The Oncologist is Very Optimistic

We visited the oncologist today, who was happy to report that Rich’s tumor markers (something found in a blood test) have dropped, which means that the chemo is working already.

We told her that initially, we felt like the word “cancer” was a death sentence. She shook her head and said, “No. In your case, this type of seminoma is very curable. It responds to treatment. And if it doesn’t do what we want it to do, we have a whole arsenal of things we can throw against it.” She said that Rich has the most treatable kind of testicular cancer…and that it made her very happy that it was a classic seminoma, instead of what Lance Armstrong had, which was a more aggressive type.

What an amazing blessing to start to think of this as NOT a terminal illness, but as just a rough season. God willing, it is just a season, and the treatments will go as planned. The doctor was very, very optimistic.

Rich has gone from taking the max dose of Vicodin (8 in 24 hours) to just 2 in the last 24 hours…and says that he feels a little discomfort, but not nearly what he was feeling before. Another answered prayer…

The only really uncomfortable side effect that has surfaced is a case of thrush in his mouth, which they treat with a prescription mouthwash. Rich says it feels like the worst case of dry mouth you can imagine.

Tomorrow, Rich has a short chemo session at Kaiser, which is supposed to be “quick, and easy” compared to the days last week.

In other news today, Allison got her preschool graduation pictures back, and she looks extremely proud in them with her blue cap and gown, and her missing front tooth. She also learned how to cross the monkey bars on our swingset today, which was quite an accomplishment…I was never able to do the monkey bars in elementary school, which probably explains why I was picked LAST for any team sports in gym class…it looks like Allison inherited some good genes from Rich’s side of the family.

Asher is making amazing strides in his vocabulary, and is starting to tell very animated stories. He’s a character, and will do almost anything for a laugh…he has an extremely contagious smile. I gave the kids their dinner in front of the TV tonight as a special treat. As I cooked up a meal for Rich and I (the chicken nuggets I served the kids didn’t cut it for us tonight), I checked on the kids and discovered that Asher was dipping his toes in his ketchup and licking them with much glee. The boy likes to disgust me, and finds great satisfaction in discovering new things that make me say, “Eeeeew! Asher!!! No!” It’s gotta be a boy thing…

Another random note for all of you Oakhurst dwellers who drive to Kaiser…as I drive off HWY 41 towards Kaiser, I am always plagued by the question, “What’s the quickest way to Kaiser…off Friant or Herndon?” I generally take a different route each time, as the result of my indecision on the quickest path. Well, I figure the ambulance drivers know best…when Rich was taken down to Kaiser, they took Friant, then turned left at Nees (by In & Out Burger), then Right on Fresno Street, to Kaiser…just a random thought for your Wednesday night, in case you are also a bit obsessive/compulsive, and have wondered about this, too…

Thank you again for your prayers and your love. We are so blessed by you!

Love, Susan

10 Responses to “The Oncologist is Very Optimistic”

  1. MOM and BRUCE Says:

    Another miracle from the Great Healer.. We are so thankful this one was for our Rich.. Our God is an awesome God.AMEN.

  2. Jason Says:

    Excellent news Rich! Keep up the good fight.

    We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. ~Winston Churchill

  3. Laura Cosby Says:

    Bryan and I are reading your blog and praying for you guys up here in Spokane. Have you heard of the Healing Rooms? It’s an international ministry where anyone can go and get prayer, big or small. Bryan and I have loved going up here in Spokane and I checked their website and they have one in Fresno. Their website is Prayer and Kaiser, can’t beat it! (we loved Kaiser, wish it was in Spokane). Will continue to pray…
    Laura Cosby

  4. Grace Says:

    We’re so glad and blessed to hear this encouraging news. We are praying and trusting God with you!

    Love, Grace and Paul

  5. Laurel R Says:

    Thank you for the laugh-out-loud moment regarding Asher’s unique approach to cuisine, Susan! In the midst of such a tremendous challenge as Rich’s illness, it’s so good to know there are those around to keep you grounded…or grossed out, as the case may be. 😉

    Thrilling news about Rich’s prognosis! I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Austin Says:

    That is encouraging news! As for asher…pure genius! Grosses mom out while reducing his carbon footprint… by using his foot!

  7. Candace Says:

    What encouraging news regarding the Vicodin! I can imagine that it’s the meds that you take each day (and may not like) that allow you to feel victorious when you lessen them! The lowered blood markers, heightened kidney function and less pain–Praise God! Thinking & praying for you guys.

  8. L Says:

    Hi Susan, you might remember me as the morning girl at Curves. I just heard about your husband through Nichole Plane and wanted to say I’ll be praying everything goes smoothly!


  9. Mary Rantanen Says:

    Hi Rich,

    I am not sure if you remember me or not but I went to P-burg high school with you. I read thru your whole blog last night and was quite moved by it. (lots of tears shed) I am so sorry that you and your family are going through such a trying time. I truly believe in the power of prayer and I will be praying for God to return you to perfect health. It is so awesome that you and your wife have remained so positive and close to God. He loves you very much and will be with you every step of the way of this journey.

    May God bless you, your wife and your little ones always!


  10. Colleen Pyron Says:

    I am so very thankful that we live in these times, when research is paying off for cancer patients! Combined with prayer, I know you’ll keep your balance through this and come out way, way ahead! I can’t wait to see pictures of your graduation girl, and Asher, Honey, Aunt Colleen is so very proud of your ingenuity! Your cousins also love,Love, LOVE their ketchup!

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