Journal entry by Joan Stromberg

Happy Feast of St. Therese, the Little Flower! She is one of my favorite saints and one that I've called on to pray for Bob and his healing.

Since the last update, we have had a few bumps along the road. The three targeted therapies that Bob was scheduled for were not approved by the insurance company. It is a fairly new and still in testing phase therapy, although with really good preliminary results. The appeal for the drug therapy was also denied. Fortunately, we have a great team at University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center and their personal appeal by our doctors led to the approval of the drugs, which run about $25,000/month. Bob had his first treatment on September 20. There was a risk of a very severe rash and other complications and side effects from the targeted therapies. Since Bob had a year of six different chemo drugs with minimal side effects, we didn't think much of it. Of course he could handle it! 
The day of the treatment, we were scheduled to go to Kansas to visit Theresa at Benedictine College for family weekend. The treatment is infused in Lexington, about 1.5 hours away from home. We hoped that we could get out of there by early afternoon so we could hook up the camper and get to Kansas before midnight. Unfortunately, Bob had an allergic reaction to the infusion and we had to stay and get that under control. We felt it was still important to be in Kansas with Theresa for family weekend, and we had reservations in Kansas, so we left KY at 4 pm and arrived in KS about 1 am. But we had a great weekend and so much fun and family time!
Bob began to get a rash on Thursday. He called the specialist and got a prescription to control the rash. Over the next few days, it got worse and worse. It encompassed his head, scalp, neck upper torso, even his ears. The rash looked liked really bad acne, like a blistering sunburn over his face, neck and scalp. Bob couldn't sleep at night, was running a fever, and very uncomfortable. 
We went to the specialist today and got a few more prescriptions to control the rash. He suggested that we move his next treatment from this Friday to next week. Hopefully, the medications will have a chance to relieve Bob's discomfort before the next treatment. 
The good news is that when patients get this kind of rash during this specific treatment, it typically means that the treatment is effective in stopping the mutations that cause the cancer cells to grow so out of control.
So, if we can get through this, perhaps the next scan won't be as bad as the last few.
To that end, we still hope to make a pilgrimage to New Orleans this weekend for the Feast of Blessed Francis Seelos Oct. 5. I wrote a book about Blessed Francis (Willy Finds Victory), and hope to ask his prayers to Our Savior to heal Bob. Please continue to pray for Bob's healing. and thank you so much for all past prayers. It has been a couple of trying weeks and your prayers are the only way we've gotten through it. God bless you all!
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