Friday, March 21, 2008

One Down....

Fred had his first chemo treatment today and it went well. He started some new pain medication yesterday that is making him much more comfortable. I was the one that came home and took a nap this afternoon. He was the Energizer Bunny, heading off to the store as soon as we got home. He is napping now for a few minutes before supper.

Tonight I am going to a Good Friday service at church. It is hard to believe that Easter Weekend is here already.

Thanks for all your cards, thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We have a least for now. Fred will start chemo treatments here in Anchorage on Friday morning and will have a treatment every 3 weeks. Tomorrow morning we go in for chemo training (that sounds like a military term). His new doctor here will be working with our DC doctors, so that he will still be qualified for the upcoming drug trials there. We both slept so hard last night, I think it was because the decision making pressure was off.

It is a very pretty morning here. Today is the spring equinox, that means from now to the fall equinox in September we have more daylight than darkness. All the sunshine lately is great but it sure makes the dirty winter windows and cobwebs show up. Guess if I am home maybe we can get around to getting some cleaning done. I wonder how good Nick is at washing windows?

Our little granddaughter, Elizabeth, is having her tonsils out this morning. She called me last night to ask me about when I had mine out. For me it was a party with ice cream. My hospital bed was in the hall because they were out of rooms. I had a steady stream of people to visit with and all the ice cream I wanted. I was 6 years old not 3. It is amazing how much I remember about that experience and I can't remember what I left across the room 5 minutes ago. Papa and I pray for your speedy recovery, Lizzy.

This weekend is Misty and Peters 7th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! You know what Dad always says, "This is what memories are made of." Lizzy should be feeling better soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Unknown Territory

These past days we have spent gathering information from doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. There is not manual or check list to follow for this process. We just keep asking questions and searching for answers about where and how we should go about the next phase of Fred's treatment.

We are so blessed to have so many doctors and staff willing to help us along this pathway through this unknown territory. We have thought we were close to making decisions several times this week only to find out we did not have the whole picture yet.

Today it looks like we may be able to get all Fred's east coast doctors and his doctors here to work together and come up with a plan for chemo that he can be treated with here in Alaska. Everyone is concerned about the toll it takes on him to travel back and forth from coast to coast.

Tuesday we meet with more doctors here to see what they can offer. A decision should be made and treatment started this week. Just remember, at this point everything is subject to change.

Please pray for us as we work through these decisions this week. May God be praised.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Treatment Changes

I know we are a little slow getting you all brought up to date. Bad news is always a little to harder to share, so I will just get that out of the way first.

Let me review Fred's cancer over the past 8 months. In July, tests showed 2 cancer spots, one on his pelvic bone and one on his spine. We had the spine treated with radiation because it was pressing on his sciatic nerve and causing a lot of pain, plus we did not want any permanent damage to those nerves.

In September, Fred officially started the new vaccine trial. On his second dose, in October, he had a drug reaction that caused his liver enzymes to be elevated for 10 weeks. He did not have the vaccine during that time.

In January, he was able to continue with the trial and his PSA numbers were starting to rise fast.

Here we are in March. Fred had all the body scans and blood work done that we expected. We knew his PSA has been going up considerably faster in recent weeks and expected some new cancer activity. The scans showed 3 new cancer spots on his bones, two on his skull and one one his ribs. Because of these latest developments, Fred has been taken off this trial.

All the doctors that we have worked with at NIH and NNMC agree that chemo therapy should be our next step. We have calls into several more doctors and medical facilities gathering information so that we can make a decisions on a treatment plan soon. Please pray for us as we work through this information and make these decisions.

We were so blessed to have Shane travel with us last week. I think that he got a pretty good picture of what our lifestyle has been most of these last 4 years. It was fun to introduce him to all our Doctors and the community of people that are part of our DC life. (Thanks again, son.) We were sorry he missed meeting Skip and Sandi as they were out of town on vacation.

In the meantime, we are at home enjoying feeding the birds, feeding the fire and adjusting to the Alaska time zone.