Today, Abbie, Melody, David and I met with the radiologist Dr. Shrieve. He was a very quiet man and explained what the next part of the protocol would be in trying to rid David of the Deathstar. He informed us that the tumor is a Level 4 Glioblastoma - which we already knew - and that the next part of treatment would involve a radiation and chemotherapy protocol. Radiation will involve 15 minute treatments for five days a week for six weeks - a total of 30 treatments. Along with the radiation he will be taking an oral chemotherapy agent that is very easily tolerated with very little, if any side effects. The radiation will cause some hair loss around the site on his head where the radiation will be targeted and he will probably be very tired - more so towards the end of the treatment, but the doctor thought he would be able to work, but need some rest during the day. A month after the radiation treatments, they will take another MRI to check the effectiveness of the treatment and make further decisions concerning treatment after that. He won't begin radiation for about 2 more weeks - until his surgical scar heals more and after the radiology team puts together a plan for treatment.
David asked the doctor about the long-term outlook. The doctor took a big breath and said that it would all depend on how David responds to the treatment. He said that after all of the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, David was looking at 12 months - maybe 14. The doctor then told us that he had a few patients that had responded extremely well to the treatment and were still alive after 4-5 years. It will just depend on how the cancer David has responds to the treatment.
David continues to sleep and rest about 20 hours out of every day which the doctor said was very normal. He went up to work yesterday for a few minutes before he had the 30 staples removed from his head. The scar is healing nicely and doesn't hurt anymore. We continue to stay with him and watch over him so he doesn't fall, but we sure enjoy his comments and humor when we are sitting by him just talking.
Amy went back to Seattle yesterday for 1 week to do some work at her office. We really miss her!Melody flew in yesterday to stay for a week while her students are off on spring break. Thank you so much, Mel! And Abbie just stays by her Dad's side, takes him for walks, puts his shoes off and on and speaks comforting and reassuring words to David. I would not be able to survive this without my children coming and supporting me. This past weekend, the boys and their families came up and we laughed and played with the grandkids and had a wonderful time. Even though David doesn't participate much with us, he daily asks, "Will I get to see the little boys today?" I know how much he loves these little boys and wishes so much he could play with them more. I have the best family in the world!
My Bishop has often encouraged our ward to write questions down about our lives or the things we are struggling with before Conference and then listen for the answers because they will come. This past Conference was totally devoted to my list of worries and concerns - although I am already married, pay my tithing and my bedlam-ites have grown up! Thanks be to my gracious Heavenly Father, a loving and forgiving Saviour and the prophets on the earth today! We are so very, very blessed. Even during this difficult time for our family, there is peace and our faith is secure.
Please continue to pray for David and his ability to get through this next series of treatments. We love you all.