Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 31, 2006

After a full week of not leaving the house (and barely leaving the bedroom) I think I am on the recovery. Last week when I made the switch to the new chemo, the clinic did not give me any nausea medication. Apparently most patients do not get nausea as a side effect of this new chemo. I did and it hit hard. I slept most of the time and lost a few pounds. Yesterday we went to the clinic for another treatment and they gave me nausea and energy medications when we told them what was happening. Today I was able to get out of bed early and go on a walk with Marianne and Tessa. I feel much better. Hopefully it will stay this way for several days.

We are not sure how people seem to know when times are rough, but we received a great deal of support this past week from family, neighbors and members of our church. We are again very grateful.

Other than my tough week, our family is hanging in there. Patrick and Chase started school Monday and Tessa starts tomorrow. We are excited for this because it will allow us to get back on a more organized schedule. We love our kids but we also love a little time away from them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

August 25, 2006

The break from chemotherapy was nice -- mostly because our family went on a Disney Cruise to the Western Caribbean. We had a great time. I was able to stay up with the family most of the time and they were happy to do a few things without me. We swam with the dolphins and sting rays and Patrick, Chase and I had a close encounter with two sharks during a snorkeling excursion. The best part of the trip was watching the kids have such a good time. I wonder if we would have gone on this vacation without my condition? Probably not.

I started back with my chemotherapy yesterday. It is basically the same treatment I was taking before the break although I am now taking a pill called Xeloda in place of one of the treatments. I take several of these horse size pills every day for two weeks and then take off a week. I also go into the clinic once a week to take a few other medications by I.V.

Monday, August 07, 2006

August 7, 2006

We just returned from a wonderful family reunion in Idaho where we celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday. She is an amazing woman. She is still as bright and lively as always (she still drives). I was so glad to spend time with her and so many of my other relatives. We have held this reunion for many years and it is a highlight for my family and me. We plan on doing all we can to make it to the next reunion.

I am taking a break from chemo for a few weeks to let my body rejuvinate a little. The treatments have been going well and we will stick with the same basic treatments until the results are no longer positive. As I mentioned before, cancer is a deadly disease because it has the ability to adjust to the chemotherapy. What worked the first and maybe the second round will often not work the third round. We still have a few more options to try, but eventually we will need new advances in treatment and/or a miracle. The good news is that some of the treatments I am effectively using now were not available just a short time ago. There is always room for faith and hope and our family has a lot of both.

Thanks to all of you who sent e-mails of encouragement after the last scan. We enjoy hearing from you very much.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

August 2, 2006

Today is a sad day for Marianne and me. We lost a good friend to this terrible disease of cancer. The chemotherapy room at the cancer clinic can be a lonely and sometimes depressing place. It will be much more lonely now for us without the Williams around. Steve battled so hard with little positive to show for his efforts. He is an inspiration to me.

The last time we were together at the clinic we talked about what we wanted to do with the remaining time we had in this life. We came up with the same answer -- we just wanted to watch over our wives and children and protect them. We wanted to see them being happy and enjoying life. I am sure that he is now doing exactly that.

We'll miss you Steve. Love to Mary Ann, Chelsie, Alex and Stephen.