Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Update 12/21/23: Daunting Days

Psalm 9:9-10 "The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You."

Yesterday was a hard day, which rolled over into today. Wayne and I met with his KY oncologist after his MRI. It was the first time I had seen pictures of Wayne’s November MRI. I couldn’t believe how much the tumor grew in those two months. The oncologist believed the edema/swelling had gone down a little from the November scan, but we are waiting to speak with our IL oncologist to get his opinion as well. The doctor tried convincing Wayne to try one more round of Avastin, but Wayne was adamant that he didn’t want to do that. I fully support his decision and so do the kids. We saw the deterioration in Wayne and don’t want to chance anymore of that. To hear first hand that we are pretty much out of options was difficult.

The photos on the right are from September and the left is from November. The top photos are of the tumor (the black spot is where Wayne’s brain is missing from previous surgery-the white circle is the tumor) and the bottom photos are the edema/swelling (grayish color).

After that discouraging appointment, we headed to my follow up doctor appointment. Although my liver enzymes went down, they were still too high to safely do another round of my immunotherapy. So, we will postpone that for another three weeks. Tomorrow I will only receive my two chemo treatments. My doctor also told me to be prepared to possibly do two more rounds of chemo after my radiation. I always knew it was possible, but all the “bad” news just really hit me. I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s just hard some days. 

My sisters were right by our side all day yesterday through the appointments. These days are tiring and my sister, Rachel, took a quick snooze.

This morning, I felt discouraged and anxious. I just want to wake up from this bad dream. Sometimes, the emotions and realities just feel overwhelming, like waves continuously crashing over my head. I want God to take all of it away, even though I know He has a plan in all of this and I can trust Him. But I am human and all of this starts to take a toll some days.

Wayne has had a few visitors since his family visited. Wayne's friend Troy came and spent the day with him. He thrilled the kids with a fun game of shuffleboard. They have been playing it for hours.

Wayne's former co-workers came all the way from Chicago for the afternoon to visit. They thrilled the kids with a delicious Portillos chocolate cake and candy. Pat and Zack have always been great friends to Wayne and have visited many times while we have been in Chicago for appointments.

Wayne had a new cast put on today. He opted for a red cast this time to be festive for Christmas. Unfortunately, when they were cutting his cast off, they caught his toe. Poor guy cannot catch a break.

We made the most of the past week. Micaela and Joella enjoyed some treats from around the world as we completed some projects learning about Christmas in other cultures. 

We love Cornelius, who is our counselor's therapy dog. His ears are so soft!

We have completed two puzzles already. We just bought a fun puzzle to complete on Christmas.

Monday's Christmas Fun: bunco and hot cocoa bar. We took out our hot cocoa bar for our evening of playing bunco with our neighbors. It was the first time most of us had played, and it was a hit. 

Tuesday's Christmas Fun: Making fudge with my sister. I have loved having her around the past few days. When we were done making fudge, we watched Elf and ate candy canes.

Wayne's sister, Karen, made Joella an elf hat. She had to wear it during the movie. She let me borrow it for a few pictures and it kept my head so warm!

The older kids skipped Elf to watch their cousin's basketball game.

Wednesday's Christmas fun was decorating cookies with their cousins. I snapped few pictures and then headed to bed after a long day at the doctor's office.

Today's Christmas fun was going to watch The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe ballet at UK. Unfortunately, the older kids had to work, so it was just me, Micaela, Joella, Rachel, and Steve. We had a blast with some of our CC friends. 

Prayer Requests:

- Wayne: please pray for clear direction after we talk with his oncologist in Chicago. Pray that his ankle heals completely, since that is going very slowly. 

- Rebecca: please pray that I make it through my chemo tomorrow and that I have little side effects so that we can enjoy Christmas as a family. Pray that each of these treatments brings a complete healing to my body. Please also pray that God gives me the strength to not only heal from my chemo, but the energy to care for Wayne and trust God with each step as we move forward. 

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