Sunday, April 18, 2021

Update on Dh

It's been a couple of weeks or more since I've been with you all. That's because there is a lot going on in our lives right now. To keep it simple I am going to just cut and paste some of my recent Facebook posts to fill you in.

This is extremely long, but here goes...

Friday, April 9, 2021 - 

Prayer please. We are on our way to ER with John.

Saturday, April 10, 2021 -

Thank you to everyone who has been praying over John. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated and, please, keep them coming.
We really don't know a whole lot yet. After the mighty, wonderful, and miraculous things that we witnessed during John's last hospital stay, we were very optimistic. The bloating and swelling that he had been experiencing dissipated within a few days and things seemed to be returning to normal. Then, the bloating and pain started again and he started turning yellow. And when I say yellow, I mean YEL-LOW!
We went to our primary care doctor yesterday where great concern was expressed over color and weight-loss. More labs were run. They called us late in the evening last night with the results. John's bilirubin and liver enzymes were...like...three times higher than they were two weeks ago (which they were off the charts then)! Needless to say, we ended up in ER where John was admitted to Mercy for the second time in two weeks.
When I first started this post the gastrointestinal specialist hadn't been in yet, but he came in while I was typing and just left. They are doing a CRPC (a procedure to look inside the bile ducts of the gallbladder) tomorrow. If it turns out negative they are going to biopsy the liver.
The doctor was optimistic that the bilirubin numbers returned to normal so fast after whatever happened with the pancreatic mass/cancer/no pancreatic mass/no cancer episode two weeks ago. He said it is a good sign that something (maybe a small gallstone) is trapped in a bile duct somewhere; if not...then they search elsewhere and keep looking until they find the problem.
The ER doctor told us last night that this whole thing is so strange...that none of the symptoms or test results that they're seeing match the numbers and vise-versa...and that they should. He said that this is turning into a "bizarre and rare" case.
Please stand with us for another good report! I truly believe that God did a great and mighty work two weeks ago and that a complete healing is being performed by process.
If I know nothing else I know this: THAT GOD IS! That He is, that He is in control, and that He can, and does, do above all that we can ask or think.
Our faith is in God and the truth of His Word. Having done all to stand, we are still standing. Please stand with us in prayer and in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!
And thank you!


Sunday, April 11, 2021 -

I'm going to make this short, sweet, and to the point.
John has a hepatic duct obstruction. They will be transferring him to Mercy in Springfield where more testing and procedures will be done. This will most likely take place tomorrow.
Please continue to stand with us in prayer and faith as we continue this arduous journey. Thank you!


Sunday late night update...
Thankfully things moved along faster than expected and John has already been transferred to Springfield. I am home packing and trying to get things ready to leave here as early as possible in the morning. I have to stop at Walmart to have my tires checked, then I'm out of here!
The hospital only allows one visitor so I will be by myself. I'm hoping to get in on a hospitality room at the hospital, but, whether I do or not, I don't plan on coming home until John does.
I have no information on when the surgery will take place, but will try to update again as soon as I can tomorrow. Please continue prayers our way...especially over John. Thank you!


Monday, April 12, 2021 - 

A quick update...
Am at Walmart in Lamar waiting on my car. Passenger front tire had belts showing. As soon as it's done I'm hitting the road. Have chatted with John a bit, but haven't heard anything from the doctor or hospital yet. I did manage to secure a hospitality room at Mercy for at least four nights.


Another quick update (Monday evening)...
I got a new tire at Walmart this morning (the belts were showing on the old one) and the guy told me I had a bad oil leak. I said, "How bad?" He said, "Bad enough to leave a trail of oil everywhere you go" and it was. I just grabbed a few extra quarts of oil, filled 'er up, and came on anyhow. I'll deal with all that later.
I got checked into the hospitality house and am two floors above John; as for updates or news concerning him...well...there really isn't any.
At Joplin there was much love, care, concern, and a flurry of activity to find answers and the sweetest, most caring doctors and nurses EVER, but here...there's been nothing. We've waited all day for an MRI that was ordered this morning and, basically, the gastro gal said they want to rerun all the tests that Joplin has already done. WHAT??? WHY??? We don't get it. WHAT is going on here???
Unless John needs something and calls them, we hardly see or hear from anyone. He hadn't been given anything to eat or drink since early yesterday (at least I think it was yesterday) and no one had even filled his water jug. When I arrived we hustled up some lunch (chicken broth, crackers, a fruit cup, and a high-protein Ensure, per his request, of course) and I filled his UNOPENED water jug myself. His lips were so dry and cracked that they were bleeding. I told the nurse to get him some Chapstick and she did. We are not impressed. 😒
On the other hand...John's got a roommate...a 59-year-old terminal cancer patient named Tony. We've been able to visit and pray with him and his sweet mama off and on all day today and that's been good for all of us. ❤
There's really nothing else to share. I just got done with supper and am heading down to the chapel, then to the shower. After that I'm going to bed. Hopefully, John and I will both sleep better tonight given that we're, at least, under the same roof.
Keep standing with us in prayer with us over this deal. We don't get what's happening but we have no doubt that the Lord is in it and many will witness His abundant mercy and grace through it in the end!
Blessings over all and good night! ❤


Tuesday, April 13, 2021 -

Immediate prayer requested, please!
They did the MRI around 3:30 this morning. Now they're telling us that everything they told us in Joplin is wrong and that there is a pancreatic mass that is pressing in and cutting off the common bile duct from the outside and that there is every indication that it is cancerous.
Call me a fool if you want, but I do not believe for one minute that after two CT scans, two gallbladder scans, a liver scan, two abdominal scans, x-rays, an endoscopy of the pancreas WITH BIOPSY, a ERCP, and...I don't even know what else...that everything that they told us at Joplin is wrong!!!
They told us all this, then, immediately took John down for surgery. We barely had time to pray together and say goodbye before they whisked him away. They are repeating the ERCP and endoscopy. While they're in there they will do a biopsy and try to put a stent in to drain that bile duct. If they can't get a stent in they said that they would run a tube to the outside of his body to drain it from a different direction.
Please stand in agreement with us for a good report. We fully believe that when Jesus died on the cross for our sins that He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses just as the Word says in Matthew 8:17 in reference to Isaiah 53:4.
He took it all at the same time! If we're saved, then we are healed! It doesn't matter how it looks in the natural!
Stand with us and be in prayer. I will give an update when I can. Thanks!


Wednesday, April 14, 2021 -

The results are in and we're right back to square one. John has been diagnosed as having inoperable pancreatic cancer.
We still have not seen the doctor that performed the procedure and took the biopsy, and we were told this morning that someone from oncology would be down to talk with us this afternoon, but no one ever showed up.
We are completely frustrated, but, even in the midst of totally not understanding any of this, we are not without hope. We still believe with all our hearts that the Lord is in this and that, in the end, it will all work out as a testimony to His goodness and faithfulness no matter what.
Please continue to stand with us as we continue to wait upon the Lord! Thank you all so much!


Thursday, April 15, 2021 -

I just got back from lunch and John is sleeping. I came up to my room to rest a bit, but before I do, I want to give you all a quick update. Let me start by saying that the roller coaster is headed uphill again!
The oncologist came in first thing this morning. She went over what type of cancer John has with us again and told us that the good news is there is no cancer in the liver or gallbladder. I asked her how can that be good news when a person has pancreatic cancer. She said that, normally, when pancreatic cancer is this far along, it has already spread into the liver and gallbladder. She said that, in John's case, it has not. She said that she suggested going a surgical route with chemo. 🤔
I told her that the doctor that did the endoscopy and took the biopsy (that I never got to see, but talked with briefly on the phone) had told us that the tumor was wrapped up in main veins and arteries and that it was inoperable. She said that, if that doctor told us that, then he had spoken out of turn and that it wasn't his call to make.
Dr. T. (the oncologist) explained that, while the tumor is, indeed, wrapped up in veins and arteries, that only one tiny tentacle is actually attached to any of them. She said that she believes that John is a good candidate for surgery coupled with chemo, but that they don't do that surgery here. He would have to go to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Dr. T. is sending the reports to the surgeon at Barnes to see what he thinks. If he thinks that John is a likely candidate for surgery, as well, then that is probably where we will end up. She also said that if the surgeon doesn't think that John is a likely candidate for the surgery at this time, then he might suggest chemo first to shrink the tumor, then go for surgery.
When asked about the prognosis with all the different scenarios, Dr. T. said that without treatment time is very short. With chemo alone, 2 years...maybe longer. With surgery and chemo she said that there is a very good chance of long life and a tiny chance of complete cure. She said she's seen it happen many times.
So...now we wait to see what the surgeon at Barnes says. Then, we will go from there. We have a lot on our plate right now and need wisdom and direction from above at every turn. We still stand in agreement for complete health and healing and this very well could be the path that the Lord uses to get us there. There is so much going on in my head that it is swimming.
I do want to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers. They mean everything to us right now. Please...keep them coming! ❤



Friday, April 16, 2021 -

It's been a whirlwind of a day, but we still don't know much more than we did. The best news to report is that our primary care doctor came to see John today and she is arranging that, when surgery time comes, that it be done at KU instead of Barnes, which is a HUGE answer to prayer!
John is feeling a bit low tonight (and so am I). His belly is really swollen and he hurts. He's hardly been able to eat or drink today and they have taken him off the IV. From what we understand, if his blood pressure remains consistent with where it's been and his kidney function improves, they plan on sending him home in a day or two.
We have no idea what the future holds, but we are learning to take one day at a time. Please pray for John tonight that God's peace would be upon him, that he would be able to eat and drink as much as he should, that his kidney function would improve, and that his blood pressure would remain consistent with where it's been (without the IV).
Pray, too, for John's ex-roommate, Tony, and his family. Tony was moved into a private room yesterday and his family called in. Tony will be sent home on hospice tomorrow morning. We have grown very close to this family in the short time we've been here and we plan on staying in touch. Please pray God's peace over all.


Saturday, April 17, 2021 -

It's been a whirlwind of a day, but we still don't know much more than we did. The best news to report is that our primary care doctor came to see John today and she is arranging that, when surgery time comes, that it be done at KU instead of Barnes, which is a HUGE answer to prayer!
John is feeling a bit low tonight (and so am I). His belly is really swollen and he hurts. He's hardly been able to eat or drink today and they have taken him off the IV. From what we understand, if his blood pressure remains consistent with where it's been and his kidney function improves, they plan on sending him home in a day or two.
We have no idea what the future holds, but we are learning to take one day at a time. Please pray for John tonight that God's peace would be upon him, that he would be able to eat and drink as much as he should, that his kidney function would improve, and that his blood pressure would remain consistent with where it's been (without the IV).
Pray, too, for John's ex-roommate, Tony, and his family. Tony was moved into a private room yesterday and his family called in. Tony will be sent home on hospice tomorrow morning. We have grown very close to this family in the short time we've been here and we plan on staying in touch. Please pray God's peace over all.


Now...here it is...Sunday, April 18, 2021 -

It has been a low-key, quiet Sunday. Not a lot has changed really. John is still bloated and the doctor is still saying that we will be out of here in a day or two. John did eat and drink more today, which is an answer to prayer and elimination processes seem to be functioning better.

I am tired as I write this post from my hospitality room. I am tired and I want to go home. Once I get there, I want everything to be "normal"...but it won't be.

I don't what the future holds, but I know the one that does. Pray for us. Pray for John. Pray for complete health and healing over all.

Thank you!

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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12 comments:

  1. I've been out of touch for several days my friend. I don't get on Facebook often. My heart aches for you both. I am, however, glad that the problem has been found and God is leading you through this. Amy and I prayed tonight, and I will continue to pray for you both. Hugs to you!
    Laura
    P.S. Remember I told you about the many ways God prepared me for my cancer fight? I think being with me was part of your preparation my dear. Be blessed, be strong and courageous. The LORD your God is with you in this and in all things.

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    1. Thanks, Laura, and, yes! I've already mentioned to several people about going through that with you and I am thankful. At least we're not going into it totally blind. Thanks for the prayers and (((HUGS))) to you, as well! <3

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  2. I had Whipple surgery with chemo for Panc. cancer 10 months ago , maybe I can help with questions you have. I did have a stent put in and gallbladder out , then chemo to shrink my mass before the whipple surgery. Sorry I don't have a blog, Sue

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I may be in touch. Just what little bit you've shared here has given me hope. Thank you! Feel free to email me with your story, if you'd [email protected] Thanks so much! Blessings, Sweet Lady! <3

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    2. I saw a few of your posts on Facebook and have been praying for you and your family. Many hugs to you and of course, many continued prayers as well.

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    3. Thanks, Jean! Hugs to you, as well!

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  3. Praying for both of you and your family. Your faith is an inspiration - thank you for your witness. God bless you and yours now and forever.

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    1. Thank you! God bless you and yours, as well!

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  4. Just wanted to encourage you, I am 14 years post whipple, the year of surgery and three rounds of chemo/radiation were rough. I went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, you get one good chance to beat this, make sure you go to the best clinic/hospital.

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    1. Thanks for your input and encouragement, Sherri. It is much appreciated!

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  5. Praying for you and your sweet family. May the God of Peace comfort you.

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