My dear friends,I appreciate you taking this roller coaster ride with me! Let me say that if you are getting this email and you are not interested in these updates…please tell me. I try to remember who says “please let me know what happens” and if you have ended up getting this and don’t want to just message me. My feelings won’t be hurt a bit. We may get to the point where we do a “caring bridge” or something like that but, right now a mass email is the quickest way to notify each of our prayer partners and friends. It has been such a comfort to us to hear of churches, sunday school classes, small groups, prayer groups, etc. taking time to speak my Dad’s name and our families name to our mighty God! And thanks to all who have sent mail – he is loving it!

Many of you know that we received a call on Wednesday that Dad’s liver levels (bilirubin) were too high to qualify for the test trial. This was a major “blow” to us all as we felt like this was a few steps backwards. Further tests were ordered yesterday morning and rushed results were ready for the drs. appointment this morning at 8:00. I chose not to travel to Columbia to attend the appointment this morning. This was a very difficult decision for me based on some responsibilities I have here and my deep desire to be there.  Thom is with my parents and modern technology makes not being there a little bit easier. You can read an update from Mom below. She sent this about 9:45:

“Today’s labs showed his bilirubin up again from Tuesday.  Supposed to be .5 to 1.5.  His is 3.4 today leaving no doubt that Tuesday’s numbers were accurate.  The ultrasound yesterday showed no blockages, so no need for surgery. Not a candidate for the trial we expected to enter.  Dr. H mentioned MUSC and Duke but it would take valuable time to be seen, screened, and approved for any studies they might have that would be of benefit to him.  He said he would rather get started today on the gemzar, so here we are!  He is getting fluids first, then 2 meds for nausea, then will get the gemzar”.

“Last night he ate a few bites of a hamburger but almost immediately he felt way to full and uncomfortable. Think we need to stick to pretty plain things from now on. His weight was about the same today as it was Tuesday. He finally expressed a little aggravation that screening for the study cost him some time, but then said, “just gives me something to complain about.”. Thomas and I encouraged him to complain on!”

“After the chemotherapy today we will be on high alert for fever above 100.4. That will require an immediate trip to ER for blood counts and antibiotics. So we will pray that his counts will stay up and fevers stay away.  Because we are not doing the study, Dr. H said we’d try for 3 weeks on and 1 off but might just be able to do 2 at a time. I guess we’ll know a lot more after this first treatment.”

Specific Prayer Requests for the day and weekend:
* for the nausea to be minimal
* for NO fever (as you can read above – this would be a major complication)
* for those levels to stay up
* for his body to accept this powerful drug and for it to work!
* for continued strength and peace for my Mom (Bettie) as she cares for our “patient”
* we will still pray for that miracle

Jeremiah 29:11-12
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. ”

Oh there is so much to be thankful for in the middle of this storm! You, my dear friend, are on the list. You make this better and we thank you for it.
Mary Anne

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