Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hearfelt Thanks

I want to take a few minutes to thank each and everyone of you for your prayers, love, and support through Marty's illness and following his passing.  The boys and I have been truly touched by your kindness and all that everyone has done for us. The Lord has worked to bless us through you all and we are so blessed by you.  The weeks and months ahead will be hard and there are so many changes up ahead.  The boys and I are heading into a whole new adventure and we covet you continued prayer and support.  The road ahead is murky and unclear to us,  but I know that the Lord is walking besides us and He will prepare the way for us and provide for us every step of the way.  From the bottoms of our hearts, thank you.  We love you all and thank you for helping to make this difficult time easier.  May you be blessed as much as you have blessed us.  --Susan, Colt, & Riley Godfrey

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Funeral services

Here is the information for Marty's services:

Visitation, Monday 08/25/2014 from 6-8 pm
Funeral, Tuesday 08/26/2014 at 1 pm

Visitation and Funeral will be at Marshall & Marshall Funeral home in Whitney.  Short graveside service following the funeral.  There will be a potluck at the Whitney church of Christ following the graveside service.

Marty will be interrred  at Whitney Cemetery.

Marshall & Marshall - 201 N Bosque St, Whitney, TX 76692
(254) 694-2206

Whitney church of Christ - 109 E Jefferson Ave, Whitney, TX 76692
(254) 694-2311

Here is his online obituary and guestbook - http://www.marshallandmarshallfd.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1380957

Marty Godfrey, Silent Key

In the Ham radio community, a ham radio operator is referred to as "Silent Key" when they pass away.  Marty loved the ham radio hobby and it brought him such joy.  Yesterday at about 11am, my sweet and wonderful husband went to be with the Lord.  Words can't describe what we are feeling right now, but please know that God is good and He is strengthening us and preparing us for life without Marty.   Please continue to lift us up in prayers. 

Cards may be mailed to:

The Godfrey Family
501 Pecos Ln.
Kempner, Texas 76539

Donations to help with funeral costs can be made via PayPal address simply.susan.blog@gmail.com or by clicking the donation button in the sidebar.

I will announce the date and time of funeral after all the arrangements have been made.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yesterday, Marty saw his doctor and we didn't get very encouraging news.  The first 2 rounds of chemo did little other than slow down the progression of his leukemia.  He is still not in remission.  So, his doctor has ordered 2 more rounds of more aggressive chemo.  He starts round 3 today and it will run for 5 days as an outpatient that round will end on Wednesday 8/20.  He will then be admitted to MD Anderson again on Wednesday 8/20 for round 4 to receive 5 more days of inpatient chemo, starting Thursday 8/21 running through Monday 8/25.  Sometime after the completion of  round 4 he will be released from the hospital back to the RV.  We will have to remain in Houston for another 30+ days.

Prayer Requests:
  1. Marty's first rounds of chemo were a walk in the park compared to the more aggressive chemo coming up.  There is more of a chance for the serious side effects associated with chemo to rear their ugly heads.  Please be praying for Marty over the next 10 or so days. 
  2. We are absolutely broke and still no word on the disability. Groceries are taken care of thanks to food stamps and we have qualified for medicaid.  But, since we have no income coming in, we have no money for gas, bills, car insurance, and our other expenses.  We need approximately $1000-$1200 a month to meet our basic needs.  We have canceled every unnecessary expense that we can.
  3. We need prayer to keep our spirits up, we are so disappointed that he isn't in remission, that we have to stay here longer and we miss our home. It's hard being so far away from most of our family and friends, and it's very lonely.
We were able to qualify for medicaid, they retro'ed it back to July 1st.  But all of our bills before July1st were not covered.  At this point our medical bills from JUST MD Anderson are over $300,000, more than half of that was before July 1st.   We are struggling...financially...spiritually...physically.  But, I know deep down that the Lord will provide for us.  But...being out on this ledge is a bit scary.  We have so much to be thankful for and I don't want to forget that.  We have family and friends who love us.  We have this time together and we are going to let this struggle strengthen our relationship with each other and our relationship with the Lord.  We will make it through to the other side...sometimes on our own two feet and sometimes in the Lords arms....but WE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH!
 
 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last night we had to take Marty to the emergency room again.  He started running a 102 fever around 9 pm.  Riley and I stayed with him in the ER until about 12 am and then we came home so Riley could go to bed. 

We saw Marty for about 30 minutes today. He's on a floor where Riley can't be except in the family room. It was a short visit because he had to have his bone marrow biopsy and blood and platelet transfusions. He has to be in his room/floor for those things and Riley can't go to the room or the floor, just the family room. 

Marty seems to be feeling okay, no fever since last night.  We are hoping he will be able to come home Saturday or Sunday.  Still don't know what caused the fever this time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Marty is home!!  He had to stay over last night and he was finally released around 2:30 today.  We are back at the RV, along with Riley and we are all so blessed to be together again!  He has to go back to MD Anderson every day this week to get an IV antibiotic.  He has a couple of fungus spots on his lungs that they are still treating.  They are hoping the antibiotic will take care of the problem.  If it doesn't then he will have to have a Bronchoscopy done to see what needs to be done.  So please be praying that the antibiotics do their work and get it cleared up.  For now, we are taking it easy at the RV.  Lot rent is due on Friday and so is the electric bill.  So would also appreciate some prayers on that so we can get them paid and buy groceries, gas and our other expenses.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

Today is Marty and my 24th wedding anniversary.  All those years ago, at age 21, I took the vows to love and honor in sickness or health. At the time, at age 21, I don't think it crossed my mind that sickness could be something more than the flu...lol.  I was so naive.  But after 24 years of marriage, my love and respect for Marty has only deepened.  We have walked through so much together in our marriage.   We have stood by each other through the loss of 2 babies, Daniel and Gabriel.  Through a LOT of lean times and money issues, through Riley's medical issues at birth, through all the issues we had with Colt, through the loss of our home from a fire and now through his fight with leukemia.  For  many people, all of what we have been through would have destroyed their marriage, but for us, it has only strengthened it.  So, here's looking to 24 more years (or more!) of marriage.  I'm looking forward to spending our 24th anniversary together and you better tell those doctors to release you today or else (LOL!).  I love you Marty!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sorry I haven't updated since Thursday, but some exciting things have been going on and I have crawled into my bed dead on my feet each night since then.  First of all, Marty is doing wonderfully well.  He is feeling great, his fever is gone, and the infection is gone as well.  It is looking like he will be coming home tomorrow (our 24th wedding anniversary!).

So, now that I have you wondering about the exciting things going on, I might as well tell you (GRIN!).  My parent's took out a loan (plus a donation from my brother-in-law) and came down here with the boys on Friday.  We were looking for used, larger RVs, specifically FEMA trailers.  God really blessed us, because the first few we looked at were really rough/scary looking, but they were all that seemed to be in our price range.  I was dreading the thought of having to live in one of them--they were truly AWFUL!  Then the sales person told us about another one, that was slightly more than we had.  We looked at it and it was WONDERFUL!  We talked to the manager and they agreed to sell it to us for the amount my parents had had, because they were paying cash and because of our situation.  Before signing the papers,  my Dad was looking at it, he realized that it didn't have holding tanks on it like the sales person said they did.  So, he talked to the manager again, and he knocked down the price!  That was certainly a GOD THING!!  We are so blessed by my parents and all that they do for us.  Now, this loan that they took is an added burden for them, so if anyone would like to put some money towards the RV to help, please email me at kf5ohm@gmail.com or you can make a donation by clicking the button in the sidebar.  Any little bit would be a blessing.

Now, we just need to come up with the money for the lot rent and electricity at the RV park on August 8th, and money for gas, groceries, and expenses for the month.  But I know that the Lord will provide!  Look what He's done so far!!

All weekend we have been working hard on cleaning the new (to us) RV, so it will be clean and sanitary for Marty to come "home" to.  Then moving everything from my parent's RV to this one and lots of running around getting things to get the trailer livable and for storage inside the trailer.  Plus, we spent Saturday afternoon with my cousin Jennie.  She took us all out to eat at the Rainforest Cafe in the Galleria Mall.  Then she took Riley to the Lego store and made his day by buying him a Lego set.  He was so excited he could hardly make it home to open it!

My parents stayed all weekend and left this morning with Colt to go back to Kempner.  Going to miss Colt a bunch, he was SUCH a big help this weekend!  I am so proud of the man he is becoming!

The other exciting news is that because we now have a bigger RV, Riley is now back with us full time!  This is the first time since May that we've been together with him and we are all so thrilled.  We certainly miss Colt thought, but at 21, it's time that he starts having some independence.  My parents are getting him signed up for college there in Killeen and he is working on finding a job. 

God is certainly moving mountains for us and my faith has been strengthened time-and-time again during this whole situation.  We are so absolutely blessed and I'm excited to see what He has in store for us in the days to come.  In everything give thanks, and we are sending thanks up daily!

So, do you want to see pictures of our new home?  It's a 30 or 32 foot FEMA RV (I can't remember which!).

One side of the bathroom.  As you can see there is a full size toilet, which is normal for FEMA trailers.  We have to replace the lid to the tank and the toilet seat.  WE also had to add the mirror.

The other side of the bathroom.  There is a tub shower combo.  The tub is a bit bigger than the one in my parent's RV, by the shower stall roof is a little shorter.  Marty and I both will have to sit to shower, so we bought a stool to use in there.

Beside the bathroom there are a set of bunk beds.  Riley will sleep on the top bunk and his toys and things are on the bottom bunk.  We took the bottom bunk mattress off and he has a nice little nook (he calls it his play cave).

On the back of the bathroom door, we put a hanging shoe bag.  Across from the bunks there is a cabinet with drawers underneath for storage.

Here is the dinette.  It folds down into a bed if we were to need it and there is storage under the seats and above.


This is our couch.  It folds down into a bed if we were to need it and there is storage under the seat and above.

Another advantage of a FEMA trailer is that then come with a full sized refrigerator!!  To the left is a pantry (LOVE THAT!!)

There is a little cabinet behind the dinette where a little TV can sit, and it provides a bit more storage.

Here is  my kitchen :)  Storage below the stove/oven and the sink, as well as storage above the sink.  A small work space to the left of the sink.  To the right of the sink is the sliding door that goes into our bedroom.

One side of the bedroom.  There is a hanging "closet" on each side of the bed.  Underneath each of the hanging "closets" there is a night stand with a counter on top and a cabinet below.  There is storage all across the top of the bed.

The other side of the bed.  In the top left of the photo, there is a little shelf to set a fan and a diffuser.  The space for the the bed is suppose to be for a full sized bed.  But the sales person at the RV place told us it was a queen.  So we bought a queen sized mattress only to discover it was a space for a full sized bed.  Luckily it fits okay (as we really need a queen for the length), but you can't walk around the foot of the bed.  So whoever sleeps on the far side has to climb over.  But there is also storage under the bed...if we can get enough room to open it...lol!

 So that's a little tour of the new Casa Godfrey :)  Now to get Marty home from the hospital!!!    The next step is for Marty is to have a couple of bone marrow aspirations to see what the status is on his Leukemia.  We are praying that he is in remission, because until he gets into remission, we can't move on to the next step of his treatment.  Please continue to lift us up in prayer, we need as many as we can get!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I will update this post throughout the day.  Newest info at top.

12:00 AM
Marty is doing MUCH better!  His fever has been gone since around 3 pm yesterday afternoon.  They did discover the cause of the infection and it is an infection in his blood.  The infection was caused by Alpha Hemolytic Strep.  He may also have a secondary infection, probably pneumonia in his lungs.  His heart rate in nearing normal range, blood pressure back to normal, and his breathing is much better.  They are still not sure if the picc line was the source of the infection, but they removed it as a precaution.  He was transfused 1 bag of platelets and 1 bag of blood, he is about to get a second transfusion of blood in just a bit.  He actually felt well enough to eat dinner, the first real food he's had since Sunday night.  He has been up and around more today and has been awake most of the day.  The doctors say that it will take several days for the infection to clear up, so we are looking at going back to the RV early next week (I predicting on Monday, but I could be wrong...lol).  If he remains fever free through the night, it looks like we may be in the clear for him to start healing. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I will update this post throughout the day.  Newest posts will be at top.

10:15 am
Infectious disease doctor just came in.  They are thinking he has an infection in his blood and a secondary infection in  his lungs.  His fever is spiking again and so is his heart rate.  Things are looking more serious.  They are testing his blood again and he may be moved to ICU if they can't get the infection(s) under control.  They have him on tons of antibiotics, antifungals, and pretty much any "anti" they think will help.  He was doing so well this morning, but he seems to be taking a turn for the worse again.  He now has a pretty bad cough and his breathing is still shallow and labored.  Lots of prayer for his healing!

8:15 am
Marty's fever broke last night!  Around 1 am, they put ice bags under his arms and his head and it finally broke around 2 am.  They were finally able to get 1 bag of platelets and 1 bag of blood in him last night.  This morning he is still fever free and feeling well.  He is still weak and his breathing is still a bit shallow and labored, but his color is much better and he's awake and talking.  Seems to be feeling pretty good.  We are going to be ordering him some breakfast in just a bit, he actually seems to have an appetite this morning..  Praying his fever continues to stay down.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Letter From Susan's Parent's

Dear Friends of Marty and Susan Godfrey,

As you are probably aware Marty is undergoing treatment for leukemia at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston.  They are currently living in our 19 foot camping trailer.  The boys have been living with us in Central Texas.  However, Susan just found out that in order to be eligible for Medicaid Riley must be living with them.  The other hang-up is that the stem cell replacement surgery cannot take place until they have Medicaid.

Here is the real problem, with Marty still undergoing treatment (and he will be for several more months), a 19 foot camping trailer for two adults and a ten-year old boy will quickly become overwhelming.  The solution appears to be a larger camping trailer so that all three can live there in some comfort.  We have found several in the Houston area that will serve the purpose; however, there is a need for funding to help make this possible.  The cost will be in the $6,000 to $7,000 range.  We are planning to do what we can, but any additional help would be gratefully appreciated.

If you feel that you can contribute, please contact us at 254-338-1826.  Once again, any additional help would be gratefully appreciated.

Yours truly,


Jack & Kathy McNiel

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I will update this post through out the day.  Newest updates are at the top.

6:30 pm
The nurse just came in and the blood cultures are back.  The blood cultures are showing a growth of gram positive cocci and there is still a possibility that he has a touch of pneumonia.  They will be removing is Picc line (Peripherally inserted central catheter) as the blood drawn for the blood culture was from his Picc line (it may be the source).  His fever was down for about an hour and they called to get blood from the blood bank, but he was running fever again before the blood could be transfused.  He is having bad chills and still is breathing shallow and labored.  On a positive note, I did finally get him to eat something.  Wasn't a lot, just a couple of small bowls of cantaloupe and a yogurt,  but it was some nourishment.  Once they remove the Picc line, they will have to go back to regular IVs in the arm, most likely an IV in each arm.  Not sure when or if they will replace the Picc line, which is the normal way that chemo is administered.  At least we are starting to get some answers.  Marty is going on 36 hours with a temperature of anywhere from 99-104--he has mostly stayed in the 102-104 range.  He is one sick fella.  Prayers are really needed!

3:15 pm
Still no news on what is causing the fever.  They are suspecting pneumonia.  I ran back to the RV for a couple of hours to get some things packed up for our hospital stay.  Also went to the grocery store to pick up some shelf-stable food for me.  Eating at the hospital is very expensive, and honestly, we are really having to conserve our money, as it is nearly gone.  I picked up some soup and things like that so I could eat cheaper than the hospital cafeteria.  Marty's food is included in the cost of his room, I have to pay cash.  So, soup it is!  Marty has been sleeping most of the day, although he was up in a chair awake when I got back from the RV.  While I was gone they irrigated his sinuses (which caused him to have a headache and to be sick at his stomach) and they gave him a breathing treatment.  They also have him on oxygen and lots of IV antibiotics.  Until they can get the fever down, they cannot give him any blood products, which he really needs.  His breathing is still shallow and  labored.  He doesn't sound well at all.  He is still extremely weak and tires easy.  He hasn't had anything to eat today at all, and he didn't eat yesterday either.  I have the diffuser up here with doTERRA's Breathe running in it, and I think it's helping quite a bit.  It's still a pretty scary situation, especially because they can't get his fever low enough to give him the blood and platelets that he needs.  Please continue to pray.

9:00 am

My poor sick fella!
We finally got into a room last n  light around 10:30.  It was a pretty rough night, people in and out all night.  Marty has run fever all night and is still at 102 today.  The blood cultures aren't back yet and it seems that they have ruled out clotting in his lungs.  The chest x-ray showed some nodules on his lungs which they think may be pneumonia.  They continue trying to get his fever down, as they can't give him blood products when his fever is up.  Right now his hemoglobin is 7.6 and platelet count was 3,000 (if I am remembering correctly).  So he is in need of both blood and platelets. Right now we don't have any concrete answers for what is behind this fever, but it is still pretty serious.  He slept all day yesterday and didn't eat any thing.  So far today, that seems to be the trend as well.  We are in room P710, which is not in the Leukemia area.  The doctor came this morning and told us that they will most likely be moving us to one of the Leukemia area as soon as a room becomes available. 

This may be  my bed for the duration of this stay at #MDAnderson , which could be as long as 5 or more days. I must really love this fella to endure that back breaker!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2013

I will update this post as more information comes in.  Newest updates at the top.

8:30 pm
We are still in the ER.  His temperature is still over 100, so they have given him some more Tylenol.  So far, he has received 1 bag of platelets and 1 bag of blood.  There is a second bag of blood waiting for his temperature to go down.  Once it's down, they will give it to him.  He has slept all day and hasn't felt like eating anything.  His heart rate and blood pressure have gone up finally, due to saline IV and the transfusions of blood and platelets.  His breathing is still really shallow and labored.  No results yet on any of the tests, so we still don't now what has caused the fever and we haven't heard any more about the possibility of clotting in his lungs.  They will move him up to a room as soon as one becomes available.  The ER here is packed, all the rooms are full and they have patients in the hallways (moving them into ER rooms as they become available).  Pray for the best and that they can get us up into a room soon!

3:10 pm
ER doctor just came in and she is ordering a CT of his lungs.  There may be a possibility that there is some clotting in his lungs.  Which would explain the shallow breathing, low blood pressure and high heart rate.  Prayers appreciated!

2:14 pm
His temperature is still up to 103.  Heart rate 115, blood pressure is 86/48.  Here are his levels in so far:
  • White Blood Cells - ?? (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • Hemoglobin - 7.4  (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • Platelets - 1,000 (normal is 140,000 - 440,000)
  • he will be getting transfusions of platelets and blood

1:30 pm
Marty is still really weak and is sleeping a lot.  No appetite.  His blood pressure is still low (97/58) and his heart rate is still high, 124.  His breathing is a bit labored.  They have started him on IV antibiotics and saline.  He's actually on a couple of different IV antibiotics.  Temperature down slightly.  They just gave him Tylenol. They have drawn blood and are doing tests to see what is going on.  He has also already had a chest x-ray.  They will also be doing a CT scan on his sinuses in a little bit.  We are still in the ER, but he will be admitted, they are just waiting for some test results to back to know where they are going to admit him.

12:00 pm
In ER with Marty Godfrey with 104 temperature. He was so weak and dizzy we had to put him in a wheelchair. Blood pressure 99/60! Extremely weak, sleepy, and tired. He has fallen asleep in the wheelchair while we are waiting. This is the worst I've seen him and it is very scary!

10:00 am
We need some really serious prayer! Taking Marty to ER right now with 104 temp. Also, about our medical aid and for a larger RV to live in. Some things came up today and we are going to need the extra room for Riley sooner than we thought. We won't qualify for medicaid unless he is living with us.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sorry no update for the last bit, it's been a busy few weeks!  Nothing really has changed.  Marty finished up his 2nd round of chemo and is doing well.  We are back to doing outpatient visits 3 times a week.  When we are at MD Anderson for those visits, we spend pretty  much all day there.  It's tiring.  When we get home, we pretty much just eat and then go to bed...maybe watch a little TV.

This past Tuesday, my parents brought the boys to see us.  We had a wonderful visit, but it's always so bittersweet when they go home.  We miss them so much!  I am praying that we can be a family again soon.

As usual, money is tight.  We are trying to conserve what we have, but everything is SO expensive in Houston.  Gas, groceries, taxis, electricity for the RV, lot rent at the RV park, etc.  Not to mention trying to keep up with our bills at home, electricity, water, and car insurance.  We are trying to keep the electricity and water on at our house because it's cheaper to pay the minimum than to have them turned off and have to pay again to get them turned back on.  We have applied for disability and medicaid, but it could be several more months  before we hear anything back from them.  Until then we are without any income and we have yet to hear back from the financial aid office at MD Anderson, so we still don't know if we qualify for financial aid through them.  Our hospital bills are rapidly approaching $1 million.  Very scary for us, but we are walking by faith and I know that God will provide for our needs.

Marty at the Stem Cell Office at MD Anderson
Today we went to see the stem cell transplant doctor.  We won't know anything really about his transplant until we get his bone marrow biopsies back.  Those are scheduled around day 21 (about July 31st) and day 28 (about August 7).  We are praying that he will be in remission.  Unfortunately his chromosomes have the least desirable damage and so there is a real chance that he will need several more rounds of "induction" chemo, which means we may have to be in Houston for a longer length of time.  We honestly won't know until after the bone marrow biopsies come back.  Everything hinges on those results.  Plus they will not move forward on the stem cell transplant until we have the finances figured out.  So, if medicaid or the financial aid through MD Anderson doesn't get approved, we are not sure if he will be able to get the transplant.  The doctors are telling us that he will not have a cure without the transplant.
Marty and I waiting for his tranfusion on Wednesday.

I do have a couple of prayer requests:
  1. For Marty's bone marrow biopsies to come back showing he is in remission and for him to lick leukemia.
  2. For financial aid to come approved (either medicaid or through MD Anderson, or both--which would be ideal and medicaid doesn't always cover everything).
  3. For financial aid to pay our bills and provide the other things we need until disability kicks in (if we qualify).
  4. For us to be approved for disability and medicaid.
  5. For a larger RV so that Riley can move down here with us.  My parent's 19 foot RV is a tight fit with just the 2 of us, especially living in it full time and on a small RV park lont.  We are praying for a way to purchase a 30-35 foot RV with a slide out in the living area.  This will allow us some living space and room for Riley to be with us here in Houston if we do end up having to live in Houston for an extended length of time.
  6. Pray for Colt & Riley.  They are doing well with my parents but they are homesick, especially Riley.  Colt will most likely be living with my parents for an extended length of time.  They are helping him to get into college and he is looking for a job down there. 
We got to see out boys on Tuesday!!!
Well, that is about all for now.  I will try to update whenever I can.  Here are Marty's levels from this week:

Monday, July 21, 2014
  • White Blood Cells - 0.1 (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • Hemoglobin - 8.4  (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • Platelets - 1,000 (normal is 140,000 - 440,000)
  • He had to have 1 unit of platelets transfused
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
  • White Blood Cells - 0.0 (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • Hemoglobin - 7.5  (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • Platelets - 4,000 (normal is 140,000 - 440,000)
  • he had to have 2 units of blood and 1 unit of platelets transfused. 
Friday, July 25, 2014
  • White Blood Cells - 0.10normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • Hemoglobin - 8.4  (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • Platelets - 11,000 (normal is 140,000 - 440,000)
  • he had to have 1 unit of blood and 1 unit of platelets transfused. 
Here are some photos from the past week
Picnic lunch, out usual to save money instead of eating in the hospital cafeteria.






Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marty is still doing well.  He had his last dose of chemo last night and we will be going back to the RV sometime today.  You know how it is with hospitals---it takes FOREVER for them to release you, so it will probably be after lunch or later before we actually get out of here.  But, I've got everything packed and ready to go!

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the RV and got it all cleaned up and ready for us to come home.  Marty's immune system will be down again from this chemo and so he is easily susceptible to germs and viruses.  So I cleaned all the surfaces really well and left 2 diffusers going with OnGuard to help kill off any little "buggies" floating around.

Tomorrow we get to rest up from the hospital and then on Thursday, we begin outpatient visits to the hospital 3 days a week for labs, test result review, and transfusions (as needed).

Anyway, here are today's lab counts:
  • white blood cell - 3.3, down from 4.4 yesterday (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • hemoglobin - 9.2, down from 9.5 yesterday (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • platelets - 3,000, down from 5,000 yesterday (normal is 140,000- 440,000)
  • glucose - 218, up from 160 yesterday (normal is 70-110).  His glucose level is going up because of the steroids they are giving him.
  • He will not be receiving any platelets or blood today.
Don't forget to check out the Facebook page for Marty's Cancer Treatment Fund.  There you will find all the latest about how you can help us raise the funds we need for all the expenses that have accrued from his treatment.   You can also make a donation by clicking on the donate link in the sidebar.  This has been an extreme hardship for us, as we currently have no income coming in.  Every little bit helps!

Current Fundraisers:

Somebody is excited that I brought him Freebirds for lunch.




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sorry no update the last couple of days.  Marty's been getting his chemo at night (9:00 pm to about 3:00 am), the late nights are catching up to us both.  Marty is doing a lot of his sleeping in the morning/day and I sleep when I can as well.  So, here are his totals for the last few days:

MONDAY:
  • white blood cell - 1.4 (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • hemoglobin - 9.2 (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • platelets - 7,000 (normal is 140,000- 440,000)
  • glucose - 164 (normal is 70-110).  His glucose level is going up because of the steroids they are giving him.
  • He received 1 unit of platelets
TUESDAY :
  • white blood cell - 1.6 (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • hemoglobin - 8.2 (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • platelets - 5,000 (normal is 140,000- 440,000)
  • glucose - 148 (normal is 70-110).  His glucose level is going up because of the steroids they are giving him.
  • He received 1 unit of platelets and 1 unit of blood
WEDNESDAY:
  • white blood cell - 4.4 (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • hemoglobin - 9.5 (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • platelets - 5,000 (normal is 140,000- 440,000)
  • glucose - 160 (normal is 70-110).  His glucose level is going up because of the steroids they are giving him.
  • He will not be receiving any platelets or blood today
Tonight is his last dose of chemo for this 2nd round of chemo.  We will hopefully be going back to the RV sometime tomorrow.  Then we will have to stay in  Houston for at least another 25 days doing 3x weekly outpatient blood tests and transfusions (as needed).  We are praying that this round of chemo will put him into remissions, so we can move on to the next step.  Please continue praying for our family!

We also have 2 fundraisers going right now that will benefit Marty's Cancer Treatment Fund.  Please take a look and consider helping us raise the fund we need to pay for all the expenses associated with Marty's treatment!

JAMBERRY NAIL FUNDRAISER
Jamberry Nail Fundraiser to benefit the Marty Godfrey Cancer Treatment Fund. The online party will go from now until midnight on July 18th. You can order at any time by using this link: http://jessicapilcher.jamberrynails.net/party/?uid=c1ec7e15-3728-4fa6-a8c4-86e2242ccc1b

T-SHIRT FUNDRAISER
I have created a whole line of T-Shirts to help raise funds for Marty's cancer treatment. We will earn 25% of the price of every shirt sold. You can purchase T-Shirts at: http://www.zazzle.com/lickingleukemia 

Here are some of the designs available:















This T-Shirt is available for a number of different "for my" people.

 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Marty had his first dose of chemo last night, he actually got 3 different kinds of chemo.  This round of chemo is going to last for 5 days.  He is feeling fine so far.  Been running the diffuser constantly in his room, using a variety of essential oils.  Last night we ran it with Ginger, Peppermint, Patchouli, and Lavender to help with any nausea he might have and assist him in sleeping.  He started his chemo last night at 8 pm and it ran all night with the last of the 3 kinds of chemo being administered at 3 am.  It was a LONG night!

I've had him on doTERRA's Life Long Vitality and DDR supplements through it all and I really think they are what have kept him feeling well through the chemo.  This time around I am adding doTERRA's PB Assist+ to assist him in building back up the good flora in his gut after the chemo.  He will start taking that after the chemo is over.  Giving it to him during chemo, makes no sense since the chemo is killing all the bacteria in his body--good and bad.  I also have him applying Frankincense and Lemongrass to his feet several times per day, because research show that Frankincense is great at fighting cancer and my research into using essential oils for leukemia also said to use Lemongrass for leukemia.

Marty and I giggle every time a new nurse or doctor comes in because they all comment on how nice the room smells and how neat the diffuser is.  I've been asked for my business card multiple times and have even given away a few samples.

Well on to Marty's counts for today:
  • white blood cell - 1.0, up from 0.8 yesterday (normal is 4.0-11.0)
  • hemoglobin - 8.9, up from 8.7 yesterday (normal is 14.0-18.0)
  • platelets - 8,000,. up from 7,000 yesterday (normal is 140,000- 440,000)
I am so pleased to see all his levels were up today!  Of course they will go down as the chemo progresses...but baby steps!

Yesterday we got a huge blessing!  Some friends are going to get together and get a lot of the house repair done from the fire.  Not everything will be completed, but they are aiming to get it liveable for us, so we can move back in after he is released from MD Anderson, instead of having to continue living in my parent's 19 foot RV.  God is SOOOO good and we have been extremely blessed by the friends He has brought into our life!  Our hearts are full!  Time and time again, He has proven to us that if we put our trust in Him in all things, He will provide for our needs. 

We will continue to live here in Houston, for at least another 30 days.  After that, we are hoping to be able to go home, but it will depend on how his bone marrow biopsies look after this round of treatment.  They generally do those on the 21st and 28th days.  So, 5 days of chemo, and then another 25 or so days of daily outpatient labs and transfusions.  Please pray that this round sets him into remission!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Busy day today!  Here are Marty's counts for today:

White blood cell - 0.8, down from 0.9 yesterday.  Normal is 4.0 - 11.0.
Hemoglobin - 8.7, down from 9.0 yesterday. Normal is 14.0 - 18.0.
Platelets - 7,000, up from 6,000 yesterday. Normal is 140,000 - 440,000.

He received 1 unit of blood and 1 unit of platelets.

Marty was hoping to be able to get out of the hospital  today or tomorrow, but that will not be happening.  The doctor came by and said they will be starting a second round of chemo this evening.  The first round of chemo helped, but it didn't get him into remission.  Too many leukemia cells were still present in his bone marrow biopsy.  He will begin another round of chemo that will last 3-5 days (we are not sure yet how long it will be).  Please keep him in your prayers that this round of chemo puts hi. In remission.  So, we know that starting today, we will be in Houston for 30 more days.  30 more days away from our boys and away from our home.  Not to mention that we don't really have a home to go home to thanks to the fire in February!  This is so hard!   We have never been away from our boys this long, going on 3 months!  We have only seen them twice since we have been in Houston.  But enough of that....I'm already about to burst into tears and I don't need to be doing that.

Life can be so hard, but God is always good! 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called  according to His purpose.". --Romans 8:28

Holding on to His promise that all of this will work together for good.  Even though I can't envision the good now, I know that God always keeps His promises!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Newest update from today are at the top of this post.

11:00 am - Today, he has been sleeping a lot so far.  We got up about 5 am, but after breakfast he got sleepy again and went to bed.  After breakfast, I went to the RV to pick up some clothes and a few things, when I got back to the hospital he was sound asleep.  He is getting mouth sores as well.  Here are his levels today.

White blood cells - 0.9 (down from yesterday's 1.9, normal is 4.0 - 11.0)
Hemoglobin - 9.0 (up from 7.4 yesterday, normal is 14.0 - 18.0)
Platelets - 6,000 (down from 9 yesterday, normal is 140,000 - 440,000)

He just got a transfusion of 1 unit of platelets.  He is not getting blood today.  He will be having a bone marrow biopsy at about 3 pm.  His numbers continue to go down instead of up like they had been heading.

Yesterday Marty had 2 units of blood transfused I stead of 1.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I will update this post throughout the day as new information comes on.  The newest updates will be at the top.

4:15 pm - Marty's bone marrow biopsy is rescheduled for tomorrow some time.  The "gas" pressure is better.  He slept most of the day and couldn't get warm for several hours, but no more fever.  I'm marking it up to the low hemoglobin levels.  Going to eat dinner in a bit and probably early to bed.

12:30 pm - saw the doctor a bit ago.  Marty's lungs are clear and the EKG was fine.  He is still having some of the "gas" pressure.  Blood work came back.  He will be getting transfusions of 1 unit blood and 1 u it of platelets.  They will also be doing a bone marrow biopsy some time today.  The last 2 bone marrow aspirations didn't give them good enough samples.    Here are his levels for today:

Glucose - 132 (normal is between 70-110)
White blood cells - 1.2 (down from yesterday's 1.6,  normal is 4.0 - 11.0)
Hemoglobin - 7.4 (down from yesterday's 8.2, normal is 14.0 - 18.0)
Platelets - 9,000 (same as yesterday, normal is 140,000 - 440,000)

Still unsure of what caused the fever and I am a bit concerned by the "gas" pressure still bothering him all these hours later.

10:30 am - I just woke up, Marty is still asleep.  Less than 4 hours sleep, but I will nap throughout the day.  Still no word on any of the test results and we haven't seen the doctor yet this morning.  The nurses have sort of just been letting us sleep I think, I'm pretty sure there probably are some results ready.  This time we are on the 17th floor and the room is pretty amazing!  No awful chair bed thing for me to sleep on, I have a couch that makes into a pretty comfortable bed....actually the mist comfortable night I have spent in a hospital yet.  We are in room 1763.  Sorry, no real update as of yet, but I don't want to disturb Marty from his sleep.  Last night at home, his temperature was 102 and he was complaining of "gas" pressure on his chest.  By the time we got to the ER his temperature was normal, but the "gas" pressure was still there, they ran an EKG and that was clear.  He was still having the pressure around 6 am.  Not sure what is causing it, but he says it feels like he needs to belch really badly.  Right now it seems to be better.  I will update again once we have some more information.

1:30 am - just saw the ER doctor.  They will be running blood tests, EKG, and chest xray.  No updates as of yet, except they will be admitting him

12:30 am - Prayers please!  We are in the ER at MD Anderson again.  Marty Godfrey is running a fever.  His immune system is still pretty shot after the chemo, so this could be serious, as all infections with cancer patients are serious.  Most likely this will mean an at least 3 day stay. 

.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Out patient visit again today.  Labs, review of lab results, and transfusion.

White blood count is at 1.6, down from 1.8 yesterday.

Hemoglobin count was 8.2 ( normal is 14.0 - 18.0), up slightly from yesterday

Platelet count was 9,000 (normal is 140,000 - 440,000),up from 4,000 yesterday

He will be getting 1 unit of platelets today and 1 unit of blood.

Not much else to report

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

No real new update.  Marty is still having out patient appointments.  We saw his doctor this week and she has scheduled blood tests every day this week to watch his levels.  He has another bone marrow aspiration on Wednesday.  Hope fully this will give us a more detailed status.  IT looks like he may start a second round or chemo next week.  Sorry for the delayed updates, it has been very busy and we were still having internet issues.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How You Can Help

We have had many people asking what our immediate needs are.  Our shelter and utility needs are met, but what we will be needing is money for food and gas.  I think one of the biggest helps would be gift cards that we can use to purchase those things.  Around where we are these are the stores closest to us:

GROCERIES:  Randall's, Kroger, HEB.  There is also a Walmart and a Super Target, which both carry groceries
GAS: Shell, Valero, Citgo

Gift cards can be mailed to:

Marty or Susan Godfrey
10100 S. Main St., #5
Houston, Texas 77025

PAYPAL:  you can also donate via paypal, there is a DONATE button link in the side bar of our blog if you wish to donate via Paypal. 

If you can help with those items, we would really appreciate it.  Marty will most likely be unable to work for at least a year and until he is finished with chemo , it will be hard for me to take a job that will work around his schedule.  As his caregiver, I need to be available for him at all times, as future rounds of chemo are going to drag him down further each time and I need to be around in case of emergencies.  This is really hard for us and very humbling.  But we know the Lord will supply for all our needs.  Please continue praying for us, as we will need them for the days ahead.  Thank you all, from the bottoms of our hearts, for all the prayers, love, and support!  You all have been such a blessing to us during this difficult and scary time.  Bless you all!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Today has been a busy day!  We had lab collection, lab review, doctor visit, platelet transfusion, and then a bone marrow aspiration.  We are running all over MD Anderson today and spending lots of time in the waiting rooms all over this hospital!

Marty's counts for the day are:

White blood cell count, 0.1 ( Normal is between 4.0 - 11.0), this indicates that he has very little immune system, which is expected because of the chemo.
Hemoglobin count, 9.0 (normal is 14.0 - 18.0), his is low but not low enough to need a blood transfusion.  Anything under 9.0 would require a transfusion
Platelet count, 14,000 (normal is 140,000 -440,000), still too low and he required a platelet transfusion of 1 unit.  But this is good news because it was at 14,000 even after going all day Saturday and Sunday without a transfusion.  Hoping this indicates that his levels are going up!

Talked to the doctor and he will be getting a second round of chemo shortly (not sure of the time frame yet) and we will need to stay in Houston for another month for that. Please be praying for us, because we no longer have any income and our savings is about used up.  We will be applying for disability and Medicaid at the end of the month, but if we qualify, it won't kick in for a month or more.  So finances are about to get really tight.  We are walking in faith knowing that God will provide for our needs, but it's a scary step not knowing where the money we need for groceries, bills, etc will come from.

We really like our doctor and we have discovered that she uses essential oils herself and she was excited to hear that we are using them ourselves and that Marty is using them as part of his cancer treatment.  Proof that God puts the right people in our path as we need them.

Marty got a blood platelet transfusion of 1 unit today.

Right now I am sitting in the waiting room while he is getting his bone marrow biopsy. It is nearly 6:30 so we have spent another full day here at MD Anderson. As soon as he is done we will go get something to eat. We have to be over here again bright and early in the morning. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sorry I haven't updated since Tuesday, it has been a really busy week and we don't get internet well at the camper.

Tuesday, Marty was released from the hospital.  His fever was gone and they have him on mega doses of antibiotics.  When we left, his platelet count was at 22,000, so he didn't have to have a transfusion.

Wednesday we went in for an outpatient labs, lab review, and transfusion.  Marty's levels were at:

White blood cell count, 0.1 ( Normal is between 4.0 - 11.0), this indicates that he has very little immune system, which is expected because of the chemo.
Red blood cell count, 3.56 ( normal is 4.5 - 6.00), it is a little low but not low enough to require a blood transfusion.
Platelet count, 11,000 (normal is 140,000 -440,000), still too low and he required a platelet transfusion of 1 unit.

While there, we found out that the unit of platelets he was given on 06/15/14 was contaminated with the Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria and they had made an appointment to see the Infectious Disease department.  Because he was on mega doses of antibiotics and hadn't had any issues, they really didn't think he was going to have any problems from it, but wanted him to see Infectious Disease as a precaution.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of the normal bacteria found in everyone's skin.  Because platelets die very quickly, they can't test them before they are given, they won't survive long enough to get test results back.  Contamination happens occasionally, so this wasn't too unusual.

We spent all day at MD Anderson on Wednesday, it was nearly 8 pm before we got home.

Thursday, my parents brought the boys go see us.  We had a great time visiting with them.  We have missed them so much!  Poor Riley has been extremely homesick, and having a hard time being away from us.  To help keep his mind of it, we bought him an Xbox game he's been wanting g for a while, Skylanders Giants.  You can get these little figures that can do different things in the game, and we plan on sending him extra figures to him throughout our stay here to surprise him and hopefully keep him occupied so he won't get so homesick.  If you think about it, please send up some prayers for Riley

They stayed until around 3 pm and then went home.  Then I had to take Marty back to MD Anderson so they could get a blood culture to see if the Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria showed up in his blood.  Then we discovered a Freebird's close to the RV park, and Marty was in heaven.  He loves eating there :-)

Friday, we had another outpatient appointment for labs, to see the doctor, to see Infectious Disease, and for a platelet transfusion.  His counts were at:

White blood cell count, 0.1 ( Normal is between 4.0 - 11.0), this indicates that he has very little immune system, which is expected because of the chemo.
Red blood cell count, 3.25 ( normal is 4.5 - 6.00), it is a little low but not low enough to require a blood transfusion.
Platelet count, 10,000 (normal is 140,000 -440,000), still too low and he required a platelet transfusion of 1 unit.

Oh, one exciting thing happened while he was getting lab work!  We were able to get photographic evidence that ELVIS is alive and well at MD Anderson, scroll down to see it...lol!

The doctor said he was doing really well and that he probably won't lose his hair this round of chemo.  There wasn't really anything else, she was pleased with his progress.

Then we went to Infectious Disease and the doctor there said that the blood culture was clear so either he got such a low dose of the bacteria that it didn't show up, or that all the antibiotics he was in killed it out.  Either way, he was all clear and doing well.

Then we went to get 1 unit of platelets transfused.  It was nearly 7 pm before we were done.  One of our ham radio friends, Lynn, was just admitted to MD Anderson, so we stopped by and visited him for a little bit.  Then we went home, ate, and went to bed.  Another long day...

The nurses tell us that the MD in MD Anderson stands for "Most of the Day", which is proving to be true...lol!

Saturday, we ran a few errands and then spent the day at home.

Sunday, we are doing laundry and I will be cleaning the camper. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Yesterday, Marty's platelet count was 12,000 they gave him 1 unit of platelets as well as a unit of blood.  It was quiet yesterday.

Today, his platelet count was 22,000...the highest he has been at since this all started.  He will NOT be getting blood or platelets today!  We are hoping to get out of the hospital today and back to the camper. 

Not much else to post, he has been fever free for 48 hours.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Last night we ended up taking Marty to the ER here at MD Anderson.  He was running a 102 temperature.  With his immune system gone due to chemo, any fever has to be taken very seriously.  They ended up re-admitting him.  They are pumping him full of antibiotics and they transfused him with 1 unit of platelets and 1 unit of blood last night.  His platelet level last night war 6,000.  This morning they were 8,000.  They gave him more antibiotics this morning and  transfused 1 more unit if blood and are about to transfuse 1 more unit of platelets. 

He is feeling fine, but is really tired and has been sleeping most of the day.  Not sure if it is because of the fever or the late night last night... Maybe a combination of the two.    Fever was down this morning and if he says fever free, then he will be released on Tuesday.  He is getting g the best care and for the most part, he has been doing fantastic.  Still no side effects from the chemo and he still hasn't lost any hair.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sorry I didn't  update the last few days, we don't have internet yet at the camper.  Here are the happenings since Monday.

TUESDAY, 06/10/14 - we spent the day getting settled into the camper.  Not anything major happened.  Wednesday is Marty's first out patient appointment at MD Anderson.  We were worried that his platelet count would be low on Wednesday because he didn't get a platelet or blood transfusion today.  I was able yo flush one of his ports, but the other one was blocked.  Will get it unblocked to borrow at his appointment.  He is still feeling great, so side effects and still no hair loss. 

WEDNESDAY, 06/11/14 - Marty's first out patient appointment.  Left the RV park via shuttle at 7:30 for his 9:30 appointment.  Ate breakfast at the hospital, then upstairs to get blood drawn for labs.  Then we waited for about an hour to get the results.  His blood levels were great and his platelet level was at 5,000.  Not high enough , so he is going to get 1 unit of platelets.  We were happy with 5,000, because we feared it would be much lower because he didn't have any platelets on Tuesday.  Then we went up to infusion therapy to get both of his ports flushed and the one unblocked.  How appointment for the platelet transfusion was at 12, it was nearly 1 before we got called back.  They got the 1 unit of platelets going and I ran down to the cafeteria to get us some lunch.  It was nearly 3  before we were done.  Then we had to wait for the shuttle to come get us at 3:25.  We were back at the RV park by 4.

We layed around and took it easy until our friends Keith and Robert came.  They drove our car down here so we would have a way to get around.  They are some of Marty's ham radio buddies, so they also brought down some of his radio stuff and most of what we need to get the internet hooked up and get him on the radio.  After they got the antenna up, they took us to eat and run a few errands.   We needed to get a table for outside and a zero gravity chair for Marty.  They left around 9:30 to head back to Waco.

THURSDAY, 06/12/14 - no appointment today, so we spent the morning hanging around the camper. I was successfully able to flush both of Marty's ports this morning, yay!!  About 11, we ran a few errands.  Stopped by Michael's craft store so I could get some things to help me pass the time, and then to Walmart for a couple of things.  Stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch and then back to the camper.  Marty is still feeling great and still no hair loss.  I am so proud of him and his attitude.  He is doing so well and staying positive.  Marty is still working in getting the internet to the camper, so for now I can only update or check email when we go to the Rec Room at the RV Park.  Hoping we will get it going in the camper soon.  Tomorrow, Marty has his 2nd out patient appointment, so we will be busy most of the day with that.