Wednesday, November 18, 2015

LAST CHEMO (Hopefully)!!!

The day is here!

When Brett was told he would undergo chemotherapy every other Wednesday for 12 treatments (this was in June) - we counted forward and realized he would finish in November.  It seemed so far away!  We prayed that he would not get an infection so that no treatments were delayed... because that means by Thanksgiving, he would be able to eat again and enjoy the day!

Brett was blessed - well, besides cancer of course! No delayed treatments.  No infections.  2 small colds (which were a little bigger cold for him).  No fevers!  No hospital stays, transfusions or emergency room visits!
NOTE:  While I know our prayers are answered in the way I had hoped... I hesitate to use these words. "Our prayers were answered" doesn't always mean things go well... because there are so many who are going through the devastating effects of cancer and their prayers are answered also, but in different ways and for different reasons.  I don't pretend to think that Brett is more favored by God... I just know that our faith has brought us through this with a good attitude and the ability to recognize so many blessings - and miracles - along the way.  We believe that this life will have many trials and tribulations - and our faith gives us the tools to handle it - and perhaps help others in the future, or strengthen our testimonies.  For those that pass on because of this devastating disease, or the effects of chemo, there are many blessing in answers to prayers during those experiences also.  I speak from experience because of my Dad... I believe that my Dad's treatment and journey also was blessed... for us and for him even though he left us too soon.  I know his journey continues on the other side and perhaps his experiences will serve him there? Anyway - just wanted to leave those thoughts with you...
So our insurance nurse case manager called a couple of weeks ago.  She helps us manage the insurance to be sure there aren't any problems (and it must work because so far - so good).  And she said nothing had come across her desk to indicate there were any issues.  She then proceeded to tell me how rare that is... that with this aggressive therapy and with counts remaining low, something usually happens.

When we started the journey - we were told that a fever over 100º means an automatic 3-day stay at the hospital because of being immune suppressed.  I couldn't imagine going 6 months without any problems.... but here we are!!

Eric and Scott were with us for his Chemo graduation day.  It was the normal routine... and hard to "celebrate" because we knew Brett wouldn't feel good by the time it was over.

Julie was excited - and put in his orders for his CT and PET scans next month!

At the Day Hospital, we checked in... waited for a few hours as normal...

And then... as he was getting his last chemo drug - I pulled out the little sign I made so he could pose for pictures with it.

The nursing staff gave him a little cake (wrapped to take home, of course) and a certificate. We knew we'd be back on Friday for his IV fluids appointment, so I told them it wasn't good-bye yet!

That face he makes... his Grandpa would
have hated it.  hahaha

When he was just about done... and we were starting to pack up, a wave of emotion just hit me out of nowhere.  Relief.  Like we had been holding our breath.  Just overwhelming gratitude for the care he's getting.  For giving me the gift of such a great family.  For giving me the gift of so many caring friends and words of encouragement, cards and gifts to get us through this journey.  Overwhelming... is the only way to describe this week.

On Friday we brought in my state fair blue ribbon pumpkin bread for them to enjoy (2 loaves) and they were so happy!  We were there for just over 2 hours and Judy and Kariann came in and gave him hugs and wanted him to come back once he got his results.  Said he was a great patient... so kind.  Of course, I got emotional.
Getting IV fluids
We left the Day Hospital arm in arm... and he was hungry!  So at 10:30am we got him some Arby's.  After some fluids... and and a sandwich, he was feeling better.

He went to bed.. and I gave a prayer of thanks...  Now we wait until next month to see what is next.  If there are stubborn tumors, he will receive radiation. If he receives the great news of being tumor-free - then he returns in 3 months for another scan, and then he can move forward from that point - whether he returns on his mission, or goes through more treatment.

Those that have had cancer call it "scanxiety" - and it's a perfect word!  We know we aren't out of the woods - but this piece is over.


  1. Elder Hogg,

    You are an inspiration to all of us. Endure, press forward and rejoice that in the Resurrection all will be perfected (I'm looking forward to getting my teeth back).

    No doubt The Lord has/had a different MTC training for you to prep you for the Mission Field.

    No we just don't understand all He has for us to go through, but we understand His perfect Love for us as we seek His Spirit.

    While you are recovering, and no doubt spending a huge amount of time in pondering and prayers, please say a prayer for my Campaign for President of The United States.

    Merry Christmas,

  2. Will chemo resistance lead to reduced radiosensitivity?