Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Stategy

We are still on for Trudie coming home tomorrow. A big thanks to the small group for stopping by our house this afternoon and giving it another good cleaning. Trudie will know I didn't keep it this clean :-).

Old Strategy
I have been operating on the strategy that the doctors have much more education, experience, and wisdom on how to approach this disease. I know I have no control over this disease and I was just following what God was up to and all I could do was the next right thing. But, on the whole I was not getting involved other than keeping up this blog and asking for prayer.

Wake Up Call
Last Tuesday we had a visit in Trudie's room with our family doctor, Dr J. He articulated all my positions and strategies about letting the experts handle the technical details. He told a story about a relative that found out that the "experts" don't know about everything and it is a good thing to learn as much as we can about cancer and to become part of the team that helps fight the disease. He said he was amazed how much non-medical background lay people can learn and intelligently discuss the medical issues involved. I believe this visit was a wake-up call from God telling me to get busy and become part of the team.

New Strategy
So now I'm trying to learn all I can about angiosarcoma. I'm learning about cancer and how it works and how it is attacked. It is a daunting task.

We have our next appointment with the hematologist on Tuesday. I plan to be able to speak more intelligently this time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Coming Home

It is official. Trudie will be discharged and coming home on Monday!

I have an appointment on Friday afternoon with her OT and PT people at the center to go over the proper way for me to help her.

Getting Ready
What all do I need to be doing to get ready for her return? I'm not sure. I know I'll be having more conversations with the Case Manager to determine what all will need to be set up at the house.

Keep Praying
We haven't yet begun to fight the cancer itself. We appreciate all those who are praying for us and our doctors. Give thanks to God that she is able to come home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Give Blood!

Quick Trudie Update
I've had no news on the results of her assessment meeting today. :-(

From the Red Cross Web site:
Why Give Blood?
Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. But only 5% of eligible US population donates blood in any given year.

Currently there is no substitute.

Blood is needed for emergencies and for people who have cancer, blood disorders, sickle cell, anemia and other illnesses. Some people need regular blood transfusions to live.

Imagine if giving blood was part of everyone's life. Something you did on a regular basis, like eating at your favorite restaurant. What kind of difference would that make? For nearly 5 million people who receive blood transfusions every year, your donation can make the difference between life and death.

Giving blood is simple and convenient — see our top 10 reasons to give, browse categories on the left to learn about blood donation, or simply...

sign up to donate now


Our hematologist said that the blood supply is always needing donors. I asked if they could give in Trudie's name and he said do not make a "directed donation." He said that the likelyhood of error goes up with a directed donation.

He recommended to make a contribution to the general pool.

I've you've not given blood in a long time, go ahead and spend an hour for a good cause.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Chocolate Slow Down

Too Much Chocolate
Trudie's blood sugar is getting a little high. So she has asked that the well-wishers slow down on the chocolate. She really appreciate the thought and the chocolate (so have I); it has been just a little too much of a good thing.

Today Trudie climbed a few stairs for the first time. She really felt a sense of accomplishment. She is working as hard as she can with her PT and OT people.

Tomorrow her "team" will get together and assess her progress. We believe that they are close to setting a go home date. It could be as early as next Monday. That would be exciting news. I'll let you guys know as soon as I hear.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Hard Day at the "Office"

At the Hospital:
Trudie is really working hard. In fact, Friday she may have overdone it a bit. She worked on a machine that is like bicycle peddles and these are muscles that she apparently has not used in quite a long time. Today those muscles are hurting her pretty badly.

She had a review Friday and she has accomplished all of the goals that the team had set out for her for the week. Her hard work is paying off. She says she can tell that her muscle strength is returning more each day.

Her blood counts continue to drop. She had a transfusion on Thursday night to get them back up and then today they are down again. She is getting another transfusion tonight. She still has the underlying disease and it is messing with her blood counts.

The doctor said that when she is finish getting all the benefits of the acute rehab then he will schedule the splenectomy. The case manager said that the tentative goal was for her to be done with rehab the first week in October. So she has one or two more weeks at No. Fulton.

At the Home Front:
The small group came over today and gave the house a good cleaning. We also made plans to install a ramp off the back deck for our old-man dog. Yoska is a 12 year old Kuvasz and is quite elderly. Trudie has been lobbying for a ramp for him for quite some time and I've not done it. A couple of small group guys think we can do it in one day. I appreciate their attitude and skills and believe we can do this. And I appreciate all the things the group has done for us.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I plan on taking Sari, our five year-old female Kuvasz, over to the hospital and bringing Trudie out for a visit. I know it will lift both of their spirits.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gracie the Great!

Some of you know but many of you don't know that we have a 20 month-old Granddaughter. She is Gracie and she is currently living with our kids in Durham, NC.

She is scary-bright for a 20 month-old child. She even has her own blog: the-blig

You can see pictures of her here: GracieAt19Months and GracieApril2007.

She's very cute!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The 50 Foot Walk

This is just a quick update.

Trudie's physical rehab is going well. They are working her hard and pushing her to go and go and go.

Today she said that she was able to walk 50 feet. This is quite an accomplishment for someone who was totally bed ridden just two days ago.

Her progress is evaluated at weekly team staff meetings. I'm not sure what day on which they are held. That is when they make a group decision if someone is able to be discharged. I will find out which day that is.

She had many visitors today and she enjoyed every one. She also appreciates the cards that she has received. Thank you everyone for your encouragement.

Continue to pray for her progress in her recovery.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Where's God?


I'm going to talk about our God. Your God may not be the same. If not, that's ok. I'm just talking about our God.

If God is a God of Love - why are we experiencing this? Where is God?

We want God to be the parent who makes things right. We want God to do what we want Him to do.

Where we are coming from

But who is our God? Is He a just a "force?" Is He "love?"

Trudie and I believe that our God is the God described in the 66 book collection known as The Bible. We believe that this collection was written over 600 years by many different authors and yet has a consistent message. We believe that God, as described in The Bible, has the power to do anything He chooses. We believe that He is the maker and creator of all things. We believe that God is very DIFFERENT from us. We believe that this difference is based in His GOODNESS. We also believe that He wants to have a personal individual relationship with each us.

We all have messed up at one time or another and having messed up we cannot be in the presence of TOTAL GOODNESS. We believe that the Bible says that without the payment of punishment deserved for those "messes" then we can not have anything to do with TOTAL GOODNESS. We believe that nothing we can do will restore us to total goodness.

We believe that the Bible says that God loves us so much that He came up with a way to have relationship with Him. Since nothing we could ever do could blot out the blackness of our offenses, He took the punishment of our offenses on Himself. He did this so that if we accept His payment for our bad deeds, we could have a personal relationship with Him now and forever in eternity. We believe that God did this by setting aside most of his OTHERNESS and became one of us - as a man - Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus, as described in the Bible, was not just a wise man, nor just a prophet. We believe He was who He claimed to be. God. We believe that Jesus never "messed up." We believe He accepted the punishment that He didn't deserve but that we deserved. And by doing so, He offers to us the gift of making things right between God and each of us. By accepting that we are powerless to EVER make up for our bad stuff and by accepting that He, Jesus, God has done all that was needed to wipe our slate clean, we can enter into a new relationship with Him. In this new relationship He calls us His children and we can call on Him as Daddy.

That's the kind of relationship Trudie and I have with our God. You may not agree and that's OK but that is our belief.

So why did God allow this?

We believe that God will heal this cancer. We are just uncertain if it will be healed soon and Trudie be allowed to live many more years or if it will be healed with Trudie being ushered into eternity. There is no cancer in eternity so it will definitely be healed when she dies. We all, of course, will die someday - it is just a unknown as to when.

But if God loves us as a Father loves his children, why is He allowing us to suffer this? A good Father wouldn't allow his children to suffer - or would He? From our standpoint of human Fathers we wouldn't knowingly allow our children be in pain needlessly.

But let's look at things from the child's point of view. If a parent denies a child sweets before a meal doesn't the child consider the parent being mean? When a parent sets boundaries around what a teenager is allowed to do doesn't the teenager accuse the parent of being unfair? From the child's point of view they are truly suffering. From the parent's point of view the goal is a greater good. That goal may be an appetite for vegetables or safety from temptation beyond what they have developed so far to bear.

Where does that leave us?

God is good and loves us His children. We may feel like He is being "unfair" in making us endure this. But this we can believe, if Christ endured the cross for us so that we can have a right relationship with him, He has a greater good that is the goal of all this. By the Cross we have assurance that nothing that comes our way can separate us from His Love.

We also know that God is walking through this with us. Many, many things have happened that have let Trudie and me know that God hasn't abandoned us through this. Almost daily we see the "footprints" of God along our path. We know He is walking beside us. We believe that although we may not know all that God is up to, we can know that He is up to something of which this is a part. We trust in Him and that He is working for a greater good.

Why Should We Pray?

If God is going to do what He has in mind, why pray? Because the Bible says He wants us to pray. He wants us to beseech Him. He wants us to ask Him for what we want.

So please, keep praying for us. Please pray for healing. Pray for strength for both Trudie and I as we deal with the practical things of this time. But also pray that God will use this to draw people to desire a relationship with Him. And that they, too, can find the true happiness that we have found in spite of this disease.


Louis Gigilo 9/16/07 message The Anchor of Hope available at North Point Community Church Messages Online (for the next week it is available free as an MP3 download or Podcast ) .

John Piper and David Powlison message Don't Waste Your Cancer

Philip Yancy "Prayer - Does it Make any Difference? " This is a great book!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Rehab Assignment

Medical Minor Leagues - Rehab Assignment

Trudie has been transferred to the North Fulton Regional Hospital Rehab unit. Here's her new contact information:

Snail Mail:
Trudie Bartkus - Room 142
North Fulton Regional Hospital Rehabilitation Services
3000 Hospital Boulevard
Roswell, GA 30076

Room Phone: 770-410-4142

Official Visiting Hours:
Mon - Fri: 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Sat & Sun: 12:00 PM to 8:30 PM

After talking to her charge nurse it seems that Trudie may call it more of a boot camp assignment than rehab. Their goal is to help her to become mobile and independent. They will be pushing her to do for herself. I know that Trudie will give it all she has to get back to where she was.

It appears that Trudie will have an even more hectic schedule than before. If your call isn't answered, just assume that she must be out doing push-ups somewhere :-}.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Good bye to Northside (for now)


Trudie received another transfusion today since her blood counts had dropped yet again. Today we got clearance to move on to acute rehabilitation. It will be tough to leave Northside Hospital because there have been many excellent staff people there who have made this stay as best that it could be under the circumstances.

Tomorrow morning we will be transferred to North Fulton Regional Hospital. She has an initial assignment of ten days of intensive physical therapy at their in-patient PT unit. It's going to be tough on her. She is ready to give it the best she can.

Going Forward

Now what is the next step? The pathology finding of the tumor removed was that it is indeed angio sarcoma. This is usually a soft-tissue cancer, but for some reason in Trudie it is in the cells lining her blood vessels in her bones. After her rehab assignment at North Fulton the hematologist wants to evaluate her for a splenectomy. He thinks her spleen has a angio sarcoma tumor that is causing it to sequester Trudie's blood cells. This would be the explanation as to why her blood counts keep falling. The spleen is not an organ this is of much use to adults so they feel they can remove hers and it will help the whole situation.

So we may not be gone from Northside all that long.

Thanks and Appreciation

We appreciate all of you and your expressions of concern and your kindnesses. We know that many of you are praying for us and that is the biggest thing and most important thing that anyone can do for us now. We are blessed with many praying friends and we appreciate every prayer said for us. Trudie wishes me to express her sorrow at not being available when you've tried to reach her. Sometimes she was off being poked and prodded; sometimes she was just too whooped to talk. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Almost Outta There

The consensus is that Trudie will be better served by going to a rehabilitation center. She will get more intense treatment there and so she will get better quicker.

So now it is a matter of where will she go.

North Fulton Hospital has a rehab center. It is near us and is supposed to be very good. Their staff is going to evaluate Trudie tomorrow to see if she is a good candidate for their services.

So she should be leaving Northside Hospital tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday.

She still continues to feel weak. She had been leaving her cell phone off and the room phone unplugged a lot of the time to help her rest. If you have tried to contact her and have not been able to, it isn't you. I've received the same treatment so I've felt your pain. Please be patient; I KNOW it can frustrating.

Monday, September 10, 2007

She's More Like Her Old Self

I visited Trudie on the way into work this morning. She was bright and alert; she was more like her self before the operation. I think that the doctor has finally found the right level of pain medications that is effective and doesn't cloud her mind.

She got out of bed yesterday and was setting up for 45 minutes. The more she's up the sooner she will be out of there. She had much company and many phone calls yesterday.

I don't know what the neurologist thinks her next stop will be. I haven't talked to her since mid-afternoon. We have been told that a rehab assignment to the hospital minor leagues (a rehab center) would help her get well quicker.

The hematologist told me this morning was that he would like to start the first round of chemotherapy in a couple of weeks. He said he would let me know what the pathology report said about the resected tumor when he gets it. Her blood numbers are still very low; they are like there were pre-operation. He said he would order a couple of units of blood to help bolster her.

Keep praying for strength for her and for wisdom for the doctors to select the right course of action.

How Are YOU Doing?

How is Patrick?

I've been asked recently by friends, "Patrick, how are YOU doing?"

I can say that I feel like I'm a part of this battle too. I have to make sure I have energy to encourage her and be her support while she struggles with this whole thing.

Taking care of Patrick

I think the main thing that I have to watch out for is H.A.L.T. - Hungary - Angry - Lonely - Tired. The first three are usually not a problem for me now. The challenge for me is the "tired." I have to be especially vigilant and ensure I get enough rest.

I also have to watch out also not to be overwhelmed by this battle. I occasionally do things I want to do. For example, yesterday I went to Stone Mountain Park for the Yellow Daisy Festival. I saw a number of our craft show friends and I wanted to personally thank the show promoters for graciously allowing us to withdraw from the show at the last minute without prejudice. I had fun.

The other thing I have to do to keep up myself is to make sure I get my exercise. I haven't been to my gym in a couple of weeks, but Shari (the dog) and I have had much quality time walking through the park together. I can really tell that it helps.

Asking for help

Probably the hardest thing for me in this whole battle is in asking for help. I know, I know, I know. A lot of you really want to help. And we are very grateful for it. I've had so many offers of food that I've had to ask a member of our small group to be the meal coordinator. I have made myself ask for assistance in getting things done. And when I've asked for help the response has been very touching and always extremely gracious. But it's this silly thing that I have called pride. Pride is a hard thing to keep from becoming predominant in me. I have to tell myself "people WANT for me to ask" for their help. One friend said that I've got to "let the body of Christ be the body." I do it but it's not easy.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

It was a good day

Today was a good day.

With the help of physical therapists, Trudie was able to sit up, stand up, and move two steps and sit back down again. She then transversed the same path in reverse. She did all this without the anticipated excruciating pain. It hurt some but not what was anticipated. It's amazing that most of the times what we imagine will happen isn't how things actually happen?

The Myrtles Florida diaspora have returned home. But before they left they performed feats that even Mr. Clean would be proud of. Much cleaning was done while I was at the hospital with Trudie. Not only were all the "science projects" removed from our refrigerator, it was cleaned cleaner than when we got it new. The kitchen shines like it is awaiting military inspection. We are VERY grateful for their help these last few days.

When will Trudie be going home? We're not sure. It all depends upon how much strength she regains and how soon she regains it. She is working hard on her breathing exerciser machine. She will start other exercises to strengthen legs and other muscles that have not been used recently.

There may be an option to go from the hospital to a in-patient rehabilitation center. One nurse commented that she could get better quicker at that kind of facility. We will see as the week progresses. A decision would probably not be made until the middle of next week.

Again, thanks for all your prayers and offers of help. They are all very appreciated.


Back on the Floor

Trudie got moved back into a real room night before last. She is in room 460 (404-459-1460). She is still pretty groggy headed because of the pain meds. I don't know if she will have many "noodles" to talk to people quite yet. If you call that number and get no answer, it will probably be because she's not in a talkative mood. Please don't take it personal - I'm sure if she knew it was YOU she would answer. But she has to be judicious about her energy. Sunday may be a better day to start talking.

Today will be the next stage in recovery; she will have to sit up. This is a necessary yet painful step. The doctor says that the quicker she can start moving about the less likely there will be complications. Trudie is being a real trooper and is mentally psyching herself up for the necessary, yet painful, task.

Two of Trudie's girl friends, a pair of Myrtles, came up from Florida Thursday. They came to support Trudie and me. They are leaving today and have been a big help in doing the little things I've not been able to get to.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

ICU Day 1

Trudie made great progress today.

When I got back to the ICU ward about 10 AM she was still groggy and not very coherent. Drew, my brother-in-law, had arrived there before me. She was awake but not really "there." Chip and Shane, from church, again brought us lunch and Drew and I got to chat a while with them.

Drew left soon after lunch and drove on back to Charlotte. He was a great trooper to sit with me in the waiting room all day yesterday and half the evening. He didn't leave until Trudie was well bedded down in her ICU room at 10:30 PM last night. He was a great encouragement to Trudie and me just by being here. Thank you Drew for your showing up.

This evening Trudie started to show signs of her old self. The first indication was her latching onto the TV remote control. She initially might not have been solid on which button to push but SHE was determined to be the one who was going to push it. She reluctantly gave it up when she realized that this was one situation where she could get what she wanted (the right channel) by letting me have charge of the remote.

Then by evening, she was gobbling up her dinner. It wasn't much (jello and ice cycles) but she knew by eating it she would get better.

Now she is motivated to get better. She is showing her old spunk and is putting forth the effort she knows will get here better.

It looks like it is highly probable that she will leave ICU tomorrow sometime. Back in a normal room she will have her own direct phone line in and will be able to receive visitors. I'll update the blog when I know the details.

The Worst is Over - Now for the Bad Stuff

Where we are now

She came through the surgery just fine. The neurosurgeon said that it went very well. She was doing so well that they were able to take her off the ventilator before she left the operating room.

Now she is in ICU where I spent the night with her. She is still very groggy and probably won't remember anything of the night. She and I both got a two maybe three hours of sleep. I'm forever indebted to the nurse tech who located a recliner chair for me and hauled it to her room.

They kick all family out of ICU at 7 AM and 7 PM for shift change so I am home getting charged back up for another day in ICU.


Yesterday was a long day. The surgery didn't start when we thought it would. And then it took a little longer than expected. My brother-in-law, Drew, drove down from Charlotte, NC, and stayed the whole time with me. A friend from church, Chip, brought us lunch and a dear friend of Trudie's, Jeannie, brought us dinner. We are very grateful for everyone who have pitched in and helped us.

She was finally wheeled into ICU about 9:15 PM. She rested pretty well last night.

Where do we go from here

The Bad Stuff is the painful rehab that is coming. She has a chest tube now and that hurts every time that have to shift her. And to prevent bed sores or pneumonia they have to shift her every couple of hours.

We know that there is even more painful rehab to come. Please be in prayer for Trudie's endurance through it.

We're not sure how long she will be in ICU. The doctors had not been in to see her when I left. The doctors originally talked of a day or two stay in ICU.

The "rules" for ICU are that only immediate family members are allowed to visit and then only two at a time can be in the ICU room with her.

Since they request all cell phones be off in the unit, we will be unreachable while I'm in there. You can leave me a voice mail on my cell phone (you know the number) and I'll call you back later.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. I'll let you know news as I find it out.


Quick Update - All OK

This will just be a quick update. I'm staying the night next to Trudie's side in ICU. I'm using the computer in the ICU Family Lounge to post this.

The surgery went well. It started later than we had thought (1:30 PM ) and ended about 7:30 PM. The doctor said it all went well. She is going to be very sore and it will be a painful rehab but he was please at how the reconstruction went.

I'll post more when I can.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Night Before the Big Battle -er- Surgery

Tomorrow Trudie will be undergoing major surgery. This will be by a neurosurgeon to repair her T7 vertebrae. It has a compression fracture and is pressing on her spine. They are scheduled to start at 10:30 AM and take 5+ hours to complete. They will have her on a respirator and so she will go to ICU right after and stay there a day or two. After that she will go to a regular hospital room until she is discharged. They said that this could be 4 to 7 days post-ICU.

I will have my brother-in-law and other friends staying (and praying) with me in the waiting area.

The resected tumor (means cut out) will be sent to pathology for verification of the original diagnosis. Those results will be returned in less than a week.

Thank you for your prayers. We have many stories of how we can see God's hand in events surrounding us. He is showing us that He is right here beside us as we go through this.

Please continue to pray for her speedy recovery after this surgery.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Why I'm Blogging

This is my first blog. I know - a techie like me - just now blogging? Well yes.

I'm creating this so that those who want to know what's happening can keep up with our battle with this disease.

It will be real easy to see if there are any new posts if you use RSS. If you're not sure how RSS works, click on the orange icon that has a dot and two curves on the RIGHT hand side of the "http" address bar. It will prompt you to add this feed to your list. It's pretty cool.

Previously on Bartkus Battle

I'm going to post the entries so that you can get caught up with how we got here today.

Subject: Trudie Pretty Sick
Date Sent: Aug 6th

We went to our general MD last week for Trudie's vertigo and other general malaise.

It turns out that her blood has no "octane." She is severely anemic; her red blood count is very low. Her platelets are also extremely low. The doctor says that he is "concerned."

We went back today to give them another few test tubes full to run additional tests. Those results should be back tomorrow and if they confirm Friday's numbers we will next be seeing a hematologist.

Please pray for Trudie and I as we battle this mysterious disease.


Subject: Sat 8/11 Update on Trudie
Date Sent Sat Aug 11th

Thanks to all who are praying and have offered words of encouragement. We greatly appreciate the outpouring of love for us during this time.

The blood tests were re-run and confirmed the initial rotten numbers. Our primary care physician says that the numbers aren't good and now has referred us to a hematologist. We have an appointment on Tuesday. Hopefully he will be able to make sense of the numbers and direct us in a course of action that will get Trudie feeling better.

In the mean time, Trudie still struggles with a general lack of energy. For example, yesterday she cut up some red bell peppers. The effort of standing at a counter and cutting six peppers up wiped her out and she says that she almost blacked out. She spends most of her days either reading, sleeping, or propped up in the recliner chair TV remote control firmly in hand :-).

I am picking up the cleaning and cooking duties and the garden & flower emergency watering detail.

We are confident that God is walking along with us in this journey. We know that with him we can handle anything that comes our way.

Please continue to pray for us as we live one day at a time and do the next right thing. Please pray for healing, courage, strength for both of us.



Subject: Tuesday 8/14 Trudie Update
Date Sent: Aug 14th

We saw the hematologist today. He is a real nice guy.

He said that it was too soon to tell what this was. All he would say was that there was something going on wrong with her blood.

He had ordered her to get a transfusion (tomorrow), a CT scan (Friday), and a bone marrow biopsy (next Tuesday). We will see him again on Tuesday 8/21.

So for now, it's endure tests and all those kinds of trials and then see what he thinks the results are in two weeks.

Hopefully the transfusion will give Trudie more energy and she can get back to tending her poor plants that are suffering midightly in this heat wave we're having.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.



Subject: Tuesday Aug 21st
Date Sent: Aug 21st

Friends and Family,

First, thank you to all who have had us in your prayers. We are truly blessed by family and friends who beseech God in our behalf.

We are also grateful for an awesome small group who are offering and providing amazing help including wonderful meals.

I'm also grateful for a job that allows me the flexibility to be Trudie's support during all this.

Trudie has endured a week of poking, prodding, examinations, x-rays, and more poking. On one occasion a nurse trying to draw blood for a test poked her three times before she discovered that the vial she was using had no vacuum and couldn't "suck." A new vial worked right away.

Trudie's "final exam" was a much-dreaded bone marrow biopsy this morning. It turned out to be much less painful than was feared. She is now home resting.

All the results are being sent to our hematologist. We have an appointment with him next Tuesday (8/28) to discuss the results. But until then we still have no clue as to what is wrong.

I'll let you know when we hear something.

Please continue to lift us up in your prayers.



Subject: Trudie's test results are in
Date Sent: Aug 28

Dear Family and Friends,

After all the tests the initial diagnosis is angiosarcoma. The doctor said that this is a rare cancer of the blood vessel muscles.

Now we need to endure more tests to determine where it is. It may be in one place; it may be in multiple places.

At a minimum we will have chemotherapy. If it is localized he will also fight it radiation and surgery.

He said we are in for a fight.

Trudie has been admitted to Northside Hospital today for another transfusion of blood. They will keep her a couple of days until they run the other tests too.

Please keep us both in your prayers.

I'll keep you posted when we know more.



Subject: Trudie Update - Thursday Aug 30th
Date Sent: Aug 30th

The additional tests revealed three defined tumors. They all correspond to areas in which she has been experiencing much pain the last few months.

The doctor said as the chemo starts kicking in the tumors will decrease and the pain from them will decrease.

He is planning on getting her discharged from the hospital tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday.

A couple of her girl friends from Florida are coming to stay with us next week for a few days. We are looking forward to their visit.

I will be getting ready to do the Yellow Daisy Festival the following week with the help from friends.

Please pray for healing as we start this battle against this disease.

Pray that Trudie's body will tolerate the chemo and other therapies.

And pray that we will have wisdom as to how to receive all the love you are giving us.



Trudie Update - Friday Aug 31st
Date Sent: Aug 31st

The results of last night's MRI have changed everything.

The MRI revealed that she has a compression fracture of her T7 vertebrae. Part of the fractured bone is pushing against her spinal nerves. This explains her leg weakness and even more of the pain she has been feeling.

The neurosurgeon feels that she needs the tumor removed and a plastic replacement piece put in place of the disintegrated bone. So now Trudie is scheduled for surgery this coming Tuesday. The surgeon says that by doing this operation now, and with radiation, she will have a 99% probability of removing all of the cancer at that one spot. With only chemo and radiation the probability is only 80% and if she EVER fell, she could be totally paralized below her chest for life.

So now we are facing a major operation on Tuesday. She will be in intensive care for a couple of days afterward and in the hospital for a week more after that.

We are so grateful that this fracture was caught. This should help a lot of the leg pain as and a bonus will totally remove one lesion. A huge amount more to deal with but with the grace of God that she had not a paralyzing injury before now because of a fall.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

Trudie here:

Thank you more than you know for your love and support.

I love you all -