Thank you ALL for your love and support. You all definitely define the word “support”. It’s become such an important thing on this journey – more then I ever thought was possible. It’s like a crutch to lean on, air to breath, or just pure hope and encouragement in the darkest of times. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for not only exhausting yourselves in supporting me, but for helping me lift my beautiful wife and sons up in prayer and support. We love you. Very, very much. Reading your outpour of love and dedication to us is humbling, rewarding, encouraging, and gives us untapped strength. Amazing.
On Monday, October 27, I had round 47 of chemo, and it will be the last one for a month or two. Hopefully, my body recovers and heals quickly, and I can start up systemic treatment soon after surgery.
Many have asked what the surgery will entail. YouTube provides both animation and real life videos of this surgery. I will share a very simplified animation. Feel free to Google “craniotomy animation” for other examples.
Craniotomy Animation: http://www.methodisthealthsystem.org/body.cfm?id=3408
We prepared as much as we could. I shaved my head. I had my neighbors draw on me (who does that?). We paid for this trip. We will now have a tissue sample with correct pathology and genetic testing (and tissue samples for this disease are like gold). And, God willing, we will be cancer free when I wake! Please continue to pray for steady hands and a successful, LONG-lasting surgery!
Yesterday was a full day. We had a consultation with Dr. Lang (neurosurgeon) to discuss the surgery and what can be expected. After, we followed up with blood work, EKG, chest X-ray and an MRI to map out the lesion and plot the surgical course. I had fiducial markers placed around my head (6 of them). These markers are essential, and they have to remain on until surgery. They are used in conjunction with the MRI to map out the surgical plan. They assist the surgeon as coordinates to reference while operating on me. So, I have never been so still for an MRI!
We went grocery shopping after dinner to pick some things up to keep food costs down for the time we will be here. The looks you get are nothing out of the ordinary. The looks I give back are extraordinary. Laughing is the best medicine!
Tuesday, November 4 Surgical Schedule (Central Time):
0515 Checkin in for surgery
Surgery should be around 5-6 hours.
For those who have inquired, my surgery is taking place at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
In 2013 when I underwent a left sided complete pneumonectomy (complete removal of my left lung, I wrote a letter to “each” of you explaining my feelings towards you. It is a description that should make you cry and laugh at the same time because of the emotions it invokes. It did for me. Feel free to read all the letters, or just the one you feel pertains to you. It is important to me that you know how I feel about not only you, but everybody else sharing this ride with us. Each letter is free to be read by you all.
With the help of all of you, the financial support through GoFundMe continues. Humbly, we cannot thank you enough for your amazing generosity over the last few days since the GoFundMe fundraiser was started, as well as all that have pledged to start or consider doing fundraisers. Through all of your collected efforts in just over 2 weeks, we have surpassed $20,000 and still going strong! That is incredible. As a side note, we are raising this money not only for this current surgery and “vacation” at MD Anderson in Houston, but the many more anticipated trips to help offset medical bills and to help with our every day expenses.
Andrea with the help of Melissa/family will update via Facebook and our family website as much as possible. Please be patient. Personally, I don’t expect them to update much if at all during surgery. They will be getting updates randomly, but those will be vague and consist of vital sign updates and remarks upon how amazing my big brain is! I promise they will do an amazing job of informing you all when the time is right.
We love you all! Please say some extra prayers for us.