Monday, June 24, 2013

Sing with us, "On the Road Again!"

We’re back on the road that brings us closer and closer to Uganda!  

Today is the first day of the second round of chemotherapy treatment. The good news is that it is happening one full week earlier than we had expected. A cycle is targeted at one week of chemo followed by three weeks of recovery before starting again. Geoff’s first cycle was only three weeks in total!  

Flying the flags in Joshua Tree
Unfortunately, the reason we are starting earlier is due to the fact that his counts didn’t drop as low as they wanted the first time. Which probably also contributed to relatively few days of him feeling fairly poor. He felt so well and his counts were strong enough that he was able to spend this past weekend in Joshua Tree with Toby and Kevin and about 65 other father/son groups climbing, flying on the zip line and braving the sweltering heat during hikes in the desert! He hiked three miles on Saturday and took a long walk with me this morning before we left for the doctor’s office.

Kevin, Bruce and Toby on the morning 3-mile hike. The opportunity to go on this trip was given to our family by Bruce who also provided our tents, sleeping bags, and many of the other incidentals needed to effectively camp in the desert!

Kevin was pretty good on the slack line!

So, here we are again in Dr. Vora’s office not sure exactly what to expect of Geoff’s individual reaction as they “hit him harder” this time by upping the doses of his various chemo drugs. As I write, in these past five minutes the first bag has been hung and the process is off and running! Dr. Vora was just in to review Geoff’s progress and discuss any of our questions. He reminded us that the chemo regimen Geoff is receiving typically requires a 5-day in-patient hospital stay. Again this week, we will be in the office today for about six hours receiving numerous infusions. At the end of the infusions today they will send us home with a pump of meds that will continuously infuse until Wednesday. On Wednesday we will return to have a new bag of meds hooked up to the pump and we’ll be on our way home again until Friday when we gladly give them back the pump until round three! Dr. Vora is so encouraging and we are thankful for the blessing of having him coordinate our walk through this medical adventure. We are extremely blessed to experience all of this OUTSIDE of the hospital environment and in the sanctuary of our own home!

The view of our lovely garden from the french doors that lead outside off of our bedroom.

The view of the other side of the garden from the french doors. Geoff can rest with this view to savor.

After this week, the drug effects on Geoff over the following two weeks will be tiredness, bone aches and pains, and a drop of his white cell count to desired levels. At the end of three to four weeks he will have another PET scan to detect any lingering lymphoma. If the PET scan shows NO cancer, then he will have only two more cycles of chemotherapy (finishing in September.) If the PET scan shows some lymphoma remaining then he will have to continue treatments beyond September and through November. Obviously, we desire the PET scan to show NO LYMPHOMA!!!!! Please pray with us for such a result. The PET scan will probably occur around July 19th, but is not yet scheduled for an exact date.
Our hope is to have only four cycles so that we can get back to Uganda before the end of October! 

The kids are at the beach with friends today. Sorry for them, it is the typical “June Gloom” of southern California--overcast and windy. However, I’m sure they will find fun in whatever they are doing. Living cross-culturally has taught us many things, one of which is to strive to find the good in all situations, "sunny" or "cloudy."

As Geoff's hair has slowly been falling out unevenly due to the chemo, we took matters into our own hands and just shaved it all off! The boys joined him in his "minimal hair" look and Acacia cut her long locks off on Saturday and will send them to "Wigs for Kidz"

Kevin is not so sure about it all, but wants to support Dad!
Toby ALWAYS loves his head shaved!

All the "bald heads"

Geoff receives special comfort kisses from Bela because she knows how it feels to lose all the hair!!
Thank you for your prayers for us and for your interest in our lives. We appreciate you all very much!

No comments: