Blessed.That is the only word I can use to describe things right now.
I know I have been MIA lately .. but there has been A LOT going on.
Since you heard from me last my dad has completed his radiation treatments.
He finally got to go in and do the trial run (2 days before the schedule radiation) and we got a HUGE shock. Prior to the treatment they do an MRI to make sure they are getting the right thing and when they did the MRI and compared it with a MRI done 3 weeks prior and ..
THE LYMPH NODE had gotten "CONSIDERABLY" smaller.
The doctors gave no medical reason for this and basically were baffled. Of course we were SO excited but we had no idea what caused it to shrink. They decided to do the radiation on just his liver and watch the lymph node. Basically, one doctor talked to another doctor and that doctor talked to this doctor and they all decided we should just biopsy the lymph node and know for sure whether it was cancerous or not.
We got that set up and he went in last week and much to our dismay ..
THEY COULD NOT FIND THE LYMPH NODE TO EVEN BIOPSY IT.
Yes, you heard me right ... the lymph node was MIA.
Which is an amazing thing because that one stinking lymph node was what was holding him back from being able to get a transplant. His medical oncologist (the one who manages any chemo, sets up radiation, etc) had him come in on Monday and discuss everything. She basically said they presented his case to the Tumor Board with Piedmont the previous Friday and they are moving towards placing him on the transplant list.
As exciting as that is, it is still nothing DEFINITE..
No one has said "You are getting a transplant" or anything like that yet.
Well, we got some definition yesterday.
When he went to the medical oncologist on Monday she apparently rechecked the blood work that they made the initial diagnosis with. There is a blood level you can check that will aid in the diagnosis of liver cancer. This level can be elevated for various different reasons in healthy people and can be totally normal. In a normal healthy adult the level should be less than 10. Initially, his was over 4,400 (which is basically, along with the MRI showing the mass, how they made their diagnosis). After having the TACE procedure at UAB and then the radiation at Piedmont they wanted his blood level below 500.
Yesterday, we got word that it came back at 22.
This level will only INCREASE his chances of getting a transplant because it basically means the procedures and radiation have worked!!
Again, nothing is set in stone and all we really know is that his blood level has gone WAY down, the lymph node is no where to be found, and most importantly, he is feeling good. Right now, that is all we could ever ask for.
To say that prayers can be answered and miracles happen everyday is an UNDERSTATEMENT. We are SO thankful for everything going on right now that I cannot even express to you how overwhelming this entire process has been.
We have received THREE miracles within LESS than a week!!! :)
We have been through the ringer when it comes to emotional ups and downs and finally it seems things are working the way they should. You always read about miracles and things happening to people that are outrageously amazing and such a phenomenon but you never actually think they will happen to you.
THANK YOU to everyone who has kept my family in your daily thoughts and prayers, something is working here people!!
I will do my best to update more frequently but we were trying not to get too excited about each little thing happening and just trying to keep level heads about it all. Which we have done, but with some actual concrete evidence (blood work) that the things he has done thus far are working, we can be a little excited! Besides, I think we owe it to you guys who have been praying for us to give you a little bit of an update :)
Please keep them coming!!! :)
I will leave you with some pictures of the latest happenings .. Football, football buddies, and lazy weekends with PawPaw.