Thursday, July 31, 2014
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
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!
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
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.
Jack & Kathy McNiel
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!
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.
|My poor sick fella!|
|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
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!
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!
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
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.
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!
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
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|
|Marty and I waiting for his tranfusion on Wednesday.|
I do have a couple of prayer requests:
- For Marty's bone marrow biopsies to come back showing he is in remission and for him to lick leukemia.
- 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).
- For financial aid to pay our bills and provide the other things we need until disability kicks in (if we qualify).
- For us to be approved for disability and medicaid.
- 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.
- 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!!!|
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
- 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.
- 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.
|Picnic lunch, out usual to save money instead of eating in the hospital cafeteria.|
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
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.
- Continuous - Leukemia T-Shirts, 25% of each T-shirt sale goes towards Marty's Cancer Fund (all T-shirts designed my me!) - http://www.zazzle.com/lickingleukemia
- July 12 - July 18, 2014 - Jamberry Nails Fundraiser, a minimum of 20% of all sales benefiting Marty's Cancer Fund https://www.facebook.com/events/1508420226058356/
- Continuous - Jewelry Fundraiser, scroll down Facebook page for Marty's Cancer Treatment Fund to see a variety of pretty jewelry available to sale with a portion of sales price benefiting Marty's Cancer Fund.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
- 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
- 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
- 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
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://
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:
Saturday, July 12, 2014
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.