My dear friends and family,I am a little early with the next edition of The Colonel Chronicles this week. This roller coaster continues to roll on the track as we continue this journey with my Dad.

Fortunately, the new nausea medicine that was given with chemo on Friday has curbed all nausea. This has not been an issue. He is, however, much weaker this week than last. He feels best when he is lying down or reclined in his chair. Walking and sitting up are extremely exhausting for him.  We are very thankful that he is sleeping well and is not in pain.

When we arrived for our appointment with the dr. on Monday (Memorial Day) we were surprised that the computer made a mistake and he was actually scheduled to be seen on Tuesday.  One look at him encouraged the receptionist (Cookie) to check on an opening for him to be seen that day. As God would have it, Dr. Jones was in the clinic and more than happy to see Dad. He told him that he was hoping for an opportunity to thank a veteran in person on Memorial Day and extended a hand and said “Thank you Colonel, for your service to our country!” As tempted as we were to break out into a Lee Greenwood song we focused on the medical issue at hand. Dr. Jones is a first class act.

Dr. Jones could clearly see the jaundice and checked different reflexes, etc. He had lost more weight since last Friday. He ordered a test to be run to check the ammonia level in the liver. We were at the clinic for 4 1/2 hours receiving 2 L of fluid with the direction to come back this morning at 9:30.

Dr. Jones and Dr. Hutchison saw him this morning. We had some hard discussions about being in the “supportive care” stage. I won’t dwell on that at this time. He had more fluids today as we were waiting on the ammonia level results. The high ammonia level would explain the weakness, fatigue, slight confusion, etc. This would indicate further issues with the kidneys. We did receive the good news that his ammonia levels are normal for now. We are now taking this day by day verses week by week. He has an appt tomorrow morning to get fluids if needed. We will possibly switch to him getting his fluids at home before too long so he won’t have to travel in the heat to the clinic more than necessary. No decision has been made  regarding the next chemo treatment.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I have always known in my head that God gives His people the strength, wisdom, and grace to deal with whatever is sitting as reality in front of them. Knowing that in my head is one thing. Feeling it is completely different.  If I could describe it in everyday terms I would say it is like drowning in a pool but feeling your Daddy’s hand scoop you up out of the water. Or it is like sitting in a fire with hot flames surrounding you and feeling a fountain of cold water relieve the heat and sooth your skin. Or it is like being down to your last dime with all of your major bills due and someone writes you a check for $50,000 (and you don’t have to pay them back) Our earthly minds can never make any sense out of it. This is what God is to us everyday. The peace is guarding my heart and my mind. I am so grateful.

Thank you for your continued kindness, gifts, cards, and support. God is using you to bless us.
Mary Anne

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