I’m so excited to hear that Chris will not have to have radiation on his neck/face. That was the biggest prayer request last time I updated, as radiation had a big bag of nasty side effects that would come along with it. However, he’s not out of the woods yet! I’ll attach Louis’ latest email so you’ll know specifically how to pray. We feel like we’re running an infirmary of our own here. Paige had pink eye, gave it Morgan, and gave it to me. Justin had a cold, gave it to Paiger, who gave it to me. And on top of pink eye and colds, Paiger busted out last night with the throw-up crud… thankfully we weren’t at the rental house on our lovely carpet when everything within her decided to come up. Poor baby. There’s nothing worse than sick children… whether they’re 29 or 2 or 13 months!
The good news is that we are out of the hospital and Chris continues to recover. There are several minor post-operative annoyances and challenges, but his incisions are healing and his ability to walk gets better daily. He has doctor appointments on Weds and Olivia and he should be back in Louisville sometime Thurs. I am returning midafternoon on Labor day to work the rest of that week.
We do not have all the final reports back regarding his biopsy. There are several issues regarding the mandible that may take upwards of a month to return. The good news is that there appears to be good surgical margins. The new news is they have changed his diagnosis from a carcinoma to a sarcoma. The final reports will answer 2 or 3 additional questions, but will not change the basic diagnosis of sarcoma. When Dr Weber gave us this report, he started by saying this was a surprise to him and in his long career had only seen 5 or 6 of these tumors. We asked you to pray in a previous letter that Chris could avoid radiation. This prayer has been answered, but unfortunately, replaced with a new challenge.
Thirty years ago, little was known about sarcomas and patients uniformly did poorly. Several places around the world now have sarcoma centers, including Anderson, and cure rates are becoming acceptable. One of the fathers of sarcoma treatment plans is here in Houston and we have met with him. The plan going forward is to heal from his surgery and then return to Houston for a 9 month regimen of fairly intense chemotherapy. There are a total of 12 treatments given for a week each, followed by 2 weeks of rest, and then a new treatment. The advantage to staying here is that it is Anderson that has devised most sarcoma protocols and they therefore have more experience with potential complications. We have questions still to ask, but in the meantime, are considering looking for rentable housing close to the medical center for the next 9 months.
We are trying to make wise decisions on a variety of things, both medical and logistical. Chris continues to have the most enviable attitude imaginable and we are steadfastly confident that within a year we will be through this and we can all get on with our lives. By the way, Chris got the news at the end of last week that he had passed the final part of his CFA exam (Chartered Financial Analyst). That’s a fairly big deal in the world in which he works. There are 3 parts given a year apart that are day long tests. Somewhere he read that only 6 percent of applicants pass all parts of the test consecutively, but then again, we have always known that God gave him a sharp mind.
Sorry that you can’t erase us off your prayer boards. We appreciate the cards, emails, and all the tangible ways that love and concern gets expressed. Many of you apologize that you are “bothering” us with your email. The total truth is that Olivia and I treasure what you say and read them over and over. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor day.
Gods blessings to you all, Louis and Olivia
Rose BurtSeptember 3, 2007 at 9:23 am
I just read your blog and am interested in what is happeneing with Chris.
what type of sarcoma does he have?I manage a group of the internet for Sarcomas if you would be interested in joining. I go to MDACC for treamtent to and have for 8 years. For information on where to stay -motels or apartments- you can go to the MDACC website for information or I can give it to you.
I am a Christian to and will have Chris in my prayers for successful treamtent.
The Martin FamilySeptember 3, 2007 at 12:19 pm
That is such wonderful news for Chris…so many answered prayers! No fun that the whole Stickler family has been sick. I hope you’re all on the mend!
The Lane FamilySeptember 3, 2007 at 4:30 pm
I hope that all the Sticklers are feeling better or on their way! So sorry to hear that! Yay for Chris, though!
lindsaySeptember 5, 2007 at 10:49 am
Great news for Chris. I’m so glad to hear that!
Get well soon to all the Sticklers.