Don sent this at 8PM tonight. Thanks for responding to this morning’s requests for prayer and emails to Don. Both have been great blessings to him and Heather today. As you can see from Don’s recounting the conversation with Rob Lane today, this has indeed been a “crossroad” day. It is a significant change in strategy to reconsider the goal of having surgery.

Skip, for Don & Heather


It has been several days since I have written. My days have been up and down- when I feel great like last Sunday, when the sun also happens to be shining, I tend to do too much. Then I pay for it the next day with my body aching from head to toe.

My nighttime temperatures continue to be a mystery. I have had a temperature as low as 95.6 which is close to hypothermia, followed by later evening temperatures of 102.6 or so. I have been hospitalized twice to try and isolate the source of the temperature and had additional blood tests of my port-a-cath.

Yesterday my side began to ache as I breathed in the area of my right lung, the lung with the tumor. I was told to head straight to the hospital to have a CT scan to look for a blood clot in the lung. Fortunately the results came back negative. I did have fluid, however, in between my lung and chest cavity. Since the pain was getting worse, the plan was to drain the fluid today and check for infection and/or cancer cells. The lung cancer continues to remain very small with no distinguishable change in size since the last 2 CT scans. All and all this is good news and I am hopeful we will find the source of the spiking temperatures soon.

Today Dr Rob Lane came over to visit. He started the Puget Sound Cancer Clinic and actually hired my oncologist, Dr Doug Lee. Rob retired in 2006. We had an amazing talk about the purpose of chemotherapy and the purpose and need for surgery. He told me the goal is to feel great on the bell lap. Surgery of the lung and liver are dangerous; he indicated there were only about 4 out of 100 surgeons that could perform this surgery successfully in Seattle. Rob felt that once the chemotherapy stops working, I should go off all medications and I will feel great for several months and then go back on the chemotherapy when the tumors start to grow again. Eventually the chemo will stop working and we will need to change the chemo again. This really was a great conversation and I shared it later in the day with Heather when we were in the hospital. We both felt this was good, stimulating conversation that really enables us to be more proactive about my medical care.

This afternoon I went to Northwest Hospital to have the fluid removed from my lung to ease the rib pain. The procedure used was actually ultrasound and the conclusion by the radiologist was that there was no significant fluid in the lung and no reason to proceed with the procedure.

I have to tell you that when Skip asked if he could send out the e-mail for prayer and e-mails this morning, I thought it was a little over the top, but did not want to object if it was on his heart to go ahead. I have to tell you what a blessing those prayers have been. Plus Heather and I had an hour’s wait for the fluid procedure, and spent the entire time reading the e-mails people sent today. They were so encouraging we were in tears several times. Thank you for the prayers and e-mails; they are still coming and I feel so blessed. I had not realized that hearing from you by e-mail would mean so much to me.

After leaving diagnostic imaging section this afternoon I went to see Dr Lee. He reminded me I was supposed to have chemotherapy today (Wed) and I missed my appointment. I was shocked and had to check my own Google calendar before I believed him. I had completely forgotten, thinking it was to be next week. So, I had additional blood tests done in preparation, and will have the chemotherapy at 7:30 AM tomorrow (Thur). Since my ribs are still really aching I am also having a bone scan of my ribs after chemotherapy.

Suddenly I feel like I am very busy with lots of critical stuff. But it’s the kind of busy I actually enjoy.

God is Good, All the Time, God is Good!



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3 Comments so far

  1. Marian Engebretson on April 19, 2007 11:45 am

    Don & Heather,
    Like so many others, I’m praying for you. We all know that God is always in your hearts, especially during these “crossroads” days, whether you’re busy or asleep. Praying that your chemo is going well today, the bone scan, and decision-making. What a blessing your doctors are. What a blessing you both are.
    You’re in our prayers,

  2. Larisa Kaukonen on April 19, 2007 12:07 pm

    Dear Don and Heather,

    It is amazing to read your posts and witness your faith and grace on this journey. It was very encouraging to read of your latest CT results. We will pray for your chemotherapy and for your body to rest and heal. The fact that you have always been so active helps explain why you have tolerated the physical hardships of this ordeal as well as you have.

    I was reading back in one of your early posts in which you wrote of receiving the message in the afternoon sunshine that the most important thing was to love and to be loved. How clearly you have demonstrated Christ’s love in your life. Thank you for witnessing and teaching and being an encouragement to all of us.

    “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” John 1:4

    In His name,

    Larisa and family

  3. Pat & Patti Watters on April 19, 2007 2:33 pm

    Still here, still prayin’ God’s Peace and comfort on you all. PnP

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