Another Journey Update…

Sorry I have not posted in a while, but I have been trying to figure out how to word things.  Then I thought, that’s stupid, why don’t I do what I always do, just say it like it is.

Well, Sandi and I spent the day together on Tuesday.  It was nice spending time with her, but it was at doctor appointments.  Spending any time with Sandi is great, even if it is at doctor appointments.

The day started with my radiation therapy.  She came back to the room and saw the exam being performed.  Radiation therapy is going well.  I have three more sessions (I will be done next Wednesday).  The pain from the mass is getting better, but not sure if it due to the doctors increasing my pain meds or if the radiation therapy is doing its job.  I have not felt any decrease in the size of the mass, but that may not happen until after therapy is done. 

We then went to see my oncologist.  He was very happy with my weight gain.  Up to 177 pounds now.  I have gained 45 pounds since the beginning of August.  We discussed starting me on a new drug (think Huey Lewis, “I Want a New Drug”).  The drug is Vectibix and we will see what it can do for me.  I will be on it for about two months and then we will do a CT scan to see if this new drug has made any difference.

The it was off to lunch.  We met up with our niece, Kristen, for lunch at Bravo.  We had a nice lunch and visit with Kristen. 

Next stop, the surgeon.  I really like my surgeon, but he can be very direct.  I like people that are direct, you know where you stand with them, but it can be painful sometimes.  He told us that he would do more harm than good if he performed surgery right now.  We did look at my latest CT scan and it looked pretty ugly.  My entire abdomen is just full of cancer.  He pointed out some of the tumors as well.  He seemed a little puzzled about next steps and noted that he is not giving up on me yet.  Yes, very comforting words.  One good thing is that he is also happy with my weight gain and so we are going to get me off of the TPN treatments.  Sunday night will be my last treatment.  We will then see if I can self-sustain my own weight.  It is also nice to get off TPN as Sandi and I would like to take a trip for our anniversary and we were not going to be able to do that if I was still getting TPN treatments.

Anyway, the nutshell is that radiation therapy is going well and will be ending soon.  Getting off TPN.  Chemo will be starting in about a week and a half.  That’s the update.  Thanks for reading!!

What a week…

We have all had them, terrible weeks. This past week was one of those terrible weeks. Thank heavens it was a non-chemo week for me. What made the week terrible, SICK kids!!! ALL THREE OF THEM!!!! UGH!!!

Sickness was running rampant in the house. It started with Derek, who ended up being the mildest case and has just ended up with a cough that is slooooooowly going away. Then Carley started with the vomiting, coughing, bloody noses, and a bilateral ear infection. Poor little thing is doing better today, but, again, what a week! Then Justin finished up with some nice viral infection that had him knocked out for a few days.

So, a few nights of no sleep and a wife that is trying her best to keep the house together. What is a guy to do? I will tell you what does work sometimes. Remove the wife/mother from the situation.

After a nasty, hard week, Sandi and I escaped Friday/Saturday. Her folks were willing to come to the house of ills and watch the kids while we took off for the night.

We spent the night over at Easton Town Center and had a nice and relaxing time. We had a great meal at The Cheesecake Factory and then did a little book browsing at Barnes and Noble. After a good nights sleep, something we had not had in days, we got up and had a relaxing breakfast at the hotel’s buffet. Then we did some more shopping throughout Easton and did it at a nice relaxing pace. We took in a movie (review to come) and then went home.

If you had not noticed, the theme for Friday/Saturday was RELAXING. We had a great time spending some downtime together as husband and wife. I highly recommend doing this sometimes. It was well worth it!!

Happy Birthday, Babe!!!

sandi.jpgWell, after a full day of partying (both birthday and Christmas), and battling a downed internet, I can finally post a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wife!!

She turned ___ today. Yep, I am a smart man and know that I would prefer sleeping in my bed vs. the couch for a week.

I don’t know where I would be without you!! Thanks for always being there for me and being my conscience! I could never give you enough thanks for everything that you do for our family. I know I can’t do it! You are the best mother a child could ever have and our kids will be better people because of what you do with and for them!!  I love you, babe, and happy birthday!!

Thirteen years and counting…

img_2242.jpgThirteen years ago today, my wife and I tied the knot and vowed to be together forever. It has been thirteen years of ups and downs, but many more highlights than lowlights.

We have been through me getting my CPA certification and MBA. We have been through losing half or our possessions when our neighborhood flooded and we lost the lower level of our house. We have been through illness and our current journey battling cancer.

We have also been through the births of our three fantastic kids, great family vacations, a growing circle of incredible friends, moving to a great new neighborhood filled with many kids and good people, and being involved in a growing church that God has His hand on.

Through all of these times, my wife has been there beside me. My wife is a large part of what defines me. She is my earthly rock and my conscience when I am not thinking clearly. She is the love of my life and my best friend. I am thankful that God sent her into my life and I am a better man for it.

I love you, Sandi, and am looking forward to many more years of being together with you. Happy anniversary, babe!

My Wife Rocks – Part 2

img_9343-2.jpgI am not sure where I would be right now without Sandi. Since our journey began a few weeks ago, I have seen sides of Sandi that I have not seen before. Those that know her, know she is a strong woman. I know she is a strong woman, but to see her walk beside me through this is so incredible.

She is facing this journey head on and has been so incredibly positive about this, it boggles my mind. She has prayed with me and for me. She has stood by my side during the initial diagnosis, she was there when we had to share the news with dear friends at work and at church. She is there during every mind-numbingly long chemo treatment. She is there during my bad days making me more comfortable. She is there during my good days, making sure I conserve energy and don’t over do it.

How easy would it be to feel bad for herself. How easy would it be to complain about having to run the house and take care of her husband. Not once have I ever heard her say a negative word through all of this. She has been unstoppable.

Sandi, I love you and I know that this journey is one that we are taking together. Know that I will never take you for granted and that I appreciate EVERYTHING you are doing for me and for our family.

For my readers, please continue to pray for us, but say a prayer for my wife as well. She needs it as much as I do!

My wife rocks!!

Ok, I need and WANT to give some huge kudos to my awesome wife!! Why would I want to do this, you ask. Well, let’s take a look at the last few days of my life.

Friday – not working. Have a friend in from Boston. Said friend, another buddy from town, and myself take in about five hours of the Memorial Tournament. After that, we go hit 18 at Brookside Golf and CountryClub. After golfing well, I go home to my wife and kids for a few hours then off to dinner. Took my wife and met earlier noted friends for dinner at Oscar’s.

Saturday – get up and meet buddies for another round of golf. This time at Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club. After letting the course get to me and only shooting fairly, we go back to the Memorial Tournament. The tournament is in a rain delay when we arrive, so we head on home. So I get home and we take the kids out for a fun Mexican dinner.

Sunday – off to church. Upon returning home, we eat a great Sandi cooked meal and lounge for a little while. Then our niece watches our kids while Sandi and I go out to dinner and a movie. Saw the third installment of Pirates. I will post on the movie later.

So, why does my wife rock, you ask? Well did my weekend rock? YES. How many guys get to do a weekend like this while their wife takes care of three kids all day. Not many, I would guess. At least not many guys would get to do this without a deal being struck or something along those lines.  I love the relationship that Sandi and I have.  We love to spend time together with the family, but we also know the value of having some time with good friends and doing things we like to as individuals.

Babe, I love you, and thanks for a great weekend with some friends, family and YOU!

My Best Friend…

My wife. I am not sure where to even begin. I am not Stef without Sandi. I am not an “I”, I am a “we”.

She is, hands down, the best mother that I know. She maneuvers through every day with skills that only a mother can possess. Breakfast on the table every morning, shuttling kids to and from school, running errands, running the operations of the house – the list goes on and on and on and on…

I see the friends that she has. A group of Christian women who lean on each other and make each other sharper. I see how the help and challenge each other. I am so thankful for her circle of friends.

Then I see her as my wife. I see her challenge me. I see her try to make me better (even when I don’t think I need to be improved in certain areas). I see her lighten my day. I see he strive to make us better. I see her as my best friend. Happy Mother’s Day, Babe. I love you.