Wednesday, June 17, 2009


From Bobbie Hixson:

This time I’m sending you some good news, very positive. Gordon finished chemo 13 days ago, and he is feeling better than he has in quite some time. He has gained 4 pounds! Yea! He ate some Breyer’s strawberry ice cream twice. And he hasn’t had ice cream in about a year. Already food is beginning to taste better to him. Breyer’s strawberry is his favorite.

I am just awed by God’s love and concern for his children! He has been so close to us this last 6 months, and I believe it is because, you, his children have been praying for us. We still have a journey to finish, but He has made the way easier than it would have been without Him. We love you each and everyone, and you have our deepest gratitude. Thank you seems terribly inadequate.

Please continue to pray for us as we continue on this journey with cancer.

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. Deut 33:27

Monday, June 1, 2009

Worry vs. Trust--Focus on LIVING

Gordon - From Bobbie Hixson on May 30, 2009

Yesterday was an emotional up and down day! I’ll explain as I proceed. We went to get labs at 1:45 pm.

Then we went in to see Dr. Schlabach (Gordon’s oncologist). We only have 1 more infusion next Friday; so Gordon had some very pertinent questions for the doctor. I was surprised and shocked. He had not revealed to me what he had been thinking. But Dr. Schlabach is so patient and kind. By the way, he ia believer in Christ, and is not at all embarrassed about expressing what the Bible tells us. Back to the questions….”what if I have a reoccurrence like in my liver? What do we do then?”

The oncologist: “we’ll just pray that never happens. There is nothing else that we can do.” He went on to explain that with colon cancer, you can do things to the liver, but with pancreatic cancer, you can’t. “It’s totally different”.

Gordon was not happy with that statement; so he told the doctor he had been reading about things they do to the liver, but again the doctor told him that it can’t be done with pancreatic cancer. Gordon had all these if’s, but Dr. Schlabach said: “Gordon, our days are numbered, and God is in control; so you certainly won’t go before He wants you to. And I don’t know, and you don’t know, and aren’t you glad you don’t know? You’re getting too far ahead, and you just need to concentrate on now and getting better.” Thank God for Christian doctors!

I tried to act calm and upbeat and reminded Gordon to listen to the doctor, but inside I was panicky, simply because I had no idea he was thinking about all these things. I thought we were focusing on LIVING!!!

Karen sent me a very encouraging e-mail today. I know Satan was after me and wanted me to be defeated, but I’m okay this evening, and like I told Gordon, I could go before he does, or his children could go. I’m so glad God has a plan and is in control. I would make a mess of things otherwise.

But I encouraged Gordon to talk to the surgeon at Emory (Gary’s friend), that does liver surgery and liver transplants. He won’t be satisfied unless he gets other opinions….that’s just what he does! I also suggested he get in touch with Duke in the liver section and the pancreatic cancer section. We had considered that before we went to Emory. He will probably do that next week.

Well, after a long session with Dr. Schlabach, we went back to the chemo area, and they got him ready for his infusion. Our nurse that we love was not there, but another nurse took care of it. He has felt okay until about 8 pm tonight. He has bad stomach cramps and is very, very tired; so he’s resting now.

I just can’t totally relate, because I don’t have cancer; so I can imagine all the thoughts that you have. To most people, the “C” word means dying. His 1st CT Scan was clear; so that could happen again. The Lord may want him around for a while. He is still finding early breast cancers on women that can be cured. So he is still contributing. So many cancers are being cured now. Early detection is so important. There will be better days and weekends; so I’m looking forward to it.

Tomorrow is my birthday (May 31), but we won’t be doing any celebrating tomorrow. It will be delayed for a while.

I don’t really care, because I’m exhausted from yesterday. What good friends you are to listen to me rattle on! It helps to get it out!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Thursday, April 16, 2009
This is Mom/Bobbie's note , just as she wrote it. Your prayers are still very important to us.


Gordon is halfway finished with his chemo infusions as of Good Friday. We were invited to our daughter’s for Easter, but our granddaughter had strep throat, and Gordon was not up to going anywhere, nor did he need to be around someone who has an infection. He had rather severe stomach cramps (not abdomen), and was just totally exhausted. He spent most of the weekend in bed; so we had a very quiet Easter, which was okay by me. I was tired too. His hemoglobin had come up about 9/10 of a point, but he has lost another pound, and his cholesterol is only 100. And you need a good cholesterol to fight cancer. So Dr. Schlabach (the oncologist) told him to quit taking Lipitor like immediately. He scolded Gordon and told him that he should know better, that he had explained to Gordon that he is in a different game than he has ever been in. I had been telling him he shouldn’t be taking it, but he had to hear it from the oncologist. Dr. Schlabach is soft spoken and kind; so you listen up when he tells you something.

Our nurse that is assigned to Gordon’s case was off. Her name is Lori, and so Wanda filled in for her. He always has to get labs first to see if they will be able to do the infusion depending on what his labs show. And he was good to go.

This week we see Dr. Schlabach and get labs, and then we’re out of there until next Friday, the 24th. People ask me about this all the time, and sometimes like right now, I feel I’m having a nightmare. I guess the Lord allows us to fall gently when we fall. None of this seems real, because Gordon was so healthy otherwise. Keep praying…it keeps us strong and fighting the battle. We do certainly feel your prayers and are extremely appreciative. Gordon really enjoys this break for about 13 days without chemo.

We met a lady last week who had breast cancer, and it has now gotten into her collarbone. She was by herself, and I felt sad for her. Maybe we’ll see her again and learn more about her circumstances. But she wasn’t alone, because God is with her every step of the way. Maybe I will get the chance to tell her that.

While Gordon was resting this past weekend, I watched the movie that Mel Gibson made about Christ: “The Passion of the Christ”. I always cry, but I fast forwarded by the terrible beating they did to him. I just was too emotional and couldn’t watch that part. After singing along with some hymns earlier that I was playing, and then watching the movie, I felt a real closeness to Christ, and His presence was so real. I felt as if He had His arm around my shoulder telling me everything will be all right. It was a wonderful experience, and I’ve been more aware of His presence this week. What a Savior, What a Christ, What a Friend!!!

Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
Psalm 34:3

I thank, love, and appreciate each one who is praying for Gordon and me.
Bobbie Hixson

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Birthday Boy Keeps Marching

Saturday, April 4, 2009 -- From Bobbie Hixson

I believe Gordon’s 5th chemo has had less side effects than 3 & 4. He slept late, but has been in the yard walking around, and now he has gone to Greenlife, the organic grocery store on Manufacturer’s Rd. near the Market St. Bridge. He has been eating dried beans and legumes. They are very good for cancer patients. Meats create acid which is not good for the pancreas or cancer. We have been doing mostly fish and chicken. I’m so hungry for spaghetti or lasagna. I guess by this time, his system is adapting somewhat.

When we went for the chemo infusion Friday, Gordon was fasting; so they did some extra testing that his internist ordered. Of course, we don’t know the results as yet. We had to be there at 9:30 am. We had never been at that time, and every recliner was full, except for one. And most of the people being treated were young or middle age. There were only 3 older people including Gordon. It certainly gives you a whole new perspective on life. It makes you glad and sad at the same time. You’re so relieved that you’re not one of the ones being treated, and so sad to see the ones who are being treated. Most of the women had on a scarf or hat. I suppose they have lost their hair. And they were getting 2 bags of the infusion rather than 1. Gordon’s labs are okay. Everything is holding so far. Nothing had gone down. His attitude is holding positive, and I’m the encourager. Sometimes I get so tired both emotionally and physically, but I try not to let him know.

The surprise 80th birthday party was a real hit, and was he ever surprised! He got teary, and I went over and hugged him, and that seemed to give him the support he needed. Some of his techs that he worked with 30 years ago were there, as well as the staff at the Women’s Diagnostic Center. They usually do something on a much smaller scale for everyone’s birthday; so they were afraid he would be suspicious. But he wasn’t. He has too much else on his mind. The Radiologist he worked with at East Ridge Hospital and his wife came and brought lots of good hot, finger food. I would say it was a smashing success. And the MRI tech that he trained at East Ridge came. Some of them wrote the dearest and sweetest notes in their cards. They really love him and appreciate all the kindness and help he has shown them. He was very moved to say the least. His niece, Ann, and her husband, Winston were there, as well as Karen (our daughter) and Adrian, who worked for him 18 years and has known him since she was in high school. Our daughter-in-law had a bad fracture of her ankle on Sunday, and was having surgery on Monday; so she and Gary (our son), couldn’t come. Others had to work and couldn’t be there. It was a great party, and memories he will treasure now and forever.

Lori, his nurse for the chemo treatments, said his immunity should be very low right now; so they want him to stay away from people. He had no business going to Greenlife, but once he makes up his mind…there’s no talking him out of it. (like most men)!

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and next Sunday is Easter Sunday….celebrate Jesus….He lives!!!
I thank, love, and appreciate each one who is praying for Gordon and me.

Bobbie Hixson

Monday, March 23, 2009

Doctors and a Birthday Outing--Would You Like to Send Greetings?

Friday, March 20, 2009

I met Dad at Memorial Hospital for his appointment with Dr. Barnett, the vein doctor. (Turns out Dr. Barnett and I went to U.T.C. together and double-dated a few times.) He and Dad discussed the history of Dad's venastasis, as well as the original study done five years ago, when the circulation problems originated, and the one from a few weeks back (March 11). The doctor wanted to get an updated thorough study and said he would order one that would cover what the recent one did not.

He applauded what Dad had done so far and agreed the leg didn't look bad. He prescribed Silvadene for the skin and Bagbalm to alternate with it. In further conversation, he recommended Dad take Vicon Forte, which is high in zinc and will help him not only with the veins but also with the cancer.

He told Dad to continue using the above-the-knee compression stocking and take eight-hour breaks from it, to protect his already-compromised skin on that leg. To that he suggested Dad add biker shorts/spandex to help the reflux of the femoral artery. He said Dad was right to elevate the leg as much as possible, especially while sleeping.

Dr. Barnett said Dad should wait a year after his cancer treatment before considering vein surgery. Laser would certainly be an alternative, but the doctor does not do this. He does vein stripping, which is transcutaneous with tiny incisions.

At Dad's visit for labs and a check with Dr. Slabach, the doctor was not overly concerned with Dad's low platelets or hemoglobin. These would have to drop much lower to require a transfusion and interruption of the chemo. He did agree that zinc with selenium would be good to fight Dad's cancer. He said as things stood, Dad could and should continue his baby aspirin to help prevent a blood clot.

Both doctors' visits were encouraging, and we had a little celebration of the first chemo "vacation" with a stop at Erlanger's Starbucks.

On Sunday, Eric, Emily, Steve, and I met Mom and Dad at the Blue Plate. This was our day to celebrate Dad's birthday, as he'll be taking chemotherapy again next Friday and will not feel as well. His appetite, thanks to the Megase, was right on--he enjoyed the appetizer of Blue Plate Chips, his grilled salmon, the corn muffins, and a few bites of the infamous Aretha Frankenstein pudgy pancake. I'm so glad we were all together.


Dad's official 80th birthday is Sunday, March 29. If you'd like to send him a card, please email me for the address. (Perhaps we can plan a big celebration when he's finished and recovered fully from the chemotherapy.)

kphillipso at aol dot com (spammer prevention)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No Chemo This Week, But Double Dose of Docs Tomorrow

Dad and Mom both must be relieved tomorrow holds no chemotherapy, with its side effects of fatigue and possibly anemia and weight loss. So early in the treatment process, they have many questions for Dr. Slabach at Dad's Friday appointment. Dad will have lab work done, just like all the other Fridays, and he's hoping the results from last week may be better than previously.

Before they head to Erlanger, Dad will see Dr. Barnett at Memorial about the swelling and pain that continues to plague his right leg. Despite the problems, he worked Wednesday and Thursday.

I'll try to post tomorrow after these appointments.

Thank you again for following the journey with us and holding us up in prayer. We appreciate you all!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back to Work, Then a Reprieve

Dad seemed to enjoy going back to work last week, but I think he was also delighted one of his subs finished his regular gig early and volunteered to work for him yesterday. He's learning to pace himself--well, at least more than he did before.

He's reconciled himself to the fact that his anemia may take not days, but months, to correct. I'm glad to see he's become more flexible, especially since he has less control over some factors in his life and health! A lesson for us all.

Thanks again for all your prayers. We can learn from those in our lives who deal with serious medical issues to treasure what health we have, to be sensitive to people around us who seem irritable or unfriendly--we don't know what they may be facing, and to make the most of our moments today--to do what counts for eternity and what will be remembered and cherished.