Friday, September 16, 2011


We are very thankful to be home. We found everything to be in very good order here. A few people had snuck in and left little notes and flower arrangements around the house,so it was very welcoming. Thanks also to all those who helped clean this week.

I had to think about what it will be like for Christ to return. Will he find us watching and ready? We left our home in the care of others and when we returned we found that they were faithful to take care of it for us. Christ has left us work to do for Him. Hearts to keep. Children to love and train. Souls to pray for. I pray we will give Him our ALL.

Derek & Leann


I had my last treatment this morning and we are in the van on the way home now. I cried with joy to be done. Leann cried because she will miss the simple life we had here. The kids are excited to see their friends again.

Thanks for all your prayers and support through this journey. Pray now that we can adjust to normal life again.

Derek & Leann

Monday, September 12, 2011

Treatment proceeding!

We just saw the doctor and my skin is good enough to proceed with treatments this week! Thanks for all your prayers! I was supposed to get my treatment this morning but the beam is down right now so sometime later today they will call and let me know when to come in. I still have some rash on my neck and arms but it isnt bothering me too much.

Derek & Leann

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wound Clinic update

Great news this morning!  My skin is healing, and although it is not completely healed yet, it is improving rapidly.  The nurse practitioner at the wound clinic said I am a “fast healer”.  Probably more like “greatly prayed for”  She thinks I will be able to start treatments again on Monday.  We then stopped and saw the radiation doctor, Dr McDonald.   He likes the progress and is hopeful it will be well enough by Monday, so he gave me a treatment schedule for next week.   So Leann will keep up the good job with the dressings this weekend and we’ll pray the skin is healed by Monday so that we can get this over!

Derek & Leann

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Allergic Reaction on way out!

While it wasn't a huge sudden change, I can tell now that the swelling in my other ear is down, and my eye is not looking so puffy.  There are still some signs of the rash, but it is definitely improving.  Thanks for all your prayers.

Leann did a good job cleaning and changing the dressings.  It's not a real pleasant task but she does a good job of taking care of me.  It's hard to tell since I'm not an expert in skin & wounds, but it seems better than before.  It's sure nice when I'm not trying to use a kleenex every minute to catch a drip from my ear.

The rainy and coldish weather has been tough on everyone here.  We are really looking forward to getting home.  Pray that we can all hang on until I get done with the treatments.

Derek & Leann

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wound Clinic visit

Our radiation doctor referred us to the local wound clinic, and the ear area was seen by a nurse practitioner and dressed by her nurse with Biafine directly on the radiation area, Solosite sandwiched between two sheets of Cuticerin (non-stick gauze), some dry gauze on top, and an elastic mummy looking cap to hold it all on.  We are also to apply Hydrocortizone cream on the extending rash/inflamed area which now has spread to the other ear, Derek's neck, right cheek/eye, and arms.  The general consensus at this meeting was that Derek is probably experiencing an allergic reaction to the silver sulfadiazine topical ointment which we applied from last Thursday until Monday morning when we began to suspect something wasn't right.

My responsibility is to re-dress this twice a day.  We report back on Friday at 9am to see how things are faring and hopefully get some prediction at that point when radiation treatments can resume.  We have 5 left.  So close, but so far away!  We have met a wonderful Bloomington, IN babysitter through some references which we used during the doctor visit today.  I'm so thankful for God providing this...she lives very close to the wound clinic.  Having our three children in that wound clinic treatment room at exactly nap time today would have been a site to behold.

Please keep praying for the wound to heal enough to continue the radiation treatments.  We love you all.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pause in Treatments

So, bad news this afternoon in meeting with Dr McDonald.  He wasn't really convinced that it is an infection, and thinks it might rather be an allergic reaction.  Either way, he wants to put my treatments on hold till my skin can heal.  He's hoping that a week will do it and then we can continue.  I have an appointment at the wound center here in Bloomington tomorrow afternoon at 2.  If they can get this to heal, then perhaps I could do my 5 last treatments next week.  Originally next Tuesday was to be the last day, so if I can really start again on Monday, I could still be homme by the end of next week. At this point I am starting to loose confidence in the doctors at the therapy center.  I'm hopeful that the wound center can explain better what is happening with the rash, swelling, oozing, etc.

So, pray that we can get some clear direction tomorrow at the wound center and that my ear could heal so the treatments could continue.  I really want to just get them over with so we can come home!

Thanks everyone for the cards, prayers, & support.

Derek & Leann

Skin Infection

Quite a weekend!  We had a lot of social plans, and my ear continued to get worse.  Friday night we were at Bollier's for dinner and stayed overnight.  Saturday we had Wagenbach's coming out to see us and we were staying at a motel in Indy.  We ended up scrapping the hiking plans because Saturday was hot and sunny, which were both really bad for my ear.  I was putting silver creme on it regularly but it kept getting worse.  The side of my face started swelling and a rash was spreading.  By Sunday I realized I couldn't go to church with it looking that bad so I stayed at the motel.  After church Leann got me some non-stick gauze and a bunch of supplies so we could wrap my head up like a mummy.  With it bandaged up, it kept me from having to daub the drips every couple minutes and kept everyone else from having to look at it.  So we were able to go to Schroeder's on Sunday night, the children's museum on Monday, and Ackerman's on Monday night.  It was a lot of activity, but way better than sitting around our apartment the whole time.

This morning when I got up, the side of my face was swollen worse, and my eye was starting to swell shut.  Plus my left ear (the good one) had a rash and was starting to swell up.  Luckily my treatment appointment was early this morning so I've already been there and saw one of the other doctors.  He prescribed an anti-biotic and thinks I have a skin infection.  I'm supposed to go back this afternoon and see my regular doctor at the therapy center.  With my face swollen, it was pretty tough for them to get the mask on and strapped down, but they finally got it.  So, now I'm down to only 5! more treatments!!.  If you can't tell, I am ready to be done with this and the whole family is counting down the days now.

This could be a whole lot worse though, at least I'm still able to be active to some extent and the pain is not more than I can bear.  Thanks for continuing to pray for us, and specifically that this skin issue would heal.

Derek & Leann

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Better Day

Today was definitely a better day than yesterday.  Yesterday I pretty much spent the day laying in bed not feeling like doing anything.  Today I was up and about more.  We met with Dr McDonald today before my treatment.  He did say that my ear is looking worse than they normally see, but that we are doing all the right things.  Keep putting the silver ointment stuff on it.  My ear is really raw, and oozes quite a bit at times.  It's painful sometimes too, but nothing I can't live with.  He said not to expect too much improvement until the treatment is over.  Only 6 more treatments!  Four next week, and then two the week following.

We can feel everyone's extra prayers the last couple days for us, and really appreciate it.  Just pray that my ear would not get any worse, and that I can endure it with a good attitude!

Thanks for your love and support,
Derek & Leann

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ready to be done!

It's been a good week since I last wrote in many ways.  We've had lots going on and been to McCormick's Creek State Park a couple times.  But I'm feeling a lot worse physically.  The naseau has been a lot worse this week.  Monday and Tuesday night I felt pretty sick and didn't feel like eating.  Wednesday was a little better but now my ear is getting so sunburned it is really starting to hurt.  Behind my ear in the crease where my ear meets my head it got really dry and the skin flaked off and now it's pretty painful.  I'm ready now for all this to be over so my body can start to heal from the radiation.  Only 8 more treatments after this morning (I go at 8 am today).

Tuesday night we drove back to Illinois and then yesterday we were able to go to the Farm Progress show in Decatur.  I wore my fishing cap and sunglasses and got along pretty good.  It was great to see a lot of my co-workers again and get my mind off of my treatments and think about work for a while.

My treatment last night started some different radiation fields.  They had been treating 3 fields previously and now it is just 2 which are coming at different directions.  One is straight down from the top of my head, and the other straight in the back.  I'm hoping that maybe my ear will take a little less direct hit from now on.  This also means my schedule will change again, and now it won't be supper time treatments but rather earlier in the day again.  I'm looking forward to a 3 day weekend to recuperate a little more.

Please pray that my nauseau would subside, and that my ear can heal.

Derek & Leann