Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 4 of Radiation

Before Radiation:

After Radiation:

So this is Dad's 4th day of radiation and his 1st full week of it. He says it's going well. The worst side effect at this point is how tired it makes him. He's had to nap for a long time every day he's done it. He's really enjoyed all of your comments, and he thanks you for your love and prayers. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day One - Tomorrow

Dad starts radiation tomorrow.  He'll do it Thursday and Friday, come home for the weekend, and then go back for 5 weeks of it.  He's feeling a little nervous about it, but he'll be glad to have that first "zap", as he puts it, behind him.  It's time to start!  It's been almost 4 weeks since he found out something was wrong, and it's been a long wait to actually start fighting this thing.  The growth has actually grown bigger in the last week.  It's to the point now that he can't wear his jeans.  So he taught school for the past couple of days in his pajamas.  So it's time to start shrinking this thing!  Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes.  You have no idea how it lifts my father's spirits.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Huntsman and More Tests

Posted by Mom:

Aubrey has been having a really hard time with us leaving her. On Thursday the ski class was going skiing. She was too, but changed her mind with us not being there. We thought we could bring her with us on Thursday and Friday before Dick starts his treatments next week. We think that if she knows where her father is going to get the radiation treatments, it might help her adjust better. She also was invited to the academic breakfast on Wednesday, so we thought she deserved a little break. It has been fun hanging with her during those long waits.

We left early in the morning on Thursday. It was a long day of tests and waiting. Today they marked the tattoos on his leg of where he is getting the radiation. He will start Thursday of next week. Finally at about 5:30, we headed to Kaysville. That is where our dear friends who are letting us stay in their house live. They are so wonderful and it has saved us so much money this week. He works for the church and Edye sings in the Tabernacle choir. His name is Reed and her name is Edye. They have a son, Vosco and a daughter, Ruby. Aubrey has had a blast with Ruby! I'm so happy to hear her giggling, she is usually so serious and I never know what is going through her little head. We got to their house, and the kids and Dick played Wii. Edye and Reed fixed us a delicious meal. Their hospitality is amazing.

Friday was another day of more and more tests. He had a long, long bone scan and the pelvic CT. Poor Dick had a horrible headache after he was all done. We are here at Edye's again. Tomorrow we should get the results for the pelvic CT. That will tell us if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Tomorrow we get our Giselle!  She is coming for a week or two to help out and to be with her dad.

Dad always feeds the birds and the ducks. No matter where he is, he always finds them.

After we left, tons of birds came and were eating the bread crumbs. I think the birds follow dad.

At it again.

He is always so cute working on puzzles and staying busy.

On the phone with someone from Samuel French ordering a script for his next show.

I join him once in a while, but not too long.

The room looks so lonely without dad working on a puzzle.


.... and waiting

My big, brown, eyed girl.  Still waiting.

Isn't she a cute, chubby dog?


You could barely see the mountains. The smog was so thick.

We saw Mandy and her family. She went to school with Giselle and was a drama student too. Her dad has cancer too. They just found out last week too.

Edye singing "Homeward Bound." I was in the other room and I thought it was a CD playing. Aubrey came and told me "It's not a CD, it's Edye playing the piano and singing."

I've been waking up with panic attacks at night since all of this started with Dick and his health. After listening to this I think I'll sleep pretty soundly tonight.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Update from Dad and Mom

Dear friends and family,

Papa Bear is going to survive this, but I don’t know if I can survive blogging. I have already been at this note for 30 minutes.
WOW! My dear dear friends and family. All of you have really picked up my spirits. Not only in your loving and encouraging words but just in hearing from you. All of you have been such a big part of my life. But I have to stop for a moment and tell you what is on my mind most of the time latetly. I just can’t stop thinking out loud in my mind...

“IIIIIIIII love a Parade.”

I really do. Life is just like a Parade. This blog Richie, is one of the best floats passing by. Thank You for doing this for the old fart. I was not sure I wanted to let people in on the cancer thing, but I know that the best medicine is prayer and the loving heart. WOW you guys! Thank you for being there for me. You have healed me and there is light at the end. I am in Gods hands. And the fat lady isn’t singing for a long time.
God bless you, everyone.

Note from mom:

Dad is so cute. Everyone looks so depressed and serious in the waiting room except dad. He is always working on a puzzle.
Today he was even talking to someone from Samuel French about a script for his next show. After the phone call, he sat at a big table in the middle of the huge waiting room working on his puzzle, eating peanuts, and drinking water. He looked so cute! He really is having a parade and doesn't want to waste a minute of it. He has met some interesting people already. Maybe someone who is about to give up is suppose to meet dad during this journey so that his attitude can rub off on them. Today when they called him in so that they could tattoo the markings on his leg, where he is going to get the radiation... I waited in the waiting room forever. As I looked at the empty puzzle table, it made me so sad that he wasn't there. The whole room looked so empty without my big strong man. He will get through this. Thank you so much for your comments. You have no idea how much your comments have cheered him up. I truly think that is the medicine that will keep him going. He loves hearing from all of you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thank you for the overwhelming response! It has been amazing for all of us to read these comments, and no one has been more grateful than Mr. Call. I'll post an update from him soon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This is a picture of Richard Burleigh Call the 1st with a buzzed head. Don't worry, it has nothing to do with the cancer. This picture was taken while he was working at Edinburg High School in Texas. The administration had just passed a new rule that no student was allowed to have a buzz cut or shaved head. Well, my dad thought that was dumb, and he decided to "fight" the system by buzzing his head.

My dad has fought for a lot throughout his life. He's fought to get an education and educate others. He's fought for strong programs in every school he's taught at. He's fought to provide for a wife and five kids. He's fought diabetes, epilepsy, and a heart attack. And now, he's starting a fight with cancer.

My dad will win this fight as he's won all the others he's been engaged in throughout his life. This is a site where loved ones, friends, family, students (past and present), and anyone who is interested can keep updated on Mr. Call's condition. It's also a site for those same people to leave comments of love and support if you would like to.

An update from mom:
We got the call this morning. It is cancer. The tumor is 12 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. Remember the ER doc said it was a pulled muscle? Well... it wasn't! There really is something growing, very rapidly, in his thigh. We will go to SLC tomorrow to see the radiology oncologist. On Thursday, they will make a mold of his leg, do another MRI, and lab. We will stay there because on Friday he has a bone scan and a pelvic CT, so we will be gone all week. I feel so bad leaving the kids that long but I also want to be with Dick and I can't pull them out of school. I feel awful that Bree has a full time job and then has to come home, fix dinner, and help with homework. I know she doesn't mind, but I almost feel like I'm abusing her. The worst part of the news is that we thought he could get radiation in Twin Falls but they are pretty sure he will have to get it done in SLC. (Monday thru Friday, 2-3 hours/day.) There is no way we could make the drive every day. We did get some good news! The lung CT they did last Thursday came out clear. It hasn't spread to his lungs. I'm am so grateful. They told us that this type of sarcoma spreads to the lungs first.