Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hallelujah....Brad is OFF BEDREST!!

Brad went in to the doctor on Tuesday for his follow-up appointment. We are thrilled to announce that he is OFF bedrest! Hallelujah!!

Brad had a few instructions for Dr. Marco when we went in on Tuesday...Brad let him know that he would be taking out his stitches that day, he would be starting PT the next and he would be swimming in his pool by the weekend. Dr. Marco said that the plan seemed reasonable enough to him. Hooray!

Brad said that once he is able to get into the pool, he invisions himself taking the Nestea plunge. I think we will have to have a party at that point. We are so excited for this new-found freedom for Brad. He is even driving! It is such a relief to see him moving around the house and getting out and about now. It gives me such a sense of peace to see him moving forward towards recovery. He is in great spirits and I know that he is looking forward to regaining strength in his right leg. He is especially looking to the day when he can chuck those crutches into a lake somewhere!

We are so thankful for God's healing on Brad. We are thankful for all of your continued support during these past eight months. I know that we could not have done it without you. You are an amazing family of believers and we send a prayer of thanks each night thanking God for each of you. Praise God for his healing power!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

ER Visit

On Monday morning (while Kaelyn and I were recovering at my parents), Brad went in to the doctor because of pain through his back causing shortness of breath & back spasms. The doctor was quick to be concerned of Brad's symptoms because of his post-surgery condition. The doctor sent Brad by ambulance to Patients hospital in Pasadena. He showed concern that Brad might be experiencing a collapsed lung or a blood clot near his lungs.

Brad spent all of Monday and Tuesday at the hospital undergoing tests to check his lungs, heart, and chest. All of the more serious possibilites were ruled out today so they let Brad go home. It looks like Brad either somehow threw out his back (maybe a result of all the bedrest and then crutching around the house?) or pinched a nerve in the right side of his back. He has injured his back in a similar way one other time before and it has been very painful for him. We are very relieved with the diagnosis...praise God!

We will be going in to the oncologist on Thursday for a follow-up appointment. Lord willing, Brad will be released from bed rest and will be able to begin his physical therapy on his leg. It seems that the prolonged bedrest is causing other issues for him at this point so he is more than ready to begin a new phase of his recovery process.

Thank you for all of your support: the calls, emails, prayers, visits, dinners, "bed rest entertainment gifts", etc. Brad and I are so blessed by each of you. You have made us feel so loved and taken care of. We have witnessed God's love through each of your kind acts and we hope that you know how much we appreciate you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More Bed Rest

Friends & Family,

Brad went back to the doctor today for another follow-up appointment. The doctor was pleased with Brad's healing over the past week, but unfortunately the incision has not entirely healed & is still draining some. Dr. Marco said that Brad should continue bed rest on his stomach for at least another week. I am asking for prayers for Brad's mental health during this week.

Friends from church have been so wonderful to come by each day for visits. It really helps to pass the time when he shares the evening with guys to play video games, cards, and dominoes.

I would also like to request prayers that Brad is able to rest at night. He has really struggled to get comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep in the evening. Most nights he only gets to sleep 2 or 3 hours, thus making for long nights when the rest of the house is snoring around him. Of course, it doesn't help his mind to be tired all the time.

Thank you so much for all of your help. You are the most amazing support group: your cards, calls, visits, dinners, and prayers mean so much to us. We are truly blessed.

We love you all.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Friends & Family,

We continue to thank you for your prayers, cards, phone calls, meals, and unwavering emotional support.

We are so grateful for each of you. Since Brad's surgery on the 23rd, he has been struggling with a lot of drainage from the incisions that just won't seem to heal. There has been some concern of infection in his leg.

After Brad's Tuesday doctor's appointment, Dr. Marco was not comfortable with the way that Brad's wound was progressing and decided to admit him into the hospital the following afternoon for surgery. Although the original plan was to only clean out the incisions and wound area, during the procedure Dr. Marco decided to also change out all of the parts of his knee replacement that were not already cemented to his bone (a much more involved procedure).

Dr. Marco said that he did not see any visual signs of infection but that there could still be microbacteria present. Dr. Marco ran a culture of fluid from his leg on Tuesday and we should have those results some time next week to determine if infection is/was present.

An internal medicine doctor came by his room today to perscribe him antibiotics to give him as a preventative measure. There was some confusion following surgery about getting Brad the appropriate pain medication to match the gravity of the surgery that they decided on after opening him up.

Unfortunately Brad was in a great deal of pain for several hours following the procedure. Thankfully, the nurses have adjusted the medication and he is resting more comfortably at this time. A drain has been left in Brad's leg to help pull fluid off the wound and allow the area to heal. He has been instructed to not work on any physical therapy at this time and keep his leg still so that it may heal well first.

Once healed, he will then be able to resume physical therapy to get him back on his feet. He is more than ready to be back on his feet. We are praying that Brad's pain continues to remain controlled. We are also praying for quick healing and added strength. These last two back-to-back surgeries have really taken a lot out of him both physically and mentally.

Thank you for your continued support. We hope that this is the last surgery for Brad for a VERY long time.

We love you all.
Hugs, Jen

Thursday, April 26, 2007

News from the Hospital

Brad is doing much better these past 24 hours. We are excited to see the amount of movement he has in his foot and there doesn't seem to be any additional nerve damage to his leg.

Brad was able to get out of bed today without help and did a great job during his physical therapy sessions. He is certainly not ready for any races yet, but we are encouraged by his incredible improvement since Wednesday morning. We are scheduled to meet with the doctor tomorrow morning to follow up with him about Brad's progress.

Most likely we will be taking Brad home by Friday afternoon. Thanks be to God for the successful surgery results so far. We are praying for continued speed in rebuilding Brad's strength.

Love you all.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Full Knee Replacement

Friends & Family,

Brad went into surgery this morning at 7:30am as planned. For those of you who have been waiting to hear, the fluid that had built up around Brad's knee was tested in a biopsy on April 13th and came back clear, thus enabling the doctor to keep Brad's kneecap during the knee replacement (keeping the kneecap helps the lifespan of the knee replacement).

It is 4:30pm and we just spoke with the doctor. Brad was just taken out of surgery and sent to recovery. We should be able to see him in a couple of hours. Dr. Marco said that the surgery went well. He believes that they were able to remove all of the cancer from Brad's femur. They took tissue samples from the margins of the incisions from his last surgery. Those will be tested to see if they find any other cancer cells remaining in his leg.

At this point, we are praying that there is no damage to Brad's nerves or tendons so that he can regain most of the feeling and motion in his leg. During surgery, the doctor also found some wear to Brad's kneecap which can cause some pain following surgery. So, we are also praying that any long term arthritic pain from the knee will be minimal.

Brad is scheduled to stay at Foundations hospital through Friday, the 27th. We will be in Room 330. We appreciate all of your prayers and unwavering support. We are incredibly blessed to have such an amazing group of family and friends. Thank you for continuing to take care of us. We love you all.

Thanks so much for the prayers. We just heard from the doctor that they have completed the first part of Brad's surgery which includes cutting out the scar tissue from the back of Brad's leg. They are currently cutting out the scar tissue from the second incision, then they will start on the knee replacement work. We are thinking that he will be out of surgery and in recovery at about 3pm. We'll let you know how he is later today. Love you all.Jen

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kaelyn's Baby Blessing

We took Kaelyn to church today for her baby blessing at Southeast. She managed to sleep through the entire thing....what a good baby!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Our New Addition

Here is a picture of our new addition! Brad & I went into the hospital on Saturday evening because I was experiencing such intense contractions. I talked with my doctor by phone from my hospital room and he decided that it would be a good idea to go ahead and have my c-section the following morning.

Kaelyn came into the world on Sunday, February 11th at 9:38am
Weighing in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces and almost 22 inches in length!
(she was only an ounce lighter than her brother and she came 2 1/2 weeks early!)

I vote that a scheduled c-section is the way to go! Kaelyn's delivery was a breeze compared to delivering Zeke. I am in less than a tenth of the pain I experienced with him! The recovery is absolutely no comparison.

I took Kaelyn's picture the other night in a newborn dress that I wore home from the hospital. She has been so much fun! Can't wait to show her off to each of you!

Hugs & Kisses,

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Kaelyn Denise decided she had cooked long enough and it was time to come out. She came this morning at 9:38 and was 8 lbs, 14 oz. She was 21 ¾ inches long. Her delivery was much easier than her brothers and she was calmer. Mom is recovering nicely and decided c-section is not bad as long as you don’t have 15 hours of pushing ahead of time. Thanks for all your prayers for our family

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

2nd Opinion - MD Anderson

We had an appointment at MD Anderson yesterday afternoon to see Dr. Patrick Lin in order to get a second opinion and hoping for clarity with Brad’s case. Although, we didn’t leave with much in the way of new information, MD Anderson found the same diagnosis for the pathology report when they tested the unstained tissues for themselves.

This response gives us some reassurance in moving forward to make a decision for a surgical option in knowing that another pathology group found the same results as the original report. It was also reassuring to know that the doctors who have been working on Brad’s case from the start, are some of the very same doctors who have held lead positions at MD Anderson at some point in their career. Dr. Lin was very familiar with everyone who has worked on Brad’s case up to this point.

This afternoon we visited with Dr. Marco who performed Brad’s first surgery. We had the opportunity to ask him all of the questions we have been contemplating over the last several weeks. After the follow up appointment today with Dr. Marco and a lot of prayer, we have planned at this time to schedule Brad for a custom knee replacement in April.

Following that surgery Brad will continue to have MRI’s and CT scans every few months to ensure that the cancer does not move into his lungs or reappear in another part his femur. Brad will be at home recovering through the rest of the school year and into the summer. Our prayer is that Brad will make a great recovery after these back-to-back surgeries and be up and running in the fall when he starts back to school at the end of August.

We want to thank you for all of the prayers and support. We feel blessed to have a certain level of peace by beginning to formulate a plan for Brad’s treatment so that next week we can focus on the arrival of a brand-new family member.
We love you all, Jenny

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thank you for all of your prayers and calls to check on our family. Your support is very appreciated and your shared concerns for us only further proves what a kind, caring group of friends surrounds our family.

I wanted to let you know an update on Brad's recovery. Tuesday morning I took Brad in to see the orthapediac surgeon who worked on his leg last week. Brad had been experiencing excessive swelling, inflamation and a sudden increase in pain in his leg. Against his desires, I took him in to see the doctor to ensure that everything he was experiencing was a normal part of the recovery process. While we were in the office, the doctor let us know the results of the biopsy of bone surrounding the tumor mass that had just come in.

Despite the doctor's original prediction, the biopsy results for the remaining bone came back showing malignant tumor. I have to admit that this diagnosis was the furthest thing from my mind and caught me completely off-guard.

The bone cancer that Brad has been diagnosed with does not respond to typical radiation and will have to be removed physically from the bone. The doctor basically left us with a couple of options: either (1) full knee replacement (downside being that Brad is only 30 and the knee replacements generally only have a life of 7-10 years; meaning lots of surgeries through life and he will have to discontinue sports and agressive exercise that only put further wear on the knee.) or (2) amputation above and below the knee; using the heel to create a new knee and prosthetics below the knee.

There is some chance of the cancer moving to other areas of Brad's body but only occurs in less than 50% of cases. Brad will continue to have scans run to ensure that the cancer has not already spread to other areas. The doctor suggests waiting at least 6 weeks to allow for Brad's leg to recover from the first surgery. We are not certain at this time when we will elect to have the next surgery, being that baby #2 is scheduled to be delivered by c-section in just 4 weeks (Valentine's Day to be exact).

Although the news is still very new to us, I can certainly see a plan for how Brad and I will move forward through this battle and come out stronger in the end. It is with the support of wonderful Christian friends like you who help to keep us positive and focused on the infinate possiblities that God has in store for our lives. I also have come to realize that it is through life's challenges such as this that we are able to reach out to others with similar life-struggles who need our support.

Thank you so much for being such a beautiful picture of God's love to us. Your faith in His healing power and your support for our family means everything to me.
Hugs, Jen

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Biopsy shows Chondrosarcoma

As most of you know, I previously had a tumor in my knee. In December, I had a needle biopsy that came back negative for malignancy. Dr. Marco told us from the beginning that a negative test result would mean we were still uncertain (meaning the cells they removed were not cancerous...but there could be other cancerous cells in a different location).

During the surgery, the doctors removed the entire tumor mass but left as much bone as possible in order to save mobility and function of the knee. After the surgery the bone surrounding the tumor was further tested and revealed a cancer that has a moderate chance of spreading to the lungs. Therefore the bone left in the knee has cancer in it.

Dr. Marco has shared with me three options
1)Remove infected bone and replace bone with a bone from a bone bank. This would require a complete reconstruction of the acl and a complete knee replacement in 5 or six years
2)Complete knee replacement using metal and plastic. Down side is the more wear and tear on the knee, the faster you will need another one.
3)Amputate the above the knee and down to mid calf. Use the remaining foot leg bone and ankle/heel as the new knee with prosthetics below the knee.

Marco wants to wait at least 8 weeks to let everything heal up and also allow us time to decide where to go from here. My initial feelings lean toward the complete knee replacement. The other concern is of the cancer spreading to the lungs. I had a c.t. scan before surgery that revealed no tumors in the lungs. However, the cancer is slow-growing so it could already be there and just not visible. I will continually have c.t. scans to check That is our update. Please continue to pray for Jenny as she is due with our second baby in less than 1 month. Also pray for Zeke as he is in the difficult transition from only child to soon to be little brother (which is only complicated with all the added stress of my medical conditions.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I know some of you are in the dark about my surgery so I thought I would include two pics from yesterday when Jenny cleaned my wounds. The first photo shows the cut where they took my lcl out and put it on the table. They had to reconnect it with a post to the bone in my leg. The second cut actually itches a lot worse and is on the back side of the knee