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Showing posts from January, 2005

Monday, Monday

Monday, January 31, 2005 10:44 AM CST

Monday, Monday....

Not a lot new to report. The roller coaster has seemed to slow down for a bit, anyway!

Dave's recovery continues to move forward. This third time is a little harder, a little slower.

Dave got his staples out on Friday (a bit of a painful process...Dr. Sacks gave me the tweezers so Dave could pinch him next time he's in!)

They also checked his platelets. They were low again, 52,000. So he got an infusion of platelets on Friday afternoon. His platelets were 71,000 on Monday, so they aren't dropping as fast as they were. That's good news, as it means that he is finally beginning to make his own platelets. They will check his platelets again on Wednesday.

Next leg of the journey (also known as "when the roller coaster starts up again"), we travel to Seattle on Wednesday and meet with Dr. Rockhill about the gamma knife. Then we will meet with Dr. Spence. The meeting with Dr. Spence is crucial. He'll be recomme…

Conspiracy of Hope

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 2:00 PM CST


7:00 PM


**For medical update from yesterday...good news!...see journal history.

**See new photos on the photo page.

MORE GOOD NEWS: The ambulance bill has been taken care of, turns out it fell through the cracks and had never been submitted to insurance! Whew! Thank you Paul and Teri for your offers of assistance in the legal matters. You guys are amazing!

Dr. Rocklin Rocks

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 8:44 PM CST

Well, we finally talked to a doctor that had real information for us. We talked to Dr. Rockhill (Rocklin?) at the Gamma Knife Center at Harborview.

First: pathology report. Dave's tumor has not gotten more aggressive since last surgery. This is good news. It's still an Anaplastic Astrocytoma III. Tumors are graded from I-IV. I being a slower-growing, less infiltrating tumor and IV being the most aggressive and malignant. Dave's tumor was initially a grade II eight years ago. The tumors tend to become more aggressive over time. The best explanation of why is that during each treatment (radiation or chemo) you will kill off tumor cells. The cells that die first are the least aggressive, leaving the hardiest, most aggressive cells that multiply. Anyway, we were relieved that we are not dealing with a grade IV, more commonly known as GBM or glioblastoma multiforme.

Second: some of the tissue that was removed was necrosis. Necrosis is dead tis…


Monday, January 24, 2005 9:25 PM CST

Monday night.

Dave went to the hospital to get his platelets checked. I'm worried because he is having a lot of nausea, and threw up today. This could mean increased intracranial pressure.

He decided to take a nap before going to the hospital. Grrr. Finally went, and his platelets are down to 77,000. Which is low, but not critically low. The doctor at the cancer center didn't seem to think he needed an infusion. They were going to check with Dr. Spence. Who incidentally didn't have a clue that Dave had required daily transfusions of platelets while in the hospital. We'll do some more checking tomorrow. It's so frustrating. Why didn't I go to med school?

I did get a wonderful note of apology from PiHi. They have revised their policy and will be reviewing the students on a case-by-case basis before sending out any of those blanket form letters. They were very nice about it, and very sorry that they had caused us additional stress.…


Sunday, January 23, 2005 11:30 PM CST

Wow, what an experience. We got up this morning, and made it to church. Now we are really home. It was incredible. All those smiling faces. To see so many who had held us up all week was wonderful, to hear the voices lifted in song. You truly are His hands, His feet, doing His work. We remain awed and humbled by the love we are shown.

Dave is resting. Finally through with all the poking they do in the ICU, he is able to really sleep.

He's looking more bruised today, but less puffy. Balance is still an issue, and you know our Dave. Why only do one flight of stairs when you can do two? Why ask for help if you think you can get it on your own? Heavens, I think.....he survived brain surgery only to kill himself on the stairs!! He's getting better about letting us help him.

We'll go to the hospital tomorrow to check the platelets. I'm worried, since he had at least one infusion of platelets each day in the hospital and it's been 2 days …

Whine with that Cheese, Michelle?

Saturday, January 22, 2005 8:14 PM CST

We're home!!! Hooray! Dave is looking better each day. His left side weakness is about the same as yesterday. He says his left leg just sometimes decides to say, "see ya!" and leaves. So far so good on the stairs, tho. His thought processes and response time are better than before surgery. Praise the Lord! Now if we can just find a way to keep it from growing again.

Now the complaints. Just time for me to whine, I guess. Feel free to check out now.

1. Pioneer Middle School has the NERVE to send me a nasty letter about Zach's absences. Geeze. The kid broke his arm and has a sick dad. And still had a 3.85 at last grade report. Imagine. *sarcasm on* Good thing I kept them informed about what was going on, asked for his assignments ahead of time and helped him keep caught up in classes. *sarcasm off* (Well, he did fall behind in science some, but should be caught up by Monday.) Just irksome. You'd think those absences were for shop…

Smiles for Friday

Friday, January 21, 2005 6:03 PM CST

Man, was I tired last night! Look at all those typos!

Today is a good day. First some jokes.

Nurse: "Dave, are you an organ donor?"
Dave: "Yes I am, but not today or tomorrow."

Dave, looking out at torrential rain on the pass and over a foot of standing water: "How ya doin', Denise?"
Denise: "We don't need chains...we need a BOAT!"

Michelle, to Judy as Erik, Peter and Mark tell the ICU nurses that they are ALSO Dave's brothers so they can get in to see him, "So how was it raising 7 boys?"
Judy: "Well, after the first 3 it was a piece of cake!"

Dave was discharged today. We still don't have a date for gamma knife, but it looks like probably next week or the week after.

His platelets are barely holding, but they didn't have to give him an infusion today, so hopefully they're on the way back up. He'll get checked in WW Monday or Tuesday.

Dave is gaining strength and balance q…


Friday, January 21, 2005 2:41 AM CST

Hello everyone. Dave continues to amaze us with his resilience, strength and faith. He's doing reallly well today. His eye is really, really puffy from fluid buildup, but it's starting to go down. He got up and walked a little today, and he found it exhausting and he was pretty wobblly, it was good to see him up and around with thatfamous smile..

we still haven't heard much. there is some residual tumor, and they think they can gamma knife that but we don't know when that will be. We'll get pathology report and chem plan next Friay when they take out his staples. He's scheduled togo home tomorrow!!

I am in awe of him. Icannot believe how well he is doing. Hispersonality is definitely intact. He's the same sweet guy. And h did tell me "not today" for those of yu that know that signal.

Well working on a very stragne keyboard, and very tired. Will see you soon. Thank you for everything. PS. we go a great nurse today!

Healing Service

Thursday, January 20, 2005 1:30 AM CST

Hello faithful prayer warriors!! Keep it up!! It's working, it's working, God is merciful and great and hears our every prayer, knowing our every need before we ask.

Dave is in pretty good spirits this evening. He is processing so much quicker than before the surgery, and the droop on his face is completely gone. He is able to move his arm completely and freely and is also able to move his leg. He is weak, but this will resolve with work and time and as the swelling goes down.

He takes such strength from knowing how many are praying for him and thinking of him. Please keep those notes coming, they mean the world.

My mom and dad took the kids home today, travel was good. Hooray. Bob & Judy and Bob, Mindy & kids and Greg, Stephanie and kids are staying until tomorrow. Denise is right here beside me, every step of the way. Thanks for the note Bonnie, Dave needs me, and I'm glad I have Denise to keep me going and mom & dad to make…

Post-Surgery Update

Wednesday, January 19, 2005 3:08 PM CST

Dearest Ones,
it's noon on Wednesday. Last night was pretty scary. They finished surgery around 6:00 and we talked to the doctor who said that everything went fine "mechanically" and that we'd have to wait and see when Dave woke up how things were.

We got to see Dave in the recovery room around 7:00 and he was very groggy. Much more so than the other times. Turns out that he was shaking very badly after surgery, from the trauma to his brain/body and the loss of blood so they gave him demerol. This made it much harder for him to wake up. He seemed very out of it, not too responsive and he had great difficulty moving his left side. After very many tries by me and the nurse, he finally did move his left hand and leg a little.

At around 8:00, they took him to ICU. We got to see him around 10:00. He was a little more with it then. He opened his eyes and when I said he had scared me, he said, "Typical Meyer move!" And I knew we…


Tuesday, January 18, 2005 6:50 PM CST

It's Tuesday at almost 5:00 pm. Dave went into surgery at noon and they started operating at about 1:00. They expect the surgery to last until about 6:00 pm. Dave is holding his own, but his platelets were very low despite 3 transfusions. He has had a lot of bleeding and they are concerned, so they were just starting a transfusion when they called me at 4:00.

We came to the hospital last night and they admitted Dave to administer the platelets. His count was around 20,000 and they wanted him at 100,000 to do surgery. Normal is around 400,000. The second transfusion brought him to 127,000. Please pray that the bleeding will be completely controlled.

The trip here was awful, there was freezing rain, snow, ice and flooding. It took us 9 hours to get to Seattle. They closed the pass right after we got through. Thank you for your prayers, we got here safely and just in time.

Seems the power of prayer for Dave is red hot, literally. Last time we were in…


Friday, January 14, 2005 0:00 AM CST

Okay, now we heard back from the tumor board at UW. The surgeon who did Dave's last surgery is confident that he can remove 90% of this new growth. Then the gamma knife guy said it would be small enough to gamma knife the rest of it. He said the goal would be to get Dave back to "microscopic disease" before starting another chemo. Wow!

This was unexpected, and sudden. They are convinced we have no time to wait. I am, too. We will meet with the surgeon tomorrow. Please pray for safe travel and for the docs to have supernatural, God-inspired wisdom as we come up with the RIGHT plan.

We're probably looking at surgery Wednesday.


Thursday, January 13, 2005 6:25 PM CST

Heard from Dr. Friedman at Duke today. He is *the* BT guy in the US. He said for Dave to have this next round of carboplatin then get an MRI and send him the scans and he'll help us with the next step. I feel soooo much better having him on board.

The gamma knife board reviewed Dave's scans and they are certain that the enlargement on the scans represents new growth. He said one of the larger lesions may have necrosis in the middle of it, but that overall the scan shows progression of the tumor.

The UW tumor board reviewed Dave's scans yesterday to see about adding another agent to the current chemo and to check the possibility of more surgery. The gamma knife guy (Dr. Rocklin) didn't think that surgery would be an option due to location of the tumor. He also said that more gamma knife is not an option because the growth is too big. And besides, obviously the gamma knife didn't work.

So, pray that this carboplatin is doing its job…


Sunday, January 16, 2005 1:37 AM CST


Whew! What a day!

We left Friday morning around 6 am and went to Seattle. Praise the Lord, the roads were clear. We spent about 5 hours at the hospital, and met with Dr. Silbergeld and Dr. Rocklin. Dr. S is certain he can remove at least 90%f the tumor.

The tumor is in a less tricky spot this time, as far as critical brain structures, so that's good. It is very near some major blood vessels which is a big concern. Bleeding in the brain is a real problem, your brain is about the consistency of custard, so there's no way to stitch that, in case of bleeding. Dr. S said that given the situation, the surgery is about as risky as it was last time.

We met the Haroldsons at Spaghetti Factory for a lovely dinner. Took a little detour getting back to the freeway. As a leader, Erik...fabulous, as a follower, me...not so much.

We heard from Dr. S's nurse, Cynthia, and she said that Dave's platelets were low from the che…

Chemo Sick

Monday, January 3, 2005 11:26 AM CST

Well, Dave is sick. He went to work anyway, but he's quite nauseated. This is good news, we think. The last chemo didn't make him sick, and it didn't work. Maybe this is a sign it's doing its job. Please, God, help this chemo attack every last malignant cell and eradicate all signs of cancer. In His precious name, Amen.