Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Radiation 
We drove up to the Mayo Clinic early in the morning on Monday. 
It was a long slow drive in the snow but we made it safely and spent all afternoon with the radiation team of doctors. 
One of them was named Dr. Funk which Dave got a kick out of. 
Dave's nickname since he was a little a boy is "Funk" so he thought it was funny that Dr. Funk was helping Funk get better.
We had hoped that Dave might not need any radiation but that did not come true.
Dave's cancer was bad and because it spread at stage 4 he definitely needs radiation
They told us he has a 25-30% chance that the cancer could come back after surgery alone but with the radiation the numbers are much better that it will not come back
The doctors were very nice but Dave has another very long journey ahead of him. 
Good news is that he can have his treatment in Green Bay.
They referred us to a former Mayo Doctor who now works at St. Vincent so we have an appointment next week with that Doctor to prepare to start radiation treatment.
We think they will start the week of Christmas or the week after
First he needs to go to the dentist to make sure his teeth can handle the radiation treatment
The dentist will make some protective molds for him to wear during treatment and repair any teeth that need it before he starts
 Dave's radiation treatment will last 6 weeks and he will go everyday
The pain and side effects will get worse over time
The first two weeks will be easier and then things get bad from there
 The list of things that will be bad for him was pretty long 
Dry mouth, trouble swallowing and talking, bad sore throat, mouth sores, and high fatigue
At this time they do not want to put a feeding tube in
They hope he can make it through the treatment without out needing it since only one side of his neck will have radiation he should be able to swallow on the other side
By the end of the treatment he will be in pretty bad shape and on lots of pain pills
They think he will need another 2-4 weeks after treatment to fully recover
Good news is that he should recover so by spring he should be back to normal
Dave is still healing from the surgery so they want him strong again to start treatment
Dave said that he finds it funny they want him to heal and then beat him up again
We laugh when we can and pray often
A few more appointments today then we drive 5 hours home
We thank God for his grace and for giving us doctors who are kind and know what they are doing to help Dave
We thank God that we can have treatment in Green Bay and only have to drive 2 hours round trip instead of having to drive to Rochester and stay there for weeks at a time
Many of you have offered to help
If you still want to, we can use gas cards to help us with the costs of driving to Dave's treatments
and since we don't have dental insurance any donations will be used towards his dental bills.
We are so blessed to have you all praying for us and for your generous hearts
we love you all dearly...