Tuesday, September 19, 2006

September 19, 2006

My sister Stacie took me to my appointment and chemo treatment today. Dr. Whisenant said that everything looked good. We scheduled my next scan for October 4th. By that time I will have completed my second round of Xeloda and we should get a good read on whether it is working.

After the appointment with the doctor, the nurses hooked up the IV to the port in my chest so that I could receive my Erbitux treatment. I have this every week. As I mentioned before, the main (and rather strange) side effect of this treatment is that it often causes an agressive case of acne. Right now my face and head are feeling the full effect of the Erbitux. It is more of an annoyance than a dibilitating side effect, but it does tend to keep me up at night a little when I move around. They say that the better the case of acne, the better the treatment is working. Will see ...

Marianne and Chase are staying up late to finish a book report. Chase did a wonderful job writing the report and Marianne is helping him with the final touches. They are actually having fun together making the report into a puzzle.

Thanks again for all the notes and e-mails. The support is comforting to our family.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 12, 2006

I am going in for treatment tomorrow so I thought I might write quickly about my latest side effect before it possibly goes away. The side effect is that I am having a ton of trouble sleeping lately because I am so excited for the coming day. I have been feeling so good that I cannot wait to get up to see what the following day brings. Of course, the problem is that the lack of sleep causes me to not feel that well in the mornings. I know this is driving Marianne nuts and makes no sense but it is an ironic reality of this disease and in general of not knowing what the next day might bring.

Hopefully this does not come across as complaining. I am very happy and grateful for any good days. I also enjoy feeling like I am more of a contributer to my family than a burden. They would never call me a burden but ....

A week from today, we will meet with Dr. Whisenant to set a date for my next scan to determine whether the present treatment is working. Please keep the prayers coming.

By the way, I was able to attend the BYU football game on Saturday. It was a beautiful setting with the mountains and changing leaves. I remember going to a similar football game at BYU last fall when I was first diagnosed with cancer and wondering then if I would be able to repeat the experience this year.

Thanks to the faith and prayers of many of you and the help from my family and medical providers, I am now closing in on my one year date. During this past year, I have been able to see and do many wonderful things (including seeing the birth of my son and watching him grow). I have also been able to experience growth and change in myself and observe positive changes in my immediate family and in many of those around me.

Our family has truly been blessed this past year.

Friday, September 08, 2006

September 8, 2006

I finished my first round of Xeloda yesterday (the pill chemo I am now taking) and I am very upbeat. I don't know if it is working but the good days have been outnumbering the bad days lately so we are going to be positive and assume it is working. I take this week off and then start again with the pills next Thursday.

On September 19th I will visit with Dr. Whisenant to set the schedule for my next CT/PET scan so we can determine whether the Xeloda is shrinking the tumors or at least limiting the growth. The scan may not come until late October.

We are coming up on the year mark of my diagnosis of cancer (October 14, 2005). We are also coming up on the one year mark for Lucas (November 3, 2005). He has been such a good boy lately which has allowed Marianne and I to focus more on our other children who we sometimes feel we neglect a little. Right now Marianne is managing a family and home with a child in high school, a child in junior high, a child in grade school and a relatively new baby. (Not to mention a husband that often acts like a baby.) She is truly amazing and has held this family together at times when I beleived it not possible.

Although we still cannot find a doctor who will utter the word "cure", we are not giving up. We know that the Lord is listening to all the many prayers offered on our behalf and that miracles do happen. We have certainly experienced a few in the past year as we have watched the lives of those around us change and grow.

As always, we appreciate the many acts of service performed on our behalf. There are far too many to name individually but please understand that we are as grateful as ever.