Monthly Archives: June 2009

Nickelback

In the never ending saga of Baty health issues…things got a little weird-yes again.   I had a tooth that started to bother me Friday night-nothing big, just ached a little.  Saturday morning I woke up and it didn’t feel too bad.  By Sat. at noon I was calling my dentist’s emergency number.  By the time my dentist called back,  I was on my second Vicodin and feeling pretty good.  Luckily for me I had left over med’s from the Feb. mini-surgery.  He guessed that one of my fillings had become infected.   He prescribed Penicilin and Tylenol.  He told me to keep taking my vicodin if needed.  After picking up my Penicillin,  the boys and I came home and decided it was finally time for them to get in their pool.  As I walked through the backyard, I got the bright idea to throw the change from my pocket into their pool.   I threw the money in, they cheered and I headed inside to get more towels and water.  Two minutes later Jaxson comes rushing in screaming Brenden swallowed a nickel!  Now for those of you who know my boys, you would have thought it would have been Jax not Brenden who ate the money.  I ran outside and Brenden had a sick look on his face, but he wasn’t choking.  He explained that Jaxson and he thought it would be fun to put the money in their mouths and spit it out.  I then told them to come in and rest while I checked my always accurate medical journal(the Internet) to see what it said to do.  Basically it said there should be no problem, wait a few days and I should get my nickel back.  As I write this, we are on day 3 and no money has come out of the “Brenden Bank”.  He says he feels fine, but we are going to call the doctor tomorrow to get their take.  Hopefully this gets resolved soon…I could use the money because…

I went to the dentist yesterday(Monday) and they took xray’s and couldn’t see anything wrong.  I said I felt like I wanted to rip the tooth out myself.  The doc said that we were left with either a root canal or pulling  it out-depending on what he found once he opened it/me up-sound familiar?  Once he opened up the filling he found problems.  He found a mess of stuff inside it and said he would do the root canal approach.  He cleaned everything out of the tooth/filling, shot me up with 4 doses of Novocaine, prescribed more Vicodin and said to come back in 4 days for a crown.  Since then my pain has gone back and forth between a 4 and8 on the pain scale.  I had to go back in today because they felt I was  over-dosing on  Vicodin(3 does in 4 hours).  Once again they cleaned everything out, shot me up with Novocaine and sent me home.  As I write this I still have pain around a 7-8 on the pain scale.  The V icodin(my 3rd in 3 1/2 hours brings it back down to the 4-5 range.  Yeah life is tough right now-sleep is near impossible.  Still after all this-I feel blessed that this didn’t happen during chemo. or any of my surgeries.  It has been one tough year, but I am still standing-albeit rocking back and forth a little bit due to all the drugs.  Hopefully by the end of this week my tooth issue and Brenden’s money problem will be resolved.  I still made it to coach Brenden’s soccer team tonight.

Surgery date

I finally have it officially set.  It will be July 21st at 7:30 a.m.  I have to check in at 5:30 a.m.

Thanks for all your thougths, well-wishes and prayers-I seriously think it is time for another Vicodin.  I am sure I will be back in the dentist’s office again tomorrow.

Chris

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Surgery Date Still Not Set

It looks like the date will be either July 21st or the 22nd.  I will find out officially on Monday.  It looks like it is scheduled for a 4-5 hour surgery.  That is a couple hours shorter than the first liver surgery I was scheduled for back in Feb.-another sign that things have really improved.  Dr. Duane, my Oncologist, called to check up on how my appointement went with Dr. Sielaff and was very happy that the surgery was going to happen.  So for now it is time to get as healthier and stronger before I get knocked down again.  4 surgeries and 15 rounds of chemo in one year doesn’t lend itself to a real healthy body.  That being said I am doing very well.  I am continuing to try and eat healthier, but by no means do I have a perfect diet.  I have cut back more on sugars, eat a few more fruits and vegetables and drink alkaline water to create a better PH balance in my body.  I also take a few supplements to ensure I am getting all the vitamins and minerals I need.  I also try to walk/jog 2-3 miles per day.  After the surgery my health will again get knocked down.  I will have about 4-6 weeks recovery time and then will either have a second surgery to get areas he couldn’t get in the first surgery or go back on chemo for another 6 rounds. The chemo after the surgery is used to continue to cleanse the body of cancer cells that may be remaining.  So long story short, I may not feel this good again for another 5-6 months.

Karen and the kids continue to do well, although the boys have their ailments.  Both Brenden and Jaxson have Summer colds.  Jaxson has an ear infection and strep throat.  Luckily enough Karen and I haven’t caught any of it.   I haven’t been “sick” in over a year, even though the kids have had numerous colds, strep throat and the flu.  Many people at work were hit with a 3 week cough and cold in March/April, but again I didn’t catch it.  Seriously I live in a protective bubble.   Chemo kills off many of your red blood cells and a lot of the white blood(infection fighting) cells.   For the past year my white blood cell count has ben very low due to the chemo and the surgeries.  I have had to get 10-11 shots to pump up those cells, but those shots only get me back to the bare minimum levels.

Brenden’s soccer game was a tough one.  The heat was round 90 degrees and the team we were playing was a really good one.  The other team had a couple kids that were bruisers(yes even for 6 year’s old) and our team got knocked to the ground many times.  In fact my co-coach and I had to finally stop the game and reprimand their kids after they shoved one of our kids in the back to the ground.  Their coaches were doing almost nothing to reprimand their kids.  We won the game 3-2 so that soothed all the bruised and beat up bodies.  I am worried that the next game I will hear it from some of the parents for not protecting their kids more.  We have to play this same team 2-3 times more this season so I am predicting more knock down, drag out battles(yes even for 6 year old’s).  I need to find another “enforcer” for my team.  Karen’s parents and sister, Jen, all made it to the game.  We also got a surprise visit from Karen’s cousin Chris.  I had no idea her cousin showed up until after the game.  I should have known something was up when someone kept yelling at me from the side line, “Come on Coach!”

Jaxson has decided to retire from soccer. The kid’s career has ended before it began.  Both kids start T-Ball/Coach pitch in July.  We will see how long he sticks with that.

Karen continues to work full time and wish she could take a month off.  My 5 week layoff starts July 13th, which should work out perfectly for my surgery and healing.

I will post sometime next week with the official date.  Thanks for all the comments, prayers and well-wishes.

Chris

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Surgery is going to happen!

Surgery is going to happen-and that is a good thing!

I met with Dr. Sielaff.  He said that things do look improved and that he would go forward with the surgery.  My Dad joined me at this appointment(like he does for almost all of them) and we only saw 4 tumors remaining.  I am guessing there may be more, but it looked much improved since January.  Dr. Sielaff once again said that he won’t know for sure everything he can do until he opens me up.  His goal will be an all in one surgery-cutting off 1/2 off the liver and then cutting out the tumors on the remaining side.  He also said he may perform some radio abalation(microwave) if he feels it is necessary.  So again I can’t help butfeel that prayers have been answered.  A year ago I had 12 tumors on my liver and 1 in my colon.  Today it looks like only 4 remaining.  Also he said that the liver usually gets beat up by the chemo regiment I just got off of, but in viewing my scan he said my still looks very good.  So they are going to call me to set up the surgery-roughly 3 weeks from today.  So I get 3 more weeks off of no chemo or surgeries-YEAH!

I got a big soccer game tonight so I will probably post again tomorrow when I have my official surgery date.

Again, thank you for all your prayers and well wishes!  Off to coach soccer…

Chris

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Oncologist Appointment today

Today Dr. Duane and I reviewed the radiologist reports from the PET scan and the MRI.  Most everything looked good.  There are 3 tumors that didn’t shrink but remainded the same.  We expected that one of them wouldn’t shrink as it is actually a benign tumor and the chemo doesn’t effect the “good” tumors.  We didn’t count to see if any of them completely disappeared, but it looked like a couple might have.  Keep in mind-“disappeared” may just mean that they shrunk so small they can’t be seen by the scan.  

Here is part of the official report from the PET scan: 

“There is no hypermetabolic activity in the neck.  There is no abnormal hypermetabolic activity in the chest.  The hepatic metastases are decreased in size on CT and do not demostrate hypermetabolic activity.   There is no abnormal hypermetabolic activity in the abdomen or pelvis.  There is no abnormal skeletal hypermetabolic activity.  There are no destructive bone lesions.” 

PET Summary:   “In comparison to 1/29/09 scan, the hepatic metastases are decreased in size and no longer demonstrate hypermetabolic activity”. 

MRI Summary:  “Some of the liver lesions show mild improvement.  No new lesions are identified.”

Before they do a PET scan, they inject you with glucose.  After the injection you wait about 45 minutes for the glucose to get into your system.  What the glucose does is get absorbed by fast growing cells-i.e. the cancer tumors(lesions).  In the above reports they keep referring to “Hypermetabolic activity”.  What that refers to is, did the cancer cells actively absorb the sugar?  If the cancer cells/tumors/lesions are actively absorbing the sugar, then it means they are active.  If they are active, then they light up the scan showing us they are alive and happy.  So it is significant when they note above”no hypermetabolic activity”.  It kind of means these tumors are not happy and not active and definitly not growing.  It does not necessarily mean they are dead.

My summary-overall pretty good results, not great as there are still several tumors still living and a couple did not shrink.  Also, the fact that they are not active is very good.  In January these tumors were active.  Also, I like the fact that a 2nd set of chemicals worked against the tumors.  It seems like sometimes only one or the other works against the cancer.  Dr. Duane is in agreement that it is time to move back to the Liver Surgeon, Dr. Sielaff, to get his perspective again.  I had already scheduled an appointment with him weeks ago in anticipation that we were going to head back to him even if the tumors were unchanged.  So my appointment with him is next Thursday the 25th.  Dr. Sielaff is a straight shooter and will give us a quick dose of reality once he reviews the scan.  I generally go into see him with high hopes, but come out with a very sobering picture.  I am still guessing that he will agree to do the surgery, but it is in his hands now.  What it means for me is no chemo.  for this week and at least next week.  If he agrees to do the surgery, there will be no chemo for quite awhile.  You need to be off chemo for 6-8 weeks before they can do surgery.  Even if I have surgery, we still do 6-8 rounds of chemo after you have healed from the surgery. 

So for now, I will just count my blessings and enjoy this break from chemo.  My body needed a break, it hasn’t healed up from the last round. 

We are at Chuck and Dianne’s(Karen’s parents) for the weekend getting spoiled and rested up.

Thank you for all the love, support and prayers!

Chris

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Praise Report

That is what we call this post in our Pray for the Cure group.  I had both scans done today.  They both went well-quick and smooth.  When I left the last one the MRI radiologist thanked me for being such a great patient and starting his day off on a good foot.

I got a call about 7:00 tonight and it was “the call”.  Karen answered the phone and said Dr. Duane wanted to talk to me.  My heart skipped a beat as I answered.  The first thing Dr. Duane said is “I only have good news to report”.  All the tumors are shrinking and the metabolic activity on the PET scan is less than it was back in January.   There is no spread of the disease.  I said “Good Job Dr. Duane”, even though I give the praise to all of you and God for the answered prayers.   I asked if there were less tumors now than before, but he said he didn’t count.  I guess I will get all of that figured out on Friday when I meet with him.  Either way it was a nice early birthday present for my wife who nearly jumped over the counter when I told her.  I will meet with the surgeon next week to get his take on it and we will see where this leads us. He may still decide not to do surgery as I am guessing that even with the strides we have made, it will still be difficult for him.   Surgeries, more scans, and more chemo all still lie ahead, but that is battle for the future.  Now it is time to celebrate a little and give thanks.  I will leave you with a couple verses:

“I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord”-Jeremiah 30:17

“Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me.  He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”  Psalm 103:2-3

Thank you for all your prayers, cards and support!

Chris

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Interesting article

Attached below is an interesting article I got from my friend Pat.  Currently we have just been loving and enjoying life.  The garage sale ast weekend was a huge success.  Mom, Rick and Bette as usual were the MVP’s of it and carried the team.  We were planning to close the sale at 3 p.m. but still had people showing up after 4 p.m.  Brenden’s soccer team continues to do well.  All the kids on the team do better and better each week and seem to all have fun.  Karen continues to work full time and still shoot weddings for Ritz.  Jaxson continues to put up with his older brother’s coaching, but really isn’t into soccer and looks to retire from this sport after this year.  We signed up both guys for T-Ball/Coach Pitch for the second 1/2 of the Summer.  For me it is scan time tomorrow.  I won’t know the results until late Thursday or Friday.  As soon as I know somehting I will post it.  Thanks for all the prayers-especially this week.  Right now I am feeling pretty peaceful with everything, hopefully that continues through the rest of the week.

Chris

Here is the article…

Johns Hopkins Update – Good article

AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY (‘TRY’, BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY.

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime.

3 When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

CANCER CELLS FEED ON:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes likeNutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering.. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Florescence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, orprogrammed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit.. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

1. No plastic containers in micro.

2. No water bottles in freezer.

3. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancerDioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Don’t freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic. Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Cast le Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food you get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons..

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

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Very brief update

I survived round 15 and it wasn’t as bad as the last two rounds.  I didn’t feel nearly as sick this time, so it was nice way to ease into this break.

Upcoming events/schedule:

Soccer Tues and Thursday.  Brenden’s team is on a little hot streak, our record is now 2-1-1.

Saturday is our annual garage sale.  Mom, Rick and God-Mother Bette always come and help.

Sunday 11 a.m. church-anyone who wants to attend with me-feel free!  I have a link set up on this home page.  The more the merrier-I think we get to break in a new Asst. Pastor this week.  Its just me and the guys as Karen has to work.

Monday the 15th is Pray for The Cure from 7-9 p.m.  Again anyone and everyone is welcome to attend.  Again it is at my church in our prayer chapel.

Wed. the 17th is all the scans.

Fri. the 19th time to review the results.

Mon. the 22nd Karen’s Birthday-as she tells the kids she turns 29.  For those of you who know better, she finally catches up to me.

Thank you for all your love and support for our family.  Challenges keep getting thrown at us but I/we keep getting up to face them.  I know it wouldn’t be possible except for all your loving prayers and God’s Grace.

Chris

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