Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Update 5/25/23: Treatment Day 3

Isaiah 12:2 "God is indeed my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid."

Today was day 3 of treatment for Wayne. Every Monday-Friday, except Memorial Day, we travel downtown Chicago for Wayne's radiation. Yesterday, we decided that I would drive around after dropping Wayne off at radiation, since he is there for under 10 minutes. Unfortunately, yesterday ended up taking 45 minutes. So today, we decided to pay and park like normal. I dropped him off and entered the parking garage and found a place to park. By the time I got down to the radiation floor, Wayne was walking out of the room all done. We are going to try this routine a few times next week and see which one is the better option...driving around for 30-45 minutes in traffic or paying $13 for parking. 

We are slowly starting to see more side effects from treatment. Wayne’s brain felt fuzzy and cloudy after radiation today and his body strength fluctuates. People have been asking about Wayne’s treatments and his days look like, so I thought I’d share a glimpse of a day.

* Around 7am, Wayne gets up and has breakfast with his morning pills. He takes a mixture of anti-seizure pills, vitamins, and supplements (like Longevity which has frankincense).

* We rub frankincense on Wayne’s scalp where his tumor is located.

 * Depending on the time of radiation, he tries to take time to work on PT, since he is on a two week break from therapy. We have a call tomorrow with Shirley Ryan to decide if he's going back while we are here in Chicago or whether he will resume therapy in KY when we go home.

* For snack, I make Wayne a budwig diet smoothie (1/2 cup organic cottage cheese emulsified with 1/4 cup organic cold pressed flax seed oil-we add some fruit afterwards to help with the taste). We did this smoothie 8 years ago and I have no clue if it really does anything, but supposedly some doctor found the chemical reaction between the two ingredients is supposed to help, she we figure it doesn't hurt to try it again.

 * We head downtown for radiation after his snack. (I snapped this picture yesterday when we were stopped at a light and I noticed that Buckingham Fountain is back on). 

* Wayne eats lunch and then may lay down afterward depending on how he is feeling after radiation.

* The afternoon is low-key. Wayne may read, work on his computer, take a walk, talk with friends, etc. 

* Wayne eats dinner, watches a little tv, and takes his evening pills (the second dose of his seizure medicine and boswellia for swelling).

* Around 9pm, he takes an anti-nausea pill.

 * Around 10pm, right before bed, he takes his chemo and some RSO oil to help with his symptoms while we are here in IL. They have found that this helps patients with chemo side effects, including helping decrease swelling. We are trying anything to prevent Wayne from having to take more steroids or take other medicine like Avastin.

 * That about sums up our days. The weekends will look different because he has a break from radiation on the weekends. We will try to use that time for his to recuperate before another long week of treatment. 

Wayne continues to have some funny expressions. Last night we were talking to the kids about Tina Turner’s death. They didn’t know who she was, so we were trying to find a picture to show them. I found a picture and showed them who she was. I told the kids that she’s a singer who is known for her hair (at least that’s what I recall when I’ve seen her sing). Wayne said, “It’s not her hair, but her legs that I remember.” Micaela was perplexed and asked why. He replied, “Because they were really long and went up to…(pause)…her butt.” The whole room erupted in laughing. 

When I texted Naomi the quote, she asked who Tina Turner was too. Our friend Jason said, “According to Wayne, just have her Google legs.” Which caused us to laugh even more. When Naomi finally saw a picture of Tina she sarcastically said, “Wow, her legs do go all the way up to her butt. That’s impressive. God was really creative with her…you never see that.” 😂😂😂 These are the moments that keep us going through the hard, so bear with our silly stories. 

Wayne and I taking a walk as part of his daily PT.

While we are here in Chicago, Shan started a job at Arby's. So far he seems to be enjoying it and he’s doing a good job. He looks so grown up! Look how far he has come in six years!

He wasn't thrilled that I made Abigail take a picture of him the first day. 

Shan Chen in China on his adoption day.

This young man has always had so much joy...and he's always loved food. We got a free piece of Portillo's chocolate cake and he was so excited. He loved Spiderman his first year home.

This is my newest project for my self-care time. I have always loved Van Gogh, so I couldn't pass up this diamond art at Hobby Lobby.

The kids visited some friends at their farm yesterday. This was the only picture Sophia managed to take. 🤷🏼‍♀️

On our walk today, Wayne and I talked about my struggles and fears about his cancer and treatment. I always love how Wayne points me back to the Lord and reminds me that God not only has this, but that I can trust that He will work everything out. I don't have to try to control any of it, because none of it is in my hands. Sometimes it is scary how well Wayne knows me and understands my inner struggles. I know everything he is saying is true, but sometimes it is hard act upon that which you know. The daily battle to surrender and trust is so real. This is where the rubber hits the road, just like it did 8 years ago. 

If you are a believer reading this, you HAVE to spend time now in God's Word and studying who He is. That will be your rock and your anchor when the storms of life hit you, and the storms will come. Nothing else will anchor you like knowing the character of God, His sovereignty, and His word. It brings us such peace knowing that God is in control and that He knows the outcome of all of this. His word becomes much more real and alive when you are in dark times, especially David's Psalms. Here is a reminder for all of us: God is good, even when it doesn't feel like it, and God is in control, even when life feels chaotic. God is sovereign, even when our world feels crazy and out of control. Our job is to fix our eyes on Jesus, just as Wayne reminded me today. 

The encouragement and prayers of so many of you is what keeps us going many of these days and we are so thankful for all of you!

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