Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Quick Update

Dennis is doing ok since ending treatments.  He still is battling extreme fatigue, for instance, this morning he got up and seemed to be doing ok.  He got ready for the day and we met some friends for lunch.  We hadn't even gotten our food and he was exhausted.  We enjoyed the time with friends but he went to bed as soon as we got home.  He has been sleeping for several hours.

In addition, he is really struggling with how confined he is because he is not allowed to drive.  He doesn't have the energy to use a bike for any distance and he is concerned about his balance too.  Unless someone comes to pick him up and take him someplace, he really is stuck at home.  We are considering an electric bike for him to use this summer.  We've looked at them online but would like to get to some bike shops and see if they have them in stock.  It is highly doubtful that his doctor will let him drive anytime soon.  This doctor is extremely cautious about letting patients with this type of cancer drive as the possibility of regrowth is so high and even though Dennis has never had a seizure, they are very common with brain tumors.  It makes sense but it does not change the fact that being stuck at home is hard.  Because we live outside of the city limits in a township, taxis are expensive too but it is one way to get out when he wants to.

During spring break we were able to get away.  Because we waited for the MRI results before deciding on a vacation, we had about a week to prepare.  We originally had hoped to go to Disney but realized there was no way Dennis could handle a trip there.  It would have worn him out too quickly.  We considered Chicago but again, way to much walking. We settled on Branson, MO.  It was a great choice.  We booked at the last minute and got a great cabin to stay in at a very good price.  This allowed us to sleep in and make breakfast in the cabin.  We also usually ate supper at the cabin as well.  We went to several shows and this worked well for Dennis as he didn't have to exert a lot of energy.  On the way down we stopped in St. Louis and went up into the Arch.  We got home just before a major snow storm went through MO and IL.  We were so blessed to be able to do this vacation. We got our show tickets at a discount and drove our Prius down.  I think we only filled up three or four times and we did over 1400 miles.  Several friends had given us gifts that helped us be able to do this trip.  It is important to build these family memories while Dennis is doing well.  We never know what news the next MRI will bring.

Dennis and Brooke at the Arch in St. Louis.

At the top of the Arch.

Dennis and Brooke looking out from the Arch.

Brooke in front of our cabin.  It is a duplex so we stayed in the left side of it.

Dennis, Brooke and King Kong in Branson, MO
We had a few inches of snow while we were in Branson.
Dennis' next MRI will be at the end of April.  Please continue to pray that this cancer does not come back.  Also, pray for him as he continues to adjust to this new "normal".  We are in the process of being reviewed for his disability and would appreciate your continued prayers that this goes through smoothly.  With the fatigue and other word and memory issues he is unable to work.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dennis' Doctor Appointment - What's Ahead

As I said in an earlier post, the MRI looked good.  We are very thankful for another good MRI. Each time these are done, there is always the possibility that they will find some regrowth. Hearing it looks good always brings a sense of relief.

So, for the first time in a very long time, Dennis will not be heading to the hospital twice a week.  He will go in every four weeks to have the port cleaned out.  The port is used to draw blood when needed, deliver IV medications and the medication they use during the MRI.  If it is not used all the time, it has be be flushed at least once a month.  On April 30th he will have an MRI and we will see the doctor May 1st.  He will have MRIs every eight weeks.  Unless we would notice a change, those are the only times he will have to go into the hospital.

From the beginning of this, Dennis had hopped that once he was off of the medication that he would have less symptoms and more stamina.  That is not proving to be the case.  We discussed this with the doctor today.  It has also been Dennis' hope that he would be able to get back to work but that is also looking more doubtful.  Unless his stamina would improve and some of the other symptoms go away, it is unlikely that he will return to work, at least not right now.  He will have to have his long-term disability reviewed in the weeks ahead so please pray that goes well.

We continue to see God's hand at work in our lives.  Each time we have milestones in this journey, we know your prayers are being answered.  Please keep praying for no regrowth.

Clear MRI

The doctor just called and the MRI is clear.  We will meet with him later today to discuss what happens from this point forward.  I'll post more after that meeting.  We wanted you to know that the MRI is clear.  God is working, please keep praying.