Dad began radiation therapy last Wednesday, August 20. He'll receive treatment everyday, Monday through Friday, for a total of 20 treatments. With 5 down and 15 to go, he says this is much more manageable than chemotherapy. Each treatment takes only a few minutes (as compared to six hours), and there are no drugs with interesting side effects involved! He's experiencing some fatigue, but so far nothing that impacts his daily activities.
Before starting radiation, Dad was able to travel to Los Angeles to meet his new grandson, Emerson. They hit it off really well and had some long, philosophical discussions. You can see pictures in the gallery.
Dad will finish radiation at the end of September, but his oncologist says no tests or scans will be done until December, allowing the treatment to have its full effect. As always, your prayers and support make a huge difference, and we are all grateful.
Time has passed so quickly since the last update. Dad had a couple of rough weeks following his final round of chemotherapy, but soon regained his energy and started to feel "normal" again! On July 20 he had a follow-up PET scan to determine the results of the chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the scan showed no change since the test taken midway through in April. The oncologist recommended radiation therapy to finish off what the chemo began.
This morning Dad had an appointment with the radiology team to learn what the process will entail. Next week he'll have a CT scan and get fitted for a head and shoulders brace. External radiation treatments will begin in late August, Mondays through Fridays, for three to four weeks. Dad was very relieved to hear that prednisone is not part of the regimen!
While he is disappointed that the chemo didn't do the whole job of eradicating the lymphoma, Dad is encouraged by his oncologists' assurance that the radiation therapy will.
And he is even more encouraged by the arrival of his newest grandson, Emerson Morley, born on July 16. (You can see photos of the newest member of the family--and his cousins, Ronan and Torin--in the photo gallery.) Dad is looking forward to a trip to Los Angeles next week to meet Emerson (and maybe even spend a few minutes with Emerson's parents, Kate and Joe).
Last Thursday was Dad's sixth chemo, the final round of the series that began with his diagnosis in February. [WARNING: Do NOT say anything to Dad like, "Wow, that really went by fast!"...] Once again, everything went well, though each round has left him feeling more fatigued. Otherwise no major complaints.
In August another PET scan will be done to determine what effect the chemo has had and what the next steps will be.
In the meantime, your continued thoughts, prayers, and good wishes are greatly appreciated.
Dad had Round 5 of chemo this past Thursday. Once again everything went well. And once again, he's currently experiencing the usual side effects, which typically subside for him after a few days. There's really no "progress report" since another PET scan won't be conducted until several weeks after the final round--sometime in late July.
For the past couple of weeks between infusions, Dad has been able to go back to work at a fairly regular schedule. He says he's done about as much reading and watched as many movies as he can for awhile, and going back to work certainly makes the time go by more quickly. He promises us he is pacing himself.
Please continue your prayers. It's made a huge difference knowing that so many people are surrounding and supporting Dad--and all of us--with so much faith, hope and love. Thank you.
Yesterday was "hump" day--Dad had his fourth chemo treatment, which puts him past the half-way mark. Everything went well and he was home by mid-afternoon. He also received good news regarding the results of the recent PET scan, which showed a decrease in the area affected by the lymphoma. The doctor says everything is "on target." Another PET scan will be conducted in mid-July, about six weeks after the final round of chemo.
Earlier this week Dad had several visitors. His daughter Kate flew in from Los Angeles to spend a few days. (By the way, she's the one we can all thank for bringing up the beautiful weather!) Then on Tuesday grandsons Ronan and Torin (and their parents) came up from Oregon. They brought along some Superheroes to entertain their Papa. (You can check out their photos in the Gallery.)
As always, Dad wants to thank everyone for their continued thoughts, best wishes and prayers.
Last Thursday Dad had his third round of chemo, and again it went without any hitches. And, once again, the side effects have been pretty manageable. This puts Dad half-way through the planned regimen. He will have another PET scan in a couple of weeks prior to the next round. This will help the oncology team evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment so far.
Dad was able to participate in some of the Holy Week services at St. Anne, as they came at a good point between treatments. It did him good to be back among parishioners again, and he was especially happy to be able to be at the Vigil Service for the celebration of the sacraments with the RCIA group.
Your thoughts, messages and prayers continue to be a source of encouragement and strength to Dad. Thank you!
Dad had a fairly good week following his second round of chemo. He is grieving the loss of his hair (he says he was evidently more attached to it than it was to him!), but says that if that's the worst of the side effects, he's grateful.
In fact, Dad was feeling well enough to go into the parish for a few hours and begin to clear out his inbox after five weeks away. He assures us he isn't overdoing it, and is being careful to pace himself.
Today Dad took his first major outing and joined in the Seattle March for Our Lives--a cause that he considers one of the more important issues facing our country today. He joined in for over half the route. (See photo in the Gallery.)
Yesterday (Thursday, March 15), Ron had round two of his chemotherapy. This was out-patient , and used the port that had been placed earlier in the week. Round two went much better than round one! There was no reaction to the Rituxan, and so the infusion was able to go much more quickly. He was home by early afternoon.
Round 3 of chemo is scheduled for April 5.
Earlier in the week Ron's grandsons came up from Oregon for a visit (they brought their mom and dad along.) Ronan and Torin did a wonderful job of entertaining their Papa for a couple of days and gave him some great advice about having fun and not getting bored. There's a picture of Ronan, Torin and Papa posted.
Again, Dad asked to say thank you to everyone for their prayers and notes. While he's not able to respond to everyone, he wants you to know that he is so grateful for your love and support.
Ron continues to do well following the first round of chemotherapy. Other than a little fatigue and a lot of boredom, he says he feels good and remains in excellent spirits. He's been going for walks and enjoying these last few days of incredible weather.
He spent this morning at Kaiser Permanente having a port placement. This will allow for blood draws as well as the delivery of medications and the chemotherapy without the use of the arm veins. He has his second round of chemo this Thursday, March 15.
Ron asked us to be sure to let everyone know how much he appreciates the messages left here at the CaringBridge site. While he isn't able to respond to all of them, he does read them. Those, and the hearts from the St. Anne School Kindergartners, the pictures from the First Graders, and the cards from the other classes and parishioners, continue to lift his heart. He thanks everyone for their thoughtfulness and for all the prayers!
Ron had a follow-up appointment with his oncologist this morning. Ron has experienced very mild side effects in this first round of chemo, and the doctor said all these were within the norm.
Disappointingly, the results were not yet back on the genetic testing to determine the subtype of NHL. But this will only be used to fine-tune the makeup of the chemotherapy given in future rounds. It will not necessarily impact anything else. If everything continues to go well, Round 2 will happen in two weeks.
Ron wants to be sure everyone knows how much he appreciates all the messages, cards and prayers. On Wednesday St. Anne Parish offered morning Mass for his intention, and after Mass the St. Anne School children and staff gathered to pray the rosary. Thank you! He regrets he isn't able to respond to everyone at this time, but says he thanks God everyday for all of you.
Two weeks ago I began having some health issues, all of which came on very quickly. After a barrage of tests and procedures, last Tuesday the doctors diagnosed my condition as Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I was immediately admitted to the hospital, where further tests have shown the lymphoma to be at stage 4.
As you may know, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a serious—but treatable—form of cancer. But, as one of the doctors here reminds me on a regular basis, “Everyone’s cancer is his own cancer.” In other words, no one can predict whether treatment will be effective, or how effective any treatment will be. With this in mind, I’ve elected to begin the aggressive chemotherapy regimen recommended by the medical team, and to evaluate whether to continue at each stage. This will necessitate my being away from the parish for at least the next two months.
Please be assured that life at St. Anne will continue as normal. I am very grateful to Father Tony and the rest of the Parish Staff who have already stepped forward to ensure that our Masses, ministries and programs will continue as usual.
I’m also grateful to you, the people of St. Anne. We’ve been through a lot together for the past twelve years, and I’m thankful to have such a warm and loving community around me as I face the road ahead.
As I’ve often said in my teaching and reflections, the message of the Cross is not that God will save us from trials and suffering. The message of the Cross is that God’s love is infinitely more powerful than any trial or suffering we will ever face. Let’s pray that through this we may all come to a deeper awareness of God’s presence, God’s love, and God’s mercy in our lives and our community. And, in the end, may we all come to a deeper faith in the power of Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection.
The week before Christmas, Ron went in for his annual physical exam and came home with a glowing report! But in mid-January, he felt a small lump on his shoulder at the base of the neck. When it was still there a week later, Ron returned to his GP who ordered blood tests and a CT scan. The blood work was all good, but the scan showed a large mass surrounding five arteries. A biopsy identified the mass as B-cell Non-Hodgkin (NHL) lymphoma, and Ron was admitted to the oncology unit at Swedish Hospital that afternoon. A PET scan detected lymphoma in the glands of the upper chest and in the bone of the sternum. The first round of chemo was administered the following day.
Ron is home now and has taken a leave from his position as Pastoral Coordinator at St. Anne Parish as he and his doctors consider the next steps. His loved ones, family and friends have surrounded him with all their care, support and encouragement. Ron says he is feeling very peaceful, and is deeply aware of God’s presence and love through the many people who are praying for him. Thank you!
We will use this site to share Ron's updates, and you can write messages of encouragement in return. Please feel free to follow the site in order to keep updated and show your support. Every comment and prayer is appreciated!
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