Thank you for keeping up with Tony's status as he was battling cancer.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

He is back to normal today

His tiredness from Friday's treatment hung on for a few hours, but he was back to normal by early evening. He had Thai food for lunch today since this is the one day of the week is is allowed to have spicy food. He is currently playing Call of Duty with friends.

Friday, February 27, 2009

He is tired a little bit today

Yesterday he had a normal short visit to the doctor. He did some stationary bike riding, played frisbee golf, and went to the Thursday night devotional.

Today is the first time the treatments have affected him. Before today's treatment, he had plans to play frisbee golf. After the visit, he felt not-quite-right and wanted to go home instead. It is a cold windy day anyway, so staying in wasn't too hard to do.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lots of time at the doctors today

He had his 5th treatment today, and had appointments with both his chemo and radiation doctors. Both say he couldn't be doing any better than he is. Virtually no side effects except increased appetite and minor upset stomach from the steroids which everyone has.

He played flute again today for a friend who needed a small group for practice conducting. We tried to go play frisbee golf, but ran out of time (the doctor appointments ran from 2:00 to 5:00).

The area being radiated is larger than I is most of one half of his head, but they have it focussed really well so there is very little leakage into other areas.

Keep up the prayers...they seem to be working.

Monday, February 23, 2009

He played flute today

Today was his 3rd day of treatment. He played his flute for a friend in school that needed to conduct a group. He also got to see lots of his music friends while he was there. Hopefully that will get him jump started on playing it again.

All seems to be well with him.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A busy weekend

Tony went to his Grandparents on Saturday, and then to Owasso until his Dad arrived in Tulsa Saturday night...then back to his Grandparents. Sunday morning, he worshipped with the congregation in Vinita, OK, then back to Fayetteville for evening worship.

He looks good, but says he has lost some general coordination, and quite a bit of stamina due to 3 weeks of near inactivity. He needs to get some exercise to help restore both, but he hasn't started yet. It is hard for him because he doesn't like to exercise without competition, and most competitive activity isn't really allowed yet.

The medicines and treatments haven't had any side effects yet; he feels perfectly fine.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

No treatment today

Today he played on-line video games with friends while his Mom went pre-shopping for a formal dress for his sister.

There were no treatments today...he gets weekends off. Still no side-effects; he is feeling perfectly normal.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two down...28 to go

He had his second treatment today, and he doesn't feel any effects from it yet (none are expected until 5 or so treatments, then just tiredness).

He was playing Rock Band with friends over the internet today, and took his Mom to some stores looking for a formal dress for his sister.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

His first radiation treatment

He had his first treatment today. He fell asleep during the treatment, so it must not be too bad. He wears a mask to hold his head in just the right position, and they even position his body exactly the same each time using a photograph as reference. His first chemotherapy pill will be taken today too. This particular chemo treatment shouldn't cause hair to fall out, but the radiation probably will.

He is getting ready to play rock band on Xbox with a few of his friends. I think his Mom is going to hide in her room while that is going on.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Treatments start tomorrow

He starts radiation and chemo tomorrow with daily radiation treatments on weekdays for 6 weeks. It was a nice day, so he played 18 holes of disc golf.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just waiting for the doctors now

Cable and internet are hooked up in the apartment now, so time is probably passing faster now. Tony was playing Call of Duty.

We haven't heard from the doctors yet as far as a start date, but expect to this week. They are doing some calculations to figure out how to aim and focus the radiation. Apparently they compare the before-surgery MRI to the after-surgery CAT scans, and do some complex math to figure out exactly where the tumor remnants will be (they can't see them in the scan). It takes awhile; they calculate, check it, check again, have someone else calculate it, then someone else, etc. all to make sure they don't make a mistake. (I am all for no mistakes).

Thanks for your interest and prayers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

They are moved in

It doesn't take long to move into a furnished apartment. They have food in the fridge, the video game system set up, and should have TV and internet tomorrow.

We have an address

For the next 10 weeks or so, we have an apartment in Fayetteville.

It is about a mile straight south from the hospital without getting on any main roads. His Mom will stay with him for now, but Dad and Sister plan visits soon.

We still don't know what day treatment will begin, but at least we are all set up for it now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Moving to Fayetteville

He is at his Grandparents with his Mom. They are packing up stuff to take to Fayetteville tomorrow and move into the apartment they have reserved (assuming the apartment is acceptable). We don't have the address yet.

We expect treatments to start this week...probably Wednesday.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

No news today

He and Mom are still in Owasso. We talked today, but about other stuff.

Friday, February 13, 2009

He drove today

He is back in Owasso and back in the world of video gaming with his friends (due to a high-speed internet connection).

His appetite is dropping back toward normal as he ramps down off the steroids. He has gained 15 pounds due to the increased appetite and restricted activity in the last couple of weeks.

He drove around Owasso today taking some friends to Walmart. I think this is the first time he's driven since the surgery. His friends are still alive, so I guess it went okay : )

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking for 'home'

We have a lead on a furnished apartment near the hospital in Fayetteville. It comes with access to workout equipment, basketball, volleyball, and tennis. If it looks okay, that will be home-away-from-home for several weeks, and provide some convenient exercise options.

He says he has recovered complete dexterity in his right hand. That is really good news. It might be affected by the radiation treatments, but we are starting from full functionality, and we know the surgery didn't reduce his function.

Please thank God for his wonderful work.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We have a plan!

Starting next week, Tony will have 6 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy simultaneously. That will be followed by 2-3 months of chemotherapy. Treatment will include daily radiation Monday through Friday. The chemotherapy consists of pills taken orally, and side effects are very minimal compared to what other chemo treatments cause. The doctor expects him to feel tired, but not sick.

We talked to three doctors today, and all three said that his tumor is a text-book one with a standard treatment protocol set down by national standards. We asked if we should be going to a major cancer center; they said we could but the treatment would be the same. We asked about equipment differences, and Fayetteville has the exact same radiation equipment as would be used at a major center. In short, the cancer center in Fayetteville appears to be equal to the major centers for this kind of tumor. If we had a more difficult one, they would recommend a major center.

Tony is very comfortable with the staff and the setting, and he is excited to get started. He has met two people there who have gone through the same thing. One had it at age 7 and he is now 20 with no recurrence. One had it at 20 and is now in his mid 40's with no recurrence. The doctor's really believe this can be treated and put down for a very long time. Monitoring will probably require semi-annual CT scans for life to catch it early if it does come back.

He will have to stay in Fayetteville throughout radiation treatments and then 4 weeks after that, but should be able to come back to Alaska the first of May in time for his sister's graduation. His Dad and sister plan trips to come see him. There are some furnished apartments behind the hospital, and I think the cancer center has a deal with them. He will probably stay there with his Mom.

The doctor approved and encouraged him to start getting exercise and back to a more normal life. He just isn't supposed to really exert himself. Disc golf (frisbee golf by an old name) is approved. Pushups and stationary bikes are approved. The key is to avoid (1) heavy exertion, and (2) jarring of the brain. That does rule out tennis, running, jogging, basketball, football, bike riding, etc. He can even drive unless he gets sluggish from the treatments.

Once again...really good news considering the situation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ready for appointments tomorrow

Tony and his Mom went to Fayetteville tonight to attend the Tuesday night devotional and stay the night for tomorrow's appointments.

Tony brought his golf discs and tennis equipment hoping the doctor will clear him to go play. I hope he can at least play disc golf...I think he is needing to get outside.

It started raining and blowing hard, and even hailed. Tony said he hasn't seen hail down there before. Apparently having too many Alaskans down there at one time is bad for the weather.

Please pray for a good news tomorrow.

Monday, February 9, 2009

He has an appointment

He has a consult appointment with an oncologist on Wednesday and a followup appointment with the neurosurgeon the same day. He and his Mom will be at the appointment and his Dad plans to be on the phone. Perhaps after this, we will have an idea of what kind of treatment will be needed and where it can be done.

Today he was playing Guitar Hero, and was a bit miffed that the President's speech trumped Chuck. He hasn't taken a pain pill at night for two or three days, so things are getting better.

He is at his Grandparent's, so internet connectivity is sloooowww.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A change of locale

He went to worship this morning in Tulsa, and then to Fayetteville for an area-wide devotional. The devotional typically pulls together between 400 and 1000 teens from the area for a combined worship. The noise of that many people was a bit much for him after awhile, so they retired to Charlie's Chicken for a quieter dinner with close friends.

They plan to visit the doctor tomorrow to try and set up the oncologist appointment later this week or perhaps next week.

He bumped his head today standing up from plugging in his Xbox. It doesn't seem to have hurt anymore than an ordinary bump on the head, so I guess all is well.

He will probably spend the next couple of days at his grandparents house. If you can't reach him electronically, it might be because their house still has dial-up internet.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Friday, February 6, 2009

He shot some hoops today

Today was a typical uneventful (good) day. One new thing is he did take a few basketball shots while waiting for someone. He was also playing Guild Wars on his computer which requires some fairly fine hand control. I didn't hear what his shooting percentage was or how Guild Wars went, but it sounds like his fine movement control is pretty good.

A friend from grade school days found me on Facebook, and she will provide some more prayers. Thank you for yours.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another boring day (boring isn't bad)

He was playing video games when I called. His Mom wants him to get out and walk for some exercise, but walking doesn't interest him, and we don't have doctor approval for anything more strenuous.

His feels fine all day until bed time, then there is a little bit of discomfort. We assume that means he has healed to the point that he can handle a day's worth of activity before his brain says "enough!"

He wants to go to Arkansas for the area-wide devotional coming up. It will be a perfect chance to catch up with his friends there.

We still don't know what kind of follow-up treatments may be required.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A nice quiet day

Except for a trip to Wal-Mart, he has been reading all day. He just started on-line registration for dorm housing in the fall.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tacos for breakfast?

He has read 250 pages of one of the books he bought yesterday. He was reading still at 1:30 AM, and probably would have read longer if he hadn't been reminded to get some rest. Right now, he is playing on the Xbox with one of his friends in Alaska.

He is still taking pain medication as needed, but it is only about once a day now.

It does him good to get out every day, so today they went to get the free Denny's breakfast that was being advertised. The nearest Denny's was out of business, and a Taco business caught Tony's eye after that, so they had Mexican for breakfast.

Today he plans to reserve a dorm room for the fall semester. This is the first in a series of enrollment deadlines for the fall.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another good day

He is feeling great. He went out and bought the new Star Wars books to add to his collection. I don't know how many he bought, but he goes through them fast.

He is eating more than normal, but I think that is a side effect of being on steroids.

It is getting harder to post substantial information. As long as things continue to go well, there may not be much to say. I hope there isn't much to say.

Please thank God for our blessings.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

He went to worship today

He went to the morning worship, and enjoyed the entire time. Later, he dragged his Mom out to the grocery store so he could get some Super Bowl snacks, and he watched the game with the family they are staying with. He finally took some pain medicine just before going to bed. All-in-all, that is a very good day.