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Walking With the Bakers

As of January 9, 2014

Celebrate! It IS a miracle! After being told the brain cancer was terminal, the doctors are now in unison: Roger has survived! While he will remain on a monthly check-up for at least another year and frequent MRIs, the brain cancer has not resurfaced. The two-year anniversary expected to be Roger's demise will occur on March 16th, 2014. On that day we will have a celebration. We're still planning this out, but we'll tell our friends here in the D.C. area, and all who read this will be invited. Two years was our immediate goal. Passing this point means that Roger is in the narrowest group of survivors. We give thanks to our God and to the many friends, family, and medical workers who have pulled Roger through this trial.

Roger's next period of trial are with his starting disease - multiple sclerosis - but this is generally a life-shortening condition, not a life-ending condition. So we give thanks!

 

As of December 1, 2013

Roger is about 60 days away from the last chemotherapy run. The next MRI will be very telling: if there is a return of the disease, it will show now. We will see what happens.

As of March 1, 2013

Roger is in the start of chemo #8. He has finished his dissertation and is doing the editing, correcting, etc. He has passed the one year mark (today) and will celebrate the doctor's initial prognosis report on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day). Roger is looking at the future for occasional preaching appointments in small churches and occasional hospital chaplaincy. Sue has started her personal job search and is looking for a return to the office. Michael is having fun learning dance with Mom at the cottilion meetings. Matthew is the biggest Cub Scout in his senior Webelos den and is less than a year until the transfer to Boy Scouts. Both boys doing very well in school.

As of February 7, 2013

The last two months have been extremely bust. Roger completed chemo run #7. Sue retired from active duty in the Air Force. Michael achieved the Boy Scout rank of 1st Class. Matthew has done extremely well in school and also in various XBox games. It is a happy time for us, with many joys now, and many future challenges.

As of November 29, 201

Roger & Sue & Michael & Matthew just finished a ten day "Thanksgiving everywhere" trip to Texas. The boys got to meet many cousins, aunts, uncles, second cousins once removed, etc. Ten days of travel were interjected with warm welcomes, great hospitality, and the joys of driving across Texas. Roger got to meet and pray with Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger (whose book he was reading) thanks to the actions of his big sister Susan. The family was able to meet Susan's adopted daughter Sarah for the first time (a visit full of joy and new love.) Roger resumes chemotherapy on December 6th, this is session #6, and still no signs of disease progression. He has been working hard on research for his dissertation, which he hopes to finish in 1-2 months.

As of October 15, 2012

Roger is doing chemotherapy at home again, and is on the last day of treatment. He attended a baseball game Matthew was playing in, and stayed to help in the dugout for all but the last inning. He slept much of the following 36 hours. He's staying on the sidelines today, resting, and thankful that chemotherapy is every 28 days (as opposed to daily/weekly that other cancers often required.) His latest article includes a photo.

As of September 16, 2012

Roger completed the month-long antibiotic treatment and was allow to progress to his first chemotherapy following the the month of almost constant IVs. The first chemotherapy went well. Roger slept much of the 5 days of chemo and has few memories of this period. He has a cleared-head in the morning, and after a long nap, a pretty good head before heading to sleep. He is alert, can drive, and makes for good conversation unless he's tired.

 As of July 31, 2012

Roger has had a second hospital stay for surgery to remove fluid from the left-side of the brain, the same area where his previous surgery occured. Round #3 of chemotherapy has been postponed until Roger finishes the 60-day set of antibiotics designed to attack any possible disease in the brain. He has 5 IVs daily to deliver the antibiotics. His weight has improved (180 lbs) and his thinking and speach remain the same. He is expected to resume chemotherapy at the end of August.

As of June 25, 2012

Roger has a mohawk-style hair cut, thanks to treatments. He feels fairly well with low-levels of pain and energy in the morning. Round #2 of chemotherapy has begun, with a 5-day session of heavy drugs, followed by 23 days of recovery. This will be the monthly plan from now on, barring and sudden shift. This is being written on day #4 of five days. Roger is tired and mildly confused in the morning, more pronounced by evening. Roger & Sue are waiting to see his recovery time before planning some travel and fun during the 23-day rest periods.

As of April 29, 2012

Roger is ending week three with less hair, much of it thanks to radiation therapy. Check his notes for photos. Weight is still hovering around 178-180. An increase in radiation is credited with the hair loss.

As of April 25, 2012

Roger is starting week #3 of the combination of radiology & chemotherapy sessions. Radiation is daily weekdays, chemotherapy is every day. Radiation is tolerated well but starting week #4 we were told to expect hair loss (and probably an associated haircut to make hair length match all over for appearance.) Weight loss is real, Roger is down to 178 lbs (he is 72 1/2 inches, a little over 6 feet.) Roger is still encouraged despite a recent set of symptoms associated with both radiation and chemo (constipation and fatigue.) He has driven twice, short distances, to make sure everything still works.

As of April 1, 2012:

Roger is awaiting chemo & radiology to start on Tuesday, April 10 at Bethesda (Walter Reed). Plan was made and is lead by doctors at the National Institute of Health (across the street from Walter Reed in Bethesda.) He is planning to resume physical therapy in a week if possible. Sue is keeping close tabs on Roger but is using the week of relaxation as a chance to return to the office and get caught-up with missed work of the last month. Sue will accompany Roger to the initial radiology & chemotherapy sessions to ensure all goes well. Michael and Matthew have the current week as the spring break from school, so Roger gets extra help around the house.