Journal

Journal entry by Rick Stoudt

After a difficult week and the guidance of our team of doctors, Rick has made the decision to transition to hospice care and stop chemotherapy.

Wednesday night Rick had two grand mal seizures. After a harrowing trip to the ER in the torrential rain, scans showed that there was bleeding in the tumor.  An MRI that night showed tumor growth since our most recent scan a month ago, despite having an additional chemotherapy during that time.  At home prior to and since this event, Rick is quiet and sleeping a lot. He has been struggling with normal activities.  Despite knowing in my gut he has been getting worse, it did not make hearing the doctor's recommendation any easier.

He still makes his sarcastic comments when you least expect them.

We have been grateful for all of the support from family and friends: meals, visits, rides and a shoulder to lean on. Rick's Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jim have been his regular chauffeurs and companions since school started, and have kept us supplied with Mary Ann's donuts. His friend Meg has been his walking and texting buddy, and has kept him laughing. I am fortunate to be able to take a paid leave from work starting last week so that I can be home with him.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers over the past year. It has meant a lot to the both of us.

Love, Tina
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Journal entry by Rick Stoudt

Met with oncologist today, last weeks MRI showed more growth, but still feel pretty good, just a lot less energy. Abby starts at Pitt in a couple days and Caitlin will be playing tennis for Northampton again. I still swim most days to get some activity.

Journal entry by Rick Stoudt

Saw radiation oncologist today. He was amazed how well I am doing physically. However, short term memory is shot. Doesn’t think it is  a good idea that I go on walks alone around neighborhood. Did walk home from barber earlier this week and could definitely see myself getting lost. But GPS is a wonderful thing. Maybe I should get a tattoo of my address.  I am still on what is considered low dose steroids, so there is room to maneuver if the time comes.

Journal entry by Rick Stoudt

The steroids have stabilized me to my new normal. Function well in open space. Feel boxed in in tighter spaces and inside. Feel best in the pool there there is no need for balance. Am able to do the wash and cut the grass. Hardest part is maintaining straight lines when I overlap rows.My internal calendar is shot. Tina is probably sick of me asking what day of the week is it? Physically I feel pretty good, but my memory struggles to know where I am even in familiar places

Journal entry by Rick Stoudt

Had my monthly appointment with my oncologist yesterday. Had some bouts with headaches and balance last week and they upped my steroid which helped tremendously.The plan is to stay on the increased dose going forward. I start another round of chemo tonite. I have been very tolerable of it so far. So if I stay the same we would continue the same monthly regimen of 5 days on chemo pill, 23 days off for an additional 6 months after I finish the final cycle of the original treatment plan next month. I am trying to stay active walking in the neighborhood. I am also cutting the grass and have the pool open. Still a little cold but I still go in.

Journal entry by Rick Stoudt

Met with my radiation oncologist yesterday and he agreed that the last MRI’s showed no significant changes. This is good. We are in the process of finalizing my disability retirement with the Post Office.My hematology oncologist has determined my left side vision issues are static and will not improve. Both doctors agree that I look good and healthy and staying active and doing things I enjoy will go a long way in helping my long term outlook.

Journal entry by Rick Stoudt

No changes. MRI showed no changes to the tumor since last months. I will now go 2 months until the next one. However she would not clear me to drive. So my wishful thinking of returning to work are still on hold.We will take the good news that the tumor hasn’t changed and continue to walk to keep the body strong. 

Journal entry by Maggie Fehrman

If you haven't heard, Rick, is in the hospital.  After some strange symptoms this week, his wife, Tina, took him to the ER last night.  Scans revealed a tumor in Rick's brain.  Rick will be undergoing surgery tomorrow to remove the tumor.  We will post updates as we receive them. For now, please keep Rick and his, wife, and their two daughters in your thoughts and prayers.
Rick’s Story

Site created on October 7, 2018

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