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Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:20 pm
by SMN Herf
It looks like Alison is going to make it home today.

A collague of her senior pics put together by Sage Studios


Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:42 pm
by Faster horses
How neat is that?
Good for her, happy to know she is headed home. I'm sure that is one huge goal that has been met.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:09 pm
by DejaVu
Such a beautiful daughter. Lets hope all her health problems are over. Thanks for the picture.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:16 am
by mrj
Prayers that just being home is great 'medicine', too! That old saying: "the outside of the horse is good for the inside of a man" needs a long overdue change: "the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a PERSON" is even more true than the original, imo. Just guessing that even being nearer to the horses and all things connected with 'home' will make all of you feel better.

The early hour is due to this being weaning day for the most distant bunch of cattle. We do the fence line weaning, and it sure has worked well for us. Both groups soon find that the grass further from the fence is more appealing than standing along it and bellering. Calves seem to wean quicker than the cows with full bags to remind them something is missing! After a while (depending on weather, among other factors) we will bring them home to the lots to spend at least part of the fall/winter season.

I, for one, hope you will keep us posted on Allison after you are home. The photo's are great, and so nicely arranged on the collage. There is no such thing as too many photo's of family and views we treasure, whether nearby, or seen while traveling. Even daily tours of an area can look so different with seasonal, weather, time of day, etc. to give us a diversion from our routines. I have a few which are more treasured after the day I took them. Now, to get them organized.........


Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:51 am
by DejaVu
Hi, all!

Treatment this time around includes a slow chemo delivery overnight each night, then a 3-hour high dose in the morning, then a 3-hour break, followed by a 2-hour dose. This has made for a roller coaster ride for Alison in how she feels, but, overall, today didn't go too badly. By evening, we were wandering the halls and raiding the snack machine! :) She felt like watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. For those of you unfamiliar with the Hunger Games story, Katniss Everdeen is the heroine. Peeta Mellark is the young man she loves. He gets captured by the bad guys and slowly tortured, and as they torture him, they periodically show him on TV for all to see. Of course, he looks worse and worse over time.

That's when I realized the correlation between slowly being tortured and chemo treatments. We spent this morning nervously laughing while we waited for the high dose chemo to come from pharmacy. We dread the possibilities, then wait to see what side effects this precious patient will have to endure. At the end of this day, I am SO GRATEFUL she didn't vomit or have blood pressure issues or other horrors.

Will she be like Peeta and feel worse as the week goes on? It's possible. Thankfully, we are not alone. Our Savior is here to get us through it. He is our Katniss Everdeen, our Mockingjay, our Hero! The caring staff here at the Castle are His Hands and Feet! And you are His Love, covering us in prayer through this time of struggle!

God's blessings to you! Your prayers are priceless gifts! Please pray for a cure for all cancers! Colleen

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:17 pm
by mrj
So sorry for the trials and tribulations you both are enduring. And definitely praying not only for Alison to be better and beat this 'demon' with the 'hero' component of the treatment giving her a decisive victory soon!

I have fought the cancer demons twice, with relatively easy treatments, so have only a little knowledge of what you are going through. But I know too many people who have been in that battle. I understand that progress is being made, but will continue praying for that 'war' to end!

Not sure of your location, but winter is jumping into the areas of western NE, eastern CO, even up into western SD with a little touch of snow at Philip an hour or so ago. Just misty stuff here, 30 miles south east of Philip. That will be adequate for my needs!!! Chilly, but well above freezing. Decent weather for weaning calves which we are in the midst of. Great fall so far, but hope it continues for a while yet. Getting old and snow just isn't as much fun anymore!

Wishing you blessings and relief from the stress.


Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:21 pm
by DejaVu
Update on Alison.........

By Colleen Simon — Dec 24, 2015 1:54pm

Christmas Eve at the Castle of Care! Not what we thought was going to happen, but it's actually been so freeing to let go of expectations and just go with the flow! :)

When I last posted on Tuesday, we suspected a bacterial sinus infection. Midday Wednesday, Dr. Munson, ear, nose and throat specialist, did surgery to see what was going on in the right side of her nose and sinuses. He removed some swollen tissue that was quickly tested, and they found out it wasn't a bacterial infection. Instead, she has an aggressive fungal infection. However, he says we've caught it early, so that's a bit of good news! He also did what he called scout biopsies, checking tissue in the surrounding area to make sure he is able to remove any other existing fungus. Surgery is the only way to remove fungus, but she is also receiving IV and topical anti fungal meds. It takes a couple days to grow and test tissue samples in the lab, and then we will know the exact type of fungus causing problems. Fungus, by the way, exists in all of our bodies, but with her very low immunity, it saw the chance to party. I'm happy to report that her immunity and white blood cells are on the rise, and that will be most helpful in fighting the infection!! Woohoo!!

Dr. Munson plans to do surgery again on Saturday to remove any remaining fungus. He said he has seen many cases of this type, and that Alison's case doesn't look nearly as serious. It's a good thing God guided us safely to the hospital on Tuesday so this infection could be caught early! Praise the Lord! I do pray for discernment and He is kind enough to respond! :)

This infection will delay the PET scan and next round of chemo, but, first things first! For now, we rejoice in the birth of our Savior! We look forward to Brian and Loretta's arrival this evening! And we're thankful Alison is starting to feel better!

Come, O Holy Night!! Merry Christmas! Love, Colleen

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:22 pm
by DejaVu
By Colleen Simon — 45 minutes ago

Merry Christmas!! We had a short, but sweet visit with Brian and Loretta! They made it safely home this evening to take care of kitties and cows. We shared gifts, hugs and kisses, a smashing good meal made by the very talented Sanford Castle staff, amazingly good homemade cookies from our friend Rick from the Transplant Team - a.k.a. the jolly Ghost of Christmas Present! Ha ha!! We enjoyed a great visit with him and treasure his friendship! :)

The girls were treated to their choice of donated gifts displayed on the balcony of the Castle entryway! The generosity we have witnessed never ceases to amaze and humble us. We remain most grateful!

Alison had a bit easier time with surgery this morning. Dr. Munson took out tissue from one area that tested positive for the fungus. Pathology should have a preliminary report by Monday that will let us know if he got it all out. I will let you know the plan as it unfolds. It's a bit overwhelming for me, at times, as we wait for information from several people - ear, nose and throat; oncology; hematology; and, occasionally, nephrology. It was wonderful that Brian could be here today for surgery and help me absorb all of the information! :)

Thank you for your many prayers!! May God bless you all with good health now and always! Love, Colleen

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:41 pm
by DejaVu
Hope this is one of the last updates on Alison:

Happy Sunny Saturday to all!

Alison ended up having her last amphotericin infusion on Monday, Feb. 29th. On Tuesday, she began taking the new antifungal, an oral tablet called posaconazole. Because the fungal infection "treatment" phase is done, she is now in the "maintenance" phase, so that meant the infusion scheduled for Thursday was no longer needed. We were so glad to hear that and head home a day early! :)

Amphotericin was hard on her kidney, so now we expect to see her kidney function improve. Posaconazole comes with it's own side effects, but doctors are monitoring her lab results to make adjustments to her other medications. The posaconazole dose isn't adjustable and she will need to take it every 8 hours for at least the next 6 months. After chemotherapy, a patient is considered immunocompromised for about 6 months, so it's important to protect Alison from the rhizopus fungus during that time. Alison takes posaconazole at 8am, 4pm, and midnight every day, at least until sometime in August, so I'm guessing she'll need prayers for patience! I know I would!!

Now, about those poll results! Dr. Wagner, Alison's oncologist, has consulted with several colleagues regarding her Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia treatment plan. Some recommend not doing the 6th and final round of chemotherapy, while others suggest doing it using lesser dosages. Dr. Wagner is waiting to hear from a talented team of oncologists in Wisconsin before making her final decision, but she says she is leaning heavily toward NOT doing the last round of chemotherapy!! When all the facts are considered, it may be safest and best for Alison to be done with chemotherapy now! Normally, I would wait for the final word before sharing this with you, but I couldn't stand it! :) Please keep us and the medical team in your prayers as we await the "election results"! We are cautiously optimistic!!

With this possibility in mind, the scheduling of post-treatment appointments has begun. This next week, Alison will see Dr. Munson, ENT, so he can take a gander up her nose now that the antifungal "treatment" phase is over. I will see my orthopedic surgeon, as well, as it has been nearly a year since my knee replacement. In two weeks, Alison will see Dr. Sanders, nephrology; Dr. Wagner, oncology; and Dr. Chatterjee, infectious disease. And, our "new" new normal begins... Just took 6 months and 14,000 miles on the car! We are forever grateful to be at this crossroads... Praise the Lord!!

I hope to post "election results" very soon!!!! Thank you for your support!! ;) Love, Colleen

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:03 pm
by mrj
Prayers for all of you for great news and healing. What a wonderful way to go into spring! With all the usual hopeful happenings in spring it's looking like a 'best ever' one for all of your family.

Re. your knee surgery, I'm almost at the two year point from my second one, and I think it took more than a whole year to feel it was really healed. Had an ankle replacement last Aug. and it seemed to heal much faster, but also had much more pain before getting that one fixed, so relief was greater immediately and just went great, especially after November when I was able to walk on it. Hope you are doing great with the 'repairs' behind you.


Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:17 pm
by Soapweed
Praying that all goes well for your family. Hopefully the hardest part is behind you now.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:15 pm
by Big Muddy rancher
Prayers from us, Hope Alison gets to enjoy the spring at home.