Monthly Archives: January 2011

A message from Chris’s and Karen’s families

Over the last two and a half years, many people that have followed Chris’s battle with cancer have asked how they can help Karen and Chris.  We have been telling everyone that they were doing okay, but that we would let you know when the situation changes. As you know from reading this blog, Chris has now had to leave work.  He has filed for disability but will not be able to collect for a few months. The medical and living expenses over the next few months will exceed their income.  To help them get through this transition period, we have established a special bank account for donations that will be used to help cover Karen and Chris’s expenses.

If you are still interested and able to help, you can send a donation check written out to Chris or Karen Baty.  Please either attach a note to the check stating “deposit in donation account” or write “donation account” on the memo line of the check. While it’s not required, it’s a good idea to write “For Deposit Only” on the back of the check.  The check should be mailed to the following address:

Think Mutual Bank

15751 Emperor Avenue

Apple Valley, MN  55124

As an alternative, you can send credit card donations to the donation account via a secure PayPal site using the “PayPal Donate” button on the right side of this blog (you must have a PayPal account).

If you have any questions about donations, please send an email to Dianne Stratton at stratton.dm@gmail.com.

Many of you have already given donations, cards and prayers, and for that we are extremely grateful. Please continue to keep Chris, Karen, Brenden and Jaxson in your prayers.

Sincerely,
The Baty Family and the Stratton Family

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Still doing well

I have slowly bounced back from the chemo.  I have been just taking it slow and actually stayed off the computer for 2-3 days (I know a lifetime for many of us in this day and age). I thought I should do a quick post to update you.

The pain did not increase through the chemo-which was a concern.  Actually I have had less pain of late.  Also, I have actually gotten more sleep.   For the first time in many weeks, I actually slept in my own bed.  Dec. 24th I slept in my bed and then I didn’t make it back to my own  bed until this past Sat. night-Jan. 15th.  I had been getting some sleep in our downstairs bed, but found it a major accomplishment just to get back to my own bed upstairs.  I just thank God for all of that.

Without working you may think I get bored, but somehow I stay busy.   I don’t have the energy I used to and I still take pain pills every day so it is not like I ever have too much energy.  Last week I was feeling really good one day and slowblowed 4 neighbors driveways.  Then there are days like this past Monday where it was a lot of work just getting to and from the hospital to get my fluid drained.  They drained off over 12 lbs. and after wards I just felt crampy and tired so I slept for a couple more hours.  If I am not resting I am either reading(have received 4 books within past week), watching movies, helping around the house, volunteering at church, attending prayer services and attending our regular services.  I had a some great company the past few days at church and Pray for the Cure.  My friends Gina, Jeannie G. and Vicki and Brad Wifler joined me Monday night.  Sunday I was joined by Jon Opsal.

Overall I just wanted to drop a quick post and let you know I am doing well.  I get fluid drained off again a couple more times before the next chemo.  The next chemo and blood work is a week from today.  I don’t really worry about any of that.  I just takes what God gives me today and am thankful for it.  Hopefully I will continue to have less pain, more sleep and more love and friendship. My life is in His hands.

Blessings,

Chris

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Feeling O.K.

So far I am feeling o.k. with my chemo.  Wed. night was a bad night of sleep with a little more pain.  Thursday night though I had less pain and got over 8 hours of sleep.  It was one of the best nights of rest I have had lately.  I did start to feel nauseated between all the chemo drugs and pain pills, so I am taking some Zofran to get me through.  It is working well.  We will see how the next couple of days go, but so far so good.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

We have a Pray for the Cure meeting at our church next Monday night at 7 p.m.  if anyone would like to attend.  The meetings last for about 2 hours and there are usually between 10-30 in attendance.

Love,

Chris

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Chemo

After some soul searching about whether to move forward with chemo or not, the answer became crystal clear.  Go forward with chemo.  I know many of you were/are praying with me and I believe God answered my prayers for what to do.  3 people came forward individually asking me what I was thinking and how I was leaning.  I have been feeling better, so I was thinking that chemo was the route to take.  All of the other 3 thought the same thing.  Two even picked out the chemo regiment I should go on.  So I go forward with the chemo I had back in Dec.  I did bounce back very well from that round.  Time will tell how we proceed in the future.  For now it is back on chemo, starting tomorrow.

Thank you for you love and support.

Chris

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MN Timberwolves

 

Todd Levos from Pictura and Jim Buffo and the MN Timberwolves created an amazing night for our family last Wed. night.  We had courtside tickets to the basketball game, free food, valet parking, basketballs that were signed by the players and a tour of the lockeroom area.  It was one of those nights the kids will remember for the rest of their lives.  We felt truly blessed.  Below I have some of the pictures from the night.

On Thursday my dad, Pat, myself and Dr. Duane reviewed the CT scan and my latest bloodwork.  the scan did not show any definitive answers for why I have had more pain recently.  We had thought that the cancer may have spread to other areas or organs, but that was not seen.  So to handle the pain, we just stepped up the dosages a little bit.  I know take the pain pills even before the pain starts.  The scan did show that the 6 tumors in the liver are all growing at a decent rate.  The tumors in the lungs are growing, but not by a lot.  We then looked at the blood work and my liver numbers showed some improvement.  The bilirubin was the most surprising.  Tat number dropped to 1.6.  A normal liver functions around 1.2  That number was the best my liver number has been in 4 months.  all of my other numbers were pretty good too.  My platelets were at 73-again not a bad score, they have been as low as 40.  After reviewing all the numbers and the results, we were left uncertain how to go forward.  I am still eligible to take chemo, and I have two options.  The hesitancy with chemo is due to the pain that I have been having.  We just don’t know what chemo will do to that pain.  also, even though my blood numbers are good, there is still concern that the side effects of the chemo could make me feel really, really sick or put me in the hospital or both.  We just don’t know.  The last option is of course, stopping all treatments.  The treatments are pretty terrible and steal away quality time. When I left the hospital we just decided I need to get my rest and monitor the pain over the next 3-4 days and then I would make a decision on what to do.  It is a tough decision, but one I know that God will lead me through.  I have been praying about it as I know others of you have been as well.   I will make that decision Mon or Tuesday and then we will move forward.  Monday I am supposed to have more fluid drained, although I don’t feel that I am too bloated yet.  The last 3 nights I have slept more and more and the pain has been less-Praise God!  I actually have spent more than a few hours in a bed at night vs. sleeping in a recliner, like I have for the past 2-3 weeks.

With all of this going on, it only made sense that I end my tenure at Pictura.  Paul, my boss, has been more than gracious through this whole process.  Karen and I cannot thank him enough.  I know that will not end now.  The employees of Pictura too, have been amazing.  I wish that I could do more, but know that physically it is not very feasible.  Taking 4-8 pain med.’s every 24 hours does not make for a very good work schedule.

I would ask tat you pray for wisdom in the decisions I need to make going forward.  I will also ask for you to pray for peace for Karen and I.  We have an amazing amount of support, but as you can imagine, this is very challenging.

Thank you to all who came to pray with me today at church.  It was an amazing turn out.  It was neat to see my mom, dad, sister, brother, best friends, work friends, nephew, niece, people who pray for me, people who I pray for, in-laws etc… all around the circle.  Thank you for taking the time out of your schedules and lives to come gather around me and lift me up.

Overall I am doing o.k. and feel very loved and peaceful.

Love,

 

Chris

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What Do You Believe? What’s Next?

I  love spending time in the presence of Karen, the guys, family, friends, co-workers, my church  etc…! I am so thankful for it each day.  I want it to continue.  The problem is that we live on this earth and everyone dies at some point-whether it be from cancer, another deadly disease or just old age. I was in the waiting room today with 95 year old patient and a 98 year old patient.  When it was decided that things were getting a little too busy in that area of the hospital, can you guess who they sent to the other side of the hospital for his procedure.  You guessed right, this 42 year old had to walk down to another area to get taken care of.  I didn’t mind at all and just looked back at the two of them in amazement.  If I lived as long as them I wouldn’t even be at the half way point yet.  Can you imagine how many more blog entries I could get out over those years?

When you are given a terminal diagnosis, you are forced to come face to face with…”What happens after this life is over?”  Suddenly you are given a new perspective on this life.  No longer do you take those moments that you get to spend with loved one’s for granted, instead you cherish each second of it.  Each and every hug means so much more.

I remember a little over two years ago, my roommate in the hospital was dying.  His name was Jim LeBlanc and I would guess he was in his early 60’s.  He had stage 4 colon cancer, chemo was not working and it only made him sicker-that is how he ended up in the bed next to me.   A hospice nurse came into review things with his wife Sandy and the rest of his family.  They decided that going home with Hospice care was the thing to do vs. trying to do anything more to fight the disease.  After they all left room, Jim and I talked for a little bit.  He was concerned about me and my young family.  He told me he hoped that I would never have to face the hard choice that they just had to make.  We talked about Twins baseball and drinking Corona’s with limes in them-it was one of his favorite treats in life.  The day before he was supposed to leave the hospital the Chaplin came to visit with him.  Jim was a christian but was still scared when e thought about his own mortality.  I was blessed to be able to listen from my side of the curtain.  Here is a summary of their conversation…

The Chaplin asked, “Do you believe that there was a man who walked the face of the earth and his name was Jesus?”  Jim said that he did.  Next the Chaplin asked, “Do you believe that Jesus was the son of God?”  Jim said he agreed with that too.  Then He asked Jim, “Do you believe that Jesus can forgive our sins?”  Jim said that he did.  Lastly he asked Jim,  “Do you believe that Jesus is still alive and in Heaven right now?”   Jim said that He did.  In that short conversation the Chaplin had pointed out what the whole bible is really all about and that there was nothing to worry about when it comes to “What happens next?”.   It all came down to John 3:16 and Jim was at peace as he left the hospital the next day.  I haven’t spoken to him since.  The doctors told Jim that he would live another 9 months and would have plenty of time to enjoy a few more Corona’s.  Jim died just 4 days later.  I wasn’t even released from the hospital for about 10 more days after that conversation.  I called his house a few weeks later and found out from his wife what had happened.  I know his son Eric was with him when he died and that Jim was at peace.

So I again ask you individually-what do you believe?  I know you know what I believe.  None of our tomorrows are guaranteed.   I continue to pray and cry out to God for my complete healing.  But I am at peace when I think ahead to what it will be like to spend eternity in the presence of Karen, the guys, my family and friends and all the rest of you who would like to join the party.  As Brenden or Jaxson pointed out, “Eternity is  like millions and millions of years”.

John 3:16

 

Chris

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