Update on Dad and the rest of us

Dad has been home in Seattle for over a month now. As usual he is busy on the computer, doing work and keeping up with Nebraska football. I apologize for not writing more. I’ve started a number of messages but never seem to find time to finish them.

The speech pathologist that Dad worked with believes that he has made a complete recovery from any memory related problems after testing him and evaluating writings he has done since being released from the hospital. Dad continues to work with a physical therapist and occupational therapist several times a week. He tries to take laps with his walker within the house several times a day. He also has a series of arm and leg exercises to do. However, he has days of weakness where he doesn’t feel like doing much. This weakness is most likely caused by the high amount of prednisone he is on.

Dad’s platelet count continues to be an issue. We are going to the cancer center three times a week for blood draws and platelet transfusions. His doctor doesn’t believe that the prednisone level can be reduced because of the low platelet counts. He doesn’t think that Dad is strong enough for chemotherapy. Right now we’re in a catch-22. A new chemotherapy treatment may reduce Dad’s need for a high dosage of prednisone but chemotherapy isn’t an option unless he gets stronger. His physical process is being slowed by the amount of prednisone he is on and the doctor doesn’t believe it can be reduced. The doctor has one last idea on how to get the platelets up. There is research from Europe and Japan that says that treating a certain type of bacteria with antibiotics can result in increased platelet counts. Dad has the bacteria and they have tried to treat it but so far it hasn’t worked.

The doctor put us in touch with hospice as it appears that Dad may be moving into the final stage of his disease. No definite timeline has been given. Dad still works hard every day. Currently he is putting together a federal grant application. He has been notified by the university that he can’t come off sick leave until he returns to North Platte to work. This is a fair request but doesn’t appear to be an option so he may need to retire. Dad will work just as hard in retirement so it won’t make much difference to him as long as he can have access to resources he needs.

On the home front, our one-week bathroom remodel project only took six weeks. There are still a few things that need to be done but the good news is that the toilet and shower are now reliable. The bathroom works well for Dad and is great for the rest of us as well. The demolition work has been done in the back yard. We now have a big hole and no deck steps. This is all supposed to change in the next two weeks. When finished, our house should meet all of dad’s physical requirements. The universal design will also give our kids a good place to play in wet or dry weather.

The kids are back in school now and are enjoying it. Katy just got braces. All the kids at school are jealous because the braces are pink and green and glow in the dark. Much different than the days when my classmates called me “metal mouth.” Luke is enjoying Kindergarten. He now has two less teeth due to a “pretend” punch by Katy that was actually a solid shot to the mouth. Luke is proud to be one of the first in his class to lose teeth and now rich after the tooth fairy’s visit. Michelle is busy with a volunteering for school, Mom’s group, and a Bible study. I’m staying very busy at work and at the cancer center. I’m thankful for the invention of laptop computers.

Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts for Dad and our family,



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