We have now officially reached the half-way point. This is the point in time where everything about Joel's treatment plan was re-evaluated. Our MD doctor had Joel take one chemo cycle off to give his body a chance to recoup. Our doctor's also did a lot of testing on Joel & took a complete look at his case to figure out where we go from here. Our MD Anderson doctor is the one who makes all of these treatment decisions & the orders are carried out here at OU Medical Center. Regarding his new treatments there's good news & bad news. His doctor has changed 2 out of the 3 chemo drugs that Joel is taking. The drugs that he has taken away are supposed to be the drugs that were harder on Joel's body. From here on out the load on Joel should be lighter. The bad news in all of this is they are changing Joel's chemo schedule from 1 chemo day to a full 5 days of chemo every 3 weeks. I was pretty bummed about this because thus far I have been able to be at every single one of Joel's chemo treatments-that will no longer be the case. There is no way that I can take a full week off of work then work 2 weeks than take another full week off. That means we are going to have to do some extra coordinating to find rides for Joel on the days that I can't be there as well as people that can sit with him during his treatments. If I can't be there, I am going to make sure that he is not alone. We haven't gotten everything completely figured out as to how this all is going to work. We were set to start chemo up again tomorrow-but that has now been delayed so we can meet with our doctor at OU to set up this new plan with him & make sure we have everything in place & all of his drugs ordered. The good news is pertaining to the length of Joel's chemo. We had thought that we would have 10 more rounds of chemo left meaning that we would end in September. Our doctor has now decided that Joel will be done after 6 rounds!!! That means that he has shaved 4 treatments off of what we thought we would have to do. His chemo will now be done sometime at the end of June instead of September. We are VERY excited about that! So while there are some logistical things to get worked out we now can FINALLY see light at the end of the tunnel & it is a pretty wonderful feeling. Thanks again for all of you who contacted us this trip to let us know that we were in your prayers. That continues to be the thing that we need the very most. Please be praying for the new chemo drugs. With new drugs come the possibility of new side affects. We know that those can be minimized with prayer & we are believing that they will. Our doctor already told us that compared to other patients Joel did amazingly well during his first half of treatment. We know that is by the grace of God in response to your prayers so thank you thank you!!
This trip Joel & I realized that we had done a very bad job at documenting all that we were going through with pictures. We are big picture people & we realized that besides the handful of pictures that we took on surgery day, it had completely slipped our minds to take any more. We are going to try to change that the last half of these chemo treatments. I have posted some pics below.
Sarah & Joel
Our Hospital in Houston, TX-MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The hallway leading to the waiting rooms where we find out our test results.
We tease Joel all the time for having "chemobrain" but as evidenced on this poster at MD-it really is for real!
On the flight home after a crazy 48 hours in Houston. Not looking our cutest & always totally exhausted-but happy to be heading home.