Long time since I have put an update but Lee made it home around April 1st and had a few struggles but doing well with doctors visits back and forth to Joplin and even had a wonderful visit out to Colorado to see us for a week. Since then thing have been going steady. There has been some issues with seizures associated with the inflammation from treatment. However there has been a bump in the road and need additional prayers and your support. Lee has been taken to Mercy is Joplin due to seizures and we pray he will return home in a few days. Thank you hundreds of times over for the support for my father in law.
There have been so many blessings though this process and it could not have been possible without the support from such wonderful friends and family.
Here is a message from Stephanie:
One week! Just one week from today, we will be on a plane flying home. We checked out of Hope Lodge today, and back into the Holiday Inn Express for the final week here. Lee has 5 radiation treatments left. He is doing well.
When I get home and organized, I will post a small album of pictures here of this journey. It was made bearable through the outpouring of love, gifts, books, food, cards, clothes, money - and in many other ways, by YOU, our sweet, sweet, precious friends and family. I will never be able to adequately express what you guys reaching out to us has meant, and how it carried us through. Even very 'like' or comment on my posts through these months has been read and reread many times, and gave me strength.
Looking forward to getting home. So good to be on the home stretch.
Lee’s fight is not finished when they get back to Independence. Please continue to pray, share, and dontate. The financial support has provided a lighter stress for them during this journey.
Lee and Stephanie are staying in Baltimore until Lee’s Chemo/Radiation treatment is complete which will be end of March to the beginning of April. They are staying at the Hope Lodge and have appreciated the packages, cards, financial assistance and prayers for Lee during this challenging time. The future is unknown for us all and this has put focus on enjoying each moment and finding the positivity in everything we do. Please continue to pray, share, and contribute to help with the financial stress this has placed on them. God Bless
Lee has had a busy week. Had mapping done for radiation and started physical therapy. Posted some pictures of progress. I think he looks great and the shaved head is a good look. Still a long road ahead but rolling right along and pushing forward to get him and Stephanie back home is the goal. The donations and support have been wonderful. Thank you for continuing to spread the funding page and donate. Next phase will be chemo/radiation in a few weeks.
Also Happy Anniversary to Lee and Stephanie this month
Here is an update from Stephanie that was posted on Facebook.
Lee Harris update, February 2, 2019
Day 21 in Baltimore. Day 18 since first surgery. Day 10 since second surgery.
Happy Groundhog Day. Phil predicted early spring, and I can say Amen to that.
Lee is doing better day by day. He's had some rough moments, but is more stable now, physically and emotionally. He can't walk yet, but is strong enough to stand and transfer. He can move his left arm, hand and leg, gaining more function daily. His diagnosis was glioblastoma grade 4. He had two surgeries, the first to remove the tumor, the second to remove an abscess (infection) from the first surgery.. He is on IV antibiotics (Cefepime) for a few more weeks. The culprit was a bacteria called Klebsiella, normally found in the gut. How it got into his brain is a good question.
It took us awhile to decide on his treatment plan. After weighing all the options, we decided to continue with Johns Hopkins for rehab, chemo, and radiation. It will mean two more months away from home. He can keep the same teams, which is great. We are currently in the neuro unit, waiting on a room in Meyer 7 rehab, hopefully next week. He goes for mapping for radiation on Tuesday. Radiation and chemo (a pill), will be given simultaneously. He will begin radiation the week after next, for six weeks.
After that, we anticipate coming home. He will be on a chemo regimen for another six months, five days in a row out of every 28 days. He will get MRI's every two months. We will need to find an oncologist, probably in Tulsa. The teams here are researching neuro oncology doctors in our area (Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma). They mentioned going to Wash U in St. Louis, or Kansas City, but that would be pretty far.
Some of you have wondered what I am doing or where I am staying. I am staying in Lee's room. There is a couch that folds into a twin size bed. I can use his shower and bathroom. They anticipate Lee being in rehab for three weeks. At that point, he will still have three more weeks of chemo and radiation. They are working on setting us up in their Hope house, at no charge, so that would be wonderful. I will also be able to stay in his room in rehab.
There are plenty of food options in the hospital. They have a food court. I can order a guest tray for $8.00, but I've only done that twice. I prefer to go the cafeteria, or get food from one of the restaurants, such as Subway.
But mostly I've enjoyed the food brought to us by our old JBU friends that live in this area, Marsha Wilson Smith and her hubby Bruce, and Charlotte Beeson Burkhardt and her hubby, Jim. Between them they have brought in yummy soups, ham and beans with cornbread, and containers of all kinds of snacks - fruit, cheese, lunch meat, chips, cookies and more. This taste of home has been wonderful, and we enjoy their visits. They also brought books. It was an unexpected blessing, for sure. There is a small family room with a fridge, microwave and coffeemaker I can keep food in.
Our daughter-in-law Chelsea Lanie Bell Harris sent us a care package with snacks and LifeWTR which I have enjoyed having. She also set up a gogetfunding account, to which so many of you have given. We never in a million years expected to find ourselves in this position. It is humbling and overwhelming to see the support in prayers, thoughts, and financial donations that has been poured out to us. Lee has wept many times reading your texts and posts, and seeing that funding page. He said "that's not supposed to be me", and I agree. But it's not supposed to be anyone.
We never know why these things happen. We have seen God's guidance through all of it. It's an amazing story so far, and I don't expect that to change. We are strong, and have faith. There are changes coming for our entire family, so we continue to cherish your love, prayers and support. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We are humbled and grateful. We love you guys.
Lee has been moved out of ICU but will still be at John Hopkins for at least 3-4 weeks for IV antibiotics and therapy to help regain strength on the left side. Stephanie has been by his side 24/7, giving him the love and strength to fight. They appreciate the support and love and Stephanie said she is so grateful for donations. They went to Baltimore thinking they would be returning home after a week or so. The infection post tumor removal has changed those plans. It has been an adjustment with not preparing and packing to be gone from home for a month or more. Please continue to check in and support the Harris family.
We found out there was an infection causing the swelling and increasing the disabilities which has been reducing the healing for Lee after he went back into surgery Thursday. e is back on the path of healing and getting his strength and movements on the left side. His stay at the hospital will be longer than hoped and then we will move forward with chemo and radiation. We continue to pray and ask for support for Stephanie and Lee. Thank you for the donations and sharing this page with family and friends.