Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Diagnosis for Patrick

Hello again -

I just wanted to send you all a (not-so) quick update on Patrick's situation. Thank you to all who have called or emailed to check-in on us. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions, but I also hope to get back to each of you personally soon! Thanks also for your prayers, words of encouragement and helping hands. It's been overwhelming how much love and support we've seen and felt over the past two (very full!) weeks.

So, the results have come back that Patrick does in fact have a return of CNS Lymphoma. The doctors are not sure if there was a remaining cell from his first cancer treatment that lingered and then recently grew and became a new tumor, or if this is something new altogether. We may or may not find that out over the next few weeks, as further cytology reports come in. But it is cancer, and NIH has agreed to treat him. That is a BIG deal, as we will have the continuity of care with his former oncologists and their staff. Since NIH uses his treatment plan for their own research, we won't have to use insurance or pay a penny for any of it. Hopefully whatever they find as they study and treat Patrick's case will help heal many more cancer patients in the future!

We received the outlined protocol today and as looming and difficult as it seems, it appears to be a bit more manageable than his last round of chemo. He will receive outpatient care this time, which is very different from his regiment 7 years ago, where he practically lived at the hospital. He'll be home every night with Cecilia and me, which will be a great help as we try to maintain some sort of balance and continuity in our family for her sake (and ours!). He'll begin this Friday, and will have treatment for 5 days straight (we go in each day for a few hours of chemo) and then he'll have 15 days "off". This will cycle 6 times and last about 18 weeks. After that, he'll have 5 weeks of radiation. Radiation is new altogether for him, and although we realize it's part of the best solution for his total healing, it may offer a harder/longer road to recovery.

For those of you who pray, please pray for the following:
--that radiation will not be damaging to his cognitive abilities.
--that cancer will not return a third time (it would then likely be untreatable)
--that the chemo would be effective (and not as nausea-inducing as last time!)
--that we'd be able to survive in DC on his reduced disability salary. (We're expecting we'll have to move into someplace smaller/less expensive, until he's able to bounce back up to his full salary after treatment. This will be our 3rd move in one year!)
--that our family will weather this storm, and draw closer to one another and God through it!

If you don't have our phone numbers, message me, and I'll be sure to get them to you. I know Patrick would love to hear from you!

For those who are local, and who want to visit, please do! It seems to really rally Patrick's spirits, and keeps him feeling connected to the rest of the world. Just check-in with me to see where he's at that day/week. We're not sure how he'll feel through the various cycles of treatment, so please don't be offended if we say it's not the best time to visit!

Also, feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested in learning more or praying for Patrick.

Thanks again!

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Thanks for your prayers!