Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The latest and not so greatest...

It has been a rollercoaster as usual in the Vickers household lately.  In the last two weeks we have had to drain Laura's stomach 4 times due to fluid accumulation.  Last Tuesday it got so bad we took an ambulance to the ER and stayed up all night until her appt the next day.  Last Friday she got a Pleurx Catheter installed in her abdomen.  We now drain fluid at home every couple of days.  Laura continues to lose weight and is having trouble eating.  We are trying to "fatten her up" before next Wednesday so she can hopefully get on some chemo, which will reduce some of the inflammation, which will let her reduce the amount of delaudid she is taking every day.  The delaudid has created a new version of Laura consisting of "sleepy talk" and murmuring which I have deemed DeLaura.  She is having some fun in her parallel universe meeting Danny Bonaduce, floating on a raft at her high school reunion, and watching a band, whose members were all herself, sing.  We are still ever hopeful and feel the chemo right now is the best bet for her to start getting back to being herself. 

Thanks to all our wonderful friends for banding together and helping out throughout each day.  We couldnt do it without you!  Keep the prayers coming!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This goes out to everyone

Going the Extra Mile

"Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two." - Matthew 5:41

There's a new popular show on television called, Undercover Boss." The premise is the head of a corporation goes undercover and works in the different areas of their company to see what's really going on - how they treat the customers, utilized their skills, work ethics, etc. My wife and I were staying in a nice hotel for a special occasion. One day we went to the pool, and before we could get seated, attendants brought us towels and ice water. When I went jogging, as I came back into the lobby, a bellman gave me a bottle of water. They kept surprising us with unexpected extra mile service for our entire stay. I think an undercover boss would have been proud of his employees!

I really believe that any corporation, organization, or ministry, where extra mile service is a part of the culture, will have a greater impact for good. Extra mile service goes beyond what is expected.

Do you know who originated the idea? Jesus Christ. He said, "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two." Rome ruled their culture, and it was legal for any Roman soldier to ask a civilian to help them carry their armor for one mile at any time. The people greatly resented it. So what Jesus taught, shocked them. But following Jesus calls for extra mile service. Even if you don't follow Him, that service is always appreciated.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Devil Made Me Do It

Monday, Jun. 27, 2011
The Devil Made Me Do It!

"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD' - and you forgave the guilt of my sin." - King David from Psalm 32:5

Notice Adam's response when asked about his actions: "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." So, the man blames the woman, and he also blames God - after all, He was the one who brought Eve into his life! Eve's defense? "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Here we have the first example of "The-Devil-Made-Me-Do-It" excuse.)

Well, the excuse is just as rampant in today's culture. We see feminists who blame men for trouble and men who blame all their problems on women. We see blacks who blame whites for the trouble in their life, and whites who blame blacks for trouble they're dealing with. Republicans blame Democrats, and Democrats blame Republicans. We have an entire industry, the media, where success seems to be measured by how many people they have adequately blamed. And so many criminals actually defend their actions by blaming the victim for the crime: "She wouldn't give up her purse, so I had to stab her." Or "She was asking for it by the way she was dressed." Our culture features this out-of-control blame game mindset. "It's not my fault! It's her fault! It's his fault! It wouldn't have happened without her; without him; without the snake!" Since the dawn of mankind, that is a classic unrepentant mindset of man when it comes to our sin.

Do you blame others for your mistakes and sins or do you confess your actions? The first step to forgiveness from God is acknowledgement of responsibility. Can you take that first step in acknowledging your own sinful deeds to the One who offers unlimited forgiveness? It will help you move away from the blame game to a life of maturity.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another crazy week.

We had plans to go the beach this week with our friends. As the week progressed, fluid and air were in a race to see who could fill up my belly the fastest. That was fun in the morning to see them compete over space in my abdomen. By Wednesday we knew we had to drain the fluid and got it scheduled first thing Thursday.  We decided we couldn't wait until 9 AM and took an ambulance around 1:30 AM instead. After an xray, ct scan and bloodwork, they drained 3 liters and I felt a littel better.  It worked out well since I also ended up getting everything in order for the drainage thing I'm having put in tomorrow.  Dr Bowen in my new best friend at Emory and is willing to come hold my hand during during my sedated procedure. They will permanently put a drainage system in my abdomen so I don't have to keep having drainage drained.

Next week we are piecemeal-ing the support. So if you are interested check out my blog

Monday, June 20, 2011

If you would like to help...

The HELPER logon is used by family and friends
that would like to sign-up to help a loved one.

To access Laura Vickers's personal CareCalendar site,
visit and enter
the following information in the appropriate spaces:

     CALENDAR ID      :   78710
     SECURITY CODE :   5286

This weekend

This weekend had it's ups & downs. Laura Stilwell came on Thursday and went home yesterday evening in tears because we were not sure what was wrong with me. Since Friday evening I have been having severe abdominal pain. My abdomin is so hard we thought I was going to need it drained agin. All I new is that I did not want to go back to the hospital even at times I thought we would have to call an ambulance. After brain storming with several of my care providers we elimated the horrible and worked our way down the list. After about 2 hours we concluded that we are dealing with gas pains. I have never dealt with pains like this and it definitely helped deal with the pain better since I new where it was coming from. Not sure how to get ride of it and I am very immobile since it is excruciating to get up, I limit my trips but I actually feel better walking around. The bad part about that is I get dizzy, tired and nauseous when I do this. Hopefully we can turn down the drug. My goal is to get off the drugs so I can get ride of the terrible side effects.

So say a little prayer that we can get all this worked out. Thanks Aunt Jo for coming and taking care of me this week.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dr. Liu

Stilwell and I went to see a Chinese medicine doctor. He is a licensed MD in china but not here. At this rate I'm willing to try anything. It was just like you see in the movies. We went into the back door and there were mushrooms in jars everywhere. He looked at my hands and before I could tell him anything he said my liver has "many, many problems"

Then we went from there. I got anchient mushrooms from China that I make tea with and 3 other things that strengthen my liver and get the fluid working correctly. I can already tell a difference so I'm very encouraged.

Not to mention the guy who sent me there was dying from liver cancer and after 2 years is 95 percent better. Were going to do this for a month and then regroup.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Follow by email

Look at the top write and I think if you plug in your email address it will notify you when I post something new. Hope this works!

Good Day

After yesterday I am so grateful to God that I am having a good day. Woke up with usual nausea and pain but Trav got my meds early so by the time I had to get up I could do it with few issues going on. My sister-in-law was our driver for the day and Sammy and I got to get some fun in with her too. Thank you K. I have a friend bringing me some love this afternoon, church friends bringing us dinner and Sammy gets a Beta fish and G gets Starwars undies. So good day All around at the Vickers house.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Emory...what a day

Went in for my 2nd Paracentesis and wow what a different experience. I should really listen to my instincts. First the nurse stuck me where I told her not to so I have 3 sticks and one infiltrated. Then the OR nurses seemed like they just graduated from kindergarden and I had to pull my own IV out. All three people were trying to do something on me at the same time and I had to raise my voice to get anyone to listen. They could not find a large pocket of fluid but we all agreed that getting out even a litter would give me that much more relief. So they stick the lidocaine in and I should have known there was a problem cause I didn't hurt like before. He starts the proceedure and I was yelling it hurt so bad and had my knees up to my chest. I kept asking why it hurts so much more than last time. After three tries he said when their is not a lot of fluid it hurts more. I felt like I was having lipo or an abortion done. Not that i have had eother, but the cramping was unbelievable. I finally just screamed at the doctor that this is not life threatening and i need him to stop now. He thought I was crazy. Then I asked if they got any fluid and the nurse told me not to worry my pretty little head about how much. On my way home to rest and praying this cramping will go away sooner rather than later so I can make it to Sammys last swim meet. On to a better day tomorrow.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Help at home, Tuesday, Fathers Day

I was wondering if I could get some volunteers once a week to help do things, clean, do laundry, wash the dog, etc. Our cleaners come every other week but they clean dirt not clutter or put clothes away or any of those odds and ends I used to do. If one person could volunteer for a few hours on Friday mornings, you can even come and go if waiting for laundry etc. I will most likely be here so we can visit, just depends on the day. I have some one who offered already for this Friday so next Friday would be the first date in need.

Tomorrow I go in to have more fluid drained and the tap put in. My nurse is taking me so she can teach me how and be another set of ears. I can't afford to loose anymore weight but it is so hard to eat a lot of food. This drain will relieve even more pressure so hopefully I can come off the med pump

Any hoo so excited for my friend to visit this weekend, yeah.

Happy Fathers Day to all the wonderful dads out there. Any dads interested in playing golf with Travis on Sunday? He so deserves it. Otherwise he will be hosting his own fathers day event.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Need help wednesday

We need some help on wednesday getting Sammy to and from swim practice. I need help getting to progressive 10 to 1. If anyone can help we would be so appreciative. Please call me or my friend Vanessa whose number is listed.

Tuesday Lisa is taking me to Emory to drain more fluid, get the drainage port put in and see the doctor. Then my home health will have me the rest of the day to take care of me. Love all the help.

Thanks to everyone for all your help and continued prayers

Wedding planning

Sammy had a sleep over on Friday when I came home, so statutday Sammy, Rebeka (my Emory nurse)and I got out all the wedding magazines and talked and planed and discussed and really got Sammy talking. We causualy slipped death conversations and they went so much better than just talking with Sammy about death. The other night we broached the subject and she told me twice adamantly that I was not going to die. I had to take her sweet face in my hands and say you could wake up to morrow and I'll be gone. She cried but understands this is serious. Not sure if I mentioned my amazing friend Lori but she lost a little girl who was one of Sammy's friends when they were in pre-school. Antonia died in December just after her 5th birthday. So when I was going thru my list of all the people I get to see again in heaven Antonia of course was on my list. Her mom and I after some really heavy/amazing discussions decided that I will wrap my arms around her precious angel and she will run as fast as she can and put her arms around Sammy and not let go until Sammy says so. I know I'm not dying but it feels so much better that if something does Happen every one is going to be okay. I went to the pool for the first time this summer and got to see the kids swim. G was jumping off the board and Sammy and trav were racing. Man that kid is fast. So happy to be out of the hospital but miss having one of the Vickers here. That was AWESOME as G would say.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Out of the hospital again

I had 1.5 liters of fluid drained yesterday = 4 pds. Of body weight. They anticipated several more but they had to stop the procedure because my intestines got in the way. They could tell by the color that the fluid was coming from the lymph system. They seemed relieved that it was not cancer. I still look 4-5 months pregnant, but I feel so much better. They will more than likely have to repeat this week and "tap" me. I feel like a keg but it was nice to be able to breath. I felt so great last night. They discharged me around 10 but officially we left at 2. Having fun with G and getting lots of lip action.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hospital visit #3

Last night at the clinic I was feeling great, was ready to eat lunch, but when I went to sit up, all the fluid from my belly took up so much abdominal space I couldnt breath. We were on our way back to the ER but I could not go that far with out oxygen. I don't panic but I was a little nervous to be without oxygen for a 40 min drive during rush hour. We thought of ambulance, oxygen cartridge, etc. Our AWESOME home health nurse ordered the cartridges but the rush time was 4 hours. We finally figured it out, got to the ER, got expedited to our old room, our old nurse but got an awesome new doc who is 8 months pregnant so she totally sympathized with my lack of abdominal space, So I had a CT and x-ray and this morning I am having an ultra sound. They think I have so much fluid around my belly that it is pushing on my lungs and that is why I can't breath. I literally looked at the doc with my belly bulging from my shirt and said "ya think" that is when we started comparing bellys. Any who I'm hoping we get the abdomen drained early this morning and go home. I miss my kiddos and Sammy and I have a wedding to plan. Latter gators

Monday, June 6, 2011

La La Land

This is Travis.  Just thought I would update everyone on the latest with Laura.  So the last two weeks have been interesting.  We spent most of the last couple weeks in the hospital at Emory.  I dont recommend it for Memorial Day weekend activities.  Her back has been the main source of concern as the pain has been too much for her to bear most of the time.  She is now on a portable delaudid pump to administer LOTS of drugs consistently throughout the day.  I joke that she is bringing the fanny pack back.  That being said, we are still trying to get to the source of the problem which is the cancer.  We are using a two pronged approach.  She has been on Salicinium for the last 2 months and this reaction is supposed to be somewhat expected as it starts to do its thing, but the pain was not expected to be this bad.  We are also looking at doing some chemo to bring down some of the inflammation.  Today she went in to Emory to get the chemo and didnt feel up to it.  So we will try again Wednesday.  She ended up getting herceptin and fluids to help her out.  She has two awesome nurses in Rebekah and Noah that are looking out for her and they rock!  Thanks to you both!!!  Tonight she is so drugged up that she was talking jibberish one minute then totally coherent the next.  We could only laugh!

Sadly, we also found out today that one of the guys that we used to see regularly in the trial chemo bay passed away a month ago.  His name was Bud and he would bring in the largest potatoes known to man from his farm.  He was also well known for his Bud-isms.  Truly one of a kind!!!  We miss you Bud!