Wednesday, October 28, 2009

E-mail from Mom and Dad

Good Morning.........

Well, we are WIDE AWAKE at 4:00am on our first morning of vacation:( (And we thought we were going to sleep in!!) At 3:45am the fire alarm rudely awakened us from a sound sleep. We got up and realized that the alarm was going off in the whole building, not just our unit. Herm put shoes on with great difficulty as his feet are really swollen. We got out of the unit and made our way down one flight of stairs...he sat on the steps, while I tried to see what was going on. We smelled no smoke, although some were smelling smoke and the sprinkler system had gone off in the utility room on the 4th floor. Water is pouring towards the elevator shaft, not sure that we will be able to use that today and we are on the 3rd floor.
Definitely will be limiting our up and down trips, if we make any at all! We are back in our unit, but not sure if we will be able to go back to sleep!

Now for Herm's update.....We made our weekly trip to Goshen for chemo, with the plan that we would leave from there to head to our Nashville timeshare reservation. Dr. Pennington had other ideas after examining Herm and reviewing his lab work. He wanted to admit him to Goshen Hospital for one night to get some tests ordered.....saying that it would go faster if he admitted him, rather than doing the testing as an outpatient. Herm's bilirubin was elevated and his eyes were starting to show some yellowing. The cat scan showed that Herm's liver is now being overrun with cancer growth. Dr. Pennington said he has never seen it move quite this rampantly and the difference between his scans is quite dramatic. He could feel the liver hardening when he examined Herm, but wanted to verify it with the cat scan, before sharing that news with us.
Needless to say, this was very shattering news.

Things to expect are: Herm will feel extremely fatigued, and his abdomen, legs and feet will fill with fluid....not the fluid that can be relieved by taking a diuretic, but will have to be aspirated by using x-rays. This way they can see exactly where to insert the needle to aspirate. Dr. Pennington said it is a relatively simple out patient procedure that only takes about 20-30 minutes. He wanted us to continue with vacation plans as long as Herm felt up to it. We are to see Dr. Pennington again next Thursday and can talk more about 'options'. There are few, but Herm still wants to be aggressive and fight this with all he has and is available for him to choose from. His spirit is still strong.

Kris, Amy and the boys are planning to come next Wed through Sunday and Mandy (Curt can't, because of work) and the children will come late Friday through Tuesday. We are still planning to go to MD. for Thanksgiving and all be together at Curt and Mandy's. We are so grateful for the times we can be together.

God has been so gracious, kind and merciful to us. We don't know what the days ahead will be like, but we are resting in His promises and are in the palm of His hands. Tears flow easily and yet, we also can laugh and share happy times.

We do so cherish your prayers and friendships...if we could reach out and hug EACH of you, we would. E mail updates seem so impersonal and yet, it is such a good way to keep you all informed.

Think I will go back to bed and try to get some sleep. I got Herm back to bed and it sounds like he is resting comfortably. I think they got the sprinkler system shut off, I no longer hear water running outside!

There is HOPE and we are still HOPEFUL.

Love and peace to all,

Herm and Carol

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