Great test results – A concert in Fresno

It’s been awhile since we posted an update, and no news is good news, ladies and gentlemen!

Rich is doing really, really well.

Last week, he had his first haircut in 6 months. His hair came in curly, a bit darker…and substantially grayer. I can post this because I admit that MY hair has some stubborn gray streaks beginning in it, as well. Cancer has officially kicked us into the “middle aged” bracket. We were looking at photos of us just 3 years ago when Asher was a baby…we both look SO MUCH YOUNGER. Oh, well…at least we’re still alive…and Proverbs says gray hair is supposed to be a “crown of splendor”…I’ll cling to that description.

Rich had a CT Scan a few weeks ago, and it came back with the mass even smaller than the last scan. It’s now 1.0 by 1.2 cm…shrinking is GOOD NEWS.

He also had a PET Scan the following week, and we just recieved results from that last week…also good news. There is still a bit of glow around where the cancer was, but it is less than the last PET Scan, and it could simply be inflammation, or scar tissue…less glow is GOOD NEWS.

We meet with the oncologist on Thursday to find out the next steps in monitoring Rich. The urologist told us that he thought the current course of action (monitoring for changes in the mass) still seemed like the most prudent course of action. We’ll see if the oncologist agrees!

There have been a lot of milestones lately, and here are a few:

– Last week, Rich drove our family up to Yosemite…we played in Wawona…drove to the valley…he hiked about a mile…photographed…chatted with some friends we saw up there…and he drove us home, with a bit of energy to spare. This is a huge improvement. Just 2 months ago, it was a big deal for him to even accompany me up to Yosemite.

– He is able to think much more clearly and intensely. The old Rich is coming back, complete with 5 million ideas and thoughts per minute. I’m finding that MY mind is the one that can’t keep up, these days.

– He is able to play actively with the kids; read them bedtime stories; and be a part of daily family life in a meaningful way. There is a lot of joy in our house, these days, because of this!

– One of the highlights of Rich’s time in the oncology department was the pharmacist there, Randy. Randy was truly, absolutely made for his job. As he mixed chemistry that could kill cancer, and created drug regimens to fight the side effects, he built relationships with his patients…he brought humor, and a light hearted feel to the clinic, and always left everyone in the clinic shaking their heads and smiling at something funny he’d said. Laughter is a huge gift in an oncology clinic. He brought videos in for Rich and I to watch. And he told us about the Fresno Youth Orchestra, and how his daughter played the cello. We told Randy that our daughter loved classical music, and he encouraged us to bring her to a concert in December.

December seemed extremely distant at the time…and to envision Rich being able to endure a trip to Fresno for fun…let alone going to a concert…was hard to imagine. Well, tonight we did it. Rich drove Allison and I to Fresno. We went out to dinner…enjoyed the concert (it was amazing! You should check it out if you like symphonies…EXCELLENT and budget friendly)… He then drove us home. Then, he drove my mom home (she & Poppa watched Asher for us…thanks guys!)…and now he is eating a snack and probably won’t go to bed for another hour. It was an amazing milestone…to do something we talked about doing throughout the cancer treatment…to have our little girl with us…to have Randy at the concert, and introducing Rich to his family as “one of his success stories…” It was an amazing night, and a great gift.

There are a lot of things we wouldn’t have experienced, if it weren’t for Rich’s cancer. Tonight was just one of God’s great blessings from this journey. And the holidays have never been sweeter.

Thank you for loving us, and for your continued prayers. Recovery is one tough road, but Rich is enduring it well.

4 Responses to “Great test results – A concert in Fresno”

  1. Kathy Mohorter Says:

    Your news leaves me with tears of joy!!! cousin Kathy

  2. Laurel R Says:

    So great to read the additional good news! Merry Christmas to all of you. šŸ™‚

  3. Eric Hagen Says:

    That is awesome. I am overjoyed for all of you. As for grey hair, I am right there with you. I think I need to look back over the post for that verse and put it on my mirror. I love you all.

  4. Lisa Marie Rovito Says:

    Susan!!! I had a feeling I might find a new entry here… What wonderful strides for your family. I am so happy to read that you and Rich and the kids are all able to do and enjoy so much more. It really is mind blowing how uncertain times seem, and yet we step forward each day into them anyway. This Christmas must look so different to everyone now… Blessings & joy to your family! xo, Lisa Marie

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