I want to start by saying a huge THANK YOU and sending hugs to everyone who has sent me an encouraging message over the past few days. I also want to thank EVERYONE who has been and continues to keep my family in your prayers!! I have not responded to any of the messages yet and I didn't want anyone to think that your encouragement has gone unappreciated--I have loved reading all of them and could not be more grateful for all of your support. We've just had a rough week, and the hits keep coming. That being said, there's more to update about on dad.
I'll start by telling you what the plan was as of this past Thursday. They had decided to hit the spots in dad's elbow with radiation 5 days a week; so, a special "brace" was made so that it could be taken on and off for easy access to the elbow. They also decided that dad would have gallbladder surgery this Monday (tomorow) because of some large gallstones that had been found: the hope being that this would alleviate some of dad's GI issues and let him eat and digest with a little less trouble. He would rest Tuesday, and have a scope (EGD) done on Wednesday to look at the spot in the esophagus. They wanted to see if the spot in the esophagus was healing (this would be a huge YAY) or if it was growing or not changing at all. Then they would make a plan based on those results. So it was going to be a rough upcoming week, but there was a plan.
THEN, the insurance finally approved another PET scan, after denying it initially, so we could get a global picture of what was going on in dad's body. The scan took place on Thursday. We got results on Friday, and they weren't good. Not only was the spot in the esophagus NOT healing, but there were more lesions there. They also found metasteses on dad's liver. So it's continuing to attack his body and it's not limiting itself to anywhere in particular. They still don't really know where the primary lesion is which is more frustrating than any of us can put into words. So all of the plans changed. Everything is being put on hold and dad is being admitted to the hospital tomorrow morning. He will stay there through Thursday or Friday and have continuous chemo using 4 drugs instead of just the 1 they were using.
It was a huge blow to everyone, especially dad, and it was compounded by dad having a not so great week at work. Without going into details, some things happened at work and the higher-ups weren't overly understanding or supportive. And there's a lot of unknowns about how much dad will be able to work over the next few weeks/months and this is creating a MASSIVE financial strain on mom and dad.
So, David and I decided about 5:30 on Friday to drive to lubbock for a quick trip. Dad had the weekend off (after working overnight at the ER at Lubbock's Heart Hospital on Friday) and Mary Kate was also off. So we were able to spend some time just hanging out. Dad was in good spirits, but I can tell this is all starting to wear on him. His silly, joking nature was still there, but it was interrupted by moments of weariness and fatigue. (One of my favorite one-liners from dad this weekend: Me:"One of my friends is just really freaked out about the whole process of giving birth." Dad: "Yeah, me too. That's why I made mom do it.")
So right now, as everything stands, there are a lot of unknowns. In fact, almost everything is unknown except what is happening this week. I'm sure it will be a hard week on dad: physically draining, emotionally exhausting, and just overall not feeling well. It will also be hard on mom because I know her, and she will take it all on herself too and she won't leave dad's side. We need this treatment to ravage the cancer growing in dad's body. We know and believe that our God is mighty to heal and we are anticipating a cancer-free dad. Please continue to cover mom and dad in prayer. Pray for healing, strength, and for the extraneous stress of the future (especially financially) to be lifted off of them. Thank you so much!! In the words of dad, "the ante has been upped" and we are preparing for battle.