Below is Dale's Story.
Dale loved the Lord and his witness continues to light the world.
I am sure that Dale has heard the words that we all long to hear,
"Well done my good and faithful servant."

 


 

Dale Maxwell

 

Dale met us on-line through Donna's website. One of the things that I generally try to do is to ask if someone is saved - do they know that they will go to heaven if they were to die tonight. When I first read Dale's email, I realized that I did not have to ask him this question! Below is his story.

To contact Dale for prayer or to join his team of intercessors please click here.

(Please Note: Updates are at the bottom of this page.)

 

SEE UPDATES BELOW - Latest Update 3-7-05

 

Donna & Frank,

Thank you for creating and maintaining your web site. It is a real source of comfort hearing the stories of other survivors.

Regarding my "story"; on Saturday, Nov. 9th, 2002, during a casual conversation with my wife, I had a sudden spell of dizziness accompanied by severely distorted hearing in my right ear. This "seizure" lasted 15 to 20 mins. and prompted a trip to the Emergency Room. After 8 hrs in the Salem (Oregon) Hospital ER, and a series of test, including a CAT scan and MRI, I was scheduled for a craniotomy at Salem Hospital the next day in order to remove a small mysterious mass in my right frontal lobe.

Three days later the lab reports came back saying it was a GBM. As the surgeon explained the serious nature of GBM, he also pointed out I was in the best statistical group possible. The tumor was the smallest he had ever removed, (approximately 11 mm; bigger than a pea, smaller than a grape), it was well defined, (the usual shape is "crab like"), the resection was very good, I'm young (45 yrs old), and very healthy (I've been a runner for over 20 years). I must say, this information helped a little to offset the scary statistics. My wife, daughter and I still had a good cry that day.

After two weeks of healing from the surgery, I began the usual radiation treatments and Temodar, (5 days on, 3 weeks off.) The radiation was completed on Jan. 8, 2003. I'll be finished with the Temodar in April for a total of 6 cycles.

Initially, I was also taking a steroid to control tissue swelling and a low dose of an antidepressant to keep my attitude on an even keel. All medication, except the anti-nausea pills and Temodar were stopped the first week of January with no adverse effects.

After radiation was complete and a second MRI was performed, my file was referred to University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) . The MRI was clean except for some tissue enhancements which they believe to be scar tissue from the surgery. Yay!!

On Feb. 7, 2003, Dr. Eric Burton, from UCSF, contacted us by phone and recommended radio-surgery to be performed at Oregon Health Sciences University hospital (OHSU). He said that since my condition was stable he could not recommend any other treatments. Another yay!

I met with Dr. Carol Marquez at OHSU on Feb. 14, 2003. She also made note of the unusual size of the tumor and that I'm in the best statistical group I could ask for in this situation. (I like hearing this!)

Regarding my normal activities, I started running again the day after Thanksgiving (3 weeks after surgery) and I'm planning on running the 2003 Portland Marathon this fall. My speed is slow, but I'm very happy to be able to run.

I have returned to work and am able to keep a normal schedule. My employer has been very understanding and flexible; something I am very thankful for.

My wife and I are trusting the Lord for healing and a long life. The Lord gave her a verse shortly after surgery that has become my daily prayer, "And behold, a leper came and worshipped Him, saying Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Matthew 8:2

A prayer I am offering for all survivors is based on Luke 22:32; I'm praying that your faith will not fail, and that as you are restored, so you will strengthen others.

In His Grip,

Dale Maxwell

PS: Please feel free to post my story on your web site. I'll be working on getting a current photo to you soon. Thanks.

PSS: Please add me to your email list. Thanks again.

 

Posted February 20, 2003

 


Update Posted March 14, 2003

 

Greetings all, it's been another significant week, so here's the latest on my health. (As usual, hit delete if you're bored.)

As mentioned in my last update, the doctors at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) reviewed my file and recommended one additional radiation therapy treatment called stereotactic radio-surgery. Fortunately, the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland has the necessary equipment for this procedure, so Kim and I did not have to make a trip to San Francisco.

If you would like to see the machine at OHSU click on this link: http://www.ohsu.edu/hosp-radiation-oncology/services.htm (If the link doesn't work, you'll have to cut and paste the link to your browser, sorry.)

The whole procedure took four steps. First, an MRI, (more about that later.) Second, the making of the mask, (see the attached photo.) Third, a CAT scan, and finally the treatment itself.

I'll summarize the whole thing by saying it went fine. I didn't feel a thing, and am not anticipating any side-effects. Thanks again Lord.

The best part of this week was the MRI. Before I get into that, let's revisit my last MRI which was done exactly six weeks earlier (Jan 22nd). Other than some "enhanced" tissue, (most likely scar tissue from the surgery last November), things look pretty good.

So now for the good part, I had the MRI this week on Wednesday morning. When I showed up early Wednesday afternoon for the mask making party, Dr. Carol Marquez, (my main doc at OHSU), came by and offered to let me see the MRI films. As we reviewed the films she was very upbeat about the improvements since the last MRI. In fact, she was almost ecstatic! She said things like, "this is great!", and "your radio-surgery is going to be a piece of cake."

Since I had seen the January MRI, I knew what to look for, and I could see the enhancements had diminished. What this means is, no new cancer growth, and the scars are healing! Yeehaww! (I think that's Kentuckian for Hallelujah!)

Bottom line, the MRI was very exciting to see. No one will say, "your cured" or "you have nothing to worry about", but they all imply I'm a great candidate for an exception to the typical GBM patient. I think I'm a great candidate for God's favor, and continue to pray as such.

I've started training for the 2003 Portland Marathon which will be held on October 5th. At this point the training is going well.

I'm also keeping somewhat of a regular schedule at work and at church.

Kim is also doing well. Other than a day off this past week so she could be with me at OHSU, she hasn't missed any work since returning to a normal schedule in early February.

Sara (and Tom) are up to their eyeballs in wedding preparations. The big day is only 3 months away, and there's still much to do. (They're loving it!)

Bryan and Teresa are also doing well. They're ready for another trip to Hawaii, and so are we.

Well, that's all for now. Thank you all for your faithfulness in prayer. There have been many times when the scary feelings have come and I've felt the Lord's rod and staff covering and comforting me. Thanks again for your faithfulness.

Love,

Dale & Kim


 

Update Posted May 19, 2003

Hey all,

Today I saw my doctor (Dr. Pierce, Oncologist) for a review of the MRI done last week, and the news is great! He said the place were the tumor was removed continues to shrink and heal. He used the word remission, which I had been told wouldn't come into the picture for at least five years. As we were getting ready to leave he shook my hand, smiled and said "congratulations". After the visit was over, I wanted to do it again just to be sure I heard everything right.

He said another MRI would be done in three months, and if it looks as good as this one, he would switch me to six months intervals. This is also good news since I had been led to believe it would be a year or two before they switched to six months intervals.

Six months ago, just after the surgery, Kim felt God had directed her to Matthew 8:2, "And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." We have prayed that prayer over and over again ever since. Today, God led us to the next verse, "3. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed."

We believe the Lord is cleansing me from the cancer, and that the words like remission and healed will be common as we continue to talk to the doctors.

Thank you all for your prayers. Thank you all for your concerns. Thank you all for your words of encouragement, and for being faithful.

God is good, all the time!

Love,

Dale & Kim

 


Update Posted July 27, 2003

Dear friends and family,

Yesterday, according to routine, I had another MRI of the brain. Unfortunately, the results were not routine.

According to radiology, there is a small mass, (a little less than 1/2 inch), appearing in the right temporal lobe just behind my right eye. It's being described as tissue "consistent with a malignant tumor." The mass is new as there was no trace of it on the last MRI which was May 1st.

This, of course, is not good news. At this point we can only assume the cancer has returned.

On Monday Kim and I will meet with my surgeon to find out what's next. We're assuming I'll have another craniotomy soon; most likely by the end of next week.

We covet your prayers during this time.

We will do our best to keep you informed as things develop.

Love, Dale & Kim


Update Posted July 28, 2003


Dear friends and family,

Last week we told you a new mass had been revealed in my latest MRI, and that the doctors are saying it is most likely another malignant tumor. Bummer!

Today we met with my surgeon and discussed the next step for treating this new mass.

After a careful review of all the options and discussing the side-effects, both good and bad, here is the plan of action we have decided to take.

Surgery has been scheduled for Tuesday morning, Aug. 5th at 7:30 am PST to remove the mass along with the front 5 cm, (approx. 2 inches), of the right temporal lobe. Chemo wafers will be inserted in the surgery site as an alternative to taking external chemo treatments. No radiation is planned this time as it could cause more problems than it solves.

The decision to remove the tip of the temporal lobe is aimed at eliminating, or at least reducing, the chance of further recurrence. We were surprised to learn that removing this part of the brain should not produce any significant side effects. In other words, the risks involved with this procedure are somewhat minimal and are off-set by the possibility of eliminating further recurrence.

The chemo wafers may cause some toxic or allergic response, but are the most effective means of delivering treatment to the site. Again, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Many of you have already offered your prayers and support, and for this we say thank you. We love you too!

This week we will be busy with various doctor appointments and pre-op activities at Salem Hospital; so we apologize up front if our phone is busy or we are slow in returning calls or email.

Again, we love you all,

Dale, Kim and family


 

Update Posted August 8, 2003

 

Hey all,

I came home from the hospital a couple hours ago. It's great!!

So far everything's going pretty much as expected. The initial pathology reports are not revealing anything unexpected, and other than I'm a little slower bouncing back this time, everything else is coming along like we thought it would.

It's really great to be home. I'll be convalescing for a few weeks, then headed back to work as long as nothing unexpected comes up.

Not much else to report just now. Just wanted you all to know I'm home and doing well.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Dale (&Kim)

 


Updated August 21, 2003

 

Dear Family and Friends,

Today, I met with my surgeon (Dr. Collada) again for a checkup, and to review a CAT scan which was done yesterday. He says, "everything looks good." "No new tumor activity." YAY!

It was very strange to see the void left behind. The left temporal lobe looks normal, and fills the skull right up to the eye socket, but the right temporal lobe has this large gap from the front of the ear forward. Weird.

Dr. Collada also gave me permission to drive again, and he's stopping the meds. I'll continue on a very low dose of the steroid for now, but the anti-seizure med is done. This is fine with me. The only other med I'm still taking is a pain killer as needed for the head aches. Which, by the way, the doctor says is most likely due to the braining healing and adjusting to the loss of tissue. Hopefully, that part will end soon.

Looking ahead, I have set September 10th as a back to work date depending on how things progress, and with Dr. Collada's blessing. Also, I'm scheduled for an MRI in mid-September and will continue to have MRI's on a 3 month cycle for the foreseeable future.

Except for the head aches, I'm feeling good physically, and I haven't noticed anything yet, (mentally nor physically), that seems a result of the surgery. I'm guessing it will be a couple months yet before I'll be able to say with certainty if there are any lasting effects.

One more thing, my wife Kim and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary this week, and we've decided we need to celebrate at least 26 more!

God's blessings on you,

Dale


Updated September 19, 2003

 

Dear Friends,

Last Monday (9/15) I had my first MRI since surgery, and today the results were good. There is noticeable tissue enhancement at the site of surgery, but the doctors are confident it's only scar tissue. This is good news.

I'll be returning to work on Monday (9/22) and resuming regular duties. It'll be so good to be productive again!

The next MRI is in December, and we are looking forward to God's continued healing to be revealed at that time. (Matt. 8:13)

My wife and I appreciate every prayer offered on our behalf. Your faithfulness means so much at this time.

Thank you all,

Dale

 


Updated February 1, 2004

 

Hello all,

Just a quick note to say, I had another clean MRI this week. Yay!

The doctor said that this MRI was even better than the last one, and that the improvement shows the brain is healing. This, of course, is very good news.

The next MRI is scheduled for May 4th. If it looks as good as this last one, they will most likely change future MRIís from 3 month intervals to 6 months.

Like I said, just a quick note.

Dale

 


Updated May 7, 2004

 

Another quick note to report that Iíve had another clean MRI this week! The doctor was very positive and told me to keep doing whatever Iím doing, and that things look great.

The next MRI has been scheduled for Sept. 7th. Weíll get the results on Friday that week, (Sept. 10th).

Thank you all for your continued concern and prayers. Kim and I are very appreciative of your support.


In His Grip,

Dale

 


Updated September 23, 2004

 

Dear Friends and Family,


As most of you know, I had an MRI on Sept. 7th which shows a new 12 mm mass in a location a little higher and closer to the center of the brain. You may remember me sharing that my surgeon was not convinced this was cancer, and ordered a PET scan to "get a better look".

Yesterday I had the PET scan, and today the results came back positive for new cancer. Of course, this is not the news we were hoping for.

The PET scan not only revealed that the new mass is cancerous, but that an area the doctors have been closely watching is also showing cancer. In other words, there are two locations that now appear cancerous.

As a result, my Oncologist, Dr. Pierce is referring my case to Oregon Health Sciences University, in Portland. His recommendation is based on the fact that standard protocols have failed to keep the cancer from returning.

At this writing we are not sure what the next step will be. It could be surgery; it may involve a clinical trial. What we expect is to pursue whatever OHSU recommends.

Kim and I are most grateful for your continued support and prayers. Our faith in the Lord has not faltered, and we still expect to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Ps. 27:13).


Walking in faith,


Dale

 



Updated October 2, 2004


Dear friends, loved ones, and prayer partners:

Today Kim and I visited a surgeon and a radiologist at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and now have a plan regarding the new tumor found four weeks ago on Sept. 7th.

The surgeon said the tumorís location makes a craniotomy too risky, and that, "it is a bad idea." So he referred me to Carol Marquez, in radiology. Dr. Marquez is planning to perform Stereotactic Radiosurgery sometime the week of October 11th. This process involves a few steps, including another MRI and CT, to prepare for the "surgery", but everything will be done Outpatient, and there will be little, if any, after-effects. This means no prolonged recovery and a quick return to normal life. YAY!

Itís possible chemotherapy will also be employed at this time. We will be consulting with the hospital at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and taking advantage of their input through the services at OHSU. This should provide the best of medical care at a location that is convenient for family and friends.

A couple of positive notes on todayís events are, first, after looking at the recent PET Scan, the staff at OHSU is not convinced there is cancer at the "old surgery site". Although they cannot be emphatic, it was an encouragement to consider things may not be as bad as they first seemed.

Also, every doctor I see says that my case is not normal. I agree J , and I plan on that continuing through the Lordís hand of healing. I told Dr. Marquez we are asking the Lord for healing, and she shouldnít be surprised if it is gone on this next MRI. She responded with a big smile, and said, "That would be cool." Kim and I like her!

Iíve said this before, but itís worth repeating, thanks to each of you for your love and support in prayer. Many of you have shared my name with prayer groups who are now also praying for me; that is so encouraging! May God bless each one of you abundantly for your faith, and your faithfulness.

Standing firm (Eph. 6:14),

Dale & Kim

 


Updated October 15, 2004


Greetings to all in Our Savior Jesus Christ,

Itís been five weeks since the new tumor was revealed (Sept. 7th). At that time the tumor was round and just a little over Ĺ inch in diameter. It is now irregular in shape and 1 ľ inches in size. In other words, it grew 2Ĺ times larger in a little over a month. Also there is quite a bit of swelling in the surrounding brain tissue due to the tumor which explains the loss of strength and sensitivity in my left hand.

(If you prefer the metric system it has grown from 12mm to 3cm in size.)

As a result, the strategy of treatment at OHSU has changed a little. Because the tumor is irregular in shape, there will be six Radiosurgery treatments instead of one. The first was last night and it went well. The rest of the treatments will take place over the next 3 weeks.

Hereís whatís going on in our hearts: For the first time since this all began, I feel like a GBM patient. By this I mean, up till now, my case has been exceptional. The tumors have been small (15mm or less) and well defined with an unusual amount of time between recurrences. This has often made me wonder if I really had Glioblastoma. Well, Iím not wondering anymore. The change in this tumor over the last month has been a bit shocking. I now see this as my Goliath. Iím trying to obtain the mind of David as he put his confidence in the Lord while facing the giant warrior

(Ps 27:1-3). So instead of being discouraged, Kim and I are gathering stones from the brook. We know that God is more than able to defeat this disease and by the grace of the Holy Spirit our faith is growing with each new chapter.

A very positive note to add is we are increasingly convinced this tumor is the only cancer to deal with at this time. YAY!

UCSF has confirmed they have my films, but we are still waiting to hear their opinions on what we do from here. (Yeah, Yeah, I can hear all you prayer warriors right now, but work with me here. ;:-)) I will be surprised if Radiosurgery is the end of my treatment for now.

Once again, thanks to all of you for your prayers and for your encouraging emails, cards, and phone calls!! Iím confident your humility and faithfulness are a blessing to our God.

 

Gathering stones,

Dale and Kim


Updated December 9, 2004

Dear Friends & Faithful Intercessors,

Last week (Dec. 2nd) Kim and I visited with Dr. Carol Marquez at OHSU as a follow-up to the radio surgeries which were complete four weeks ago.

An MRI was done at OHSU on Nov. 30th which shows the tumor is still present but not growing. Unfortunately, the MRI also shows there are two new tumors above the current tumor in the right hemisphere.

The location of these tumors rules out open skull surgery and it is too soon to try radiosurgery again.

Now for a little good news; since my blood/brain barrier has been compromised, Iím able to take advantage of traditional drip chemo. On Monday December 6th I received my first dose of Paraplatin (carboplatin) along with a pre-dose of anti-nausea and dexamethasone. Itís now been over 24hrs since, and Iím happy to report very little nausea and no other side-effects at this point. According to my Doctors and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, this treatment is showing promise as an effective way of fighting the new tumors.

Although I know my healing must come from the Lord, Iím happy to have a team of Doctors who are willing to fight this thing with me, and options to take advantage of, while we wait for that healing.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support, and your willingness to stand with us as we continue to fight. Your words of encouragement and your prayers are a blessing to us.


Love,

Dale & Kim


Habakkuk 3:17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD , I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights

 


Updated January 21, 2005

It is with hesitation I write this update, however, I feel it necessary to offer as a follow-up to the last four updates (going back to Sept. 23rd.)

In spite of the faithful efforts of the best doctors and facilities in the Northwest, and having exhausted all available medical options the cancer has continued to grow, and is now rapidly progressing. To quote the MRI report from January 11th, cancerous tissue has increased by a factor of 10 (since Sept 7th).

Yesterday was my last visit with Dr. Pierce. There will be no further treatments, nor MRI's.

Hospice care has started, and I am on full disability leave. I am thankful at this time that I am free of pain and my mind is sharp and free of any seizure activity.

My wife and I want to say a heartfelt "Thank you" to all who have encouraged us through card, comment and prayer. May God remember and reward every glass of cool water you have given us.


For now I want to close with a quote from the Apostle Paul:
" For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
1 Timothy 4:6-8


Dale

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD , the LORD , is the Rock eternal.

 


 

Updated March 7, 2005

Hello friends, family and faithful intercessors,

March 5, 2005 at 12:50 AM, my dad finished his race. He is in heaven now with Jesus. He was peaceful and did not suffer much at all, thank you Lord. And thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with us Ė we love you so much. Thanks to your prayers and loving affection, we were able to appreciate this final season with Dad. Dad always had a thankful and positive attitude, even to the end.

We will be having a memorial service next Friday, March 11th, 2005 at 1:00 PM at Peoples Church. The number is 503-304-4000 if directions are needed; everyone is invited to celebrate Dadís wonderful life.

Love, Sara

PS: Hereís where my Dad is now!!! Psalm 27:4-6 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. 5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. 6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord!!!

 

 

Back to the In Honor Page

Back to The Survivor Stories Page