Tuesday, May 23, 2006

May 23, 2006

I just finished another round of chemo and hopefully I am heading towards a few days of feeling good. Contrary to what we thought, the doctor suggested that we remain on the same treatment of oxaliplatin and gemzar. He said that while the pain and tingling in my feet can become a severe problem, if it is not significantly restricting my daily activities I should continue to the next scan so that we can determine if the regimen is still working. The problems with my feet are painful and a nuisance but I can press forward with it.

I have a PET/CT scan scheduled for May 31st. That should tell us a lot. Please pray for a good result. Right now it appears that the tumor in the liver has gone dormant. The real problems are the tumors in the omentum and abdomenal wall. They do not appear to be growing or shrinking and they are hard to measure. Hopefully we will see no spread to other organs.

If I feel good enough, this next weekend our family is going to Beaver, Utah for Memorial Day. This is a tradition we have kept for many years. Many of Marianne's relatives, including those that traveled across the plains with the early pioneers, are buried in the area. The Joseph Murdock of LDS church history is a direct ancestor of Marianne's. Many of you will recall that he gave his twin babies to Emma and Joseph Smith when his wife past away and Emma also lost twins.

We had a wonderful surprise this past week. Four women I worked with who are connected to the law firm of Bennett, Tueller, Johnson & Deere brought 12 frozen meals to our home and a very special gift for Marianne and the kids. The timing and thought expressed was perfect. I am certain the Lord must have touched the hearts of these women and perhaps others. It was exactly what our family and particularly Marianne needed. We continue to be overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of so many people. We wonder how we have measured up in situations were the circumstances have been the opposite. Surely not as well.

My family continues to press forward researching alternative options for treatment. These options work together with chemo and include nutrition and vitamins. We are so grateful to our extended families for all they are doing on our behalf.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14, 2006

Marianne said that I needed to post again real quick to make my last post more clear. She said the post could be interpreted as suggesting that she does not look great when her hair is in a pony tail. This, of course, is false. She looks great in all hair styles.

Happy Mother's Day to Marianne, my mom Mary and my mother-in-law Louise. I am lucky to have these three great women in my life.

I have an appointment with Dr. Whisenant tomorrow and I am scheduled for chemotherapy. Although I have felt wonderful for the past several days, we probably will still switch to a new regimen. My feet have been continually numb for the past two weeks. I don't think I can stay on the same chemo when that starts happening. It's hard to think about changing when this chemo seems to be working, but the numbness side effect can be permanent. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

This week I ran into several people who told me that their small children still pray for me and my family each night even though they have never met us. This is very touching to me. Please tell your children that their prayers are working. Our Father in Heaven is listening to them. This week we met Dr. Bill Adamson and his family. As we approached them from a distance I could see Bill pointing at me and telling his children that I was the person they had been praying for every day. It was a special moment for me to meet them.

Marianne and I are so grateful for the support and amazing faith of the many young children who pray for us.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

May 11, 2006

We have written so many posts lately with negative information that I wanted to write one with mostly positive information. For the past five days I have felt great. I was able to work in the yard nearly every day, attend church (with my Dad who came to hear Chase speak), go to a couple of movies with Marianne and Lucas and run a few errands. This afternoon we went to Target to return a few things and ran into several friends from high school, the neighborhood and our church. Marianne was so happy that she had actually gotten ready before we left. She has been so busy running the household and taking care of the family that she claims she does nothing but put her hair in a pony tail before running late out the door. She was happy.

Of course, because I have been feeling good, I overdid things each day and ended up wiped out by the early evenings. It was worth it. After the trip to Arizona, Marianne and I wondered whether I would ever feel better again. We cancelled plans for family vacations, beleiving we needed to stay close to home.

We are not going to let ourselves get negative when the sustained bad periods return like we know they will. Many good times still lie ahead for our family. With each passing day, I grow closer to my wife and children. With each passing month I get closer to significant events in the lives of our family. Marianne and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary later this month. I will ordain Patrick a priest in June. In January, Tessa will turn eight and I will baptise and confirm her. That was the first goal I set when I was diagnosed in October and I strongly believe I will make it to perform that special ordinance for my beautiful daughter.

We are grateful for the sustained prayers from so many of you that no doubt have helped our family in this battle. Please keep going. My next chemotherapy will likely be this coming Monday. God bless you all and thanks again for the many kind acts of service and kindness that keep us moving forward.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

May 7, 2006

Marianne and I apologize that it has taken us so long to update the site. Part of the reason is that we have been in limbo. We think it is time to make some changes in my treatment but we just have not decided what to do and when to do it. I have been on the same chemotherapy for several months now and the feeling from Dr. Whisenant and us is that it is probably time to switch to a new regemin. I have not been feeling very good lately and Dr. Whisenant beleives there are other treatments that can perhaps be effective and help me just feel better.

Having said that, the last few days have been really nice. I have been feeling pretty good. Yesterday, Marianne and I spent most of the day outside working in the yard (Marianne did most of the work along with some help from our amazing neighbors the Kings). We also attended Chase's baseball game. Now that I am feeling good, maybe we need to stay on the same treatment for a little longer. We are going to see how this week goes and meet with Dr. Whisenant a week from this Monday to make some decisions about the future.

The rest of the family is battling sickness this week. It would be so nice to go through a time when everyone was healthy. Those times probably come often but we just take them for granted. As I have mentioned before, it is so strange to wake up each morning and think first about how you feel physically before you plan out your day. Marianne is as strong as ever. She has just taken this family on her back and carried us through so many difficult times. This morning I was telling her that it is time to focus on her for a while. She deserves it.

We are continually overwhelmed by the kindness and support we have been shown be neighbors, church members and friends. A friend from a former law firm sent me a beautiful afgan recently which has come in handy. It is a comfort to our family to know that so many are still praying for us. We are going to keep moving forward with strength and faith.