March 11, 2011

This has to be the hardest post I have had to do. Michael passed into the arms of Jesus and his daddy, mimi and papa on Saturday evening, January 29, 2011. He was surrounded by a host of friends and family. Funeral services were held on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the First Baptist Church in Olney.

Michael now knows all his relatives who were gone when he was born. What a glorious time he has had telling them all about himself and his battle with Ewings Sarcoma. He has told his daddy about his battle since he passed away in 2006 and his Mimi in 2009.

I thank God everyday for allowing Michael to come into mine and Marc's life in May 1986 and being the child that God planned for us even before we knew him. He was such a joy and blessing to our family and I know I will see him again some day. Thank you Jesus for your love and gift of Michael.

Thursday, December 3, 2010

It seems like it has been forever that I have updated the blog. As most of you know, we will not be going back to Houston for treatments. My mom always told me I should never hate anyone or anything, but folks I have to say, "I HATE CANCER"! It has been so hard seeing Michael in pain again. The pain has been as bad or worse than it was when we first went to Houston. I feel so inadequate as a mother when he is in such pain.......I just pray that God give him painless days ahead. We have started with Hospice at home to help in controlling the pain. They are such wonderful folks. Had them with my mom and now with Michael. Michael is pain free due to the excellent medical expertise of Hospice.

When we were given the results of the last PET Scan, Michael decided he was very tired of being sick from chemo and he made the decision with the help of Dr. Mankins, our pastor Andy Graham, and Dr. Ravi that he just wanted to be pain free from here on. We were told that we did not need to wait until January to take the cruise we had booked, so I got busy and had the cruise rescheduled and we took it last week. We went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. Our original cruise was to stop in Cozumel and Progresso. Michael and I had some wonderful time together. Thanks to Joe, Almyra, Heavenly and Jose for going along to help me. We really enjoyed the time on the ship, but needless to say Michael and I were ready to get back on Olney soil. When you don't feel well, there is no place like home. Michael was in a lot of pain during the cruise, but was able to enjoy the trip.

If you would like to stop by the house and visit him, please feel free to do so. He is having several visitors daily and loves every one who stops by. The only thing we ask is if you have a cold, please wait until it is over. We do have some hand cleaner on the end table by the door and don't mind you using it.

He is sleeping a lot, but wake him up if you find him asleep. He doesn't want to miss you.

Continue to remember him in your thoughts and prayers. He is one tough boot and plans to take another cruise in a few years.

God Bless everyone for all your have done for the Wippermans.....Love to all

Merry Christmas
Terri and Michael

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Michael has had a pretty good week other than being tired all the time. He has been eating some and his blood counts were down some on Monday when blood work was done.

We did journey to Houston on Tuesday, October 27, had a PET Scan on Wednesday morning, and saw our Doctor on Thursday afternoon. It was so late when we saw the doctor, we decided to go ahead and spend the night and head home on Friday morning. Went by the Blue Bell Plant for the second time and found that tours were cancelled for that day. What a time before we drive to Brenham we will call to see if they are having tours or not.

We arrived home about 6:00pm and wasn't too long before we hit the hay. We had stopped about every 50 miles for Michael to get out and stretch his legs but he still was hurting pretty bad.

We have started the pain patches again. We are waiting to see what Dr. Ravi recommends for us to do now as we know the cancer is growing in the pelvis again. It is 66 days until we sail and are praying that Michael will be able to make the cruise.

Keep the prayers going......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thought I would give you an update on the happenings in the Wipperman household. We went to Houston last Wednesday, October 13, 2010 for a CT Scan on the 14th of October. Saw our favorite oncology team on Friday afternoon the 14th. The scan was actually better than Dr. Ravi anticipated since we had not had treatments for a period of time. The tumor is growing, but not at the rate suspected. Since Michael had been out of the hospital for only a month and had not improved very much, Dr. Ravi said he could not start the chemo again with Michael in the low state that he is. He wanted to do a PET Scan so that he could seek the advice of the radiation oncologist to see if the growth was in a location in the pelvic area where they could target with radiation since he was in no shape to start chemo again. They set us up for a PET Scan today. We were going back to Houston this morning for a scan this afternoon, but was called yesterday and told that Blue Cross Blue Shield would not approve the PET Scan and needed more information from Dr. Ravi before making a decision. So, they had put the Scan on schedule for Friday morning. Received another call from the Sarcoma dept. finance office this afternoon and said that Dr. Ravi had talked with BCBS of TX and they needed more information on Michael's cancer and past treatment in order to make a decision. So it's back to the drawing board again ......waiting for a high school drop out probably sitting behind a desk trying to make a decision as to whether my son needed a PET Scan or not in order to treat him. Right now I am on pins and needles waiting for a decision to be made by someone who probably doesn't know what Ewings Sarcoma Cancer is and how aggressive it is. If I were a betting person, I bet they would feel the same way I do if it were their son or daughter.

Michael has no stamina whatsoever. The least little bit of activity wears him out. He went with Andy this afternoon to one of his leases and he has been in the recliner ever since. We are looking to go back to Houston in the near future....they tell us it possibly could be a month before we hear anything from BCBS regarding the approval of the PET Scan.
I am sorry you have to listen to me vent....but I am very down tonight regarding the scan..........Looking for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just a short update about the Wolfman. He is feeling better each day and his counts are coming up each day. We are having blood work done twice a week to keep tabs on the platelets, hemoglobin, potassium, and magnesium. The swelling in his feet has left giving him some much needed relief when he walks. He still doesn't have much of an appetite.....he has gone from 248 lbs on September 13th to 203 lbs on September you can imagine how swollen he looked. His kidneys are working great and his creatinine count is 2.9 as of yesterday. The doctors told us it probably would not get under 3.5 any more, but we have witnessed another miracle. I am so fortunate to have a son with such a wonderful attitude regarding his illness. There are days it is hard for me to realize my son has cancer, but then there are days that I could crash. But with the support of the town of Olney, it is much easier to hold your head up.

Some of you may be unaware, but some of our friends in town have had t-shirts made for purchase to support Michael in his fight of this terrible disease. They say " 'Team Wipperman' with God all things are possible" on the front and on the left sleeve they have Michael's initials with a wolf. They can be purchased at the First National Bank here in Olney for $15.00 .....Dianna Kunkel is the contact there. The medical expense account has been activated once again to help with medical expenses to and from Houston. Small town living is wonderful and we are proud to call Olney HOME. The past 18 months have been rough, but with the help of our friends who are like family to us, have been made easier because we have not had to worry about financial expenses for meals, fuel, etc. This Friday beginning at 9:00am the town will be having a bake sale for Michael to help with Medical expenses at the First National Bank.

The food that has been brought to the house has been delicious. Michael has a standing order with the Hubbards for brisquet and sausage and Zola Mae Owens for mac and cheese. Thanks to everyone.....

Our hearts are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love from our friends and family. There are no words that can describe our heartfelt thanks for everything our friends have done. The monetary donations, prayers and calls are abundant.....and we can only say God Bless You and we love each and every one of you.

I was praying for a cure for Cancer, but now I am specific in praying for a cure of the cancer my son has residing his body.....Ewing Sarcoma. I think God wants us to be specific, so this is my prayer each hour of the day.


I wanted to write a note and tell everyone where we are in the roller coaster ride. First of all, we had the scopes done yesterday afternoon after a 4 hour dialysis procedure that morning. Things are looking up somewhat, and with God grace, we may get to come home next week sometime. I am physically and mentally exhausted and really thought I was hold up pretty good until today and have had a hard time trying to concentrate on anything I try to do.

We had a colonoscopy and and upper GI yesterday after receiving a bag of platelets. Our platelet count was 40 day before yesterday and 27 yesterday. After they transfused the platelets they immediately took him into the unit to do the scopes. He was really scared since he had been passing blood for the past 2 1/2 weeks. The doctors (3) who did the scopes are supper nice guys and really make Michael feel at ease. After they completed the scopes the head surgeon came out and told me that he had found the cause of the bleeding and it was very rare. I told him that didn't surprise me that my son was pretty rare as well. They found that he has Mallory Weiss Tear which is a tear in his esophagus from vomiting so much and so hard.

He was also diagnosed with Ischemic colitiS. I have added what these two conditions entail as it is very difficult to make sense in my own words what they are. Long story short...they anticipate that time will correct both problems.

Ischemic colitis is a medical condition in which inflammation and injury of the large intestine result from inadequate blood supply. Although uncommon in the general population, ischemic colitis occurs with greater frequency in the elderly, and is the most common form of bowel ischemia.[1][2][3] Causes of the reduced blood flow can include changes in the systemic circulation (e.g. low blood pressure) or local factors such as constriction of blood vessels or a blood clot. In most cases, no specific cause can be identified.[4]Ischemic colitis is usually suspected on the basis of the clinical setting, physical examination, and laboratory test results; the diagnosis can be confirmed via endoscopy or by using sigmoid or endoscopic placement of a visible light spectroscopic catheter (see Diagnosis). Ischemic colitis can span a wide spectrum of severity; most patients are treated supportively and recover fully, while a minority with very severe ischemia may develop sepsis and become critically ill.[5]

Patients with mild to moderate ischemic colitis are usually treated with IV fluids, analgesia, and bowel rest (that is, no food or water by mouth) until the symptoms resolve. Those with severe ischemia who develop complications such as sepsis, intestinal gangrene, or bowel perforation may require more aggressive interventions such as surgery and intensive care. Most patients make a full recovery; occasionally, after severe ischemia, patients may develop long-term complications such as a stricture[6] or chronic colitis.[7]

We are still struggling with roller coaster blood counts. He is suffering quite a bit today from the neupogen shots he has been receiving daily for his low white blood count which is very important regarding his immune system. Once his white blood count starts going up, it will help with the red blood count and the amount of platelets. I did not realize how important one count was to the other counts, but when one is out of whack, everything is out of whack. His bones feel like he has the flu so they are injecting pain medication to keep him from suffering so much.

His kidneys are improving daily and hopefully we can have the catheter removed for the dialysis before we come home. His feet are swelled so bad the look as if they are going to burst. It is very hard for him to stand on them.

All the doctors have asked me if I really knew how sick my son was when he was airlifted to Houston and I told them I did. They cannot believe he is the same person they saw the first day he was here. God is good and we give him all the glory and honor for the turn around that Michael has made.

Keep on praying......



Sorry I haven't posted anything on the blog in a few days. Things are beginning to look a little better from Houston we thought. We have slowly improved since we started dialysis, but things are still not really good. We were to have some scopes done this afternoon. He drank 1/2 gallon of the colon prep solution GoLYTELY last night and has not had anything to drink or eat since 10PM last night. We got up this morning and went to dialysis and came back thinking we were going to have the scopes done. Much to our surprise, the GI doctors came by and said that the platelets had bottomed out again and were not high enough to have the scopes done this afternoon. So guess what, another night of the wonderful drink "GoLYTELY" beginning at 6:00pm and nothing to drink or eat after that until after the scopes are completed tomorrow. Hopefully in the morning. This has been one more trip. I am so tired of this place. This little 12X14 room is beginning to get the best of me. I am looking forward to seeing my bed. We have been told that they may kick us out of here next week.....depending on what the counts do between now and then. We appreciate your continued prayers for Michael and I am looking forward to bringing my son home. When I left Wichita Falls on Monday after the ambulance crew left the hospital with him, I really had a doubt that I would ever talk to him again, but God is so good to him and we give Him all the glory and praise for this another miracle in Michael's life.

August 23, 2010 to September 1, 2010 Our Roller Coaster Ride

This has been one week that I wish I didn’t remember. On Monday, August 23, we began our second week of chemo in Wichita Falls. We were taking the IV chemo that we had taken several cycles before with the addition of an oral chemo called Temador. We thought Michael was tolerating it pretty well until we took diarrhea and vomiting on Monday, August 23, 2010. We were not feeling real well when we went to see our oncologist that morning and he authorized us to continue the chemo for the second week. Tuesday wasn’t too bad with the diarrhea and vomiting, but Tuesday evening things got pretty bad. Michael was sick all night Tuesday evening and was just a little scared and slept with me. We didn’t get but about 1 hour sleep that night. Talked about taking him to the emergency room in Olney that night, but decided we would be going to get chemo on Wednesday morning and we would make them aware of Michael’s sickness. The diarrhea got so bad, we had to stop at Target and buy clothes before we could go on to the cancer center.
Michael could not walk he was so week, so we wheeled him in to the center and he was immediately place in a bed. Counts were low on Monday, but extremely low Wednesday. When we saw the doctor he sent us directly to the hospital next door where Michael was admitted. They immediately started pumping his body with fluids to stop the diarrhea and vomiting, but had no success. By Thursday morning he was throwing up bile and his stool had some darkness to it. They called in a kidney doctor as his output was not good, and an infectious disease doctor. Ran some cultures on him, but was unable to determine any infection so they started him on a broad spectrum of antibiotics. Wednesday night he was given some phenergan IV injection and had an allergic reaction to it and he was so bad I didn’t know if he would make it or not. They called the doctor four times during the night because of his condition.
Saw our oncologist on Thursday and was told that another oncologist would see him on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday while he was away. Michael continued to lose ground through the weekend and on Sunday; the kidney doctor suggested we put him on dialysis as his kidney function was bad. At that point, I contacted Dr. Ravi, our oncologist at MD Anderson and he said to have one of the staff at the hospital in W.Falls get in touch with him immediately, which we did. They advised me we would have Michael transported to Houston on Monday which I agreed.
On Sunday afternoon, they transfused a unit of platelets to Michael and he had an allergic reaction to them and had whelps come up all over his body. His body was on fire and he was clawing like he had poison ivy. We finally got him calmed down and he slept most of the night due to so much Benadryl . This whole two weeks, he had not eaten solid food. He was getting weaker and weaker.
To make a long story short, he was transported by a medical airplane from Ok City and took him to Houston where his medical team met him at MD Anderson. He was placed in CCU where they observed him until Tuesday afternoon and they moved him to a private room. Had a pretty good afternoon on Tuesday and Tuesday night he started bleeding. They have give him numerous units of platelets and blood and the diarrhea has slowed down and the vomiting has stopped, but the kidney function is less than 10%. We will start dialysis on Thursday morning, and when his counts are high enough he will have some scopes done to see where the blood is originating. Hopefully when his platelets come up, the bleeding will stop.

God is so good and has performed another miracle in Michael’s life. Please continue to lift him up in prayer as we are going to get through this with God as our Great Physician.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We started our new round of chemo yesterday in Wichita Falls at the Texoma Cancer Center. Saw our Wichita Falls oncologist and then to chemo. Received word that the MRI taken last Thursday did not show any cancer in the knee. We are so thankful. Started the oral chemo of Temador and then through IV's we got the Ifosfamide, Irinotecan, and Vinicristine. The only new one is the Temador and we think maybe it is the one that is causing Michael's loss of appetite. Yesterday was a rough one, but think the sickness was from them having to try to hit a vein so many times before they actually got one that wouldn't leak. The iv chemo causes killing of the tissue around the place of leakage if it leaks, so we definitely have to be careful so that the iv doesn't leak.

We are so thankful that we found the new little activation of the sarcoma when we did as we can get a handle on it.

We will be making daily trips to Wichita Falls Monday through Friday of this week, next week and then will have a couple of weeks off before we start the next cycle. We are scheduled to go back for scans the end of September, but will probably have to reschedule since we are going to have two weeks off chemo instead of one as planned.