A lot has happened in the last few days, so it’s time to update this blog.

As you can probably guess, I am still in the hospital. This was a little frustrating since my cousins from California were in town to visit over the weekend. They came to the hospital Friday afternoon/evening, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was our big meal night, but I was stuck in the hospital. So, the nurses set up 5 tables/trays- Heather made a gourmet meal and brought table runners for the tables- it looked like a banquet. Wine was also discreetly carried into the hospital and we had a memorable dinner and evening. Anna and Lori headed back to southern California on Sunday, but Art and Shelly stayed until Monday and came to visit one final time. It was so much fun, there was so much laughter that it was hard to see them leave.

This stay in the hospital from last Thursday will continue at least several more days. I am hoping to go home soon I but really know this is exactly where I need to be right now. Jesus has been particularly intimate and has breathed a lot for me/with me during this stay. This fills me with such joy and hope that it’s impossible not to talk with guests from the overflow of my heart (Luke 6).

I have had so many sweet and significant talks and prayer with friends and family here at the hospital, I am truly blessed!

As you know from Skip’s blog yesterday, Dr Doug Lee, my oncologist, had met with all of my medical team and they decided the pain, the high bilirubin count and the high temperatures were all coming from the liver tumor. They recommended we hit the tumors with a new chemo, even though my bilirubin was still high. But we were surprised later in the day. When they looked further into chemo and found that virtually every chemo required that my bilirubin be at 5 or less. A normal bilirubin count is 1-2, and mine has been going up and down from 15 to 19. They decided that giving chemo under these conditions would likely kill my liver, followed by me.

Doug came by again this morning after spending a couple of hours reviewing my very recent CT scans with Bob Meier, the Director of Radiation Oncology at NWH. Doug felt very encouraged by the meeting, and said Bob would look further into my CT scans and meet with me this afternoon. We had never considered radiation before because the chemo had been working effectively and we would have to wait 6-8 weeks before we could resume chemo after radiation.

Bob Meier came by late this afternoon. We really hit it off and we spent about 45 minutes reviewing options. He was really positive and felt we had a good chance of reducing/eliminating the obstruction of the bile ducts with radiation. He also felt we had a very good chance of reducing/eliminating the tumor-related fever, and even a good chance of significantly reducing the size of the tumor. He will initially use Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy. If we are successful in shrinking the tumor he would like to consider using a Gamma knife to administer a higher dose to a very small targeted area.

Bob left so encouraged and positive about what we will be able to do, that it was impossible for me to not be even more encouraged.

Johnny had made the decision yesterday to come home to be by my side, and I was so excited to think we will have him back with the family. With this new and surprising development involving radiation, the urgency of having Johnny come home has been greatly reduced. But he still wants to come home to be by my side. I am so excited to see him soon-he will arrive around Thanksgiving-Hooray!

God is good, all the time, God is good!

I will post a few photos in the next few days so come back and visit. I am also sorry for the writing in my blog-I have been a little loopy from my pain medications.

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4 Comments so far

  1. ashish2 on November 13, 2007 11:00 pm

    Don and Heather,
    We echo with you the fact that the Lord is indeed good all the time, even on the adventurous roller-coaster ride that you are on.
    Thank you for blessing and encouraging us by sharing your journey with us and our extended family in India.
    Oh, so much to be thankful for this season.
    We love you and are praying with/for you.
    ~Ashish and Cammy

  2. Anna Harrington on November 14, 2007 11:29 am

    Dearest Don and Heather,
    I’m so happy to be responding to you today. I’m sending my love, prayers and wishes for well being to you and Heather and your dear family. I’m picturing us as cousins all holding hands in your room and praying together. What a blessing it is to have such a delightful experience with you and to hold it with me always. To see you and Heather “thrilled” by the ride is inspiring beyond belief. I have shared our experience with my mother and friends. They all send their love to you and some are now reading your blog and getting first hand the gift of your sharing. I love you dearly . . your cousin Anna

  3. Polly Urquhart on November 14, 2007 7:11 pm

    I checked my e-mail almost hourly yesterday and first thing this morning!!!! I’ve been saying “Hallelujah” all day long that was once I stopped weeping with gratitude. Love the chorus of “Not a God” or “God Alone” that says, “You’re unchangeable, You’re unshakeable, You’re unstoppable…that’s what You are…” My friend I mentioned yesterday suggested I might enjoy a message at a church in Redding, CA. I am enjoying it…in the middle of it now…and thought you might, too. Some amazing stuff reported on God’s activities at http://www.ibethel.org. You and your family are on my heart.

  4. ken kierstead on November 15, 2007 11:40 am

    hey Don & Heather — you’ve been much on my heart and in my prayers these last few days. i came across this passage in my quiet time and thought of you two.

    Ps 112:1-9

    Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear GOD,
    Who cherish and relish his commandments,
    2 Their children robust on the earth,
    And the homes of the upright — how blessed!
    3 Their houses brim with wealth
    And a generosity that never runs dry.
    4 Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people —
    God’s grace and mercy and justice!
    5 The good person is generous and lends lavishly;
    6 No shuffling or stumbling around for this one,
    But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
    7 Unfazed by rumor and gossip,
    Heart ready, trusting in GOD,
    8 Spirit firm, unperturbed,
    Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
    9 They lavish gifts on the poor —
    A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
    An honored life! A beautiful life!

    God’s grace and peace with you, ken

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