Dear friends,Today has been a good day in Columbia. Thanks so much for your prayers and kind words prior to our appointments today! The four of us attended the “teaching session” at SCOA (South Carolina Oncology Associates) today for most of the morning. Dad was seen by the doctor and went over some final preparations to begin the test trial study and the aggressive chemotherapy. We were able to see the “set up” and were taught a little bit about what to expect as this journey continues.

His first chemo treatment will be on Friday. His treatments will be on each Friday thereafter (skipping the 8th week) The doctor was very deliberate to tell us that very few (hardly any) bodies can handle this treatment so not to get discouraged if there is a week skipped here and there. This will all be regulated by the platelet counts each week. He does not want any of us to think that if they can’t do chemo one week that this is bad news. Dad’s body will dictate what it can handle. Needless to say, there are some unpleasant (I venture to say the word is probably stronger than that) side effects that go along with this treatment. We will do whatever we can do to make those as bearable as possible. We will have a better idea of how is body is responding when all of the scans are rerun somewhere around the 7th/8th week.

Dad is very much ready to begin this treatment. He is very weak (lost 20 pounds since the first of April) and that is frustrating to him. The doctor explained to us today that he is so weak because all his body knows to do right now is to “feed the cancer”. Hopefully the chemo will begin fighting some of that but at the same time he must deal with the side effects of the drug. I think it is a mental thing for all of us to at least know there is some medical treatment getting started.

As the Fabians are known to do, we have found some good things to laugh at today and are enjoying each other’s company. We have snuck in a few tears and hugs. The house is quiet and it is cool and rainy. I can’t remember a time that just the four of us have been under the same roof. Seems to be a fitting way to celebrate my parent’s 42nd wedding anniversary! We have savored Kelly Gilstrap’s chocolate pound cake and are looking forward to good ol’ Baptist Sunday School cooking for dinner.  I am so thankful for today.

For those of you that are keeping up with specific prayer requests (beside the obvious:o) I would add these to your list: for dad’s first chemo treatment on Friday at 9:00, for the side effects to be minimal, for him to be able to deal with the frustration of his weakness, for him to keep the “sparkle” (as my Mom calls it) in his voice, and for him to continue to be able to rest and sleep well. We are so thankful that Bettie (mom) is doing so well – she is sleeping well and her organized self is doing a fine job of managing all of the lists, appointments, schedules, medicines etc.

A bright spot in his day has been getting to read the cards and notes that come in the mail. Some of you have asked about his mailing address.
Dr. Tom Fabian
800 Creekleaf Ct.
Columbia, SC 29212

Thanks for caring for our family and for loving on us during this storm in life. We continue to see God’s hand in the middle of this whole thing. He is so Holy and mighty and takes care of every little detail. Thank goodness there is never a time when God panics. This is all just part of our daily journey and we pray that people will see only Jesus through this. There are just some things God can do through heartache that can’t be done any other way.

Check out these verses James 1:2-4 (The Message)
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Thank you, my friend, YOU make this better.
Love and hugs,
Mary Anne

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