Tomorrow is the last dose of Prednisone for this round of chemo and maybe then Ford can hyper down. Right now he refers to himself as Superman, because the Prednisone makes him feel very strong (health wise). It makes it very difficult for him to calm down enough to get a decent night's sleep.
The up side of it all is that he was able to work 6+ hours today. He also worked out on the stationary recumbent bike for 30 minutes and we walked together around the neighborhood. We also enjoyed visiting with several neighbors and Ward members along the way.
We so very much appreciate the continued prayers offered for Ford. He had such a rough time at the beginning of his treatment. After his first hospital stay in the ICU, he came home weighing 137 pounds. He was able to gain and has been able to maintain his weight at around 157 pounds. When he came home, his arms were bruised and marked literally from wrist to elbow from the IV's, the arterial line, and all the blood draws (every four hours 24/7). His fingers were sore from all the pricks for testing. His head was very foggy and he was very weak. Yet he has progressed and been blessed.
Some of the remarkable things we've noticed about Ford:
-Although his hair has thinned quite a bit on his head (he seemed to lose all the remaining dark colored hair leaving only gray) he didn't go completely bald
-He has not lost his eyebrows or eyelashes
-His fingernails and toenails have never yellowed or turned brittle
-He only has a small bit of neuropathy in his toes and fingers
-His nausea has been mild and able to be controlled by taking ginger tablets and ginger tea (the few times he needed something stronger he took Zofran)
-He has not developed sores or blisters in his mouth or throat
-His skin has been a little dry, yet not to the point of peeling
-The Neulasta injections have not brought on the bone pain that many often experience
-He has experienced exhaustion, yet not the week or weeks of debilitating exhaustion and weakness that we have heard can come
-He has been able to gain back the weight that he lost initially
-He has experienced a bit of things tasting off while he takes the Prednisone, but for the most part, he has been able to eat and enjoy food
-He has had an immense measure of patience taking vitamins, nutrients, protein drinks, healthy concoctions, and unusual foods
-He has endured daily Lovenox injections in the stomach and been able to say thank you after every one, even though the medicine burns like crazy
-He has been able to work about 20 hours a week consistently from home and communicate via telephone with his co-workers
-He has been able to work out consistently on the stationary recumbent bike
-He has been able to get a little bit of frisbee in once in a while
-He has become hooked on Sudoku and has been able to keep his mind alert working through the puzzles
-He has maintained a positive attitude and preserved his sense of humor (every visit to the doctors at the HCI he has prepared a joke, riddle, or some witticism to see what reaction he can get)
There have been many more positives, but suffice it to say that these are why we can definitely say we are witnesses to the fact that prayers are being answered.
While the race is not yet over (and we know it won't actually ever be over for much, much longer), we believe that we can see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. We have about 6 more weeks of treatment and follow-up tests before we know how effective this round of chemo treatments has been. Where ever we go and whatever we do, we feel and envision a huge host of support (sort of like the Verizon commercials, only bigger).
We know that your prayers have made the difference in so many circumstances the past four months. Some of you have expressed regret and apologized that you have not been able to do more for us. There is not anything that we could have needed more than your faith, love, and prayers. Once again we offer the seemingly small and insufficient, yet nonetheless, deeply heartfelt words: THANK YOU!