Monday, November 16, 2009

Long Time - No Blog

Well, it's sure been a long time. Since I've last blogged, Billy's Grandma passed away. It was a long journey and very hard on Billy. She was his mother figure growing up and they had a VERY strong connection. It was the first person that Billy has lost in his family and it's been very hard on everyone.

About me...I was diagnosed with melanoma in January of this year. It was a shocker for us all. I had a mass on the side of my neck that started off no bigger than a pea and by the time they actually removed it (with a 12 hour surgery) it was the size of a baseball. They anticipated paralyzed muscles in my face, some loss of use in my right arm, etc. When the doctor came out after the surgery he told Billy that it was as if "someone" built a wall next to the tumor so that the tumor had to grow flatter rather than deeper. This meant that there was no permanent nerve damage. Billy just said, "we know who built that wall." God has been so good to my family this year. The boys have been real troopers and constantly telling people to pray for me. Clayton had all of his teachers saying prayers all school year. He's my little prayer warrior. Scott's the quiet one that doesn't really want to talk about it, but he's the one that I go to when I want to pretend like things are normal. Billy's been my bulldog, fighting with the doctors to demand they treat me faster and give me the referrals that I need quicker. We're convinced that the waiting is what has caused the cancer to spread like it has.

I healed from surgery very quickly without any physical therapy, etc. My arm is pretty much back to normal and the scars (though they look bad to me) aren't that bad. We had to travel to Charleston for 6 weeks of radiation M-F in June. Everyone helped. Billy, Mama and Kristi took turns taking me for the treatments. The scans after the treatments showed that the radiation worked on my neck, but unfortunately the rest of my body was neglected and the melanoma was in my blood stream. Therefore, 2 small tumors were found near my kidney. We were sent to Maryland to a cancer institute, scanned and herded through a system like cattle...only to be told that they didn't think that this was the place that I needed to be at that time. There were other options that I needed to pursue first. We then went to Charlotte to meet with a doctor that had another type of treatment (IL2) that he wanted us to try. It's pretty harsh and rough on the body. It entailed 2 weeks in the ICU and then home for 4 weeks and then back to the ICU once more. However, when they did the scans to begin this treatment, they found 2 more small tumors near the 2 that were already of 4. Billy wanted them to realize that the waiting is what the problem is. They posed another opportunity to us...a clinical trial called CTLA4. It works in a small % of people. Billy and I had to make the decision, so we decided that we needed to try the clinical trial first and if that didn't work, then we would try the IL2.

For 12 weeks I did the clinical trial once a month in Charlotte. The first month was a little more stressful b/c they wanted to follow me more closely, so we were there weekly for blood draws. At the end of the treatment I waited 2 weeks and then got another set of scans...last Tuesday. PRAISE THE LORD...the treatments are working. My tumors have shrunk 40%. The doctor said this was wonderful results. They are going to keep me in the program since it seems to be working. On December 1 I will go for another round of scans...then more in January. Once they see that the medication is continuing to work then they will place me in the maintenance phase of the program...once every 3 month treatments. This will be long term until the end of this crappy road. I'm speaking in faith...speaking as though it already were. I am healed in Jesus' name. This treatment was designed specifically for me and the doctors just don't know it yet.

Please continue to follow my progress and Praise the Lord with us as we beat this thing as a family and claim our lives back. Continued prayers are much appreciated. Love to you all and thanks again.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We had quite an eventful day today. Billy got up bright and early and went to spend some quality time with Grandma. They are feeding her real food now, so she had grits, eggs and coffee this morning. They are still planning to send her home maybe on Tuesday. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and an awesome time with your families. God Bless.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving & Other Stuff

-It's been a long time, so there's SO much to say. Both boys are currently taking a break from baseball right now for a few weeks. Regular Dixie Youth season will pick up again around February or March. Whew . . . it's been a long baseball season. Billy and I are so proud of both boys.
-Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I've had to take a new look at this holiday and learn to enjoy it for what it is. Billy and I are both from divorced families and it makes it hard to see everyone during the holidays and spend equal time with each family, but we do the best that we can without running ourselves out. We enjoy our time with each family and we've decided that we will go to Aunt Donna's at Noon and visit with the Frye family for a little while. Then we're off to Aunt Renee and Uncle Jim's around 2 to visit with the Chavis family for a little while. Then we're heading to our land around 5 so that we can visit with Billy's mom, sister and some of his family for a while. We will pack it all in and I'm sure we'll have a great time. I particularly want to be sure that I visit the Chavis side for a while for Mama. She lost her baby brother (my Uncle Edwin) a few months ago and it was very traumatic for her. She has also been pretty sick with her lung infection, but she's finally starting to feel like herself again and I want to give her all the time with the boys that she wants.
-Please continue to pray for Billy's Grandma. She's still in the hospital. It's been several months now. She's so ready to come home. They still have her on the vent. Like Billy said, possibly the hardest part is that we know her mind works 100% and it's hard to see her like this. She's such a strong woman. She and Billy have this special bond . . . when Billy goes to visit her, she lights up and is always glad to see him. The boys haven't been able to see her since she was admitted months ago. They miss her. The family is talking about getting her ready to come home, but there are a few kinks to be worked out. Hopefully she will be home soon.
-I will be Christmas shopping on Friday (Black Friday) for those of you who may see me out. I'll have on my serious shopping face, but please speak if you see me. I usually meet up w/ Michelle at one store if not more and we speak for a few minutes. Happy shopping and I'll blog sooner . . . I promise!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Grandma Wilson

If you would, please say a prayer for Billy's Grandma. She has emphyzema and has had it for years, but she has recently gotten worse. She's in the hospital right now in ICU and really struggling. They have her sedated and have her on a ventilator 100%. Please pray that they will soon be able to begin weaning her off of this machine and she'll be able to return home and enjoy her family again. Billy and Aunt Sue are going to get some plants and put them in Grandma's flower garden so that she'll have something pretty to look at when she gets home. They said it will be a long recovery, but my God can do great things and I'm praying for a miracle. Please pray for Grandma Wilson and her healing. She's a rock in the Wilson family and she means so much to everyone.
On a MUCH lighter note . . . while you're praying, whisper a quick one for Billy. He's applying for a new job in the plant and it will be a day job M-F only. He's worked swing shift for 15 years and the boys have never known what it's like to have a daddy that works regular hours. It would truly be a blessing to our family and to our marriage to have this weight lifted off of Billy. Billy doesn't think that he'll get the job b/c others are applying, but I have faith that God will do the right thing and hopefully let the management and supervisors see that Billy is the most qualified for the position and give him the job. Funny thing is that Billy trained the guy that is retiring from the position. So, who better to have that job, right? Seems obvious to me. Thanks.

Scott's Such a Tough Kid!

On the evening of Scott's birthday he was at baseball practice playing 2nd base. A line drive was hit directly to him and guess what . . . he caught it w/ his face. That's right. It was an aweful sound when it hit him directly between the eyes. We rushed to the ER and they said that it was "significantly broken", but they wouldn't touch it b/c of the way it was broken. They suggested we see a specialist once the swelling was down. Today, Billy and I took him to the specialist and they said that they didn't see a need to set the bone or put a splint on it. The septum in the middle looked to be straight and not deviating to one side or the other (which is great). He felt through the swelling and down to the bone and said that as far as he could tell, the bone was straight. We are to watch for signs of anything looking crooked or not right once the swelling continues to go down and take him back if something looks to be "off". He released Scott to play ball as soon as he feels ready and boy is he ready. He actually went to ball practice on Monday night (shhhhh). He's a trooper and we're proud of the way he has handled himself. He and Clayton both have tournaments scheduled this weekend at different locations. Luckily Billy is off of work this weekend and we'll be able to each take them to their games. I'll get the picture of Scott off of his camera phone if I can and post it. It's a beaut!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Too Long!

Okay - it's been a while since I've updated. Clayton played in a ball tournament about 2 weeks ago. They came in 3rd. They should have been in the championships to bring home a 1st or 2nd place trophy, but they had a terrible first game, so they spent the entire first day trying to play catch-up instead of starting out on the top like they should have done. We still had fun though.
Scott's All Star team lost out in the last day of the District tournament. They were down by several runs at the beginning of the game, but they came back and were leading for a while. They ended up losing 11-12. It was a tough loss. So they are now done with All Stars and are beginning practice for travel ball. The boys celebrated the All Star season w/ a pizza party at a local fun park and they rode gocarts and played laser tag together. They had a great time.

Scott hasn't had a travel ball tournament yet, but practices have begun. He has a tournament tentatively scheduled for the first part of August and it will be local. Scott's coaches are really tightening things up this travel ball season, so it's cut throat. They have really been drilling them on running (not walking) on the field and also with their batting and fielding technique. Scott has really done awesome at all the practices and the coaches have recognized it. One of the coaches even called me to let me know how proud he is of Scott and how well he's doing. Way to go Scott.

I don't like to post exact locations and times of the boys' games and tournaments since this is a public blog accessible by anyone, but if you'd like to know where or when a game is, please feel free to leave a comment w/ your personal email or either email me and Billy @ and we'll let you know. Have a bless week and we'll be in touch.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ball Tournament

We're finally home from Clayton's ball tournament. We didn't win overall, but we did better than we thought we might do. We played some REALLY tough teams that have been established for a very long time. This is only our 2nd, so we weren't sure what to expect from the boys, but they really did well. On Saturday they played 4 games. That's a long day for little boys, but they played well. Sunday they played 2 games. The tournament guaranteed everyone 5 games, so Billy's goal for the boys was more than 5 games. More than 5 games would mean that the boys had earned the right to keep playing further into the tournament. They accomplished that goal by playing 6 games. They will have another tournament later in the month (local) and they are already talking about it! Here are the game scores . . . I'll list our score first (warning: some are huge losses and some are huge wins)

Overall it was a great weekend. Give us a call if you're going to be in town or if you'd like to come and watch them play. Scott plays travel ball as well. It's much more competitive than regular season ball and the games are much more exciting!! I promise you'll enjoy it.