It's been a while since we've talked, and I've missed you. Brother always does an immaculate job, though, and I was a touch busy as you know.
For those of you wondering, I am doing well where the hip is concerned. It is sore, of course, but I am walking very well with walker or crutches. Sometimes, I almost forget that I need them, so I expect to be back to my normal self where that is concerned very soon.
My most notable physical ailments at the time are my mouth sores and mucus. I know this will seem unbelievable to those of you who visited me in the hospital as I probably talked you into the floor below us. You must understand, however, that I had been given a medicine during surgery to decrease my mucus (a medicine that apparently is available only in IV form) which was very successful. Also, I was on fluids constantly, which tends to help. Finally, I just think God gave us that time together - the most important variable. Since getting home from the hospital, things have changed dramatically. My mouth is flooded with mucus and hammered by sores. I am 4 weeks out of radiation today. The radiation oncologist told me I would be much better in 6 weeks - I really hope he is correct. Right now, I am back to writing notes or typing them on computer. Talking just seems to make the sores hurt worse, and the mucus makes it very difficult, as well.
I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Gilbert, my oncologist, yesterday. As you will recall, she explained before the hip surgery that with the metastasis, our strategy would have to change from curative to increasing the quality of and prolonging my life. My chances of cure from a medical standpoint went from 40% to 0%. Yesterday, she offered a time frame. She stated that if my cancer "follows the book, and it never has," I could expect to be here about 6-9 months. Of course, since my cancer has been much more aggressive than expected at every turn, that could be a much smaller number.
We then discussed the new treatment plan. I will need focused radiation to the right hip to avoid tumor return there and for pain relief (about 2-3 weeks of treatment). As soon as my energy and strength are improved, I will begin another chemotherapy regimen designed to keep would-be tumors at bay. If these drugs are unsuccessful, there are clinical trials available, as well. Dr. Gilbert stated she has seen these drugs have no effect, but she has also seen them give a patient in my shoes 2 years. If at any time during treatment, the treatment becomes worse than the cancer, we will stop it and do something else. She made it very clear that I would be in control of the process.
She also ordered CT scans of my head, chest, and abdomen yesterday to search for further metastasis.
What I want you to remember is that we already knew the earthly prognosis was this grim. We knew it as soon as we found out about the metastasis. Having a number does not change anything, because no one but God can guarantee a number anyway. Also, while the medical world tells us there's no hope, I'm reminded that with God there is always hope. Remember an earlier post where a friend had pointed out to me that God is my doctor? God is still my doctor! He is unimpressed by the cancer book.
My family and I have not given up hope on our miracle. We know that if God so chooses, He has more than enough power to heal me, and we continue to ask Him for complete healing. We do acknowledge, though, that healing may not be His will. Whatever His plan, know that it is perfect. It may not fit our idea of perfect, but perfect it remains. His glorification matters most. May He be glorified in my life or in my death.
1. My friend Robert is in surgery now (9/4). Pray! Wife's name is Kim. 2 sons. Same cancer as me - caught earlier we hope.
2. Mr. Carroll - battling oral cancer.
3. Relief from mouth sores and mucus - I want to eat real food with family and friends again!
4. Continued hip healing and success with walking.
5. To get to go back to work on some level as soon as possible.
6. To bring glory to the Father each day.
7. Unwavering faith and trust in the One who is mighty to save.
1. God, our Papa, is beautiful, strong, good, and constant!
2. Remember that song, "Oh, How I Love Jesus?" Oh, how I love Jesus!!!
3. God doesn't sleep.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:34