Surgery, take 2…

Well, I am going to sign off for a little while. Surgery on Monday. No internet access while in the hospital, so I am taking a break. Sandi will be posting updates next week, so stay tuned for those.

I am ready this time. Not as scared as last time. More of a cautious feeling this time. I am physically and mentally stronger this time around, as well. So, here we go again. If you are bored, come and see me, I will be at The James for about a week!

Sandi and I would covet your prayer support again, as we go through this.

REFUSING TO LOSE!!!

A Response to “Hey Dads”…

Big props to a great friend that sent this to me. The video speaks for itself. Listen to the second verse!! Here is Rodney Atkins singing “Watching You”.

My heart is heavy today…

I got a call last night from a an old high school friend of mine. When he called and I finally realized who it was, I was very happy and thought we would have a great conversation by catching up and talking about the high school days. To say the least, I was not prepared for the conversation that we had.

My buddies name is Chad. His wife’s name is Staci. Chad and Staci have two children, ages 10 and 6. Chad informed me that just earlier that day, Staci was diagnosed with breast cancer. AAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! My heart sank. I was as floored by this news as I was about my own diagnosis. This is another case of LIFE IS NOT FAIR!!!! What did Staci do to deserve this? NOTHING!!!! Now another family and good friend have to begin a journey and fight for life. They do not know what stage she is at, but they do know that it is a rare form of breast cancer that is aggressive, spreads fast, and targets the lymph nodes. NOT FAIR AT ALL!!!!

In my conversation with Chad last night, I felt some peace as he talked. They are doing what they can to work through this life altering event. Chad and his family have a strong faith in God and Chad mentioned that things happen for a reason. This is not an easy time for them right now, so I am asking a favor.

I know and have felt the power of prayer through people that have read this blog and followed my journey. I am asking that all of you begin praying for Chad and Staci and their family. To that end, I know that hundreds of people will be praying for my dear friend and his wife who is beginning a fight that she doesn’t deserve to be fighting.

I keep going back to the Mercy Me song, Bring the Rain. The chorus is:

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there’ll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

Here is the song.

Refuse to Lose, Chad and Staci!! We are behind you all the way to a complete cure!!

Meeting Tyler Alfriend…

Today I had the honor of meeting a courageous young man, Tyler Alfriend. Tyler is battling Burkitt’s Lymphoma. He was not having the best day (compliments of his chemo), so I did not get a chance to talk with him much. I am definitely waiting for that opportunity. I did, however, have the chance to talk with Mrs. Alfriend today. We shared our stories and we both know the trials, pain, ups, and downs of cancer. It was great to finally meet Tyler and his mom. I am looking forward to meeting Mr. Alfriend as well.

Please pray for Tyler. Pray for inner strength, comfort from the pain, wisdom for his care team, peace for his parents, and most of all, COMPLETE HEALING for this young man!!

Tyler, rock on, dude!! Looking forward to more meetings with you and your family! REFUSE TO LOSE!!

Oncologist and Surgical Consult Updates…

Well, I have been bad about posting again. Sorry about that. So here is the latest from some meetings this past week.

Met with our oncologist on Tuesday. he was just as shocked and disappointed about my last CT scan as I was. He did take some time out of one of his days to sit with a radiologist and review my scan. It seems that the cancer did get worse, but the scan looked better than the report read. So, it is a little worse than before, but not as horribly bad as I originally thought. I am off of chemo as I prep for surgery and that makes me a little nervous. We are basically taking me off of chemo for a month and letting the cancer go until surgery. Not my idea of a good time as this is weighing heavily on my mind. We know this cancer is aggressive and we are just letting it ride for about a month. Not really sure what to think about this.

On Thursday, we met with our surgeon. GREAT meeting with him. He really put my mind at ease about the surgery. I started asking a bunch of questions and he answered every last one of them. Then he sat and talked to me. He told me not to worry about anything. He told me that I will have a first class team around me that day in surgery. He reassured me that all will go well and that the team will take care of me. At that time, I felt a shot of God’s grace as I began to be calm and assured all would be well. Then our surgeon focused on Sandi. He told her that she would have the harder day then me. He is right. I am going to be out cold for about 9 or 10 hours in surgery and recovery. On the other hand, our surgeon wanted to ensure that Sandi would have family and friends around her that day. I was very surprised that our surgeon was so worried about Sandi that day. He knew that the day of surgery would be hard for Sandi. He will give her updates hourly on my status during surgery, but she will be wondering and waiting for 9 hours or so. She will have the harder day, no doubt about it.

Bad news…the surgery has been postponed for a week. There is a certain drug that was in my chemo mix that causes me to bleed more than normal. My surgeon wanted me off of that drug for eight weeks. Well, the original surgery date of October 19th in only seven weeks out. So, we had to move the surgery date to October 26th. So, it is a waiting game at this point.

Pray requests: Keep praying as you have been. I have listed a few in my last update post, but I would like to add a new on. Like I noted earlier in this post, I am off of chemo. Please pray that the cancer will not spread any further than it has. The cancer cannot spread to my small bowel, bladder, liver, lungs or stomach. At this time, the cancer is not being treated until surgery, so it is on it’s own. Pray that the cancer does not spread and even shrinks or even GOES AWAY!!!

On the journey!!

Second opinion…

This Monday, September 10th, Sandi and I have an appointment with a physician at the James Cancer Hospital that is affiliated with Ohio State University.  We are not looking for a new diagnosis, I have what I have.  We are looking for a second opinion on my treatment plan.

Don’t get me wrong, we like the oncologist that we are with and he is giving me the most aggressive chemo treatments available.  We are looking at the James because they are a major cancer research center and they know and are creating cutting edge treatments.  Our current oncologist has even encouraged us to look around at other alternatives.  He knows the physicians at the James and has nothing but great things to say about the physician we are seeing.

Pray that we will have a good visit with the physician. Pray that we may find more aggressive treatments.  Pray that whatever we may be told or learn about on Monday, that Sandi and I will have peace about it. 

Also pray for me as I mentally prepare for round #4 of chemo that will be coming up next week.  Also pray for me and my weight management.  I am continuing to loose weight and I cannot afford to lose anymore.  I was 182 lbs. in early June.  My weigh in at the hospital when this all started was 172 lbs.  Last weigh in was 156 lbs.  I am to be consuming 2600 to 3000 calories per day, but I am tired of eating, to be honest.  Hopefully this will help all of you be able to pray more specifically over the next couple of weeks.

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!!!