Monday, December 12, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
|Just a little bump, probably the onion rings|
I have always appreciated having good health. As a matter of fact I always made a point of telling Heavenly Father how much I appreciated my health in hopes that He wouldn't feel the need to take it from me. Well, that trick doesn't work. This week, feeling better, has truly made me appreciate how good it feels to feel good. I'm not looking forward to the next round of chemo starting Wednesday, but it helps to know that after a few dark days that I will have days when I feel well.
We are leaving for Mayo Clinic on Monday. We have appointments all day Tuesday and then we will be flying home Tuesday night. I am excited. One of my appointments is with physical therapy. They have some electrical methods of accelerating nerve recovery. They call it "facial animation." Usually that is what happens to my face when JoLynne walks in the room.
I love visiting with cancer survivors. Some dear friends came to the open house. I remember feeling my heart go out to my friend while his wife suffered through cancer. On Friday I looked at her with her beautiful hair and a smile that spoke volumes about her courage. I have to admit I ran my fingers through her hair just for the joy of seeing her so normal. It makes me think, "I am going to get there."
I have been so grateful for countless acts of kindness. I could never name all the people who have reached out to us with helping hands. This last week, a friend came by while I was taking care of patients. We have been friends for many years. He somehow knows my situation better than some. Anyway, he was so kind and caring. He offered some help that was deeply meaningful to me. I couldn't stop crying after he left. I think I cried for two hours. He isn't alone of course. Every time I turn around someone is lifting and helping. I've notice that since my diagnosis I never have anything in my inbox at the stake center. Last night I confronted the other counselor and said "Why is there never anything in my inbox anymore?" He just smiled and said, "Eric, we are going to get through this thing together" People are so good and I am so grateful.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The next day was Thanksgiving. I was going to write a blog about so many things I was thankful for but I just couldn't get up enough energy. I told JoLynne, I feel like I have a great engine and one teaspoon of gas. Every time I would get up I would have to lay back down and get my teaspoon back again. I did feel well enough to sit at the table with everyone for about half an hour which was nice. From that point on my energy has been returning. Everyday I have felt better than the day before, more energy, less tired, less pain. Somedays, I feel almost normal.
Yesterday my hair started falling out in earnest. Every time I would run my hands through my hair my hands would come out full of hair. I didn't expect this to bother me so much as a man but it really did. For the last few days I kept having nightmares of my hair all being on my pillow in the morning or something like that. I told JoLynne that I was going to pray that I woke up with all my hair gone and that she had a 3 inch pony tail. She laughed and didn't think God would allow that miracle. Well, I finally got tired of watching it fall out slowly and we decided to cut it all off last night. Mike, my son-in-law, wanted to cut his hair as well, which I kept telling him was unnecessary but he insisted. We got Seth online via Skype so that he could watch the festivities through the computer. First Mike cut off my hair than I cut his. Then Spencer popped up and said he wanted his off as well. Spencer's hair is amazing, thick and soft and so full. Kind of a shame to cut it but he insisted. So three heads got bald that night. Several men in the high priests quorum have offered to cut their hair as well. Gee, it's going to be cold winter for all of us. Today, Seth sent an email from China. He went to the barber the next day and had his hair cut as well. We didn't go all the way bald since I worry about cutting myself with a razor while on chemo so it's just really short. I went in to shower and looked at myself in the mirror after the hair cut. I decided that I look like one of the pictures of the Jews in the concentration camps. Mostly bald and so pale and emaciated due to the chemo. Lucky for the rest of the world that I wear clothes. Trust me, it isn't pretty.
|Sampson before Delilah|
|What I was getting every time I touched my hair|
|Not quite as bald as Bishop but I am working on it|
|Bald is beautiful|
|Even in China|
Saturday, November 19, 2011
|notice the nice clean floor|
Honestly there are successes to celebrate. For example, I am now walking without crutches. I use a cane sometimes but most of time I just hold JoLynne's hand. My leg doesn't hurt anymore hardly at all. Today my naps were only an hour instead of two. I walked all the way around the block with JoLynne and didn't even hardly stop once. I had the energy to write a letter to my son on his mission and to begin reading a novel to my children. I think that I need to focus on the fact that even though today wasn't great it was much better than yesterday. That is what I need to keep watching. Really it has only been two days since my last dose of chemo. I need to be patient. That was never my best trait.
We still feel outpourings of love from those around us. Today we had one friend bring us a wonderful soup, another brought us pies and a third brought us some delicious scones. I will try to eat a little of each but it will take some effort. My family is loving it though. Mostly I appreciate the continued faith and prayers in my behalf. I know that I am going to get better. It will just take time. Thank you for your continued love and concern.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Speaking of JoLynne, she is the embodiment of an angelic person. She is so patient, kind and caring. She never acts like I am a hardship at all and just treats me so kindly. I'm not easy to feed these days. Nothing really sounds good to eat. She is so patient looking for things that might sound good. She gently encourages me and praises me even when I don't really do very well. She is always finding something to praise me for. "Eric, looked, you closed your eye a little more" or something like that. I tell her how badly I feel that I can't contribute more right now around the house. She simply tells me "You are getting better, that is your contribution" I wonder if I could possibly be as patient as her. I kind of doubt it.
This morning I woke feeling better. My appetite was slightly back and I didn't feel quite as tired. We ran some errands and then I came home and took an hour nap. Yesterday it would have been a two hour nap. I am learning to just take one day at a time. I just can't plan for tomorrow because I don't know what tomorrow will bring.
My children have also been so sweet. Many of the things the I would normally do around the house they are doing. Cleaning out the rain gutter of leaves, taking care of the animals, winterizing the yard. Elizabeth will often come up and just rub my hair or my feet because she knows that it relaxes me. She is so tender. Adam, who hasn't ever mowed the lawn before got out an mowed up all the leaves yesterday. He was quite proud of himself and I was grateful. Shanelle and Mike have been incredible. Shanelle went down to my chemo session with me on Thursday. It was delightful to visit with her. She is a gem. Mike is always coming around doing something to help. At the moment I am writing this he is doing our dishes. We are so lucky.
Well, I have 18 days until the chemo comes again. I don't know how these days will play out. One day at a time. I will try to be patient and I hope that those around me can continue to be patient with me.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Let me back up a bit. Up until last Thursday we were in quite the quandary trying to decide about whether or not we should take Methotrexate. Thursday night JoLynne and I went to the temple with Shanelle and Mike. Mike had a cough. I was exhausted. Shanelle and JoLynne were feeling okay. Each of us received a clear answer in our own way. I wasn't feeling well and I told Heavenly Father that I didn't feel well and I wasn't up to figuring out a "subtle answer". I was blessed with a very clear, undeniable answer that we should not do the Methotrexate. I trust that God knows whether or not that drug would be of value to me. He clearly told me that it was unnecessary. I am so grateful to be able to go to the temple and to receive answers.
I was able to work every morning this week. It is great to be back with patients. I come home tired and sleep for an hour or two. I guess my body still needs it. I don't really understand what my body is doing these days. JoLynne is doing her best to help me gain weight. My caloric intake is quite impressive and yet I don't gain an ounce. Saturday I ate nearly 5000 calories and still lost a pound. I was telling my Stake President about it on Sunday morning and he looked at me and said, "Rookie, I can get that many calories in one dessert." Wow, I need to find out what dessert that is and add it to my diet. The only thing I can figure is that there is so much repair going on from all of the surgery that it is burning up everything the I eat. Or, maybe I accidentally swallowed a black hole and everything I eat is being transported somewhere across the galaxy. (I know, too many Star Trek episodes)
Sunday was a busy day. I got up at 6:30 to go to meetings. We met until about 9:30 then we had two elders quorums presidencies to set apart at 11:00 then church at 1:00 and another Elders quorum presidency at 2:30 then temple recommends at 4:00and more calling to extend at 5:00. I arrived home just after 6:00. I had hoped to go to a viewing of a friend but there just wasn't time. We had a High Priest quorum meeting at 7:00 and finally home at 9:00. I should have been absolutely exhausted. Usually just working a morning tires me out. I was tired but not beyond reason. I really felt like the Lord blessed me with more strength than I would have normally had to do his work.
This evening I had a blessing from my father and a dear life long friend. Just when I think I have my tear glands under control I find out that they have a mind of their own. I find that these days I cry most easily when I feel the Lord's love for me or when someone I love does something that shows me how much they care. Mostly happy tears. The friend who helped to bless me is the father of my best friend growing up. He is a good man and a dear friend.
This evening another friend from the Food and Care coalition came by with a picture that was drawn by one of the cooks at the Food and Care. It was taken from a photo taken in Russia when I worked on a sweet little, terrified girl. It broke my heart to have to hold her down to treat her but her mother assured me that if we didn't do the work then nobody would and her toothache could result in dire consequences. She screamed and cried throughout the treatment. I thought she would hate me forever. Instead, after finishing the work, this little girl reached up and put her arms around me and hugged me. That is when they took the picture. A very tender moment for me and a sweet memory. Okay, there goes more tears. Oh well.
Someone told me that they wanted to know what was going on with my leg. Well, it is healing slowly. As you probably know they took the whole middle part of my fibula from my right leg to make a new jaw. In addition they also took the muscle and the skin to use as filler in the jaw reconstruction. I read today in a copy of the charting that was sent to me that my right leg had a tourniquet on for over 40 minutes. No wonder that leg is kind of tender. I'm glad it didn't fall off. Needless to say the hole where they stole the bone and tissue was sizable. They couldn't leave that open so they took a piece off my right thigh and transported it to my calf to close the hole. My thigh is just healing up slowly on it's own. It is a really cool, very rectangular scab. The grafted tissue on the lower leg is also healing well. The leg bone is now missing six inches out of the middle of the bone which will always be gone. I have to treat it like a broken bone, wearing a cast and limiting pressure on the limb. Today was the first day I could replace my crutches with a cane. (made by my dear neighbor). Two more weeks and I should be able to take off the cast. The bone won't grow back together but I guess with time the muscle will bind and splint the two broken ends so that they don't move. It hurts a bit but not unbearable. I am going to have some pretty impressive scars when this is all done. JoLynne won't like it, but here is a picture of my calf. It really is looking a lot better. All of the pink area is where the blood supply has re-established. It is so miraculous what modern medicine can do.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The chemo doctor on Monday was very nice. He took a ton of time with us. Reading and talking about different options. Two drugs are for sure. One is Cisplatin and the second is Adriamycin. The plan right now is to have me get a port surgically placed in my chest on Monday and then Tuesday I will be given Cisplatin and Adriamycin. Cisplatin is pretty caustic and has to be given slowly so that day will last 5-6 hours. On Wednesday it will be just Adriamycin for 1-2 hours and Thursday the same. Then I all have 18 days off and then repeat. They plan on 6 courses of chemotherapy. If there are no holdups then I will be done in 18 weeks. There are often holdups. Already today I seem to be developing a sore throat. It is hard to be around so many people and not catch anything. We will see what that does to next weeks plans. There is a third drug that the doctors at Mayo would like to have me try called Methotrexate. The doctor here really discouraged it. He said that I am out of the age range (usually they don't give it over 35 years of age) and he said it has some scary possible side effects like kidney and heart failure. Plus, he said that if I take it I will be on chemo every week for 6 months and I will feel like garbage the whole time and basically live at the chemo facility. We talked to the Mayo doctors again and they tell us that they still think it would be okay to use the Methotrexate, however, it's also okay with them if we delete it. The participants that talked about my case at the national sarcoma conference were split 50/50 on whether or not to use Methotrexate. We are going to go to the temple tomorrow and try to get an answer. God knows what we should do. He has been pretty good about answering us so far.
I have been back to work the last two days. It has been very nice. I have only been working mornings and then I come home and have a long nap. Who was that guy who used to run 26 miles? Now I feel proud to walk around the block without stopping. Last night I was huffing and puffing when JoLynne came in the bedroom. She asked what I had been doing. I was embarrassed that all I had done was change my clothes. Oh well, it seemed like a workout.
This morning I had a strange dream. I was in a big room filled with people who were sick with various ailments. The Savior entered the room and was healing some of the people. He was coming my way. Finally, He stood before me and I was so excited to be healed and done with all of this. I felt like I had the faith. He looked down at me and said, "I can't heal you yet." I asked him why and he looked at me and said, "You have so much to learn from this, it would be so unkind for me to take it away from you." Okay, here is where I reveal my true character, I woke up kind of mad, thinking, "haven't I learned enough yet?" Later I wasn't so mad. It was just a dream but I need to be more humble.
Okay, I know that I already posted a picture of my new jaw but I took another picture at my office when I got home. Pretty much I just want to show off the fact that I have a better panorex machine than they have at Mayo Clinic. There you go, that darn pride again. Anyway, here is the new panorex. Notice all of the staples in my neck below the bike chain. The staples were used to shut off "bleeders" during surgery. I hope that those arteries didn't supply blood to anything important. Probably just to my brain or something.
|(double click the picture to make it bigger)|
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Hello again. I am slowly recovering from my surgery. I feel twinges in my facial nerve. It's kind of weird like waking up from dental anesthetic. I still can only manage a half smile. JoLynne has me on some deal where I have to smile and laugh so much every day. She says it does something good to the chemistry in my body. The other day I asked if I would have to smile twice as much since only the left side currently goes up when I smile. She just laughed and said "Of course" What a slave driver. She also has me on a weight gain program. She is determined to fatten me up prior to chemotherapy. I'm pretty sure that forcing someone to eat all the time is a form a torture and probably illegal under the Geneva convention. I need to do a bit more research on that. Gaining weight has not been easy. My body just seems to reject the idea. I think it may relate to post surgical stress. I know that my heart rate has been almost double what it normally is. I just seem to burn off everything that I eat. I wonder if I might be the world's first case of ice cream overdose. I'm certain that if they haul me to the ER that JoLynne wouldn't let them pump my stomach.
I have been reading about chemotherapy and osteosarcoma. I feel like I need to know enough to ask the right questions. Friday I probably read three dozen scholarly papers about Methotrexate, the chemotherapy drug that they are debating about. It was kind of discouraging. Osteosarcoma isn't the best kind of cancer to get either. I didn't like the statistics that they quoted. Finally I just had to stop reading and tell myself that I had assurances and blessings that tell me that I don't have to worry. God will take care of me! A good friend of mine who has been through cancer, wrote me a card that I now carry in my scriptures. It says "You are not a statistic, you are a survivor!" We meet tomorrow with the chemotherapy doctors and hopefully will have more information. High dose Methotrexte sounds like a nasty but effective drug. In all the papers that I read I haven't yet found a case where they tried it on a person my age. That is a concern.
Well, after all that scary reading JoLynne came in and said "There is no way that you are going to bed with all that on your mind." She found an old episode of Giligan's island and we watched that. She is so wise. Gilligan's island is always good medicine. Pretty much no adverse side effects.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Well, on Monday before we left Mayo, we had the opportunity to meet with a member of the sarcoma team and talk about the next step in my treatment. A wonderful Doctor named Steven Robinson came into the room. He is from Jamaica. He told me, I feel like I know you so well but why don't you go ahead and tell me about yourself. I thought it was funny that he thought he knew me so well but whatever, I proceeded to tell him about myself and what had happened thus far with my cancer. After I finished he told us that he had just come from the national sarcoma conference where he had presented my case to all the top minds on sarcoma in the country. "I have been studying you almost non stop for the last week, it's nice to finally meet you," he said. I thought, "It's no wonder we have had a hard time getting in with the sarcoma people, apparently they were all at this conference." I guess my case was unique enough that it made for some lively discussion. I am always grateful when I can be entertaining. There was a roundtable discussion about what would be appropriate for me from this point forward. Everyone present agreed that I wouldn't need radiation. Everyone also agreed that I should have chemo. That is where they stopped agreeing. Had they known that I had a high grade osteosarcoma they wouldn't have done surgery first instead they would have done 2 months of chemotherapy and then surgery. However, when the surgery was done they found that my tumor acted as though I had already received the chemotherapy. (non invasive, benign borders). The normal protocol at that point would be four more rounds of chemotherapy after surgery. Some at the conference thought that I should still have the two pre-surgical rounds in addition to the normal after surgery four rounds. Others thought the four after surgery rounds were enough. The other point that they disagreed about was the addition of a third chemotheraputic agent. I guess there is a drug called Methyltrexate that is used sometimes to treat osteosarcomas. Apparently it is only used in the United States and here only on children because they have better abilities to recover. It is given in the hospital and has to be very carefully monitored. As soon as your blood level reaches a certain point they have to immediately give a "rescue drug" and then keep you in the hospital for another 24 hours on high volumes IV's while they try to flush it out of your system. Sometimes it ruins the kidneys. He said that normally it wouldn't be considered for someone my age but because my health is much better than normal that they thought I might tolerate it. I knew there had to be a downside to all that running. I asked him how much it would improve my chances and he said, "We don't know, your cancer isn't well understood" I asked him what we should do if our local hospital didn't have the equipment to monitor it that closely and he said "Oh, I wouldn't do it then". Later he called me back and said he had talked to another doctor and they thought I really should try it even if it meant going up to Salt Lake for treatment. Needless to say, we left a bit confused. If I choose to add methyltrexate then I will have chemo every week for six months. (Regular chemo week one, methyltrexate week two and three, then back to regular chemo) I guess this is another of those things that we are just going to have to pray about. God knows what is best and he has been pretty good at giving us answers lately.
The doctors appointment went longer than expected. We jumped in the car and ran for the airport. We were the last ones to board the plane. On the way home we just happened to be sitting next to a patient and friend who had a serious accident a few years ago and had to have his jaw rebuilt. He has a bike chain in his jaw just like mine and is also permanently numb just like I will be. He was super nice and as we visited it just brought peace to my heart to look at him. He looked absolutely normal and said that it really is no big deal. Another little tender mercy.
When we got home our kids had made banners and were all sitting in front of the garage waiting for us. Apparently Elizabeth had been telling Shanelle, "This is worse than waiting for Christmas." I can't describe how nice it was to hug and kiss our children again.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
My healing is progressing well. Sometimes those days right after surgery just seem like a dream. I am grateful for what they were able to do but I don't really like hanging out in hospitals very much. The last time I spent a night in the hospital as a patient was December 24, 1960. They wouldn't let me out then because I was in the newborn nursery. Oh how the great have fallen!
We have been fortunate to have a lovely home to stay in as I regain my strength. (thanks to JoLynne). Shanelle and Mike were able to be at the house for a couple of days, then they went home to take care of our other little cutie pies. (Peter and Spencer are still cutie pies, albeit, not so little any more!) Seth was able to stay until Thursday morning when his flight left for him to go back to China. Wednesday we took the opportunity to drive up to the temple and do a session with Seth. This was amazing and wonderful and it was a blessing that I felt good enough to attend a session. Even though the whole surgery thing hasn't been pleasant, it has been a very spiritual few weeks for JoLynne and I, and the temple was a wonderful place to be. We didn't have our own temple clothes but they had some to lend. I felt bad that my right leg wound was still weeping enough that when I finished the session I looked down to see the right leg of my pants somewhat bloodied. The ladies at the desk were super nice "No problem, I have something that will get that right out". Later, I was expressing my dismay to someone and they said, "Now you know how we women feel". Weird, I didn't know that women had spontaneous bleeding from their calves. There is so much I don't know.
After we left the temple. we wanted to take a picture of the three of us in front of the temple but had no one to take the picture. Only a moment passed before a car stopped full of women who were leaving the temple and asked if they could help us. (Minnesota is overrun with nice people) As we visited for a moment it turned out that the woman who had stopped grew up in the same general neighborhood where I grew up. She asked my name and I said "We are the Vogel's" to which she replied "Eric Vogel?, I was just reading about you on Facebook this morning. My friend had asked me to pray for you." Wow, we live in an interesting and small world.
Friday I had my visits with the surgeons. They were very pleased and kept saying nice things like "You are our star patient", and "We just love it when things turn out this way" and "It's so nice to operate on someone healthy for a change" They don't know that I have numerous prayers being offered in my behalf. How could I help but heal well. They took a panoramic radiograph of my new jaw. It is so interesting to see the "new me". JoLynne has been walking around singing "The leg bone's connected to the Jaw bone". Very appropriate for Halloween.
Today, we went to church, but only the first hour. For some reason I was really feeling tired. This afternoon I felt quite a bit better so we went and drove around town and found a cool mansion to walk around.
Tomorrow we meet with the chemotherapy doctors. I am not really looking forward to going through chemotherapy but I also don't want to risk this coming back. I have read quite a bit about osteosarcomas since my diagnosis. The survival rates have really gone up in the last few years and it is largely due to chemotherapy. Sarcomas have a nasty habit of spreading through the blood to distant sites. Chemotherapy seems to stop that from happening quite effectively. The good thing about it will be walking up to Bishop Broderick and asking him how it feels to have so much hair. That will be a sweet day.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Well, I'm sorry about the short entry last night. I was completely exhausted but thought that I had enough energy to write about one sentence. Getting my wedding ring back was the most important thing that I could think of. JoLynne and I have been married 28 plus years. I don't think in all those years I have been without my ring more than a few hours. She wore it for me while I was going through all of this. As she put it "It will be safe here and look, it's really close to mine."
I really appreciate Shanelle keeping everyone posted while I was indisposed. She is a sweet daughter in so many ways.
I am so appreciative of each of you for your love, your prayers and your faith. I believe that God hears and answers prayers. Sometimes things don't turn out just like we would like them to, but when we really pour out our hearts to God, things do work out. In the bible dictionary, under prayer, it says:
"As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."
I believe that statement.
This has been an amazing week. Shanelle has shared much of what has happened. There are some things that probably shouldn't be shared. Suffice it to say, we have felt and seen the Hand of God and I have never felt that I walked this path alone.Yesterday I was discharged from the hospital, ahead of schedule. The original plan called for 7-10 days in the hospital. I think we are basically on the "custom plan" schedule now. The tracheotomy tube came out a day or two early. By the way, for any of you who may have had those in the past, I really apologize for not showing you more compassion. All I can say is "WOW AND YUCK". The NG tube that allowed them to feed me through my nose to my stomach came out Friday, 10 days ahead of schedule. One of the older nurses told me that she had never seen one come out in less than two weeks in a case like mine. All the rest of the pumps, tubes, IV's, and cast came off Saturday Morning. They then told me that I could be discharged early if I wanted. It helps to have my son in law Mike here, he is an ICU nurse for Utah valley and a darn good one. Or maybe I was just so dang grouchy they would do anything to see me out of there. That is quite possible. I was thrilled to be discharged. Oh, and JoLynne gave me back my wedding ring! I was so grateful for so many kind, knowledgable doctors and nurses who took care of me. Many of them had the opportunity to hear my testimony. I plan on sharing that more often.
There has been a lot going through my mind these last few days. I believe I will survive this cancer. I have been given another season in my life to see what I will do. I try to think of what I can do better and what the Lord wants me to learn from all of this. My nights have been largely sleepless as my mind races in circles. Friday night sleep wouldn't come. At about 3:00 am I finally sat up in bed and said, "Hey Heavenly Father, are you there?" I had that warm feeling that he was so I said "Are you having trouble sleeping too?" Sometimes I wonder why he doesn't just zap me and get it over with. Anyway, we had a good talk during that night.
(The view out our windows)
Well, this is too long. JoLynne rented, (for $80 a night) a beautiful house that looks out over the river. That woman can find a bargain! I hope she didn't choose me because I was cheap. I prefer to be considered "a good value" We will be here until Oct 31 for a few follow up visits but mostly to make sure I don't have complications that need to be attended to. Thank you again for all your love and support. We look forward to being home.
Okay, God must think my faith is weak or that I need constant reminders. JoLynne just called me over and pointed out the plaque hanging on the wall here just as you enter the door.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
We have been joking that the pathologist didn't know how to classify the tumor, because it is a miracle and they have never seen this kind of miracle tumor before. I'm pretty sure they couldn't write that on their pathology report though. It would be pretty funny to see a pathology report with "miracle tumor" as the classification.
So now the doctors are trying to decide what to do about it. Last night radiation was on the table, but we just heard from Dr. Foote, the radiation oncologist that they have officially decided not to do radiation. The surgeons don't want to do anything because it was completely clean and came out like a benign tumor. The medical oncologists are talking the possibility of chemo right now, but there is no decision about that yet. We think it might take a few days and several more consultations until there is an official decision about what to do going forward.
In the meantime, my dad is healing well. He is progressing much more rapidly than scheduled (due to all of your prayers which are being answered by our gracious Heavenly Father I am sure) and all things considered, he is feeling quite well. This morning they removed his tracheotomy which he is so grateful for. He is talking again, and has been up walking quite a bit with a walker. He has made four laps around the nursing station which adds up to about 200 feet total- well on his way to his next marathon.
Here's a picture of him with his metal tracheotomy. I think he looks like a borg. But he looked like a storm trooper with this plastic one the day before, so he is just working on emulating his way through several great sci-fi shows.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
He is doing very well and seems to be recovering quickly. He has figured out how to talk a little bit with his tracheotomy tube in so we have been able to talk to him a bit today. He also got up and walked around a bit with a walker this afternoon - after they spent 15 minutes unhooking lots of tubes, and drains and machines. He will be back to running in no time at this rate. Minus all the equipment, he should be pretty fast!
Monday, October 17, 2011
The fasting and prayers all of you have been offering have paid off today. My dad is in the recovery room right now. The surgery couldn't possibly have gone better. Thank you to all of you for praying and fasting for him. God really does answer prayers.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
IT IS SO NICE TO BE HOME! Even if it is only for a few days.