Daniel 3:17-18

Daniel 3:17-18 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

♫ I get by with a little help from my friends...

Today Carla and I hopped in the car and went to say 'Hi' to three special friends. It took a few hours, but we were able to greet each one in a special way. Lots of fun.

What is special about these three friends is that I have never met them. Not even today.

They live in England. The four of us support each other through our cancer blogs. That is where I met them, in cyber space.

Turns out there are many more bloggers out there with their cancer stories. It is a tremendous support system beyond our own family and friends.

So today, I just wanted to send a greeting to my far away cancer friends and let you know that we are thinking of you. ("We" being me and Carla, of course.)

To challenge the rest of my awesome supporters, see if you can match each greeting to the correct picture. Submit your answers in the comments.

Hint: If any of you are really trying to get the right answers, take a look in the list of cancer blogs I follow.

1) Hi, Fiona!    2) Hey, Carole!    3) Hello, Tony!

Picture A

Picture B

Picture C

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


With great care or delicacy; cautiously.
Cautious; careful.

That's how I walk.

       ...or so everybody tells me.

 "How are you doing,  Steve? You're walking gingerly." 

 "You are walking gingerly today. How's it going?" 

 "Hey, Steve. You're walking a bit gingerly. You sick?" 

How come nobody ever says,  "Dude, you're walking!" 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coping with Chemo

It's tough.

I'm tired.

I shaved off a six-day beard to clean up for church this morning.

I'm doing my best to work full time and contribute fully when I'm there. I have precious little sick leave/vacation left with one more surgery coming up in June. The more I can work, the more it accrues back up while keeping our finances stable.

I've been using prescription sleeping pills since mid January to try and regulate my sleep. I suspect anyone with cancer can tell you that night time is often no fun.

My regular doctor also increased my Fluoxetine (Prozac) dosage during the same visit. I started on that last fall. Depression is not uncommon among cancer patients.

We finished my second of six rounds of chemo—Xeloda tablets taken with breakfast and dinner—on Friday. My oncologist lowered the dosage twice in the last 14 days to get me through. It turns out (and no surprise) that I don't recover enough during my seven days off to make up for the 14 days on. This chemo is cumulative and so are its side effects. I think the goal with my adjuvant chemo is to keep me toxic enough to take out any remaining cancer cells without taking *me* out. It's a balancing act.

The most notable side effects are my hands and feet. They get what the Xeloda drug maker calls hand-foot syndrome. Makes for wobbly walking and sensitive finger tips. Opening anything with ridges isn't any fun either. Ironic that my chemo pills come in a ridge-capped container! Here is a link to the complete list of Xeloda side effects.

What really knocks me down is the fatigue. Even getting dressed wears me out. I get ready for work and I'm ready for a nap. That's a sad thing considering I used to run marathons!

Stupid cancer.

We are hanging in there as best we can. Tonight Carla held me and just let me cry. I married a real gem.

Three cheers for the caregivers in the world!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Tender Mercies of the Lord

Dear Tony,

No one should ever have to start a blog post with the words "Take this cup from me". It broke my heart to see it on your blog, and yet I understood immediately. Some of us have been there even when we didn't ask for the journey. Please hang on to your faith in your Lord, Jesus Christ. It is He who carries us through, and even beyond when that is our cup to drink.

I share with you my personal witness that God loves his children, individually and personally. I have bathed in His love when it mattered most and been blessed by His tender mercies when peace was no where else to be found. May the Lord bless you likewise, as I know he will.

Love and hugs to you and your family,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cancer Shmancer!

Six rounds of adjuvant chemo may be knocking me around right now, but there ain't no cancer in me! A little radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, along with a lot of faith, fasting and prayers, sent it packing. We're just batting cleanup with this latest treatment. Any cancer cell thinking it's going to hang around in my body has another thing coming. I'm swallowing poison on a daily basis to take you out!

And when I'm done with my treatment, this book may prove useful.

Yeah, I'm paying a price for winning, but living somehow makes it all worth while.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'm saying UNCLE!!! (from the Unsinkable Molly Brown)

Where to begin...
Last Thursday I took our youngest daughter in to the doctors. She had a fever and some odd aches and pains she was complaining about. When they tested her for strep it came out positive, so they put her on some antibiotics. The next morning she still had a slight fever and a few more aches and pains, especially in her knees and ankles, so I kept her home again. I checked her temperature on Saturday morning and she was normal, so I let her go to a family gathering that afternoon. Later, that same evening her fever returned and was 103 degrees. I gave her some acetaminophen and was able to get the fever down to around 100 degrees, but was puzzled about her continuing fevers since she had been on amoxicillan for three days. Saturday night ended up being a rough night. Abby woke me up 6 times during the night saying her legs hurt and she couldn't sleep. I ended up staying home from church to stay with her and try and get a nap. She seemed to be doing ok, so I went to my sons scouting Court of Honor. I was only gone about an hour, but when I got home Abigail's temperature was 104.4. I gave her another dose of acetaminophen, put some cool cloths on her forehead, gave her some frozen yogurt and monitored her for the next couple of hours. I was able to reduce her temperature to 101.2.

At 7 am the next morning, I called into work letting them know I wouldn't be in and made another appointment with the doctor. When I got in, they ended up handing us off to their pediatric specialist. By the time we left, an hour and a half later, they had filled 5 vials with Abby's blood, taken a urine sample, been in touch with some doctors at the Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, and set us up with an adult sized dose of naproxen. (Abby is only 10 years old.) Abby's knees and ankles were both swollen at this point, although her right was worse than her left. The hardest part of it all was no one was sure what was going on.

There is nothing that makes you feel more helpless than having your child be in pain and having no idea why. It is even scarier when you go to a doctor and they can't tell you what is wrong either. Tuesday started off a lot better, but her fever returned around 5 pm and I couldn't give her any more medication until 7 pm. I called her doctor and was told to monitor her and take her into the emergency room of the hospital if her temperature went over 103 degrees. Fortunately, it stayed at 102 or less. The doctors told us to keep giving her the medications they had prescribed and to bring her in again on Thursday unless things got worse, in which case we should come in sooner. Wednesday, went well and the pain and swelling in Abby's legs and feet went down.

Today, Thursday, we went back into the doctors and finally got some news back on all the different tests they had run. The good news is that she doesn't have rheumatic fever. The bad news is it looks like she has some kind of arthritis. The doctors aren't sure what kind of arthritis it is yet. I'm supposed to keep a log over the next three weeks of her daily temperature, pain levels, locations of pain, etc. We are also supposed to schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist up at the Primary Children's Hospital.

At the moment, Abby is feeling better than she has for the past week. The swelling in her legs has gone down a lot, she is walking with only a slight limp, her appetite is returning, her temperature is normal, and it looks like she is getting better. As for me and Steve, we are both pretty shot. This was an emotionally and physically exhausting week for the two of us. If we thought we were tired and worn out before from Steve's cancer, that was nothing compared to where we are now. We keep hanging in there and are just taking one day at a time. And please... no more surprises! I need to rest and recover from this last round.