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 “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord…” (Col 3:23)

Dear Family and friends,

The ol’ noggin has apparently been listening to scripture, been working overtime, and doing a great job!  As of the last post, it was looking like I was heading for brain surgery unless the left side tumor and hemorrhage shrank.  Well guess what?  I learned this in the last post – you guys don’t guess. Something you might enjoy learning about me –  As a pro dad technique, I always guess.  When I get home and the kids say, “Dad, guess what we did today,” they can count on a hundred absurd and hysterical guesses (e.g. “You made a pie for me,” “You tackled a raccoon,” “You wrote a letter to Clint Eastwood,” etc.  My experience is that all my guesses are wrong.  Hard to believe I’ve never been right even once, right?) that end in their extreme frustration with how infuriating it is to have such a hilarious dad.  

Anyway…since you didn’t guess, I suppose I’ll just tell you…later, after I suggest all the hilarious guesses you could have made.  No?  Are you on my kids’ side?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  The tumor and hemorrhage shrank.  I had a CT of my brain last week, and it shows that the tumor is smaller and the hemorrhage is gone.  

This is the December MRI from the last post, in which the red circled area shows the tumor which had gotten bigger and was surrounded by hemorrhage (a pool of blood)
This is last week’s CT scan of the brain.  The green circled area is the same tumor as the one circled in red in the MRI above.  It measures less than 2cm in diameter on some dimensions, whereas the MRI showed over 2cm in all directions.  The blood has also disappeared from the green circled area.  The tumor seems less visible in the faintly dark area of the CT scan vs. the MRI, but this is because the scanning technologies are different.  The tumor is still there, even though it looks like it has almost completely disappeared since the MRI.

I conclude a few things: (1) Your prayers and the Adoration train are WORKING!  (2) My brain is doing a really good job.

Maybe it’s time for some people around here, myself included, to give some more affirmation to my brain for getting us to where we are.  Can we agree on that?  Yes?  Great.  
So here’s hoping my brain feels like the valued member of the team it truly is.  Here’s the really big news in all of this: the brain surgeon says he thinks we should “press the pause button” on the surgery plan.  We’ll do another scan sometime in February and see how things are looking.  If the tumor and hemorrhage are stable or even smaller, I’ll be able to avoid surgery.  If there’s any growth, I’ll need to get back on the surgery plan right away.
I get told often that I seem unphased by all the ups and downs of my cancer situation, and while I was mentally and spiritually preparing for surgery, which has consisted of hours in prayer, plus…
Speaking of Eastwood: Cancer, I’m going to wait on this bridge for you like Harry Callahan with his .44 Magnum.  “Do ya feel lucky, punk?”

Also thought about taking a page from Nolan Ryan.  Cancer, you’re going to get all fastballs, high and inside.  And there’s nothing you can do about it.

Well despite my confidence-building daydreams, and the fact that I was feeling ready for surgery, I’m grateful I can avoid it.  The “cookie sized skull hole” I mentioned last time was not really a box I was eager to check.  Tumors shrinking – that keeps the whole miracle of these last 15 years alive.

And the support from all of you is such a big part of this journey.  Thank you.  Next up is photon radiation of the three small tumors on the right side.  I’m eager to get this going Monday.  Each time I’ve done this radiation in the last few years, it has really knocked down those little early stage tumors.  I feel great about going into this procedure and am praying it doesn’t result in any seizures or swelling of healthy tissue, which I have experienced at times, going back almost 2 years now.  With all the prayers and messages of support, Kendra, the kids and I feel like we’ve got this.

With fortitude and prayers for you,