Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Now, Mom, Here's What The Doctor Said

On December 22, 2011 our first born daughter drove her mother and me to the Medical Oncologist's office for consultation on the type of treatment I was to receive. 
Frances waits in the lobby with a handful of papers to read which tell about different options for treatment of my cancer.
There were three options:  1) A surgical port could be placed under the skin on my chest and this would become the entry-way for the chemicals that would be used to fight the intestinal stage four cancer.  It was explained that via this port I could avoid having the nurses search for a good vein each time I came to the treatment center.  Blood samples for lab testing could also be taken through this port.  This would require minor surgery.   2) I could opt out of the surgery and trust the nurses to find the vein each time.  Since I have had the nurse miss the vein a couple of times already, I decided I did not like this option.  3)  A third option would be to take chemo via a pill (actually four pills a day) that is still somewhat in the testing stage as far as side effects go. 

Number One Daughter, who is a school teacher, sits with pen in hand...ready to take notes

I asked the doctor to allow me to sleep on this decision.  At first I felt that it would be easier to just get the pills and take them - but then I would still have to go to the treatment center every couple of weeks for lab work.  So with either of the three options we must travel to Chattanooga for this treatment.  That's not bad for it is only about 30 miles from our home in Cleveland.  Too - I wanted to talk this decision over with Frances.  Fifty four years ago the two of us became as one. 

So we stopped by the Cracker Barrell and went to the "Consultation Room"!
Second Born, "Favrite One" daughter was available for the first day of Chemo

So Chemo therapy sessions started on January 4, 2012.  I will be going to the treatment center every two weeks to spend 5 to 6 hours in a recliner, allowing the doctors to inject chemicals into my system that are designed to kill the "bad cells".  The problem with all the methods of administering the chemo remains the same.  The chemo can also kill some of the "good cells", thus creating sometimes severe side-effects.  I will be o.k., I know that for sure.  However, I will appreciate your prayer that God will cause the chemo to do what it is designed to do in killing the bad cells and pray that at the same time it has no effect on anything that my body needs in order to get well.

Aha! We've got it all sorted out now!

Go Ahead!  Make My Day!


jack69 said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Love how you ended up!!! Sherry has just said we need somethihng to trip our laughing box every day!
Thanks we needed that!!

Thanks also for the run down, Love Frances winking! I was thinking, I know in many Chemo treatments you temporarily lose hair, for me and you, no big deal.

Of the options, I agree with your choice, I have a feeling it would have been mine. Our prayers are with you, I am proud to call you FRIEND!
Love you Bro!!!!

Melanie said...

Thanks for the update, Fred. I'm still praying for you!
Enjoyed looking at your glad you have a supportive family. I'm sure that helps a lot. :)

Joyful said...

I love the way you present this information too Fred!! You certainly have my prayers. Thank you for keeping us up to date.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how funny... Love the way your write, Fred... You are making the best of the situation for sure...

Love that photo of a winking Frances.... CUTE!!!!!!

Prayers for you --and your recovery... Prayers for your family also as they go through this with you.
Hugs to you both,

Ginny said...

Fred, I am praying for this chemo to do it's work and kill all the cancer with minimal or no side effects. My best friend has had chemo for ovarian cancer twice now, and she is just a tiny thing, 100 pounds. She has responded well each time and is now doing well. They usually have an option to split up each treatment into threes if it is needed. I know you will be FINE!!! Very funny ending to the post!

George said...

I love the last picture -- you have the look of a man who knows the Lord is watching over him. I'm glad you could relax while in that chair. The picture of the winking Frances is cute as well.

We'll keep both of you (and your daughters) in our prayers.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Hello Fred, nice to meet you. I'm here from Ginny's blog and saw your comment you left for her and wanted to pop by and introduce myself.

Tho your situation in life right now is of great concern, you...with your positive attitude and living life with stamina and'll recover nicely. I just feel it.

Jean said...

You look great Fred and I feel for you while taking all these treatments I've been there with my husband. He took the shot once a week in his arm for six months. We drove over 100 miles round trip to Dothan to get them. It has been thirteen years now since he had surgery.1-4-1999. Praying for you and your family and thank you so much for keeping us up to date. Take care. Jean

Dar said...

I had to giggle too, Fred. You have the most important ingredient for healing, and that is a sense of humor. I would have opted for the same as you but praying I never have to make that decision. You are such good people and lift my heart.
Mom is going home tomorrow. Your prayers are hard at work. Thanks.
You asked what denomination we were, down to earth Christians born and raised Missouri Synod Lutherans. I don't take too much stock in denominations as I do being a Christian. I have, however, always seen the need for the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It lifts me up., no matter what.

Dar said...

God Speed your recovery, as we know He will.

Crystal Mary said...

We are all walking with you on your journey to good health. You know that scripture "For as (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he.Proverbs 23:7.
Keep on declaring "I am improving every day."
Don't own the cancer...(its the enemy).
Own the heath..."its no longer I that liveth, but Christ who liveth in me." (Jesus was never ill).
God loves you. You are the apple of his eye, he is always with you. He will never leave nor forsake you. God Bless you Fred.

About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton