Thank you, all, for such an overwhelming response to my last blog post. I know it was a hard one to read, but I also know that God is using the intimate parts of our story. You encourage us with your response and your prayers.
Today, I’ll keep it pretty light and just give you an update on how things have been going and tell you about our trip to MD Anderson this week.
We changed our insurance policy for 2017, so that we could begin visiting MD Anderson on a more regular basis. This was our first time to go back since May 26. It was so good to see Dr. Weinberg, Clay’s Neurosurgeon. I’ve written a lot about him and how much we absolutely love him, so you already know how we feel about him. But, when he opened the door and I saw his face, again, it was like a reunion with an old friend. We’ve been so thankful that God led us right to him.
I missed a good opportunity to take some pics for you, but we were asking too many questions and I didn’t think to do it. He compared the MRI image from the day after surgery to the most recent MRI. I love how he shows us on the computer and explains the images in detail. He is very thorough and concerned for us. He complimented Clay and reinforced how blessed we are that Clay is doing so well. He reassured us that the radiation treatment was very successful and shared how pleased he has been at every MRI. The tumor continues to shrink, and for that we are very thankful.
He reads the blog! We were both a little surprised because we know how busy he is, but he knew about the seizure, the removal of the bathroom door, the change in insurance, and he even knew about the Krispy Kreme donuts! Ha! Clay used to say that he didn’t really care about bedside manner from a doctor. He would say that he just wanted the very best doctor, no matter how he was treated. Well, he has changed his opinion. I can assure you, that bedside manner is very important when you are in such a critical situation. Dr. Weinberg is the perfect combination of skill and concern. We truly feel like he cares about us, and it makes a huge difference.
The Oncologist that we saw initially, Dr. Weathers, is on maternity leave, so Dr. Weinberg introduced us to Dr. Loghin. She talked to us about Clay’s medicines and just reviewed the past few months with us. We felt very comfortable with her and we have officially established her and her team as the primary Oncologist for Clay’s care. We will continue to have infusions with Dr. McCanless in Baton Rouge, and we will still see Dr. McCanless regularly. But, we will begin having Clay’s 8 week check ups at MDA. They will do an MRI and then we will meet with Dr. Loghin, or Dr. Weathers, to review it.
MDA will now monitor all of his meds and make decisions regarding next steps. There are some clinical trials going on at the hospital, so we will have access to more information this way.
We go back on March 19 and 20 for our next follow up and MRI.
While we were in Houston, Clay and I enjoyed some time alone. A few months ago, one of Clay’s friends, Angie Robertson, sent us a gift card to the Pappa’s restaurants, which are all over Houston. So, we ate at my absolute favorite place, Pappasito’s! I love their homemade tortillas! Then, the next day, we ate at Pappadeaux on the remaining gift card. Thank you, Angie! You pretty much covered our food for the entire trip. We really appreciate it.
In a way, we retraced our steps from previous trips, so Clay asked me a lot of questions about how things happened. We talked a lot about the first trip and his surgery. We remembered all the things many of you did for us. We talked about the visits many of you made to him. Sometimes the memories are difficult, and they can feel unreal, but the good parts make it all worth remembering.
My parents stayed at the house with the kids. This is our FaceTime conversation. I love technology in these moments.
I got to go to IKEA for the first time. Clay was not really excited, but he came with me. It was good exercise before the car ride home. I controlled myself and just looked.
On the car ride home, we got into some bad weather. It rained pretty hard for about 20 minutes. But, as soon as the rain lifted, we saw a beautiful rainbow. The rainbow is one of the most miraculous things we see on a regular basis. We take them for granted, like the moon and the stars. But, God made the rainbow visible to our physical eyes so that we would always remember His promises when we see it. It is a spiritual experience when we see one. And, for me, this one was perfectly timed. It was worth driving through that patch of rain in order to see the rainbow reminding me that God is with us, and His promises are still true.
Aw, man. My phone camera just couldn’t capture it. It was faint, but it was there. So, you’ll just have to believe me on this one.
Before we left for Houston, we had some good days. Caleb worked a connection and brought Clay seafood from Montalbano’s! They aren’t reopened since the flood, but we’ve been craving their food, so Caleb hooked us up. I hope I don’t get in trouble for sharing this! (smile) They’ll be reopened soon. Kayla brought me a flower and a king cake. She is my precious friend from church and I love her like a daughter. Some of our newest friends, Suzy and Steve Maier, brought us dinner from Monjuni’s and a bunch of supplies from Melalueca. So sweet. And, Clay’s lifelong friends, Mary Lynn and Doy Henson brought us dinner and stayed for a visit.
So, you know we’ve been going in for infusions for several months, now. I think we started them in September. And, you know that Clay is addicted to rocking chairs, right? Well, the chemo room is full of recliners, but all the chairs Clay has sat in have not been rockers, so we just assumed none of them rocked. When we arrived last week, the room was practically empty, so we had our pick of seats. I walked to an area we usually don’t go and found a rocking chair! Clay was so excited. I just thought this was funny. He’s a good sport.
Clay started his chemo on Wednesday night. The side effects are getting harder, the longer he takes it. He’s been very tired and he got sick in the middle of the night Wednesday. That’s the first time he’s been sick from it. Today, the nausea is under control, but he’s very sleepy.
All in all, we have very little to complain about. We are thankful for his strength and health during this time. His spirits are very good and we continue to enjoy each other and our family and all of you. Thank you for your prayers and love. We appreciate you so much.