I will be having my surgery on June 11th. I will be in the hospital two nights and then off work for at least two weeks. The doctor said the two weeks would be the minimum I'm off and then it depends on the pain if I would be off longer. I'm glad it's finally happening.
As for the house, I have no news. Paul & Vickie are on vacation this week. I'm not sure if the realtor is showing the place while they are gone. We don't have a lock box. I'm pretty sure Paul had said either he or Vickie would be there every time the place was being shown. At least I won't have to move when I've had my surgery.
Here's the last two updates I got from Sue as to what is happening with Russ:
09-May-08 3:30pm - Latest News:
Good afternoon: I still want to stress, that if anyone would rather not receive these, please let me know. Some of you have already responded and I appreciate that.
Well this is the story as of today: We saw the Radiologist, he said this is a very aggressive but treatable cancer, he went over all the details, examined Russ and set up the rest of the scheduling, starting Monday. Monday we have to see the Oncologist, Russ needs to have both Chemo and Radiation at the same time. Unbelievable! How can our world turn upside down so quickly? Also Monday he will have to be fit and mapped for the radiation, after that we go to West Duluth for a Pet Scan to show if there is any other cancer anywhere, then we have a consultation with the oral surgeon at 3:45. Hopefully we will have time in between all of this to get him something to eat because he can't eat before the Pet scan.
The rest of the week is full also, oral surgery hopefully on Tuesday. Please pray about that. We need to get going on the radiation and can't until he heals at least ten days after they pull his teeth. The oral surgeon's office called to say the Tuesday appointment was just for a consultation. I really got upset because we were under the impression the teeth would be pulled. I called our dentist, he called the oral surgeon, within a 1/2 hour they called back to see if we could come Monday for the consultation and Tuesday MAYBE do the surgery, if they have time. I said to myself, "why did I get so upset, God is in charge, right?" I am learning. Pray they will have time. God hears your prayers on our behalf, otherwise we would be waiting several weeks before any of this could have come together.
We are both on edge, Russ can get impatient, as we all do during stressful times. On top of it all I was supposed to be fitted for a heart monitor today, I have irregular heart beats on occasion and lately has been one of those occasions. I found out I have to wear it for 30 days. I talked to the doctor, told her what was going on and she said to hold off, the EKG was normal. She doesn't seem too concerned, I have had it off and on for years. It is pretty common. So don't worry about me. That's the latest.
We love you and are asking God to bless each and everyone of you.
Russ and Sue
10-May-08 11:30am - PET Scan:
I don't think I was specific enough on the last e mail to let you know what a Pet Scan is. I would like to say it is to see if we qualified to have a puppy but unfortunately it is to see if the cancer has spread to any other part of Russ' body. So that is the specific prayer need. That it has not spread and is staying localized to the area they already know about. We couldn't do it without your prayers.
With so much love you can't imagine.
Russ and Sue
12-May-08 5:00pm - Update:
Hi all: We want to thank you all so much for all your enouraging emails and calls, we couldn't make it without them. I am keeping all the Scripture refences in a journal to refer to when times get tough. I may not be able to respond to you each time but know we read them all and tuck the words into our hearts.
We are in a state of both wonder and confusion. The Oncologist told us many scary things, but added that on Friday the 9th after we left there, a Clinical Research Study opened up that adds another drug to the treatment. We have to make a decision about it by Wednesday so would like prayer regarding that. It adds more risks of side effects and they don't know if it is effective or not but it has worked extremely well with other cancers, like colon, and lung. Whether it will work on this type is why they are doing the study. I have been back and forth on doing it. The docs sound so convincing, but ofcourse it is totally up to us and another factor would be if the cancer is localized to the neck area, if the PET scan, done today, shows any other areas that the cancer has spread he would not be eligible for it. Of course we are trusting that it has not spread and have put the whole matter in God's Hands. The way the trail opened up makes me wonder if that is God's Will........so the confusion.
Russ will loose all his beautiful hair with Chemo, either way and just now I had to shave off his mustache and beard. I don't even know the man. I have never seen him without at least a mustache and I am sure many of you have never seen him without a beard.
God answered our prayers about the Oral Surgeon, he will have 16 teeth pulled and an upper denture put in tomorrow at 11 a.m. without hardly any split between the 2 front teeth. (He has wanted to get rid of that forever.) So don't be surprised if there are no recognizable traits for you to know him by. He is not a stranger trying to break into our house, he does belong here. I just went to take another look, it is really shocking, not in a bad way, just different.
Wednesday was to be a free day but that has all changed, he is to meet again with the radiologist with our decision regarding the Clinical Trial and then get fitted for the apparatus that holds his head and shoulders still during radiation. It is a mask type thing and forms to his face, that is why he had to shave. Then we go to the audiologist to check his hearing, that is already on the fritz, the radiation and chemo can damage that even more. More prayer! Then a MUGA test which checks to see if his heart is will be able to stand up to the chemo and the flushing of liquids. See what I mean about scary?
Another thing that some of you already know is that Friday of this week he will have a stomach tube put in. They tell us he will have mouth and throat sores and will be unable to take liquids or nourishment by mouth, so to minimize the loss of any nutrients he will have this tube to just dump water and food into. That's no fun..............we all know he loves to eat. Heck of a way to lose weight!!! He also has to see a speech therapist, I believe it is to show him exercises to do with his mouth so he doesn't lose the muscles in his jaw.
Keep the clean jokes coming. We are Praising God and we smile and laugh when we can. I have to tell you though, every step has been a shock, it takes awhile to adjust until the next fiery dart hits.
I look at the gorgeous lake and the beautiful green lawn, with the leaves starting to bud out and know God's Love for us.
Take care loved ones and know you are so special to us, beyond measure we are so grateful to you and your faithful prayers on our behalf. I know God can heal in a moment and would love to see that happen, but His Will be done and to Him be the Glory.
We love you all.
Russ and Sue