Tuesday, July 12, 2011


On July 6, Dad had an appointment in Seattle with Dr. B to assess the results of a recent PET scan. After reviewing 950 pictures, Dr. B. determined that Dad is in REMISSION!!! 

In the near future, Dad will be able to have his feeding tube removed, and he needs to broaden his variety of foods and maintain his weight. On December 28, he will have another PET scan and follow-up with Dr. B to be sure he is still in remission (he will not be considered cancer-free until after 5 years). 

The battle is still not completely over for Dad, or for so many other cancer patients, but we do have a milestone victory here to celebrate! Thank you for all of your support!

Relay for Life

On June 24, the Union-Wallowa County Relay for Life held an event at Eastern Oregon University (where Dad received his undergraduate degree). The Kennewick High staff purchased angel pins and donated funds to cancer research through a representative, Ruth Ann Hodge (my Grandmother/Dad's Mother-In-Law, who is also a cancer survivor). Their donations and loved cancer patients were represented on decorated luminaria (many done by my Aunt Rhonda) that burned through the night around the University track.

Thank you for your donations and help in raising awareness and funds for research!
Ruth Ann and Dexter Hodge
Lighting the Luminaria

"Light Up the Night"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Waiting Game...

Right now we are just waiting for dad to heal enough from the radiation and chemotherapy to have the tests ran that will confirm the success of the treatment. His PET scan is scheduled for June 30th, and he will see Dr. B (the specialist) at Virginia Mason in Seattle on July 6th.

Within the next two weeks dad will have a swallowing test to see if the radiation has caused any problems there. He has lost a little more weight, so he is now taking 9 cans of "food" a day. On the bright side, he has successfully drank a smoothie and ate some pudding! 
Students at Kennewick High put together a poster full of well-wishes for dad! We really appreciate their thoughtfulness! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ken:1, Cancer:0!

The past few weeks have been really rough for dad. He's had weight loss, constant nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and a scarily high temperature that landed him in the emergency room for a few hours. His platelets are extremely low, and his blood pressure and pulse are both in unhealthy ranges. Due to these symptoms, Dr. H decided to forgo the last two chemotherapy sessions. And since today was his last day of radiation, dad is officially DONE WITH TREATMENTS!!! I kind of want to stand in the street and shout that, but I figure posting on here will do!

Dr. H and Dr. R are confident that treatments were successful, and that the cancer is gone! According to visual assessments, there is no sign of cancer in the palette or tonsil. Now we must wait... dad has to heal from radiation in order to have the tests ran that will be able to confirm the absence of cancer. The following are important dates that I will update after:

April 6th: Chemotherapy follow-up with Dr. H
April 13th: Radiation follow-up with Dr. R
Mid-June: PET Scan and follow-up with Dr. B at Virginia Mason in Seattle. This appointment will determine if dad will need any type of surgery, whether it be of the tonsil or lymph node, or both. 

Dad will still have the above mentioned symptoms to deal with for a couple of weeks, but he will only get better from here. This is a relief not only to him, but to the whole family. We really miss him being able to talk to us (radiation has made it impossible to not only swallow food and liquids, but also carry on a conversation) and can't wait to have him feel well enough to play with Harlow! Plus, those darn birds are really getting out of hand...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Turning the Corner!

On Thursday, dad saw Dr. H for his weekly round of chemotherapy. His blood work came back good and his kidney function is fine so he can continue on the treatment schedule. He has two more chemotherapy sessions, ending on March 31st

Friday, dad met with Dr. R, and a visual assessment showed a lot of improvement. According to Dr. R, dad has “turned a corner.” We probably should have asked for more detail as to what “corner” she meant, but we are just happy to know that there is a corner, and he has turned it. We’ll be sure to find out more details concerning said corner next week. 

To be honest, dad feels like crap. All of the drugs and radiation are starting to catch up to him, but luckily he knows that there are only a couple more weeks left of chemotherapy and radiation. After he finishes, he will have a month or so to recover before seeing a specialist in Seattle to determine if it was all successful.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A little chemotherapy humor...

Dad says, "Reading the NOOK makes chemo time fun time!"
And this hunk of metal is the maching that monitors the flow of dad's liquids during chemo. Ruth Ann, my grandmother went with dad today and called it dad's "secret girlfriend."

As of today,chemotherapy session #5 is complete!