Thursday, February 4, 2016

Day 10 of 42/30

Dad has a vision that he will start a "coffee house devotional space" at the house. He plans to call it the Center for Christian Hope and Discourse Mom took a picture of Karen taking pictures. The past week of radiation and chemotherapy has been fairly uneventful. This is a good thing! Though dad initially has some decreased energy, he has rebounded for the most part. He had some neuropathy pain in his knees and some restless nights. He started some herbal supplements to help with the aches and side effects of the treatment, it seems to helping!

We are also waiting to hear back from Dr. Pandey regarding adding another supplement called Boswellia serrata, also known as frankincense (one of the gifts presented to Jesus!). Studies have shown that frankincense helps decrease cerebral edema is 2/3 's of patients, and it works on different anti-inflammatory pathways than typical meds such as steroids, which cause muscle atrophy and weakness long term. Not to mention they are very painful to withdrawal from. Fortunately, dad is on what's considered to be a very low dose of steroids for this condition. The frankincense would be best if we got it from a compound pharmacy, so once we get the approval, we will check insurance to see if it's something they can help cover.

Last weekend, dad's sister, Paula and Mark made it in town to visit. Mark is able to come every other weekend, so it's great when he comes. Paula is in Atlanta, so whenever she has a chance, she has made it a point to come visit. She is the "caretaker" sister. She has always been the one to make sure she is there for any family member that is sick, so it's nice to be on the receiving end of it.

We are still waiting on the feedback from Dr. Pandey regarding some trials. Sheng, a friend from church, has also offered his expertise regarding some of the mutations. He is a Lukemia researcher at St. Jude, and gave some insight on the importance of some of the mutations with regard to Lukemia treatment. He has done some additional academic research to try to help us narrow some trials for this initial stage, but also will be helpful in case we have to look in to trials for treatment of recurrent tumor. Another good friend of mine has also been so gracious as to offer her help and have her husband look at the mutations as well. Karen's husband Atman also works for St. Jude. It's such a blessing to have that hospital in our city because of the friends that specialize in cancers that work there, and their willingness to lend their skills.

Friday night, Martin (Katherine's fiancé) set up a fire pit and we made smores. Annabelle was mesmerized by the fire and it was warm enough that the pit was complimentary rather than needed for comfort while being outside. Diego came by that night to try his first smore. He became an expert quickly, toasting the graham crackers with chocolate on them, softening the chocolate just enough that it melted around the marshmallow when all the parts were put together.

Dad's long time friend Greg made his way to Memphis for a couple of days this week. He is a pilot and lives in Rhode Island. He brought dad some great salt water taffy, per his request, and hung out for a couple of days. Some of our closest friends have offered to hang out with mom and/or dad while dad is getting his radiation, and Greg was no exception. Dad, of course, had to show him the pyramid/Bass Pro Shop while he was here. I didn't get to see him after that, but I can only imagine they had a good time.

Dad has also had his eyes looked at again by Dr. Diaz at the VA. She seems to think that the loss of periphery vision and difficulty with distance seeing is a result of the optic nerve being compressed by the tumor/swelling. Dad's eyes look good overall and she is having him do some drops to reduce the pressure from the Keppra, and some sort of therapy to work out the rods and cones.

There is a meal sign up if you would like to contribute in that way. If you would like the link to sign up, please email or text mom or me.

Your prayers continue to be powerful as dad is still feeling relatively well and even improving a little. Thank you so much!

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