Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jack Update

My Mom (Ruth) wrote this, but I wanted to explain one thing. She mentions problems with Jack's mouth :-) and I don't think we have discussed that here. His tastebuds are effected by all the medications and have left his tongue swollen and sore. This began before the chemo and is also effecting his ability to eat. I'll let you read the rest in Ruth's words...

Thank you to all you faithful prayer warriors… and please don’t stop now!
Time goes so incredibly fast I can’t believe it has been a week since the last post and so much has happened that our faith walk seems more like a faith “run” yet I keep reminding myself of how faithful God has been, is, and I know will continue to be.

The week began with Jack’s first round of chemo… Monday through Friday and then 3 weeks for his body to rebuild before radiation begins mid April. I took Jack for the 1st treatment which we had been told would be about 3 hrs… however it only took about an hour since they can inject the chemo into the saline IV & directly into his port. Due to the shorter length of treatment, Ruth had another opportunity to practice spontaneity… and began the process of revising the transportation plan for the week.

Next came another glitch when Jack’s feeding tube clogged… So plans were made to change out the old tube and replace it with a more durable variety. The procedure was done on Wednesday by the same doctor that did the port implant which was a real blessing. Later in the day was chemo number 3 where we had a picnic lunch and enjoyed “together time” while Jack was rehydrated and received his treatment. Then we were off to Option Care where one of the staff, Shari, took out her “bag of tricks” and brainstormed with Jack to adapt the new tube and sent us on our way… a very long and energy draining day for Jack.

By the end of the day Friday, Jack was feeling the effects and intensity of his week. Between mouth issues, tube change procedure, and chemo, he was extremely fatigued. We are thankful that we were able to work with the dietician to increase his supplemental feeding to support him while he is only eating cold stuff to keep his mouth as comfortable as possible. In the evening we sat reflectively as I read scripture from the Psalms and talked about the path the Lord has taken us these past 21 years of Jack & Ruth’s Most Excellent Adventure.

This weekend we are keeping a low profile here at home so that Jack has opportunity to rest and right now he needs to stay away from crowds. Next week we have a couple appointments including a “swallow test” to help sort out Jack’s eating challenges on Monday morning and another with the Radiation Oncologist on Thursday as we look ahead to radiation treatments beginning mid April.

P.S. It is now Sunday afternoon and Jack is resting while dealing with a number of side effects from the chemo and extreme sensitivity to odors and food smells that impact his desire and ability to eat. As of now, we have decided that the swallow test will need to be postponed as it involves eating and the outing would be too taxing for him as he must go out for lab work tomorrow afternoon.

Please pray for healing of his mouth issues and his ability to take more nourishment and liquids by mouth to help his upper system be hydrated and soothed... and that God's healing touch will help his body fight the good fight against the cancer and it's treatment.

I would leave you with the song that God brought to ease my heart this week as we walked through the many challenges of Jack’s health. May it bring blessing to you in whatever you are dealing with in your own lives as you hold us up in prayer.

Lyrics ~ Frank E. Graeff, 1860 - 1919
Music ~ J. Lincoln Hall, 1866 - 1930

Stanza 1:
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth and song;
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

O yes, He cares- I know He cares!
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary,
The long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares. (He cares.)

Stanza 2:
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?


Stanza 3:
Does Jesus care when I've tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief I find no relief,
Tho my tears flow all the night long?


Stanza 4:
Does Jesus care when I've said goodbye
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks ­
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?


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