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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Day 13: Trust in God's Plan

Day 13... not much to report but praises. I didn't have any procedures. Because of all the fluid build up yesterday, everyone thought it best to just let my system rest and recover. And boy did it. I've slept A LOT today. I've walked. My mobility is returning greatly (amazing how little you can move with an extra 15 lbs of pee in you body).
Overall, good restful day!

Spent some time digging a little deeper into my faith. I know it's easiest to call upon the Lord and trust that he is going to heal you. I have trust that will move a mountain! I have peace unimaginable! But how deep is that love when it's discovered His plan isn't Your plan? I want to say I know through this experience no matter what Gods plan for me is I will love and praise him because only He can see the grand picture. I know this is not new information to Christians. But I think it's a hard one to truly live by. Love God, no matter what the answer is.

Prayer Request- we start the M part of therapy tomorrow. This is the one that will penetrate the layers of my brain. So very important! It will be a 24 hour treatment and rough on my kidneys. So pray all goes well. This Chemo will be destroying all the cells. So we need it to get in work quick then we can start the antidote to save as many good cells as possible.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Day 12: Humble Pie

Day 12...humble pie... so it was no secret we were waiting for magic Wednesday from the DNA labs to start Chemo. We were anxious but had a plan. Then when we had the plan paused because the ph level of my system was not "ready" to fully engage in the meds....meaning more waiting. I got very frustrated, the doctors got frustrated. No one knew why my body wasn't responding to the increases that were being pushed. The pharmacist said they don't get it, I gave you ph, so your blood goes up in ph (but yours isn't?!?).

Well the doctors decide to proceed with the second part of the Chemo that I was scheduled to get today anyway. So I received the CHOP part today and the cancer is officially being attacked! I didn't feel sick. If anything just tired. Except this annoying swelling and bladder pressure.

So while Chemo is going the doctors turn back to the ph issues and realize they have been pushing and pushing fluid and I'm not putting it out fast enough. So they ordered a catheter and I'm not lying...drained 6,900cc of fluids out of my body in less than 12 hours! That's 7 bags of iv fluids!
That's why my ph numbers weren't going up. God was like hold up. Bigger problem here...remember the mass in you bottom, things won't work unless you fix that first.

So while I was taking my eyes off the Him and focusing on the waves, I began to drown a bit in self pity, anger, frustration, etc. But all to be served another big ole piece of grace and told to keep my eyes above the waves. Because I am His and He is mine!

Prayer request- help me keep my eyes above the waves! Help me recognize the miracles like the nurse who said hey why don't we try a catheter. Pray that this miracle medicine kicks cancers butt. And pray that I can receive the M part of the treatment in the morning!
Love you all!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 11: Not "Double Hit"!

Day 11. Today was the day we've been waiting for with the genetic markers of the cancer. So, great news is I don't have the double-hit resistance, so my body should NOT resist the therapy! Praise God.

I don't have the Burkett lymphoma, but I still have a pretty aggressive form which places me in that middle category for treatment. So, starting tonight, at 6:00 I was supposed to begin the first round of treatment of RMCHOP, which would be the M part or Methotrexate.

We just have 1 small hiccup. I can't start the M until the alkaline levels in my urine indicate my kidneys will be able to handle the barrage of melted lymphoma. And right now the numbers are just not there! So I'm getting meds to try and get the levels correct. In the meantime my Chemo is hung and ready to go. A bit frustrating, but "I've got to keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace For I am Yours and You are mine"

Prayer request is that my ph levels will get to where they need to be so I can start the treatment as quickly as is safe.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Day 10: The Ophthalmologist... I'm not afraid, I'm Ready!

Day 10 and the miracles are still coming! Ya'll this is becoming the most epidemic modern miracle story. Seriously, I could not make this stuff up.

Update: I had a very busy day. I had my port surgically placed today into my chest so we will be ready to go the minute we hear about the genetic make up of the cancer. I know the doctors have been pushing hard to get answers sooner, but the lab said Wednesday and it looks like that was what they meant. I also had the Picc line removed. So, after those procedures I was pretty well worn out for awhile from the sedation. But is is nice to have that done. ophthalmologist came in to examine my eye that has been out of commission for almost 2 weeks. The exam went well, I have a little pressure, but nothing to worry about, all other indicators show my vision is fine and the nerves behind my eyes are great. I do have a tumor that is behind my optic nerve which is causing all the facial numbness and eye lid droopy problems. But the doctor is confident in waiting to see if it just resolves as that tumor goes away. BUT...are you ready for this...the ophthalmologist who wants to come see me tomorrow and take over the care of my eye is Dr. Kline! He specializes in neuro-ophthalmology and is the director of the American Board of ophthalmology! Y'all! THE LORD has sent another medical miracle worker right here to me! I told you I can't make this up! God is SOOO good to me. His grace is so much more than I deserve and I need to shout that from the rooftops!

Prayer Request- chemo will start tomorrow and the fight will be on. I'm not afraid, I'm ready. But I would appreciate the prayers that my body will accept the medicine and it will destroy all these cancer cells. Please pray for my family and the blessings of ALL those who have poured out their love and support of us. The love is overwhelming. Please pray that my miracle will begin to work in the hearts and lives of those who need to witness what modern miracles look like and plant the seeds for them to seek our GOD deeper.
I truly love everyone of you.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Day 9: The Heart of a Doctor

Day 9 is in the books. I'm feeling pretty good today. Walked about 2 miles around the hallways, got to spend some sweet sweet time with my Grandma, aunts Joan and Katy, Uncle Bob, and cousin Brandon. It lifted my spirits just to see them. As they left, they all prayed over me and Y'all the Holy Spirit had filled this space. It was electric, tangible, and overwhelming!

Dr. Mehta came in to say he's hopeful we will have the final DNA information tomorrow and once that comes in, we can start treatment within 2 hours. He's is so kind, he has been calling the lab twice a day to get the answers before they even make it to the system. His care for me as a person and not just a patient is such a blessing. He spent some time talking about how this treatment would make it unlikely I'd ever be able to have kids anymore and if that was something I wanted he would send people over to talk about freezing eggs and such. While I never planned to have anymore kids, it struck my heart that he cared enough for my future to discuss that. Awesome doctor!

I'm scheduled to have the Picc line removed tomorrow morning and the port put in. It will be a small procedure where I'll have to be sedated. But the doctor wants to be ready to run with the treatment and not have to wait for the port. So we will be ready!

Praise report- the most significant pain I have is in the evening and comes from the nerve pain in my face. It's unbearable, but tonight is the first in over 3 weeks I didn't have it! Thank you Jesus.

Prayer request, please continue to pray my body accepts the treatment and penetrated the brain to ensure total healing. Please pray for my family, this has been hard on them. And mostly, please pray that God continues to make our miracle visible and to work on the hearts of all those who need him.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Day 8: Going for the Cure

Day 8! I couldn't even wait for the end of the day to share! Jesus has heard our prayers! Dr Medha the specialist God placed right here at UAB in his perfect timed miracle came in to meet me and explain where we stand. So basically I have one of 3 types of large B cell lymphoma. The most aggressive is a Burkett B cell, which will require the most aggressive treatment, but it is expected totally cure the disease! The next type a non Burkett large cell b lymphoma, the cells are little smaller and don't require as aggressive treatment, but again is expected total cure. The third kind is in the middle is non Burkett but with some Burkett traits. The treatment plan for that option is not as defined as the other 2, but again is totally curable. I asked which one should I pray for? He responded prayer is always good, but in all these scenarios we are going for cure!

Today is the first we've heard this! Of course we've believed it all along hearing the specialist confirm it has proven yet again, God is in control!

Praise be ever on my lips ever on my lips. Praise be ever on my lip, oh Lord!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Day 7: Family

Day 7...I was able to finally see my sweet babies! I hadn't seen them in over a week! My heart was smiling!
Praise report #1- the medical specialist at these teaching hospitals are in 2/3 week rotations. So beginning tomorrow and for the remainder of my treatment process is a world renowned lymphoma cancer specialists! Say what!, huge huge miracle at play here. When we first received the news on the type of cancer, Scott started researching where would be the best place to receive this treatment. He asked one of the oncology residents who replied to be completely honest, you want to be here, THIS specialist is and he will be right here! Overseeing your case the whole time! Praise Praise Praise Jesus! He has delivered the best expert right here to me!
Praise report 2- we started the fight today! I began the first step in my treatment this afternoon and it should be done by 8 am. This treatment in particular is right now, as I write this, is resolving the cancerous B cells. So the cancer is actively being killed right now. Even better...this is not actually the Chemo, so it isn't harming my actual cell body, just the bad "prongs" that are coming out of the cell body! Killing the cancer but not the cell! Miracles in modern medicine!
Prayer request, still waiting in the genetic markers, pray they are favorable. My body is tolerating these meds pretty well at a lower ratio, pray that continues. Pray my pain stays at bay, and prayer for all the cancer to be killed.
"It's you're breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to you only! Great are you Lord!"

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day 6: Feeling the Love

From the Journal of Dr. Brittany Larkin:

Day 6... first let me say the responses and love I have received from my initial post yesterday has fill my heart with so so much love I can hardly breathe! Thank you all for that. Also the sheer number of shares and people (even not typically prayers) that are praying for me is astonishing. God is already using my story for his Glory!

I've been feeling ok today, had a rough night but was able to visit with so many wonderful friends and family. I waited most of the day to learn we are still awaiting the results of the 2 genetic tests that are needed to finalize my exact treatment. But the awesome perseverance of one of my oncology doctors calling the labs and talking with the God send of a specialist who will manage my case, they have decided to begin the first part of treatment tomorrow. It's not actually Chemo yet, but it's the first step and should start killing the B cells that are spreading this cancer. So cheers to that! Then as the genetic results come in, we will modify as needed. So I just got my pic line put in, which means I'm ready to start first thing in the morning. It also means no more blood draws. Double yay for that. I don't mind the shots, but 4 times a day has angered my veins and they have started saying uh no thanks.

Specific prayer requests are that the genetic markers are discovered quickly and are not resistant to the treatment and that the treatment I get tomorrow begins to work the miracle of modern medicine. God is so good! Miracles in medicine, Miracles in expertise, Miracles in timing, Miracles in love!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The "C" Word- Road Blocks in Life

Hello Everyone,
I will be changing the focus of my blog for a while to focus on the struggles of dealing with Cancer. On Feb 20th, 2017 my wife was diagnosed with Stage 4 B-Cell Lymphoma.  Her strength through this has been nothing short of amazing and very inspiring for me.  She has been journaling her experience via Facebook, but I have decided to transfer those journals to this blog with hopes that her strength, courage,and incredibly upbeat spiritual experience can help, motivate, and inspire others in this battle.

From The Journal of Dr. Brittany Larkin:

Dear friends and family, I don't always post about my private life but starting today, I going to use my Facebook as my blog to share my experiences and progress toward becoming a cancer survivor! I truly believe this will take a miracle. And when I'm granted this miracle, it will be a greater mission of mine to shine so all around can whiteness the miraculous grace of my savior!

So, to get you caught up here's the cliff notes.
Jan 24 I started having headaches and a little numbness under my left eye. So I went to the Doc and had an MRI which was clear. My headaches continued to get worse and so did the numbness. I saw chiropractors, ENTs,neurologists, and ER doctors. No one could find out what was wrong. But I knew I was getting worse and needed help.

Sunday, Feb. 19 I asked my sweet sister to bring me to the university hospital at UAB. After a long wait in the ER I was taken back and met a plethora of talented doctors who vowed to help me figure it all out. Within a few hours, I had scans and X-rays and blood work and they found a mass behind my sinus cavity outside my brain but in my optical nerve. After that they ran more tests. Which came back looking strongly like lymphoma. That night I met with a neurosurgeon. My prayers for pain relief were heard and met with the talent of these doctors and nurses.

Monday morning they removed a mass that was on my right temple and sent it off to pathology to determine what type of lymphoma we were dealing with. At this point the prayer chains in full swing. I have had total peace trusting in the grace of God and the talent he surrounded me with. I did get overwhelmed by the pouring out of love for me by so many near and far. You have touched my heart.
Tuesday, we were still in the data gathering stages and awaiting biopsy results. I had to have a spinal tap. To see if there were cells in my fluid (and there are). I was so anxious about the pain associated with this. But as I lay in the fetal position waiting for the needles to penetrate my spinal column, I prayed and prayed and prayed. And guess what, it didn't hurt! God heard my prayer once again!

Wednesday I was told we also needed to test my bone marrow and take a bone chip from my hip bone. Again, oh crap this is going to hurt. Even the doctors were apologizing because it was going to hurt. So as I lay on my stitched up face and await the pain, I prayed..hard! And guess what? It didn't hurt! Praise Jesus. Delivered once again from the pain and put in the experts care (btw- UAB is a teaching hospital and it was a student who did this procedure).

That brings us to today, it was a long day of waiting. I had an EKG to make sure I'd be healthy enough to start the Chemo. And the first confirmed diagnosis is in. I have stage 4 B cell lymphoma. It's stage 4 because it is spreading pretty aggressively. It's now around my brain, my colon, liver, and spleen. But because it's aggressive that means it should respond well to the treatment. The Chemo will attach the B cells and should wipe out all the lymphoma. Yay. BUT here's the new prayer request. They are awaiting genetic markers that will tell them if my body will be more resistant to the Chemo. We want that to be a no. So please concentrate your prayers on that now. The next complication is the cancer in the brain may be a different kind of cancer and require different treatment. So please pray that the experts in charge will be guided by God in making this decisions and that my body will respond. As of now it looks like treatment will begin either Saturday or Sunday.

I'll keep you all posted! PS a special shout out to my friends for helping with the kids this week. I love y'all!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Getting the most accurate reading from your OTBeat Heart rate monitor

Hey OTF’ers,
I have read recently that several members are experiencing inconsistent readings with the “Pulse” heart rate monitor during class. Both styles of monitors that OTF offers are very reliable, but both work very differently. Both also have their unique “quirks” that may lead to a temporary loss of reading.

Let’s start with how the two work.

The “Core”- This is the original OTF heart rate monitor.  This devise basically works by “listening” to your heart beat.  It is worn snuggly across your chest right about at the level of your Xiphoid process.  The closer to the heart the better the reading.  Also important to note, the “Core” can sometimes take 3 to 5 minutes to read your heart rate and sometimes requires movement/ activity.

Common wearing flaws:
  •         Worn to low
  •         Worn to lose
  •         Core attached upside down
  •         Loses contact with body when body is “rounded” forward… when on the rower for example.
  •         Adjusting to frequently-  If you feel that your “Core” is not reading well, make an adjustment and then let the monitor relocate your heart rate.  This can sometimes take a minute.  Continual adjustment of the strap will not allow the devise to detect your HR

Possible Solutions:
·        Lightly wet the strap to help with conductivity on your body
·        Wash strap weekly to remove accumulated sweat/ salt from band
·        Be sure strap is worn “high and tight”
·        Shift strap and core slightly to the left (more directly over heart).  Let device relocate HR.

The “Pulse”- The Pulse utilizes optical sensors to “look” for your heart rate by reading blood flow under the skin.  Placement of the Pulse is very important for proper reading.

Proper placement:
·        3 finger widths from your wrist. - Wear the “Pulse” approximately 2-3 finger widths from your wrist, toward your elbow (the higher the better). Placing “Pulse” here will allow for optimal contact– allowing “Pulses” sensors to better ‘sense’ the volume of blood under the skin and detect your pulse.
·        Wear the “Pulse” above your ANT+ or BLE watch. - Want to pair your “Pulse” with your favorite ANT+ or BLE watch? No problem! Simply place your “Pulse” above the watch of your choice. Wearing the “Pulse” on the same arm as your watch will allow for optimal communication between devices.
·        When cycling, wear the “Pulse” with the sensor on the inside of your arm. - Want to track your heart rate with the “Pulse” while cycling? Go for it! Simply turn your “Pulse” around, so that the sensor faces the inside of your forearm. This will allow Mio’s sensor to better “sense” your blood flow while you ride on a trail or road.
·        Turn on your “Pulse” about 10 minutes prior to the start of a workout.  This will allow adequate time to detect blood flow.

Common wearing flaws:
·        Band slides down too low on the wrist- When the “Pulse” slides down the wrist, movement of the wrist creates “noise” which causes an inaccurate reading. I recommend wearing a sweat band on your wrist to hold your “Pulse” in proper place.
·        Tightly gripping dumbbells or the rower handle could reduce blood flow to the wrist, which could lead to a temporary loss of reading.
·        Members with low blood pressure could experience an inconsistent reading since there could possibly be less blood flow to the arms while exercising.

Charging note:
  •         “Pulse” only takes about 45 minutes to charge completely.  After the charging light goes off, the “Pulse” should be removed from the charger.
  •         The Pulse has a “charge life cycles” of approximately 350 charges.  Improve “Pulse” life by only charging when almost completely dead. A complete charge should last 3-4 classes.
  •         Do not charge your “Pulse” via your lighter socket in your car. Socket could be too powerful and literally burn the unit… I have seen this happen once!

**Important note- Splat points are not designed to be obtained during the weight room portion.  We design an OTF workout so members will get at least 12 Splat points during the cardio portion of the workout**

Hope this helps!
Win the Day,


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Overnight Oats

Hey Everyone,
This is a great recipe I received from my friends Byron and Janelle Dyce years ago.  For those of you that need a quick breakfast or snack, potentially on the go.  Give this a try... you will love it!

Overnight Oats

1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup Water
1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbs Chia Seeds
2 Tbs Apple Sauce
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ Chopped Apple
Pinch of Salt

Combine ingredients in mason jar or like container and refrigerate overnight. Great snack! This makes one serving for me, adjust accordingly.

"Life Is Motion"

"Life Is Motion"
Turkish Get Up