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!

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!

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.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014 - Morning

Sorry no post yesterday, I was kept busy running around getting ready for Marty's release today. 

YESTERDAY:  his platelet levels were up to 6,000.  He had a platelet transfusion and a blood transfusion, one unit of each.  NO CHEMO!  My parents brought the boys down to see us. Plus brought the camper so we are all set up in a nice RV park close to the hospital.  We will remain here in Houston as an out patient for the next 30 days.  My parents took me around for groceries and such, so we would have what we need for a few days.  We do not have a car here in Houston at this point, so we will be relying on the RV Park's shuttle service or public transportation (taxi or bus).  Not a biggie, but inconvenient.  Had a good visit with my parents and the boys.   I got checked off on changing the caps of Marty's port and flushing them daily.  I still have to get checked off to change his bandage over the port, should get that done this week or early next week.

TODAY:  Marty's platelet levels were up at 6,000 again this morning.  He will be getting one unit of platelets today before we leave.  Got a whole list of prescriptions to get filled.  One of them, for just a month's supply is over $4,000!  Talk about sticker shock!!  Still working on getting all the stuff together that financial aid needs to see if we qualify.  For now, they are going to let us get his prescriptions for $5 each, but if we end up not qualifying, we will have to pay the full price.   I am just going to trust the Lord to provide for our needs, there really isn't much else we can do at this point.  It is humbling, but are certainly getting a good lesson in trusting the LORD!  Marty is being released today and we will be living in my parent's camping trailer in a local RV park for at least the next 30 days here in Houston.  Not sure when they will release him today, but it will be sometime after the give him the one unit of platelets.  They still are not here, but when they do get here, they have to transfuse for about 3 hours.  We are kind of guessing it will be around 5ish....just in time for the lovely Houston getting-off-work traffic.

If anything else comes up today, I will post again.  Until then, we are in a holding pattern.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday, June 7, 2014

This morning Marty's platelet level was up to 4,000.  They did give him one unit of platelets and one unit of blood.  He just finished up his last round of chemo for the time being.  To borrow should be an easier day.  I had my final class today, and I will be checked off with a nurse tomorrow (my test!).   Today we're had lots of visitors, our friends Keith, Robert, my cousin Jennie, and our friends Craig and Lisa will be here in a bit. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

This morning Marty's platelets were back to 1,000.  Sigh...we just can't get them to stay up.  Today, I had to go take a class on how to class on to clean and flush is picc port and I have to rake a second class tomorrow morning.   Marty is currently going through his 4th day or chemo.  Still feeling well and staying positive.  Other than that nothing else is going has been a quiet day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Not a lot to update with.  His platelets were at3 this morning, so he got 1 unit of platelets.  He also got 1 unit of blood.  I had my first taxi ride ever, went to the drug store to get a few items.  This morning I was told that I would have to begin wearing  gown and gloves whenever I am in the room with him, even when sleeping.  Not looking forward to it, but will do it to keep him safe.  Right now it looks like he may be released on Monday.  We will still have to remain in Houston for at least 30 days for out patient testing/treatment.  Figuring finances has been difficult since he is not working and will be unable  to work for some time.  Just keeping my faith and trusting the Lord to provide (which is hard for me because I'm a big fat worrier!).  Marty started his 3rd round chemo around 4, he is still doing and feeling well.  The nurse told us that many of the bad side effects don't really start showing up until around day 10.

On the bright side, Marty's  brother Ben came to visit today and we all had a nice visit. Oh, and we discovered that his room faces the care flight helipad, so we got to see the helicopter land a couple of times today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sorry so late in getting an update, been a busy morning.  We got up around 7 am.  His platelet level was back down to 1,000.  He had his first round of chemo last night and so far has had no adverse effects.  He is still feeling great.  I ran all over the hospital today trying to round up all the paperwork we need for the financial assistance forms.  Also did laundry.  I'm exhausted, but Marty is feeling great :-)

They moved us into a new room just a bit ago, which I am excited about.  It has a bathroom and a REAL bed for me.  I can take showers again!!!  And I'm no longer sleeping on a chair bed.  I do believe that I will sleep like a baby tonight!

Marty should be starting his second round of chemo around 6 tonight.  Please keep him in your prayers as we are praying he will continue to avoid the nasty side effects.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 Update

Marty will begin chemo today.  It will last for 5 days and if all goes well then he will become an out patient for 30 days.  We will have to remain in Houston during that time.  Then, if all goes well, we can return home and only have to come up here once a month and we will need to find an oncologist/leukemia specialist at home where he will need to have tests run several times a week.  After he is in remission, they are recommending a stem cell transplant, which has a good chance of him being cured.  If they do the stem cell transplant he will be in the hospital in Houston for 3 months.  They are planning on getting stem cells from one or both of his brothers if they are a match (which they should be).  That's all there is for the day.  He is still in good spirits and is feeling healthy.

Oh, his platelet level was up this morning from yesterday.  Yesterday he was at 1,000, today he was at 3,000.  He is getting 1 unit of platelets today.  Blood levels were good, so he will not be getting any blood today.

Fundraiser for Marty's Cancer Treatment

My brother-in-law, Justin Godfrey, has set up a fundraising account for us to help us raise the funds we will need for Marty Godfrey's cancer treatment.  You can help in a couple of ways: 1) share a link to this fundraiser on your Facebook and/or other social media.  2) if you desire, you can donate yourself by clicking the link.  Any amount would be a blessing to us.  We so appreciate all the love, prayers, and support from everyone...even in the midst of all of this...we are truly blessed!  Here is the link

Monday, June 2, 2014

Update Monday 06/02/2014 1:16 pm

Spoke to the doctor a little bit ago.  Some of the rest results are back.  Marty has been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  The rest of the tests need to come back before we will know the type and  stage he is at.  He will begin chemo tomorrow or Wednesday.  We are looking at a minimum of 30 day hospital stay, possibly longer.   

We can receive mail while here, and many folks have asked for the address.  If you would like it, leave a comment with your email address and I will send to you.  Cards/letters/care packages are fine, but we will not be allowed  fresh flowers/plants or fresh fruit. 

We have also had inquiries on how to help with our needs.  Our main concern is paying for daily expenses and the like.  If you would like to help out financially, we can take donations via PayPal.

Daily Update: Monday 06/02/2014 (8:50 am)

We woke up around 7 to get our day started.  Blood labs are taken around 4 am.  This morning, his blood level was still a bit low, so they will be giving Marty a unit of blood. His platelet count was at 1,000 (normal is 150,000), so he will be getting a unit of platelets.  They just started to give him the platelets and they are going to have them go in over 3 hours.  Normally, they have them go in quicker than that, but they decided to have them go in slow to see if they stay around longer.  He is doing great and is in good spirits.  We are hoping to have results on all the tests back today or tomorrow.  Once they are back he will begin treatments. 

He is eating really well here.  The food is outstanding.  He has lost 23 pounds so far, but treatments haven't started yet.  I imagine he will lose more once they do.  Leukemia certainly isn't the best way to lose unwanted weight. 

Still waiting to see the doctor today and I will update again when we have more information.