2007 Student Leadership Forum in Olympia

March 5, 2007 from Don | Photos, Quick Overview, The Whole StoryComments Off on 2007 Student Leadership Forum in Olympia | ««Previous - Next»»

I have had an interesting few days. Last e-mail I asked for prayers regarding my neuropathy. I continued to take the immediate release morphine, 45 mg every 4-5 hours. This has enabled me to get by with numbness in my feet but greatly diminished foot pain. As I wrote in my Friday e-mail, I stayed home Thursday and Friday missing all my commitments in Olympia and Alderbrook. I do think it was the right decision to help me deal better with the neuropathy. Skip’s phone calls from Olympia both Thursday and Friday made it difficult. Saturday morning when he called he was gracious enough to listen to why I was not going to go to Olympia that afternoon to give the closing speech to all the students at the Student Leadership Conference. Then the lawyer in Skip came out convincing me in less than 30 seconds that I had to be there!

Heather, Johnny, & Bo drove me to Olympia Saturday morning and we joined all the students and adult facilitators and hosts for lunch. We listened to the students sharing about their community service work that morning, and then their sharing on an open microphone on highlights of the weekend. Then I shared about 30 minutes. I have to tell you that on the drive down, Heather told me not to think too much and just to share from my heart about the journey we have been on. I affirmed her that I thought she was absolutely right. Since I love to always have a scripture to help me stay focused I read to her from 1 Corinthians 2, where the apostle Paul writes: “When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God……I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith may not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

I was sodon-heather-olympia.jpg blessed to be able to share with the students. With all the morphine I am taking it’s clear there could be little planning going into my talk since I would forget what I had planned 15 minutes later. My words, whether eloquent, persuasive or wise, were clearly a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, not mine. I thank Skip for encouraging me to be there The rest of the weekend was also sweet- Dan Jessup was with us Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. We had a sweet time together. It is always an inspirational time to be together.

Today is Monday- the new day, the day of a new chemotherapy regime. We had a wonderful and uplifting time with Dr Doug Lee. Before the chemotherapy could begin we had to reach complete agreement on the strategy. The research group at the hospital recommended a strategy using the same drugs we talked about last week- Irinotecan and carboplatin. Carboplatin is the constant and Irinotecan is the variable, the new drug. This strategy has been used in breast cancer with success. Today we would begin with half the dose of Irinotecan (90mg/m2) and the normal dose of carboplatin. We would repeat the Irinotecan again next week. This is a conservative approach to make sure I don’t have a rapid drop in my white blood cells, or suffer other reactions to the Irinotecan. Assuming everything is ok we would switch to a 3 week cycle like we had with Taxol. After some discussion, recalling that Irinotecan is a recommended drug from TGen, we all agreed to this strategy.

Doug then said we need to change the long acting morphine so we could only use the immediate relief morphine to help break through pain. We agreed to move from 60 to 95mg every 12 hours. When the actual pain subsides we can begin dropping the pain medicines. Doug then said “We are told to ask, so why don’t we ask for healing of the tumors and healing of the foot pain, let’s ask for it all. I want you to be free of pain to serve God without pain.” Then we held hands and he prayed. Wow!

The chemo went by so fast. I had everyone laughing in the treatment center because I was barefoot. Why, you may ask, as everyone else did too? Well, I got in the car this morning with two flip-flops/sandals but when we arrived at the clinic, I only had one- did I lose the flip-flop in the driveway at home getting in the car? As I climbed out of the car and flip-flopped down the hall way with one bare foot, I decided no flip-flops was better than one. So I had a barefoot chemo time. Heather massaged my feet, Grandma read to me from Mark, then Art Kopicky came and massaged my feet and drove me home. Oh, what a day…

Tomorrow evening, if I feel well enough we are going to meet John Edwards at a small gathering at Howard Schultz’s home.

God is Good, all the time, God is Good

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