Wednesday, August 31, 2011

E-mail from Julie

Hello all,
Thanks for the many kind messages, prayers and offers of help. They encourage us, and bring forth lots of tears as we face this new challenge in our life! We're certainly thankful we're not in it alone! (If this does turn out to be what we assume it will be...we'll start some sort of blog or caringbridge website to communicate news/updates. For now, I'll try to keep you up-to-date via email or facebook postings.) For those who have called, we'll work on getting back to you, when we have for info or strength to chat. (But thanks for calling!)
So, there's a bit of news to share, but we're still waiting to hear more news re: the diagnosis, which will likely come Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. But, for now, this is what I know:
Patrick's biopsy went well this morning...there were, thankfully, no complications. He's having some headaches and dizziness now, when he moves his head, but that is to be expected after having had a drill enter one's brain, no? The neurosurgeon, who performed the surgery, said from first glance, the cells extracted from the "enhanced area" appear (to him) to be lymphocytes (cancerous). We're waiting for final confirmation of that, which will also tell whether it is the same cancer that he had before, or something different. The right protocol would then be matched to his needs accordingly. We're not 100% sure it is cancer, although they are fairly certain that is.
We'll receive word from them next week (hopefully), along with whether or not they'll be able to take on Patrick's care here. So far they are proceeding as if they will, but that decision will need to be made by them before chemo and radiation begin.
So that's the news so far. I'll let you know when there's a clear diagnosis and plan/place for his care. Patrick's sister, JoAnn, is getting married this weekend in Seattle, but unfortunately PK won't be able to join us for that, given the risks of flying, being in a new place w/o known medical care, etc. So that's an equally hard blow for the family in the midst of this.
Thanks, again, for all of your love and prayers!
Patrick, Julie and Ceci (who is completely oblivious to all of this, and immensely enjoying time with her Marmie, my mom!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First E-mail from Patrick

Hello friends and family, near and far:
It’s so hard to write this email, but I’m desperate for your prayers… Many of you may have already heard of this via Julie's facebook postings, but for those who haven't, I wanted to write you myself. So, unfortunately it looks like I may be facing another bout of brain cancer. As many of you know, I battled Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma (PCNSL) in 2004-5, and was treated with an experiential chemo protocol at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Bethesda, MD. I return every year to NIH for blood work and an MRI. For the last seven years, all of my scans have been clear. We were surprised last Thursday to hear that there was an abnormality on this year’s scan, and have proceeded with a variety of tests and further scans to get more info as to what this is, and what sort of treatment will work best.  So far, I am being treated at NIH, however, they have had budget cuts, and may not be able to take me on as a research patient again. We really hope they will, as I am accustomed to the doctors, staff and procedures here…plus its top-notch care (and free!). 
We will find out more tomorrow, after my 7am brain biopsy. Currently, my doctors assume that I will need both chemo and radiation, which is not what I wanted to hear, as it is an even more rigorous treatment plan! I am trying to rally strength for this fight, and believe that I am up for the task (sometimes), if this is a challenge God will have me face. I am hopeful that He will, again, carry me through the darkest of times, along with the support of my friends and family.  I am so glad that this time around I’m not single: I have a beautiful and loving wife and delightful (almost 2 year old!) daughter: this will of course raise the stakes dramatically. 
Will you join us in praying? This could be a long, hard journey… Once again I will hold on to this encouraging passage – Isaiah 40:27-31.
Things that you can pray for:
·         That I tolerate the treatment
·         That no lasting harm is done to my brain (during the biopsy or treatment)
·         That we don’t suffer financially from being on disability
·         That my wife and daughter are supported through this time
·         That NIH will take us on again!
Things that you can do:
·         Pray for me and my family
·         Come visit!!
·         Call (for now, you can reach me on Julie’s cell)
With love,
Patrick, Julie and Cecilia