CT Results – Good but confused…

The results are in and the Idol contestant leaving us tonight is…oops…too much American Idol, I guess!!

Here is the short of it. The report as I read it is about 95% positive! PTL!! Everything seems stable at this time. There is more growth in the nodule that showed up last time. It went from 9 mm to 1.3 cm. They also noted some things along the right (ascending) colon. We will ask questions about that. The confusing part is that they noted increased thickening around the omentum. Well, I had my omentum removed and I got confused. Then I remembered that you have a greater omentum and a lesser omentum. So, back to dig out my surgical reports to see if my lesser omentum was removed.

Anyway, seems like good news to me!!! YES!!!! We will get the official word from the oncologist on Tuesday, but from my reading, I think we are doing good!

Again, thanks for all of the prayers and support. Sandi and I cannot do this on our own and we thank you for the help!!



Happy New Year…

happynewyear.jpgAs I reflect on this past year, I realize that God is in total control (and not me, as I would like to think). It has been an interesting year for the Tarapchak family. It started with Stef being in the hospital with a bad case of pneumonia for a few days. The year progressed through sport seasons of soccer and baseball for the boys during the spring. We enjoyed our middle child graduating from pre-school and getting ready to join his big brother at Beacon Elementary. Summer brought us some good stuff and some curve balls. Our daughter turned two and a week later, we enjoyed our annual family vacation to Myrtle Beach. The happiness was short lived upon our return, as a week later, I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. While still in some shock from that, an unexpected vacation to Disney World came about and we enjoyed our time as a family as Sandi and I worked through this difficult time in a place where “dreams and wishes come true”. Fall brought us the first day of school and more soccer for the boys. We are proud of our oldest son, who tried out for and made the Hilliard FC travel soccer team. His ability amazes me and I am already looking at scholarships from division one colleges (well, not right now, but maybe one day)!! We closed out the year with probably the best Christmas that I could have ever had. We spent the day as a family of five and truly enjoyed the entire day (almost the whole day, there was a misfortune with our new Wii, but that is another story for another day — Houston, Wii have a problem!!).

Again, God is in control and directs our paths. We would have never chosen some of the things that came our way this year. We also had some great things come our way that we did not expect. I can say that our faith in God has grown and we just keep following His lead.

We are thankful for the support and friends we have made along the way this year and we wish everyone a happy, safe, healthy and wealthy new year!!

CT scan results and chemo again…

Well, got the results of my CT scan today. It was good news. The cancer is where we thought it would be. It is still in the abdominal cavity and has NOT spread to any major organ. This is great news and I thank you all for the prayers on this one.

So we are back to the battle as of today. My second series of chemo treatments started today. I seem to be doing well right now. No fast side affects as of right now, but with new drugs in the mix, we will wait and see what this week holds for me, physically. It was a bit of a mental health day today. The last few weeks of surgery recovery has been nice. No doctors, no appointments, etc. It was a bit of an escape, but we need to get back at it.

I was also released to go back to work tomorrow. I have been itching to get back to work, but when I got the release today it hit me, back to the grind. I am excited to get back and feel part of a team again and get the brain working again. The time off was good, and I could get used to it. I thought about writing a book and retiring early off the proceeds. The working title was going to be “The Cancer Diet – Losing Pounds by Losing Body Organs”. Didn’t think that would fly though.

Anyway, doing well and just wanted to hit you all with a quick update.

I refuse to lose!!

Chemo – take #2…

iv_bag.jpgHow pathetic am I. I go into round three of my chemo treatments this coming Tuesday and I never updated you on round two. Let’s just blame it on the toxic chemicals coursing through my veins. I am sure they are killing off a few brain cells also!!

Anyway, round two started out as round one. Tuesday and Wednesday were good days. I was dreading Thursday, base on round one experience. Thursday comes and WHAT!! I was fine. Not a stellar day, but Thursday was ok. Friday hit me. I did manage some time at work, but Friday and Saturday were the bad days this time. I did manage to get to Derek’s soccer tournament on Saturday, however. I was NOT going to miss that. Sunday was a recuperation day. Monday, of my off chemo week, came and I was back to work and doing ok. I got really tired on Monday night and was sleeping by 8pm if I recall. Then the rest of the week came and I FELT GREAT!! Wednesday through today, I actually felt like a real human being. God gets ALL of the glory for this!!! I am thankful that He has allowed me to have some great days this week.

Also, on Tuesday night, Sandi and I talked with a nutritionist who works only with cancer patients. It was a great meeting. I say that because she wants me to eat five to six meals a day and get at least 2600 to 3000 calories a day!! How cool is that. Extra cheese on everything. Dipping my veggies in ranch all the time. Eating an apple WITH caramel dip!! I really wish I knew about this diet a few years ago. Well, a few years ago, I was not losing 20+ pounds in a matter of weeks.

Anyway, I was able to tolerate round #2 better then round #1. Please continue to pray for us as we continue the journey. For this coming week, pray for continued strength, especially mental strength for me. My chemo weeks are hard enough physically on the bad days, but the mental war is also difficult.

Thanks for visiting and praying!!!

A significant day…

This is a good day for a few reasons. Today marks the one month anniversary of my official diagnosis. It is also a great day because for the first time in a month, I actually felt like a normal person!! I had energy. I am eating well. I had little to no abdomen/pelvic discomfort!!

It has been a trying month for sure, but Sandi and I continue to plow through this journey with God leading the way. We have been way too overwhelmed with the prayer support that we have received. We are humbled and thankful for everyone who has come up along side of us in the journey.

So, yes, today was a significant day and I just wanted you to know.

Chemo Treatment 1…

iv_bag.jpgWell, after my small breakdown last night, I am happy to report that today was a great day! My first treatment at my oncologist’s office was really a non-event, no biggie. I am thankful for that. They loaded me up with some meds to ward off the evils of any sickness they may try to creep in early. Three hours later, my IV meds were in me and we were out of there. Just a side note that the nurses we had today were FANTASTIC!! Top notch in every aspect of my visit. That really helped to set the tone for our first visit.

Shortly after our arrival home, we were met by our home health nurse and our goodie bag of drugs, kits, pumps, whatever. Thirty minutes later, I was connected to my pump and it will be my best friend for the next two days. 4800 mgs of 5Fu will be flowing through my body and killing every cancer cell that it can find.

Right now, about 8+ hours into my treatment, I feel great. They say the side affects may start to set in tomorrow or Thursday, but I have my supply of meds to combat them and will push through it.

I will say, thank you again, for the prayers. I felt the peace and grace of God around me today as I was never anxious, scared, or in pain for this first treatment. I do know that the next few days may not be perfect, but the start of my chemo has been a positive event so far.

So, stay tuned, as we march forward!!

You are all just nuts…

crazy-frog.jpgI say this lovingly. I am just humbled and undeserving of the outpouring of support for Sandi and I and our family. The phone calls, e-mails, text messages, comment in this silly blog. You are all just overwhelming us. I told someone today that it was easier to wrap our heads around cancer than it is to try to wrap our heads around this avalanche of support.

Know that Sandi and I are thankful for each one of you that are in our live. Also, to those that we do not know, but are praying for us, we are thankful for you and your support as well. I hope that you can get to know us through this blog and whether or not we know you, we are thankful!

Just a side note. The pic is of crazy frog. You will see more of him!