Monday, September 29, 2008

Although we never did receive the CT scan CD from Methodist through the mail, we did, however, receive news of the CT report by way of email. Dr. Thaller shared that information with us so we wanted to let everyone know the most recent info. From the written report, while we do not know with certainty about the size of the primary tumor, we do know that some of the tumors in the lungs have increased in size and there were 2 more tumors found in Brad's right leg (one in his femur, close to his hip & another in front of the tibia bone that is a visible mass just beneath the skin).

Thaller used an ultrasound machine on Thursday & Friday to inject the visible tumor with Coley's and New Castle virus. The injections have made Brad's knee very sensitive.

This morning Brad went into a hospital at Truchtlingen for a resection of the visible tumor. This outpatient surgery proved to be more painful that Brad or I anticipated. The surgeon had to make a larger incision than expected. Brad's leg is very sore now to say the least and I am praying that he is able to stay comfortable during the flight.

Dr. Thaller decided to send Brad in for surgery this morning because he wanted the tumor cells harvested to use to "prime" the dendritic cells. We used tumor cells with the dendritic cells during our first treatment, so Thaller is hypothesizing that the "tumor priming" may be a key piece of the first treatment's success. Brad will also continue infusions every day, including the very lengthy sodiumbicarbonate infusions. Thaller has also started a new injection with Brad called 'Gaypon.' Gaypon is drug derived from potato sprouts and has been shown to work very effectively with the killer cells.

We are truly praying for a miracle concerning Brad's health. Dr. Thaller assured us that "We will not give up so easily" so Brad concluded that the fight is on! I am so proud of this man and he tenacity to not give up. When the going gets tough...he just seems to get tougher.

Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. We love you all.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More From Munich

This weekend we came back to Ismaning again. We made a plan on Friday and decided that more time in Munich sounded just about as fun as anything else we could think of so this is where we came again…plus you can’t beat Isolde’s cooking.

Last night we got here at about 7pm. Brad had been running fever for most of the day (4 separate times of high fever: 6am, 11am, 3pm & 6pm) so he was completely worn out. We hit the door at Ismaning and then went almost immediately to bed.

This morning we got up, had breakfast, then Brad & I took the S-Ban to Marian Platz (downtown Munich). I was actually pretty surprised at how easily we found our way around…even in the wheelchair. We looked at some of the sights again and spent most of the day walking in and out of shops around the main square. Due to the Octoberfest, there was no shortage of crowds, but it wasn’t unmanagable. Again we were both surprised at how many Americans we heard talking around us…maybe they just couldn’t miss the excitement of Octoberfest?

We got back to the house at about 4pm…didn’t do a whole lot this afternoon except sit around, chat and be lazy. Tomorrow Brad & I plan to do a little sightseeing on our way back to Markt Berolzheim. Then just 2 clinic days…and off we head for HOME SWEET HOME!

Friday, September 26, 2008

News from Markt Berolzheim

Yesterday's treatment did not bring a high fever for Brad. He received several injections, but only got a temperature of just over 37 C. Today he came into the clinic with a low grade fever, so they just gave him a small injection of the toxins which brought his fever up to 39 C.

We still haven't received the CT scan that was supposed to have been mailed here on the 17th. I don't know if it got lost in the mail or if the mail system is just slow (maybe due to the post-hurricane mess in Houston?) We are anxious to see the results of that scan...hopefully it will arrive before we leave.

Brad looks pretty worn out today, so I know that he is welcoming the weekend of rest. After the weekend we will only have 2 more days of treatment and then we will head back to the states on Wednesday...yippee!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Blessed Break

We found out today that Dr. Thaller had business elsewhere and would be leaving the clinic early, so no fever therapy today! HOORAY! I think Brad & I were equally thrilled to do something was a welcomed break in the middle of the week. Now we just have 2 more therapy days, then a weekend break...yippee!

We are both really ready to return home this time...we can't wait to get our hands on those 2 little ones...ASAP!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Visit to Octoberfest

Here are 2 quick pictures that I took when we visited Octoberfect on Sunday. Brad sat back and listened to all the different languages being spoken around him. We were both surprised at how many Americans we heard speaking...there were also a lot of Italians there. Sabina said the Italians LOVE Octoberfest...all the singing and drinking...they really get into it.

I don't know if you can really appreciate the large mass of people that were attending this festival just by looking at the pictures. I was amazed at how crowded this event was. We decided that it was time for us to leave the celebration once people began to literally step over Brad in the was crazy!

Tuesday's Treatment

Brad's treatment went well again today. He got a fever just over 39 Celcius and didn't have a lot of shaking or breathing trouble. We were at the clinic for a long time again today so he was very ready to go once we were released. I took him home and then came back to the clinic to send a few work emails. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get the internet to work consistently at the Kafferlein house as we had hoped.

I am going to go pick up Brad from the house in just a few minutes to take him out for dinner. The weather has warmed up a little so it has turned out to be a really lovely day...we better get out and enjoy it!

Heart Full of Thanks

Over the last few months, In the midst of many weeks of travel, I have come to realize that I have been so distracted that I haven’t given personal thanks as well as I would have liked to so many who have supported us during this time. You have supported us with cards, calls, care packages, assistance in organizing financial support, emails, money for medical expenses, dinners, groceries, gift cards, gifts for the kids, assistance with Brad's infusions, fence repair, pool care, house cleaning, yard mowing, flower watering, dog sitting, donations of airline miles, child entertainment, golf tournament planning, car rental help, lots of hugs, and so much more. Words truly cannot express how grateful we feel for the love that each of you have extended to our family. God’s love is being shown mightily through all of you and His plan is perfect.

Brad & I feel such a renewed sense of strength & restored hope from our last visit to Germany. It is amazing how one conversation, one change, one outlook can completely redirect the course of one’s thoughts and attitude.

We are so thankful for our family who have stood by us continually during this challenging time.

We are so thankful for everyone who has had a hand in helping care for our children while we have been away for weeks & weeks.

We are so thankful for good nurses and doctors who passionately want to do all they can for Brad.

We are so thankful for all our friends & supporters who are so quick to see every need that we have and quickly find an answer to that need.

We are so thankful for our amazing church family who has carried us through every difficult situation.

We are grateful for our God who meet all our needs.

We are so thankful for answered prayers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today's treatment went well for Brad. The clinic was very quiet today...just Brad & Georgia (the Greek girl I have spoken about many times). I have to admit...having 2 staff persons per patient is a pretty good ratio to have. By mid-day I thought we would be having a very short day at the clinic, but they ended up giving Brad the Coley's toxins in 2 rounds...he didn't actually get fever until about 2:45pm...very late in the day. But, the good part was...he got a resonably high fever...about 38.5 & it came on so slowly that he didn't shake at all...just got that was nice. We ended up staying in the clinic until almost 5pm, but the day went faster for Brad because he ended up being able to sleep a lot of the day (that is very unusual for him...probably the jet lag).

We went to Gunzenhausen for dinner. Brad hadn't eaten anything all day because they generally encourage him to wait until after the fever session to eat....since he waited all day, he didn't eat all day.

After dinner we did a little grocery shopping, then we went home. Stephen, the son of our new landlady, came over to set up the internet. It worked for about an hour...we were so excited....then it stopped working. Maybe we will be able to figure out how to fix it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

News From The Weekend

Right now we are staying with Isolde in Ismaning. Brad & I decided that it would be best if we came back here under the circumstances (ie. I've been too sick to pamper Brad as well as he has grown accustomed to, therefore, he comes racing back to Isolde so he can continue to be waited on properly).

I left Kerrville on Tuesday not feeling real well and with each day I seemed to get a little worse and a little Thursday morning I could tell that I was really getting sick. Thursday in the clinic I slept for 4 hours...a lot of good I was to Brad. Luckily that day didn't bring a lot of fever for him...good thing...because he was on his own....which I'm sure everyone will be hearing about once we return. It will be 'the time we flew to Germany for his treatment so that I could get sick and have all his nurses hovered over Jenny and took care of Jenny and brought tea to Jenny.' I can just hear the sarcastic stories now! I will never hear the end of it. I'm certain of that.

On Thursday afternoon Brad & I left the clinic to search out our B&B in Meinheim where we were to stay the night. Our house that we are renting this time is not ready until Sunday. Brad was even forced to drive this time because I was feeling so rotten. Once we found the Gasthaus we went right up and crashed. The hosts made us both dinner that they brought to our room...that was very nice. By the evening I was running a high fever & Brad was running one right alongside of me....that was an interesting night. I know Brad was wondering what he had got himself into bringing me to be his caregiver...I could hardly lift a spoon to feed myself. I was in and out from 5-7...I kept falling asleep mid-sentence (Brad told me later). I actually can't remember hardly anything that happened that day. Then I crashed at 7 and slept til 7...I was wiped.

On Friday I was hooked up to an IV in the clinic alongside of Brad. Nurse Tanya infused me with some of the very same immunotherapy that they give to Brad. I got a Vitamin C infusion and another couple of infusions. I assumed this was my trip to experience treatment from Brad's perspective a little more..from the patient bed, with high fever. I experienced a high fever on Thursday just so that I can be a little more sympathetic to he day-to-day experience here. I have to say...high fever without fever-reducing meds is the pits. It really does make me better understand why he dreds starting therapy as much as he does.

Friday's therapy for Brad went well. He delivered a high fever (39.2 C) without any extreme breathing difficulty. It was hard for him but not overwhelming. The clinic was very quiet that day...not busy at all so we were finished and able to leave at 2pm...Brad always likes that.

Now let's discuss the weather. It is like the Artic Tundra here in Munich right now. Good grief. I brought warm clothes...warm clothes to layer. I didn't think every outfit I would wear would need long underwear & my ski jacket in order to not freeze my tooshie off! I mean it is freezing here! When we checked the temps before leaving it said lows of 40 and highs of mid-50's. I would love to see some 40 degree weather. There has been ice on our windshield each morning...that is how cold it is. My brain could hardly adjust to leaving 95 degrees to come straight to 35...burr! Brad brought 4 pairs of shorts...ha! I don't think he will be needing any of those this trip. It is hard to believe that the weather could change so rapidly since we were here has only been four weeks. It is CRAZY-cold!

Today Sabine (Isolde's daughter & Kathrin's sister) came by to check on me. She is a doctor so she helped decide if she thought I would do better with some antibiotics. Sabine said that she suspected I have tonsilitus and she put me on 10 days of penicillin. So far I do seem to feel better so I hope it works!

We are headed to Munich tomorrow to go to church with Isolde & to watch the Octoberfest parade. Should be fun. It is opening weekend so Isolde & Sabine are concerned that it may be super-crowded. We figure we will go and see it and when we are done with crowds...we'll just leave. Sunday afternoon we will go to MB to check in at the Kafferlein house. Monday morning starts the next round of treatment.

Thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We left from Munich to the clinic this morning and it was 2°c. That is about 35 degrees at home. Jenny did not pack enough warm clothes but I brought my big jacket so I am ok. I had the first round today. I did not get fever but then I never do the first day. Tomorrow will be a doozy. I feel fine right now and we are staying at a hotel tonight as our house is not available until Saturday. Thanks for all the continued prayers!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to Germany Treatment: Round 3

Well, Brad & I made it back to Germany this was quite an adventure in getting here, but we made it. We got up early on Tuesday morning, played with the kids a little bit and left the Bosse's at 8:30am. As we were heading back to Houston, I was on the phone with my assistant Mary, asking her to go ahead and print our boarding passes for us for our 9:55pm flight that night out of Houston. She was having a lot of difficulty so eventually she called Air France directly to see about our reservations. Once she spoke to them on the phone, they told her that our flight that evening had been cancelled and we were now reserved for the 4pm flight that day! That was good information to know considering it was about noon when we found out and we were still two hours outside of Houston. It was a good thing we called! I had even contacted the airline the day before and was told that our flight was scheduled to leave on mention of any changes. So we went straight to the stopping by the house and jumped on our plane. Jamie & Doug Cox met us there with a few items we still needed from the house & then they drove our car back to Deer Park. Thank you Doug & Jamie!

I decided to forgive Air France for their slip-up in not calling us with a sudden change of itenerary because once we were boarded they allowed me to move up to Business class to sit next to Brad (I was supposed to be in Economy). It was a much more enjoyable flight with him right next to me, plus the larger, more comfortable seat wasn't too bad either.

Tonight we are here with Isolde. We will get up first thing in the morning and head to Markt Berolzheim for Brad's first day at the clinic. Thank you for your prayers for a safe trip...all in all (once we got on the plane) was a fairly easy trip!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Posted Pics Finally

See below for the slideshow of a few pics from the tournament. If you have other great ones, please email them to me so I can add them.

Mommy-Daughter Pictures

I bought K & myself matching turquoise sun dresses this summer. We went ahead and took a couple of pictures together while we had them on yesterday...before you know it fall will be here & it won't exactly be the right weather for sleeveless dresses. Also, K is modeling her new haircut. I took her in on Saturday..her bangs were getting really long. I knew that if we didn't cut them before we the time we got back she would certainly resemble a sheep dog.

2 Little Monkeys

K Loves The Trampoline

K loves to jump. She doesn't care for standing on the trampoline on her own...AT's much too unstable for her taste. However, if you hold her and, that is HILARIOUS!

Fun In Kerrville

We have been having so much fun here in Kerrville for our "Hurrican Evacuation Party." Zeke just loves being here...chasing his cousins, jumping on the trampoline, driving the golf cart & 4-wheeler, playing games, playing "ballyball," & swimming. He is in his element with the non-stop entertainment & the never-ending source of playmates. Heaven must look like this in Zeke's eyes.

The first 2 pics are of the kids making designs with geometric shapes. I was really impressed with all the designs they created.

This is Zeke in the pool with his swim trunks on his head...and yes, that makes him skinny-dipping. Crazy child....absolutely no modesty. We are trying to instill some of that before he is a teenager.

I just love these pictures of Cal & sweet.

Go Astros!

Our kind friend, Jan Wheeler gave us Astros tickets last week for both the Monday & Wednesday night games. Jan is the director of Project Joy & Hope ( and has been a huge help to our family during Brad's medical trials. Jan & Shelley both joined us for Wednesday night's game as we witnessed Miguel Tejhata's Grand was great! Jan also spoiled both kids with ice cream and Astros souveniors (K got a pink monkey & Zeke got a Stros' bat). Thank you Jan for your kindness....the game really was a lot of fun!!!

Our Pic from Monday Night's Game

A Look At 3402

Jane & Bill went by our house to check out the damages and to make sure that there were no issues in need of immediate attention. We lost several sections of fence around the yard & 11 sections of our kiddie fence around the pool. The new playhouse took a nose dive, but other than that...there is very little to report...HOORAY! We feel very blessed to have such little damage. One of the biggest blessings was that our area received very little flooding...what a relief. Please continue to pray for those families who received more substantial damage to the homes and communities.

My friend Mary Hinkel went into our house yesterday afternoon and cleaned out both refridgeraters...thank you Mary! Brad & I plan to drive back either late tonight or tomorrow morning in order to catch our Tuesday evening flight from Houston to Munich so that he will be able to start treatment on the 18th.

Our plan is for the children to stay here in Kerrville until the power is back up in our home and my parents home. Then the kiddos will head back to our house for the remainder of our trip. In hopes to help provide stability & consistency in Zeke's life, last week we enrolled Zeke in school with Deer Park ISD. We decided, after lots of consideration, to let him join a Pre-K Inclusion program with the Deer Park Early Childhood Learning Center. He will be given the opportunity to learn along side of both general education students & students with special needs. The Early Childhood Center is a brand-new facility with lots of parent/teacher support. After visiting several times to the campus I was very impressed with the program. So, all that being said...Zeke will be headed back to school this week once DP schools re-open.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Escaping Hurricane Ike

I just thought I would let everyone know what The Wims' fam is up to while hurricane Ike batters the Houston coastline. Brad & I (with the help of Sandra & David) prepped the house on Thursday & headed out of town by noon that day. S & D headed back to Granbury while the 4 of us went to Kerrville. As we picked Zeke up from school at noon, we had everything loaded in the car ready to go. When he left home that morning we hadn't finished packing and he was unaware of our departure plans. As Zeke climbed into the car he said, "where are we going?"
Z: Hooray! Why are we leaving?
J: Well, there is a hurricane coming so we want to be safe & comfortable, so we are going to Kerrville to get out of the way of the bad weather.
Z: You mean the big swirl that is in the water where the skarks are? The one that is coming soon to where the people are?
J: Yes, did you see the big swirl on tv?
Z: Yes, we were watching it in our room today at school. I'm glad we are going to Kerrville. Poor Mr. Kerry is going to be stuck in that bad hurricane. (I thought it was so funny that Mr. Kerry was the first thing that popped into his head when he thought about the hurricane coming to our house. Mr. Kerry is a very kind man down the street...Zeke loves to go down on his scooter to say "Hi" to he and his family)

We will share more Kerrville stories and pictures soon. We should have updates on damages to our area some time tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Miracles For Fun Success

This past Saturday our friends hosted a benefit for our family to help raise funds for Brad's medical treatments. Brian Carnes, Chris & Rebecca Jones, Chris Gammons, & James McAdams spent the last three months pouring over plans to make the event a huge success. We were absolutely overwhelmed at the response from our community of friends.

The morning started at 5:00am as volunteers set up tables, tents, chairs, and made preparations at Battleground Golf Course. The team of organizers had thought of everything and every detail was quickly put into place to allow quick & easy check-in for the 144 golfers that attended.

With temperatures in the low 70's to start the day, God gave us the most memorable gift of excellent weather. It truly was the perfect day to spend outdoors: cool, breezy & clear. Some of the women were even complaining of being cold! Cold, in September...can you believe it?

The day was a huge success! Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and by the end, the event had raised over $40,000 in funds! It truly was unbelievable! I continue to be in awe of the awesome power of God & His ability to provide for ALL of our needs. The event was so successful due in part to the overwhelming support from our church, our friends, wonderful corporate sponsors, and numerous volunteers. Your love for Christ & His work is so apparent. We are blessed to know each of you.

Praises To Be Shared!
Thank you God for laying your hands on The Miracles For Fun Benefit to ensure its amazing success. Thank you for providing for our family in our time of need. Thank you for putting wonderful friends in our lives who care enough for us to plan & be a part of such an event. Thank you for our wonderful church, the sponsers, supporters & golfers who gave of their time & money to be a part of this special day. Thank you for all the kind volunteers who were so willing to dovote hours & hours to plan the event & help during the day. Thank you Lord for interveining in our lives. Thank you for working to stop the growth of tumors in Brad's body. We are so richly blessed.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Zeke Laughs At Himself

There is nothing funnier than watching yourself nearly crack your own skull against your Uncle's skull. Zeke always finds his own videos funnier than just about anyone.

Pool Stunts

WARNING! Do not try this at home. What you are about to see has been performed by trained professionals. Do not attempt to repeat any of the stunts that you are about to witness.

*Disclaimer: If you watch the video and think, "Did she just say...?" The answer is no. I am a frequent user of the phase "shiesh-tees"....I know, where the video was cut kind of sounds bad. But there were many witnesses & no extreme language was used after witnessing the near-skull cracking stunt.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Playing for The Cure

We were pleasantly surprised by a phone call this morning from Scott Simonds, the head volleyball coach at Clear Creek High School. Scott was calling to ask us to come attend the Girls Volleyball game against Deer Park to be hosted tonight at Clear Creek. Brad was honored during the game as funds were collected to be given to our family to help pay for Brad's medical treatment. The ladies on both sides wore pink jerseys in honor of the event. We were so touched by their efforts and it was a wonderful opportunity for Brad to go back on campus at Creek to see some of the teachers and students who have been so prayerful for our family.

The only major injury during the event was when Kaelyn fell down flat on her face. Her new teeth bit right through her upper lip and it bled everywhere. Fortunately it stopped bleeding fairly quickly and she calmed down pretty fast. This injury only took second to Brad's injury earlier that day. At 8 this morning Brad was on his scooter outside. He somehow managed to run the scooter into the gate and in the process cut off the entire toenail on his second toe (left foot). That was a lot bloodier. To be was a pretty messy day.

Thank you so much to Scott, the players, the students and all those who supported the event. It truly meant so much to our family. You are so kind to help us in such a generous way!

The Houston Chronicle wrote a very nice article about Clear Creek's event. To read the article click here

Here are a few pictures from the event.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Strength In Numbers

Life at our house in the mornings in always busy...especially Sunday mornings. On Saturday night I always go through and lay everyone's clothes out ahead of time so that we have one less decision to make during the "crunch time."

Brad always helps me out by getting the kids dressed Sunday morning so that I can do other things to get us all ready and out the door. Last Sunday, after they got dressed, Brad came in to tell me that Zeke had come up to him to say, "Daddy, let's tell Mommy that we want to pick out our own clothes." I guess he knew there would be strength in numbers and if the two of them ganged up on me then I would cave and let them decide. HA! Zeke has strong preference about his clothing selection and for some reason I don't approve of his Spiderman pajama top selection for Sunday morning attire.


This morning Zeke came into my office where I was working and said, "I was Ar-ganizinig my drawers and I found some some clothes that I have never weared! Really Mom...never!" I usually shop at the end of one season for next year's season, so in his "ar-ganizing," Zeke had stumbled upon clothes for this upcoming fall/winter that he hadn't seen before. Of course now he is begging to wear camo sweat pants this morning in our 90 degree heat.!