Monthly Archives: August 2009

Announcement

The announcement below is from Pat Groeper-one of the great, loving angels I have met along this journey.  Pat is a colon cancer survivor and her husband, Burl, battles lymphoma.  Pat is one of the true warriors against this disease.  She takes part in many cancer events raising awareness and money to help in the battle of this disease.  Recently she even volunteered on the “front lines” becoming a hospice nurse.  Please give consideration to attending this event-the garden was partly built in honor of me.

Growing Hope Garden Walk

DEAR FRIENDS AND FAMILY,

COULD YOU PLEASE SAVE SOME TIME ON THE 11TH OF SEPTEMBER TO HELP  BURL AND I STOMP OUT CANCER!!!   AS SOME OF YOU KNOW THIS INSIDIOUS DISEASE STILL TAKES FAR TOO MANY LIVES!! I HAVE HAD TO SEE 6 DEAR, DEAR PEOPLE DIE THIS YEAR!!  AND IN HONOR OF THOSE WONDERFUL HERO’S AND SOME VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE GALLANTING FIGHTING CANCER (BURL, CHRIS, JODY, MICKIE) EVERYDAY!!!!

When: Friday, September 11th, 2009 (9am -5pm)

Where: 9052 West Bush Lake Road    Bloomington, MN 55438

Why: To stomp out cancer. Come take a walk through a one-of-a-kind garden, where every step will take us a little bit closer to beating the disease.

Donations: Contributions of any amount will be greatly appreciated.

Activities: Fun, food, prizes and an incredible silent auction.

** Every penny will go directly to finding a cure for cancer**

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Time Flies

Time is just flying right now.  Already it is nearing the end of Summer and I am closing in on the next phase of health stuff.   Just a reminder…I have two tumors remaining that they can see on the left lobe of my liver.  My liver should be fully grown back by the time of my scan. I will have that scan on the morning of Sept. 3rd.  I will then visit with Dr. Sielaff following it.  Depending on what the scan shows, he either will take one tumor out or two tumors out during the next surgery.  One tumor is in an easy spot for him, but the second is next to the bile ducts.  If the second tumor doesn’t get pushed away from that area while my new liver is growing in, he will just remove the easy one during surgery.   The surgery will be on Sept. 16th, check in is at 6 a.m.  If he can only take out one, then he will attack the last tumor with a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.  8 weeks and 1 day after my last surgery it is time to cut again.  I just hope and pray that the new liver that is growing in does its job and comes in healthy and pushes the one tumor into a better position.  The boys and Karen are doing well.  I think they are enjoying a little “healthier” and more active Dad/Husband right now.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.  They continue to inspire us.

Chris

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Back to work

Vikings Favre Football

Well I beat him back to work, but only by a day.  That other good looking Libra who was born in the 60’s decided to make it official and get back to work today.   I went back to work yesterday and worked a full 8 hours.  Not sure if Favre put in that many hours working on his first day back.  Pictura was nice enough to welcome me back with open arms and I survived day one and today(day 2).  I have been feeling better but am still a little sore.  I would guess by the end of this week I should be feeling pretty good.  I meet with Dr. Sielaff on Thursday.  He mainly wants to check on how I am healing but may lay out the plan for our next couple of steps.

One other fun note:  Karen’s sister, Sarah, and her boyfriend Pete are going to get married-and SOON.  They are hoping to tie the knot somewhere around my procedures in Sept.  Not sure how they will get it done but it was nice of them to think of me and try and make sure I will be in attendance.

Short post today-got to get some sleep and start dreaming of that Superbowl.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers-for not only myself but Karen and the boys as well.

Chris

p.s. To all you old employees at Proex and elsewhere-I remember you all! (Mattingly, Ybarra, Hursh, Larson, Neal, Bolin, etc…-the list goes on and on)

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Still Healing

I am doing well.  Each day I move around a little bit more and am actually starting to help Karen with a couple things around the house.  I also just started sleeping a little better.  I had my best night of sleep on Sat. night where I actually got 8 hours of sleep-my best night of sleep since July 19th!  I added a couple pictures of the guys(and Nokomis) and myself.  It seems that my temporary hair is coming in quickly.  I will probably need to get a hair cut soon-at least to even out this blonde/grey mess.  It is only temporary as it will fall out again quickly once I go back on chemo.   I don’t know the official plan yet on where I am heading.  I will have a surgery within the next couple of months-possibly as soon as mid-Sept.  If Dr. Sielaff thinks that a couple of rounds of chemo will make the surgery safer/easier he may want to do that.  Dr. Sielaff was busy last week so I met an associate of his to get my staples out.  I also met with my Oncologist, Dr. Duane,  last week.  Dr. Duane was impressed how well my body is healing after all that it has been put through with all the chemo and other surgeries.    I asked Dr. Duane what his plan is for me after my 2nd surgery.  He said that after 6 weeks of healing from that, I will go back on chemo again.  He will put me on chemo for either 4-6 months to continue to try and clean my body.

My abdomen looks pretty rough-a pyloric stenosis surgery when I was 3 weeks old (http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/digestive/pyloric_stenosis.html)  two colon surgeries, a laproscopic liver surgery and a full liver surgery.  They are running out of places to cut and stitch.

We heard a very good sermon yesterday at church, so I thought I would share some notes from it.  The pastor was our consulting pastor(Pastor David Housholder) who was visiting from California.  He does all his sermons in sandals and jeans.  If you want more of an effect, click on the music link at the side of this page labeled “Mat Kearney”, listen to the words of the song…

Some of the lyrics:

She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away
She said she didn’t believe
It could happen to me
I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees…

She’s gonna be there too
Cryin’ in her room
Prayin’ Lord, come through
We’re gonna get there soon.

Psalms 112:7

They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.

1.  Acknowledge that you have anxiety about your very real problem.

2.  Anxiety will add no value to your life.  Have you ever heard anyone say after surviving a terrible divorce/beating a disease/surviving bankruptcy etc… that it was rough but all the anxiety really got me through it?

3.  God is not worried. Do not worry in His direction, rather ask for His help.

Cultivation of the steady heart is a sign of christian maturity.

Thank you for all your prayers, thoughts, comments and cards for Karen I and the guys. We are all learning to cope with “healthy” Daddy/Husband and “sick/healing” Daddy/Husband.  It has been a long year and I am strengthening myself for another long one ahead.

Chris

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One busy year

For God who said, “Let there be light in darkness.”, has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.  We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.  This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.  We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.  We get knocked down, but we are never destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.   2 Corinthians 4:6-10

The above verses really seemed to click with me this week-especially the parts I have underlined.

July 31, 2008 I had my first colon surgery.  At that time I had one tumor in my colon and 12 tumors on my liver.  3 surgeries and 15 rounds of chemo, one year later, and I now have two tumors left on the liver.  I feel truely blessed to be able to say that today.  I am thankful for all your prayers that have carried me so far and look forward to your prayers to carry me the rest of the way.  I have been feeling stronger every day.  Today I actually walked two miles.  Those two miles almost took me an hour, but I made it.  I then sat around on the couch for another 3 hours trying to recuperate.  I am eating more now and have a bigger appetite.

Sports Update

I think I had mentioned that our boys have transitioned from soccer to t-ball/coach pitch.   Brenden had a great time with soccer and is already loving coach pitch.  Jaxson, well he is still Jaxson no mater what the sport.  This week Jaxson decided to push his luck-and for you who know Jaxson(5 year old), this is standard procedure.  When Jaxson gets bored, he finds  ways to amuse himself.  Uncle Dave gave me the report this week as I was still playing sick on the couch so I didn’t go.  Caden, Jaxson’s cousin, is also on the team and can give you the Jaxson report if you ask.  Apparently after batting practice, the coach told the team to grab their gloves and go in the outfield.  The problem:  that wasn’t specific enough direction for Jaxson.  The coach bent over to pick something up and Jaxson decided the coaches butt would be a good target to get some attention.  So with cousin eagerly standing by and watching, Jaxson picked up his glove, threw it and hit his coach square in the butt.   The coach jumped up an turned around to see Jaxson and Caden smiling at him.  The coach graciously picked up Jaxson’s glove for him and directed him out to the field.  Caden found the whole thing hilarious and told his mom all about it on the way home.  Uncle Dave called and filled me in-Karen missed the whole incident  The next day I asked Jaxson why he hit his coach in the butt he said, “Because he wouldn’t tell me what spot to stand in.”   I still can’t help but laugh about it myself.  The problem is Jaxson starts school this Fall-how many times do you think I/We are going to get a call from the school?  Jaxson and Brenden have kept us focused on the important things in life this past busy year.

Thanks for all your prayers-they are working,

Chris

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