Monthly Archives: May 2009

Happy Memorial Day

I survived Round 14 of Chemo, but it certainly had its challenges.  My oncologist decided to try and add more meds to try and fight of the nausea.  On Day 1, it didn’t work.  As Thursday wore on, I got sicker and sicker.  At midnight I had two thoughts:  1.  I was going t ocheck myself into Methodist Hospital to see if they could control the nausea so I could rest.  2.  I thoght I would call dr. Duane in the morning and tell him I couldn’t make the 15th round as my system needed a break.  Luckily enough I managed to make it through the night and the next morning without going into the hospital.  Slowly I started to feel better as the day wore on, on Friday.  Friday and Saturday were both challenging, but doable.  On Sunday morning I woke up after a very good night of sleep and decided I was well enough to make it to church.  Two weeks prior I woke up and wasn’t able to make it to church, so I was a little ahead of schedule as compared to before.  I wasn’t feeling great, but well enough that I decided we could handle a small barbeque with friends on Sunday night.  Randy&Kelli Lish and family were down visiting Steve and his family for the weekend, so we just invited them all down for dinner.  Todd Welch joined us too.  I think the adrenaline of seeing friends and the energy of all the kids around pulled me through.

Cancer plans moving forward…I have round 15th on June 4th.  Then I have a little bit of a break as we do an MRI and a PET scan on June 17th.  I then review the scans with my doctor on Friday June 19th.  I am going to try and set up an appointment with my Liver Surgeon on June 23rd in guessing that we will be working with him again.  Bascially if the results of the scans are either good or stable(no change), we will head to the surgeon to see what he would like to do.  I told my oncologist that I expect good results from the next scans and he said so did he.

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Weekend!  Thanks for taking the time to read the blog.  As usual I am bouncing back, just like I have from every other treatment and hospital stay-I feel I am truly blessed.  Thank you for all your prayers, cards, thoughts and well wishes-they sustain me.  A special thank you to Sharon Shovan who continues to send me her well wishes even in the middle of her Stage 4 cancer battle.  Also a special thank you to Joyce and Marie Berger and Father John Madigan who continue to enroll me in special masses for healing.  The latest enrollment is under the special patronage of Our Lady of Lourdes.  My name will be read in the Masses for Healing celebrated at the Sacred Grotto in Lourdes, France and at the National Shrine of Our lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL.

Loving Life,

Chris

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Living Life

The last round of chemo for some reason was tougher than the previous two.  I felt worse and it took me longer to recover.  Two more rounds still scheduled and then it will be time for scans again.  I will probably know better next Wed. after I meet with my Dr. on what my plans will be over the next month.   This past week was a little busy.  Brenden had soccer on Mon and Thurs. nights and Jaxson was supposed to have soccer on Tues. night.  Jaxson missed his as he was sick on Tuesday.  Pete was nice enough to come and take care of Jaxson during the day.  As expected Brenden’s team didn’t have a coach and when we showed up none of the parents standing around wanted to volunteer.  So I volunteered and luckily enough a second Dad also stepped up and said he would help.   We have 10 kids on the team and all of them did pretty well.  I bluffed my way through the first and then their second practice on Thursday night and all went well.  It looks like the other coach will be able to run the team when I miss for chemo.  I decided to throw a few more pictures up of what we have been up to the past 4-5 weeks.  There are a couple pictures of Karen’s trip with Sarah, our Twin’s baseball outing, Brenden and his baby cousin Trea, Brenden with his kindergarten teacher and me without hair-yes I finally decided to cut it all off.  Enjoy.

Thank you for all the thoughts, cards and prayers.  I am always amazed that on days when I am feeling a little down I always get a card or email to lift me up-thanks.

Chris

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One big update

Things have been busy so I figured I would give a quick update on a lot of topics.

Cancer Stuff

Since my last chemo.  I have spent time visiting with other patients similar to me(2), surgeons(2), nurses(2), our insurance company  and oncologists(3-one being from Italy).  I reviewed clinical trials, attended a Colon Cancer seminar, reviewed other chemo, radiation, surgeries and personnel(i.e. who is the best Liver Surgeon).  The summary from all of them was to keep doing what I am doing for now and that Dr. Sielaff (my almost Liver surgeon) and his staff are awesome.  One of the fantastic bits of info. was from a surgeon who has operated side by side with Sielaff and other renowned surgeons at the Mayo Clinic.  Basically he said that Dr. Sielaff is the best.  So for now, I have some peace of mind.  I have chemo. round 13 starting tomorrow.  Overall I am feeling fine.

Family Stuff

Karen and I brought the boys to their first  Twins Game last Friday night.  Brenden had been asking to go, so when my boss offered free tickets we jumped at the chance.  The boys had a great time, although the food was probably their favorite part.  Jaxson keeps asking when we can go again.  I’ll try to get some pictures up later this week.  We made it to the bottom of the 5th and then decided to leave before thy both had meltdowns.  It was getting late and we got into the game and our seats an hour before the game actually started, so the boys had had enough.

Soccer Update

Jaxson survived week 2 and he and his cousin Caden were actually more into the game.  Both of them did better and Jaxson actually broke free of the pack a couple times and came close to scoring, but to no avail.  The other team had a couple kids playing goalie(not sure how that works) and one of them made a nice save on Jaxson’s shot.  I am the 3rd coach on the team and just decided to spend the night coaching the defense and goalies.  It is amazing how a parents heart jumps for joy when you watch your kid play and have some success.    Overall our team played better, but we didn’t score any goals. Brenden is Jaxson’s biggest fan and his personal coach.  Speaking of Brenden, he starts soccer next week.  He has soccer on 2 nights, so we will see how well he holds up.  Karen told me tonight that Brenden’s team and all the rest of the Kindergarten teams have no coaches.  So I will step forward again and coach his team.  Chemo is going to get in the way of some of the nights, so hopefully I will have a good Asst.  This will be my 4th soccer team to coach and I am still not sure of all the rules.  See we didn’t have soccer in Bemidji back in the mid to late 80’s, so I kind of bluff my way through.

Nature Stuff

Today at work we encountered nature and it was disturbing.  I happened to be working in the front office when we heard some loud squawking coming from outside.  Our lobby is floor to ceiling windows so we could see who and what was making all the noise.   There were a pair of geese standing right outside the windows going nuts.  Jeannie, Sam and I could not figure out what their problem was until we saw a yellow clump of something drop off the roof on to the side walk.  To our horror and dread the squawking continued and so did the free fall of yellow clumps off the roof on to the landscaping rocks right in front of us.  What was happening, as you may have guessed, was that the geese were calling to their newborns to drop from their nest(which apparently was on our roof) to the ground below.  Every time a yellow clump dropped over, we let out screams of dread and horror.  It was disturbing.  After about 2 minutes the squawking stopped and so did the free falls.  Now for the good news, all 6 babies that jumped survived.  Apparently they were made to bounce.  All of them, including Lucky(the one that hit the cement), walked away with no broken wings or legs.  One cool last thing about this whole nature/instinct thing.  Once the 6th one had dropped the mom and dad quit making noise.  How do geese know how to count?   Not only that, our Maintenance person went up on the roof and found their nest.  There was one egg left in it unhatched.  Again the geese were smart enough to realize that, that baby isn’t going to hatch so there is no sense worrying about it.  It made for an exciting day at Pictura.  I am still working full time and the boss has been nice enough to keep me around even though I miss 2-3 days each pay period.

Church stuff

I was lucky enough to be joined by 4 more family members for last weeks sermon.  The pastor that did the service is a guest pastor that flies in from CA.  He does the sermon in jeans and sandals and is awesome.  One of our pastors was nice enough to ask me to spend an hour visiting and praying with her last week.  The pastor brings a unique perspective as she has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 3 times and has survived and beaten it every time.  Yeah I like that kind of inspiration.

Get Your Rear in Gear Update

Last topic-and by now half of you are either asleep or have long since clicked off this site(I am guessing even my wife has).  Our fundraising team for this event came in 3rd(out of 100).  That was awesome!  I spent time over the past week with the woman who runs all of these events nationally, Cindy Iverson.  She told me about the background on the two teams that beat us.  The number one team was Wilson’s Warriors.  That team raised something like $17,000.  They had held a fundraiser.  Everyone who wanted to get into the event had to buy a ticket-they offered free beer to all of age who attended.  They got donations from big companies so they could raffle off prizes.  The most interesting part was that the patient who they were rallying for was part of my support group at church.  I met her last Aug.  She had just found out that she had stage 4 colon cancer.  Her cancer was aggressive and had already spread to her lungs and bones by the time they found it.  This was her second fight against the disease.  Her name was Jennifer Wilson and she unfortunately passed away this past Feb.  The second place team also lost their team leader before the event, she passed away in January.  Very, very sad info., but I am happy at how well those teams did that beat us.

O.k. more than enough info. for just one post.  Thanks for reading, but more importantly thanks for all the prayers, thoughts and well wishes.  We feel extremely blessed.  Every time we get a card, note or comment it uplifts our spirits. Thanks for running toward us during this battle.

Good night and God Bless,

Chris

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