Ninjas are back home in Edmonton, but don’t like the weather!
After 3 weeks in Mexico for treatment, both Loretta and I were super excited to head home. We managed to get the Ninja clan across the US Border and over to Palm Springs. Our last hurdle was just the 3.5 hour flight from Palm Springs to Edmonton, but a food poisoning incident in Palm Springs the evening before departure made for a long and terrible travel day. Between bouts of vomiting for most of the evening and numerous diarrhea episodes at the airport, it was a minor miracle that we we made it through the flight quite painlessly. While we had both hoped to get back to normal routines upon arriving home, we have both struggled to regain full health as the bug lingers. I was told to expect up to 3 weeks of recovery time as the Ninjas reproduce, but I hadn’t expected to feel this listless. I guess losing 8-10 pounds in a week will knock you back a bit.
While the whole trip was a challenging ordeal with treatment and travel, we are still convinced that God directed us to the Oasis of Hope and that the treatments and things we learned there will be part of God's healing plan for us. It was very affirming for us that the doctors there were very supportive and encouraging of the alternative treatments that we initiated here on our own and were very surprised and encouraged by my present level of health.
We were also reminded of the the gift that our chief oncologist, Dr.Easaw, has been, as he has supported our Mexico trip and the alternatives that we have wanted to try. We found out that most North American patients at the Oasis were disowned by their local oncologist by going to the Oasis. In other cases, they were there without the knowledge of their oncologist. My oncologist actually reviewed my treatment plan from the Oasis, gave me feedback on it and promised that he would continue to support my treatment here upon return. When I expressed my thanks to him for this, his reply was simple: “Doug, until all of my patients get better, I had better be open to other treatments and therapies.” We thank God regularly for placing Dr. Easaw into our lives as he has been a sign of God’s direction and leading in my healing! Another armed angel!
So what’s next?
- 3 weeks of laying low and letting the Ninjas proliferate and get nasty and then turn them loose on the cancer. We had a family dinner celebration on Friday night after arriving home on Thursday. I was very pleased to see that the family had conspired to print up "Slay the Beast" Ninja t-shirts to celebrate the occasion. What a great surprise and I look forward to wearing mine for decades, with the family, on the annual celebration of beating the beast!
- Ongoing MRI’s to monitor the tumour/brain. I had a welcome-back MRI 2 days after arriving home and we have the follow-up meeting on Thursday at 10:00 MST, so if you recall or have time, set an alarm and join us in prayer for a positive report. I’m still praying that this will be the “No more tumour” MRI!! These meetings are still nerve wracking so please pray for a good rest on Wednesday night.
- Pray for strength and courage for our family as we continue to try to find the energy to fight the beast! We came home very inspired and awed by fellow patients from the Oasis of Hope who have battled and remain hopeful after years of beast-fighting. God does provide!
- A likely return to Oasis in early June, for booster Ninja vaccines, along with the repetition of their other alternative therapies and treatments. A likely stay of 7-10 days! More beach time in Tijuana! And also a chance to reunite with friends made during our initial visit.
- We were also blessed to celebrate the baptism this past Sunday of our newest grandson, Arie Jan! What a blessing those special days are for me and our family now. Thank you God. Bad news: with the loss of weight and a now bony butt, I needed to use a pillow to make it through the service, provided by a friendly senior from the church!
- Lesson learned - don’t make “Depends” diaper jokes on the way to the airport after an evening of food poisoning! And pack extra underwear and a change or two of clothes in your carry-on!
- Please add the Oasis of Hope Hospital to your prayer list. It is a place of extraordinary miracles with a staff of gifted and compassionate health care workers who embody the body of Christ and humble ministry. Starting with Manny, the head of maintenance, who personally hugs and blesses every patient prior to breakfast. He did promise to take me surfing but we ran out of time! Maybe in June when the water is warmer!!!