Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 23, 2010

Derek received his last radiation treatment on Wednesday and is home for a week. It's been six weeks since he's been gone, and we're thrilled to have him home again.
Little did we know how hard radiation would be on his stomach. We figure it is because of the area being radiated, but it has reeked havoc on his stomach lining, so that he still can't eat. He is able to drink some water, but continues to be "fed" through the IV. The last time he ate real food was about 2 weeks ago, and will likely have to eat this way for another week or two, depending on how quickly his stomach heals. He spent the evening with a group of friends Friday and had to carry his "survival kit" (backpack of IV fluids) with him. We are so thankful for the faithful and understanding friends he has! He looks forward to being with them, and they have continued to stand by him whenever they (and he) are able.

He also underwent his 9th chemo treatment while at PCMC last week. (Five more to go, which may take until the end of the year because of delays from the dreaded side effects). At least he'll be able to eat again (we're hoping soon!) His beautiful dark eyebrows and eyelashes are almost gone and he is incredibly skinny, but he has what is most important: a humble and trusting heart, and an optimistic attitude.

Thanks to all of you who continue to care about and pray for Derek, who put his name in the temple whenever you attend, and who offer your help and service. We can't adequately express our gratitude for all your kindnesses. We love you.


  1. We are so glad Derek is home again and that he survived the radiation treatments. Eating real food is one thing that we all take for granted; hope his stomach will heal soon. We met a neighbor of yours at the Cedar City cannery a couple of weeks ago. I don't remember his name, but he was very nice and very concerned for Derek. Our prayers continue on his behalf. We love you! Brenda and Milt

  2. Hi Derek and Mum and Dad. We have just found Dereks blog. Firstly we need to tell you what an outstanding missionary your son was here in Australia. No surprises when he became an AP. We loved him being in our home. He came here a lot and helped my husband, who is the ward mission leader in the yard etc. Derek you'll be pleased to hear he now has a new hip and is on the mend to do his own work. Yes Derek you are a missionary who will be fondly remembered and appreciated. We were really shocked to hear about your cancer diagnosis. As you know I have had cancer too. Reading all your blog entries has brought it all back. Thank goodness for the Australian health system where all the drugs, treatment, ops etc were free. (Even Garry's new hip replacement had been free.) I am so surprised to hear that you go out into the public to church etc when your immune system is so low. Here, I was put into isolation for 4 weeks each treatment in a room with filtered air etc. You weren't allowed to even go out into the corridor, the door had to kept closed and all visitors had to scrub etc before coming n to see you. and they send you home?????? Amazing. Although sometimes home is cleaner than the hospital, I have to admit. Please don't go to church Derek... people feel so obligated to be there to do callings etc they take sick kids along and bingo you get it. Forget any incubaton period.. you can have it in hours and then can't get rid of it. Aren't platlettes awful to receive. Have you ever got rigor from them...severe shaking in the featal position? Not fun. Keep fighting.. I know this is hard to believe but in a few years from now you will find all of his hard to remember. Until someone writes their blog. :o) I hear you are not eating.. does chocolate taste like sour milk and everything else like metal? The first thing I ate after a month of eating nothing was mint leaf lollies/candy. It actually tasted like it should have. We love you and think of you and pray for your quick recovery. Love Sharon and Garry Court.

  3. Dear Derek,
    We are pleased to have found you. Life is good!Point Cook Ward held a Fast Day for you sometime back. We have 2 relatively new sisters who you will not know......but let me re-assure you that only the best are sent to Point Cook! No Elders for the time being...I recall you know the Aussies are such a godless lot and other countries are more receptive. Mind you the Sisters have given us nearly a baptism per month.
    We love your work and appreciate your efforts and inspirational example. Go to it!
    Love, Garry Court