No plans of surgery to remove the tumor yet. While we know that the road ahead will still be rough going, we are rejoicing over each bit of progress. No swelling in his hands this time, and his appetite has been good. He went to church last Sunday and assisted in the blessing of his new little nephew, Noah. Our family was all there and it was a happy time! (We won't dwell on the part when he had to leave the meeting and throw up in bushes...:)
Derek is dealing with some difficult side effects (this time the mouth/digestive sores have revisited, along with pain on his feet), but he quietly deals with the discomfort and carries on the best he can. We have found that the hardest "side effects" are the emotional ones: watching friends go to school, train for marathons, etc. and not be able to join them. For those of us who are older, a year goes by too quickly, but for a 21 year old, the road can be long and lonely.
We are so grateful for your sacrifices: visits, temple attendance/prayer, and your own individual and family prayers. They are making a difference, not only in Derek's health, but in our entire family's emotional well-being .