Cathy expected her chemo treatments to get progressively more difficult, but this was not the case for dose #2. This time Cathy had a better understanding of how to use the medications at her disposal to keep the usual nasty chemo side-effects at bay. So Round 2 ended up going better than the first week. We are really happy about this! We recognize that God is allowing this to be less difficult than it could be, but either way Cathy has continued to experience God’s peace and patience in this.
We are so grateful for everyone that has been praying for Cathy. The sense of peace she has had in this is truly a gift from God.
Today three of our team left for Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya to train the technical coordinators who will be teaching the orientation sessions for our mobile phone pastor training course. These are most of the people who developed the training. It took a lot of work, but we expect it will pay off when we see the first wave of 2400 pastors-in-training start this course!
Week 1 of Cathy’s chemo treatments is complete, and she is doing fairly well. Fatigue and a weird sensitivity to cold temperatures were the main difficulties. Knowing there are 7 more to go has not exactly encouraged her, but she recognizes she is doing a lot better than what is possible.
On Monday (Jan 9) we spent half the day at the MD Anderson Cancer Center while Cathy got her first round of infusions. Later that evening a home nurse connected a small pump to another infusion that lasted for two more days at home. The pump sits in a little shoulder bag that Cathy carries around with her. It’s a lot better than being at a hospital, but it’s odd carrying something like your purse all the time around the house.
What was really interesting, and annoying, is the cold sensitivity. It hurts her fingers to pick up anything cold, and it feels like gravel in her mouth when she drinks anything cold. Now we have a pair of gloves sitting on top of the fridge for whenever she needs to get something.
She continues having an incredible endurance about this whole thing. We’re praying she doesn’t feel too badly over the next three and half months remaining.
Last minute software bugs are now fixed, so today we begin copying the first 600 memory chips that will go into each student phone. We will ship another 1800 blank memory chips, along with two mass duplicators, to the program coordinators in Ghana and Kenya. It is these memory chips which hold the content that each pastor-in-training will go through during their training. Without an Android smartphone, though, these memory chips are useless. Each one must be installed into a phone and activated before the training course will be available on the student-pastor’s phone.
For those interested in the geeky details; each memory chip is a 16 Gb Class 10 microSD flash memory card, similar to the ones that come in nearly every new Android smartphone these days.
Today looks familiar for Cathy as she begins her first day of IV chemo treatments. It’s at the same hospital, MD Anderson, that she had her surgery in, but everything else about the day is new.
Everyone reassures her that she shouldn’t be experiencing any terrible nausea, but they also reassure her she will have extreme sensitivity to cold temperature, difficulty sleeping, headaches and other odd side affects.
This may be an interesting few months. We’re praying for endurance.
Today our team decided to send three people to do the training in Ghana and Kenya instead of two. This will increase the number of people on our team who can lead other mobile phone training projects in the future.
At the same time we are working on some minor last-minute bugs in the mobile phone training system. It seems that when you submit a quiz from one country to the “system” in another country the quiz answers get dropped. D’oh.
(I thought I’d start the new year by writing more about the smaller details that go into making a larger mobile phone pastor training course work.)
On Monday Cathy will have her first chemo dose of this last phase of her cancer treatment regiment. She’ll get eight in all over the course of four months.
Honestly, she is pretty apprehensive about it, and we’re praying the side effects aren’t too bad. Everyone has said it should not cause her any hair loss, but nausea is pretty likely.
Today we confirmed our training dates for the coordinators who will be facilitating the mobile phone pastor training. Looks like two people from our team will conduct two days of training in Accra, Ghana and two days in Nairobi, Kenya.
It looks like I probably won’t be going on this trip, as it will be during Cathy’s second week of chemo treatment.