Monthly Archives: November 2009

Thank you. Please can I have another?

I survived round 20-or #5 in this regiment.  I met with my Oncologist on Wed. before treatment.  He was out of town during my scan so I relayed the results to him.  We decided to add another round of chemo to help ensure the tumors are small enough for surgery, once we get the next scan.  In reviewing again the results…the smaller tumor shrunk 30% after 4 rounds.  The larger tumor shrank about 20-25% after 4 rounds.  The goal is to get the larger tumor shrunk about 50% so that the surgery can be done safely and more easily.  Really those are very good numbers considering last Spring when after 4 rounds, none of the tumors shrank.  One other interesting thing.  You remember the whole bad tumor/good tumor debate this past Sept?  The bad tumor has once again shrank and separated from the good tumor.  Very weird…but still a good sign.  Unfortunately, that good tumor is on the opposite side of the bile ducts so it doesn’t get me any closer to surgery.  So now my last scheduled round of chemo will be Jan. 13th, if all my blood counts keep holding.  4 more rounds.  It looks like I will have good weeks over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The tough weeks will be over Brenden’s 7th birthday and New Years.  But hopefully once I get through that last round and my scan results say we can move forward, I will be on a nice break during Super Bowl week.  Maybe a trip to Miami might be in my future…

Karen and the boys continue to fight through their colds and ear infections-they all seem to be on the upswing for now.

Thank you for all your prayers-both for me and the rest of the family.  Your steadfast faithfulness keeps me us up right and moving forward.

God Bless,

Chris

 

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Results

Well it is good news, just not great news.  The tumors are shrinking!  Both tumors showed improvement, but the larger one, that is next to the bile ducts, has not shrunk enough for Dr. Sielaff to do surgery.  I asked him what the reprucussions would be if he would attempt to remove it.  He said again that he couldn’t but that if he did, I could die.  So it is on to more chemo.  I am guessing that we will do another 4 rounds, starting this wed.  If I follow all the dates out, my chemo will be:  Nov.18-Nov.20, Dec.2-Dec.4, Dec.16-Dec.18, Dec.30-Jan.1.  Yuck more chemo-this is a long and drawn out process.  If the tumor has improved enough by the time we do the next scan, then a surgery might happen in mid-Feb.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers!  They are working and each day I am getting healthier, whether it looks that way or not.

 

Chris

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Deer Camp

I took my annual trip to Deer Camp this past weekend.  I’m not sure what you picture when you hear the words “Deer Camp”, but I am guessing it is nothing like what ours actually is.  Going to Deer Camp is more like coming home for Thanksgiving.  Deer Camp is located in Backus-which is located about 50 miles northwest of Brainerd.  From 1970 through 1976 we actually lived in Backus.  That is where my Dad got his first teaching job.  Larry was a fellow teacher with my Dad.  We actually stay at Larry and Carol Glassmann’s house.  We hunt on Larry and Carol’s property, which has an assortment of fields, swamps and woods.  We usually get enough deer so that everyone who wants venison gets some.  To tell you the truth, I go as much for the visiting and nature as I do to get a deer.  The hunting party has changed a bit over the years, but usually there is around 10 of us that go.  My Dad, Dave and our brother-in-law Charlie hunt.  Larry hunts with us as does Keith(from Backus), Bill(from Ohio) Jerry(Bill’s brother) and Chuck(Bill’s father-in-law, from Florida).  Carol tries to keep us in line and all fed.  By the end of season I think Carol has had enough of us for another year.  This year was a quieter year than usual for deer.  I think as a group we got only 3.  I did see a couple deer, both were pretty small.  Other than that I saw lots of blue jays and squirrels-like I said a quiet year.  Through all of life’s changes and challenges, we still make it “home” every year at hunting season.

Tomorrow is the scan and the results.  I have my scan around 8:30 a.m. and then we will review the results with Dr. Sielaff around 10 a.m.  The results could run the gamut from no change, to no disease seen or somewhere in between.  Dr. Sielaff’s goal was to have the 1 large tumor reduced 50%.  If it was reduced that much then he would be o.k with doing another liver surgery in Dec.  If it is reduced but not to that extent, he will probably recommend more chemo.  If there is no disease seen, Dr. Sielaff would probably fall off his chair-not sure what they will recommend at that point.  I am guessing then my oncologist, Dr. Duane, would still recommend more chemo to continually clean my body.  Not sure how I feel about that…  Anyway, tomorrow is a big day.  All prayers welcome, needed and  appreciated.  Also, tomorrow night is Pray for the Cure at 7 p.m.

Karen and the boys are going o.k.  Jaxson is dealing with a double ear infection and Karen was diagnosed with bronchitis last week.  While I was away hunting Karen’s parents came over and helped with some painting as did my mom.  Since Karen and I were having a tough time agreeing on a color, she figured it would be a good time to get some painting done while I was out of town.  Not a bad plan.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.  I will try to find some time tomorrow to do a quick update and let you know the results.

Good night,

Chris

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Sarah and Pete’s Wedding

Sarah and Pete got married last night.  Everything went very well, especially considering it all got planned in 6 weeks time!  They have such great friends and family, that came from everywhere to take part and help-it was awesome.  The ceremony may have been the shortest ceremony I have ever seen.  I tried to slow it up with my scripture reading, but to no avail.  Here was my reading:

The Gift

  • Greetings:     “It’s an honor to be here tonight and to be able to be a part of  Sarah and Pete’s wedding ceremony.  Life is good.
  • Back story:    “4 Weeks ago I laid in bed thinking about this night. And I

couldn’t figure out which scripture to read.  As Ilay there thinking about it,

one verse kept coming to meover and over again.  Initially it didn’t make any sense,

but  it was in my head for a reason, so I thought I should read it to you.”

  • John 3:16
  • “Not your typical verse you would hear at a wedding ceremony.  But within the verse I think there are some great examples of what a married relationship should be based on. Let me read it to you again and see what you think.”

For God loved the world so much=                           All encompassing Love

That he gave his one and only Son=                          +Sacrifice

So that everyone who believes in Him=                  +Faith

Will not perish but have eternal Life=                       A Wedding Gift all wrapped up in the Gift of eternal life.

 

It was a great night and somehow I managed to feel pretty good and make it through.  Thank you for all your prayers.  Here are a few snapshots from the big night:

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Hope-the alternative treatments/nutrition

Everyone should have hope in whatever battle they are facing.  I can honestly tell you from a cancer patient’s point of view, it usually doesn’t come from your doctor.  When I was diagnosed 15 months ago.  One of the main things Dr. Belzer said was that my cancer could be incurable.  One other thing Dr. Belzer said, “Stay positive-that is the key to beating this thing”.    His thoughts sounded contradictory, but he at least tried to offer a little hope.  My other surgeon, Dr. Sielaff, didn’t do any better.  He said that if I remained on chemo. I would live about 2-3 years.  He said that if I was able to have surgeries to remove the tumors, that I could live 5-6 years.  Again-not really selling too much hope.   I am hoping to sell a little hope tonight and do better than my doctors did.  I know I have other cancer patients who read this blog.  I just thought I would share some knowledge and let people know that there are other things you can do besides the normal:  chemo, radiation and surgery.

First a disclaimer: I have not completely studied and read all of the books and websites I have noted below.  Many of these books, videos and websites below offer hope to people that have been told by their doctors they have no hope.  I will let you read and watch for yourselves so you can make your own judgments.  They all deal with ways to heal the body naturally through nutrition.  I was truly surprised by some of their claims and statistics.  Several times in the past year I asked my oncologist if there was any nutrition guidelines or supplements I should be taking while fighting cancer and trying to recover from chemo., he said “no”, these seem to suggest otherwise.  I have made some comments below if I have read or watched them.

Books:

1.  Cancer Step Outside the Box by Ty Bollinger                                                            (Read several chapters in this book-very interesting)

2.  The PH Miracle by Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young                 (Read the whole book-easy read.  Great general nutrition guidelines for everyone.)

3. Anti Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber                       (Read half of book-author has/had brain cancer)

4.  A Cancer Therapy:  Results of Fifty Cases and the cure of Advanced Cancer by Max Gerson

5.  Outsmart Your Cancer:  Alternative Non-Toxic Treatments That Work by Tanya Pierce

Websites:

www.oasisofhope.com

www.cancerfungus.com (Have actually traded emails with this doctor.)

www.rose-laurel.com (this is similar to the next website below)

www.sutherlandiaopc.com (I have recently purchased stuff from here-in fact I will be receiving the product on Thursday.   I will of course share my thoughts and results from this over the next month.  I have read that this supplement helps with the side effects of chemo along with beating cancer.)

www.contemporarymedicine.net (This one makes a lot of sense to me, unfortunately he is located in Burr Ridge Illinois.  His theory-The doctor first injects patient with insulin, which causes your tumors do become very hungry and then he injects you with your chemo therapy, but at very low levels.  The chemo then becomes very powerful against the tumors because the tumors are starving and want to be fed.  The patient has very few if any side effects because the chemo dose is so low.)

www.brightspot.org

www.drkelley.com

Video to watch:

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/members/lday.htm

(The video is pretty cool.  I can’t believe the age of the lady-thanks Pat for sending to me!)


My hope comes from God, all of you and my family.  That being said I like to read and research some of the other things people are trying outside the doctors’ office.  I’m really getting sick(no pun intended) of all of this chemo.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers-they keep me hopeful all the time! Back on to chemo again tomorrow-Round 4 in this set.

Chris


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