I have just completed my third round of chemotherapy. My energy level is up and down. For that matter so am I. I fainted again yesterday while walking to the kitchen. Such an unusual feeling. When I woke up, I was so disoriented. I was laying on the floor of the living room, sprawled out and my first thought was "This is a really unusual place for me to take a nap" Then I notice a few tender spots on my back and knee and couldn't quite figure that out then it finally dawned on me what had happened. It's just weird. I'm glad I didn't hit anything too hard. I struggle to keep my blood pressure up. JoLynne now has me wearing compression socks. No more showing off those sexy legs of mine. I have increase my salt intake which was already high. I guess I will just start sprinkling water softener salt on all my food. And, I am drinking more water. I was already drinking about 8-9 glasses a day. Now I slosh when I walk and I think I will invest in a second bladder so that I can stay in bed all night.
Thursday I had a follow-up scan to see what effect the chemotherapy has been. Honestly I was expecting the worst. When I first started chemo I saw immediate improvement but then some of the symptoms began to come back. Trouble swallowing, speech impairment, the sore in the back of my mouth returning slightly. Never to the point I was at in Boston but not perfect. We picked up the results on Friday and they showed that the tumor was almost identical in size as compared to the beginning go of chemo. We would have loved to have it reduced but, considering it's astronomical growth rate when I started I am truly grateful to have it not grow any bigger. I will gladly accept that. We meet with the doctor on Tuesday to decide what to do with that information.
|family at the airport|
About two weeks ago I was released from my calling in the Stake Presidency. This has been a wonderful calling for me so there is some sadness when it comes to an end as expected with any calling that you love. I have loved serving with President Roberts and Larry Myler. They will always be dear to me. I have loved the members of the stake, especially the youth. They inspire me. I have loved helping people go to the temple of God and receive the blessings that can only be had there. I have loved having inspiration in preparing my talks and lessons. I feel like God made me something better than I am while I served.
All that being said, when the president told me that I was to be released I felt a sweet confirmation that it was God's will and that brought me peace. The president said that he felt that in his prayers that I would likely have to travel to find the final cure for my cancer. I believe that statement was also inspired.
We hoped that chemo would be the final answer but always I thought that the cure would be found elsewhere. With that in mind I and my wife and my children have spent a ton of hours combing over the internet looking at clinical trials that are applicable to my disease. I have personally looked at over 400. They don't speak english in their descriptions, so, even with my health care background, I often have to look up a lot of words. Almost all of the trials are phase I, which means that the research is just beginning on a particular treatment. A year ago most of these trials were not available yet. We believe that God has preserved my life to this point so that an answer would be available. I have now honed it down to about 9 trials that I think are promising. Only God knows which of these will prove to be successful, but He knows! I am doing all in my power to study them out and I have faith that God will show us the way that we are to go. I had a sweet blessing from my former Stake President today and among other things he told me that God would reveal to us the path we were to travel.
|Spencer and his mom|