At the time of my last blog post, Dan had had his follow-up MRI to check on the effectiveness of the February radiation and while the results of that procedure were excellent, there were two new small tumors that needed to be dealt with. We had been told that on May 25th he would have the next stereotactic radiographic surgery on his brain. Then the office called and said they had an earlier opening and his "procedure" would be moved up to May 18th.
Well, there was some miscommunication from the doctor's office and when we went, expecting the procedure to be done, they were merely doing a high definition CT scan which they merge with the MRI in order to get a holographic image of his brain from which to plot the angle of "attack" of the radiation. We have found this aspect of frequent medical treatments the most frustrating and stressful of this journey.
The actual procedure was, in fact, still on May 25.
On that day we arrived at the correct time of our appointment only to be told the neurosurgeon had had an emergency surgery and our procedure would be 2 1/2 hours later. I let them know that they should have given us a call. This office is usually very helpful and were apologetic. We were able to get one errand done in between and returned at the new time, only to wait another hour. sigh. Such is the life of folks dependent on frequent medical treatments. I was grateful for Sudoku books and for the guest wifi in the waiting room. But mostly, we are grateful for this miraculous technology that has been so effective in treating these small tumors with no collateral damage.
The following day we left early in the morning for Florida for a family reunion. My sister, Nancy, was in the states for meetings at her mission headquarters in Wheaton, IL and really wanted our whole family to get together. We were able to trade some of our timeshare points for a condo nearby and spent the week near Mom in Pompano Beach. The following photos were taken at a local Cracker Barrel where we all got together for breakfast one morning.
My sister, Sue, who almost always has a smile to share.
My brother Jim, sister Sharon and sister-in-law Alyca….deep in conversation.
Closest to farthest…..brother-in-law Phil, brother Jim, Mom and Dan
My sister Nancy and brother-in-law John (our official photographer). John did a MUCH better job than I did documenting this
event. I'm looking forward to seeing all of his photos.
I know Mom really enjoyed having all of her children around her but I think it wore her out, too. I'm beginning to understand that phenomenon.
After our time together with family, we drove back to Cincinnati to unpack, repack for NY, pick up our dog and head to NY. We drove home on a Monday (yes…all 1100 miles in one day!)
By Thurs., we were on our way to upstate NY to open up the cabin and also to attend a wedding. Our time there was pretty short but b/c of the wedding, we got to see a lot of friends quickly. Being up there before the crush of summer visitors also gave us a chance to get a lot of chores done on the cabin in a short amount of time. The following Tues. we packed up again and headed back to Cincinnati.
We had to come back to OH for Dan to get his next schedule of scans (CT of the rest of his body and bone scan). He had been having elevated back pain and I have to admit that I was a bit more anxious about these scans than I have been for awhile. I had to keep reminding myself of all that God has brought us through and that He is STILL trustworthy, regardless of our circumstances. I am finally "getting" why God had to keep telling the Israelites to REMEMBER. We all forget so very quickly.
He had his scans on a Friday and came home with the written reports. IF you have ever tried to read a radiologist's report, you know they are not all that easy to clearly understand. We are getting better at it, but this time there was a comment we did not understand and were a little concerned about. That same afternoon, while we were out, his oncologist called to tell us the scans looked good. Since we were not there to speak with him, we didn't get to ask him out that one comment but his call reassured us somewhat.
The next Tues. Dan had an appt. to see the oncologist and to get another injection of the bone-strengthening drug he gets inter venously. He quickly answered our concerns and I could tell he was very happy with the scan results. (So are WE!!) We were given the green light to stay in NY for the summer. YAY!!
We are praising God that both of his scans looked very good and at the same time are reminded that God's grace is sufficient for when scans are not good, just as it is when they are good. It is good to have the fellowship of other believers to remind us and encourage us along the way!! We are so grateful for each of you!
So now the summer is in full swing. We are in NY to stay (Lord willing) until Oct. with the exception of one or two short side trips. When we came this time, our 3 grandchildren accompanied us. Morgan and Emma are at Camp Tapawingo this week and Matthew is "camping out" with Mimi and PopPop.
Playing Dominos with Mimi and PopPop at the cabin.
Morgan, Emma and Mimi on the boat taking us to Tapawingo Island.
Emma as an "OKIE", ready to take her swim test.
Morgan getting settled into Comanche Cabin.
On Monday nights COTW has a carnival for the families. Matt had a lot of fun there. This was just one of the fun things he
tried last night.
When PopPop and Matthew went upstairs to play air hockey, I took a walk down by the beach.
The cloudy sky was evidence of the cold front moving in. It felt more like a November evening than one in June…it was 54 out, but still beautiful.
Through all the car rides and the cabin prep and the medical tests and doctors' visits and the playing with grandkids, Dan has done super well. He still has some back pain but we think it is from damage done by the disease earlier and/or the various chemo treatments. So far he is able to manage it with Tylenol. He truly is a walking miracle.
Camp of the Woods is now open so my volunteering there begins and we are soon to embark on our first observation training at the Ministry Center. Yesterday I picked up my sister, Nancy, from the Syracuse airport and today Tom and Karla arrive with another family. They will all be here through next week. The girls come back from Tapawingo on Sat. morning. So we will have a houseful!
We are so grateful that God has given us another summer of enjoying His beautiful creation with family and friends, the opportunity to hear wonderful teaching at Camp of the Woods and at The Adirondack Bible Chapel and the privilege of serving Him in small ways wherever we can.
As it stands right now, Dan will make a short trip back in mid-September for his next round of scans and the MRI to check the effectiveness of this last stereotactic radiographic surgery. I'm hoping to not have much to tell you between now and then other than happy posts about our summer activities.
Thank you to each and every one, for partnering with us in prayer and encouragement. We keep trying to adequately express our thanks
and I know we aren't even coming close to really being able to tell you how much it means to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Jodee and Dan