Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Some Changes

Changes with Dennis

I haven't written much recently but not because nothing was happening.  I just haven't known how to put into words what we have been observing.  Basically we don't know a lot but have observed some things.

Last week Dennis had a day where he was struggling with finding the right words.  He also was having a hard time using the phone.  After consulting with his doctor, it was decided that Dennis should start a medication for swelling.  He was on this medication after surgery but had been weaned off of it and has done fine without out. Decadron, the medication he is using, is very commonly used in brain cancer and usually helps the person feel much better and have more energy. Along with the decadron, he is on a medication to keep his stomach from being upset because of the decadron.  He also is taking a medication to prevent thrush, a mouth problem that can come from decadron.  Dennis has been on these medications for about a week and he is doing better with words and has not had any problems with tasks.  However, he is extremely fatigued.  He has struggled with fatigue all along but this is different.  Before, he would be ok for a few hours and then need a nap but be refreshed by it.  At this point, he is fatigued all of the time.  This morning when he got up he felt better but within a very short period of time was tired again.  We have emailed his care team and they suggested it could be from the medication he is taking for his stomach and they are looking into another option to see if that helps.

We will not know the cause of these changes until the next MRI which is schedule for April 11.  It could be coming from a number of different things.  It could be swelling happening in his brain which is common with brain cancer.  The fact that the decadron helped leads me to believe that this is at least part of the problem.  It could be that his brain has shifted some due to the tumor or it could be that the tumor is progressing.

How to Pray

Please keep Dennis in your prayer that the fatigue will get better.  The fatigue is discouraging for him as he wants to be able to do things but is so often overwhelmed with fatigue.  Also, pray that his doctor can come up with a simple solution.  And mostly, pray that this is not tumor growth.

We continue to pray for complete healing and restoration.  While at the same time, praying for grace and strength for whatever is ahead of us.  We believe and know that God has a plan in this and will do what is best.  My heart aches as I walk this journey with Dennis but we trust in God's provision, wisdom and blessing along this path.

A Recent Picture

This past weekend Dennis rested up so we could go to a dinner theater to see Mary Poppins with Brooklyn and our friends George and Nancy Petak.  He was very tired but because most of the event required little physical activity, he was able to go.  When we got home he was exhausted.


  1. I know that April 11 feels so awfully far away. I am praying for his body to be healed. Please know the warriors are praying over Dennis!

  2. Nancy and I had a great time at The Fireside with Mary Poppins and you guys! Also, very happy to see Dennis put his expert coaching abilities on display to help Bo bring in a Badger basketball victory Saturday night -- heading for the Sweet Sixteen in the tourney! Way to go, Coach Hierl!!
    Praying with you and many others for complete healing and restoration,
    George and Nancy

  3. I have prayed for everything you have asked us to. Blessings