"It is well. It is well with my soul!"
"It is well. It is well with my soul!"
DAY 31 - JUST A QUICK UPDATE
My boss, Stan, asked me today how I was doing? It seemed like a simple enough question, but not one that I focus on much. I view it much like a foot race and I am a little more than half way through. My focus is one day and one week at a time. Anyway, I wanted to just share it openly with the rest of my faithful "Prayer Warriors".
Treatment is going great with my side-affects staying somewhat controlled. The docs think I am doing better than expected. Last Monday they told me the honeymoon was over and that it starts to get worse from here on out. First of all, I have never thought of it as a honeymoon, but to their point, the side-affects have worsened, but are under control. I learn something new every week that I couldn't have known the week before. As an example, when they say the treatment is cumulative and progressive, they mean the side-affects are cumulative and progressive. They don't mean the treatments are ... the treatments are immediate. In other words, if they radiate today, I get the full impact of it today, but need to go again tomorrow to get another dose. Same with the chemo, if I get it on Monday, it begins working immediately and lasts about five days. Then its time for another bag of chemo.
I did have a bit of a slump mentally following the 3D MRI. While they were incredibly pleased, I had expected more - which I had no reason to expect more, but I did. It bothered me for about a week. Since that time, I am back on top of the world. I am so thankful for this treatment, I have a better understanding of what we are doing to eradicate it and how it works. I am thankful for all those who have reached out to us and I give God praise that he is allowing me to walk this walk in faith. Quite honestly, I don't know how I would do it with out it.
I have seen a lot in just five weeks, but I have learned that disease, such as cancer, does not discriminate. It attacks young, old, male, female, black, red, white, yellow, Christians, non-Christians ... you name it. I have also learned, people deal with it differently. Some are mad, sad, frustrated, ready to quit, etc. I just find myself faithful. I would say there are more here relying on their faith, than not. I believe the patients may have more faith than the doctors, not all, but some. Interestingly, I have learned what the limitations of the doctors are and that no matter what the treatment is, they can only go so far. The rest, as one-doctor told me, is beyond them.
So, I keep following the protocol and doing what I am told to do. My wife is enjoying that, I think. She can't accuse me of not listening. She is very persistent. Hopefully, it will pay off and I won't be fighting the side-affects like those who don't do what they are supposed to do. The only real challenge I have right now is that I have no taste or smell, so I have no desire to eat. I have to eat because my body is consuming calories at an alarming rate. If I sit sedentary and don't do anything, I use about 3,000 calories, which isn't enough to keep me from losing weight. I also have to make sure there are 130-150 proteins per day included in my calories so that I can grow new cells and repair the ones that are getting torn apart. Trust me when I tell you, it is hard to eat 3,000+ calories per day and 150 protein when they all taste like cardboard. As a little aside, before coming to Houston, I decided to put on a few extra pounds since I was going to lose some weight while I am here. I was successful and gained 14 extra pounds, but I have now lost all of it plus four more. My goal is to stay at this level and not lose anymore. I can't or they will stop treatment or put a feeding tube in me. That's not going to happen. Happy cardboard munching away!
One unique side-affect is after I receive chemo on Monday, I have hiccup like spasms for 1-2 days, which makes it somewhat difficult to carry on a conversation. Normally, on Tuesdays, I have them from sun up to sun set, with Wednesday trailing off. I am thankful for all the homemade recipe recommendations on how to cure hiccups. They were creative, but I just can't stand on my head, drink a cup of water and eat a spoonful of peanut butter at the same time - so I took a pill to help stop the spasms. Seems to work better.
Just for fun, here is my latest attempt at a poem / rhyme. I like to write something to motivate me each Monday as I kick off another week.
Resting in His arms!
Rest my child and don't say a word, daddy is revealing a miracle, I heard.
Trust in me and let it be, as many will see and turn to me.
You are free, you are free falling.
As you fall give God your all, He will catch you in His arms as you reach out and call.
Your friend forever,
4/5/2017 04:52:57 pm
Tom & Stephanie, I love the positive attitude you and the kids have expressed in your difficult journey. I love how you all display such a positive attitude and spirit. I am sure you are encouraging your fellow patients daily. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Daphne
Tom & Stephanie
4/5/2017 06:35:14 pm
Thank you, Daphne. God loves to hear our voices in prayer. We are thankful for yours.
4/5/2017 09:00:44 pm
You both amaze me with your strong spiritual attitudes. People are watching and hopefully are being challenged to that same strength. I'm trying to figure out how to make cardboard taste better than a cut down tree. I'm working on that Tom. Will get back to you on that one. Praying for your appetite to desire calories. Love you guys. TGBTG.
Tom & Steph
4/5/2017 09:04:41 pm
If you do, I'm first to try it.
So good to hear how you are doing! I love your faith, your humor, your positive nature. What an example you are to everyone! Hiccups - we can relate. The last time my husband was hospitalized, he had terrible hiccups for days! They finally gave him something to relax the diaphragm. I will continue to pray for your healing and for my sweet friend Steph as she serves you so well!
4/7/2017 08:36:25 pm
Oh my Dear Brother Tom! If I could send you 5-10 pounds I would!!! For some reason I got off my workout schedule a few weeks ago and fell in love with homemade chocolate chip cookies😞Again!!! Tonight I give them up in solidarity with YOU 😊 Thank you for sharing! Thank you for being YOU and continuing in your love for our Lord! Rb
4/18/2017 04:55:38 am
Rev up those cookie sheets!
Andrea Kenney Sheehan
4/9/2017 07:16:42 pm
Dearest Tommy n steph. I can't believe I am just hearing about this today. You are amazing n ur sense of humor will get u thru so much n especially your faith n love for god. My love for you since we were kids has always been a treasure to me n I know u will continue this fight with all your wonderful kids n bro Michael n bros n Sister n everyone in ur side. We are all praying n I will pray extra now that I even know this to tom an amazing son husband bro n cousin we love u n I know u are keeping the faith as well as I know u are given ur faith to everyone else who needs it! All of my love 😍 n prayers tommy always love you. Andrea xoxoxo
4/9/2017 08:46:00 pm
Please know that your Wichita "family" is praying for you - wishing you peace from the hiccups this week.
4/18/2017 04:54:14 am
Diane, I believe that the love and faith of the INTRUST Bank people is the secret sauce of this organization.
Debbie Santoro Tausevich
4/17/2017 10:18:06 am
Hi Tom, I just learned of your journey from a post by David Dumont. Your blog has touched my heart. Your faith and courage and strength is inspiring my old friend. I would also like to offer up my prayers to you on this path you are being shown. I am facing some physical challenges myself and you have reinforced my faith in God and in myself with the words you have shared in your blog, Thank you and God bless you , your wonderful wife Stephanie and all of your loved ones. I will be following your progress with hope and faith!
Tom & Stephanie
4/18/2017 04:44:56 am
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
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