Since pictures are worth a thousand words… here’s a photo update of the last few weeks:
Crane 30 years of service celebration!
Sweet new Slugger! A gift for his service
There are just a few short weeks until Doug’s 60th birthday so send your well wishes and messages along! We will be sure to post lots of pictures from the celebrations.
How does someone with cancer tell time? It often is not by hours or minutes but by the next scan, treatment or the big one- the doctor visits. Right now, we are on a 6 week time schedule, which feels something like long slow-going roller-coaster. And today marked the steep drop to the end of another six weeks. No matter what twists turns or loops the roller-coaster brings, each six weeks we do our best to relish each moment we share of our lives together and with family and friends.
Yesterday Doug had an MRI and today we visited with Dr DeGroot. I was going into today’s meeting with a calm resolve and a positive sense that we were going to get good results. The results were not as good as I thought they would be, but the results were ok.
There are a few indicated changes from the last MRI. The tumor that was last radiated is showing signs that it has slight cancer cell growth (still no solid tumors). There is also an extremely small spot near that last tumor that is new, just showing that same small cell growth. And most prevalent change in the films is edema around the last radiated tumor and spot. And its possible that this can all be caused by post radiation effects (even this long after radiation). The edema is fluid leaking from blood vessels near those sites.
So moving forward… Doug will take the same chemo pill that he has taken twice before now (one dose every 6 weeks). A new added drug is an anti-angiogenic drug that will be given by infusion every three weeks. This drug in lay terms is a tumor-starving treatment. If this works, it will greatly reduce the swelling which is occurring.
The very positive notes are that the original tumor site has shown no changes! Yeah!!!! Doug’s blood work is good. Physical therapy is going well and we are adding occupational and aqua therapy. And most important, Doug looks and feels good.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, we can’t imagine going on this roller-coaster ride without you!
The last several weeks we have been very blessed to have had quite a few visitors come see us. Doug’s family – Mom, Dad, brothers John, Russ, Michael and sister in law Nanci – flew in from Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Oklahoma for Super Bowl weekend. Sharing time, and the love of family is always the best medicine and we certainly appreciated all their efforts to make the trip. We made happy memories and enjoyed lots of food, fun and laughter. One of the favorite pastimes of Clendenin family gatherings is the infamous football pool – we take it very seriously with spreadsheets and posters. This year it was Allie who raked in on the family football pool and announced her winnings will go to Head For The Cure, the 5K run in May, she has entered to raise money for MD Anderson brain cancer research.
We are so proud of her efforts to support the cause and her father. At this time she has met 65% of her goal. We sincerely thank everyone who has contributed! And there is still time for anyone to contribute by following the link above. Just be sure to click the link with the ribbon on the right side of the page for her to get credit for your donation.
More visitors, cousins Scott, Lissie and Sophia came from Washington DC just last week. While Houston weather did not cooperate very well – I think it was still better than DC Doug and Scott have always had special relationship, despite the miles and time that may separate them; it is a joy to see when they are able to reconnect. Scott spoke of his admiration and inspiration Doug has provided him, Doug would be the first to say that it’s mutual – the pride Doug has for his cousin is immeasurable. We enjoyed spending time together at the Johnson Space Center and over many great meals! It was truly a special time we were able to share, we felt renewed and refreshed in heart, spirit and soul. Thank you Scott, Lissie and Sophia for making the trip and creating beautiful memories with us.
We couldn’t let another post go by without mentioning the everyday heroes that bless us in quiet, selfless ways all the time. Just one example of God’s love shown through people is our neighbor Weldon who thought he’d sneak one in, but got caught. He trimmed, cut and bagged some dead branches off the pine trees in the front yard. Thank you dear neighbor!
Another quiet blessing of normalcy is that Doug has returned to physical therapy at Reliant Rehab in the Woodlands. He has spent time with Mark and Jennifer in physical therapy, and looking forward to join Courtney in occupational therapy. He will also be trying aqua therapy for the first time soon. Reliant is convenient to Doug’s office and easy to coordinate before and after work. We will miss Lauri and Shammi at MD Anderson, but will be sure and stop in and say hi one of these days.
And lastly, Friday the 22nd, Doug accomplished a mile marker by celebrating 30 years of service at Crane Energy. Thanks to all his coworkers and friends for making a special recognition. Congratulations Doug!
In the very near future we will soon see the close of another six weeks (the time allowed between MRIs). Doug’s next MRI will be March 4th and visit with Dr. DeGroot for results on the 5th. We ask that you join us in prayer for another good read on the MRI and continued progress in therapy.
An Update from Allie: one of my friends informed me that he made a donation for my 5K, I looked on the website and didn’t see his name. Come to find out that he donated to the charity instead of directly … Continue reading
My beautiful, brave, athletic sister Allie has set up a fundraising page to support Dad as she run in a 5K to help raise awareness and funds for brain cancer research.
For more information and to donate to her page, click here.
Thank you for your continued prayers and love.
Praise The Lord!! Mom and Dad went to see Dr. Degroot for the results of the MRI they took on Sunday and for the first time in a long time he have us good news… There have been no changes (no new growth of cancer cells) since the last MRI!!! The plan is to continue the medication Dad is on now as well as his diet since it seems to be working and come back again in another six weeks for the routine MRI.
We are so thankful for all of your love support and prayers and to God who has heard and answered us.
Please continue to pray over the next six weeks for the small growths that do exist to disappear and for there to be no new growths. Also, because it is a new year, Dad has the opportunity to go back to physical therapy – pray for productive therapy and for strengthening in his leg and regained fine motor control in his hands. Dads goals are to be able to play the guitar and run, we know God can do all of these things and more so let’s pray for more radical healing!
God bless you and thank you for all you do!!!
As Dad said on New Year’s eve… bring on 2013, 2012 sucked. Translated: We are all so looking forward to a new year with new opportunities to grow in love and life as a family, to leave behind the gloom of the past year and choose hope for this new one.
Despite much of 2012 being consumed with trial and uphill battles, we finished off the year with a beautiful few weeks of time spent with family. Mark and I got to town with a car load full from LA (if you hadn’t heard yet, Mark and I moved to New Orleans this year!) on the 23rd of December and stayed for the next week and a half, enjoying time with all of us together (that hadn’t happened for quite some time).
The month of December we enjoyed festive gatherings with family, church friends and coworkers. Being around loved ones was the best medicine for the mind, heart and soul.
And we were also delighted to enjoy the annual Christmas visit from our dear cousins the Cagle family. We had a great time baking bread, digging for rocks and building gingerbread houses with them. Also, Allie discovered a hidden talent – she is masterful at icing decorations (see our confectionary creations in the slide show below)!
No doubt, 2013 will bring its own set of struggles and joys but we are all certain that it will be a year blessed with God’s love, family and friends – and lots of prayers! Prayers are needed now especially for Dad’s next MRI next week. We pray that the MRI will show that God has ordained for the new chemo pill and ketogenic diet have succeeded in stopping all growth and reversing the small amount that was shown on the last MRI. We pray for continued healing over Dad’s left side, that he would continue to gain mobility especially in his fine motor skills. We pray for safe travel for family who plan to come visit this year and for protection over all of us as we enter into this new season. We are always thankful for each of you, for your impact on our lives and your prayers. God bless you!!
As you may all imagine by now, we did not get the MRI reading we were hoping and praying for. The original tumor site (where Doug had his first tumor removed in May) is now showing non-enhancing tumor growth. Simply put, there is evidence of cancer cells continuing to multiply, but without a blood supply – so no solid tumors.
The doctor has prescribed a steroid to reduce inflammation from the last radiation site and a different chemotherapy pill (a cousin to the last chemo pill) that we are hopeful will slow down further cancer cell growth. We will go back to get the next MRI in 6 weeks. At that time we will also evaluate any clinical trials that Doug may be eligible for.
Doug remains the most steadfast faithful follower, optimistic, and hopeful. He feels good, continues to work and looks forward to a beautiful, blessed Christmas with the girls and myself.
As always, we all want to thank each of you, our friends and family, for your continued prayers and support. Until next time…
Love and peace,
Doug, Karen, Casey, and Allie
Hello Family and Friends,
As he holidays approach, usually we all begin to hurry about with intention and purpose- to -do lists, wish lists and shopping lists a mile long. But this year, at the top of my family’s list is a clean MRI for Dad. After this second round of radiation we are hopeful that your prayers and God’s mercy will wash over us, granting Dad a clean bill of health through the holidays this year. The Spirit’s love and joy continue to spur us on to hope for the best, while keeping us rooted in the peace of knowing that His plan for us is perfect and good.
So if you would all join us in prayer over Dad’s next scan happening on Monday, and especially Tuesday’s reading of the MRI results as well as treatment plan going forward with the doctors at MDA, we would appreciate it. We will continue to keep you updated as we know more information. But for now, we are thankful for the journey we’ve been carried through thus far and are enjoying each day and moment we receive as the blessing that it is.
I am personally so looking forward to a very special Christmas time this year with my family, being able to relish in it’s true meaning. Presents under the tree are nice, but on Christmas morning the friends and family you get to spend it with are the true gift. This year, the present I am most looking forward to getting is the gift of another Christmas morning spent with my Dad.
We are so thankful for the gift each of you have been who have prayed for us, visited us, served us and loved us through these past six months. You are each a great gift we will be celebrating this year too.
God bless you all!!