As of last night, Dennis is done with round one of treatment. He finished his radiation and chemo yesterday. Now we have four weeks where his only medical appointments are for blood work once a week. He is thrilled to be done with the radiation. Overall he has handled the chemo well. The anti-nausea pills have kept him from being sick. The only time he had problems with either the chemo or the trial drug was when he did not take the pills.
At the end of these four weeks he will have an MRI to check on if there is any regrowth happening. The doctors have told him that this MRI will not tell us anything but because of the trial drug they need to do the MRI. He will have another MRI in about 12 weeks which will be far more informative.
He will start the next round of treatments on September 19. He will then have chemo at a higher dose but only for 5 days each month. Two days a week he will receive the trial drug as well.
Dennis is doing well so far. He still suffers from extreme fatigue but he is hopeful that will subside during his 4 weeks off of treatments and that it won’t be as debilitating when he starts treatments again as there will be no radiation in the next round. They say it can take 4-6 weeks before the radiation fatigue wears off. The only other side effect has been some loss of hair at the site of the radiation. This should grow back in about 3 months.
I marvel at the peace Dennis has in the midst of a very uncertain future. His faith and trust in Christ is a blessing to many. I certainly know it is an encouragement to me. There are times when all of this is very hard to handle for all of us. We want to grow old together and watch Brooke grow into adulthood. We want to not have an uncertain future hanging over our head all of the time. We want to know our financial needs will be met as we transition to disability pay. But, for all of the unknowns, we have one very firm known – God loves us now as he has in the past and will in the future. He will carry us through this journey. It is hard, I’ll admit that freely. There are days the tears just can’t be stopped. Then there are days where peace and hope prevail. Yes, there are a handful of people who have survived this horrible cancer without it coming back and so we continue to pray that Dennis will be one of those survivors. If not, we know that God will walk along with us on this road.
Dennis read a book awhile back and I’m reading it now. This book Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman is an amazing look at what makes a true follower of Christ. We tend to think that following Christ makes everything in life wonderful but this book challenges that view of being a Christ follower. I know it had an impact on Dennis life and is on mine as well.
Since the very first days of this diagnosis, we have prayed that God will be honored and glorified in our lives and our walk with Him. You will see as at our best and at our worst as we go through this but we pray that you will see Christ in us.
Peace – please pray for all of us that we will know the peace that comes from God alone.
Healing – please pray for complete elimination of any remaining cancer cells.
Brooke – please pray for Brooke as she processes through all the things that have happened in her life this year.