Saturday, January 28

My State [Praise]

This is going to be a long one...

Taking a cue from a world leader I decided that perhaps I should write something down about how I am doing after this my 8th chemo round, and my first one for this year. I had received a few questions about it  since I got back so I thought I would detail some of it in case some of you had missed it, or maybe I hadn't written it.

Lets start with the tumors: My last pathology report from my PET/CT scan, back on my birthday, finally showed up in my "lab reports" section so we were able to see what kind of numbers we were looking at when they said, "It's been going down!" The way it works with the report is that they pick a couple places in the scan and rate those places, and also report on any new growth. So since we have been going to the same pathologist for the past two years we have a pretty good ability to tell how things have grown or what-not because he picks the same spots. The last three scans (since July) we have started to see a dramatic decline in the life of the tumors. I don't know that they are GOING anywhere, as they still show up on the PET/CT scan, but their metabolic rate has gone down a whole point or more each scan. For example one of them went from 7.4 to 5.8 to 4.6 over the last few scans. I really don't know what happens when they hit 0... if they are considered "dead" or "dormant"?

My reaction to the drug (which is considered a high dose) has been lessening over the past four months as well. Going from last year at this time spending ten days in the hospital and taking a TON of different things when I got home to manage blood levels, pain, etc etc. At this point I take an anti-nausea pill the week of chemo and then a few days after. I also take pain killer and cough suppresent (same drug), but that is the only one I take on a daily basis. Because of this my bounce-back time has reduced. On Thursday I went to our small group, which was just a week after I completed chemo. Four days after chemo (Monday this week) I worked four hours.

I haven't been to the ER in what feels like forever. The last time I went to the ER was the chemo time before they started my on the anti-nausea drug.

We've moved closer to the hospital and are spending a LOT less time in the car every week. (Down to two to four hours a week vs twelve to sixteen hours from before) Our new place is not only closer, but it's slightly bigger so we can host friends and family who might want to come to visit us, and it allows Lisa to have an office space so she can work when and as long as she wants without disturbing me.

We spent the month of December in Seattle with family and friends and had a wonderful holiday season. Lisa and I decided that it was perhaps one of the best Christmas's we have spent as a married couple.

When it comes to health insurance and that fiasco, due to your generosity I have covered a part of the huge (86k) yearly cost increase I helped incur. My personal medical bill is a little over 1400 dollars a month, which has ended up being covered by some of you. (OC still has a sizable hole in their budget because of having me on staff and these medical costs, so I would still like to ask if you have been thinking about donating and helping me out that you still can. My job at OC relies very heavily on other people's support to help support missionaries around the world, and with a huge hole like that those cuts are going to have to come from somewhere, and I need to be adding to my budget (staff and equipment) not having it cut. So anything you can do to help me, helps OC, and the more than 600 people I help support around the world. < / plug >)

Job wise because we have been closer Lisa has been able to work more hours and get involved in more projects. Also because of my bounce-back I have been able to get back to work quicker between treatments as well. My stamina isn't great by any means (four hours of work totaled me for the following day) but I have a clear mind in which to do it, and with the proper pacing I can get my hands "dirty" more often. (Those of you that can work full-time, be thankful for that, only being able to work four hours and then sleeping the next two days because you are so worn out is kind of hard.)

With all these things grouped together Lisa and I are at a place where we are asking ourselves, "What Next?" Yes, I still have a fight on my hands, but we have more free time due to our location and I am more coherent more often despite needing to get chemo every month. Besides continuing to pray for my health and "Death to Tumors!" the thing you could pray for us now is, "What Next?". God has us here for a reason and has kept us here at the moment for a reason (as opposed to allowing us to return to Colorado), and we want to figure out what God would have us do.

[ Prayer request? | Help Us? ]


Post a Comment

I am using DISQUIS for my comments these days. If you can see this and don't see the DISQUIS comments it probably means you are blocking cookies or are running an ad blocker that is blocking my comment stream. ***Any comments left here (on Google's comment system) will be deleted.***