Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Update 12/14/23: Trying Times

Psalms 62:5-8 “My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

I apologize for the delay in giving an update. I know when people start texting me that I’ve waited too long to update the blog. It’s easier to update everyone here than to send multiple individual text updates.

Life has been slightly chaotic and challenging. Between trying to recuperate from my own treatments, and caring for Wayne, it is a full time job. I told a friend the other day that I just feel zapped. I have a bunch of books to read and activities that I could be doing, and yet, most of the time the only thing I have the bandwidth for is watching tv with Wayne.

Update Rebecca: It took over a week this chemo round to feel back to my normal self. My taste buds were affected a lot longer this time and I was more exhausted. Thankfully, I am feeling better this week. Lord willing, 12/22 will be my last chemo. I have been working on doing some natural things to lower my liver enzymes. We will find out next Wednesday if it has worked. I’m praying that they have lowered so that I can continue with my immunotherapy.

Update Wayne: I saved Wayne’s update for second since there is a lot more going on with him. The infusion he received two weeks ago didn’t provide Wayne with the results we were hoping. Wayne had a bad headache the first few days. What was the most concerning was the deterioration of Wayne’s speech. 

On Friday evening, Wayne had a seizure that was unique from others in the past. Normally, he experiences a seizure that affects his arm and leg. He described this one as a seizure in his head. After the seizure, his face slightly drooped and he could hardly speak. I called the doctor and he said to keep a close eye on him. He mentioned that it sounded like the infusion wasn’t giving the desired effects. Thankfully, by the next morning, he was back to his new normal self.

Wayne told me that his right side continues to weaken. That on top of his speech issues, we have some tough decisions. We had a serious discussion tonight after meeting with his doctor via a tele-health appointment. His doctor would like to try one more infusion of the Avastin, but we both believe it is not in Wayne’s best interest. The negative side effects he experienced, on top of the ones he could have, such as blood clots, led us to conclude not to proceed with more infusions. Wayne has always been clear that he wants quality over quantity. Since the medicine did not give any quality, he doesn’t want any more infusions. 

So, what is next? Good question. We aren’t 100% sure. We will notify his doctor tomorrow that we will not do any more infusions. We will also let him know that we will make our decision about the lower dose of chemotherapy after we see the results of the MRI. If the cancer has gotten significantly bigger, we will most likely forgo any other treatments and move to hospice. That way Wayne can get some additional help at home, and we can ensure that he has quality time with us. If the tumor hasn’t grown a lot, Wayne would consider the lower dose of chemo and see if it helps. 

Just having to discuss these options makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t like any of the options that we are presented with these days. It just doesn’t feel fair that we have to walk this and make such hard decisions. Many times the last week, I have cried myself to sleep as my heart is breaking thinking about losing my best friend. 

On a positive note, through this hard time, we were blessed to have some of Wayne’s family with us. His parents and sister came to spend time with Wayne. The kids enjoyed having extra family around.

Joella performed in the Christmas play at church. She also helped with announcements on Sunday morning. I was able to attend, with a mask since it was my most vulnerable immune system days. Joella was thrilled that Abigail made it home in time for her show and that her aunts and grandparents were there too. 

My sister Rachel and her boyfriend Steve are in town visiting and were able to watch Joella.

My other sister, Sarah, also came and cheered Joella on.

My parents attended the play as well. Joella loved having family there.

We celebrated at Chuys for dinner after the play. 

Proud mom moment, Sophia was selected to attend a Civil Air Patrol DC delegation event at the end of February. She never fails to amaze me with her pursuits and passions. I know God has great things in store.

We also celebrated Shan’s 17th birthday. He’s growing up so quickly and is becoming such an amazing young man. 

Wayne received a new cast on his ankle. So far, it is taking its time healing. I think it is going to take a long time for this break to heal.

Prayer Requests:

- Wayne: please pray for wisdom to know what steps we need to take as we move forward and for his MRI. 

- Rebecca: please pray for God's strength to carry me through these difficult days. Please also pray for my own treatments to be effective so that I can remain with my kids as long as possible. 

- Kids: please pray for the kids as we all navigate this time. Pray that we are able to make amazing memories over the holidays. Abigail decided to spend her last semester at Liberty at home. She will take all her classes online so that she can spend as much time with Wayne as possible. 

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