WOW, didn’t see this one coming…

Well, what do you say when your surgeon asks you if you want to live or die?  Uh, let me think for a minute, yep, I’ll take life.

Just got back from my surgeon appointment and it didn’t play out like I thought it would.  I have spent the last three to four weeks putting together what I am calling “The Summer of Memories”, only to have them all washed away in an instant.  I had trips planned to Chicago and Boston to see some ball games.  Another trip to Chicago with my wife and daughter.  AAHHHH!!!!  My summer is now called “The Summer of Recovery”.  I am being scheduled to have another surgery in the middle of June.  Although we have been told the cancer is growing slowly, it seems to be growing in many places that my surgeon does not like.  It is surrounding my liver, but not in the liver.  It is growing around my stomach, but not in my stomach.  It is growing in other areas and my surgeon says, let’s go and get it now.

We got rocked again today.  I was thinking I would be having surgery later this year, but the cancer is rearing it’s ugly head again and we need to fight a little harder.  I did not take this well.  I am not happy about this, but like he said, I can chose life or death and I think I like living.

So, we will reschedule the trips and I guess I get to drive Sandi crazy all summer.  Looks like I will save a bunch of money, too, as my golfing habit will be shut down this year.

Anyway, I need some prayer for some mental strength right now.  I knew this was coming, but not so soon.

REFUSING TO LOSE!!!

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What did the King do…

Well, we are not sure of the whole story, but what we do know is that The King, aka Mr. Burger King, had a play place built into his fast food joint.  King thought it would be a great idea to have kids play after having a fine dining experience.  So far, I agree with his stance.  Why wouldn’t you want to keep patrons in your eatery for as long as possible.

Although there were no witnesses to the accident, we have proof that my Cinderella, did in fact break her finger playing in noted play place. Not sure if the King did it or not, but I have my suspicions.

Here is my little princess with her splint on the little finger of her left hand.

A dark place…

This is where I was over the weekend. It was lonely there and I didn’t like it at all. After getting the CT results, the mental battle began. It is hard to continually get news that you don’t want to hear. The battle raged all weekend long. There were thoughts of death, arguments with God, sleepless nights. It was hard and too real to deal with. What is going to happen with me? What is going to happen with my family? Cancer sucks and life is not fair at all.

We met with my oncologist yesterday for my next round of chemo. He said the CT results were not as bad as the report read. Ye said, yes, there was a “little” more growth, but the chemo is keeping the cancer at bay and causing it not to spread out of control. He noted that the bladder was probably ok and I am getting an MRI on Friday to rule out any bladder issues. The visit was going well until I asked a question I have been wanting to ask, but have been afraid to get the answer to.

The question was whether or not my original two year prognosis has changed at all. To my surprise, the answer was no, my prognosis has not changed. This gives me 15 months left, speaking humanly and statistically. I was crushed and emotional to say the least. What if God chooses to take me? What will happen to my wife, my kids? They need a husband and father. It is not fair for my kids to loose a father at such young ages. Not fair at all. So, I find myself in another dark place, praying, wondering, crying…

Yes, cancer sucks and life is not fair.

The results are in…

And I am beginning to get REALLY MIFFED at this stupid disease. The results were not what we were expecting. The cancer that was left after surgery continues to grow. The also found some possible issue with the bladder. They think it just might be some “debris” or blood. No mention of cancer in the bladder, however. The also found a small mass in the small bowel that was not there three months ago. I also have some “tiny” pulmonary nodules that continue to remain unchanged, but they are still watching them.

SO, after having a short weak moment of tears and anger today, I am back on the straight and narrow path of optimism. We meet with my oncologist Tuesday for my next round of chemo. I am SURE that we will discuss treatment plans. We then meet with my surgeon in early April. I am sure that he will want to schedule another surgery. Although I would prefer not to have another surgery, this seems to be the only way I can rid myself of this cancer. Chemo just doesn’t seem to be doing the trick for me.

Again, I thank ALL of you for ALL of your support. My prayer is that one day I can post that I am cancer free. Until then…

I REFUSE TO LOSE!!!

Rough week…

sickofit.jpgLet me start by saying, I don’t mean to complain. I am not feeling sorry for myself, but I am just sick of this cancer thing!!

This was a rougher week than I had expected. I am about half way through treatments right now. Six down, six to go! However, I thought I knew what to expect when my chemo weeks came around. This one caught me sideways.

The night of chemo was about the same. The second day was a little harder than normal (whatever normal is anymore!). Much time in bed that day with nausea and fatigue. Day three, I am usually ready to go back to work for at least half of the day. Not this time. Day three was rough. Again, much time in bed and in my big, comfy chair, under my favorite blanket. Too fatigued to do anything at all. So, I missed one more day of work than I usually due, and that gets to me. The great thing is, that my bosses at work are VERY understanding and supportive. They have been since hour one of this journey. I still hate missing work, though. It is therapy at times and keeps my mind on things other than cancer.

The bright light for this week was Tyler Alfriend. My buddy was able to go home for a few days and enjoy being somewhat of a normal teenager for awhile (again, whatever your definition of normal is). He enjoyed some friends over, had some wings, and played x-box. Great to hear the good news, Tyler. Will visit you when you are back in for chemo next week!

Anyway, not complaining, as many people are going through worse things than I am, but I am still SICK OF IT!! My next big event is my CT coming up this Thursday, March 6th. We are praying for the cancer to be gone!!! Refusing to Lose!!

Not a great weekend…

coldflu.jpgYes, it is flu season. Yes, I got the stomach flu late Friday night. What fun that is. After being up all Friday night, I spent all day Saturday and most all of Sunday in bed. Living on PowerAde and crackers is also not on my top ten things to do on a weekend. So, starting to get some food back into my ever shrinking body. Right now, I am so skinny, I get discounts at the hospital for my x-rays because they just hold me up to the light. Anyway, getting the flu on top of continued surgery recovery is just not right. Life is not fair.

tears.jpgOn a more serious note and keeping with the not a great weekend theme, I was told on Sunday that a friend of mine, who has survived colon cancer, has relapsed. He is now fighting two other cancers at the same time. My heart is so heavy for he and his wife. I respect this person and look up to him and I cried when I heard this news. WHY!!! I need to know why things like this happen!! Again, life is not fair.

We don’t always know why, but through it all God is in control.

They say no news is good news, but…

I have some news. We don’t have all the information yet, but we did not receive good news on Friday. If you recall, my first follow up CT scan was on Friday. I was nervous to get the results, but was like a kid at Christmas, waiting in anticipation for the great news I was so optimistic to hear. Well, God had other words for me to hear.

Words like, there is no change in the tumor and the cancer is continuing to spread. WHAT!!!! Five rounds of chemo!! Ten weeks of a physical and mental battle and I am not getting ANY BETTER! In fact, my condition is getting worse. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! I know that I am still early on this journey, but a little good news by now, would be nice.

We don’t have the full story yet, but we should know more this week. I meet with my oncologist again on Tuesday and my surgeon on Thursday. Right now, it looks like surgery will be on October, 19th, but we will know for sure on Thursday.

My journey got harder for me this past Friday. This was not the news I was expecting to hear and it really rocked my world again. I am struggling mentally. I hope that I can continue to be positive and strong, but getting nothing but bad news around every corner is getting really hard to handle. This situation is getting bigger every day. The mental battle is bigger than I thought it would be.

I am human. God is not. I think I have talked with God more the last two days than I have this entire journey. I know that there are many, many, many people praying for me and all I humbly ask is that you continue in prayer for Sandi and I.

Please continue to pray for an extra dose of mental strength for Stef. Pray for physical strength for both Stef and Sandi. Pray that the cancer does stop spreading (we do not need this cancer to reach my liver or lungs!!) Pray for the upcoming surgery and the pending recovery. During recovery, first pray for physical strength for Sandi to not only run our household, but also her “nursing” role in taking care of me. Then pray for me as I endure the painful and uncomfortable recovery period. I can handle it all with God leading my care team and giving me strength when I need it.

So, the journey continues and we will just dig deeper and run harder and let God lead the way.