Good afternoon, friends and family. It's been a while since I posted an update ~ so sorry if anyone was worried. I wanted to let you all know how things are going with dad. He is off treatment this week (he has one week that he doesn't receive Taxol or Cyramza), but the last tumor marker result had dropped a couple of points about a month ago, which means it's going in the right direction. He has continued to receive treatments with Taxol and Cyramza. He receives IV fluids for hydration in between treatments which also seems to help prevent any nausea, etc., that he may experience. He has been experiencing higher blood pressure as a result of the Cyramza (most likely) and the doctor has been trying to get him regulated on blood pressure medicine. They increased dosages and just recently added a second blood pressure medication. Thankfully when he went today to receive fluids, his blood pressure was normal. It's the first "normal" blood pressure reading he's had at weekly appointment since July 21, so we are thankful for that. We also think that may have helped with headaches he was experiencing because those have not been as frequent either and may have been due in part to higher blood pressure. His white blood cell counts are a little low, which is par for the course while on chemo.
Dad continues to work around the house, doing house projects, and living as much of a normal life as possible. He works when he can with some of his clients and he has also been helping Darius, who has gone into the life insurance business working for the same company as my dad. His neuropathy has gotten worse with the second line chemo treatment, so the doctor just put him on another medication to help with that. Occasionally he experiences nausea and slight stomach pain and has a bad night/sleepy days, but all in all he has been doing well. His weight continues to remain between 170 and 180 and he hasn't had the same taste issues he did with 1st line chemo, so we are thankful he is still able to eat.
About two to three weeks ago a friend of his, Eddie, came down to help him with some house projects. I had taken the day off work and was running errands, so I met up with he and Eddie in Clearwater at a restaurant so he could introduce me. They had finished their meal and were in the parking lot. As I drove up I noticed dad was talking to someone in the parking lot whom I didn't know, and the young man looked a little rough around the edges. For anyone who knows anything about Clearwater/Largo Road, it's not always the safest area to be hanging around, and this young man looked like he had been down on his luck. I introduced myself to Eddie and we had a great conversation while dad was on the other side of the car talking to this young man. I glanced out of the corner of my eye after talking to Eddie for a bit, and I noticed dad praying with this young man on the other side of the car. Shortly after, dad walked the young man over to introduce him to me and Eddie. He asked the young man to tell us what he had just done, and he said he had just prayed with my dad and asked Jesus to come into his heart and save him. Apparently my dad had shared his faith with him and witnessed to him right there in the parking lot. The young man had approached my dad asking for bus money to get back to St. Petersburg, and my dad saw it as one of his "God moments". I don't even know if my dad shared with him the fact he is fighting to live every day or not, but it touched me and it was a great reminder of what life is about, helping others and sharing faith and love no matter what others may be experiencing.
For those of you who have been praying for my uncle Tommy, dad's brother, he passed away in Mississippi on Monday, September 29. He was 72 years old. You may remember some of the photos I posted of him and dad together on the photos page. He had been battling his own form of cancer of the blood and had been receiving transfusions for quite some time. His body couldn't handle it anymore and he is no longer suffering. We know where he is now, with my grandfather and grandmother (dad's parents) and my other two uncles, Gary and Glen, his two brothers. Services are pending for my uncle Tommy at this time, but when the services are scheduled, I'd ask you all to pray for good timing regarding dad's treatments and how he is feeling because I know he will want to go to Mississippi and help with any arrangements and be there for Tommy's wife and children.
October 2 was my son, Jacob's, 17th birthday. On a personal note, I am so incredibly thankful to have my dad here another year to see my son turn 17. It really meant so much to me. We owe all the glory to God for how much he has blessed our family with the gift of time with dad.
I'd ask for you all to please continue for favorable test results in reference to the tumor marker, upcoming scans and endoscope. We really are not sure if the chemo is working as it is too soon to tell, but we are hopeful it is and are holding on to faith that God will take care of dad and us. Hopefully we will be blessed with many more years together!
PS - While I'm not hosting an official walk this year, I would ask you all to consider purchasing a shirt and awareness packet from No Stomach For Cancer to raise funds/awareness for stomach cancer research. November is Stomach Cancer Awareness month, and it would mean so much to me and my family if you would consider purchasing/donating to a cause we hold near and dear to our hearts..in honor of dad and others fighting as well as those who have earned their wings. The link is posted below... http://www.nostomachforcancer.org/2014-walk