Robert Craig Cudd, Jr., 37, of Midland, died peacefully on Friday, February 6, 2009 at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. He was surrounded by his wife, mother & sister. Visitation with the family will be from 6:00P.M. to 8:00P.M. Wednesday, February 11th, at Ellis Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held 1:00 P.M. Thursday, February 12th at Stonegate Fellowship with Jay Mayo officiating. Pallbearers will be Lance Wood, Bruce Ingram, John Ironside, Michael Hughes, Robbie Plummer, Joseph Payne, Jeff Oneal, and Mark Terry. Honorary pallbearers are Lance Ingram, Greg Galvan, Paul Edwards, Ed Delgado, Ken Livingston, Gary Johnson, Jesse Arenivas, Roman Duran, Mundy Hernandez, Joel Sharp, Roger Cudd, George Kiker, Chris Jauz, Jeff Ryan, Gabe Salazar and Randy Watson. Interment will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park. Robert was born January 16, 1972 in Farmington, NM. to Robert and Linda Cudd. He graduated from Midland High School and attended West Texas State in Snyder and Midland College. Robert was employed at Wood Group, ESP as a regional sales manager for the past 13 years. He worked his way from shop hand to sales manager with an amazing group of people that stayed by his side throughout this journey. Robert married Kimberly Hughes on October 4, 1997 in Las Vegas, NV with numerous friends and family in attendance. On March 23, 2001 his “little sunshine” Sydney Danielle was born. Robert’s life was never the same after that day. She had her daddy wrapped around her finger from the moment she entered this world. Robert was an avid golfer and enjoyed day games at Ranchland Hills and Odessa Country Club.
He also played with the Knights of Columbus and developed lifelong golfing buddies. When it came to sports, Robert couldn’t get enough of the Oklahoma Sooners. During football season, activities evolved around game time. The Red River Shoot Out was his highlight of the entire season and made several trips to Dallas for that. Although the last shoot out was not his most favorite, the trip was more special because it was Sydney’s first college game to attend. Robert was also involved in the Indian Princess organization with Sydney and couldn’t wait for the camping trips and Valentine’s Day dances. He was so excited to buy his suit for that 1st dance! This was their special daddy-daughter time together. He helped coach Sydney’s soccer team, The Mighty Tigers, for the last 4 years and cheered her on during softball and basketball games. She was his little athlete. One of Robert’s favorite pastimes during the summer was the lake trips with family and friends. He made sure that the campsite was set up to perfection and that when he was ready for bed everyone knew it! In Robert’s words “SHUT THE DOOR!” His latest hobby was NASCAR and was able to enjoy several races at Texas Motor Speedway with his friends. Robert was preceded in death by his grandparents, Luis & Leonard Upham and J.D. & Francis Cudd. He is survived by his wife Kim; his daughter, Sydney; parents, Robert and Linda Cudd; sister, Debbie Cudd; and his faithful companions, Paris and Scooby. Also honoring his memory and missing him dearly are numerous uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. The family would like to express their deep gratitude to Dr’s. Ganesh Rao & Agop Bedekian and their nursing staff at MD Anderson; Dr’s. David Watkins & James Corwin and their nurses at Allison Cancer Center; Dr. Kris Howard; Dr. Robert Vogel; Dr. Stephen Rea, and all other health care providers that helped during this difficult time. Memorials can be made to Livestrong.com, MD Anderson Cancer Research, or the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements are under the direction of Ellis Funeral Home. To place on-line condolences please visit www.mem.com.
Robert’s viewing will be at Ellis Funeral Home on Wed at 6:00 pm.
The funeral services will be held at Stonegate Church on Thursday at 1:00 pm followed by a short graveside service at Resthaven Memorial Park in Midland.
It is with great regret I must inform you of Robert’s passing. We were in to Houston earlier in the week for tests but Robert experienced complications with one of the inoperable tumors. One of the tumors deep within the brain began to hemorrhage, building up fluid and there was little we could do. We fought it all day and night, we tried everything. Robert got rid of this awful disease @ 3:15pm Feb 6th. He is himself again, somewhere else right now. Light as a feather, moving around without wires and the side effects of the meds. He is NED (no evidence of disease).
Sydney is w/ my parents and is unaware of the sudden developments. I am not really sure how I am going to approach the situation yet so please, if you see her, act like everything is normal.
I love you all and will be communicating with you shortly. If you will allow me a little time to gather my thoughts, I would appreciate it.
We will all miss him.
We got back from Houston Saturday night about 6:30 completely wiped out from the trip. Sorry to everyone that tried to call and text but we got home and settled in then went to bed. Sunday was rough for me I slept all day but today seems to be starting good.
Back to the radio-surgery. We went to Houston Wednesday and just messed around the hotel for a while then went to bed. Thursday we went in and spent all day doing the MRI’s and the rest of the test. We got there about 7:30 and left about 4:00. The nurse told us to make sure we went to do whatever we wanted to do that night because i wouldn’t feel like doing anything Friday night. She was right. So we went out to the Galleria and walked around a little and ate dinner at the Fox Sports Grill then went back to the hotel and met my mother.
We got to MD Anderson Friday about 6:30 and checked in to put the “Halo” on.
Here’s a pic of the halo. They put it on and sat us in a holding area for almost 9 hours. I can tell you that when you have 4 screws and pins in your scull it starts to hurt and puts you in a sour mood. Finally about 4:30 they took us to the radiation area. They started with the Gamma Knife and did 4 tumors. It took about 2.5 hours to do the procedure so by the time we left the radiation area it was about 7 Friday night. We then waited in recovery for about 45 minutes then went back to the hotel. We were back at the hotel by about 8:30. 14 hours at that place is a nightmare but worth it.
Everything went as good or better than expected. The last couple of visits to Houston have been very productive and good. Thanks to everyone for their support during this fight.
Much Love and Merry Christmas,
Well I’m having the radio surgery Friday December 19th in Houston. The procedure will only take about 1.5 hours but they have to do the CT’s and other test on the same day so we will be at the hospital from early morning on. We will go down Thursday night and should be coming home Saturday sometime. It’s an out patient procedure so I barring any complications I should be able to go back to the hotel Friday night and spend one night and come home. Thanks to everyone for your support and prayers.
Sunday I started having severe headaches seizures again so Kim drove me to the hospital to get checked out. Luckily one of my favorite docs was there so we got in quickly. They found that my brain had some extra swelling and that one of the tumors above my right eye had grown a little and the swelling from that caused me to have seizures. I got out of the hospital Monday afternoon after they stabilized me.
We went and got ready to go to an already scheduled trip to Houston. I thought we were leaving Tuesday but we didn’t leave till Wednesday. We got to Houston and went over to the Galleria and did a little Christmas shopping. I lost Kim for about an hour so there’s no telling what she bought or how much she spent. I guess I’ll find out the next credit card statements come in.
Anyway back to the topic at hand. I talked to Dr. Rao and he mentioned using a form of Radiosurgery on several of the larger tumors on my brain. They called it a Gamma Knife but that’s actually a brand of machine. I can’t remember the brand name they use at MD Anderson but here is some more information on it Radiosurgery. They are going to let me know Monday if I qualify for it. Dr. Rao told us that he didn’t see a problem with getting qualified though. We could do this in as little as 2 weeks.
As far as the lesions on my lung and abdomen they have shrunk a little bit. Dr. Bedikian told Kim and I both that evev if they were twice the size that they are now they would no be life threatening. That’s why we are concentrating on the brain.
All in all the trip was good. We had a little regrowth, some tumors stayed the same and several shrunk.
I will let you all know when/if I do the Radiosurgery.
I don’t have allot to tell you right now other than I just finished another round of chemo. It pretty much wiped me out for a about a week so I kind of have been laying low. I feel much better today though. I go back to Houston (12-2) to get my scans done to see how I’m reacting to the chemo. Hopefully I’ll get more good news and the tumors will continue to shrink. I will let you know if something changes in the next couple of weeks.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving week with their family.
God Bless and Much Love to you,
Well I’ll start off with the OU-Texas game. Several friends of mine got together and sprung to send Kim, Sydney and I to the game. Robby Plummer went with us so he could drive us there. He didn’t complain to much about it though because he got to go to the game. The outcome was kind of crappy but oh well. Like I told a couple of other people in the last 6 months I’ve had a sudden change in priorities. It bothered me for about as long as it took to get out of the Cotton Bowl. I was a little worn out after the game so i went and rented one of those little scooters that you see people using at the mall. It was funny to look at people as I was cruising that thing around the State Fair. I think they thought I was just being lazy. It was the best 45 bucks I’ve ever spent because let me follow Sydney around at the fair. Just watching her ride the roller coasters and the other rides made it worth the trip.
Now for the Houston trip. I was real nervous about this trip because it was the first trip back to Houston to get scanned and I didn’t know what to expect. We spent the Thursday there doing the scans and such. We got done with those about 1PM then had the wait until 3PM Friday to see the Doc. We got really good news. Although they found what appeared to be 2 new small tumors they also found that the rest of the tumors were either shrinking or maintaining their size. This is excellent news because the goal of chemo was to just maintaining the size of the tumors. They did not expect any shrinkage at all so they were as surprised and pleased as we were about the outcome of the scans. So I start another round of chemo next week just like I’ve been doing. You’re prayers are working so keep em’ coming.
I’ve been feeling really good the last several days I’ve been able to help get Sydney ready for school and go eat lunch with her. I even got to old Trans Am out and started messing around with it a few days ago. I have not felt this good in a while so it feels really good to get some things done around the house. I figure I better get it done while I’m feeling good. I’m hoping the docs will release me to go back to work at least for half days after I finish my next round of chemo on October 10th. Sitting around this house the last few months is about to drive me nuts.
Anyway. I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on.
Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement during this process. I will talk to you soon.
Well last Thursday I woke up at around 7:00 feeling very good. I guess you could call it the calm before the storm. i was sitting on the couch about noon watching sportscenter when all the sudden it felt like I had 1000 pounds dropped on my chest and just sat there. I called Kimberly at work and she rushed towards Midland. Not all of you know she works in Odessa so by the time she got home it was at least 20 minutes. She called my sister Debbie who lives right around the corner. By the time my sister got to my house I was completely unable to get off the ground. I had to crawl to the door to open it for her. Debbie called 911 and we were off to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital I was in pretty bad shape my blood pressure was 60/40. I’m no doctor but I didn’t think that was good. They rushed me in to look at my chest and found several clots in my lungs. At that point we had to make a decision in about 2 minutes. You see the cancer I have is what they like to call a “bleeding tumor cancer”. The best way to help with a blood clot is to hit it with a high dose of blood thinner. There’s the problem with this. If I take any blood thinners the I run the risk of the tumors starting to bleed and if they bleed to much it probably would have been fatal.
Our 2 options were to do nothing and see if the clots would naturally break up which the ER doc did not think they would do. Had we done this I might have never made it out of the ER. The other option was to give the blood thinner and hope that the tumors didn’t bleed. Luckily for us they was no bleeding.
I’m at home now but I’ve go to go back to the doctor every day to get my blood levels checked but it’s better than being in that hospital bed.
I will let you know if there are any changes.
Hi everyone!!!! Sorry for the span between updates but it has been a roller coaster ride for us. I will start off with the fun stuff first. We had two fun-filled weekends at Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo just enjoying jet skiing, boating, and time with our friends. Everything went well except for someone sucking up a nylon rope in the jet ski and I won’t say any names to protect, shall I say, a very responsible fun-loving person.
Next, was a short visit in Houston with a follow-up appt. with the infection control doctors. Good news there with a release from their care. We took Sydney with us this time and treated her to the zoo, the Aquarium, and swimming at the hotel. Although it wasn’t much of a vacation, she loved every minute of it.
Robert then decided to take a trip to Vegas before starting chemo and off we went. We check into our hotel and couldn’t believe our room when we opened the door– someone had the hotel upgrade our room to a suite. It was great and we love them for it!!! So we spent four days gambling, shopping, good food and cocktails, more gambling, and just enjoying life. We saw Penn and Teller one night and that responsible, fun-loving person dropped her camera into her margarita.. That called for more cocktails!!!! I want to thank Lance, Lori, Jeff, Claudia, Jared, and Mike for a great weekend. That meant the world to us for joining us on such short notice.
Back to Houston for CAT scans, MRI’s, and consults with the doctors next. Dr. Bedikian, the oncologist, gave us three options of the type of chemo to go through. We chose the moderate level because the side effects aren’t as severe as the aggressive and could possibly achieve the same results. However, we could change to the aggressive pending its effectiveness. Also, the moderate chemo can be done here in Midland with no hospital stay. So, we are waiting for the call to get it started. The appt. with Dr. Rao ,the neurosurgeon, could have been better. He stated that everything looks good considering, but there are three new, very small brain tumors that have developed. Dr. Rao still has confidence in starting with the chemo as planned and that is all we needed to hear. So, we are asking everyone to continue with prayers and support as we get ready to start our next journey.
We love you all and want to thank everyone for taking care of us. It is greatly appreciated and stay tuned!!!
Well I had an appointment with the infection control doc yesterday. She said everything looked very good with the incision on my noggin looked good and it looked like the infection was gone. She wants me to stay on the antibiotics until August 15th though. She told me that unless there was a problem she released me and didn’t need to see me any more.
We come back to Houston on the 13th for a whole bunch of test to see what the next course of treatment is. I’m guessing they are going to want to hit me fairly hard with chemo but we’ll see. I’ll keep you updated when I know something.
Sorry I haven’t updated the blog recently. There has not been much to tell you. I’m feeling good other than I’m still a little tired at times. They are tapering off on the medications right now so that seems to be helping. As soon as I get completely off the steroids and antibiotics I’m going to start chemo. That should be somewhere around August 15th.
I have to go back to Houston August 1st for a follow up visit with the infection control doctor. It should be a quick Friday trip so we are going to take Sydney with us so we can take her to the Houston Zoo Saturday then come back Sunday.
I’ll let you know if/when something changes.
Just got off the phone with Robert
He was just walking into MD Anderson. They are about to remove the stitches from his most recent surgery on the 26th and they should be returning late this afternoon. He says he is still tired all the time but I have noticed he continues to be positive during this entire ordeal. Lori and I went to see R+K on Wed night and I can honestly say it was like talking to someone that has never been sick at all, he looked great and was cracking one-liners with the same wit and humor as always.
I talked to Ed Delgado this morning as well and he told me to relay to Robert that he would remove the stitches for $20. Ed, if you are readng this, Robert said he was going to have to pass……
Well we are back in Houston but thankfully it was a scheduled trip. We saw Dr. Bedikian today at 4:30 and he basically wants to wait until Dr. Rao (The Neurosurgeon) is done with everything he’s doing before he gets started on the stuff he’s going to do. I have an appointment with Dr. Rao at 1:30 tomorrow so hopefully I’ll have a better idea after that where are at.
As far as how I’m feeling it’s OK. I’m tired ALL the time so it’s hard to tell. Other than that I generally feel good. I can tell you the I’m tired of being tired all the damn time. Hopefully they will start tapering me off some of these drugs I’m on soon so I can get to feeling better. Believe it or not but I really want to get back to work. I’m going to ask Dr. Rao tomorrow if I can go back for at least for half a day. That may be exactly what i need to get me going.
I will update the blog tomorrow after we see Dr. Rao.
Hello from Houston. It looks like we are headed home tomorrow. I’m out of the hospital and at the Holiday Inn. There was some swelling on my brain that kept me from going home yesterday. They fixed that by upping the steroids that I’m taking. I should be home around 3PM tomorrow.
Thanks for the support from everyone.
Okay. As of Thursday afternoon Robert is doing pretty good. He is sitting outside with Kim right now. The cat scan showed swelling of the brain so they did a higher dosage of the steroids, and it is working. They are hoping he will be discharged tomorrow and to catch the last flight out of Houston tomorrow night! Pray for Robert’s discharge and for continued strength for the air flight home.
Looks like they have some changes in Houston. Robert was up most of the night with a headache. He was nauseous this morning and vomiting some. He is having a Cat Scan done this afternoon to see what may be going on. We will update after the results to let you know. So the Wednesday discharge is now put on hold. Kim wants me to let you know she is having to get certified in administering antibiotics through the IV so wish her luck! We will keep you posted.
I talked to Robert last night and he sounded really good and said all the seizures have stopped. He thought he was going to be released today or tomorrow. I have not talked to him today but he did text he was bored and ready to come home.
THIS IS WHAT KIM SAID THIS EVENING. SHE THOUGHT AT FIRST HE WOULD HAVE TO BE THERE FOR ABOUT 2 WEEKS. NOW SHE SAID THEY MAY GET TO COME HOME TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY. HE IS STILL IN ICU BUT THEY ARE WAITING FOR A ROOM TO OPEN UP TO MOVE HIM TO A REGULAR ROOM. HE IS DOING PRETTY GOOD. TO GET ON THE COMPUTER AND TYPE A BLOG IS JUST TOO HARD RIGHT NOW SHE SAID. HIS SEIZURES HAVE TAPERED WAY DOWN BUT THEY ARE STILL HAPPENING SOME. OVERALL, THE NEUROSURGEON IS SURPRISED AT HOW WELL HE IS DOING. THAT IS ALL I KNOW RIGHT NOW. I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED……
Robert is out of surgery in stable condition. He is in ICU. The surgery was originally planned for about an hour in length but turned into four. This one was actually more complicated than the one we did originally to remove the two tumors. They did get the abscess pocket which was the goal. They said it turned out to be a very rare infection (I am so glad we decided to go to Houston). The infection started out as a sinus infection that moved to the brain. They did say he would be in the hospital for more than a couple of days due to this type of infection. If the infection does come back, we will have to do it all again. He is still experiencing small seizures but they said that was to be expected. We will be doing another MRI this afternoon. He did say they plan on another cycle of chemo but they did not say when we would start.
We know you are all praying for us and we ask you to continue and ramp it up……
Well we were just informed that Dr. Rao is on the way and that Robert will be undergoing surgery here in about 30 min to remove the abscess that is causing the problem swelling. They are going to go in through the old incision. We will update when we can.
Well it has been a roller coaster since the day after the golf tournament. For those of you who have seen Robert and noticed some swelling around the incision, that was drained out unwillingly at home on Friday. Robert was laying down and when he got up noticed a LARGE amount of fluid on the pillow. We decided to go to the emergency room and have it checked out. They ended up sending us home and telling us it was not a big deal at all.
On Tuesday Robert started experiencing major problems with his right leg below the knee. It was going numb and he had little control over it. After discussion we decided to load up and head to the hospital to get it checked out. I am sorry to report, Robert has not been home since the time of me writing this and I honestly do not know how long it will be until he gets too. While at the hospital, Robert then began to have focal seizures (also called partial seizures which affect only a small part of the brain). These seizures are evidentially affecting the nerves in the brain that control the right arm and hand. He had a very rough night and the seizures remained a constant annoyance to him all day long. He can feel them coming on and he deals with it for about 30-60 seconds, then he comes right back to the Robert we all know. He is the fighter and always shows us the strong side.
The Dr’s here in Midland said they think they have found a blood clot or an abscess on the brain that is causing all the fluid to build up. They are now leaning towards the abscess based on all the fluid and drainage. We basically looked around at all the facts or lack of and said we need to let MD Anderson handle this. We had our Dr here call their Dr there and get on the same page. MD Anderson said they wanted us down there ASAP. A social worker (Denise McKinley) got involved and handled all the transportation logistics for getting air-lifted to Houston. So here we are in Houston and you know what we know. We will meet with the DR later this morning. Please keep praying and we love you.
WOW. Yesterday was an unbelievable day. Brian hit the nail on the head when he said the community we live in is the most generous and giving community there is. People that I don’t even know were coming up to me asking if there was anything they could do and that they were praying for my family and I. I can’t tell you thank you enough for everything.
I’d like to especially thank my family for coming in. They came in from Vail CO, Aztec NM, Abilene and from all over Oklahoma. It was great to see everyone again. I just wish we could get together under better circumstances. Hopefully some time this summer we can get together.
I will try to get around to calling everyone and thanking you. It may take me a few years but I’m gonna try.
I’ll give you a quick run down of my medical status. I finished radiation Wednesday and chemo Thursday. I have doctors appointments in Houston on July 9th & 10th. That’s when we are going to set the next course of treatment. Other than that you probably know about as much as I do.
Thanks again for the AWESOME tournament yesterday. Here are some highlights of the golf tournament.
The tee times for the golf tournament are now posted. Please let us know of any corrections or concerns by today @ 6:00p.
I’m done with my first week of chemo and I only have 3 more days of radiation. The chemo hasn’t been bad at all. I haven’t had any problems other than Friday when I got queasy and I think that was because I ate to much at lunch. As far as the radiation goes I feel great before I go in then about an hour after I get really tired. So I tend to take a nap in the afternoons and I really don’t like to take naps. I keep waiting for all of my hair to fall out but nothing yet. I’m hoping it will stay that way but you never know. I guess everyone reacts different to the radiation and chemo. The biggest side effect I’m having is from the steroids they have me on. I’m having a hard time sleeping and pushing away from the dinner table. If you put something in front of me I’ll probable eat it. I’ll probably weigh 500 pounds when I’m done with all this. I’ve also noticed my joints are starting to ache also. The doc told me that might happen though. I’ve tapered down quite a bit on the roids so hopefully that will help.
As we near the golf tournament it just amazes me how much support there is out there. People are unbelievable about giving. The people in this community are the best around and I’ll never forget. People I see on a regular basis, people I have not seen in years and people that I’ve never met have done so much and I want to thank you all.
I guess that’s about it for now so I’m gonna sign off. Here’s to hoping you all have a GREAT weekend.
Much Love, Robert
Well I started radiation on Thursday and Chemo on Friday. I haven’t had any side effects from either really yet. I was feeling a little queasy yesterday afternoon but it was short lived. They said I would lose my hair because where they are doing the radiation. So in a week or so I’m probably going to be completely bald. I’m about there now so it won’t be a big deal.
As far as the radiation goes it last all of about 6 minutes to do. It takes longer to hook me up to the machine than it does to do the procedure. I will be doing radiation 5 days a week for two weeks for now. Here are some pretty cool pictures of me hooked up and ready to go in.
The chemo is a pill form named Temodar. It’s a 180 MG capsule. I will be on it for 14 days.
I’m not sure what they are going to want to do after the two weeks are up. The thing I do know is I’m going back to Houston in about 3 weeks to do another MRI on my noggin to check out how effective the radiation and chemo were. I think their going to choose their next course of meds then.
Well that’s about all I’ve got for now. I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend. I will post another update soon.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported Kim, Sydney and myself through this fight. Everyone has been great.
Well I went to Houston yesterday for my doctors appointment. They gave me the run down on how much radiation I’m going to receive. They also told me I might get some chemo during the radiation. The doctors are going to get together in Houston today and decide if that happens. The radiation should start Thursday or Friday. I also picked up all the medical records so I could get them to Allison Cancer Center here in Midland. They need them for their records. It was a very quick trip, I was in Houston about 8 hours. Only about an hour was spent at MD Anderson. Paul Edwards and Robby Plummer just happened to be in Houston so I made them take me to eat at Pappadeaux.
That’s about all I’ve got right now. I hope everyone has a GREAT week.
I have a Doctors appointment in Houston Tuesday June 3rd with (Nicholas Papadopoulos) to find out how they want to do the radiation. I will come back to Midland and start radiation on Wednesday or Thursday. I’m a little nervous about doing radiation and how my body will react to it. I’ve heard that the main side effect is it zaps all the energy you have. If any of you have any insight on how your body react to radiation please let me know.
As of right now I’m feeling great. I actually went out to the minor league baseball game here in Midland last night for a while with some buddies. It felt good to see people in a setting other than my house or the hospital and talk about something other than my fight with cancer.
Well I’ve got to go wake Sydney up for the last day of school.
I can’t say this enough but thanks to everyone again for all the support you’ve given Kim, Sydney and i over the last three weeks. You all have been AWESOME.
Well we got home about 2:00 PM and it feels great. We can finally relax for a couple of days with Sydney. At first she did not know what to think about my head but I think she is kind of digging it now. We have to call the doctor at MD Anderson to set up the appointment for the melanoma specialist on Tuesday. I think I’m going to do radiation first and then chemo so I’m hoping that he will give us a couple of weeks to recover and get our feet under us. If not then back to Houston we go. Anyway I just wanted to let everyone know that we are back in Midland. Thanks again for all the support you have givin my family through this. Robert
For those who are technical and would really like to see what was causing the major problems, the MRI shows it clearly. Here is a picture from the MRI we did in Midland. This is one of the two they removed in Houston on Thurs.View Picture
It looks like we are going to get out of here today. We will spend the night in Houston and catch a flight home tomorrow around 10:00 AM. I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for what you have done for my family. We have a long way to go but I truly believe that we can get there. Thanks again for everything…… Robert
Finally in a room as of midnight. Very long day yesterday. Dr. Rao came by this morning and let us know that Robert may be released on Saturday. I am the one doing the update today because he won’t sit down. In fact, he just served me a nice Dr. Pepper. We are about to cruise the hospital and go outside via wheelchair for him. Now he is cleaning the room. One of the tumors removed must have been suppressing the “cleaning” gene for quite a while.
The next round of treatment will be 10 days of whole brain radiation in around two weeks. Chemo soon after to zap the lung and abdomen tumors. This will be done in Midland and we will come back to Houston in a month to rescan everything. Dr. Rao states that he successfully removed the two large tumors that were golfball size (I believe it is a sign to give it up now) I am just glad that he doesn’t play tennis. Big thanks to everyone that is on this journey with us. I am so grateful to all and we are very fortunate to have friends and family like we do. Stay tuned for the next episode. Hugs!!!
Both tumors were removed as planned. They told me he was moving around and talking and that it is very possible we will be released from the hospital on Sunday!!!! They are calling me back to go see him right now!!!
Robert’s nurse came out and informed us the first tumor has been removed and all went as planned. One of the things to be very cautious of is bleeding during the removal. Robert did not experience this at all. Very positve so far but there is still work to do. They are just starting the removal of the second tumor.
Hello everyone, We had a fairly busy day today. We had our appointments from 8:30AM till around 1:00PM. They put some markers on me for the MRI that I had to wear all day. It made me look like I had lifesavers stuck to my head.
After that we went and ate at a place named Two Rows in Rice Village. It’s a great place to get a burger and watch some sports. Kim and my mom shopped and I just sat around and relaxed by myself. My sister flew in at 6:00 tonight so we ran to the airport and picked her up. We hung around the hotel for about an hour before we had to head back to the hospital so they could do the MRI. The MRI was scheduled for 9:00PM but they didn’t start until almost 10:00. We finally got back to the hotel about 11:30PM. So that’s why I’m typing this so late.
As for tomorrow goes we are supposed to be there at 5:15 AM for the surgery check in. Surgery is scheduled for 7:30 AM so by the time you read this I should be in surgery. It’s supposed to last about 4 hours so hopefully someone can post a quick update after surgery. I’m going to have to stay in the ICU the first couple of days but Kim will be able to stay with me.
I’m going to quit typing so I can try to sleep a couple of hours. I probably won’t be on again until Friday sometime so until then you people get to work and get something accomplished.
Well here’s what I got so far. Right now I’m in Starbucks @ Rice Village in Houston. Our flight leaves back to Midland around 8:45PM tonight. If any of you ladies are ever up this way you need to come over here. It’s a really nice area for shopping and plenty of places for the guys to sit around and wait and drink adult beverages. Yesterday completely sucked. They confirmed our worst fears. I have Stage 4 Melanoma that has spread to my brain. Those of you who know I had a melanoma that I was treated for in 2000. Unlucky for me it came back. We saw the doctor (Agop Bedikian) about 1:00 yesterday afternoon and he informed us that there are about 10 tumors on my brain but two were rather large. He was not sure whether or not the brain surgeon would be willing to operate. The way we left his office was very disturbing. He went ahead and set up an appointment with the Neurosurgeon for today just to see if he was willing to operate. Last night was probably the longest night of my life. Kim and I sat up till about 1:00AM looking on the computer for alternative cures and such. Unfortunately we did not find anything of consequence. I finally made Kim and my mother take a sleeping pill so they could get some sleep. I wondered around the hotel for a little while and finally went to sleep. I got a few hours sleep which was better than I thought I would. I would like to apologize to the people that tried to call me yesterday and last night. I just could not talk to anyone. It took everything I had to talk to Sydney. I will get with everyone this weekend or Monday to say hello and talk for a while. Today started off allot like yesterday ended. We were still in a state of shock. We had an appointment with the neurosurgeon (Ganesh Rao) at 10:00AM. Of course they were running about 2 hours behind so we just sat there for what seemed like a week. We finally got in a room about 12:30PM. When the doctor came in he was cautious but positive. The first thing he mentioned were the options we had. That was completely different from the doctor yesterday. Without going into to much detail, we had 4 options. The first is let nature take it’s course and make me comfortable. The doctor was not happy with that option and of course neither was I. Another option was to have the two big tumors removed on the top of my brain here in Houston and try total brain radiation. This is the road we are going to take.
The surgery is scheduled for Thursday of next week. I have to be in Houston Wednesday at 8:30AM for some preliminary MRI’s and other tests. So we will probably leave around 4:00PM Tuesday. If everything goes as it should then I should be out of the hospital in 5-6 days. I will then head back to Midland probably the middle of the next week. They are going to let me do the radiation in Midland. I will have to go back to Houston quite a bit but it’s 10 times better than having to stay in Houston for a really long time.
I will try to get with everyone this weekend and/or Monday to say hello and thank you for everything that you have already done. You never really know how many people you care about and how many people care about you until something like this happens. I am truly blessed with the family and friends that I have. I’m also blessed to have my family at Wood Group ESP. They have been GREAT through this whole ordeal. I really appreciate all the help all of you have given me with work and overall support.
Thanks again to everyone for everything you’ve already done and what you continue to do. I will talk to you soon.
I’m sure I forgot someone on this email so please send it out to them as well.
Thanks and Love to you all,
I finally have an appointment. I have to be at MD Anderson Thursday at 12:00 for my initial work up and blood work. I’m not sure how long I’ll be there but at least I’ve got the appointment set.
Everyone has been GREAT during this. All the support and generosity has been unbelievable.
It looks like I’ve got a couple of more problems. It looks like there is a spot on my lung and possibly on my liver (which figures). They are taking me off the IV meds I’m on and putting me on oral meds. If I react OK to that they are going to send me home for a couple days and then I’m going to MD Anderson Thursday or Friday.
I thank you for your prayers and thoughts.
Thanks to everyone at work for picking up my stuff also.
I will keep you all informed as I know more.
Please send this to anyone I forgot.
Thanks again for everything.
Hello all, I wanted to let you know what was going on personally. I woke up yesterday at 4:00 am with a really bad headache. I took some tylonal and laid back down. I got up again around 8 and it was a little better. About 1 the pain got so bad I had to go to the hospital. What I was hoping is they would give me a shot of pain killer and write me a prescription and send me home. Needless to say that did not happen.
Because I don’t have a history of migraines they decided to do a cat scan on my noggin. This is where the problems started. They found at least “5 lesions” on my brain (yes I was as surprised as you were that there was a brain there). I’m about to do a full body scan so we can see if is anywhere else.
I will keep you updated as I get them. Thanks for all your thought and prayers.