I have been sorting out all the information and was waiting to make more sense out of it before sending out an update, but also need to ask for prayer for wisdom this week as we are watching the situation in the Haitian Donkey’s homeland daily to decide on how to proceed with the next trip.
First of all, the Donkey is doing well, at least partially because no chemo or immunotherapy for a month now. As mentioned, I was disqualified from the study in immunotherapy due to progression of the cancer despite the treatment. Thus, 9 days ago, I went and saw the original oncologist, who wanted to start chemotherapy the day before Thanksgiving. As our daughter, Rachel, was undergoing a gallbladder surgery and would be recuperating at our house, I wanted to wait a week to prevent the ill doctor helping the ill patient (plus Karen twisted her knee outside, so we would make very questionable helpers to her). He agreed, though I usually feel the worst for a couple days starting about 2 days after the Wednesday administration, which would mean the Haitian Donkey dragging himself to Haiti struggling with the negative effects of the chemo. Since it would be every 2 weeks, obviously it would always be administered right before the Haiti trip.
I still had to finish the follow up monthly meetings for the study medication, to see how my body adjusted to the infusions, for a while. When I saw the study oncologist (a partner of the original one), he was excited as he had found another study he wanted to try on me, hoping that this chemical, again experimental, admittedly, could work together with Dr. Bartlett’s original study and the latest one to slow down the cancer growth. So, this Wednesday, instead of starting the chemotherapy, we will meet to consider this possible experiment.
So, that brings me to the greatest need for prayer for wisdom. If this all goes as planned, we have tickets for 6 of us to go to Haiti on the 1st of December for some projects and me to do my usual surgery work with Dr. Moise. However, as some of you know, there has been extensive, violent unrest for weeks now, blocking traffic totally, crippling the already struggling economy. It appears that, over many years, there have been pilfering of the money intended to pay for the fuel purchased from Venezuela and there have been riots over the situation with no simple solution for the resolution. Duane and Ruth, then 2 days later, Dr. Luke, left via plane from Cayes to Port and caught ongoing flights back to the US a bit over a week ago. We were hoping things would calm down, but so far, not so much.
We have been in contact with Rod and Debbie Wray, as well as Dr. Moise and Dr. William, as we keep praying about the situation and what would be prudent to do to proceed. We certainly would appreciate your prayers for wisdom in continuing to monitor the situation and making adjustments. Also for our hospital staff, for their safety as schools have been closed, for fuel for the hospital generators as there will be none available and certainly the government electricity will not increase from the few hours they supply each day at most, so medications that have to be kept cold, etc, and will be in jeopardy. We have looked into Missionary Aviation Flights availability and costs as an option, but, at this point, just need prayer for wisdom to make correct plans and decisions, both for safety and to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
Once again, thanks so much for your support, prayer and encouragement of our service for Him at Centre de Sante Lumiere in Les Cayes, Haiti.
In His Service,
Bill, Butch, Gord, Kathy, Margie, and Sam