Saturday, May 31, 2008

Arriving at M.D. Anderson

We finally got our telephone calls. We heard back from M.D. Anderson around lunchtime yesterday. It was not exactly the phone call that we were after, but at least we are certain now that the ball is rolling. They called to discuss the diagnosis, request reports/slides/films, and financial information. Of course, as of lunchtime yesterday, we had not yet received the pathology report from Emory University. Regarding the diagnosis, we were only able to tell them what we have verbally been told ourselves, which is a Soft Tissue Sarcoma. The reports, slides, and films were all collected yesterday. And the financial information was simple; here is my insurance information, bill us for the rest.

Marissa and I spent hours gathering records from every doctor’s office and clinic that I have seen in the last year. We were able to collect everything from dictation notes to microscope slides for our pending journey to Houston. On the last errand, which I wasn’t able to make, Marissa received a call from Dr. Sharma. She said that the documentation that we were gathering had already been sent to M.D. Anderson. She had personally gathered those documents and sent them ahead of us. She also said that she had spoken again with Dr. Sarma about the pathology report. Dr. Sarma made the comment that Emory would not be able to provide the care that I was going to need for the type of cancer that I had. The recommendation of both doctors was to cancel any remaining appointments that were scheduled locally and go to Houston immediately.

Marissa immediately came home, woke me up, and gave me the news. This news, of course, is something that we eventually wanted to hear, but it made me a little anxious to hear it the way that I did. We received confirmation from Dr. Sharma that this was not necessarily an emergency situation; it was just the fact that there was little doubt now where I would end up. Why waste time, right? Also, because of the severe pain that I have been having, should I need to go to the Emergency Room, I could do so at M.D. Anderson. The obvious benefit to that would be any treatment I would receive would be reviewed by an oncologist, so as to avoid anything that would have an adverse affect on my cancer treatment. I had debated several times going to the ER at Emory, but I was afraid that my cancer would be ignored in my emergency treatment.

Regardless the reasoning, we made plans to travel. The plan that we had laid out for this occasion seemed to work out flawlessly. Our dogs, Paddington and Yogi, were to go to Knoxville and stay with Marissa’s mother Christine, and her husband Gary. They happened to be in town visiting and planning to return home today. Marissa’s sister Meaghan and husband Nathan have volunteered to watch the house, as well as our neighbor Babbette. With regard to traveling, my parents Bill and Paula drove to Atlanta last night from Tennessee to travel with Marissa and me. My mom and I booked tickets to fly and Marissa and my dad decided to make the drive. With this arrangement, I did not have to make a 12 hour car ride from Atlanta to Houston, but it also prevents us from paying for a rental car for the entire stay as well. The flight left Atlanta around noon, arriving about two hours later. Marissa and my dad dropped us off on their way out and arrived in Houston around 8 p.m.

The admissions off does not open until Monday morning, so hopefully there will be no new news until then. If I do need emergency medical attention before then, however, I can check in to the emergency department. Until Monday, we will do our best to enjoy the new city, as winning the battle with cancer is 80% mental.

Thanks, as always, for checking in on the blog. Keep the prayers coming, and thanks for all your support.


  1. I am glad to hear that you made your trip. Just wanted to know that we are praying for you and your family.

    Jill Powers and family

  2. Hi! It is Tuesday morning and I have been out with the dogs already. I got about about 6:15. Praying that today will be a better day for all of you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers! Love, mom

  3. Hi Bradley, We want you to know that you are all constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

    You have an enemy to fight and conquer just a Joshua did.(Joshua chapters 1-11) The Lord told him on several occasions "Be strong and courageous" and "do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous". Joshua obeyed; Joshua won the victory. We're trusting that you can and will, too. God still performs miracles!

    Uncle Bob & Aunt Grace

  4. David & BeverlyJune 6, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    We are sending this note to remind you and Marissa of our continual thoughts and prayers. Remember there are many people uplifting you in their prayers. You are on prayer lists across this nation. One of the greatest promises given by God is the assurance that He is always with us. May you find strength and peace knowing the Lord is right there with you and is holding you close in His loving arms. We believe in the power of prayer and that with God, nothing is impossible. We love you very much.

    Our blessings & love,
    David & Beverly

  5. Bradley, You and Marissa are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Tara & Wayne

  6. Owen did something pretty cute today....We were swimming in the pool and playing with the little plastic fish that Marmie gave to him in Panama City. I'm not sure if you and Owen shared a moment talking about these fish,or if he remembers that you like to catch fish, but out of nowhere today he said "Give Uncle Bradley the fish" I said "You want to give him the fish?" because I wasn't sure where that came from. He said "Yeah! Give Uncle Bradley the fish!" So, when you recieve the fish you'll know why we sent it, he wants you to have it. :)

    We hope you all are having a good day, we are thinking of you all today!

  7. Bradley, Had lunch with some of my friends who are also busy praying for you. We know that God is listening. Love, christine

  8. Well, it is steaming hot here so I know Houston must be a sauna! Jack has been cooped up in the house since it is too hot for walks and he misses you both and is sick of my material! I really think he is going to start crawling in the next week! Nate and I will check on your house again this week. I hope you get my care packages soon-2 are on the way. I wanted to let you know we are praying for you as you begin your chemo treatment. This is the beginning of getting rid of this cancer so stay strong!
    Love, Meaghan

  9. Thinking and praying for you constantly. Love, mom

  10. Our prayers and thoughts are with you always and especially during your chemo treatments. Love, mom