Monday, July 28, 2008

The Results Are In...

Since it has been a couple of weeks since my last posting I will just review the major events of that time. I did much better the last round of chemotherapy. I did not experience that much nausea or loss of appetite. Two days after I was unhooked from all of my chemotherapy medicines I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Lalani, the pain management doctor. After I told him that I am no longer in any pain we decided I no longer need to be taking Oxycontin for pain. He was quite pleased that I was pain free and told me if he had to give credit where credit was due then he said it was from the chemotherapy working, not the pain block. Marissa and I of course gave credit to God. We were thrilled, as this was now the second hint we had been given that the chemotherapy was probably working. As far as the Oxycontin went I was told to wean myself off of it by substituting a shorter acting pain medicine, Dilaudid, over the next nine days. Immediately after doing this the next few days were horrible. I could not eat, I was nauseous and vomiting, and I had a headache that I could not shake. These symptoms ran from one day to the next and did not let up. Marissa and I attributed these symptoms to be withdrawal symptoms from the Oxycontin. We googled Oxycontin withdrawal symptoms and these matched what I was experiencing. We also learned that withdrawal symptoms from Oxycontin are worse than that of Heroin. Thankfully, by day 4 of these symptoms I was feeling much better and my headache was finally gone. After that I felt better each day and slowly began rebuilding my strength, as I was more fatigued than I had previously been with round 1 of the chemotherapy.

Marissa's mom came on Sunday, July 20, and I was feeling good enough to get out and go places with her and Marissa. On Monday, July 21, we received a call that our name was taken from the free apartment list and that a free apartment was available for us to move into. Fortunately Marissa's mom was here to help Marissa pack, load and unload the car. We moved into our new, "free" apartment on Tuesday July, 22. It is nice and new but very small, much like an oversized hospital room with the same tile flooring. But, we were just happy to be there and save some money on rent. We are still enjoying everyone's cards but we ask that they are no longer sent to our old address on Brompton Rd. as we will no longer receive them.

My parents came on Tuesday, July 22 to be here for my testing and results. They were able to stay at our old apartment as the rent was paid up until Monday, July 28. Wednesday, July 23 began my 10 hour day of testing. It started with blood work, then I had a chest x-ray, and lastly I had a cat scan of the abdomen and pelvis, which involved a 4 hour wait.

Thursday, July 24 I had an appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Trent. He was to discuss my test results with me. My appointment was scheduled for 4 pm. Dr. Trent was running 2 hours behind which of course meant more waiting. We had high hopes that the chemotherapy is working and two doctors hinted that they thought that it was, however we were still a little anxious as we had no concrete results. When we finally met with Dr. Trent we were told the wonderful news that the chemotherapy has shrunk my tumors significantly. I asked Dr. Trent if they were smaller even than he would have thought and he said that yes, it was shrinking the tumors more than he expected. We could not be happier or feel more blessed by this news. We decided to start Round 3 of chemotherapy in Houston since we are already here, but we are planning on returning home for my next round of chemotherapy. We hope to leave for Georgia around August 8 as long as my white blood cell counts are normal. Then I would start chemotherapy there around the 14 of August, and then we would return to Houston the first week of September for another round of testing including a cat scan and then meet with the doctor for those results.

Well, that about sums up the last couple of weeks. We are delighted by my fantastic news, and I could not have asked for a better birthday present. I am on my third day of my third round of chemotherapy. I am feeling pretty good, just very tired. We are looking forward to returning home and seeing our home makeover, getting our dogs back, and of course seeing family and friends. Thank you so much for all of the prayers which we continue to ask for.

At the rate at which I make posts, hopefully next time I write I will be writing from home in Georgia.


  1. Just read your new post and really enjoyed it as usual. I can't tell you how happy we all you are on the road to recovery and the chemo is doing its job! Glad to hear this round is going well and that you are not feeling too sick. I'm sure you are mentally and physically exhausted but your spirits seem refreshed. We absolutely can not wait until you both come home! I tell Jack everyday that Uncle B and Auntie Rissi will be here soon. Maybe you can get him to eat something without spitting it back at you! He got Nathan with oatmeal in the eyes this morning and me tonight at dinner with peas-ha ha. What a little rascal. I gave him a haircut and I must say this is my best one yet. Perhaps I have a new career on the horizon. Nathan is going to Chattanooga Friday and meeting with an agency to rent our house out. Hopefully this will work until the market improves. Not much else is new. Nathan has his finals this week and I have my trip to Columbus tomorrow so I will be on the road! Talk to you soon,
    Meaghan and Jack

  2. David & BeverlyJuly 28, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    Bradley & Marissa,
    We rejoice in hearing your great medical report! God is so faithful and has truly answered the many prayers made on your behalf. We know that nothing is too difficult for God, and His mighty work in your situation will be an awesome testimony of faith. As you continue the journey, please know that we continue to uplift you in prayer and are expecting more miracles! May the presence of the Holy Spirit bless you with peace and hope. We love you.

    Love & prayers,
    David & Beverly

  3. Bradley,
    I can not explain how happy I am to hear your good news. Maxine told me the day you got your results. . Oh, and by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope you have a great day, and remember we are all still praying for you.

    Ashley Roberts

  4. Mom & Dad DycusJuly 29, 2008 at 8:05 AM

    Happy Birthday, Bradley...We're sure you'd rather be home for your birthday, but that will soon come true. Hope you're feeling better for such a special day in your life...and ours. Twenty-six years ago this afternoon at 3:31, God gave us a special gift. We continue to believe that HE will bless you, Marissa, and us with HIS healing hand. Talk to you later.


    Mom and Dad Dycus

  5. Happy Birthday! I know you would probably rather be spending your birthday somewhere else but at least you got fantastic news! Looks like this was God's birthday present. Can't wait for you all to be home. I will call later!

    Maison, Ashleigh & Owen

  6. Hey Bradley
    I sent you a card. I hope you got it before your move. I'm so glad that everything is looking good. I'll keep you in my prayers!
    Jessica Buck

  7. Excellent news! We are so glad to hear it! You could probably hear our collective sigh of relief all the way from Knoxville! Keep your chin up for the next round and try to keep eating eating eating!!! We are thinking about you two daily and we are hoping for all the best! Marissa, your strength and tenacity for information and answers are paying off! You keep your strength up and let your mom take care of you! You need it too!

    Teresa and Trevor and Family

  8. i am so thrilled with this good news but remember the doctors are the tools that GOD uses and it has always been in his hands since day one he has plans for you and this bump in the road will prepare you for whatever it is i know you two will be so glad to get home that in itself will be good for you take care and pray for a good turn out at the supper this friday night wish you could be there mimi baker

  9. Bradley and Marissa,

    I have been anxious to read your updates and was so excited to read the following:

    "I asked Dr. Trent if they were smaller even than he would have thought and he said that yes, it was shrinking the tumors more than he expected. We could not be happier or feel more blessed by this news."

    I am sure you are thanking God daily and continue to hold His hand as you go forward in your treatment.

    It was good to hear from Marissa's mom, tell her that we will need an "outing" soon after she returns to TN. Thinking of you often, Phyllis

  10. Bradley and Marrisa,

    We are so glad to hear your recent news that the chemo is working!!! You both are always in our thoughts and prayers. We hope to see you soon!

    John, Shavon, and Ava

  11. Woohoo! That's great news! We are so happy for you and will be thinking of you as you go into round three!

  12. What great news! We are thrilled for you both! You must be so excited about coming home. Hope you had a great birthday! You are still in our prayers.

    Kim Morrison

  13. Can't wait for you guys to come home and see your home make over. The dogs are looking forward to seeing you. Wish I could have gotten them a haircut. Miss you both! Love, mom

  14. Marissa and Bradley,
    Great news! Jenny and I will continue to keep you in our prayers. Bradley, man, you are a good writer!
    Steve Peterson

  15. Awesome news! We are so happy for the both of you! Hope you had a wonderful anniversary:)

    Jenny and Steve

  16. Hey Bradley, I read the new post today. I am praying for the good news you will post next. I am bummed that you have go back so soon. I bet fixin the garage felt good. It is surprising how refreshing it feels when it is done. I hope they let you go this week, and you guys have a safe trip home! love and prayers- nathan