Monthly Archives: December 2010

Some more changes

Well it has been a fun past week but also a challenging one.   For the past 9 nights I have been waking up with pain.  The pain has usually been generally in my abdomen but the past 3 nights have all been low back or the lower left part in my abdomen.  The pain is anywhere between a 4-8 on the pain scale.  Because of all the pain, I’m not sleeping too well.  I am usually up taking several pain pills in the middle of the night and then trying to sleep around all the Christmas activities.  During the days I have had pain too, just not as bad.  So each day I have been taking between 4-6 pain pills.  I was supposed to have chemo on Monday, but I canceled it.  I was concerned that chemo on top of the pain I was already having was going to make things worse.  I reviewed everything with my Dr. on Monday afternoon.  The doc said I made the right call by canceling or delaying the chemo another week.  The doc was unsure on what could be causing the pain.  We both know that the continual fluid build up is not helping.  I had another 10 lbs. drained out of me today . It is tough to keep track of what my weight is due to all the extra liquid not leaving my body, but my guess is about 150 lbs.  My appetite is good, but gets suppressed by the pain and the pain meds.   My doc just said to keep taking more and more pain pills-basically he said that I can’t overdose on them.  So truth be told I am writing this to you under the blanket of 4 pain pills.

 

So since I have had the physical change(lots of pain).  I have had to re-consider my full time employment at Pictura.  If I could get the pain under control, that would be a different thing.  Right now taking pain pills in the middle of the night and then throughout the day makes things a little dangerous to be commuting.  Also, it all adds up to me being tired all the time.  I will meet with my boss next week to get it figured out.

So other than those to big changes, we have been enjoying the holiday season.  I have never received so many Christmas cards in my entire life.  I heard that Aunt Carmen was behind that.  Thanks to her idea, I found out that my Great Uncle Jean Baty lives just two miles away.  I went and visited him on Monday afternoon, it was great.  Tuesday Mom and Rick and Aunt Kristine and Uncle Harold drove down to have lunch with me.  Today I rested a bit before going to the hospital.  Tomorrow my sister comes back to town to visit again.  Last weekend we some how made it to both of Karen’s families extended Christmas parties too.  Lots of visiting in a short amount of time-but it has all been good.

God’s Blessing to all of you!  Time to attempt some sleep.

Chris

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May God Bless you this Holiday Season

God has been touching me and our family is so many ways.    First I need to thank you all for the cards and generous gifts we have been receiving.    I have tried to explain to my kids the depths of your love, but really I have trouble fathoming it myself.  If I listed everything we have been apart of or received, you would be astounded and amazed.  I will share just a couple quick things with you.  The MN Timberwolves basketball team have given us court side tickets to a game on Jan. 5th.  Along with the tickets they gave both boys jerseys and hats.  The jersey’s are the Kevin Love jersey.  I could not think of a more appropriate last name to have across the backs of their jerseys(Love).  Also the Timberwolves gave us valet parking and all the free food we could possibly eat.  That night is the type of memory that stays with kids forever.  Jim B.   of the Timberwolves heard about us through Todd (our general manager) at Pictura.  We also received a huge basket of goodies from Pictura, the employees, Jim W. and the staff at Atomic.  I know that no one is looking for recognition but I just wanted to let everyone know how happy we were.

Also, I just have to say how great last Sunday was.   Brenden, Jaxson and I went to church.  We were planning on meeting a few people in the prayer chapel before the service.  Kent and Joy Bahr had said they would meet us there.  I was surprised when my friend Jon Ness came to find me in the coffee line.  He and his wife, Cindy, had hitched a ride down from Bemidji.  That was a great surprise.  When we made it into the prayer chapel we had more surprises.  My mom and step dad were there along with a group of almost 20.  We had an amazing time of prayers.  After our spirit filled prayer session we joined the regular sermon already in progress.  The church staff had reserved a row of seats for us.  I couldn’t help but beam from ear to ear when I looked down the row at all my friends and family that had joined me.  After the service everyone came back to my house.  Are you wondering who or how we would be all fed?  No worries-Pat and Burl had taken over the kitchen while we were at church.  They had made a meal big enough for all 15 of us.  My brother and two nephews joined us as well.  Pat and Burl also gave the guys some cool gifts for Christmas.  It was just an amazing day-I loved it.

Overall I have been doing o.k.  I worked two days this past week.  I have had a lot of pain due to the fluid building in my abdomen.  I take 3-5 pain pills a day.  Today I went in and got over 13 lbs. drained out of me.  I feel a lot better.  The fluid continues to build because the liver isn’t working right.  I will need to ave it drained at least every 7 days.  My Bilirubin improved a little bit-from 3.0 to 2.2 and most of my other numbers were o.k.  Two liver numbers got worse and my platelets dropped again

We are only two days away from Jesus’s Birthday.  You really have to ask yourself-what are you going to do with Jesus.  My kids like all kids (and many adults) get this season mixed up.  Jaxson was telling me the other day that many people didn’t believe in Jesus, God or Santa Claus.  He asked me if Santa was magic, I said “yes”  He then asked if Santa had the power to heal.  In his mind he was trying to find a way to get me healed.   He just lumped all three together  I explained that only God and Jesus had the power to heal.  I am still hopeful that I will receive God’s miracle and not Santa’s miracle this season.  Jesus life and death was a sacrifice for our sins.  With that sacrifice and the acceptance of that gift, we can receive eternal life.  Enjoy this season.  Life is brief.  Accept the gift that is freely given.  We all need to act like this is our last Christmas season together.   The small stuff just doesn’t matter.  Give a lot of hugs, take care of each other and show a lot of love toward others.

Be Blessed-love,

Chris

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Quick Update

 

I survived Chemo last week.  The picture above was taken before the Holidazzle parade downtown Minneapolis.  I was doing chemo in this photo-hard to tell.  I was feeling that good on Thursday night.  Friday and Saturday I didn’t feel great.  I spent most of those two days in bed.  That was too bad as my sister, my brother-in-law and 2 nieces were in town.  Karen’s parents came to take care of us all-making meals, taking care of the kids and cleaning out all the snow.  One of the neighbors also helped with the snow.  I made it back to work yesterday and will most likely get in a full week.  Everyone at work has just been awesome to me.  Tomorrow I go in to get fluid drained out again.  I don’t think it will be as much fluid as before, but I still imagine a few pounds will come out.  Without the liver working real well, the fluid will just need to be manually drained off every couple of weeks.  Next week I visit with the doctor again and then after Christmas I will have chemo again.

I continue to be blessed with a lot of visitors and a lot of family time.  This week is Brenden’s 8th birthday, a Christmas get together with my dad and then a visit from Kent and Joy Bahr.

Next Monday the 20th is Pray for the Cure at my church from 7-9 p.m.  Anyone is welcome to come and pray with/for me.

Please take time to read through some of the comments from previous posts.  Those comments are such a blessing to me, but I think you will find that they will be a blessing to you as well.  The depth of people’s hearts are amazing.  You will be blessed!

I just wanted to get a quick post out to tell you that I am doing o.k.

Longer posts coming…

Love,

Chris

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Love

Thank you for all your love!!!  This week has been filled with emotion.  The tears have been innumerable, but so has the love.  Thank you for all the comments, emails and facebook comments I receive.  They are all so uplifting-you really have no idea until you are in this place.  Please if the Spirit moves you to act-ACT.  I am not talking about me, just in everything you do with your life.  If you suddenly feel the sense that you should call someone-do it.  If you feel the need to drop a card to someone-do it.  We are called to help each other and bless each other.  This world is a fallen world filled with disease, sickness, pain and poverty-and we can all do something about it.  There is not a better time of year than right now to ACT.

 

So I decided to include a link to the sermon Pastor Pat asked me to take part in.  You will find I am more of a Wordsmith when I am able to delete, edit and re-read vs. just speak in front of a group of about 700.  Or in my case, try to speak when filled with emotion.  The emotion is due to how blessed and loved I feel to be married to Karen, be the father of my two sons and for all the love that I have felt throughout this journey.  Thank you, thank you to each and every one of you.  God continues to amaze me and bless me each day.  I just pray that God gives me the chance to repay all of you for your love for me.

So with a few reservations, here is the link.  My part is about 20+ minutes into the sermon.  http://www.vimeo.com/17333685

the battle continues…

Chris

 

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Difficult news

I wish I could meet with everyone individually to explain everything, but that just isn’t possible.   We reviewed the scans from Tuesday.  The cancer in the liver has grown.  The cancer in the lungs is starting to grow out of control.  Previously I had 3-4 spots in my lungs, now the term they use is, “innumerable”.  I will continue to try and receive treatment, but a lot of that is based on blood counts.  My platelets actually improved to 83-the highest they have been since July(?).  My doctor is looking into Clinical Trials at Mayo and other hospitals, but I may not be eligible as my blood counts still may not be good enough.  Drug companies want the healthiest-sickest patients that they can find so it gives their drug the best chance at getting FDA approved.

Long story short, the doctor said that I need to make sure I have everything in order(my Will, my Health-Care Directive, etc..), in case things continue down this path.  I think the biggest point of concern is how rapidly things progressed within the lungs.    I know very scary/yucky stuff.  I will continue to fight as long as my body is willing.  I continue to pray for God’s miraculous healing as well .  I personally know of several people who have been healed in that way.  I still have many faithful pray warriors who are still holding me up praying honestly and fervently for my healing.  I cannot thank you all enough for all the prayers and everything that you do for my family.  I ask that if I don’t get to live out a full life that all of you will take care of Karen, Brenden and Jaxson for me.  Also take care of each other.  Pray for each other.  Heal each other.  Care for each other, don’t hurt each other.  Value life.  Don’t get mad at the little things-they really, really don’t matter.  Most of all-Believe in Jesus and meet me in Heaven!  If I get there before all of you I will have already toured the place and will know all the cool hangout spots.

 

The rest of the appointment:

Hernia:  They can’t do surgery on it as the doctor doesn’t believe I can heal from it  The doc is looking into other ways to deal with this.  I have no idea what they will come up with.

My Cold:  It has almost disappeared.

My Pain:  This is also lessened a bit.

My weight:  The radiology report noted what  ave known for the past 2 months.  I am retaining water-or was.  I got set up for an immediate appointment to get the fluids drained out of my abdominal cavity.  The abdominal wall hasn’t been working right and neither has the Liver.  When that happens, you will retain fluid and get distended.  So my treat for the day was watching them drain 11.5 lbs of water weight out of me . I feel a lot better already.  I now am back to a weight of 157 lbs.  That water weight will slowly gather again and at some point I may have it drained off again.

At this point Karen and I continue to do the best we can.  I am not sure how we will continue to communicate to the kids.  They both know that I am very sick.

If things don’t go as well as I pray they do, Karen, my brother Dave, my parents, Karen’s parents, Pastor Pat and Pat Groeper will be the team I will be leaving in charge if I move into the Hospice phase.  God has blessed and surrounded me with an amazing amount of people.

Again a very difficult email to write…  I desperately wanted to share good news with you.

I just need to take a minute and tell you how great my boss is.  His name is Paul Lilienthal.  Through this all he has kept me employed.  He gives very blunt but sage advice for everything I have gone through. He has some personal experience with this disease.  I don’t always see eye to eye on decisions he makes and do not understand all of his motivations but I at the very least need to lift him up to you as he continues to keep me employed through this all.

There are many, many more I need to lift up to you and will as everything evolves.

For now…life goes on and I am thankful for every day.  I will continue to work and do chemo when able.

 

Love,

 

Chris Baty

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