The Latest Update on Nancy and Me

As I write the news concerning my jaw journey and Nan’s cancer fight, I am reminded of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:16:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Stamina. Business man pointing to transparent board with text: Resilience

By God’s grace we remain steadfast (James 5:11). The Lord kindly renews us daily with His lavish mercies and great faithfulness (Lam. 3:22-23).

Through the ups and downs of doctors’ visits, lab reports, treatments et al, we continue to hang in and trust God’s unwavering goodness. Here’s what we know at this point:

First, regarding Nancy. We finally received the lab results on the fluid extracted from her some weeks ago. They tested eleven different chemo drugs for potential effectiveness on her form of disease.

Not a single one registered positive. Her doctor admitted any attempt at standard of care therapy would constitute a “crap shoot.” Not exactly overly motivating, as one might imagine.

Nan continues to fight fluid build up. It gets drained as needed. She battles away on the alternative therapy front. A new practitioner has entered the picture. She remains optimistic, reporting some symptom progress as a result of new strategies.

Now, regarding me. For the most part, I enjoy good progress since “Operation Robojaw” over fourteen weeks ago. The Lord graciously allowed me to return to the pulpit on May 15. It went better than I anticipated. I must speak more slowly than before–probably not a bad thing–but the articulation issues don’t seem overly distracting.

I’ve started therapy to improve my speech. Unfortunately the exercises helping me so much seem to have kicked up painful muscle spasms in my upper right jaw. Next Tuesday I travel to Miami for my surgeon to address that complication.

Dr. Marx will also review with me the results of my recent swallow study. Surgery changed something in the swallowing mechanism when I eat and drink. I tend to aspirate both liquids and solids.

Apparently my body can’t generate adequate pressure to get the stuff down the esophagus. Hence, something ends up going in the wrong pipe. Choking can result; I need to exercise extreme care with the process.

My primary care doctor has ordered occupational therapy for my swallow issues. Hopefully that will help. One step away from a Heimlich Maneuver unnerves me a bit.

So there you have it. The Heff House saga continues. We remain immensely grateful for the outpouring of support and the prayers of countless numbers of fellow believers.

I will post additional updates whenever we have significantly more to report.

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