Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb 20, 2010

Derek just arrived home this afternoon from a week long session at PCMC (4 down, 10 to go). He is doing fairly well. The swelling in his hands has gone down, and he is able to eat. He lost 13 lbs., but gained 4 back, so Mom is loading his food with extra calories to keep up the momentum. (Cream for Derek, skim milk for the rest of us). A few days after being at the hospital, he was told that he was switching rooms. They had lots of patients coming in who were higher priority. Since they only had 30 rooms left for 35 new patients, Derek was moved to what the nurses called the "projects", one of the exam rooms in a doctor's office. He didn't care. He made friends with a girl next door who was battling leukemia, and whose treatments were much harder than his.
The hardest part of this 5 day treatment is that the chemo drugs cause hallucinations, so Derek just sleeps most of the time. Dad was worried about him, so one night he just slept in a chair in Derek's room. That was a hard night, so the next night he decided to trust that Derek would be taken care of.
People ask us when we will know when the cancer is gone, and when they will do more tests to know the condition of the tumor. We were told that they would do more tests on that within the month. When he goes in again, they will do an EKG to check his heart.  We will know more then.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

Thanks to all of you who included Derek in your last fast. He was able to attend sacrament meeting this past Sunday.
Dave took him to PCMC yesterday where he began his 4th chemo treatment. They'll be back on Monday or Tuesday. We're praying that he doesn't experience the side effects that happened as a result of last treatment. His hands are much better, and the mouth/digestive tract sores are healing. We don't want to go through that again! (It could be worse, I know, but we want the best).
Another tender mercy: since Derek was sent home last week to "heal" (no chemo treatment), his blood count went as high as it's ever been. During this time, members of our family had the flu. If Derek had had the chemo treatment as scheduled, this flu would have come at the time when his immunity was zero.
Our hearts go out to Eric Gray, who is going through another kind of cancer. He's only 16, and a great kid.

Friday, February 12, 2010

February 11, 2010

Dad took Derek to PCMC on Monday to test whether his kidneys had suffered any damage. The test came back favorable-they look fine. After the test, Derek met with the oncologist to begin the next chemo treatment. (This would be 5 days) After looking him over, Dr. Wright decided to postpone this treatment for another week to give his body a chance to heal. His hands have been swollen (Derek says they feel burned from the inside) so that he can't use them much. Also, his mouth and throat are covered with mouth sores, and throughout his digestive system, making it difficult to eat. They returned home on Wednesday and he has been feeling a little better each day.
On the bright side, his immunity level is high right now. He is able to attend CHS ball games and watch Alan play. As usual, Derek is upbeat. When he feels the mood in our home getting too somber, he gets us all laughing again. He doesn't like Mom and Dad to worry. Thanks for the empathy you show us and for your faith and prayers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010

Thank you for the comments you leave on this blog, and for the concern you express when we meet. Thanks, especially, for the faith you are exercising through prayers and temple visits.
We would appreciate it if you would add Derek to your fasting again this Sunday.
His hands have swollen so much that they are painful to the touch, and he can't bend his fingers. His mouth and throat are also full of sores, making it painful to swallow. Derek goes up for another treatment on Tuesday. We're not sure we want him to go through another treatment while he is dealing with these side effects. Thank you all for standing by us!

Thanks to Derek's mission for sending him such a meaningful gift! (The missionaries in his Australian mission all wrote personal messages, and Pres. and Sis. Lee compiled it into a book). Derek spent hours pouring over the pages and reliving memories of the wonderful people he served with for two years. President and Sister Lee, if you are reading this, please know that we are so grateful for your continued concern for Derek. It amazes us that, even though he was released from his mission, he was not released from your hearts. You continue to make a huge impact on his life.