The Bad, the Good, and What's Next

Well I keep typing and erasing and typing and erasing and just don’t have much to say right now (aside from everything that’s been typed and then erased…which would eventually add up to quite a bit of mishmash I’m sure!)

Let me just give you a brief update with regard to where things are at in our lives today.

I’m writing this on Friday, and after today I will have ONE more radiation treatment (on Monday) and three more chemo treatments (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday). While both the chemo and radiation take a progressive toll on my body this week has been a better one with regard to energy. The two primary negatives as this point with regard to health are…

  1. Swelling in my spine (due to radiation) caused what is most likely temporary nerve damage across my belly and sides that hurt pretty intensely for a day or two. To compensate they put me back on steroids to reduce inflammation.
  2. Starting on Monday of this week the amount of radiation hitting my esophagus started to cause pain and swelling thus leading me to a soft/liquid diet for the next few days.

The good news far exceeds the bad! Here are some of the great things that we’re seeing or hearing these days…

  1. My vitals are through the roof (in a good way). Ranging from my yeastiness, to my iron level, to the amount of blood my body is producing my body is doing “better than it should in amazing ways” (according to my oncologist).
  2. We’ve been waiting over a month to receive a report back from a Cambridge research lab in order to get more info about my tumor. The exceedingly long wait was starting to make us question…but as it turns out the researcher in charge of my sample was gone on vacation for the last month. I’ll take that as good news!

Regarding what’s next in life for us here’s what we anticipate…

  1. Somewhere around one month from my last radiation treatment I will go in for a fun session of head to tailbone MRI’s. They wait approximately a month because they want to assure that your body has time to recover, to break down the (hopefully) dead tumor, and to accurately reflect your bodies new cancer free reality.
  2. On October 12th the monthly “tumor board” will gather around my scans. The tumor board is a neat gathering of oncologists, radiologists, neurologists, surgeons, etc who all meet monthly to talk about the coolest tumors in town. On October 12th they’ll look at my stuff and assess what’s next for me. Later that day I’ll meet with my oncologist who will let me know the results and future proceedings.
  3. Medically what is most likely is that the cancer in my spine will be gone and there will be no other cancerous spots in my body. I will then have MRI scans every two months because (medically) the assumption is that the cancer will come back. The difference between my original diagnosis and my current one is that previously there was little (medical) hope of getting rid of the cancer at all whereas now the hope is to get rid of it each time it returns.

Things have been rough for the month of August as I’ve spent it sleeping and my wife’s spent it being a single parent (all of you single parents deserve so many more hugs than you receive!!!). My hope (and anticipation) is to view September as a time where we can slowly reenter into life, work, and continuing our downtown Vancouver work. While things may have been rough this month it would have been absolute hell without all of you. Over the last three months (surgery was on May 31st) we have had nearly fifty different people provide food in some capacity, we had nearly 100 of you visit us in the hospital, we were blessed by the amazing fund raiser at Pop Culture (that continues to linger around some downtown Vancouver restaurants/stores), we’ve had an amazing team of people help us with mowing the lawn, doing dishes, sweeping, and watering our struggling garden, and finally there have been literally thousands of people praying for us from all over the world. You all have been amazing. Thank you.*

 

*this isn’t a “thank you and you’re done”. Oh no! We’re not done with you yet! Please keep praying for us and please keep caring for my wife who has lots of recovery to do (my physical recovery is nothing compared with the depth of what she’s poured out of herself over the last three months). We are so incredibly still just in the middle of all this…and thanks to you we’ve made it thus far in such away that causes our doctors to use such words as “miraculous”. We love you all. Peace.

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