Sweet Sixteen

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Today is Mycah’s sixteenth birthday.

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She is an incredibly beautiful person, inside and out. Her independence, strength and intelligence amazes me daily. We are so grateful to be a part of her life, and love to immerse ourselves in the depth or her love, humor and sweet spirit.

Jude and my mom made South African pancakes for breakfast, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. They are similar to American crepes, whereas American pancakes are like South African flap jacks. They all taste good, regardless of the name.

Mycah opened her presents..

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After which we made our way into town to take care of some business. I went to an appointment with my sweet momma to help her figure out Social Security etc. Since Daddy died, there is such a load of paperwork that has to be done, but we are working our way through it.

After that, Jan had his final radiation treatment.

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When he completed it, the staff lined up and watched him ring the bell.

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It is tradition that when a cancer patient completes treatment, they ring the bell.

Ringing out

Ring this bell

Three times well

Its toll to clearly say,

My treatment’s done

This course is run

And I am on my way!

— Irve Le Moyne

The staff there have been so wonderful.  I especially feel like Michelle and Eric are now part of the family. I’m going to have to stop in periodically to harass them! They are so filled with compassion and love, and made what could have been a frightening and dark experience, a pleasant and humorous one. While they gave Jan his last treatment today they played the song, ‘Radioactive’ overhead. They have our kind of humor!!

After that we met with the Oncologist, Dr Adams. For the first time in quite a while, we received positive news. According to the results from Fridays CT scan, Jan has cancer in his brain and armpit, but no where else in his body. We were expecting it to come back showing that his body was riddled with it. Also, the study has come back on Jan’s metastatic melanoma, so we have a clearer understanding where it came from. The way I understand it, is that he had a BRAF mutation in DNA, causing the melanoma. There is a treatment for this mutation in pill form, which costs $20 000 for a months supply. It effects each individual differently but should drastically slow the mutation – thus slow the progress of the cancer. We started him on the medication this evening. I continue to wean him off the steroid and should be done with that in about a week. The side effects of this new med, is fatigue, nausea and sometimes diarrhea. We will continue to pray that Jan responds well to the medication. At some point he will stop responding to it, at which time a different medication could be offered. We are still dealing with a terrible cancer that cannot be stopped or removed, but if we can extend his life expectancy in a way that provides him with comfortable and pleasant existence, then that’s what we’ll do if it is his wishes. Jan is so strong and so sweet. I am eternally grateful for him.

We had dinner together tonight, where Mycah was sung ‘Happy Birthday’ to by the staff, then we came back home to Firth.

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I am so tired tonight, and all I want to do is curl up in Danny’s arms. I will have to do it in my dreams. He’s been gone 12 days now and it feels like a month. Tomorrow will be another beautiful day of life.

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