, and blog posts. If you have a few moments, please post a little something about Mike’s dash.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

End of the Road

Mike passed away this afternoon shortly after 12:00. No specific plans have been made yet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours

So when I had y’all send out the e-mail chain last week, I thought I asked for some sort of healing, not for a hex to be put on Mike. Things have progressively gotten worse, and after a more than two month hiatus, Mike is back in ICU. He started having seizures yesterday around 1:30. You know nothing good is coming down the pipe when you’ve got five medical professionals in the room and a few more standing outside the door. I’m not sure what the folks outside the room were doing. Maybe it’s the medical equivalent of rubbernecking? Mike had a CT Scan on both his head and chest yesterday afternoon. It appears that Mike had a small stroke. And you remember that thing the doctor was a little worried about in his lungs yesterday? The CT scan showed that that would be a blood clot. Lovely. The bonus problem that comes with that is that Mike needs blood thinner to help with the clot but with his platelets being so low, even more problems can ensue. (They're around 27,000 today.) Mike is back on a BIPAP machine to help his breathing. He was on one of those a few weeks ago for a couple of days. Despite being given extra steroids over the weekend, Mike has a substantial amount of swelling in his brain. Obviously, with all of these issues, there will be no Avastin given today. Things aren’t looking real good for the home team. Miss Scarlett, we may just be running out of those tomorrows.
Be sure to read the post after this's new!

The Wit and Wisdom of Mike Starnes

I’ve known since Mike’s CT Scan on January 2 that he had a glioblastoma (I looked at the report that I had to give the hospital when we checked in) and was fully aware of the typical fate of those diagnosed with that type of tumor. So, I created this blog not only to keep all of y’all aware of Mike’s medical condition on a regular basis, but also so there would be a record of everything that Ava and Savannah could one day read. The idea of you all writing comments could let them know their father a little better. (One of my favorite threads is the one from his birthday where you all shared stories.) Those of you who have been fortunate to know Mike know that he has an incredible quick wit and has come up with some brilliant one-liners. If you’ve had the joy of experiencing some of Mike’s classic lines (or the misfortune of being the brunt of some of them!), do share, so the newcomers—and one day our girls—can learn a little more about, as Mike would say, the man, the myth, the one to be with. I’ll get us started!

On not having a chance:
I feel like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

On students dealing with a substitute or student teacher:
They’re ready to get out the knives and start carving.

On dying:
We start dying the day we’re born.

On heaven:
Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody’s in a hurry to get there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

This morning when I came in, Mike had on an oxygen mask; his oxygen level dipped early this morning (it was around 83—they like for it to be over 92). They normally just use the oxygen assistance like he had last week, the kind that sits at the base of his nose, but Mike was having some nosebleeds yesterday, so they didn’t want to irritate his snout anymore. And just for the record, I did not cause the nosebleeds this time. I am very well aware that I have an aversion to boogers, but Mike’s bleed was not, I repeat not, caused by me getting rid of any of the pesky things. Nosebleeds aren’t too uncommon when platelets are low, so that was the sole source of it. Speaking of platelets, Mike’s are now at 42,000. At least they didn’t drop by several thousand like they did yesterday. Mike did get some blood last night, and his hemoglobin is a better as a result.

And as our luck would have it, the Avastin is getting put on hold for yet another day. It seems our problem child sounds a little junky in his chest, so he’s going to have a chest x-ray done today. The doctor wants to make sure there’s no severe infection there. Mike’s antibiotics are going to be changed slightly to try and help with that. The doctor said he is a little worried (not one of his normal vocabulary words) about it, and he wants to make sure that Mike is generally in pretty good shape before beginning the Avastin. What’s that, Scarlett? Yes, tomorrow is another day indeed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bloody Blood Work! (That's My Inner Brit Coming Out)

Sorry for the delay in the post today. For some reason, the lab wasn’t able to read Mike’s blood sample from earlier, so they had to come in and draw some more blood. Exciting stuff there. For some reason they’ve been having trouble getting blood from Mike’s PICC line (essentially a long-term I.V.), so they have to draw his blood the old fashioned way. Ouchy!

I just got the results from the second lab, and Mike’s platelet count has dropped to 44,000. Crud. Before we had the official count, I talked with the doctor, and he was going to wait until tomorrow to start the Avastin since we didn’t have any reports on the blood work yet. Mike’s hemoglobin also dipped a bit over the weekend, so he may end up getting some blood this afternoon to help with that. I know several of you have offered to donate platelets to help, but the doctor said giving Mike platelets is sort of like putting a Band Aid on the problem. Platelets don’t last very long—your body is constantly regenerating them, which is why a person can donate platelets every couple of days. Mike’s body needs to start generating them on its own, so he’ll have a constant flow. If he were given platelets, they would be gone in a few days, and wouldn’t really help him regenerate any more. Avastin itself doesn’t actually hurt the platelet count, but it sometimes can cause bleeding. If Mike takes the Avastin and begins bleeding, he needs to have plenty of platelets in his system—that’s why Duke is wanting them to be 75,000 before he takes the drug.

Other than that, there’s really not anything else to report. Mike is eating the scrumptious puréed food okay—breakfast is the most time consuming of the meals—and he’s still being difficult when brushing his teeth; he swallows the toothpaste. I just don’t think toothpaste makes such a great dessert after breakfast, but I’ve never tried it, so what do I know? Swallowing fluoride just doesn’t seem like such a hot idea to me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Small Steps and Another Must-Read

First of all, I want to thank all of you for passing along the e-mail and getting the prayer chain a-goin’. I can tell that in addition to Mike, many of you have prayed for me also because yesterday was the first time in a long time (and when I say long, I mean loonnnng) that I have not felt completely exhausted. I didn’t even feel like I needed a nap yesterday! Yahoo! Mike’s platelet count dropped ever-so-slightly to 48,000 yesterday, but it is up to 51,000 today. When I came in yesterday morning, Mike had been taken off of the oxygen assistance and has remained off of it since his oxygen levels have been pretty good. Another yahoo! I know that’s got to feel so much better on his nose. Having the oxygen in can sort of make one’s nose pretty darn dry, and who wants that? Not me, that’s for sure. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Mike would say he doesn’t want a dry nose either. Mike did crack a slight smile at me last night while I was talking with him, which is more reaction than I’ve gotten from him in the last week. Thanks again for all of your prayers; I’m sure they’re responsible for these small improvements. I’ve got to keep reminding myself of small steps. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right?

So I read another book yesterday that I must recommend to you—The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch; it’s a pretty quick read. You may have already heard of it since the author was featured in last week’s Parade section of the newspaper and was on Primetime with Diane Sawyer last week. Pausch is 47 years old; he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given three to six months to live. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and was asked to give a traditional “last lecture” where professors typically talk about what matters most to them. Since Pausch has three small children (ages 6, 3, and 18 months), he decided actually to craft the lecture for them, talking about life lessons and living life to the fullest. It was videotaped so his children could see it one day and have a glimpse of who their father was. It became an Internet phenomenon and evolved into even more musings in the book. You can read more about it and view the lecture on his website at I definitely encourage you to check it out!

Friday, April 11, 2008

E-mail Prayer Chain

Mike’s platelet count continues to be not so great and just bounces around. Yesterday it was at 59,000, but today it’s back down to 49,000. Our doctor talked with the doctors at Duke and they were pretty adamant that Mike’s platelets need to be at 75,000 before he begins the Avastin. So, while the original plan was to begin the Avastin today, we’re going to give Mike the weekend to try to build up his platelet count then go ahead with it on Monday. There is a bit of calculated risk with him going ahead and taking the Avastin, but neither our doctor here nor I see that there’s really any other option—we can’t afford to wait any longer. Mike is going to get some extra steroids this weekend to prevent his brain from swelling, so our Avastin plan can come to fruition.

Mike definitely seems to be getting weaker to me. He hasn’t spoken to me since last Friday. We certainly didn’t have any conversations before then to where we were solving all the problems of the world, but usually he could respond to questions and say at least a few words at a time. Eating seems to have gotten to be more of a chore and brushing his teeth has become more difficult over the last several days.

I’m not normally a fan of forwarded e-mails, but this has been on my heart for quite a while, so I’m asking for your help here. The combination of everything I wrote above and the finding of the new mass that has developed over the last month has led me to ask y’all to help me start on e-mail prayer chain. Obviously, I don’t have all of your e-mail addresses, so I’m asking you to copy and paste the message below and create an e-mail to send to everyone in your address book. We all know that prayer changes things—that’s the only reason Mike is still with us now, but I feel like we need as many prayers as possible and e-mail is a pretty simple way to make that happen. Results for others taking the Avastin have been great, but there is no guarantee that it will yield the same results for Mike. Fortunately, our God is greater than any tumor, and He is truly the only one who can make Mike’s tumor go away. I just think that we need to have as many people as possible asking Him for that miracle. Lots of you have asked what you can do for us over the last couple of months; well, this is it…copy, paste, and send it out!

Subject: Pray for Mike

My husband, Mike Starnes, was diagnosed with a brain tumor—glioblastoma multiforme, grade IV—in January of this year. The prognosis for this type of cancer is not good—living for two years is considered long term. Mike and I thought we would at least have a few good months to spend some time together with our daughters (ages 6 months and almost 3 years), but he unfortunately took a turn for the worse and has been hospitalized since January 28.

On February 5, I was told Mike only had a few days to live, but because of the faithful prayers of many, he is still with us. Since that time, he has been through chemotherapy and radiation which has taken a toll on his body. Those treatments did shrink his tumor, but earlier this week it was discovered that another mass has formed in his brain. Prayer has already extended his life by two months, and I’m asking for your prayers to extend it even longer. Please pray for my husband’s healing and that he will recover well enough to have some quality of life. He is scheduled to begin a new treatment next week that has been successful with many brain cancer patients, but there is no guarantee it will work for Mike. Please pray for God to use this treatment to work wonders and glorify Him.

One other request is to pass this e-mail on to as many people as possible. Your cat will not catch on fire if you don’t pass it on nor will something good necessarily happen to you in ten minutes if you send it to ten people. You may, however, just may be a part of making a miracle happen. I have been keeping a blog on my husband’s condition, and you can read about our journey thus far and continue to read to discover how your prayers are working.

Diane Starnes

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Not Quite the Anniversary Gift I Was Hoping For

Results from yesterday’s MRI are back, and they’re not so great. The tumor has only shrunk about one millimeter from the MRI on March 12. The good news is there is no hemorrhaging. The bad news is another mass has developed in Mike’s brain. This one measures 2.7cm x 3.4 cm and is located towards the back of the brain, in what’s called the left occipital lobe. From what I could find from my research (i.e. Google), that part of the brain controls vision and how one perceives colors and shapes. The doctor is sending a copy of the MRI to Duke today and will hopefully hear back from them tomorrow. He said the plan right now is to go ahead and start Mike on the Avastin by the end of this week. There’s a bit of a calculated risk with it, but given the results of the latest MRI, that’s really our best bet.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

Mike’s platelets climbed to 50,000 yesterday, but they dropped a little to 49,000 today. His latest thing is to suddenly break out in a sweat but maintain a normal temperature. The doctor said he may have some sort of infection that isn’t being picked up, so Mike had a chest x-ray yesterday. The results indicated that there appears to be some sort of infection, but the doctor doesn’t seem to be too worried about it. Mike was given an antibiotic for it; that and the continued breathing treatments should help clear things up.

Mike has been pretty quiet this weekend—not much talking and a whole lot of sleeping. My idea of the Gerber sweet potatoes didn’t go over so well. I bought the “Stage 3” ones, but they still weren’t very thick. I was so excited when I gave them to Mike Friday night—I just knew that he would be glad to have something different. After I gave him a couple of bites, I asked him if they were good or nasty, and he said, “Nasty.” Arrgh! I even heated them in the microwave (my cooking specialty!) and hid the jar so he wouldn’t know where they came from. I bought some Gerber Blueberry Buckle and Mac ‘N Cheese, but I’ve been scared to try them out since the sweet potatoes went over like a lead balloon.

An MRI is still planned for Monday. Since Mike is an inpatient, there is no set time—they’ll just work him in between scheduled visits. Hopefully, I'll get some results by the end of the night, but there are no guarantees on that.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Same Ol' Song and Dance

I feel like a broken record here, but there isn’t really anything new to report. Mike’s platelets are up to 45,000. (They were 40,000 yesterday.) Even though “normal” is at least 150,000, the doctor said he would be happy if they get to 100,000. He’ll actually even settle for 80,000 to begin new treatment. The MRI for Monday is still on. The results from that will determine the next step as far as changing further medication. Mike’s potassium was a little low yesterday, so he was given some and is fine now. His hands are getting a little puffy again from retaining so much fluid and will get a dose of Lasix to help with that.

I hate I don’t have anything exciting for you to read, but at least there haven’t been any setbacks. Nothing new is most definitely better than something bad. With Mike being on this puréed diet, I’m beginning to feel a little bad for him because there’s not much variety in what he gets to eat. (Okay, so I really felt bad for him from the first time I saw one of those puréed plates. It’s definitely better than having a feeding tube go through the nose, though.) He told me the peas were nasty the other day, so I won’t order those anymore, and there are only so many combinations of carrots, green beans, broccoli, and corn a person can make. I’m thinking Lizard’s Thicket doesn’t offer puréed food on their menu, so I’m toying with the idea of getting some baby food for Mike. I don’t want him to be insulted, but he’s got to be tired of the same ol’ thing all the time. I know there are “things” that people have to purée food, but c’mon people, if you think I have one those, you just don’t know me very well at all. If it can’t be fixed in the microwave, stovetop, or oven, I’m certainly not going to know how to fix it. Heck, using the stove and oven is a stretch for me. Maybe I’ll just sneak some Gerber sweet potatoes on his plate and just not tell him where they came from!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not Much Change

There’s still not a whole lot of change for today. Mike’s hemoglobin is a little low, so he’s going to be given a unit of blood today to hopefully boost that up. His platelets are around 39,000 (normal is at least 150,000), but he’s not going to be given anymore right now; the doctor thinks Mike will regenerate them and that number will increase. (Sounds like they work sort of like starfish to me.) Mike’s on a low dose of oxygen, so the respiratory therapist decided to try taking him off of the assistance. Shortly after she left, Mike looked like he was having a hard time breathing. When I asked him if he felt like it was difficult to breathe, he said yes. So, he had about a 15 minute reprieve from the oxygen assistance.

The plan right now is to give the radiation a little more time to work and do an MRI early next week. Mike was taken off one of his antibiotics yesterday, and he’s doing fine with the lower dose of steroids thus far. His blood count has to get back up before we can start the next round of treatment. He will take the Temodar (chemotherapy) for only five days in the entire month. It will be a higher dose than what he was on earlier, so that’s why we’ve got to make doubly sure his blood levels are good. I think once we start with that we will be able to start with the Avastin as well. Mike has been talking a little bit. And by little, I mean, well, little. He answered some questions yesterday and at times had a pretty good voice with his responses. He hasn’t said a whole lot today. Sometimes he’ll give me an answer when I ask him a question, and sometimes he just looks at me like I’m stupid. Good thing I don’t suffer from chronic low self-esteem, or else I’d probably be over in the corner crying that my husband thinks I’m an idiot. And if he’s ever told any of y’all that he does think I’m stupid, well, you can just kept that to yourself. There are some things I’d just rather not know!