Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Garden Pictures and Medical News

I thought you would enjoy looking at some pictures of Equus Villa - mostly some of my favorite garden projects while I tell you about our doctor's appointment.

We had to get up at 5am and leave by 6 to get all the way down to Pearland, which is where this doctor sees his patients on Tuesday's - Don's day off. We arrived 30 minutes early. The office was large, comfortable - much nicer than our first doctors office. The staff greeted us and the paperwork was rather simple.

After only 10 minutes or so, we were called into the office. Don was weighed and his blood pressure was taken. It was high...no surprise to us. We were then escorted into an exam room.

Don was actually seen by 2 separate doctors. The first, young, energetic and enthusiastic laid the plan they were going to take with Don. In a word - it is going to be aggressive!

Killing this Hepatitis virus in Don's blood is the highest priority and to do this we are going to have to take some risks.

Instead of taking Don off of the meds he is on, they are increasing them. The point of pulling him off this newly increased amount of Interferon is going to be a platelet count of less than 30,000. Our previous doctor only allowed him to go down to 40,000 before he reduced the medicine.

This new threshold frightens me and Don knows it. A less than 30,000 platelet count is dangerously low with awful side effects such as spontaneous bleeds and bruising. Any kind of accident even a small one can be a huge risk.

They ordered a cat scan on his liver and told him he will have to have one every 6 months for the rest of his life. The risk is high for liver cancer and to quote the doctor, "If something is going to show up, I want to find it when it is the size of a peanut and I can do something about it!"

They also ordered a scope. They are checking for varaces (sp??) When you have any type of cirrhosis, the liver can no longer handle the volume of blood it needs to filter the way it used to. The blood backs up, back into the spleen, which is why his is enlarged and into the portal vein. This scope will check the portal vein for damage.If this new increased Interferon drug treatment does not work, the next step is an even higher dose of Interferon, only it will be injected daily in a smaller doses. This is the drug that makes Don feel so ill. It is the same chemotherapy drug given to cancer patients. We are both up for the fight - no matter where it goes, but secretly I pray we do not have to go with the daily injections.

I am so proud of Don. All he said to the doctors after they presented the new treatment plan and procedures was "Lets do it!"

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey it's Vicki....
I hope you guys enjoyed the day off ,even though you had the appt.. I pray that this new treatment will kill the hepatitis once and for all!
Your flowers are beautiful...and I love that new Equus Villa sign...
Love you both...

Cote de Texas said...

Good luck with the new treatment plan. It sounds like this dr. knows what he is doing. I have a good feeling about this!!!

Helen said...

Go for it .... you both have what it takes to wage the good battle!

Ginger said...

It's good that the new doctor is being so aggressive in treating Don. I hope he can handle the new doses of meds.
Your garden flowers are so pretty. I like your arbor.
Was that Oliver peeking over the fence?

Neabear said...

Enjoyed the pictures as you updated us. Still keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Hope all is going okay for you two.

Brenda Eason said...

Girl I hope this goes well. I know you are on pins and needles. I loved the way you told the story with photos of happy things.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Thanks so much for the update on Don, Julie! And the news of this procedure.

The photos are beautiful!

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

God bless you both, Julie. You are both very brave. I will pray daily for Don's total healing.
Your flowers (and horsie) are beautiful.

Bee said...

Praying for y'all and hoping that this new plan of attack will stop that hateful virus dead in it's tracks. Y'all have each other, y'all have good doctors and y'all have a fighting attitude. That's a whole lotta positive on your side!

donna baker said...

Good luck and God speed. Love your garden pics. It takes a lot of work.

justabeachkat said...

Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos as you updated us. It's a scary time, but with God ALL things are possible. Keep the faith. Believe.

Hugs!
Kat

Nina Diane said...

I like the way these new docs sound...and Don has a great attitude. Thoughts and prayers to ya'll.....

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Sounds like the doctors have a good plan! The pics were beautiful...will keep Don in my prayers!

vivian said...

beautiful pictures..
I'm just glad that there are things they can do to fight the hep C. I think I told you a friend of mine has it and has had to use the interferon shots too. I havent talked to her in a very long time, so Im not sure how she is doing. I should look her up though!
Medical technology is something I've always been thankful for. Im sure you are too.
have a great day my friend!
hugs
vivian