Update on Radiation/Chemo

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Just a quick update on Josh’s doctor visits yesterday.
At the Oncologist he had labs drawn and we spoke about his treatment plan which hasn’t really changed much. Chemo is still set to begin as soon as he starts radiation, and he will also begin taking an anti nausea medicine and an antibiotic as preventative measures.
He had his MRI as scheduled, and they’ll call about the results in the next day or so. They are just hoping to find that everything looks good and that things are healing up nicely. Then they’ll use this as a baseline for him going forward. Since we know so little about how aggressive his cancer is, we are just praying it looks clear.
The doctor will also be scheduling a lumbar puncture in the next couple of days to check the spinal fluid and make sure that there are no surprises and that no cancer cells have traveled down from the brain. His spinal MRI last month showed all clear, but this will give them a closer look and confirm that. We aren’t sure if this will be Thursday or Friday, but please send out good wishes for this!
Yesterday, Josh also had a sim done for his radiation treatment. They molded his mask that will help keep his head in one place and got the readings they’ll use to help them set up when he comes in for treatment. Josh was amazingly brave. He had to lay absolutely still on a table while the mask formed to his face shape and while they did a trial run of the procedure. I don’t know that I could have done it!
After the sim was done they let us know that he is scheduled for his first radiation treatment on Tuesday, May 14th. Which also means we know that chemo will start that day as well.
We are also reaching another potential hurdle in his rehab. As chemo and radiation begin, they need to determine if he can continue with his inpatient rehab or if he will need to be discharged to perhaps an outpatient capacity until he has a break in the treatment. That would mean we’d need to move him over to nearby Hope Lodge and we’d be more on our own for many of the daily needs we get help with at MFB and transporting him to treatments, etc. This is something I’ve been dreading for some time.
Mary Free Bed needs to be able to get at least 3 hrs of inpatient therapy in with him every Monday-Friday. This is something that is established for insurance purposes were told. There is a chance that either the treatment schedule for radiation or his reaction to the medications might cause him to not be able to meet that. We know it will be sometime before he is really ready to leave.
Please say a prayer that they will be able to work within his schedule even on a diminished scale and that he will be able to tolerate the treatments and therapy. We certainly don’t want him to have a setback medically and have to head back to Devos and the thought of temporarily losing all of the constant help and support at Mary Free Bed even temporarily makes us nervous. He’s come so far I’d hate to see us have to put a pause on rehab or have to move him out of MFB before he is ready too.
Thanks so much for all of the good thoughts, prayers and helping hands. We’ll post another update soon!

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