Friday, December 31, 2010

update New Years Eve 2010

By the time we had arrived at Hospice this morning they has already up'd Nicks Morphine dose to 10mg and 5mg in between as his pain was back. By the time we left this afternoon they up'd it once more to 15mg. The last dose seemed to ease the pain a bit for him, but as you can imagine he is so groggy, dosing on and off and a little confused.

We were able to speak with the doctor today. He said he had a long talk with Nick yesterday and that Nick had been really holding back on his deep pain level. He also said Nick spoke with him about his fear of paralysis. The doctor assured him and us that they will do everything they can to keep him comfortable. We were also told they may not be able to rid Nick of all of his pain. There is that fine line of enough meds to relieve pain and still be functional and enough meds but become non-functional. I'll be honest I am nervous about the path I see.

When you look at Nick, his outward appearance looks pretty good, but there is a warfare on the inside of his body. Because his cancer is more muscular-skeletal (bone) we may not see a lot of outward change. I am wanting to prepare you all in the way we understand things.

The Hospice Doctor requested a visitation restriction be posted on Nick's door. Maximum 2 visitors in the room at a time, with a 5-10 min visit time,(unless Nick is up for longer, that was my request,not the docs). The doctor advise Nick today, if he continues to increase the meds it will become harder for Nick to stay awake and make his own decisions. His exact words were he could possibly sleep 1-2 days at a time. This whole process is just so painful watch and listen to.
But when Nick was asked who would be making the decisions if he could not, he pointed at me (Please be in prayer over that I will have complete peace if I have to make any decisions).

On a brighter note, We did have several visitors stop in today for short, but very sweet visits. A sweet sister in Christ brought me a "peace, love & care" package....truly blessed me! Those moments of sharing in prayer, laughter and hugs are priceless to us.

As this year will be winding up in a few hours, I look back with gratefulness at the transformation that has taken place in me and my life. Without the suffering would I have grown so close to my Heavenly Father? He has become my anchor, my refuge, my everything. Facing the most difficult time in my life, I know without a doubt He will carry me through.

I pray you all experience the love of Jesus like never before in 2011 and that He will pour out His blessings and favor over you like never before.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Happy New Year,

The Badidas

Thursday, December 30, 2010

quick update/Thursday December 30th, 2010

Nick's pain is better! They doubled his morphine intake through the pump and he can get a blast every 8 mins of additional meds if he pushes the button on his pump. One a scale from one to ten he says his pain level is about a six right now (it was running 11). A very big praise for sure!!!

It was such a relief for me to see him resting like that. I honestly do not think he has slept well for many months. I cracked opened a window in his room, you could here the wind chime outside, it was very peaceful. I stayed for a long while, then decided it was my time to come home and get some rest, plus I am feeling a little cold coming on. I am pumping myself full of vitamin C. No time for colds!

They will be monitoring things over the next few days to see how he responds to the meds. In other words can he get up, go to the bathroom etc....He will finish radiation next Tuesday.

If you visit and see he is sleeping soundly, please do not wake him, leave a note for him or let the nurse know and she will tell him, otherwise please enjoy your time with my sweet man.

Have a very blessed day everyone and enjoy this beautiful weather God has given to us.

This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

In His Sweet and Holy Name,

The Badidas

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The transition to the McGraw Hospice facility is done. A little rocky, several delays, but hopefully we will all be in sync for Nick's sake very soon. They have begun an IV drip of Morphine. Prayers please for pain relief. The steroids make Nick feel very agitated. They have already begun to wean him off of them, so hopefully that anxious feeling will start to subside.

He will complete radiation while there. They transport to Mayo for that. (McGraw is right up the street from Mayo). Their goal is to find that right level of pain medication for relief, but also be able to function. Then they will teach me how to use the pump (more prayers there please). I know I have done a lot of care taking, but have not had to deal with this sort of thing, it makes me a little nervous.

There are so many emotions filtering through me everyday. There are times of sadness that just overtake me, and then there are times I am just to exhausted to shed one tear. I am feeling shocked/numb at the fast progression of this. It is hard for my mind to keep up with it. In our private moments Nick shares so openly all of his sufferings physically and emotionally. I have been talking about Heaven with him a lot, about all he has to look forward to. He asked me today, tears streaming down his face " I wonder what that moment will be like?" I replied "GLORIOUS!!". Then later I thought, yes so glorious for him, but so heartbreaking for us, even though my heart knows he will be rejoicing with his King!

God is certainly showering me and Aaron with His peace and His supernatural strength.How else could we be doing this? This journey requires us to walk so closely with our Heavenly Father and clinging to His promise to carry us and sustain us through anything.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

Nick is in room 504. If you plan on stopping in for a visit please do so after 1:00. The doctor at Hospice said he may be pretty drowsy for a couple of days until the Morphine levels off in his system. Mornings are hectic with shift changes and he has radiation at 11:30. If you would like to send him a card the address is:

McGraw Center for Caring
Nicholas Badida
Room 504
4715 Worrall Way
Jacksonville, FL 32224

I can never end these updates without thanking you all for for your love and prayers. Our hearts are so thankful for precious gems God has blessed us with. YOU!!

Surrounded by His Love,

The Badidas

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28th, 2010 9:13 PM


It was quite a busy day today. Lots of visits from doctors and case workers, most importantly the visit from the hospice representative (Nancy).

In the simplest terms possible, this is the tenative plan:

In the hospital setting, they are only able to help Nick so much as far as pain is concerned because of restrictions on how much medicine they can give him. Nancy reccommended that he be admitted to in-patient hospice temporarily in order to get him on a more effective pain-management regiment. While he is there, they will be able to instruct me on what, when, and how to administer the medication he will need. We are hoping to get him transferred within the next couple of days. He will be able to finish his radiation treatments while in the hospice facility.

Once they have the pain under control, and once I'm comfortable enough with administering the medicine, Nick will be able to hopefully come home for in-home hospice care. The hospice facility is right up the street from Mayo, so we were able to tour it this evening. For what it is, its a very nice, comfortable, and peaceful environment.

Thank you for the wonderful visits, and for respecting requests on visitation lengths and times! It's so helpful with the busy schedule of coordinating stuff with doctors, and trying to keep Nick as comfortable as possible. Tomorrow, Nick will have his second radiation treatment and additional tests in the morning, so visiting would probably be best after 1:00 PM.

I hope to have more exact dates on transitions from hospital to hospice tomorrow, and I will definitely be sure to keep you all posted.

Your constant encouragement through phone calls, texts, emails, and notes carries us through the day and lifts our spirits, so thank you.

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
2 Chronicles 16:9

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

Blessed Be Your Name,
The Badidas

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27th, 2010 6:40 PM

This blog update will cover two important things: updates on Nick, and guidelines on visitation.

After consultation with the radiational oncologists, Dr. Ko and Dr. Lee, the tumor in the neck/shoulder (C7) is the tumor causing the most pain. Unforunately the tumor is in the area that has received the lifetime maximum amount of radiation, so there is no treatment available for that tumor. I feel like its best at this point to be as forward and up front about this situation as possible: this is an aggressive cancer, and without treatment, Nick's time will be shorter than we had anticipated. If this tumor takes the course that the doctors believe it will, severe paralysis (neck and below) could be a factor, and this could be a painful couple of months. Disbelief and sadness is the atmosphere right now.

Nick will start radiation tomorrow morning on the tumors in the lower spine (T12, L2, L3). Instead of the normal 10 treatments, they're going to pack it into 5 to try and get the areas radiated as fast as possible.

The brain scan was clear, so there is a huge blessing there. The pain management team worked tirelessly throughout the day to try and get Nick on a pain medicine regiment that will keep him as comfortable as possible. It seems to be helping, but please keep that in prayer.

Now for vistitation...After consulting with palliative care, and asking Nick what would work best for him, this is our plan for visitation. We ask that all visitation please begin AFTER 2 PM tomorrow, as Nick has radiation and another MRI in the morning.
For Nick's best interest, we just kind of wanted to set a few guidelines so everyone can have the best time possible together:
-Please limit visits to 20 minutes (Nick'll be catching some zzz's by then anyway...)
-No food
-No children
-If you've had a cold in the past 48-72 hours, or feel cold-like symptoms, please refrain from visiting.

A good reccomendation from Dr. Shannon, the palliative care doctor, for visitors was to avoid asking Nick a lot of questions about his illness or treatment, unless Nick brings it up. We want lots of prayer, laughter, and comraderie!

Thank you for your understanding in this...I know we all just want what's going to be best for Nick at this time.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:3-9

How Great Thou Art,
The Badidas

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Nick had an ok day. The steroids maybe helping with some of the inflammation. He seemed to be able to move his legs better today. The pain does seem a little praise for answered prayers! I had said last night the report we received from the on-call doctor was a preliminary reading, after a more in depth review more tumors have been identified:

Two in the lower lumbar, (L-2&3) , one in the cervical, (C-7) one in the thoracic(T-12) one on the hip, and a re-occurring on the thoracic (T-1), by re-occurring they mean the tumor that has been there looks like it is growing, a total of six. It explains all the pain Nick is in.

So where do we go from here? We met with the pain management team and they will work closely with Palliative care . There main goal is to keep Nick as pain free as possible. We also saw the on-call oncologist today who works with our oncologist Dr. Dyer. He will ordering a brain scan since one of new tumors is in the neck/shoulder area, also an MRI of the mid back.

Next we will meet with radiology oncology to talk about which tumors will get radiation. Typically they will only give radiation to the tumors that are creating pressure/pain. We will also meet with Dr. Shannon (Palliative) to discuss our Hospice options when Nick comes home.

This is all maintenance to keep him comfortable and have as much quality in his life as possible. He is eating, and in between dosing off, he will talk some. I told him today we are fighting, they will give us our orders and we will do as we are told. He told me I am way to competitive lol! Just fighting for the one I love. Thank goodness my Heavenly Father fights for me everyday.

During the times Nick slept today and it was quite in the room I would look at him and the tears would just flow. The emotional pain grips me and I have to cling to The Holy One who gives me comfort, peace and hope. It will be the ONLY way to survive this.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

We look forward to meeting with our "regular" doctors tomorrow, the ones who know us and Nick's medical history. I will update post as I receive more information.

Thank you for refreshing our spirits everyday with your prayers, love and words of encouragement.

Leaning on His Everlasting Arms,

The Badidas

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Decmber 25th, 2012 9:08 PM

Merry Christmas!!!

As many of you know Nick has been complaining of some worsening lower back pain for a couple weeks now. The last few days, Nick's pain level has increased while he began experiencing numbness in his legs and recently pain in his right shoulder. We tried to get him to go to the ER a couple days ago, but he INSISTED he was going to get through Christmas.

At 4 AM, he got me up saying that he couldn't move his legs and that he was in excruciating pain. By 9:30 AM, we were at the ER at Mayo. You would think that with it being Christmas, things might move a little quicker...however, they seemed to move slower than ever. They admitted him to a room about 2:30 PM, and at 5 PM they took him for a full spine MRI.

They came back with the results about 7:45 PM and unfortunately they found two new tumors, one up around the neck/shoulder area, and one in the lower spine. It's not so much the shock of the news, but its the heartbreak of having to watch Nick endure the pain and suffering emotionally and physically that gets me. We don't have all the specifics yet, as we were only able to speak with the attending physician.

Hopefully, they will assemble a team tomorrow and we will need to make some decisions on how to proceed based on the info that they give us. Nick has already started steroids for pain and inflammation, and he's pretty heavily sedated from the pain meds. As of now, we are asking that there be NO visitors until we are able to get a treatment plan in place and make sure Nick is comfortable.

As you can imagine, this was not the Christmas Aaron, Nick, and I had pictured. But I will say we were able to have one of the best Christmas Eves you could ask for...lots of family, love, and laughter, just the way Nick wanted it.

This has been such a long journey. Nick said tonight that he doesn't want to be picked apart by this disease, and we pray that God is merciful in that. As news becomes available, I will update you.

In the meantime, please be in prayer for:
1. Nick's pain
2. The right treatment options
3. Wisdom for the physicians
4. Strength and peace for me and Aaron
5. ...and still, without a doubt, a MIRACLE.

I know you all are saying "Why is she just telling us!!!" but it was Christmas, and we wanted you to enjoy this time with your family as God allowed us to do yesterday. Aaron insisted on being with me every second, and was an amazing source of strength.

Nick said to tell you all he loves you.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,

to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3:22-26

With a heavy heart,
The Badidas

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday December 9th, 2010 Update

We sat in the room waiting on Dr. Pirris, holding hands, quiet, our eyes closed most of the time in prayer. I know Nicks prayer was for total bone fushion....and though I also had that prayer first and foremost, I was praying for strength, prepardness and for my heart to remain thankful for whatever we were about to hear. It didn't take long once Dr. Pirris came into the room to show us the CT Scan and share with us the unfortunate news of no bone fushion. Tears filled Nick's eyes, he took a deep breath and said what now? He will have a re-check for fushion in 6 months, but until then the brace must stay on. As far as the lower back the CT did not show a tumor,(praises) but Dr. Pirris will order an MRI for a more comprehensive view and to be conclusive. There are signs of some disc degeneration which can explain some of the pain.

Can I say my heart remains thankful? Yes, because I am still able to bring my husband home, love him and spend more time with him. Is my heartbreaking for much I cannot express. I will shed my tears later in my private moments, but right now, because of the strength from our Heavenly Father I am able to lift Nick up and try to encourage him through this difficult news. He is so dissapointed. Because I have been feeling weary lately, I was worried I would not have the emotional strength to support him today, but I do, thank you sweet Jesus I do! And thank YOU for your prayers to lift me up and get me ready for today.

Pastor Spike said in a recent sermon do not let this (cancer or whatever it is) define who you are. I reminded Nick of that on the drive home, do not let this brace or cancer define who you are in Christ, a survivor, a vessal being used by The Most High, a witness for His Kingdom, an amazing husband and dad. I could on and on.

We have to remain encouraged that in the eyes of the Lord, we are his beloved. Although, our flesh wants to question why, we do not want to open the door to any doubts of His plan for our lives. Honestly, that is very difficult right now. A devotion I read a while back said: Look to God for answers through His word, Bible study, and the counsel of mature Christians. We are humbled and grateful to know we have all of those resources available to us. I pray for the daily wisdom to use them.

This is a moment of darkness for us, but we will continue to cling to The Bright Morning Star, the One who gives light. Our prayer request for now would be for God's continued supernatural strength and peace to fill our hearts and homes during the holiday season, and to not let a moment go by that we do not appreciate and give thanks for.

We love and adore our family and friends, we brought each of you with us in that room this morning, you were standing on the mount with us. Thank you and blessings from our hearts.

The Badidas