Sunday, May 31, 2009

Much Better....

Beau is doing much better today!  Jessica said that the doctor actually called Beau a "Phoenix" this morning and was very surprised that they didn't have to end up putting him on a ventilator.  They are giving him a break from the CPAP today for a few hours and are going to be weaning him off of it until tomorrow.  He will probably be in the ICU for 3 or 4 more days until he gets rid of the pneumonia.  He will also have to remain on IV antibiotics for the next 3 weeks because of the E-coli.  They have some kind of home care program so that he will be able to leave the hospital before that three weeks is up and still get the IV antibiotics.  We're not sure at this point what this is going to mean for his last round of chemo.  He was supposed to start it next week sometime but I don't know what they will decide to do about that.  Thanks again so much for all of the kind comments, thoughts and prayers for Beau.  Y'all have made this ordeal a bit better by sticking with us through it all.

Doing Better...

Beau is doing a bit better now.  His vitals are definitely better and his fever has broken again.  His heart rate is down to 97 which is the lowest it has been in four days.  Jessica said he has been able to rest most of the day.  He finally got used to the CPAP first it made him kind of claustrophobic and panicky.  Since everything is headed in the right direction, they will start trying to get him back on the regular oxygen mask pretty soon.  

The blood infection turned out to be E-coli.  That's not great but not uncommon in Beau's situation.  Apparently, E-coli is kind of like's all over the place and most healthy people just aren't affected by it because they have good, strong immune systems.  People with weakened immune systems like Beau's can catch it very easily.  The doctor also said that he actually could have gotten it from himself...weird, huh.  When your white blood count is super low, you can't even fight off the bacteria that is already in your own body.

Thankfully, things are starting to look up...please keep the prayers coming!

Thanks again for all the prayers... 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Breathing problems...

Jessica called this morning and said that Beau seemed to be doing a lot better last night but that he is worse this morning.  His vitals are all still pretty good and closer to normal than they had been but he's struggling pretty hard to breathe so his oxygen saturation is the only one that's really "off".  He's also coughing and hacking a lot...which is making his throat irritated and sore.

The doctor came into the room while I was talking to her and said that they were going to put him on a CPAP machine (continuous positive air pressure) to force oxygen into him at a constant rate.  This is the last step before intubation (a ventilator) so please pray that the CPAP will be sufficient.

Also, the infectious disease doctor came in while I was on the phone and said that they would know pretty soon what kind of infection he has in his blood...they are still waiting on the cultures and it takes awhile.

Please keep the prayers coming...I will post more when I know more.


So they've finally decided that what Beau has is a bad case of pneumonia mixed with a blood infection...and he is still in the ICU.  Jessica said that everything is inching in the right direction.  All of the different levels that they measure on a regular basis are improving.  The doctor said he just needs time to build everything back up and let the antibiotics do their job and he will be fine.  She also made it a point to tell mom again that this is just what happens to patients towards the end of their chemo treatments.  Their bodies get more and more worn down and it becomes much easier to get sick...and much harder to recover from a sickness.  If your white blood count is .0, how are you supposed to fight infections/sicknesses?  I think we just got used to seeing Beau handle these treatments so well and bounce back from them so quickly that this really came as a shock.  What we need to be thankful for is that he hasn't gotten this sick until now.  From what I'm hearing, a lot of patients have these kinds of problems throughout their entire treatment and Beau fortunately avoided that until now.

Thanks for keeping up with Beau...and being faithful with your prayers!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Still in ICU

So far, this is what I've heard today...They took Beau back to do a CT scan this morning and they are going to do a bronchoscopy at 2:00 pm. He does have some fluid around his lungs so he probably has pneumonia but I haven't heard that confirmed yet. They took out his port-a-cath completely and will have to replace that sometime before his next round of chemo. Jessica said all of his vitals were looking a bit better and his temp. was back down around 99. He is on tons of IV antibiotics and the critical care doc said that they will all kick in pretty soon and he will be on the mend. I'm not sure when he will get out of ICU...I don't know if they will just send him straight home from ICU when he improves or if they will insist on him being moved to a regular room, first. I will let you all know when I hear something new. Thanks for following along and keeping Beau in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


They have now moved Beau to the ICU...but don't panic!!!  The doctor said it was definitely more out of convenience than out of necessity.  There are still absolutely no rooms available in the hospital and the ER is extremely crowded so Beau will get much more attention and better care in the ICU.  He's still running a fever (around 102) and they've determined that he has a blood infection.  Also, there is an infection near the site of his port-a-cath so they are changing out the wire that runs through it and putting in an antibiotic wire.  We haven't heard yet if he has pneumonia and that could still be a possibility.  All of his different levels (hemoglobin, white blood count, oxygen levels, etc.) are slowly coming back up, so that is good.  The doctor reassured mom again that this is not out of the ordinary with chemo patients.  They also have him on a bunch of IV antibiotics and said that we would be surprised how fast it could all turn around...basically he just needs a little time to get all his levels back up and he will be back on track.  Mom said he was actually looking and sounding a lot better right before they took him into the unit.  Hopefully they will be able to get some rest tonight.  I'm sure there wasn't much "resting" in a crowded ER for 36 hours.  

Thanks so much again for all the prayers...I'll update again if/when anything changes.

Still in the ER - No room at the Inn

I talked to Jessica a little while ago on the computer and finally got an update. All of their phones have died so that was the only way I could communicate with them. Beau is still in the ER and he won't be going home today. Luckily mom was able to get a room at the Rotary House for tonight because neither she nor Jessica have slept in almost 48 hours. He still has a fever but it has stalled out at about 100, so that's better than yesterday. His oxygen levels were low this morning so they have had him on oxygen since 10 am. His white blood count has gone from .0 (that sounds pretty low, doesn't it) to they are going to give him another transfusion.

The ER doc said he could possibly have pneumonia because she heard congestion in his lungs that hadn't been noticed before. They did some kind of test to see if he has pneumonia but it will be 24-48 hours before they get the results. She also said his fever and aches could just be from being anemic. So in short, they aren't really sure what is wrong with him yet but from what I can gather, this is a pretty common occurrence for chemo patients. They actually have a name for his fever...neutropenic fever...which is attributed to chemo patients with low white blood counts so I guess Beau fits the bill for that. I know they will be staying at the hospital tonight but they don't know whether he will get a room or not.

I'll update on here as soon as I know anything new. Thanks for keeping up with Beau and please keep the prayers coming his way!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bump in the road...

Beau's been having a little bit of a rough day.  He started running a fever in the middle of the night and it continued to climb until it was 102.6 this morning.  They decided to head to the Emergency Room at M.D. Anderson because they were told to head straight there if he ever started running a fever over 101.  Beau's head was absolutely killing him so when he finally got settled in, the ER nurse gave him some dilaudid.  This was Beau's "drug-of-choice" after his surgery in Macon so he was pretty happy to hear that he would be getting some.  It must be some good stuff because Jessica said they heard a cop on TruTV call it "drug-store heroine" we'll just leave it at that.  This helped his headache but when they came back to take his vitals for the second time his temp was 103.4.  Eventually it broke and mom said he was pouring sweat...the last time I talked to them his temp was 99.1 so that's good.  They also put him on some kind of antibiotic to ward off infection.  He will be in the Emergency Room overnight because there are no beds available and the ER doc didn't feel comfortable letting Beau go home.  His blood pressure was pretty low, too (88/33) the last time they took it but that could be from the pain meds so they have slowed those down.  Please pray for Beau's headache to subside and his fever to totally go away.  His white blood count is extremely low and he got a platelet transfusion earlier this evening.  I'll update tomorrow to let everyone know when he gets better and goes home.

Thanks again for the prayers and thoughts....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Welcome Home Party...

Beau is still doing well.  I talked to mom today and she said his counts were all pretty low but that's how they've always been right after a treatment.  He will probably have to have a transfusion in the next few days.  Right now, he is scheduled to meet with Dr. Benjamin on June 4th and then he will be going into the hospital for his 6th and final round shortly after that.  He's on the homestretch now!  After his last treatment is over, he still has to stay in Houston for about 2 weeks for a follow up and to get another set of scans.  Then they will all be headed home!  Most likely it will be around the very beginning of July...

On that note, we are in the process of planning a Welcome Home Party for Beau:

When:  Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Where:  Northway Church on Zebulon Rd. - Macon, GA
Time: 6:30 pm
Who:  EVERYONE (the more children, the better) - Free and open to anyone who wants to come welcome Beau home 
**Lots of Music and Fun
**There is going to be food provided but I'm not sure what yet...details to come later.

There is another party being planned for a later date in Bolingbroke.  I don't have all the details for this party yet but it will be on July 25th and there WILL be tickets sold.  It's going to be an outside concert with LOTS of bands playing.  Should be a great time....

Thanks for all of the prayers and support for Beau and our family over the past few months.  We can finally see the finish line!

And keep the pics coming for Beau's name gallery!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Five down - One to go!

Sorry I have been slack with the Beau updates these past two weeks.  I have been in Dallas, GA at the trial for Jenny's killer and I haven't really had a chance to update this like I normally do.

Beau is doing well.  He left the hospital to go back to Sam's yesterday and once again, he didn't get sick this round!  He was nauseated and uncomfortable but he didn't actually throw up.  He's been doing so well and we are so thankful for that.  One more round to go and Beau will be heading home!!!

As for the man who killed our aunt Jenny, the jury in his trial sentenced him to death on Friday May 22nd.  We weren't able to hold him accountable for his actions and we had to depend on that jury to do that.  We feel it was definitely the right decision and we're just glad this part is all over.  Click here for the story on his sentencing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Round Five

Beau checked into the hospital on Sunday night and will be starting his fifth round of chemo shortly.  He's so close to being done with all of this!  Beau had a CT scan and a chest x-ray on Wednesday of last week and those both came back clear.  He has really had the best possible outcomes in every phase of this ordeal...we are so thankful for that!  Please pray that this round of chemo goes as smoothly as the last one...

As long as everything goes according to plan, Beau will be coming home sometime around the very end of June or beginning of July.  There is a homecoming party for Beau that should happen around the middle of July and I will put more details on here when they become available!

While Beau is dealing with the fifth round of chemo, the rest of our family is awaiting the end of the trial for the man accused of murdering our aunt Jenny.  Closing arguments will begin tomorrow for the guilt/innocence phase and then the jury will deliberate on that.  After they decide the guilt/innocence part, there will be another round of testimony for the sentencing phase and then the jury will have to decide whether or not he gets the death penalty.  This is by far the hardest thing our family has ever had to deal with and we really appreciate all of your prayers and support...if you would like to check on the news stories from the trial you can go to these addresses and search "Jennifer Ewing" or "Silver Comet Trial"...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still going strong...

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted...Beau is still doing really well.  He had to have a blood and platelet transfusion on Saturday which is pretty normal during strong chemo treatments.  It's a pretty long process and tends to take up most of the day which I know is frustrating for Beau.  Jessica's parents visited this weekend and they had a good time.  
Beau will be getting some scans done tomorrow (Wednesday) to keep tabs on everything and he will be meeting with Dr. Benjamin again on Thursday.  His 5th round of chemo is scheduled to begin on Wednesday the 20th.  Please keep him in your prayers and hopefully this 5th round will go as smoothly as the last one.  

Many of you who know our family personally, know what we are going through in addition to Beau's cancer.  For those of you who don't...we are in the second day of the trial for the man accused of murdering Beau's aunt Jenny Slocumb Ewing on July 25, 2006.  We have been waiting a long time for this trial to come about and it's hard for Beau and mom to be out in Houston while the rest of us are here re-living this tragedy.  Please add this to your prayer list as well...

Click here for video...Silver Comet Trial

Thanks for all the prayers and support and please continue to pray for and encourage Beau!  He's almost done!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Four down...Two to go!

So Beau finished his fourth round of chemo Saturday night...and got to go home (to Sam's house) Sunday! Mom said he did unbeliveably well this round. He never actually got sick! He felt pretty nauseous a couple of times but they stayed on top of the nausea medication and were able to fight it off. One of Beau's nurses told mom that he had seen a few patients that were able to adjust to the chemo and actually did better towards the end of their treatments so hopefully, Beau will be one of those kinds of patients. With the number of people that have been praying for him and the positive attitude he has had, that wouldn't surprise me at all at this point!

I've been thinking alot about this since Beau was diagnosed and in Sunday School yesterday, Mr. Washburn reminded me of it again...we have soooo much to be thankful for in this situation. It may not seem like it to someone on the outside looking in, but we really do. Things could have been so much worse than they are...

Things to be thankful for:

1. Beau's cancer was only found in his lung. I now know far more about synovial sarcoma than I ever would have imagined and according to my (and Dr. Brown's) research, it RARELY ever shows up in the lung first. In fact, from what we could find, Beau is only the 24th case in the world where it originated in the lung. Usually, synovial sarcoma originates in an extremity and metastasizes to the lung. If that had been the case, Beau's prognosis would have been MUCH worse...something like 2-3 years...because once it metastasizes, it becomes much harder to control. When Beau went out to M.D. Anderson, we were thinking there was a good possibility that he had a tumor somewhere else...thank God the one in his lung turned out to be the only one!

2. Beau was able to get into M.D. Anderson and be treated by the #1 specialist in soft tissue sarcoma. Dr. Benjamin is the chair of the sarcoma department at the University of Texas and M.D. Anderson and according to Beau, he literally wrote the book on sarcomas...

3. Sam and Dave Mosley: Dave Mosley and his wife Sam (friends from our church in Macon) moved out to Houston a few years ago and, then very shortly after that, moved to Hunstville, AL for Dave's job. They just so happened to still have the house out there in Houston and very generously offered to let our family use it for as long as we needed. Coincidence? I don't believe in those....(by the way, if you get the chance, I highly recommend reading the book "When God Winks at You" - it's a bunch of true stories of what some people call coincidences...but I believe they are much more than that.)

4. Beau's response to these treatments has been nothing short of amazing, really. The chemo that they are giving him is some of the strongest stuff out there (doxorubicin and ifosamide if you care to do your own chemo research). It's terrible for your kidneys and your heart but they have been giving Beau heart and kidney protectors with each dose and he has been doing great. He talks about feeling really weird and he has gotten pretty sick a few times but it hasn't been as horrible as he thought it would be. Everyone told us that the worst part of it was the nausea but over the years, they have made drastic improvements in the medication available for dealing with that. There is a drug called Emend that has worked wonders for Beau...Dr. Benjamin said Beau could be a commerical for that drug since it has worked so well for him. Maybe Merck (the drug company that makes Emend) wants to sponsor a race think?

These are just a few things we have to be thankful for...and this is my list. I think once Beau gets done with all of this and can look back on it with some clarity, I might get him to make a list. His will be much more meaningful, I think...

Thanks so much for the continued prayers for Beau...he's on the home-stretch, now!

And please keep the pictures coming!!