Roger Slideshow

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Valentine's Day Pictures

I thought I would add some pictures of our special Valentine's Day celebrations...

(Sorry Dad! This is the only picture I got of you, and you were blinking!)

Little Adrian crawled around, happy to be in the mix

Noah and Ellie play with their newest cousin

Ellie is the only kid who helped Katherine finish the job of making a fruit bouquet. The boys each did one and said adios!
We had a craft for the kids- making heart bags to hold their valentines. Even Kaelin and Juliana enjoyed the coloring

Since getting the family together becomes harder and harder, we finally had a chance to celebrate Sandy's birthday- 5 weeks late!

After a busy day, Kaelin was ready for her nap!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mystery Sol-VED

[Thanks to Bob and Claire Matthews for uncovering Mom's missing post, languishing in a new blog she inadvertently created while trying to post to this one. It seems the title was an old username or something that got typed into the wrong box...Anyway, usfolks thank you for your patience...]

Heading in to Valentine's Day weekend

On this Valentine's Day weekend, we send our love and appreciation to all of you who have supported us in love and prayers for so long. We thank God for you every day, but on the day of hearts and flowers, we want you to know how much you have encouraged and blessed our hearts.
Last year at this time, Roger was desperately ill, lying in one of the outpatient chemo rooms at HUP, receiving one of many 6-hour infusions of an experimental drug. This drug failed; ten days later he was admitted to the hospital and remained 22 days. Those were scary days, indeed.
Today, thank the Lord, Roger is taking his chemo at home instead of through IV drips at the hospital. Last year we were not sure he would see another February. Yesterday Roger insisted that we get into the car to go buy Valentine's flowers for me. When we arrived at our destination, he had no strength to actually go in to buy the flowers, so I did the deed. But how wonderful that we are together and we can still celebrate our love for each other on this earth. God is teaching us how to be truly grateful for every small thing--which is actually a very large thing.
Roger continues to be unsteady on his feet and quite weak and fatigued. Each day is different, and each day presents its own physical, emotional or spiritual challenges. But we can sense God's leading us, teaching us, challenging us, encouraging us--loving us--every single day. And we know that there is a purpose in every hardship He brings our way.
On Wednesday we saw Dr. Pinover, the radiation therapist. He was pleased to see that Roger is out of pain now, and we are continuing to reduce the amount of pain medication he is taking--it has to be done gradually. It seems that the radiation has done good work--Hallelujah! On Monday the 16th we head down to HUP to see Dr. Stadtmauer, who will weigh in on how he feels the chemo is working on the cancer. We do expect that Roger will be needing one or more transfusions soon--low blood counts are a part of this chemo's side effects.
We as a family are celebrating this weekend--our daugheter Julie, who lives in Texas with her husband and six children, is coming up to spend the weekend with her new baby (Adrian, 7 months old)! We have not seen her since last year at this time, so it will be wonderful to be together again and to meet our youngest grandchild. Unfortunately, Roger has not been well enough for us to make the trip down to Texas. Katherine and her family will be coming up from Virginia, so we will have five of the seven Clark children and their families with us, and that will be a treat.
We pray that you also will have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones. May God bless you greatly. Thank you again for your faithful prayers for us and our family.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dad went to see Dr. Stadtmauer on Monday, two weeks after starting on the new chemo. He had blood tests, for which we're still waiting for the results. The good news is that Dad's back pain has subsided, which seems to indicate that the radiation has shrunk the tumors there. This means that he can be weaned off the steroids and the oxycontin now, itself a good thing because the doctors believe Dad has developed some steroid toxicity, the probable cause of his muscle weakness and some of his difficulty in climbing stairs and the like. Dad continues to have the weakness in his foot, though, and to use a cane to help him get around. Dr. Pinover, the radiologist, believes that this may be a permanent problem, a result of damage done either by the radiation or by the tumors themselves.

Thanks as always to everyone for your prayers and sympathy. I will update you with the blood test results when I hear them. Mom spent an hour and a half last week writing up a blog post, which subsequently went MIA in the internet ether. Discouraging, but she promises to try again when she gets a chance. Toodles.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The New Game Plan

Dr. Stadtmauer has started Dad on a new course of chemo. It's a combination of two new drugs, which, if they work, will start to show results in two or three months, and another, which Dad has taken before and which should start working sooner. The doctor chose this particular chemo cocktail from several options, any of which he feels has a 50-50 chance of being effective. At this stage, the options are fewer. There is still the possibility of a second stem-cell transplant; this would depend on whether or not the current chemo is effective, and whether Dad is healthy enough to withstand it.

There's been some further elevation in Dad's protein levels (.8), but still nowhere near the highly elevated numbers of last winter/spring, so it's not as bad as it's been before. One prominent side effect of this new chemo regimen is lowered blood counts, both red and white. This means that Dad will be weaker and subject to infection. Please pray that he will be protected from the many outside pathogens as these drugs fight the cancer. Please continue to pray that the radiation would show good results with the tumors in his back. Pray for Dad's energy and spirits, as he continues to deal with the weakness in his foot and and intense fatigue.

Both Mom and Dad are grateful for all your prayers and acts of kindness, even though they are unable to respond personally to every one of you, as they wish they could. Both say they feel upheld by the prayers of the saints, and that God has been close to them in yet a new and deeper way over the past couple of months. They continue to wrestle with the Lord to find and accept his will for them in this, and to find the right way to live through this passage, one way or another, honestly and faithfully.