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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Another tough day with a twist

Hi all.

Dave is still in the hospital. Although they're happy that they think the blockage has cleared, they would still like his pain situation to be better under control. (He had 2 episodes today where he was in excruciating back pain while laying out flat and needed the almost instant pain relief from you get through a needle. If he were at home and that happened, we would be unable to get his pain under control fast enough with pills.)

Also, Dave does seem to be a little worse and less mobile each day I come in. At this point I think I'll need to bring in a hospital bed etc.. to bring him home safely. (Laying on a flat bed or couch will only make his back feel worse.) There will be more discussion tomorrow but it's difficult to get anything done over the weekend because of staff changes.

This afternoon we met with his radiation oncologist again regarding some spot radiation on his spine to alleviate some of his main causes of back pain. (This is different than the radiation we rejected for his esophagus, which was 6 weeks of radiation, another minimum 6 weeks of recovery, guaranteed pain and discomfort from side effects for the full 3 months, no guarantee of any substantial tumor shrinkage, and real risk of serious complications because they would be radiating around vital organs.) This would be a much shorter dose for pain management, few side effects, and little risk. If his pain meds can be reduced because of it, he will be much more like himself as well. 

So, he had an additional catscan this afternoon for radiation purposes as well as 3 radiation tattoo's. (They tattoo their pinpoint targets on him for accuracy purposes.) The radiation will start Monday. If he's at home by then, I'll be bringing him back and forth for short sessions for about 5 days.

On a different note, I have to share something that is a little confusing and can't be explained.
A few weeks ago Dave strongly felt that something was changing with the main tumor in his esophagus. He tried to drink a little water, but it didn't go down past the tumor, and it came back up. On Tuesday morning in his room in Emerg, he tried again, but the same thing happened. On Wednesday he kept telling me that he was close and that he would be drinking on Friday. He was insistent actually and I thought it was just the pain meds talking. On Wednesday he asked everybody to pray that he could drink some water. On Thursday he told me that he would drink tomorrow (Friday). Again, I'm thinking to myself - "pain meds talking...". 

Dave's mom is down for a few days, and this morning (Friday) we both walked into the room and he wanted to show us something. He picked up his glass of water, and took a few big gulps and he drank it! (It was followed by a somewhat amusing little burp, but he drank it and it stayed down no problem.) I was, and still am, in a bit of shock. He insisted for 2 days that he was going to drink on Friday and he did. I'm confused that this good news is happening in conjunction with such dire news that we just received. I don't get it.

That being said... I don't understand how God works. I'm just glad He's working! I'm going to go out on a limb and share some more stuff. (This is me stepping out of the boat.) Despite being so hopped on on serious pain meds and irrational most of the time this week, when Dave talks about God and Jesus Christ this week, he's calm, and the things he's saying are clear. I don't remember what day it was, or if it was before or after we got our bad news on Wednesday, but he said that is between him alone and God now and that traditional (chemo) and alternative therapies had failed so that when he was healed, it could only be attributed to God. I feel a need to share this.

I won't kid you. Dave isn't well this week. He has a lot of fluids accumulating throughout his body and it's worse each day. He's lost a lot of weight, even more so this week after no food for 4 days (doctors orders) and does not look good. His body is fighting hard but right now the cancer seems to be winning. I have been going through a lot of turmoil this week (every week actually), but am pretty calm right now. This blog has become more for me than you guys anymore.

I don't really know what else to say. That's a lot of personal info out there online - I know. But that didn't seem to bother Dave from the start of this blog. All I can say, is keep praying. Praise God, that he can drink as that has boosted Dave's spirits tremendously!

Good night.



Anonymous said...

that is awesome! great job dave!
you guys are always in my thoughts, and hold your heads high, you guys are a real inspiration.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing sight to witness God's little miracle, Dave being able to swallow. He told me the oncologist said to 'give them a call' if he ever swallowed again, and Dave said, "yeah right, I'll let them know when I'm out on the golf course!!" Dave is such an inspiration. His faith, humour and wit through all this is a breath of fresh air. I keep seeing his big brown eyes excited as he showed us the swallow followed by this little burp he was so proud of. The smile on his face just lit up the whole room and brought us to tears.

Praise God!

Gwen Steller

Anonymous said...

How many of us would consider being able to drink a glass of water a miracle? Gwen, thanks for the beautiful description of this miraculous event. Dave, wish I had been there, but I'll be by today for a toast to the Water of Life. Praise God indeed! God bless you, brother.


Anonymous said...

Val, you said Dave's drinking of water was "a little confusing and can't be explained".....that's how our loving God operates...we're not able to understand or explain all that He does....what an amazing God we serve.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Phyllis C.

Anonymous said...

Stay strong and positive! Mr. Richards (with some help from God) did get that refreshing drink of water as planned! We are all praying that the radiation will kick-butt with that back pain.
Here is a little something from the book my Grandma got me...
Pray, believing in the promise of God's Word that "If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (1 John 5:14).
Take care of each other, and know that we are all praying with you
The Shuster Family

lucille said...

I believe the miracle of drinking water was a sign from our Almighty God that He is with you both during this very difficult time. May the Lord continue to encourage you. May He give you both strength and wisdom and also take Dave's pain away. Amen.

michelle and A.J. said...

"He (Jesus) welcomed them (the crowds) and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing."

”So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

(Luke 9:12)

There it is in black and whit, (and red hehe)

He said we have only to ask.