Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First Round Of Chemo Done:)


Fifteen years ago Jeffrey found out he had a brain tumor the size of a grapefruit. It was removed, but seven years later he was diagnosed with another one—this time, inoperable. At the time, his doctor gave him two years. But, six years later, he's still passionately fighting for a cure as National Brain Tumor Society's Board Chair. 

 I continue to be inspired by those that continue to not only survive, but fight for their cause so that other's can have the same opportunity to survive. Knowing that Jeffery was given two years to live and has been alive six, plus the seven after his diagnosis continues to give us all hope. 

It has been one month since our last post. I think of this with great excitement, because in our lives, no news can be good news:) David has started his chemo and completed his round of 5 days only a short few days ago. He experience minimal side effects. The most noticeable was lack of energy in the day.  But, that did not stop him from working two shifts during his five days of chemo. Let's just say, I try hard to never complain of being tired any more. I have no excuse. He will now be off for 3 weeks and take his next round between Christmas and New Years. He will continue this pattern for the next year. 

We will go back to MD Anderson on January 23rd for our 2 month appointment. I cannot believe how fast two months has gone. We will then again do another MRI and report if there are any changes. This too will be a pattern we will continue for the next year. All of this is added extra insurance to help manage this cancer. 

Other then that our lives are pretty normal. God has a purpose for this journey. I will never know his sole defining purpose, but I see all the amazing things that have come from such an ugly disease in our lives. We have grown closer as a family and with our family, David's faith is not only stronger but he has acknowledged the importance of living every day for God, we have become better parents, we have met so many new people that I cannot imagine not knowing, our relationships with others is stronger then ever and lastly we are a stronger team. I look forward to what other positive things come from this and continue to shine light on those things.

We are so grateful for your prayers and ask you to still continue. This fight is not over. Please continue to pray for our Sweet Friends Wren and Bryan Horn. Her battle continues. She is acknowledging that this battle is not a sprint but a marathon and she continues with the chemo and radiation. We love them so much and I still feel that she will cross that finish line cancer free one day. But, her strength comes from your support and prayers and we ask you to continue doing that this holiday season. 

Praying for each of you and hoping that you experience peace, love and laughter during this Christmas Season.


We had the pleasure of getting some snapshots taken a few weeks ago to remind us what we are thankful for, our two little ones. Enjoy

Hurst Family Photos

Monday, November 21, 2011

Post-Radiation Follow-up, Monday, November 21, 2011

Hello Everyone,
It has been a little while since I wrote on the blog and I want to thank Dana for keeping everyone up to speed with her regular blogging.

Today was a great day!!

We went to MD Anderson and met with the neuro-oncologist Dr Morris Groves and he compared the post-radiation MRI performed at Hillcrest in Waco to the post-operative MRI the day after surgery.  There is a small spot on the post radiation scan that we can see on the post-op that the radiologists at Hillcrest and Dr Groves are confident is post radiation necrosis.  (dead tissue from the radiation treatments)

So, essentially, all is well from a MRI scan perspective.

Dr Groves is recommending we pursue the chemotherapy, Timadar.  This will be a pill, once a day for five days (M-F) then 3 weeks off.  Then repeat for total of one year of chemo.  Luckily, there are very few side affects, mainly Nausea and Vomiting.  Sometimes pt will experience a decrease in White Blood Count but I asked specifically if I could work during this chemo and he said yes.  I will also have an MRI every 2 months and regular oncology office visits, both at Texas Oncology and MD Anderson.

The second portion of today's visit was to repeat the Psycho-Cognitive evaluation.  The psychologist told Dana and I that my pre-surgical performance was above average for males my age with similar education.  (that is important because it indicates that the tumor had very minimal affect on my cognitive capabilities pre-op, if at all) Personally, I think I performed better on my cognitive testing today compared to pre-op.  Ironically, I remember most of the tests/tasks and am pretty sure I did better.  They are mostly questions of memory, word association, tasks of time and skill (hand-eye coordination and tactile coordination.)    Although, I am not sure it is a by-product of having taken the tests before and some memory of how to answer/perform or I just plain did better.  I asked for the results of today's testing and she will mail them to me in the next couple of weeks.  We also had a brief conversation regarding the Wonderlic Psychological test, something the NFL has utilized in the combine since 1970 to guage each players IQ.  You have 12 minutes to answer 50 questions.  Check it out on Wikipedia, kinda cool.

As you know, I started back to work 3 weeks ago and I still remember all the medicine and still look up the little minutia that I looked up before.  I have good stamina and am only a little more tired at the end of a shift than I used to be.  Unfortunately, I am the first to acknowledge I am not as fast as I once was but as Toby Keith says, "I'm as good once as I ever was."  So, I plan on getting my speed up but the most important thing I have learned regarding patient care from this medical experience, do not neglect the heart and soul of the patient or their family.  If I am a little slower because I take more time to talk to the patient and family and explain clearly the plan, tests, results, diagnosis and follow-up, I am ok with this.  But, I will continue to strive to get back to the speed I had but with more compassion than ever.

I am very grateful to each and everyone of you that has been praying for me and Dana, Audrey and Parker. We are so blessed to have such a large and caring group of family and friends that are concerned about all aspects of this adventure.  It is wonderful the support that you have shown for Dana, she is the unfortunate collateral damage to all of this but it is each and everyone of you and God that have kept her so upbeat and energetic.  I can only wish that you will continue to pray and give encouragement to us.  Please remember to pray for yourselves and your families as well.

God Bless everyone.
Love Always
David and Dana
Audrey and Parker

Monday, November 14, 2011

Results?

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for all the calls and text messages. I am so sorry I have not responded to all and once again, thought the best way to get all the information out was via blog:) So, apologize that some of you may be wondering what is going on. 


This morning David was picked up by his good friend, neighbor, and radiologist, Greg Bathhurst:) They went to do the MRI scan at 8:30 a.m.  And I hate to say, there is not much to report. We need the post opt MRI from MD Anderson to compare with this MRI to show if there is any shrinkage in the cancer tentacles. The tumor was taken out at surgery, well 99% of it. And unlike other Cancers, we can not take out the whole tumor because there are tentacles that are to small and intertwined with the Brain to take out. So, that is why we did the radiation. Because, we hope the radiation kills, shrinks, and prevents any new growth. So, that all being said, the scan did not show a big golf ball size tumor! Yeah! But, to see if any of the tentacles have shrunk we need to look at the scan after surgery. David also had blood work done and we will get those results in the next couple days. I hope this all makes sense:( I am trying best to explain it in a non medical way:) 


When I talked to David he sounded upbeat and positive and said everything looked good but we won't know for sure until we compare the two scans. He is out now enjoying an afternoon of Golf with Greg. Leave it to David to have just another normal day:)


So, what is next?


We are waiting for MD Anderson to mail the CD with the post operative scan to Hill Crest. We will then have Dr. Bathhurst review it and give us his opinion. This could be in the next couple days.


But, no matter what, we will know for sure on Monday, November 21st what the report and next step is. As this is the day that we will meet with Dr. Groves, our Neurooncologist at MD Anderson. At this point we will know exactly what the scan looked like and what are plans of management are in the months and years to come:) ( KEY WORD, years:))))


Love and Hugs to everyone and promise to keep everyone updated! Thank you for always thinking of our family. I hope that one day I can show all the gratitude and love to each and every one of you that you have given to our family!




The Hursts!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MRI Tomorrow!

We hope everyone is enjoying the transition in the time change and the fall weather. We have spent the last couple weeks since radiation keeping busy. David went back to work! He has worked Four ER shifts thus far and back at all the administration duties as Director of the ER. He is enjoying being back, but definitely very tired after a 12 hour shift.  I think his record bed time now is 7 p.m. ! The doctors said that radiation is still in effect for a couple weeks after your last radiation treatment. So hopefully the exhaustion will wear off in the next few weeks. 


Our hearts , minds , thoughts and prayers have been at peace these last three months with God, knowing that everything is in his hands and we seek him for the the strength and peace we need to move forward. Also, in the last 3 months we have been non stop fighting this disease while also living our lives as normal as possible. When radiation was done, it was a celebration  but also an awakening. It gave me the time to really stop and think and accept this change and journey in our lives. 


I am so grateful for the people that God has surrounded David and I with. Having the time to really think, it is only human and natural, to also have feelings of helplessness, acceptance, bitterness and anger. It was David's first shift that I attended our evening life group and had the opportunity to basically vent. Vent for the anger that I have felt and feel for why this is happening to us? And it was then that I was not only comforted by my friends but reassured that God is God and he can handle my anger. I believe the truth, to be strong we must be weak. And this was by far my ultimate day of weakness. Having that night with friends and the opportunity for us to spend time just praying gave me the strength to be the mom and wife I need to continue to be for David and the kids as we walk this journey. 


God always is there and listening and I was reminded of this, this morning. David and I were asked with our friends the Pryor's to lead a small group for 2nd and 3rd Graders at our church. It was there that God took my anger and dealt with my anger with 1 Thessalonians 5:18. This was the verse we were suppose to help the 2nd and 3rd graders memorize, " We are to give thanks in all circumstance for it is God's Will through his son Jesus Christ, " wow! Hello Dana:) Was that hitting me right in the face. Knowing this, I know it's OK to be weak and it's OK to feel helpless but having those feelings I stop and give thanks for all that God has blessed our family with. Our children, our families, our friends, our church, our home, life! 


This all being said, tomorrow is our MRI. I cannot wait to see the scan. I feel so positive and at peace for tomorrow. I also know this is the first of many MRI's in our future. As we will probably have them every two months. And I cannot let fear rule each one. We are moving forward, we are fighting and David is the example to show it. 


The MRI is at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow at Hill Crest. We ask that you continue to pray for healing and God to continue to be miraculous in David's life. We will update everyone as to what the MRI shows. We will then go to MD Anderson on November 21st with the MRI and blood work and have an idea of the next step.


Here are pictures from David's last day of radiation for those of you who haven't seen them on facebook!




https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150300077289649.292106.605189648&type=1&l=900ad481c4


We love you all and thank you again for your prayers, love and support for our family!


From our family to yours!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Radiation! Done!




We have had a crazy last two weeks of radiation. Which has been wonderful, because once again, David has not let this Cancer control his life, but instead tried to control it:)  Between Radiation treatments the past two weeks David had the opportunity to go to California for a conference and re connect with some old buddies and I had the opportunity to go to Chicago to spend some time celebrating my friend Lindsay's engagement. My sister flew in and Brother which was so awesome and gave the kids some much needed Aunt Megan and Uncle Ryan time. David also got to go to South Dakota for 5 days and hunt pheasants with family and friends. This is a trip that he gets to go on every year and was super excited that he could post pone his last two radiation treatments so that he could go.    (Only David would post pone radiation to go hunting) 
Here are a couple pictures from the last two weeks. 
David and some friends at the ACEP Conference in California

Audrey, Parker and David at the Fair. Week 5 of Radiation

Week 5 of Radiation Completed!

This all being said we just completed the 6th week, 30th treatment this past Wednesday! Thank you to everyone who sent text messages, phone calls, emails and came out to surprise David! He was truly surprised when we pulled up to the Fentress Cancer Center and everyone was standing out with Green Balloons and wearing Green! Oh and not to mention the Green Bracelets that say TEAM HURST 1 SAMUEL CHAPTER 17, the David and Goliath story. We have already passed out 100 bracelets, Let us know if you would like some and we will send out:) Thanks to my wonderful friends who did the bracelets. We also had Embrace Photography there to capture the moments and will post those once we get them.

I look back at how nervous I was when we found out we had to do radiation, but once we started the process I was actually at peace knowing that we were being treated. Once we started the radiation and after I was done googling all the bad things that can happen during radiation the fear started to go away, because all I really cared about was that the tumor was gone. A lot of people have asked for a detailed explanation of David's tumor and what it exactly means. The best way for me to describe it, the non MD, is he had a tree in his brain. The tree got removed, but they could not remove all the roots. So, the radiation was shot at where the tree was in hopes to kill off all the dead roots so that we can prolong anything growing back. I hope that kind of sums it up for everyone, but that is how it was explained to me by Dr. Groves at MD Anderson and I could not ask for a better explanation:) The major side effects from Radiation David could have experienced, he did not.  The only thing he experienced was the hair loss and some insomnia. I am still just praising God every minute that he has carried us through this journey so easily and so many miraculous things have happened. Reading the stories on the National Brain Tumor Society Website I see what could have been and am just thanking every moment that our situation has turned out like it has. I don't know if it is the thought of Cancer, the tumor? Or maybe that there is NO TUMOR now, but we David and I are a better couple, parents, friends, family then we have every been. And it feels good to see good come from something like this.

So now radiation is done and although the excitement of surprising David helped turn this into a celebration, there has also been a lot of anxiety on my part as far as what is next? But, I am praying hard every day that I will continue to surround David and the kids with life as normal as we can make it and enjoy every minute and every day and not let fear run our lives. There are people that have had David's tumor and not had any re growth for years and years. And I hold on to the hope and faith that this will be us.

We have been approved to go to MD Anderson and keep the relationship with Dr. Groves. We will have an MRI on November 14th here in Waco and ask that every one continue to pray that day for the results. Once again, I hold on to the fact the more we pray David's name, the brighter it is on God's hand:) We will then take the MRI results to Dr. Groves on November 21st and find out what is next. Most likely we will do Chemo. And I am OK with that, but maybe I should ask David if he is OK with that:) Chemo is treating it. And I just like when we are getting any treatment we can. The Chemo will not be as invasive as other Chemo's and will involve taking a pill for 5 days and then being off for a month and continuing that for however many months Dr. Groves recommends.

As said, David is doing remarkably well. I laugh, because I tell him he is now Normal. It is hard for me to describe and many around him can a test to the same thing. He is more at ease, more focused, more balanced in mood and personality, you name it. He has been given the written OK from his doctors that he can begin to go back to work next week. He is SO READY and I am so ready to:) He has been doing administrative stuff the past month but is itching to get back to work. I am so proud of him! We also are going to run in a 5K run this weekend for the child advocacy Center. I had signed up to run and he would like to run and support the cause to. He has been getting out the past few days to gear up and although he needs to take a couple short breaks, he is up and at it:)


I have a smile on my face thinking of David and how surprised he was Wednesday and how it not only surprised him, but gave him the opportunity to hug and thank everyone for coming out to support him. We want nothing but the best for each and everyone one of our friends and family and continue to ask God to bless each of you for all of the wonderful things you have done for our family. We are forever grateful. Although, this journey is one of fear, anxiety, sick, we know that there is beauty that can come from it and we know that God is solid through it all.

Here is a video my Sister's 5th grade class made for David to congratulate him on his last day! Enjoy! I know we did:)


http://sharing.theflip.com/session/5dd2cf561c6d38881b97b6b5a9cb2503/video/117678261


WE love you all!

David, Dana, Audrey and Parker:)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4th Week done and into the 5th week!

 Uncle Ryan heading to Friday's radiation appointment with us. Of course, Starbucks in hand
 The kids watching daddy through the camera. As you can see, the nurse is trying to keep them from touching the equipment behind her. Don't need any buttons pressed to mess with Daddy's radiation!
 This would be Parker starting to cry because he can't press the speaker button and talk to Daddy during the actual radiation:)
                                                     4th weeks completed! Yeah!

                                Special treat after radiation, carving some pumpkins with daddy
Wow! The last week went so fast with birthday celebrations and a visit from my Brother in New York. We had such a great time spent with Ryan and even had the opportunity to take him to one of David's radiation appointments. Ryan was shocked on how fast the treatment was and how much the kids enjoyed going to see daddy. As you can see from the pictures we shaved more of David's hair. He receives lots of comments on how he has the perfect shaped head for being bald:) He is starting to like it and getting used to it. We are now starting the 5th week, Woot Woot! I can not believe how time is flying. He is still doing well. At work and still exercising. The biggest changes are just fatigue and at night some insomnia. But, these are all things that should be better once he is finished with radiation. And it could be  A LOT WORSE!


We are excited to have my sister come in town this week and watch the kids. I will leave Friday-Sunday to visit friends in Chicago and celebrate the engagement of one of my best friends Lindsay. And David will leave friday after radiation to go to California for the American College of Emergency Physician Conference. He will be back Sunday to start his 6th week of radiation! It will be nice to get away for both of us this weekend and have some time spent with others.


We also had a wonderful time this past Sunday night with Wren and her husband Brian. I am so excited to say that Wren has officially started treatment this past monday. You can check out Wren's blog at www.harriscreek.org. On the right you will see Horn Family Updates. We have such a great time with Wren and Brian and so thankful that God has connected us. 


The kids are still doing well and love going to radiation with daddy. They are having A LOT of time spent with David since he is home and Audrey has even requested that we go back to Houston and get Daddy's boo boo taken care of so that she can stay here and have a sleep over with her friends:)


We are so thankful for all the prayers. Call me crazy, but I am a visual person. I envision David and Wren's names scrolled on God's hands. I see them very bright. And then I see them fade, and then I see them brighten up again. The times that they are brightening are when you all are praying day and night for our family. For healing, for peace, for strength, for understanding and much much more. The power of prayer can do wonders. We anxiously await our appointment on NOvember 10th with MD Anderson to see the results and what radiation took care of. So, keep including our families in your prayers. We have had time spent with little Grace, Wren's new baby. She is so precious and truly and Angel. God has a plan for little Grace.


We love you all!


Dana, David, Audrey and Parker. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Updates on our fourth week:)

" You don't know that God is all you need until it's all you Got," so very true and it is in times like these that I am so thankful we have our faith. It is what keeps us strong, real, normal and most importantly encouraged. 


We shaved David's head again since his last post. As you can see, he has started to loose all the hair where the radiation is. He shouldn't loose any of the hair in the back. But, we shaved it to get it to all blend together. Looks a lot better! We have had so much fun doing this with the kids and I was asked if I was going to shave my head. I will be very truthful, that would be an absolute NO. 
David is a million times tougher then me. He comments often on how he is glad he has the Cancer and not myself or one of the children. This breaks my heart, but also confirms the strong husband and father I married. This past saturday a.m. I woke up to take a 5 mile jog with the kids. I was surprised, as all the neighbors were, when he decided to join me. Yes, he did not run the whole thing, but he got up and attempted as much as he could and even finished with a 400 yard sprint against me. Though he paid for it after with fatigue and a little naseau he was glad he did it and even happier that he beat me in the sprint. The competitveness never goes away.


WE are SO HUMBLED and thankful to everyone and I am still writing thank you's. So, I promise if you have not received you will! A few weeks ago we opened the mail to a generous gift from some very special people in the community of North Platte, where we lived for 8 years before moving to Waco. We had no idea how to say thank you to so many people. How do you say thank you to a whole community? The only best way I could think was a letter to the editor:) I share this because it not only continues to show our thanks to North Platte, but gives a glimps to everyone else where we moved from:)




This past saturday we had the wonderful joy of throwing our sweet friend Wren a baby shower for little Grace that came home from THE NICU on Wednesday. It was a last minute baby shower given Wren's circumstances with Chemo. We wanted to throw Wren a shower that was full of celebration for Baby Grace. Baby Grace received so many fun things and was precious in her mommies arms. She is a little over 5 pounds and a fighter like her mama. I thank you to all of you that are praying for Wren. At this time we know the Cancer has spread from her Colon and know that she does have stage 4 Colon Cancer. I am so happy that Wren and Bryan went to meet with an Oncologist today for a second opinion on what treatments can be done. We are all praying for Wren and healing. We are also praying for Wren and Bryan's parents and their continue strength helping with Brayden and Eli, their other two children. Praying for Doctor's wisdom. Praying for answers. Praying for continued faith and strength. Praising for the people's lives that Wren and Bryan have touched through their experience and praising for how Cancer has brought Bryan and Wren into David's and mine's lives. We have had some wonderful time spent one on one with them. They help us as much as we help them offering support when it comes to a listening ear. Below is Wren and sweet baby Grace.


  


I found this video below and it summarizes both Wren and David in so many ways. Listening to them talk, I hear them in this video. I hope you enjoy it as much as David and I did. WE love you all and we are praying for good results as we continue our fourth week of radiation and thanking God for all of you.  


Love the Hurst Family! 

Friday, September 30, 2011

3 Weeks down, 3 to go!!

Hello everybody,  
I know it has been a while since I wrote anything on the blog but Dana has been doing a great job keeping everyone informed.  I have been doing remarkably well and am blessed to have so many caring friends and family praying and writing letters and emails and texts.  Keep them coming.
I am still doing well with everything, Luckily no pain or symptoms!  No headaches or seizures.  No memory loss and no neuro deficits!!  Just a little insomnia.
We have been doing well lately and wanted to get down to Houston this weekend but we had a few important meetings come up and unfortunately had to cancel our trip to Houston.
We met a lady here in Waco that has taken this same journey and will be cancer free four years this January.  She told us her story of her diagnosis, treatment and recovery.  She also did six weeks of radiation therapy and she told me that on day 17, my hair would start falling out.  Well, she was right.  Day 17 was Tuesday and I noticed a lot of hair scattered around me and if I ran my fingers through my hair, I had a hand full of hair.  
Everyone keeps asking why I am losing my hair and it is related to the radiation treatment focused on the forehead and front half of my scalp.  I am not losing hair in the back or anywhere else, just where the beams are focused.  So, evidently the radiation zaps the hair follicle and the hair falls out.  we decided to shave it all off and not worry about the hair anymore.
Below are several pictures of my new hair do and Parker with his new do and my buddy from med school with his sympathy do.


 Here is my wonderful haircut and lovely surgical scar and the patch of missing hair.  pretty nice, huh.

Parker wasn't too happy getting his hair cut but liked the sucker after.  We tried to give it too him during but he just cried "No"

 Here is the happy boy back at home playing on his John Deere Gator.  New Hair cut.

 Here is Chris Cottrell md with his two daughters, Zoe and Reece.
 Here is Audrey holding my hand before my treatment, I am getting locked in and Will is positioning the machine.
 Here we are in front of the Cancer Center sign with our badge of three weeks completed.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and concerns.  We love you all!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week 2 of Radiation Completed...check!

 Audrey and Parker watching from the video screen David getting his radiation done. They were able to press the speaker button and talk to David in the room.
 Week 2, Day Ten of Radiation Completed! Yeah!
Thumbs up! As you can see so far David still has lots of hair. He can't wear gel for radiation so I am sure you like his hair do:)



This morning I woke up to the text message from sweet friend Katie C. , God doesn't give us the things we need, he gives us the people we need. I say this over and over again how we have seen God through the amazing support from all of our family and friends near and far. I have spent the last few days writing over 50 thank you notes and still working on them. I know everyone put, No Thank you Needed, but I am just so THANKFUL and want you each to know. These should go out in the next week or two and I hope I did not forget anyone.

Week Two of Radiation has been pretty similar to Week 1. David is still feeling great and has even started going to the gym. He takes a couple cat naps in the day but nothing too abnormal at this point. He is doing so well and back to meetings at work. As I have said before, my husband is finally back to normal being off steroids and all. It is pretty nice also having him help out at the house with the kids and now Parker is just as obsessed with Daddy as Audrey. The teachers at Mom's Day Out told me that all Parker says now is daddy:)

We did get approved from Insurance to keep our relationship with the neuro oncologist, Dr. Groves at MD ANDERSON. Praise God again! This was such great news. We go on November 10th to go over our MRI's and tests to make sure that Radiation killed what is left of of the tumor and prevented any new growth, so PLEASE continue your strong prayers. God is with us all the way on this and I really try to make a point every night for him to bless each of you who have been so gracious and supportive of our family.

Please also continue to pray for our sweet friend Wren. We are still waiting on results on whether or not the Cancer is stage 4 advanced. We have had some special time with Wren and her husband the past week. They are amazing models for us in their faith and love for one another. I have felt so helpless this whole time and finally I feel like I can be there for someone else. Wren is a fighter and I still have faith that God can do all and she will fight this. But, I also know what ever the outcome, that God is good and his purpose will be fulfilled. Wren's husband is the community pastor at our church. I asked him if he thought that people are watching him closely as a pastor dealing with this. And I have to share this. He said yes, but that is OK. That he believes everything he preaches. But, he has never said sometimes life just sucks. And it is at this time that we can all say, " This just SUCKS" It feels so good to say that! That is why this is life and short and not eternal life with God.


Love you all!

The Hursts!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pictures of Radiation! One Week Completed!

     This is the room where Radiation is done. Audrey got to to go the back and see David with the masks. You can see the stickers where they pin point radiation. She thought it was pretty cool that they were shooting at Daddy's boo boo.
 This is behind the radiation room. Audrey could watch them zapping David's tumor with radiation. She enjoyed this and even enjoyed some fruit snacks with it, like it was a movie:)
 Parker got to watch too. He kept yelling Daddy! And smiling! You can see David in the video.
                                               Yeah! 1st Week of Radiation Completed!
                          It helps the kids and David to have us all fight this together as a family!
Received this picture last night. My old book club in North Platte, Nebraska. They met last night and wore green in support for David. So much love!
And last, but most important, This is Whitney! Yeah! We finally got to go to dinner last night and meet an inspiration.







We have had a good week of radiation. So far no side effects. They say between day 14 and day 17 is when you usually start to experience some of the side effects. This week has also been filled with new relationships.

THE HORNS- Wren and Brian Horn are new to Waco and new to Harris Creek Church, our church family. They moved to Waco so Brian could take a job as the community pastor at Harris Creek. Wren, was pregnant with her third child when she found out that she has stage 3 colon cancer that has started to spread to some of her limp notes. Wren's story is amazing and she is currently also in the fight against Cancer. She is much like David in her strong attitude, her breath of life and her freshness of life and attitude. Wren gave birth to her baby girl Grace early, at 32 weeks, so that the Doctors can begin treatment. Wren will start radiation next week down in Temple, Texas at Scott and White. With the radiation and Chemo the hopes are that the tumor will shrink, which it will!:) We had such awesome conversation and comfort with Wren and Brian. And we left there both, just smiling. Wren and Brian also have a 3 year old and 1 year old like David and I. Starting this friendship we hope to provide comfort to each other, prayer for one another and praise for the things God is doing in our lives. Wren's blog is http://www.harriscreek.org/horn-updates   Pray for Wren as hard as you pray for David. And most importantly pray for our young children. That from this experience they will see the glorification of God and the wonderful things God does in our lives.


RAY- Sarah Scott is a neighbor that I met through Cancer as well. She heard our story and came and introduced herself. Sarah's brother passed away. Not from Brain Cancer but from a Pulmonary Embolism. Sarah's brother had a stage 4 Glioma tumor. Not a very good prognosis. He was the very first one to be a part of the Duke Clinical Trial. AMAZING! He passed from Medication that was taken through the Duke Clinical Trial. By being the first participant, Ray has paved the way for more research and success. His story has been an inspiration to me and according to Sarah his strong faith, his love for life. I feel so blessed to have the Scott family praying hard for David and I.

Whitney- CAN I SAY JOY! You see Whitney up above with David and I. We had the opportunity to go to dinner last night with Whitney. What a breath of fresh air! Whitney had the same diagnosis as David! Look at that healthy girl! She is doing amazing and continues to put all healing on God's work alone.  She has been Cancer free for four years now! She get's MRI's done every four months and is constantly getting good results. It was so nice to be around Whitney to feel her joy, her positivity and her outlook on Cancer. She reminded us, to not only pray to God, but to TALK TO CANCER. She said, Wake up and tell Cancer, you are not going to get me. I will fight you. She is so ever true. Cancer does not kill us, and it can not kill us, for we have eternal life and we praise God for that.



This has been a crazy week and I still can not believe we just completed our first week of radiation. What an amazing feeling! I started Bible Study and Fellowship this week as well. We are spending the next 3 months studying the book of Acts. The great thing about BSF is that the kids are also learning about God. Audrey told me she learned about Jesus, Paul and Peter Pan on Wednesday:) As I was doing the study for this week of Acts I was amazed at the similarities God is pointing out to me. Acts, was written by Dr. Luke. Dr. Luke was best friends with Paul and it is said that it was through Luke's relationship with Paul that he came to Christ. Wonder if Paul knew the simple act of witnessing could lead Luke to write one of the most important books of the bible.

Jesus chose the apostles to continue his work after he died and rose again, and it was only through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in these apostles that the apostles were able to preform these acts. They had sorrows and they had joys. Acts can be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit.

I ask you to continue to pray for our family and ask for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit each and every day. I know a lot of people have commented that we are so strong and I appreciate those words, but in all honesty, we would be very weak if we did not have our faith right now. It is knowing the one truth that gives us all the hope that we need.


A card, our friends the Fago's sent us said, Deep inside us there is a place where faith flows freely, and hope runs deep, a place were we can go to be refreshed and to remember who we really are, and who we are is not illness or weakness or any kind of problem, we are eternal and we are loved, we are children of God.

I hope through all the stories above that you always know our families and the families above as not an illness but eternal and loved by God just as each of you are.


Lots of Love!

Dana, David, Audrey and Parker

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Radiation Treatments

Well,
As most of you already know, I started radiation therapy yesterday, Monday September 12!
Dana and I had been over to talk to Dr Larry Mundy, the radiation oncologist at Hillcrest Hospital here in Waco, last week and were set up to start our 6 weeks of treatments.
It is an interesting process, Dr Mundy has to map out where to direct the radiation and needs to make sure my head is perfectly still during the 30 second procedure, this will ensure that the radiation is going where it is supposed to, ie the tumor margins and not the healthy brain!  The only way to ensure this is to build a special plastic mask to hold my head still and then get the mask clamped down into a special holder.
I have had two treatments, two of many I might add....6 weeks, 5 days a week, monday - friday.....but so far no complications.  I spoke with the radiation oncologist today who asked how things were going and he admitted that I should not have any side-effects until the 2nd or 3rd week.  He said I should expect a few side effects after treatments; some slight hair loss and maybe some skin irritation.  He also said that a few patients will experience some nausea, fatigue, malaise (sleepiness) and headache.  So far, I have not had any side-effects.  I did talk to him about the last week of treatments and my desire to go to South Dakota and he did not see any reason I would not be able to go and could have my last two treatments when I get back.
Also, I am gladly getting over the dreaded Coxsackie A virus of the Picornaviradae Virus group, otherwise known as "Hand, Foot & Mouth virus" that I contracted from my 17 month son, Parker!!!!  Something he picked up from mothers day out!!!  Unfortunately, it is not as common in adults and IT IS quite painful, especially on the hands, feet and mouth!!!  Luckily, it only lasts a few days and the treatment is regularly scheduled max dosages of Tylenol and Motrin.  (Tylenol is 15mg/kg and Motrin is 10mg/kg, BTW, most 1 yo kids weigh 10 kg and most 4 yo kids weigh 20 kg)  Unfortunately, there is no antibiotic cure and the only treatment is supportive. I would recommend alternating dosages of the medications every 3-4 hours the first 2 days and I would set my alarm clock to give meds through the night, especially having gone through what I have the past 2 days, it is torture!!!  Obviously I have not had HFM before and would not recommend it to anyone of any age!
I digress!!!
I continue to get wonderful support emails and cards and well wishes from all our friends that I run into about town.  Dana and I are so glad to have all the wonderful support from everyone both here and abroad and so look forward to having all this drama behind us.  I know this is a life-long journey and I appreciate everyone that has given their support and all the prayers.  Please keep them coming for us and yourselves!
We truly appreciate everyone.
Thanks
David and Dana
Audrey and Parker

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Day of Radiation- From Dana

Every day from God is a gift, that is why it is called the PRESENT:) Thank you Aunt Mary for sharing such a true statement.


The past week has been a breeze getting ready for radiation. We have been anxious to get started and get it done with. There has been so much positive around us and we continue to make sure that is reflecting in the household and with the children. 

Our only downer the past week, was Parker woke up one morning with a small case of Mouth, Hand, Foot Virus. It is a viral thing that is pretty common and spreads rapidly through kids. He had it for a couple days and was fine. It is rare for adults to get it and we did not pay to much attention to the fact that we could get infected. David woke up this past Sunday with the virus and pretty much would tell you, not so fun. There is not much you can do for it, just wait it out. And all we can do it laugh, that of all people David would get it:)

But, before he was put down with this nasty virus he did enjoy a wonderful weekend hunting with neighbors, friends and family. The great outdoors and enjoying God's beauty is one of David's favorite things to do. Although he could not hunt, he still enjoyed every minute of it.

So beyond the little road block with the MHFoot Virus, David has been FEELING wonderful. Like anyone who see's him will say you would not know that he had surgery only a few short weeks ago. He has been getting back to work doing some administrative stuff and that has been such a relief for him to get out and do. He loves his job and the ability to work and help others. So he is very anxious to get back.

First day of radiation today. It was pretty uneventful and I can't say that we have noticed anything. We have appreciated all the prayers and text messages today. I really believe with all my heart that like surgery, radiation is going to be a cynch for David. He is in just such good spirits, shape and a true fighter. 

As many of you know, the tumor was in the frontal lobe and effects mood and behavior. I thought when they took the tumor out that my husband I married would be back. Well, not so much. You had the steroids and all the medication and then the fact that they took some of his frontal lobe out. The doctors assured me once he was off the meds and his brain had time to re adjust he would be back to his normal self, and they were right. We have had such an enjoyable past 48 hours, despite the MouthHandFoot:) He is getting back to him self as far as his spirits, his work ethic, his loving personality and his passion for life. I can't tell you how happy that makes me and also how I know it is because of all of your prayers.

I met some interesting and loving people today during radiation while I sat in the lobby. They like your radiation to be the same time everyday. So, these loving people will be a part of our lives every day for the next 6 weeks. WE have heard SO MANY success stories. The radiation Oncologist is hooking us up with a 31 year old lady named Whitney. She had the same tumor as David. She had surgery, radiation and chemo. She has been TUMOR free for 5 years and still TUMOR free. They said she is just an amazing person with so much joy. I am so anxious to meet her!

I ask that you continue to pray for us as we start and continue radiation. I also ask that you pray for Holly. Holly is the front desk lady. Who talks to all of us out in the waiting room. She gets to know all of us and is a young girl that I don't think realizes how important her impact is. Praise God that God put such a bright, smiling face young lady to converse with all of us and get to know our families. I also ask that you pray for God to use me in any way as I get to know the others in the lobby. You see so much love but you also see Sadness and I look forward to going on this journey with these other individuals.


We love you all!

Dana

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thank you!

Here is all the gifts that everyone has sent separated into little bags.



We are so thankful for all the stuff that everyone sent to us. I finally finished separating everything into little bags for each day. Each day we will take one plastic bag with us to radiation and in it will be a surprise that the kids can play with while David get's his radiation done. Audrey helped me separate everything into little bags. We put one toy for Parker and one toy for Audrey. She was very excited to be a part of this. When David came home from the gym she told him not to touch any of the stuff we had separated, that these toys were for when we go do his radiation:)

We also have been so blessed to receive lots of gift cards for different fun places like Sonic, Chick Fil A and Wendys. We will use these gift cards as fun things to do on a friday when David has completed his radiation.

I promise that I will send Thank you Cards out! I know many of you put no thank you card needed, but I want to make sure I get the chance to THANK everyone for making this journey so much easier for not only us, but the kids!

Lots of Love!

Dana


AGAIN, THANK YOU! All the stuff everyone was so thoughtful to send will make the next 6 weeks more enjoyable for the Hurst Family and we are FOREVER GRATEFUL!





Thursday, September 8, 2011

Radiation Begins

Abby and Millie wearing Green for David:)

It's hard to believe that David's surgery was 3 weeks ago from today. And that 5 weeks ago exact we found out David had a golf ball size tumor in his brain. In that time, we have had our battles with insurance, removed a tumor and now begin radiation. It is remarkable how well David is doing. He is feeling 100 percent and ready to get back to life and back to work. I have always known David was a hard worker, but during this experience I have learned about how he is more then just a hard worker but a fighter. Nothing would surprise me with David anymore and his efforts to beat all odds.

Now we begin the second leg of managing this disease, radiation. It has been decided that it would be best for us to have radiation done here in Waco with Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Mundy. We talked to Dr. Groves our Neuro Oncologist with MD Anderson and he is very comfortable with us having our radiation done here in Waco. Dr. Groves and Dr. Mundy have been in talks on what would be the best standard radiation for David. Insurance will cover radiation being done here. We have submitted a request for insurance to cover our continued relationship with Dr. Groves at MD Anderson and also a Neuro Oncologist here in Waco. Either way, radiation will begin Monday. I am so proud of my husband and the fight he fought with insurance the week leading up to surgery. I am also so grateful for the Scott and White team David works with and HillCrest team that helped David to get the 100 percent coverage. We received our MD Anderson bill today and I was astonished at the amount it cost for brain surgery, but relieved when the balance due was 0! I have learned a whole different side of health care through all of this. And it has humbled both David and I. ( Don't worry though we still aren't becoming democrats:) hehe....

Today, David had his consultation with Dr. Mundy. Dr. Mundy is a wonderful guy who know's his stuff but also has lots of stories to tell:) An hour appointment turned into 2 hours as Dr. Mundy had many funny stories to share with David about his time working in the ER. Dr. Mundy explained that we will start radiation on Monday and we will do radiation for 6 weeks. I asked him why 6 weeks and he said that the brain can only take so much. So, they don't want to do too much radiation, that 6 weeks is the magic number. He explained that David may have fatigue, naseau and stated he will loose his hair. He said it may not come back. But, all of us who know David, I can't imagine that hair not coming back:) But, all these are maybe's. As I have learned, there were a lot of maybe's when it came to surgery and David surprised us all. So, I do not doubt David to overcome it:)

This journey and the issues of life and death have forced David and I to have conversations I never thought we would have. But, it has also made me realize, Cancer or no cancer these are issues that as a married couple we should be aware of each other's thoughts, feelings and emotions to always be prepared for any situation. With that, the issue of a third child has always been something important to David and I. And we have always seen ourselves with that third child. It was made clear from Dr. Mundy that radiation will not effect fertility. Since the radiation is to the brain. Which is wonderful news. But, David and I have both agreed that we are very blessed with two healthy children and that are family is complete and perfect so that we can now focus all our strength on him getting better. We never know what God holds for us in the future, but right now all of our strength needs to be focused on David's health and our kids.

They fit David with a head mask today for radiation, which was pretty scary looking. I did take a picture, but pretty sure David wouldn't want me posting it. We do get to keep the mask after radiation so maybe was can frame it:) Or not. They said radiation will be about 20-30 minutes from check in to leaving 5 days a week and 2 days off. We are so grateful for all the wonderful things every one has sent for the kids. I have started to seperate everything into different days of the week. The kids can go with us to radiation and I will bring a special little treat for them in the lobby each time we go. We have left the kids so much the past 5 weeks that I want to make them a part of what is going on and not make them scared of the unknown. Radiation will be a family, fun thing we can all do together. Does that sound weird or what? Or is that even possible? Anyway, I am going to try it. And I know David wants to be around the kids as much as possible.

Dr. Mundy was very confident that after radiation, David will be back to living a normal life and can go back to work. Which David has already guaranteed us all he will do:)

I promise to update the blog more, as many of you have asked. I will update it with David's progress. And David will update is as well! He is leaving tomorrow to go on a 2 day hunt with family and friends. He is so excited for this trip and it is the best way to relax before the start of this journey monday.

I will have to say this week I have had some weak moments and many close friends have pointed out that it is the weak moments that make us human and that we need to have weak moments to need and really appreciate God. Surrounded by all the cards you all have sent, I saw this one that stuck out to me,
" Sometimes life just doesn't make any sense. Bad things happen to good people, and we all wonder why. But, even in those moments, some things remain true- God loves you....He has a plan for your life....you are loved....you are never alone....and even the darkest night must lead to dawn, "
Romans 9:28 in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him.

Lots of Love!

Dana, David, Audrey and Parker:)



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor day Weekend

David and I out at our night of normalcy this past friday. Although it didn't prove to be a night of normalcy as Baylor Beat TCU in an amazing game of football with total points scored close to 100! Sic Em Bears...is that how you say it:) Many of you know after moving to Texas with all the football teams, David and I root for them all. What better way to enjoy football with all your friends:)
A picture that was sent to us yesterday from a good friend of mine from High School, Greg. To show his support for David and his fight against Brain Cancer his boys soccer team he coaches all wore green. What an amazing feeling for David to know people are supporting him and thinking of him that don't even know him. Thank you to this team in Ohio for showing your support for our family!
This is a picture of all the cards we have received. If only their was a representation of the cards, emails, text messages, phone calls, care packages, daily visits and dinners? That would make for a picture of lots of love. These cards provide encouraging words and you can't help but smile when surrounded by them.

We have had an amazing Labor Day weekend with so many blessings so far. We were so lucky to have my Mother fly in from Ohio for the week and help with the kids so David and I could get as many errands and day to day things done before he starts radiation. We also were lucky to have David's friend Ron and his wife Molly come visit us for the weekend from Houston. Ron and David grew up together since elementary school and it made for a fun weekend for David to have the opportunity to spend it with him. We also had the chance to meet up with one of David's good buddies from Med School Andy and his family the Thyen Clan. Nothing but good laughs and reminiscing:)

We also received wonderful news that my good friend Melanie gave birth to a healthy little boy Noah Benjamin Arons. The last I heard from Melanie was Friday as she was heading to Temple to pray for David and our decision on where to go for radiation. The next was text message that she was going in to Labor and the next was a message that her close to 7 pound healthy baby was born.

So many blessings this weekend. A colleague of David's gave us the book, The Purpose Driven Life, I flipped it open to the following. Not only was it a reminder of the joy of Noah Benjamin Arons being born, but of how Special David is in God's eyes.

The verse was Psalm 149:4a
The Lord takes Pleasure in his people.

The Recap followed with ....

You were planned for God's pleasure. The moment you were born into the world, God was there as an unseen witness, smiling at your birth. He wanted you alive, and your arrival gave him great pleasure. God did not NEED to create you, but he CHOSE to create you. You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose, his delight. Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, glorifying him always is the first pleasure of your life. When you fully understand this truth , you will never again have a problem feeling insignificant. It proves your worth. If you are that important to God, and he considers you valuable enough to keep you with him for eternity, what greater significance could you have? You are a child of God, and you bring pleasure to God like nothing else he has ever created.


Reading this it made me realize how this whole journey and all of you surrounding us with love has made us feel not insignificant at all. And that is because God is using all of you to comfort us so that we see him through you. We have always said we were chosen for this and those words have been easy to type but often hard to accept. But, after reading this it has made me feel very special that God does love us so much to choose us for this. I am not the one with Cancer, so my prayer would be that David continues to know and feel God's love during this journey. I have always prayed at night that my children never doubt my love for them or David's. Reading the devotion today made me realize my prayer should also be that my children never doubt God's love for them and always know that they were chosen to be created and that God loves them to spend eternity with them.

Continue praying as we continue talking about our options for radiation and where we want to be. We will decide on tuesday and start the phone calls on where radiation will start next monday.

Lots of Love to everyone and continue enjoying Labor Day weekend!

Dana, David, Audrey and Parker.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Results

Every day a new day:)

We just got the call from our neurooncologist Dr. Groves from MD Anderson. The results are not in our favor. The IP19Q is attached to the tumor. Which means it is non-deleted, which means radiation is needed.

So, our options are to be a part of the clinical trial at MD Anderson or to do standard Radiation for 6 weeks followed by Chemo at MD Anderson. The radiation would start a week from monday, hopefully. What does this mean for us. The battle with insurance begins again:) We have been told that insurance will not cover it at MD Anderson because the services are provided here at HillCrest. After talking to Dr. Groves he said he would spear head it to get done here in Waco. He also said that he would encourage insurance to get it covered at MD Anderson. But, either way he will be our quarterback:) So, we need some time this afternoon to kind of digest everything. We will put a call into insurance this afternoon and with it being Labor Day Monday we probably won't hear anything until Tuesday. Or we may just decide to get it done here in Waco and call it good.

The positive, radiation and chemo will kill what is left of the tumor. And according to other patients they have done radiation and chemo they have sometimes not had any tumor re growth for 7-12 years. We will continue this journey and continue asking for your prayers.

Many of you have seen David the past week, he started working out at the gym again and even attending some meetings at work. He has rode in the golf cart with friends and joined some hunting ( he did not shoot the gun:) He is so READY to get back to work and life and those of you who know him, know he will not let this tumor take him down:)

The Power of Prayer is larger then anything you all could do for us, please continue!

Lots of Love, The Hursts

Monday, August 29, 2011

Neuro Oncology Appointment

Majesty, Majesty, this is our story......

Those words keep going through my head as we sang them in church yesterday. This is our story, this is the story God choose for us.


We had our appointment with Dr. Gross this morning. He is our neuro oncologist at MD Anderson. He was amazing. A wonderful, intelligent and up beat guy. He was very positive about David's tumor and gave us all the information about the tumor and what kind it is. And used a bunch of words that I really did not understand. So, you can refer back to David's post about the exact make up of his tumor.

So what's next? Now that we have resected 99 percent of the tumor? That we don't know. More waiting and MORE PRAYERS! There is still one more piece of information we need to find out from pathology that we have not gotten back. This is the one piece that determines our treatment. We need to find out the make up of the IP19Q. We need to find out if it is co-deleted or non deleted. This is what that means.

If it is co-deleted! That is good! That is wonderful! Pray to God for it to be co-deleted. If it is co-deleted that means that treatment would be either observation, radiation or chemo. Dr. Gross said if it was co-deleted he would suggested we do just chemo. Chemo would involve a pill that David takes Monday - Friday for 5 days each month. The Chemo would prevent the tumor from growing and hopefully shrink what is left. Then we would follow up with MRI's every 2-3 months. With this option he is confident David could go back to work as soon as he feels up to it.

If it is non deleted, not so good. This means that we have two options. Radiation for 6 to 8 weeks. Or to be a part of a clinical trial that involves radiation and chemo. The clinical trial would all need to be done at MD Anderson. Which would involve David's parents having a new bunk mate and David not being able to go back to work as soon as he would like:) Also, with radiation there can SOMETIMES be cognitive effects that you do not see for 5 or more years. But, that is a SOMETIMES. He said with David's intelligence and age he may not experience any of this.

We also asked the Doctor about long term survival. He said it could be 7 to 12 years. But, then again he can't say. He said he has a patient that had a stage four tumor and has been alive 19 years and is living a normal life hard a work. And then has a patient that had stage 2 and didn't live nearly as long. He was very positive about David and him beating this. I told the Doctor that I know this is not curable but managable. He looked at me and said I don't know what you are talking about. The advances we have already made and are making are going to make this treatable in no time. He was awesome. He basically told us he is our quarterback and he is going to put us where we need to go.

I also asked about diet. He said we can always try flax seed, tofu and green tea and Olive Oil. He said there is not fact that diet helps or prevents tumor growth. But, from people's personal experiences it has. Now, we just need to get David to fall for that!


I really hope that this answers every one's questions and not only ask for continued prayers but to Thank God for all the blessings he has already given us in this journey. We sometimes pray so much for our needs that we forget to thank him for the many blessings he has given us.

A lot of people have commented on our strength and faith and it is through this wilderness we are in that our faith has strengthened. I hope we have glorified God through all of this as that is our purpose on this earth. I do not know how any one could experience something like this without faith. God is the only solid and true thing we have and we hold on to that.

We love you all. We are heading home. We don't need to proceed with any appointments until we get our final pathology back. Hopefully by friday. Also, praise God for Dr. Gross and his impact in our life and for his knowledge.


Lots of Love!
Dana and David

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Headed back to Houston for 1st Follow-up

Good evening everyone!
Yes, it has been a week and a half since surgery and we have our first post-op visit back at MD Anderson tomorrow, Monday morning with the neuro-oncologist. I spoke briefly with the neurosurgeon, Dr Rao, on Thursday last week. He relayed the preliminary histo-pathology report with the good news that it has a beneficial mutation that upregulated a gene which made the astrocytoma more susceptible to chemo and radiation, great news for me! Yeah!!
So, we are now headed back to my parents home to hang out with them tonight and then another clinic appointment to outline the next 6-12 months of my life with both chemo and radiation! Including life expectancy! I have always been fairly realistic and known that I would not live forever but I really did expect to live at least to eighty! We shall see what the doctor has to say about that tomorrow!
We will update the blog after we get more information.
We are so appreciative of all the wonderful and phenomenal support we have received from all of our friends and family scattered throughout the US and abroad in London (shout out to Jon & Lynds) We again thank everyone for all the support and prayers, do not forget to stop and pray for your family and give them a great big hug!
We love everyone
Thanks
David and Dana
Audrey and Parker

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pathology Report

Good Afternoon everyone,
Today I got a great call from the Neurosurgeon, Dr Rao.
He had very good news, he indicated he had recently received the pathology report...here it is...
predominantly Astrocytoma Grade 3 with NO indication of Grade 4.  (small area of oligodendroglioma)  He also stated there was a mutation in the tumor which made it more susceptible to the upcoming Radiation and Chemotherapy that we will learn about on Monday from the Neuro-Oncologist, Dr Gross.
This should make the Cancer much more treatable and gives a much better prognosis, so Yeah!!!
So, great news Dana and I are so excited that everyone is praying for us!!
All is good and we love all the prayers, remember to pray for your family and yourselves.
Thanks for all the well wishes and we will keep everyone updated on Monday when we go to Houston.
David & Dana
Audrey & Parker


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hurst Update

  I am so sorry that it has taken a few days to post on the blog. We made it home and have taken the time to relax with our family and get back into some sort of a normal routine until we wait for Pathology Results. I also was going to wait to post to tell everyone the Pathology results, but as it is wednesday and we still have not received I knew I had to give some sort of an update:)

We called the neurosurgeon today and they are anxiously awaiting the results too, but have not heard anything. We do have a scheduled appointment monday in Houston with the Neurooncologist to figure out the next step depending on the pathology results. It will be so nice to go to that appointment and see what to expect from here on out.


We have loved being home and David has spent the past couple days resting. He was so tired once we got home and has enjoyed relaxing as much as he can. As with any surgery, it is taking his body some time to get back to 100 percent. The steroids have had the most impact, but he has started to ween on them, which will make a huge difference. Already today I noticed his upbeat personality coming back. He has been hanging tons with the kids and I and he had the luxury of going with some of his buddies golfing tonight. But, don't worry, his golfing included riding in the golf cart enjoying the scenery:) He is taking it easy but he is also SO READY to get back to work, life and normalcy. Anyone that sees him comments on how he does not look like he just had brain surgery! He looks so good!

The kids are doing amazingly well! And we are so blessed by all of the amazing things you all have sent them. What we have decided to do, is save the gifts for the kids until radiation and chemo start. We thought each day Daddy completes a day of radiation he gets to do something fun and they get something fun. We will pull out one of the gifts from each of you and make sure to let them know which special person it is from:)

David and I also spent the morning reading all the cards and opening all the packages. I wanted to do this with him when he was feeling better. We feel so humbled by all of the love out there. It truly is amazing and again such a blessing to feel so loved by so many people. The cards and the words of inspiration are huge in our healing and fight against this disease:)

Friends have also set up a care calendar for food, which I think is pretty much filled until October. This has BEEN SO NICE. For one, it has given us the opportunity to catch up with each person when they bring the food over. It is SO NICE to see everyone and to hear about you and your lives and the joys you are experiencing. And two, David LOVES the food:) As do I and the kids:) That has been super special to us.

It has also been cool to hear how many people are following the blog and praying and sharing our story. I had someone call my mom the other day and was at church in Ohio and they were praying for Dana Aynes's husband. How cool is that! You all are so amazing and your prayers are loud and God is listening to you.

I keep on wanting to thank everyone tons and feel sometimes that I am not showing enough how thankful I am. Saying that,  I hope that you all know I thank God for each of you every night. You all have given us encouragement when we needed encouragement and most importantly prayed for us. David and I could not do this with out God and could not do this with out you. And I pray that I can someday show each of you how thankful I am for what you have done for my family.

Tonight I feel God holding those pathology results, saying " I hear you, but I need you to be a little louder" Please continue to pray for good results tonight and tomorrow.

A friend Lauren Lively gave us the book, The RED SEA RULES. I am so anxious to read this book and how it compares to the journey David and I are on. It is the biblical verses and stories that often remind me, God is not new at this. And how cool is it that the same God that led through the Red Sea is leading David and I against the fight of Cancer:) Wow! Pretty neat:)


Love and Hugs!

Dana

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Headed back to Waco

Good afternoon everyone!
We are headed home to Waco today.
We had a busy couple of days and it is good to be headed back home to our house, kiddos and Bella! We have missed them dearly and cannot wait to get home and relax. Mom and dad's house was nice but a little cramped and I need space to spread out!

We love all the wonderful texts and emails and prayers, so please don't stop, they are a true welcomed surprise and gift! Remember to say a prayer for your family, it is truly important.

We love everyone and really appreciate all the support.

Thanks
David an Dana
Audrey and Parker

Saturday, August 20, 2011

David Coming Home:) And some pictures

David had to have MRI lastnight to make sure no blod clotting or anything. Leave it to his friend Barrett to jump in the gurney with him. The tech took them serious?



David wanting to walk down to the cafeteria, no wheelchair:)







This was sent by our small group at church, it says Cancer sucks. Yes it does:)




Leave it to David to get discharged only two days after his surgery:) It looks like sometime today we will be discharged from the hospital. You can see how excited David is to be out and get home to the kiddo's.


The past couple days he has been walking around, refusing wheelchair rides and heading down to the cafeteria every few hours. We have learned that after surgery Cancer patients are put on a VERY HIGH dosage of steriods. These steriods make David crave food and very, very moody. I keep running out after the nurses apologizing for David's shortness, they remind me that all Cancer patients are like this after surgery because of the steriods and also that all physicians are like this because they HATE BEING THE PATIENT! Everyone just seems to laugh it off which is what David's family and I have done:) The steriods make him want to get up and walk around and not sit much. So, you add all these things together and it makes for an interesting day:) But, overall he is doing AMAZING. And the fact that we could leave the hospital today is truly a blessing. He will be on the steriods for 10 to 12 more days then tapper off. The doctor then said, our sweet David will be back:) Although, he is still sweet:)


We have also been able to FACE TEXT with the kids a couple times a day. It has been so much fun and Audrey loves it. David only had his head shaved around the lession. He looks great! Tomorrow he is allowed to shower for the first time which he is pretty excited about:)


We have made trips to the chapel to pray with family and friends and David is first to lead a prayer the times we head down to the cafeteria. It is so nice to continue to put our faith in God.



There was an article publish this month on Glioma tumors and how Brain Cancer is not curable but managable. And the many people who live normal lives with these tumors by having the radiation and chemo and then follow up MRI's every 6 months. The article also offered the many things we can do as far as food and exercise to help manage this cancer. And every person interviewed was back to work in only a few weeks with no sign that there was any surgery or chemo done. It is truly amazing the medical advances today and I can only imagine what it will be like in 5 to 10 years.


We love everyone and really believe God chose you all to help us through this journey:)


1 Samuel Chapter 17, The story of David and Goliath:)