I have started a new blog in Dave's Memory.
Go to
wwwwww.DaveRichardsMemory.blogspot.comwww
for more recent info, photos, articles, and learn about
the Dave Richards Memorial Award.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cancer

Hi All.

I just wanted to give an update, even though it's not an update I like. Dave had a lower abdominal catscan yesterday and the doctor gave us the results today. Dave's cancer is still spreading. Since the last scan in February, the spot on his liver has gone from 3 cm to 11 cm. There is further spread in the lymph nodes, and other spots within his abdomen, including near the pancreas. There is also a spot on his lower spine which is likely the cause of his back pain. (Which is why he started on the T3's a few weeks ago, which bunged him up so much that he's in the hospital now.) They didn't do a scan of his chest, so we don't know what exactly is going on up there, although I guess they made note of his esophagus and that part of the middle of that tumor is necrotic - meaning that there is some die-off in it. The doctor said that this can happen with recent chemo that might kill it off (which Dave hasn't had for 4 months) or just naturally with older tumors. There are no measurements etc regarding the main tumor growth - just a comment by the catscan 'operator' I guess.

This is obviously crushing to us right now, as we felt so positive.

Dave will still be coming home soon (in the next day or two), as soon as they're happy that the blockage in his bowels has cleared. (It's coming slowly.) I believe they're planning on doing another Xray in the morning.

The pain med that Dave is on, is making him pretty loopy, drowsy, as well as severely drying out his mouth. He is very parched, which just exacerbates the problem that he can't drink because of the main tumor. He is asking for everybody to pray that he can somehow be able to drink again. He just wants to drink a refreshing glass of water, which is just breaking my heart.

There is also a small problem with the pain med they initially intended to put him on. Because it's time release - it won't work by going through a feeding tube. (It needs to be whole - not crushed and mixed in water.) That might delay him coming home as well. We had briefly discussed different pain meds last week with his family doctor. He actually suggested the same med that they've put him on this week. I asked about a patch, and he said that they're heavier duty, and people usually work their way up to that. I'll ask the doctor tomorrow about it, but regardless I'm sure they'll come up with something.

This evening we went for a walk down to the front of the hospital to sit outside. Dave was too tired to walk back, so I grabbed a wheelchair and wheeled him back. We stopped briefly in the waiting room to see what was going on in the game tonight. Dave was tired and was overdue for meds so we went back to his room. He'll be sad in the morning to hear that the Hawks beat Philly.

Also, I apologize to those of you that have emailed me or left messages on our machine recently and I haven't replied. I'm only checking messages on the machine, and emails on the computer very briefly in the late evening (early morning) right now. However, I do read them and they're really positive, and uplifting, and I thank you for them. I obviously won't be giving the # out online, but for those of you that have my cell #, there is cell service in Dave's room, and you can call me or text me if you like. I'm more likely to reply as I'm sitting around in there.

And I just want to thank everybody that's been doing so much yardwork and clean up around our house. I haven't had a chance to thank everybody properly, but I just want to let you know that it's very appreciated and just feels better to look around and not feel overwhelmed by everything that should be done. It's looking great! Some of you have still offered to do some work and asked what's left. I haven't forgotten and will let you know.


Please pray for us. To keep our minds focused on Jesus Christ and not dwell in self pity. We know that He can still turn this around if that is His will.

Val

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Val, Dave & Cale
This is a hard blog to respond to - what are the right words ----but this I do know, your family and friends are taking this journey with you, we love you and we are uplifting you in prayer before our God. We will not leave or tire.

"I am the Lord, the God of every person on the earh. Nothing is impossible for me." Jeremiah 32:27
\0/ Barb

Judie said...

Prayers and positive thoughts ... heading your way ... PRONTO!

Do what you need to for yourself and Dave .. everyone understands you are a busy and will be in touch whenever the time is right. You are the carrot-giver ... the best one ever!!!

Smiles,
Judie

Anonymous said...

Brother Dave, Val & Cale,

Zen and I just read your note Val. Even though this is not the news we wanted to hear, we still live in hope, along with you, because we serve a mighty God who is able to do what no man can do.
Zen and I are sitting here praying in the name of Jesus Christ for all of you. We are praying for Dave's comfort and the complete remission of this disease.
We are also remembering the wonderful times at Grace Community Church when it initially began in 1994 - 95. We are thinking about Bible studies at Zeny's, (yes she is crying as I write this), Philippino pot lucks after the Church services, barbecue get togethers in your back yard, the excitement of the news Dave provided of Patrick's acceptance of Jesus Christ when they returned from the Galilean Bible Camp and so many more great times! Dave, Zeny says you are still Tito Dave and always will be for Rizen, Jason, Patrick and Eric.
May God richly bless you all.

In Christ,

John and Zeny.