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“For thou, O Lord, art my hope.”  Ps 71:5

Dear Family and Friends,

Lots has been going on since my last check-in, and I think Kendra would say that when compared with some previous periods, I have been doing a better job.  For one, I got Kendra to the hospital in order to deliver Barbara.  Pretty civilized, right?  If you are not aware, I delivered our daughter Mary Jane at home four years ago. 

Barbara came fast, and we made it to the hospital with about 20 minutes to spare.
My perfect streak of no babies born in the car – unbroken!

And Barbara has once again brought the unique joy of a new baby into our family.  No earthly queen could surpass her in the devotion of her subjects.

Throngs gather to contemplate her loveliness, to inquire about her needs whenever she is not within view,
to wonder aloud when she might grace us with her presence, to sprint off to retrieve her changing pad,
to argue upon whom her drowsy gaze just fell. She is queen of all that she surveys.

I also got good news on the cancer front.  Shortly before Barbara was born, I had a CT scan of my chest/abdomen to see how the lung and lymph node tumors are responding to the medication I started taking when we kicked off Plan B.  I had the scan on a Friday afternoon – bad job.  While Friday afternoons are when scan appointments are available without much need for advance planning, Kendra does not like it when I have scans on Friday afternoons because we have to wait until Monday for the results.  Sheesh, cool your jets, lady.  They’re only cancer results.  Anyway, this particular Friday afternoon which I picked for the scan was her birthday – BAD job.  I did not tell her that I had the scan that Friday afternoon – good job.  I surprised her on Monday with good news – GOOD job. #learning

The results were that the lung and lymph node tumors are continuing to shrink.  VERY good job.

It turns out that on the Monday I got those results, I also got in to see the radiation oncologist to get a look at the post-radiation brain MRI images.  She added additional perspective because up to this point I had spoken only to the resident and found out the high-level details that the brain radiation did a good job.  The radiation oncologist told me that the radiation’s impact on the brain tumors was “really remarkable.”  She said that the one remaining tumor was shrinking on a trajectory that makes it very unlikely that there is any live cancer in that spot.  Wow – GREAT JOB.

Right side is before, left side is after

In the photo above, the “before” image shows the largest tumor as the light-colored circular spot on the right side.  That spot is greatly reduced in the “after” image, and none of the other 7 tumors even show up in the MRI.  The doctor said that the most likely reason that the last remaining tumor shows up at all is that it has not had enough time to completely shrink and disappear.  So taking both scans together it was pretty much an unqualified endorsement of my job performance.  I’m kind of expecting a promotion, to be honest.

Okay, that’s it for now.  I hope to get to some other reflections that have been on my…brain…lately.  But for now, it’s late.

With fortitude and prayers for you,