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Showing posts from February, 2005

God is Good

Monday, February 28, 2005 5:51 PM CST

God is good, God is so good.

Today, Dave had his MRI. The tech was able to get a vein for the contrast without any trouble...that is a blessing!

Dave got copies of the scans. I looked at them, and, as a lay-person, it's difficult for me to tell the difference between tissue swelling from the gamma knife and actual tumor growth. I have not compared the scans side-by-side, but it looks to me like the mid-line shift is about the same, and the tumor has not progressed any further across the mid-line into the left hemisphere. That is a blessing and an answered prayer.

The area near the motor strip and moving toward the brain stem looks a little larger to me. I'll have time to compare the scans side-by-side later and we'll see.

The other blessing is that Dave is still feeling good, still quite himself...if a little bit more distractable and forgetful, but all-in-all, it's good.

We probably won't be able to get an official opinion on the sc…

Half Over

Monday, February 28, 2005 1:25 AM CST

Our prayer vigil is half over now. It's been an incredible day. We are feeling so loved and surrounded with God's love. There are at least two people praying in each 20 minute time slot. Some slots have as many as six people and one slot has a family of 10, 2 individuals and our youth group praying.

I had the privilege of being with Kenny during his 20 minute prayer at 9:40 pm. It was a blessing to me to hear what is on his heart.

I'm due to wake up Z in 2 hours and Kate an hour after that. Thank you for all your prayers today and always. Love, Shelley

24 Hour Prayer Vigil

Saturday, February 19, 2005 6:42 PM CST

Thank you for your prayers. The non-tumor situation we asked for prayer about is on its way to being resolved. This is a huge relief for us.

Dave continues to feel great. Today was a good day. We watched Zach have an awesome game in his AAU tournament. Dave came home and played football with Kenny.

He has started the tamoxifen. It starts out at a low dose and works up to a very high dose. Breast cancer patients generally take 10-20 mgs per day and Dave will be working up to 160 mgs per day. He says, "Bring it on!" We haven't heard from Dr. Prados so we'll see what he says about the tamoxifen when we get there.

Dave decided to delay putting in the port until we get back from San Fransisco so he won't have to worry about it while we're there. He's not on any IV meds at the moment, so it's not too pressing.

On February 28, Dave will have his next MRI. Borrowing a fabulous idea from Lori & Erik, we'd like to have…

Let go...

Thursday, February 10, 2005 9:21 PM CST

Friends, I again petition you and covet your prayers. We are dealing with a situation (not tumor related) and need the Lord's guidance in dealing with our emotions and our response. Please pray for divine wisdom, God's intercession, and peace.

On the bt side: We heard from Dr. Friedman. He said that because of the gamma knife, that Dave would have to show tumor progression to be eligible for any clinical trials. Dave has a scan in 3 weeks. If it shows any progression, Dr. Friedman said to call him before we do anything at all. He said that any of the chemos recommended by Dr. Spence would be good to try.

Waiting on a callback from Dr. Prados re: starting tamoxifen now.

KOKO!

Port...

Thursday, February 10, 2005 12:38 AM CST

Hello all. We met with Dr. Sacks today. First line, they're going to place a port. This will make all IV things easier. They've had a tough time finding veins lately, so this will make life easier overall.

Second, Dr. Spence and Dr. Sacks recommend starting tamoxifen right away while waiting for the consult with Dr. Prados at San Fransisco. Dave's counts are good right now. Platelets are 200,000 and white cells are at 2.2 (normal is 3). They said the tamoxifen shouldn't impact his counts, and it's an oral med. I will be checking with Dr. Prados's office today to make sure it's okay.

We're set to meet with Dr. Prados and/or Dr. Chang at University of California San Fransisco on March 8. Thanks to Peter's generosity with his frequent flyer miles, we'll be taking a few days before to take the kids to Disneyland. We were going to wait until spring break, but decided that Dave may be on a new chemo, so we'd l…

Love You More

Saturday, February 5, 2005 8:52 PM CST

Another good day!
Dave is feeling great, looking super and just being him. We watched Z and teammates win 4 straight bball games this morning. What a show! Utterly fabulous. Nothing better than cheering on your kids, listening to Dave call them by the nicknames he gave them. Games at 8, 9, 10, & 11. The kids were tired by the end, for sure!

Robin came by and prayed with us. A real comfort and strength.

Listening to Matthew West "Happy"

Take a look at the mountain
Stretching a mile high
Take a look at the ocean
Far as your eye can see
And think of me

Take a look at the desert
Do you feel like a grain of sand?
I am with you wherever
Where you go is where I am

And I'm always thinking of you
Take a look around you
I'm spelling it out one by one

Chorus:

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow I'll say it again and again
I love you more

Jus…

Home Again

Friday, February 4, 2005 11:54 PM CST

We're home, we're home, we're home!! Hooray!

Thanks to Denise, Mark and Peter for being there on one of the most awful days. Come to think of it, you three have been there EVERY awful day. Maybe we shouldn't let you come around anymore!! (Just kidding, of course....what would we do without you there in our time of need? Without Denise to keep me sane, Mark to hug me and Peter to pray with us, we'd be LOST! You guys are the BEST! Remember the snowball fight the day after Kyle's funeral, when the diaper service guy thought we'd lost our minds? And Denise in her yellow pants? And Mark and Steve and Erik piling with us on the hide-a-bed and bending the couch? You have been there for us time and time again. Thank you!) And Evy, Canute, Sonja and Echo (and Erik via Florida), thank you for your loving welcome and providing a place where we can just be. The Haroldsons have been there for us, too. Evy, do you remember singing &quo…

Bad News

Thursday, February 3, 2005 3:12 PM CST

Please keep praying. I hope there are lots of you praying.

Dr. Rockhill shared the MRI with us. The news is not good. In fact, it could hardly be worse. The tumor has grown a lot in the last two weeks. It is beginning to invade the corpus callosum, which is the tissue that connects the two sides of the brain, so it is encroaching on the other side. It is also growing backward, nearing the brain stem and invading the motor cortex.

The volume is much too huge to treat with gamma knife. Dr. Rockhill did create a treatment plan. He says that they can treat a larger area than they usually do, but with a smaller dose, they cannot treat it all, he is selecting the parts where he feels the tumor would do the most damage as he grows. This carries a risk of swelling, which he said has about a 50% chance of causing Dave to have to be hospitalized in about 3 weeks.

He said the other option is to treat the symptoms with steroids, and try a chemo when Dave's c…

Here Come the Docs

Thursday, February 3, 2005 11:31 AM CST

9:30 Thursday
We're at the Gamma Knife Center, Dave had the headframe placed and is now in MRI. We'll get the results shortly.

We met with the docs yesterday. Dr. Spence went over his history very carefully. We appreciate his thoroughness. He's the only one who caught the growth the time before the second surgery. He said that Dave's platelets were still too low to begin chemo and said that his white cells are also now low, which carries a risk of infection. He can't start any chemo until those counts rebound. We discussed 3 different options: accutane (used as an acne med, given in high doses sometimes kills cancer cells), tamoxifen (a hormonal treatment often used in breast cancer), and thalidomide (used to be used for morning sickness, caused major birth defects, is now used to inhibit the growth of blood vessels, which tumors need to grow). None of these are stellar options. He said that Dave may be able to do more carboplat…

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Wednesday, February 2, 2005 1:18 AM CST

Kids say the darndest things....even when they're teenagers. Dave's students are some of the most incredible people we have ever met. They are all unique, and bring such a wonderful, fresh perspective to life and living. They are talented, caring, funny and smart. Bob brought us some cards that they made for Dave tonight. Some made us cry and some made us laugh until we cried. All of them touched our hearts.

When Dave played his guitar and sang "Refugee" at the Conspiracy of Hope concert, the students' love for him filled the auditorium. It's something that simply cannot be described. I think those kids know that he truly loves them, he really cares. And they are there to support us.

I have scanned some of the cards to the photos page. Will add some more when we get back from Seattle. I'm not sure any card can top our two favorites from 1997. The first one said: "Bummer about your cancerous tumor, man." The s…