Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Well, it has been three weeks now since the end of treatment.  The doctors had told me to expect an increase of pain beginning about a week after treatment.  They were right.  The mouth sores were pretty spectacular.   Those began about one week post treatment.  Taste buds were gone, of course and pain with eating became pretty intense.  Basically my daily routine is to take tylenol and Ibuprophen every 6 hours and then at meal time to rinse with a viscous lidocaine solution and then a second topical anesthetic that is even stronger and then eat quick before the anesthetic wears off.  Oh, and I drink an "Ensure Plus" every meal to try and hold onto my weight.    After that I run to the sink and try to brush and floss and then spit blood for the next few minutes.  Then I rinse with anesthetic again.  Even doing all of that I lost about 18 pounds.   Frankly eating is no fun anymore.  After about two weeks my doctors here determined that I had a herpes infection on top of the mouth sores so they started me on Acyclover and that helped.  I was showing some improvement and then started getting worse again.  Another visit to the doctor revealed a sinus infection had come up.  I started some amoxicillin about two days ago and now I am seriously feeling better.  This morning I woke up and thought, "wow, I don't hardly hurt".  I haven't eaten breakfast yet but still, that is serious improvement.

My doctor from Mayo has been so nice.  He has emailed me multiple times checking on me and suggesting what I should do.  I couldn't ask for a more kind, caring doctor than Dr. Foote.  So, I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I have been so tired lately too.  I'm hoping that in the next few days that begins to grow less as well.

As always, I am so grateful for the prayers and faith of others in my behalf.  Thank you!  Four weeks ago we were told that there was no hope for my survival.  Today I am just dealing with a sore mouth.  That is a big step forward in my book.  Truly a miracle.  Thank you for helping that miracle happen for us.

By the way, here is a picture of the bird back in Minnesota that kept swooping down and grabbing my hair every morning when JoLynne and I were walking.  That was really weird.  I have cut my curls off now.  You just can't walk around with your hair looking like nesting material, it's just too dangerous.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Four down, one to go!

Pretty photogenic right?
I just completed my fourth treatment.  Mostly I feel pretty good.  My jaw feels stiff and bruised, my taste buds are gone again and some sores are starting but really not too bad.  Way better than I have felt with previous treatments!  I walked four blocks home from my appointment today.  They say the effects will be worse next week but frankly, so far, this is nothing compared to what I have been through.

This is a High tech machine!
We went to a local ward for church yesterday.  People were so nice.  Everyone introducing themselves and asking about us.  I met a former student of mine who is now studying here.  Someone invited us to a fourth of July party and then said, "If you have to come back again, you are welcome to stay with our family in our basement.  We have room and you could save some money."  I had barely met these people not 5 minutes before.  Isn't the gospel an amazing phenomenon?  I wish all people were so kind to one another.  The world would be an amazing place.

Yesterday after church we drove to Wisconsin to look at the Mississippi.  There is a park bench down there that we happened upon about 18 months ago that we believe had a message from God to us.   We have looked but  have never been able to find again.  (See blog from 10/9/2011)  Anyway, this time we managed to find it.  The writing on the bench was faded but still legible.   It says;

"It's okay to have bad day's, hold on, be strong"

Still good advice 18 months later.

This blog started out as a way to keep people who were worried up to date about my treatments.  I hope that it has served that purpose well.  Like many things it has grown into something somewhat unexpected.  Unless you leave a comment I don't really know who is looking at this blog.  I can, however, see maps of where it is being looked at.  It is something that I don't fully comprehend.  Most of the views are from the United States, that isn't surprising.  What does surprise me  is the number of people who are following from countries all over the world.  From what I see I am approaching nearly 70,000 views.  Many of those viewing are from Russia, Canada,  Latvia, China, Germany, Spain, Denmark etc...  I have traveled to many of your countries providing humanitarian service as a dentist.  Perhaps some of you are following for that reason.  Perhaps some of you are people I have never met.  For whatever reason, I am happy to have you follow along.  I hope that my experiences have in some way helped you to meet your own challenges in life.  The prevailing message that I hope my blog conveys is to live with hope.  For me that hope largely comes from my faith in God and from the faith and love of others who surround me.

The shag carpet car.  
Some day it will be my time to leave this life.  I don't know when that time will be.  I plan to enjoy every day that I am allowed here and to make a difference for good in the world.  When my time comes to leave this life I will leave it with hope as well for a world even better than this one and an assurance that my separation from those I love is only temporary.  I have no doubt in my mind that such will be the case!  I don't know the challenges you each face but I hope and pray that you can find courage and peace as you face those challenges.  Look in your heart, I think you will find that you don't have to face them alone.

Okay, here is the random thing we saw on Saturday.  We made a wrong turn and came upon the most lovely car I have seen in a while.  I'm not sure why someone would do this but it is unique.  The car is completely covered in shag carpet and then has a few bones glued on to make it extra special.  The question is:  Would you wash your car or vacuum it?