We had our first visit with Dr. Murphy, Rick’s oncologist, this morning, and we are all very thankful that Rick will be in his care. Dr. Murphy received quite a surprise as he opened the door to find Rick, Patti, Hope, Carrie, baby Lillie, Tori and me (son-in-law, Derek) waiting for him in a small exam room. We spent an hour with the doctor as he thoughtfully answered every question to our very full room. Dr. Murphy is not just a “glass-half-full” kind of guy. He sees the glass “all the way full,” and that’s how he encouraged all of us to be. After our time with Dr. Murphy, we toured the area where Rick will go for treatment. The nurse gave us more information and kindly noted that it would be best if only one or two people sat with him during treatment, so we assured her that we wouldn’t bring the whole family every time he walks through their door.
The plan of attack set by Dr. Murphy is a chemotherapy treatment known as CHOP-R. It is an effective combination of drugs that our doctor is confident in. Rick will go one Monday every three weeks to receive a four-hour treatment, followed by a Tuesday shot to boost his white blood cells. He is scheduled to have six of these treatments.
A lot is going to happen in the next week. Here is the plan for now:
-Wednesday, (2/24) Rick will have a test to make sure his heart is healthy and working properly.
-Thursday, (2/25) He will have a bone marrow test and a port installed in his chest for easy access to draw blood and give medication.
-Monday, (3/1) Chemotherapy will begin.
-Tuesday, (3/2) He will go in for his first shot to boost white blood cells.
After hearing the full report from Dr. Murphy, we were encouraged to hear that Rick can do most anything he feels like during this time (except maybe going to Africa). He might not get to give as many hugs or shake as many hands because of germs, but he should be able to preach most Sundays, lead our church as he has been called to do and continue to be the same great husband, dad and grandfather he has always been.
We can’t tell you how much your support and comments on this blog have meant these past few days. Keep on sharing your stories and praying for health and joy for Rick in the days and weeks ahead. Also, keep praying for the four special girls in his life, Patti, Carrie, Tori and Hope as they love and care for him throughout this process. Thank you so much for continuing this journey with us.