Patrick Update #6
Patrick Update #6 (condensed version)
Hi family and Friends!
Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. Anja, Lucy, Jana and I are so grateful for each of you!!
It has been way too long since our last update. I’m sorry about that. It has been an up and down time. Often, I have been way to tired to even reflect about how we are faring… and when I am feeling good, I want to forge ahead and not dwell on the present fight.
Anyway, here’s a quick update on how things are going. If you want more information, please see the extended version of this update #6 — I included an FAQ section to that update to give you more info than you may possibly want — but it’s good middle of the night reading to get you back to sleep…Zzzzzzzz
The long and short of it is that things are going great! Again, thank you for your prayers! We had our first MRI since starting treatment, and Dr. DiCarlo, my oncologist, said it looked as good any scan he’s seen at this point in the game. That’s exciting news, indeed!!
This scan came after 6 weeks of targeted radiation (my lifetime dose has been administered – by Dr. Stella – in 34 treatments) and 42 days of initial chemotherapy. The chemo drug we decided to go with for the beginning of the war is Temozolomide (Temodar or TMZ). Before the scan we took 4 weeks off of treatment, and now we have completed one cycle of TMZ (we are in a maintenance pattern of 5 days on / 23 days off which we will repeat for at least a year.)
The game now is to get MRI’s every two months (i.e. every 2 chemo cycles) in hopes that there is no tumor regrowth.
Emotionally, things have been tougher than physically (except for the relentless fatigue I have been battling.) Jana and I try to keep positive while at the same time working to be honest – with each other, with you all and with God. Given the many unknowns of this journey, we are being forced to walk day by day with the Lord, trusting in Him fully. It has been tough watching life go by in front of us — as I’m sure many of you have experienced in your own lives. We long to get back to “normal” life.
Here’s a list of key things I have learned since our last update. For more info all around, check out the extended version of this update. We love you all and are so grateful for each of you. Please continue to pray for us, physically and spiritually, and we will do the same for you.
Things I am learning through fighting brain cancer:
1. Own my prognosis – I have realized and am being taught that I am not a statistic or a diagnosis. I am an individual. My prognosis is not a foregone conclusion. I choose to believe that the Lord has already moved along the path of total healing. This is the prognosis I own.
2. Attack the disease from all sides – More and more, we are taking a holistic approach to this fight. I choose to include every possible and God-honoring therapy, diet, supplement, life-change, etc., in our arsenal.
3. Be an exceptional patient – I choose to be a fighter. I choose to have a resilient “life-wish.” I choose consciously to win this fight. I am already looking ahead and believing in God’s total healing as my foregone conclusion. I am learning that it is not enough to just be a “good patient” – just listening to my doctors and taking the medicine. Instead, I am realizing that the path to victory is dependent upon me becoming an expert in my fight – learning all I can about my enemy, doing all I can to keep it off balance. Instead of simply doing what is expected, I want to take ownership of my life and healing.
4. Learn big life lessons from this fight – I am accepting that this battle is humbling and that I have a great opportunity to learn from this fight. I see that I have to make major life changes – in diet, priorities, how I spend my time, how I see myself, who I want to be… Whereas there can be a temptation to throw in the towel when faced with cancer or another serious disease, I am choosing to be a student of this ordeal – to glean all I can from this experience so that I can be the man that God has called me to be. I have some serious changing to do.
So, there’s the short version of update #6. For the extended version, click here!
Love, Patrick (along with Jana, Lucy and Anja)
Celebrating the end of radiation with our great friends, the Chan-McNabb’s. (Left to Right: Kylee, Jordyn, Ryan, Anja, Patrick, Lucy and Jana) Therese and Shawn – not shown because they took the picture – hosted a great bar-b-q, made us a cake – and ultimately made us feel special. Thank you!!