RTL Invitational a huge success…

Unbelievable!!  What a day.  The weather was perfect, we had over 100 golfers, and I made it through the entire day!!!

When I pulled into the course and saw everyone there that was supporting me, I was just overwhelmed!  I had friends from college there, co-workers, and friends from church.  I had not seen some of these friends in years. 

I parked myself on a par 3 and watched the groups tee off.  When they got to the green, I helped them putt.  It was a great time.  After the round, we had a great lunch.  I had the opportunity to speak and share my story and thank everyone for coming.  We finished up with a raffle give away that had some great prizes.

What a day.  I was thankful for the support and I am sure everyone had a great time.  I would like to thank my great friend, Jim, who really pulled this day together. Thanks, Jim!!!!



Refuse to Lose Invitational

At the request of some friends, I have put a new page up, RTL Invitational.

Some good friends of mine wanted to do something for our family.  So, they are putting together a golf outing to support our family in this time of need.  You can get the details from the page.  I have also posted the outing’s flyer that has all the info in it.

We are thankful to these guys for this very kind gesture and support for our family.


It’s been one week…

since I have been released from the hospital. Guess it is time to get back to life. I have been on the couch most all of the week. The pain is coming and going and is very strong at times. Have had a few take your breath away moments with the pain, but am pushing through it. The appetite is coming back very slowly. At least the sight of food does not disgust me anymore and I am trying to eat more. The wound on my incision is healing nicely. It will take a few more weeks to heal, but the infection is gone and the healing process is moving forward.

I would be remiss if I did not take the time to thank my wife for everything she has done and is doing. Being at the hospital everyday, just being there for me. Now that I am home, she has the house and kids to deal with, an me on top of it all. She faithfully changes the dressing on my wound, makes sure I am eating, makes sure I am on top of my pain meds, makes sure I am resting, etc. I absolutely would not be able to walk this journey without her. I cannot thank her enough. She is a strong woman, but even strong women need prayer. Please pray for Sandi that she has the strength and sanity to take care of everything she needs to. Love you, Babe!!

I would also be remiss if I did not thank all of you who visited me. It was great to see all of you and I am sorry if I was a little strung out on my pain meds when you were there. I know I drifted in and out of sleep on some of you during our conversations, so sorry about that. Yes, the pain medication that I was on gave Sandi some memorable and laughable moments at the hospital. Just ask her to share some stories!

Right now, we are doing ok. I would ask for prayer support on the following:

1. Physical and mental strength to continue to fight this battle. It is getting harder to fight.

2. Growth of appetite.

3. Complete healing of wound at the incision site.

4. Regaining of strength to make it through the day.

5. Complete remission/eradication of the cancer.

Thanks, again, for the prayer support and everything else you have done for us. We do not take it for granted and we appreciate what people are willing to do for us.

Take care and stay tuned.

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!!


Gone Fishin’…

Yep, checking out for a few days to go to Florida for a deep sea fishing trip. Check out this crazy itinerary. Fourteen or so guys from my church are leaving for Pensacola, Fl on Thursday, early morning. Get up early on Friday for 10 hours of deep sea fishing. Having dinner that night at a local eatery that will prepare our fresh catch. If we get skunked, there is always a Fish-Fillet at McDonald’s. After dinner, back in the cars to drive home. Getting home about noon on Saturday. Just nuts! I am so psyched for this. I am sure I will have some great stories and pics, so look for an update in a few days. This is on my Bucket List. Well sort of. I cannot take my boys, but one year, I will. Outta here!!!

Still Learning To Receive…

Still a very hard lesson to learn. Again, this is not a self serving post, but rather another friend who is making a difference in our lives out of the goodness of their hearts. Here is an e-mail excerpt from a dear friend of mine and her husband and what they are doing. They have asked me to post this…

Hi all!

I loved reading the post by Russ on Stef’s blog March 26th about raising money for Stef to take a trip to Fenway – one of his “bucket list” items. My husband Dave and I have been wanting to challenge all of Stef’s friends, family and acquaintances to join us in trying to cross off ALL of the items on Stef’s “bucket list” and we were very excited that someone else has the same idea! We have decided to match the first $1,000 (dollar for dollar) given towards the goal of seeing Stef and his family enjoy EVERYTHING on that list! The check is already in the mail to them. Some other ways to contribute would be with air miles for the trips to Greece or California, or wave runners for summer fun – just take a look at the list and be creative! I’ve copied Stef’s list below.

From Stef’s blog (Jan 23, 2008):

“I really would like to see the movie “The Bucket List”. Maybe that will motivate me to get some things done that I would like to do. Such as (in no particular order):

1. Go to Greece and visit some of my family that I have never met.

2. Take Sandi to California, rent a convertible and travel up the coast of California and stay at some Bed & Breakfast places along the way.

3. Take the boys to a baseball game at Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.

4. Take the boys deep sea fishing.

5. Take Sandi and my daughter to Chicago for a weekend and go on a shopping spree.

6. Go big game hunting out west.

7. Buy some wave runners and take the kids out on weekends this summer and have some fun.

These are just a few things, as random as they are. The problem with this list is that we need to watch our funds due to the medical bills. Some of this may get done, but I know some will never get crossed off the list. Am I ok with that, I think so… I guess the most important thing is to just make sure that I spend as much time with my family as possible. That is what really matters to me. Yes, it would be great to do any one of the things on my list, but if I give up these opportunities to spend time with my wife and kids, I am ok with that. I am getting used to making sacrifices, if it means more time with the family and friends.”

Come on everybody, let’s bless the (red) socks off of our friend Stef!

Thanks ahead of time for this great gift to the Tarapchak family!

Laurel and David Pinson

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…