Thursday, October 29, 2009

Update from Kirklin Clinic / UAB

David and Joy have had a rough couple of weeks, so Joy has asked me to update everyone for her. David finished his radiation and chemo on his birthday, October 5th. He had been tolerating the treatments without many side effects until the last 2 weeks when he became very fatigued. Even though he completed the treatments on the 5th, the radiation kept "working" for another three weeks. During this time, his fatigue markedly increased and he had some difficulty speaking clearly and using his right arm and leg. In the last week to ten days, he has suffered an even more significant downturn. He is often unable to use his right arm or leg at all, his speech is much worse and he often can not communicate verbally. He is having more seizures. He is quite nauseous and not eating much, therefore has lost a good bit of weight. His hearing is even more hyper sensitive which causes him a lot of discomfort. He is also having a lot of hip pain but we are not sure how that fits into his current diagnosis. He is getting around the house by using a wheelchair on bad days, and a walker on good days.

Today, they returned to Birmingham for a follow up MRI to recheck the status of his tumor. The MRI showed that the mass has grown from 2.5 cm to 3.7 cm, however it is unclear how much of that increase is the tumor and how much is swelling around the tumor. This does NOT mean that the radiation and chemo were unsuccessful. Had he not had those treatments, it might be even bigger by now. He was again offered the option of surgery to remove part of the tumor, but he again declined due to the very high risk of complications including paralysis and total loss of speech. The doctors are starting him on pain medications and steroids to see if any of his symptoms are caused by swelling. If the steroids improve his symptoms, that means that at least some are caused by swelling.
They have been unable to increase his seizure medications because his blood work today shows already high levels of the anti-seizure medications so they are hoping the steroids will help. He is going to begin another round of the chemo pill, but it will only be once a week for 5 weeks and it will be delivered to the house. He will return to Kirklin Clinic to have another MRI in one month. Day to day living has become filled with new challenges.

The good news is that Joy, David and Emma are still quite sure that God is in control and He has been meeting their needs in many ways! T
he doctors are arranging whatever home health services will make his life easier. Special friends are taking care of building ramps and making home modifications as they become an issue. Emma was voted Homecoming Queen and has been accepted to Auburn University, University of Alabama and Troy University! Decisions, decisions......Emma's friends and teachers have all rallied around her to keep her busy and encouraged. Their equestrian friends have helped them with horse and trailer issues. Neighbors have flooded them with gifts of hay for the horses. They have been uplifted by many cards and letters from all over the country! They have been encouraged by the DVD's from the Cowboy Church...keep 'em comin' boys! Their church family at Santuck Baptist Church and the entire Elmore County Community has covered them in prayer and supported them in many, many ways...too many to mention. All sorts of folks have cooked and cleaned and fixed and fussed and fretted to meet their every need! And of course, their family members have especially rallied around them. Many thanks to everyone!

As David's struggle increases, they have some more requests to make to all of these wonderful people. Everyone wants to know what they can do to help so here are some requests from Joy:

DO continue the cards and letters, they enjoy those very much.

DO continue meals, but keep in mind that she has special angels that deliver a meal every Monday and Tuesday. SBC has been delivering meals on Wednesday nights, but that will end in about 2 weeks. The Men's class has been purchasing and Angel Food box monthly and that is much appreciated. Joy asks that you coordinate dates to bring food with her as she does not have much freezer space. Emma especially likes sweets! Email communication is the best way to coordinate with Joy:

David would be happy to see everyone, BUT he does not want everyone to see him in his current condition. Also, he can not talk which is embarrassing and frustrating to him. You will soon see some "no visitors" signs in their driveway and they ask that everyone honor them until he is feeling better. If David is in the living area and you are dropping off food, Joy will meet you in the driveway in order to protect his privacy.

DO SEND JOY AN EMAIL OR COMMENT ON THE BLOG! She likes to keep up with everyone else and talk about things other than cancer. She would even appreciate a sprinkling of gossip here and there! Also, this helps her to not have to repeat the current medical issues that are so tough for them to to deal with and talk about.

TRY NOT TO CALL as the Kirklin staff will be calling them daily with treatment recommendations and for close follow up. They need to keep the phone lines open for that.

Again, Joy David and Emma want everyone to know how much they appreciate everything that everyone is doing for them! I hope that I did not leave anyone out, but rather, know that God is showing His love through all of you!

Cathy Brown

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Devotion

I just read this to David and he wanted me to post it. Please pray as we have a week to go before the MRI...

1 Peter 1:6
Verse 6 can be identified as a transition verse, as Peter is now moving from our
glorious salvation, to reality here on this earth. His words, "wherein ye greatly
rejoice"--are in reference to the time when we ultimately receive our inheritance in
heaven. As Wuest comments, "The saints are to rejoice in the last time, that is,
when they receive their glorified bodies at the Rapture." Now the word
"rejoice" is one that "speaks to extreme joy that expresses itself
externally in an exuberant triumph of joy." As we contemplate the final fulfillment
of our salvation, and we join the heavenly band, we ought to burst forth in rejoicing.
As the NLT reads, "There is wonderful joy ahead." And as Hillyer puts it,
"the prospect of the coming glorious consummation of salvation is one in which
believers have every right to greatly rejoice."
However, we live here in this world and the KJV reads, "Though now for a
season." The word "season" means--"little, small, few," and
refers here to a little while. Pause for a moment and read Romans 8: 18 and 2
Corinthians 4:17. From the view of eternity, our time here on this earth is not only
temporary, but very brief.
Then comes the stark reality of life--"If need be, ye are in heaviness through
manifold temptations" (KJV). Or we read, "even though it is necessary for you
to endure many trials for a while" (NLT). Hillyer has this to say, "The
expression all kinds refers to trials facing believers, and here translates the word
which literally means "many colored." Peter uses the word again in 4:10 to
describe God's grace. The only two occurrences of the word in this letter nicely balance.
Christians may have to face all kinds of troubles. But in whatever "color"
troubles appear, God's grace will always "match" them and prove perfectly
sufficient. Nevertheless, Peter's wording implies that the trials hat Christians have to
meet will sort out those who are full of faith from others whose profession is less than
Now let me add some comments from Kenneth Wuest--"The words 'if need be' are
hypothetical, not affirmative. That is, they do not state that there is always a need
for the dark days, for testing times and difficulties. In some lives there seems to be
more need of trials than in others. To those servants of God whom He purposes to use in
a larger, greater way, many trials are allowed to come for 'we must be ground between the
millstones of suffering before we can be bread for the multitude.' And then, in the case
of a saint who is not living close to his Lord, it is necessary to send disciplinary
trials to purge his life of sin and draw him into a closer walk with God."
Some good thoughts on which to begin our day------Parson Brown

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Good afternoon hope you have a boat to ride home in...

Emma received more good news this week..She was accepted to the University of Alabama....she has also been accepted to Troy. She has some decisions and praying to do to see where God will lead her.

I want to thank the Ladies II class at Santuck Baptist Church for what you did for was wonderful...Hugs and Love to you all.

Not much change yet but praying hard...

David, Joy and Emma

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Emma's good news!

Emma received her acceptance letter from Auburn University yesterday!!!!! She is very excited!

Happy Saturday and have a great weekend. It's a beautiful morning.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Thursday

Johnny Barrett, your pound cake should be in a museum and you should have your own cooking show! Thank you!

Some of you asked about the treatments success. We won't know anything until October 29 when we return to Kirklin for the MRI. Please keep us in your prayers.

"His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22,23.

Hugs, David, Joy and Emma

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


God is good. We get a break for a while. His arm and leg are giving him trouble but he says it's nothing. He is a lefty now!

God works through everyone. We got to know one lady who had the same time same place appointment as us. After talking and getting to know her we found out that she worked with someone that we went to school with that I haven't seen in a while. Kelly Tracy, it was so good to see you yesterday and it made the last day special..Thank you for coming out and talking with us and talking about "old" times!

As we left yesterday I noticed that David was checking on everyone that was left in the room. He wanted to make sure they were okay for the day. What a special guy!

Cowboy Church and Prayer Posse thank you again for the cards and especially for the c'd's of your church services. You have a wonderful ministry and you have blessed us.

David had some birthday cards come in and it made his day. I thank you for those!

Keep smiling and pass a smile along today as it could really make someone's day.

We love each of you and we thank you for everything that you have done for us.

I especially want to thank everyone on the Elmore County High School staff. They made some special arrangements to help get David in and out of the stadium for homecoming. He just couldn't make it. YOU went above and beyond the call of duty Friday night to help out and we will never forget it. We love you and can't thank you enough.

David, Joy and Emma Hill

Thursday, October 1, 2009

3 to go

Happy Thursday and 3 to go...but who's counting!

Have a great day. Please keep praying for us. We appreciate everything!

I'm behind on my thank you notes but want to thank Jill and Randy, The Johnsons, and the 11th grade girls at Santuck Baptist Church. What you did was PERFECT.

Randy and Jenny thanks for the encouragement.

Loomis and Frances thanks for everything and we love you beyond measure!

Deborah and Dennis thanks for the help this week!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs and Love,
The Hills