Sunday, September 6, 2015

Answers, Finally

Greetings friends and family,

Six months ago today Kendra was admitted to the hospital.  It feels like six years ago.  She had one round of tests and scans that led to a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, liver cancer, bone cancer, and a broken vertebrae.  After her hysterectomy and biopsies we went home from the hospital with very few answers.  I've spent six months in this data vacuum without the slightest visibility into the severity, aggressiveness, or direction of the cancer in her body.   This, along with the pain of watching my wife suffer, has been the greatest challenge of my life.  Not knowing.

For six months we've taken no family vacations or staycations or day trips or anything resembling a 4 Webbs adventure.  It's been difficult seeing posts and pictures of everyone traveling and playing and experiencing summer fun while we revolve our schedules and lives around doctor visits.  Kendra has been shackled to the perimeter of town so that she can get poked by a nurse six days a week at one of three doctor's offices.  and now we finally have some answers.

Her PET scan results show the tumors in her liver and her vertebrae are gone! For everything else there are a bunch of "buts" in the answers.  The tumor in her vertebrae is gone, but we don't know how structurally strong her bone is.  She has no pain, but the long term plan is completely unknown.  She has no new tumors in any organs, but there are two tiny spots of concern in her left hip.  They may or may not be cancerous, but Kendra will have an MRI next week to find out exactly what it is.

Starting in two weeks she'll undergo 40 days of daily abdominal radiation to kill off any free floating cancer cells as well as the spots in her hip bone, if that turns out to be something of concern.  We don't know what that will do to her body other than make her progressively fatigued as the days go by.  That takes us through mid-October.

The hope we are hanging onto is that when she has that last radiation appointment she will be completely done with treatments.  She'll take the next six weeks to recover, which means Thanksgiving will be a most memorable holiday when things line up.

I can speak for Kendra by saying she is terribly tired of hospitals and needles and nurses.   She knows the systems and processes better than some of the staff.  I want her to spend less and less time here as the days and months drift by

Kendra's blood transfusion on Friday was necessary because her hemoglobin count was too low.  After spending 5 hours in the hospital watching blood drip, she came home worn out, but feeling slightly refreshed from the aspects of healthy blood.  We had an open ended plan to maybe go the monthly church worship time.  Kendra at first said "no", but then changed her mind to "yes" because going there is so refreshing and life-giving.  So we took a van full of friends to downtown Phoenix.  Layla went with us because she loves to sing.  This view of Kendra and Layla praying and singing together is emotionally moving for me.  I am so very grateful for Kendra being an excellent example for Layla of pursuing Godliness.

Saturday was a blur because Kendra had a bladder infection so it was Daddy time all day long.  I took Easton to Taekwondo and Layla to ice skating for some public skate time.  Layla and I went to the local grocery store for some one on one conversation.  She is such a happy child and it does my heart good to be with her.  I tell her often how much I like her and love her and enjoy spending time together.

This past week was by far the most emotionally and mentally taxing I've ever experienced.  So many unanswered questions, but at least we have some guidance as to the direction.  Next week will include meeting the oncologist for a prognosis, an MRI for Kendra's hip, and possibly an IV bag of Vitamin C from the naturopathic doctor.  That'll be the easiest week Kendra's had in months!

See you soon.

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