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:)

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 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!