Wednesday, December 22, 2010

one year since the first of many curveballs

Hi Friends,

It has been one year ago tomorrow since John was diagnosed with cancer (12-23-09).  On that day we were told only that he had cancer and it had spread to the lymph nodes but the ENT who did the biopsy was unable to determine the source of the disease.

We were able to schedule a PET scan to give us a better prognosis on 12-28-09.  That meant Christmas with cancer of an unknown source.  That was hard.  There were lots of tears.  Many in silence and moments alone.  We made it through with bright moments and celebration of the birth of Christ.

On 12-28-09, we found the source, base of tongue.  It was Stage IVB, very advanced but treatable. 

It has been a very hard year in many ways but in some ways it has been the best year of ours lives.  Cancer still sucks but everything else seems to make a lot more sense.

On 12-23-10, John is cancer free.  He can swallow.  He feels good.  We are blessed.  God is good and so are our family and friends without which we would never have been able to see the BLESSINGS of CANCER!  Glory be to GOD tonight and forever more.



Friday, December 17, 2010

Praises to Him once again

Hi Friends,

John has turned a corner this morning.  At about 1 a.m., the nausea abated and he slept.  He woke up at 7 and feels much better.  I just talked to his sweet doctor who says the blood work looks much better today and his chest x-ray was negative.  He has ruled this a very bad stomach virus....Yippee.  If he can tolerate liquids, he will come home today.

I came home late last night so I talked to the dr. this morning from home.  I just called John to inform him that he is much better and he was pleased with this news and concurred its truth. 

Thanks for your prayers and offers to help with the girls.  I will be attending their Christmas parties after all and all gifts were wrapped and delivered :).

Love Bec

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Latest Curveball


As most of you know, John had his stents removed from his esophagus last week  The procedure went great.  There were no complications and no blood loss.

He was fine for about 4 days, able to swallow solids easily.  Over the past few days,  he has suffered from nausea and other stomach issues with incresing intensity.  Our wonderful doctor advised us to go the the ER this morning. 

We are currently at St. Luke's in the Med Center waiting for a room to open up.  They are in the process of running several tests to determine what is going on.  We are praying it is just a routine stomach virus.  His white count is a bit elevated so his receiving IV antibotics along with nausea and now pain meds.  At 5:45 p.m., he is finally sleeping for the first time today.

Please pray that this is a common virus due to run its course.  Please pray that I do not turn into a manic as I had and do still have high hopes for this to be a Merry Christmas.  I am very stressed about trival things such as getting teacher gifts wrapped and attending my kids Christmas parties at school.  I know that seems a bit trite but it gets old having to explain to them that daddy is a little sick again and we have to change the plans again because of it.  If you could keep my MIL and FIL in your prayers too, he is also hospitalized right now and moving into a long term care placement tomorrow.

Sorry this post is a bit negative, I think I need the prayers as much as John right now.

Love, Bec

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

John and his "special" team of stent retrievers

Hi all,

Rejoice, blog is found. 

John is resting comfortably at the fabulous, world class Hotel Saint Luc. Here they are assembling a top- notch team of medical porfessionals to slowly and skillfully retrieve 5 inches of metal agony currently pressing against his previously elegant esophagus.

The retieval was to have taken place on December 16th but that little bundle of joy decided to make its way into the world just a bit sooner.

This is okay with us because our mini, metal madman was starting once again to have an attitude with John's esophagus.

Currently, he is really feeling ok.  The nausea which accompanied metal man's last appearance seems to be absent this round.  Prayers to the lord for that blessing. 

He is currently hospitalized mainly as a precaution.

Tomorrow will consistent of resting and hydrating in preperation for the joyous appearance of metal man at the hands of John's own personal gastrointestinal gurus.  The little man will come out offically at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday. 

We appreciate your prayers.  We are so very grateful for God's work in bringing a competent and caring medical team into our life.  Please bless there hands and hearts Thursday as well.

With love,

Thursday, December 2, 2010


December 2, 2010

We scheduled a Barium Swallow Study for Monday.  I wanted to do it tomorrow but John is presenting at work and does not want to miss.  We had a little squabble about this b/c I did not want to wait and risk things going south over the weekend.  I do appreciate his work ethic and I love that about him so it's okay.

He seemed good tonight.  Ate some dinner and cleaned the kitchen (yippee),  not as much as he has been eating but he enjoyed a homemade shake after and that went down fine.  The pain seems manageable without a going all rock star drug crazy.

Pending a good swallow study Monday, we have a date set to have the stent removed.  It will come out December 16, 2010 which is planned to be just in time for a Merry, Merry Christmas at our house.  If the study shows migration, I am not sure if they will just take it out earlier or place a new stent.

Thanks for all the prayers today!!


P.S.  I got the Mother of the Year Award today for failing to show up at my daughter's class for Mom Reader.  I just forgot to write it down.  LOSER ME!!!  She was a bit sad but seems over it now and I will go next week.

P.S. II  Thanks for praying for my bff's friend whose husband died as well.  Night!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Prayers for the Stent

Hi all,

As most of you know, John has a 5 inch metal stent in his esophagus.  It is there because he has a stricture (tightening of the elastic-like part of his throat).  This stricture was likely caused either by the high doses of radiation or chemotherapy which were necessary to blast his cancer.  The doctors have tried repeated balloon dilatation of his throat which is a relatively simple procedure except that once during this relatively simple procedure, John had a stroke (likely a reaction to the drug demerol).  The dilatations only worked for a short while.  So anyway, he had a stent placed in September.  This one migrated to his stomach (and still resides there, btw) so a new one was placed in early November.  While this one has not been w/o side effects (mostly pain and mucus), it has allowed him to eat a more regular diet.  The plan is for this stent to stay in place until the end of December in order to more permanently stretch his throat.

The reason I am writing now is to ask for some extra prayer tonight.  Yesterday and today, John's food is not going down as well.  He can still eat but with more strain and the pain appears to have increased. I texted his wonderful doctor tonight to ask if he thought he needed an x-ray to check the stent placement and he believes we do and will order one tomorrow.  This is not the end of the world.  It is not life threatening in anyway but it is disheartening for John b/c he is so ready to have the stent out and does not want to go to the hospital for a another placement procedure plus anytime under anesthesia scares the goo out of us.  Please pray tonight for his body and his spirit. I also ask that you pray for me to stay patient with him b/c sometimes it is hard for me to even comprehend his physical pain and I don't always realize how hard he tries everyday to keep smiling and being an active husband and daddy.

Also I have another prayer request, one of my best friend's texted me tonight to say that a mom and daughter friend of she and her daughter's just lost there husband/daddy tonight.  He was in car accident about 6 weeks ago and passed today.  Please pray for this newly single mommy and her precious, little girl.  This makes what we are dealing with seem so easy, huh.

On a very happy note, the girls went to Christmas Choir Camp at church tonight and had a blast.  What a blessing the volunteers and staff at Northwoods are to my little girls!  I am so happy they have opportunities like this in their lives.

Good Night All,