Friday, July 29, 2011

MD Anderson

For those of you that don't know, my dad was admitted to MD Anderson on Tuesday of this week following a CT Scan of his chest/abdomen.  There was some alarm from MD Anderson after reviewing the CT and seeing the number of blood clots he had.  They didn't believe that somebody with this many blood clots could be healthy enough to go home.  Of course if you saw dad you would see that he has lower extremity swelling, tires easily with too much walking, but otherwise looks very good!  Which is why Methodist had discharged him only 4 days prior.  After finally getting a room at MD Anderson very early on Wednesday morning, he was discharged today with confirmation that the blood clots, although troublesome, are getting better everyday. 

Today we went straight from the hospital bed to the clinic exam table and met with dad's new Medical Oncologist at MD Anderson.  We discussed his next course of treatment which will be 6 doses of two types of chemo administered together.  Each dose will be given three weeks apart with office visits, staging images, labs, etc. in between.  Chemo starts on Tuesday of next week!  So far we have seen an extremely positive as well as unexpected response from the tumor and metastatic lesions from low doses of chemo.  We can only hope and pray for continued positive response to chemo and of course limited side-effects for dad. 

It was great to have family here recently visiting and supporting dad.  We hear more are on the way :).

Monica with her band in the most Northern city in the US, Barrow, Alaska!

Monica in Barrow, AK.  320 miles NORTH of Arctic Circle!

Michel Claverie at the last stage of Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees!  Thank you Michel!!

Debbie and Jim supporting Steve in Tucson

Macy and Bryden with Superman Steve bands wrapped around the world
The Matt McClellan, my dear friend, enthusiastically supporting Superman Steve.  Nice Bass behind you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

TGIF Update

As some of you may already know, yesterday dad was discharged from the hospital!  This 17 day hospital stay certainly had its ups and downs, but over the last few days there was tremendous improvement seen in dad's overall health.  It is a joyous site to see him up and walking around, if only for a minute.  As my mom says, "it's so nice to have Steve back". 

Now mom and dad are back in their apartment in the Texas Medical Center and continue his care as needed.  Hopefully dad can get some sleep now that he won't have someone checking his vitals, drawing blood, or administering medication every two hours.  It is important that he gets some rest and builds his strength for his appointments (2) with MD Anderson next week.  We will officially transfer his care for the next steps in his treatment to MD Anderson, and I think we are all excited about the possibilities.

In addition to the welcomed news of dad's discharge we also welcomed two of dad's brothers to Houston!  Uncle Bill and Uncle Rick, along with Aunt Wilma, whom all arrived yesterday.  It is always a blessing to have family around - nothing is more comforting.  Of course, we have my sister, Echo, and her two girls in town for a while longer as well.  There's lots of rallying around Steve!

Speaking of rallying around Steve.  If anyone was not aware, my dad is a very proud alumnus of the University of Arizona (U of A) in Tucson. To go along with that, he is also an avid fan of U of A athletics. So, on June 28th I took a stab in the dark and sent an email to the Athletics Director at U of A. I explained to them who my father is and what he is currently going through. I asked if they would send him something to encourage him to keep fighting and 'bear down'! Well, three weeks went by and I got no response. I was beginning to wonder if I should try again, although I didn't really know if my emails were going anywhere and I was sure the Athletic Director was extremely busy anyway. Then, on Wednesday night a package arrived at my house from the Arizona Intercollegiate Athletics office. It was a signed basketball by the players along with a card to dad signed by the Head Basketball Coach, Head Football Coach, and Athletics Director and they each wrote a personal note to dad! Truly amazing and I couldn't have been happier to give it to him yesterday. I still can't believe they read the email and acted on it. I have thanked them (Athletics Administration) profusely and have since received an email from the athletics director.

There are lots of small miracles happening everyday!  I can't wait to tell you what happens next.  Keep the positive energy and prayers headed dad's way.

Steve and Ryan with the signed basketball and card from UofA coaches and players

Grandpa and Grandma Braden (maternal grandparents) with their Superman bands!

Pam's friend Courtney, who "always has her band on"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Prayers - By: Steven Hansen

Prayers – They are not just for emergencies, but should be used on a daily basis.

   Listen to God when he speaks to you (I sure didn’t).  When I first found out I had a tumor in Saudi after the CAT Scan on Saturday night (June 29th) and the doctors told me to go to Houston to have it removed, I took it with a grain of salt.  I went right home and emailed Dr. Richard Dunning, the SLB doctor who used to live in the same Saudi Compound, about the analysis and eagerly awaited his response.   I also phoned Cindy and my Dad to get an appointment in TUCSON. 
   The next morning I checked an email and Dr. Dunning replied “get on the next plane to Houston”.  So I immediately called Cindy and Dad again to see if they found anything about the appt in TUCSON.  They both said it was Memorial Day Weekend and hard to find anything out.  So, as a back-up plan I called Ryan to see what he could find out in Houston.  I booked the next flight to Houston and figured when I arrived on Monday I could book the onward section if they found an appointment by then.  Before I left for the airport Ryan called and said he had arranged an appointment for me at 2 pm on Tuesday, (in Houston) as I arrive Monday afternoon. 
    Still not listening – In Saudi I checked-in and walked to the gate with shortness of breathe, but not too bad.  I arrive in Qatar and have to walk down the stairs to get off the plane and then on to the waiting room and back up another set of stairs to get on the jumbo jet.  During the flight things slowly got worse, by the time I arrived in Houston I couldn’t walk (which I blamed on the airplane altitude) but God had plans for me be in Houston - I just wouldn’t listen.  I had a wheel chair meet me in Houston and never got out until Ryan’s car.  I believe he was shocked to see me in the condition I was in, so off we went to his house to spend the night.  By the time we arrived at his house I couldn’t walk 20-40 feet without being exhausted.  I spent an hour or so on his couch and then tried to sleep in his bed with all the pillows.

Messages – Visions from God.
   During the night I got very little sleep, but had plenty of time for prayer and received some beautiful visions sitting on Ryan and Pam’s bed.  I can’t really say what they were of, or about, just 3 dimensional white things, not necessarily lights just a winter wonderland of white objects, painting, shapes, scenes etc. There seemed to be thousands of shades of white, where normally you see or only detect one shade.  I couldn’t even tell if there was music or not as it was like floating through dream land, or dreamland was floating past me.  It was so peaceful it seemed like you could just pray forever in that spot.  In the morning I got a shower (with difficulty) and got ready for the afternoon appointment.
   Those that know me spiritually know I would like to die just to be able to visit with Jesus and see what Heaven is like.  Fortunately I am having too great of a life on this side to want to find out about the other at this time.  At funerals, etc I am jealous that they get to see Heaven and I have to wait, but that is the way I want it now – to wait.
   As I was sitting on the bed, I got a message “Go to the hospital NOW or your wish will come true”.  I worked my way from the bedroom to Ryan’s living room where I stopped to catch my breath.  There I informed Ryan I can’t wait for the appointment, we need to go the hospital this morning once I catch my breath.  He started getting things in place, moving the car in front, telling Pam the appointment would have to be cancelled and talking to doctors, etc.  A few minutes later we discussed getting an ambulance, etc, and I received the message again “ I said NOW”.  Ryan pushed me in an office chair (with wheels) to the car and off we went.

 Prayers in the Hospital - after the blog started.
   After receiving the news of the seriousness of all what was going on to me I asked God “What plans do you have for me in the future” and the immediate answer was, “There are two important things for you: First, make sure Cindy finishes her studies as she doesn’t know how many people she effects positively whether in teaching or ministerial positions.   Second, there are many small things for you to always do”.  I guess God could see I was disappointed (I was wishing for something grandiose in the middle of the night) and the quick response was “Steve I can’t believe you don’t see the big picture, as a geologist you know there are millions of sizes of fractures, from micro, meso to macro and if you are to heel them, some will take seconds to minutes, some minutes to hours and some hours to days.  There are so many people and places that need your help and this is where you have always fit in best”.  I must have been three shades redder than when I’m getting Chemo (and I turn RED during chemo).
   In my prayer the other night to Jesus he told me that through this I had brought so many people around the world to think about him again, if only for a minute, maybe a day or hopefully a life-time.  He said he can’t do it by himself but through all of us, in many different ways. He puts things in place and it is our job to implement them for all.  I am just a child of God being used by him for the betterment of all, which is what we all are.  For the time being my situation is leading people to prayer, what I am trying to cope with now is how to continue this start of prayer so that it continues as an everyday part of life.  I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers I am receiving at this time, but my goal is to keep all of you praying all the time and not just in special situations.  It doesn’t take 10 seconds to pray “Dear Jesus please bless my Beautiful wife Cindy”.  See you’ve done it if you only say one 10 second prayer per day it goes a long way when spread worldwide.
  A couple days later I asked (being naive) for a sign that this was the plan for me.  He said “I have marked you as a Child of God, just look down”.  Sure enough if I looked down at my chest there were many blue permanent marks on me from my neck to navel.  These are for the radiologist to line things up.  As I look at the marks they make the sign of the cross, if anyone else looked at them they might see an upside down cross.
   I do not think people overall understand the power of prayer; it is not just for today but tomorrow and forever.  Too many times people only turn to it when they are desperate and not a day-to-day routine, let’s all try to make it part of your daily routine.

Monday, July 11, 2011

One day at a time......

One day at a time.  This is what my dad told me as I left his bedside tonight.  Those words never ring more true than today.  Yesterday dad was starting to feel some strength come back, less shortness of breath, and he went for a walk around the nursing unit.  That evening we even felt comfortable enough to leave him at the hospital by himself and we spent the evening at the beach.  This morning dad had a terrible time trying to catch his breath, lots of fatigue and he was unable to move from his bed to the stretcher for an x-ray.  We know there are going to be ups and downs as we continue to fight this fever that doesn't seem to go away, and the blood clots and fluid in his lungs, but it's just tough to see the "down" times.  I'm happy to say that dad was feeling better as the day progressed, but he spent his afternoon getting a filter placed in his inferior vena cava to prevent any further clots from reaching his lungs..... he said it wasn't painful, but it can't be all that much fun!  Furthermore, for a guy that can't talk, he sure does a lot of communicating.... in a given day he will see a massive team of clinicians.  All of whom ask many of the same questions.  For this admission we speak daily to Oncology, Pulmonary, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, Speech Pathology, Respiratory Therapy, Gastroenterology, Otolaryngology, and sprinkle in radiology, patient liaisons, his nurses, nurse practicioners, technicians, and PCAs for fun.  I am sure at the end of the day my dad re-lives many of these moments - the conversations, struggles, and "human pincushion" activities he has endured and takes a deep breath and thinks one day at a time.  Tomorrow dad will go through much of it again as well as have a temporary feeding tube placed in the morning (quite routine for a throat radiation patient).  SO, one day at a time day at a a time.  Here's to tomorrow being a day filled with added strength and easy breathing :)  Love-Ryan.

Now for some more supporter pictures and one of dad ringing the bell...... Thank you everyone!
Sending love and peace from Savannah, GA.  Fred and Karen Daniel

Ringing bell upon completion of ~40 radiation treatments.  The mask on his lap was worn during radiation and strapped to the table....

Texans praying for Steve!  Johnny and Kathy McClellan

Vern Sanders with dogs Maddy and Darwin - Fighting for Superman Steve!

The Michigan Sanders fighting for Superman Steve!  Vern and Bill Sanders

Steve, I'm sending my love and support and prayers for you!  -Debbie Sparrold

"had to let you know I even shower with my band on!  Sending you thoughts of comfort and peace.  -Miesa Murphy

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Back in the hospital......

The night of July 4th we brought Steve back to The Methodist Hospital ER.  He had been suffering from high fevers, shortness of breath, malaise, and chest/back pain for a couple days without any sign of improvement.  So, shortly after Echo returned back to Houston from Michigan on Monday we made the trek to the ER around 8:30pm.

After a host of tests and physician consultations he was diagnosed with 2 pulmonary emboli, one in each lung, as well as pneumonia.  It's no wonder now why he was feeling so poorly....  By 12:30am dad was in his new inpatient room in TMH.  To put it lightly, we have run into a number of clinical care speed bumps during this hospital stay, but with a few emails to the executive administrative office we are receiving the care expected for our Superman Steve.  July 5th and 6th were extremely rough days for dad, but I feel that now we are back on track.  I am happy to report that dad was able to complete his radiation therapy yesterday (Wednesday, July 6) and mom took a picture of him ringing the ceremonious bell at the facility for his accomplishment!

So, I am updating the blog to call on each and every one of you to send your prayers and healing energy to our Superman.  We need him to return to full strength in order to continue his battle.....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Update and More Superman Band Pics

We reviewed the results of dad's PET CT at his weekly appointment with his oncologist.  I am happy to report the results were as good as we could have hoped for.  Positive results in terms of both reduced size and viability in most aspects of the tumors.  This is tremendously good news to hear regarding a disease that characteristically does not respond.  I know the prayers are working.....

The fight has not been easy and the chemotherapy and radiation definitely take their toll.  After this Wednesday my dad will thankfully have a reprieve for at least a couple weeks to recuperate.  The radiation makes his throat so uncomfortable eating almost becomes impossible even with pain meds and also causes the trachea to become inflamed and slough tissue.  This makes him cough for long periods of time during the day and his temperature jumps to 102.5 often for no apparent reason.  Although we like the initial results of the chemo and radiation treatments, I know dad needs a much deserved break.  I am hopeful that he will finally be able to get some rest as he doesn't sleep very much.

Dad's sister Pam left on Friday and we were all sad to see her go.  Thank you for your love and support Pam!  Dad's place is not empty though....... Steve's dad (Grandpa Hansen) and his brother, (one of many siblings!) David, made the trip to Houston on Friday to take over for Pam.  Their time here will be well spent and I am glad they have been able to stay at dad's medical center apartment.  I believe they leave Monday.....and so arrives Echo with Rob, Macy, and Bryden!  I would like to mention all the guests that come by as well.  It seems everyday there is someone stopping by to visit.  There is lots of love and support and we are all thankful for it.  Which is a good transition to show some more Superman Band pics from all of you.

A special message from Paris:  On vous embrasse tous, et bon courage!  (We hug you all, be strong)

Wireline HQ team finishing a strategy session, and sending off Jay to Houston.

Wireline HQ Personnel, VP Middle East, and Michel squatting.

Wireline HQ team and Borehole Geology Engineering team in front of one the borehole imaging tools prototypes.

Batman needs Superman up and flying again. Prayers are with you bud. Pam's Uncle Davey

Pam's Aunt Kay (left), Don and Linda (Pam's parents).  We're praying for you and your family to stay strong and all to cross the finish line together.

The God Box made by our neighbor's son, Blake (8 yrs old).  Thank you Blake!

Edna and her dog "Babeng" in Saigon