Sunday, August 9, 2015

Thank You Sweet Friends

I want to let all of you know that Toby and I were deeply touched by your loving and kind comments. I read each and every one to him and he was just overwhelmed that so many people he had never even met were praying so faithfully for his healing. 
We are doing well and just taking a little break to take in all the events of the past few months. It's been a roller coaster ride indeed, we've been in the valleys and on the mountain tops and through it all YOU supported us and helped keep us strong. You have been like family and it's something we'll never forget. Thank you again dear friends and sending great BIG HUGS to you. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Never Give Up, God is Near and He Hears You!

I would have posted sooner but it has taken me a couple of days to actually feel real as I've been walking around in a cloud since Friday. Toby's surgery date was set for August 6th, on Thursday we went in for PET Scans and CT Scans.
 On Friday we met with DR. Hanna at MD Anderson Cancer  Center. We had a long day of appointments with six different doctors ahead of us that day.
 We were already dragging that morning since we had to get up at 5am to get to MDA on time for a 7:45 appt. We both felt like blobs and sat down in the exam room waiting for Dr. Hanna.
 We weren't prepared for what happened anyone ever prepared for God to perform a miracle? We like to think so but He often catches us unawares. We pray for one, sometimes they happen but often they do not.
 Well on Friday we got our MIRACLE!
Dr Hanna entered the room with a huge smile on his face he stretched out his hand to Toby and congratulated him. "Your Cancer is GONE"! The surgery is canceled! The rest of  your doctors appointments today are all canceled!
The scans showed no evidence of cancer anywhere in your body! He then handed us this paper...

We both sat motionless staring blankly at him, it didn't registered with us.....he said it again, NO MORE CANCER in your body!
All of a sudden every emotion we have been having for the past four plus months came rushing in. Going from facing a 12 hour operation with losing basically half his face,temple jaw and ear with no guarantees to NO MORE CANCER.
 I can't even begin to tell you what that felt like, it was like we had a death sentence and suddenly got a reprieve at the last hour. 
All I could say was "thank you Jesus, thank you so very much".
The two rounds of chemo that they had hoped would just shrink the tumor in order to make surgery easier by the grace of God had done the trick. MD Anderson is a place of hope where God works miracles. We will always be grateful for everything they have done for Toby.
 The doctor was as amazed as we were that the cancer was gone. We had basically been told by the Veterans Administration that it was hopeless but God had another plan.
Dr. Hanna wants him to have some radiation and a touch of chemo to seal the deal as a precautionary measure.
 Before he gets radiation he has to have some dental work, apparently once you have radiation on your head you cannot have any teeth pulled ever as it carries a high risk of cracking your jaw so it must be done before radiation.
 So he'll be getting a couple of teeth pulled on the 6th which will take under an hour rather than the huge 12 hour surgery he was facing!
On top of all this good news the plastic surgeon said that once he is done with the radiation he is going to attempt to transplant a nerve from Toby's thigh to the side of his face in hopes that it will regenerate and allow movement again.
Toby and I want to thank each and every one of you who have prayed and cared for us over this long ordeal. We were overwhelmed by your kindness and willingness to help us and to pray for us, your strength helped us when we were down and your faith kept us strong. 
 Your prayers were heard and answered, may God Bless each of you, we LOVE you!

Jeremiah 32:27
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for Me? 

No Lord, there is nothing too hard for you. Praise Your Name! 
This song says it all............please listen to it, you will be blessed.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Doctor's Visit and Some Encouraging News

Hello y'all, hope you are all doing well. Just wanted to give an update on Toby. He's finished with his chemo treatments and the doctor is very pleased so far.
We had a consult with the plastic surgeon who will be repairing after the oncologist removes the cancer and he gave us some very encouraging news.
 I don't remember if I told y'all this but the cancer has invaded the nerve and has left Toby paralyzed on the left side of his face. His eyelid doesn't blink and he must close it manually throughout the day to keep his eye moist.
Also the left side of his mouth is paralyzed as well. This causes problems with speech and eating and smiling. Well the doctor is going to transplant a nerve from his leg to the side of his face to hopefully allow movement of his mouth again. It has a 50/50 % chance of working but it's definitely worth the try. They are also going to put a weight in his eyelid to help with closing his eye. I can't tell you how overwhelmed with emotion I became upon hearing this. He's been through so much and to think that they may be able to help with these things is just wonderful.
We also saw the audiologist and Toby asked them why we were seeing them since the oncologist said he will lose his left ear during surgery. Well come to find out they are going to do an implant during surgery to allow him to be able to hear after the removal of his ear.
I have been so impressed with MD Anderson throughout this whole ordeal. They have been so supportive and caring. The Doctors give you such a feeling of calm and overall faith in their abilities. His plastic surgeon is one of only a handful of doctors throughout the world doing the type of microsurgery that will be involved in Toby's surgery. He was one of the doctors who took part in the recent first ever full skull/scalp transplant.
So I know that God brought us to this place and we are feeling very good about all of it. His surgery is coming up August 6th so please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers dear friends.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Update and A Quick Hello

I just wanted to say a quick hello and give you an update on Toby.
 He started his second round of chemo last week and is doing well so far. We wondered if the second round would be different than the first and it seems he has more body aches this time but the fatigue he experienced the first time hasn't been as bad.

Some things we have learned is to make sure he gets plenty of fluids and for the body aches which occur mainly in his legs we used Australian Dream. It's a cream used for arthritis and it seemed to help take the edge off. The main thing about chemo is that it gives you a very unsettled feeling inside your body. We haven't found anything that helps that feeling, you just have to ride it out

.It's a strange feeling living in a small room all the time. We can't really get out around other people a lot because the chemo destroys your immune system. I'm sure he is getting cabin fever as we are going into our 3rd month.

The thing we miss the most is our sweet dog Semper. He's staying with my daughter and she says he seems to miss us as well. The other day they let him out to go potty and he saw the truck door open and made a bee line for it. He refused to leave the truck and they had to force him out only to have him jump back in. I'm sure he was hoping to be taken to where ever we were.

I try to keep Toby's spirits up by reminding him of things we are going to do when this cancer stuff is behind us. There are still many weeks ahead of us before we start to see the light but with God's help we will make it.

Please continue to remember us in your prayers and have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!


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