1-John’s News

Here’s the latest news on what’s happening with John πŸ™‚ Thank you for all your prayers!


1/16/13

Today’s Happenings: John’s intestinal issues still continue 😦 I feel so helpless in this area. He had started drinking skim milk (not lactose free) again and it “agreed” with him for a while. But as of late, he has been running to the bathroom quite often. We reverted to lactose-free milk and he seems to be doing better for the moment. Now that we are back on the East coast, I’m wondering if a visit to a gastroenterologist would shed some light as to why he continues to be plagued by these symptoms, even after four plus years! Are any readers out there experiencing the same things? If so, what do you do to control this problem?

11/02/12

Today’s Happenings: John needs to schedule an appointment to have blood work done. That should be soon. He is still having issues with going to the bathroom often. It seems that whenever he has sugar of any kind or gluten, it causes issues. His sweet tooth gets the better of him πŸ™‚ But other than that, he’s doing great. He’s been following my Weight Watcher’s diet and has lost 16 lbs. so far! πŸ™‚

3/07/12

Today’s Happenings: The biopsy results from the extra tissue removal on the 22nd have finally come through … the results were negative! Praise the Lord! Thank you all for your prayers!! πŸ™‚

2/25/12

Today’s Happenings: John had more tissue removed on the 22nd and the biopsy results will be back in a week or two. He has an inch and a half cut on the temple, with twelve stitches on the outside (more on the inside). We’re praying that the doctor got all the cancer and no further treatments will be needed!

2/8/12

Today’s Happenings: The results came back from the biopsy and John was told that he has a mild melanoma 😦 He will return to the dermatologist next Wednesday to have more tissue removed around and beneath what was already removed. Hopefully this will remove any melanoma that is left and he won’t have to go through cancer treatments. Thank you for your prayers! Please pray for grace as he goes through this next appointment.

2/4/12

Today’s Happenings: John went to the dermatologist this week to have some moles removed from his back. The doctor was not concerned about any of them. However, he’s had what appeared to be a pimple-like bump on his right temple for quite a few months. Home treatments just would not make it go away. He asked the doctor to look at it and he was very concerned about this one. He removed it and sent it out for biopsy. I would appreciate your prayers as we await the results (2-3 weeks). The mole was about the size of a pea and left quite a hole in his temple. It was never colored – it was flesh tone but kept getting a scaly patch over it. So please, readers, watch your body! I will post the results when I find out. Thank you in advance for your prayers!

1/19/12

Today’s Happenings: Wow, it amazes me how time goes by so quickly!!! It’s been over a year since I last posted an update on John. He had his physical last October and he is entering year four of being cancer free! \o/ The doctor said that the recurrence of colon cancer usually occurs between years two and three so we hit a milestone. As for John’s health, the symptoms continue to plague him if he cheats by eating anything with gluten. I’ve come to the conclusion that this just needs to be eliminated for good. But he has not and feels it’s worth the battle to eat something he misses. His numbers continue to look good, however, and he is feeling good. He has now started a part-time job driving a school bus and is enjoying being part of life πŸ™‚ Thank you all for your prayers!

12/01/10

Today’s Happenings: It’s been a while since I last posted. Nothing much has changed with John’s bowel issues. It is trial and error. The moment he eats something with gluten, he has issues. He has to continue on this gluten-free diet or he suffers for days sometimes a week! He has also been instructed to cut out sugars which he is working on. The last lab work done in November has come back cancer free as well as his recent CT scan. We are praising the Lord! Please continue to pray. Thank you for your prayers!

07/19/10

Today’s Happenings: John went to the oral surgeon to have a “suspicious patch” biopsied. The dentist had detected it during a routine exam. The oral surgeon said it was merely a calloused piece of skin formed where a molar had been pulled many years ago and he was not concerned about it at all. Thank You, Lord!!! Thank you all for your prayers!

07/11/10

Today’s Happenings: The surgery was a success, thank the Lord! One of the hernias was so bad that the surgeon was amazed that it didn’t cause an obstruction! John came home the same day and he has been recovering slowly but surely. Pain medications are managing the pain levels but he is slow moving – especially getting out of bed or a chair. I thank each of you who check here and pray for him!!! God has heard these faithful prayers!!!

07/08/10

Today’s Happenings: Well, the double hernias are coming out tomorrow morning. Please pray for the surgeons and that the recovery will be smooth. I will post an update early next week. Thanks!!

06/15/10

Today’s Happenings: John saw the oncologist/surgeon yesterday and sure enough, he has a double hernia! Surgery has been scheduled for July 8th and it will be done outpatient. He has been through this before, although it has never been for two hernias. He is not allowed to lift more than the weight of his shoe for six weeks after the surgery. Yes, it’s another hurdle but I think of some who deal with so much more than this. Those Stage 4 cancer patients who battle daily with circumstances no one can imagine unless they’ve walked those shoes! We appreciate the prayers nonetheless πŸ™‚

06/14/10

Today’s Happenings: I’m sorry for taking 5 months off in updating John’s status!! John is continuing to make progress. He is still following the naturopathic doctor’s recommendations for vitamins and supplements. His intestines are beginning to heal. He still has to take Immodium AD but according to an oncology nurse whose father went through the same surgery, it can take up to 2-5 years for the intestines to finally work on their own.

One update for John that is not cancer related is the possibility of a hernia, and maybe even a double hernia. He is seeing the oncologist/surgeon today for his three-month bloodwork and will have him check out his abdomen. He has had two hernias in the past and it would not surprise me if this is the diagnosis. Thank you for praying.

01/01/10

Today’s Happenings: We are rejoicing as we welcome the New Year that John’s health is being restored. We continue to ask your prayers, however. He is feeling better than he has in a couple of years. It’s hard to believe that two years ago this month was when John began his cancer journey starting with the colonoscopy! Thank You, Lord, for Your faithful hand in his life!! Today’s devotional truly speaks volumes on our journey!

We cannot stress enough how much we recommend a naturopathic doctor. When one goes through chemo and radiation, he is depleted of all vitamins and minerals. John’s levels had been at zero and now he is doing much much better. The probiotics are a necessity for the colon as well. The last set added to his daily regiment is thyroid supplements to help regulate the hormone production. This has been since December 2nd and he should start seeing results from that soon. Please, if you are recovering from colon cancer, talk to your oncologist about recommending a naturopathic doctor. This was a true answer to prayer!

12/19/09

Today’s Happenings: The naturopath doctor called John this week and suggested that he try sitting under a UV light since he is getting a lot less sunshine in Oregon than in Virginia. Despite the Vitamin D’s he’s taking, the sunshine plays an important roll in depression and “blues” for some cancer patients. We’ll try anything πŸ™‚ Thank you for your continued prayers!

12/12/09

Today’s Happenings: Nothing has changed since the last update. The dietary plan that John is following is working and he is doing better. That is a blessing in and of itself! Thank you all for your prayers!

12/2/09

Today’s Happenings: We are going to the naturopath doctor for a follow up today. John has been on all vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and colon health supplements. He is also still taking Immodium. When he began to feel better, he stopped the Immodium and that was a mistake. It appears that he will need to take the Immodium until his colon is healthy again. If anyone is out there struggling in this area, please feel free to contact me or talk to your naturopath.

Thank you, once again, for your prayers!

11/20/09

Today’s Happenings: For those of you who are in the same situation as John, struggling with post cancer treatment issues, please go see a naturopathic doctor! John saw one about 3 weeks ago and his blood work showed that he was depleted of all vitamins, minerals, and hormones. Since John started on the vitamin/mineral regimen, and a healthy diet, he is seeing tiny amounts of progress … but progress nonetheless! He also has John eating gluten-free and msg-free. We are rejoicing and praising God!!!

One thing about naturopaths, they are not covered by most insurances. Try to see one who is also, an M.D. That really helps with ordering blood work and getting results as well as writing prescriptions for hormones, etc. Praying this tidbit of information will be a be a blessing to someone out there in the blogging world!

8/20/09

Today’s Happenings: John is still battling with post treatment symptoms. He gets discouraged sometimes but then he has a good day and he feels encouraged. He has been working part-time doing maintenance work and that keeps him occupied. He has also taken up stained glass and making some beautiful pieces. I think he has resolved to the fact that these symptoms will be with him for a while.

We are going to be making an appointment with the gastroenterologist who did his follow up colonoscopy post surgery. He may have some more insight on what John can do to alleviate these symptoms. We are praying that he will have some answers. Thank you for your faithful prayers!


5/25/09

Today’s Happenings: I am trying to update John’s News every month so we have documentation on what’s going on with him. His doctor has been trying different medications to help control the diarrhea issues. To date, nothing seems to help. He has good days and bad days. We are praying that the good days would become more frequent.

His blood sugar is still a little high but not high enough for this doctor to put him on diabetes medication. We are very thankful for that. We joined an email group of colorectal cancer patients. They’ve been very informative and helpful. Some have gone through the same things John is going through and have some good tips. It appears that those same people went through the same issues of diarrhea and have said that it takes time. One lady said that it took her at least 18 months. So maybe this will be the same course for John. But most of the feedback has been encouraging and we are trusting the Lord to help him through all of this! Thank you all for your prayers!


4/20/09

Today’s Happenings: John is still working on the idea that his G.P. suggested. It’s been a series of tests and he has good days and bad days.

We covet your prayers. It has been a year since John finished chemo therapy. We are praying that now that it has been a year, he will start seeing some changes physically. His finger nails are no longer frail and layered. His hair has become fuller and thicker. So prayerfully this is an indication of a healthier body to come!! πŸ™‚


3/18/09

Today’s Happenings: John’s General Practioner has been able to find something that is helping him with his symptoms. It has been a whole week and he has been symptom free! We are praying that this is the answer to our prayers! Thank you all for your praying with us on this issue!!!


2/26/09

Today’s Happenings: John is still dealing with these symptoms! Bless his heart – we have heard it can take up to 5 years to be rid of this. All the man wants is to have his normal life back! But we consider the alternatives and we feel blessed! Again, thank you all for your prayers!


2/6/09

Today’s Happenings: John had a follow-up appointment with the gastroenteroligist on Wednesday to review the colonoscopy results. John is still cancer-free but is constantly “running” to the bathroom. The surgeon we have here in Oregon had given him a prescription like Imodium but that did not work. The gastroenterologist took the opposite approach and has put John on a laxative that will empty him all at once and possibly get him on a normal schedule. We are praying that this will work. Thank you all for your prayers!

1/19/09

Today’s Happenings: We met with the surgeon and the CT scan and bloodwork results were great. The surgeon was concerned about some issues John is having which seem to occur further up the colon. So he put us in touch with a gastroenterologist and he will perform a colonoscopy to obtain several biopsies of the upper colon to determine why John is having issues. This will happen on Wednesday.

Thank you all for your prayers!

1/09/09

Today’s Happenings: John met with a colorectal surgeon/oncologist on Monday to review his medical history. The meeting was quite enlightening. We loved this doctor! πŸ™‚ He took 45 minutes with us answering our questions. John’s annoying symptoms continue to plague him but the doctor seems to have a couple of options. He sent John for a CT scan yesterday and will do another sigmoidoscopy next Wednesday – then he will go over the results with John. These tests will determine what course of action he can take for these symptoms. He also did John’s bloodwork and those results will be available for Wednesday’s appointment.

Thank you for your prayers!

11/09/08

Today’s Happenings: We are still on our way to Oregon. We will be pulling up camp from Lodi, CA and heading to Garberville, CA. California is such a long state! Please join us at our Shutterfly website where we are documenting our visit with photos. The website is called Oregon or Bust.

John is doing well. He still has some annoying symptoms but we think some may be alleviated once he is no longer sitting for long periods of time while driving the RV. Thank you for continuing to pray for him!!

~Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.


10/29/08

Today’s Happenings: John is doing quite well. We are traveling cross country in our RV and anticipate getting to Oregon in the next couple of weeks. We are taking our time so he doesn’t get over tired. He is still experiencing some symptoms but is doing so much better than when we first started the trip. It seems like every few days one of the symptoms shows signs of dissipating. We are so thankful!!! God is so good!

~Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.


10/13/08

Today’s Happenings: It’s been a few days since John finished his last chemo treatment. He is still having some side effects. However, he has started taking Imodium AD which should help him. So far, so good. Each step is like a baby step – each day brings different symptoms – each day we see the Lord’s grace and mercy to handle the day’s events.

~Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.


10/10/08

Today’s Happenings: Today is John’s last chemo treatment! We are praising God for His grace through this trial. Thank you all for your prayers! πŸ™‚ We are looking forward to the move and getting on with our lives. It has been 9 months since the diagnosis and it’s finally finished. We will be meeting with the oncologist next week to go over what is next as it relates to follow up appointments, blood work, etc.

I will be posting updates on how John is doing from time to time. Thanks again for being faithful in reading and praying for us!

God bless,

Kate


10/09/08

Today’s Happenings: Well, John has just one more treatment left and that’s tomorrow! Praise the Lord!!! πŸ™‚ \o/ God is so good to us – it is overwhelming at times. There have been minimal side effects from this round of chemo – just a little fatigue at night. The surgery site area must still be healing or maybe John’s symptoms will be with him for a while. He is still experiencing hemorrhoid-type symptoms and he is quite uncomfortable at times. But all in all, he is doing excellent πŸ™‚

We are winding down in our last 10 days left in Virginia. It is becoming more real to us as the day approaches. Our church is having a going away party for us after evening services on the 19th for our friends and church family. It will be a bitter sweet party, that’s for sure!!

Thank you all for your prayers!


10/07/08

Today’s Happenings: John started his last round of chemo yesterday. He did very well and did not have any “symptoms” that were not tolerable. He usually walks away with a little headache and nausea but this subsides after a few hours. Lord willing, we are on schedule to leave on the 20th if John feels up to it.

We have been living in the RV since September 16th – I can hardly believe it’s been that long. We are enjoying it, actually πŸ™‚ Thank you ALL for your prayers because we know that it is because of God’s grace and goodness that we are so blessed.


09/19/08

Today’s Happenings: Today was my last day at work. We are well under way with our packing and the movers are due to pick up our belongings Wednesday! John is doing well. He still has some issues related with the after math from this surgery but as time goes on, he should start feeling more normal. After Wednesday, we will be living in our RV until John’s last round of chemo is finished with. Thank you all for your prayers! πŸ™‚


09/25/08

Today’s Happenings: Well, we are finished packing and the movers have come and gone with our household. We have moved into our RV and we now live next door to the parsonage at our church. πŸ™‚ Thank you, Pastor, for opening your property to us!!!

This last bout of chemo has been a tougher one for John. One of the symptoms has been sleeplessness, even with the sleeping pills prescribed to him. It has been difficult for my beloved to function with next to no sleep at all. He started taking melatonin (over the counter) a couple of nights ago and he got a full night’s sleep last night! The first night, he only took one pill but the second night, he took two and it worked!! Praise the Lord!!! \o/

Also, for those of you out there who are going through the same type of cancer that John has, here are some helpful hints. After the ileostomy reversal has occurred, you will have difficulty have normal “movements.” Eat Activia yogurt once a day with two tablespoons of flax seed mixed in with it. The flax seed gives it a nutty taste. John has been doing this for one week so far and it is seems like it is beginning to work. It will restore to the intestines the good bacteria that the chemo has destroyed. This will help stop diarrhea and will help in getting “regular.” It will also help with the “hemorrhoid-like” burning. For soothing the area, keep it clean with baby wipes that do not have any scents or alcohol. You may also want to use Desitin ointment or Vaseline. Watch out for ointments and wipes that have any type of acids. This tends to irritate the skin more. I hope these little helps will be of benefit to you.

It seems that each round of chemo brings with it different symptoms. I will try to document what we’ve done with these symptoms so that another can reap the benefit πŸ™‚


09/19/08

Today’s Happenings: Today was my last day at work. We are well under way with our packing and the movers are due to pick up our belongings Wednesday! John is doing well. He still has some issues related with the after math from this surgery but as time goes on, he should start feeling more normal. After Wednesday, we will be living in our RV until John’s last round of chemo is finished with. Thank you all for your prayers! πŸ™‚


09/11/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s chemo went well. He did get a headache, however, and still has it now, 4 hours later. The appointment with the surgeon went very well. He said that John no longer has to pack the little hole in his abdomen – he only needs to put a bandaid on it and let it heal. He said that John needs to follow up with a surgeon in Oregon in four months! Praise the Lord!! \o/ πŸ™‚


09/10/08

Today’s Happenings: Yet another good round of chemo today! John is feeling well. πŸ™‚ One more day of chemo and then he gets to rest!!!


09/09/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s treatment went well today. \o/ God is good ALL the time! πŸ™‚


09/08/08

Today’s Happenings: John started round number three of chemo today. It went very well! Praise the Lord!!! He had a slight headache, like the previous ones, and his face was just slightly flushed when he dropped by to see me. Other than that, he was in outstanding shape.

The surgical site is healing nicely. The hole is ever so small now. He is still having some “issues” with the plumbing but from what we understand, that is perfectly normal for intestines that have been “asleep” for twelve weeks. πŸ™‚

Times are getting exciting now. There is a light at the end of the tunnel as it relates to the move to Oregon. The movers will be here on September 23rd. We will then camp in our RV until we head out on October 20th! God is so faithful and SO good ALL the time!! πŸ™‚


09/05/08

Today’s Happenings: John is healing, slowly but surely. The oncologist did his blood count test yesterday and his numbers were normal! Praise the Lord. John will start this third round of chemo next Monday! πŸ™‚


09/02/08

Today’s Happenings: John is still a bit weak and feels as though he still has some of the meds from the hospital in his system. But each day brings more strength. He’s a tad impatient with his progress but isn’t that just like a man? πŸ™‚

He has to meet with the oncologist on Thursday to take a blood test to see if he is well enough to start chemo next week. The doctor had initially said that he would not do chemo for 10-14 days after the surgery so that would put John right on target.

John also has to meet with the movers to plan a date for our furniture to be picked up the week of the 20th. He is looking forward to getting this packing thing behind him – so am I πŸ™‚

09/01/08

Today’s Happenings: John came out of the hospital on Saturday. He is recuperating nicely with only a small hole at the incision sight for drainage. This should get smaller and smaller with time and heal completely. He is glad to be home!!! πŸ™‚ Thank you for your prayers!


08/29/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s catheter will be removed in a few minutes! \o/ Praise the Lord! I called him a bit ago and he said he is on a liquid diet and may even go to solids by supper time tonight! Wooohooo! That means that he should be coming home tomorrow! I am praying that this does happen because he is just not getting sleep there! Isn’t that just like a hospital? LOL!! πŸ™‚ Thank you all for praying!Β  This is just another answer to prayer showing us what a faithful Abba, Father we have!Β  God is good ALL the time!


08/27/08
Today’s Happenings: John’s catheter was removed this morning but unfortunately had to be put back in later today. This happened the last time so it’s not unusual. Hopefully he will be able to “go” on his own tomorrow morning. The nurse heard a tiny bit of gurgling in his abdomen which is good news. It means his intestines are “waking up” from the anesthesia and hopefully they will also be active tomorrow morning. If his plumbing works, he will be able to start liquids tomorrow and then solid foods the next day. That may mean he can home Friday or Saturday πŸ™‚ Thanks again for all your prayers!!!


08/26/08

Today’s Happenings: The surgery went wonderfully!! Thank You, Lord! God is Good ALL the time! πŸ™‚ The surgeon was able to reverse the ileostomy using the same opening that the stoma was located because there was not a lot of scar tissue. John was alert tonight and the nurse was talking about getting him to walk around after she finished her rounds. He was joking around and even to watch the news for a little bit. The last time we were in the hospital, the television stayed off and he did not want to watch anything! πŸ™‚ Thank you for your prayers!!!!


08/25/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s numbers were a bit down on his weekly blood work. However, they were not so low that surgery should be postponed. So we are good to go for tomorrow’s surgery. John said that he never looked forward to surgery more than this one! πŸ™‚ Pray for us tomorrow – pray for John – pray for the surgeon that the Lord would guide his hands. Thank you!!


08/19/08

Today’s Happenings: God is so Good through all of what we have gone through up until now! We have seen His hand of mercy and he has blessed us beyond belief! John’s pre-op tests yesterday showed no leakage at the surgery site and so he’s thumbs up for next Tuesday’s surgery! We are rejoicing and praising the God of Glory!!!


08/12/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s blood counts were very good. He was told that as he rests in these next few weeks, it’s not unusual for the chemo to “catch up” with him and his counts may go down. Time will tell on this one.

He had to go for a series of tests this morning in preparation for his ileostomy reversal. He had blood work done and an EKG. It didn’t take long and he was already finished by 9:30. Now we prepare for Adam’s departure 😦 Our hearts ache that it will be a long seven months or so before we see him again. Should the Lord lay him on your heart, please pray as he gets ready to be deployed to Iraq.

Next week, we will be traveling to Parris Island, SC to see Emma graduate from Marine Corps bootcamp! She is Aaron’s fiance and Bethany’s sister (Adam’s fiance) πŸ™‚ John will be having his surgery the week after on the 26th. The oncologist wants to wait 10-14 days before starting the third round of chemo, depending on John’s blood count results. After he has recuperated, we are packing and the movers will be taking our belongings to Oregon around the last week of September. We will live out of our RV until John has recuperated from his last round of chemo which should happen around the second week of October. Then off we go – Oregon bound! We plan to go South to visit my sister and her family in Louisiana then head out to Texas to see Aaron, whom we haven’t seen since mid May! We’re hoping to get in some sight seeing at the Grand Canyon and possibly Lake Tahoe before heading to Oregon! We are winding down now πŸ™‚


08/11/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s second round of chemo finished last Friday. The side effects weren’t as bad as the first round, praise the Lord! πŸ™‚ Other than the thinning hair and slight fatigue, he did great! The man just continues to simply amaze me!

He is on his way to have his weekly blood work done. I am anxious to hear what his counts are. I will post that on tomorrow’s update. Thank you all who visit here faithfully and pray for my beloved!!! πŸ™‚


08/07/08

Today’s Happenings: The chemo treatments are going well. John has rolling veins and the nurse always has a hard time administering the IV. 😦 Poor thing – I know he will be glad to have this behind him. John is losing some of his hair – it’s not coming out in clumps or anything but each time he combs himself, he sheds a lot. I told him he should just get a crew cut like he use to wear in the police force. πŸ™‚ Just two more days this week and he will have a three plus week of rest.

The next big step for John is the reversal surgery for the ileostomy on August 26th. Please pray for the doctor’s hands and that the Lord would be guiding them. This procedure will take 2-3 hours, according to the surgeon. John will be in the hospital 3-4 days until it is certain that his plumbing is working properly πŸ™‚


08/06/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s weekly blood count last Friday eeked by and he was able to start chemo on Monday. They altered the “recipe” a bit and gave him steroids instead of Benadryl. That did the trick! Praise the Lord. Other than a slight headache, Monday’s and Tuesday’s chemo treatments went beautifully! Thank You, Lord!! πŸ™‚


07/28/08

Today’s Happenings: John had his weekly blood work done this morning. His white cell count was really down – 1.20, which is quite low. He has to go back Friday morning for another count before they do the next round of chemo – which should be next week. He feels fine otherwise. We ask for your continued prayers πŸ™‚


07/25/08

Today’s Happenings: John has continued to get stronger and he is back to his normal self – I’m getting teased just like before πŸ™‚ We did have some great news, however, that I forgot to share here. His blood sugar is down and he no longer has to take diabetes medication but can control his numbers by watching what he eats. We are praising the Lord for this!! πŸ™‚


07/22/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s blood blister on his lip is finally beginning to heal. He continues to gain strength with each day. We praise the Lord for his progress. He is such a healthy man in spite of all of this. His numbers are good and we just want to proclaim that the Lord is faithful!! πŸ™‚


07/21/08

Today’s Happenings: We went camping over the weekend, just so that John would see something different than the four walls of the apartment and doctors’ offices πŸ™‚ We had a nice relaxing time, although it was so hot during the day, we were pretty much confined to the RV. That was OK – we sat and did puzzles, played games and watched a couple of movies.

John is still battling that blood blister on his lower lip. It just won’t heal. Hoping his weekly blood test today will present an opportunity to speak with the oncology nurse and she can give him some more pointers. He has not developed the blisters in his mouth or throat, praise the Lord! πŸ™‚


07/18/08

Today’s Happenings: Each day has brought John added strength. He is still struggling with the burning lips, however. The sores in the mouth and throat have yet to appear and we are praying that they don’t! He has lost almost 20 lbs since February – some of which was intentional and some of which is a result of the surgery and treatments. He is determined not to put it back on which is great πŸ™‚


07/17/08

Today’s Happenings: John was feeling better yesterday. He had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon. The exam showed that everything is healing nicely. He does not have to see the surgeon again until the day of the surgery πŸ™‚ John was feeling up to going to church last night so that was a treat! πŸ™‚


07/16/08

Today’s Happenings: Each day proves to be slightly better than the previous day for John. The chemo treatment drained him completely. One of the side effects of this treatment is blisters in the mouth and throat. To prevent it from happening, he has to brush after every time he eats. He also needs to rinse and gargle with a baking soda/salt mixed with water. This has been working thus far, although John said he had a “numb” spot on the roof of his mouth so maybe we are looking a blister forming… not sure. The nurse said she has some “magic mouthwash” should they develop. Also, his face is flushed and his lips are burning (I can actually feel the heat when I kiss him). We found out that the chapstick he was using has alcohol in it – as do most lip care products. We bought the bees wax kind and that seems to be doing better.

Once this week is over, we are hoping that John experiences the same progressing strength daily as Maureen’s friend did. That would be awesome! πŸ™‚


07/14/08

Today’s Happenings: The side effects of chemo vary from person to person, as everyone knows. John has had minimal side effects thus far. However, with this round of chemo, he has experienced more than before. His lips are burning badly – as if he has a horrible sunburn on them. He is at the oncologist’s now for his weekly blood test. Hopefully there is something they can give him or recommend to help alleviate the burning. His face is also flushed, as if his blood pressure is skyrocketing. However, I am thinking that this is the same result as the burning lips. 😦

My girlfriend, Maureen, told us that her girlfriend has been through the same type of chemo regiment as John. Her first week after the treatments were the worse and she saw improvement in the second and third weeks of rest. Prayerfully, my beloved will start to feel more like himself at the end of this week. πŸ™‚


07/11/08

Today’s Happenings: Today marks the last day of the first round. John was able to take a nap yesterday and that seemed to help him. He felt up to going for a walk so we went to the mall and walked for about an hour and a half! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad the weekend is here! Now he can start to recuperate and gain strength!


07/10/08

Today’s Happenings: I am thankful that John only has two more treatments to go before the three weeks of rest. I can see now why he would need the rest period. He is wiped out and feeling really sluggish. Hopefully the next three weeks will allow him to regain strength and stamina! We covet your prayers still because prayer works! πŸ™‚


07/09/08

Today’s Happenings: The chemo session went well yesterday – they will continue to administer the Benadryl and fluids prior to the treatment. This seems to work best for John’s body. Unfortunately, this round of treatments is wiping John out. He has been extremely tired. He was not able to go for our daily walk last night. Your prayers are so appreciated!! πŸ™‚


07/08/08

Today’s Happenings: Update: Prior to today’s session, they gave John the Benadryl up front and fluids. About a half hour later, they started the chemo and John responded well! Thank You, Lord!!! \o/ Praising Your Holy Name!! πŸ™‚

Initial post: John had a reaction to the chemo about a third of the way through it being administered. It shot up his blood pressure and he had difficulty breathing. They gave him Benadryl and said this was normal for the first time. He is currently having the second treatment as I write this. I am praying that it will go better this time around. 😦


07/07/08

Today’s Happenings: We went camping locally over the holiday weekend and had a nice relaxing time. John starts chemo today. It will be the same 5FU chemo as the last time except this time it will be administered intravenously for an hour with another chemical given along with it. The major side effects of these treatments are mouth sores and nausea. Although there were side effects from the last treatments, John never suffered from any of them. We are praying that the Lord will touch his body and help him with these. These treatments will be for five days this week and then he will have a three-week rest period. We continue to ask for your prayers for my beloved! Thank you πŸ™‚


07/02/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s keeping himself busy with little projects that he saved for just this recuperating time! He amazes me. He’s already talking about going back to work once the reversal surgery is behind him! What a guy πŸ™‚


07/01/08

Today’s Happenings: Various post-op symptoms from the surgery are surfacing. Nothing that John can’t handle but they are more of an annoyance. He’s also experiencing side effects from either the chemo or radiation (or both). We had been warned by some that these side effects (fatigue, pain, etc.) can sometimes go on for months or surface after a few months. It amazes me how the human body works! All in all, though, John takes things in stride. πŸ™‚

He’s still my hero! He is busy planning our trip to Oregon, gettings things in order, etc. That will keep him busy for a while πŸ™‚


06/30/08

Today’s Happenings: The weekend was a nice relaxing weekend. We visited with friends on Saturday night and it felt good to get away from the apartment πŸ™‚ They had not seen John in a couple of weeks and they were astounded by his weight loss. To date, he has lost 25 pounds and looks really good. The loss was welcomed and he is glad that he doesn’t have to work too hard at it, haha! He just watches what he eats and is exercising as well. What a guy! πŸ™‚


06/27/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s next round of chemo will begin July 7th and will go for four months. He will have an IV for five days in a row and then nothing for three weeks. He will do this four separate times. This will take us through the beginning of October. Our move plans are delayed yet again but the up side is that John will have recuperated thoroughly from his surgery and will be strong enough to pack and lift. God knows what He is doing πŸ™‚


06/26/08

Today’s Happenings: The oncologist’s office called this morning and they want John to come in to have his blood work done before the doctor sees him tomorrow morning. I’m anxious to see what his numbers are. It’s been a little over three weeks since his surgery. As faithful as the Lord has been to us thus far, I am looking forward to good numbers and a healthy man πŸ™‚


06/25/08

Today’s Happenings: John and I went walking before the appointment with the surgeon. On our walk, he mentioned his stomach felt odd. His stoma was seeping blood. Yikes! But God in His divine providence knew we were seeing the surgeon and our concerns would be addressed. What a wonderful and compassionate Heavenly Father we have! The surgeon said the intestine was “aggravated” and that this was perfectly normal. He said that John was doing great! The reversal has been scheduled for August 26th at 11:30, but we must be there at 10:00! This Friday, we will meet with the oncologist and we should have a plan of action for the next round of chemo by then!

We are going down hill now – the upward battle is behind us, praise the Lord!!! \o/ πŸ™‚


06/24/08

Today’s Happenings: I was sick over the weekend through yesterday. I’m so sorry I did not post an update on John yesterday!

He is doing very well! God is SOOO Good!! πŸ™‚ We have an appointment tomorrow morning with the surgeon (follow-up) and hopefully he will be released to drive. He’s tired of being cooped up in the house having to wait for me to take him places, LOL!! πŸ™‚ Knowing John, he will be back to the aisles at Lowe’s in no time! πŸ™‚ Friday, he will meet with the oncologist to discuss the next round of chemo. Thank ya’ll for your faithful prayers for my beloved!!! πŸ™‚


06/20/08

Today’s Happenings: At 3:00 this morning, John awoke with the urge to throw up. Then off he ran! He was so sick! 😦 When he was in the hospital, this was one of the things they were observing closely because it meant that digestion was not working. However, we’re not sure why he was throwing up. I think he may have caught a bug from one of the many visitors he has had since he has been home. When he got up this morning, he said he felt 100% better. In the 34 years I have been married to this man, I have only seen him throw up twice! He’s just so healthy!

Other that that (as if that wasn’t enough), he is doing great! He continues to be my hero!! What a guy he is! πŸ™‚


06/19/08

Today’s Happenings: Frustration is an emotion that comes over all of us. Dealing with doctors’ offices can be a frustrating experience, at BEST! John is trying to get an issue worked out over side effects he is having from his diabetes medication. Just trying to get to talk to a “live” person these days is like trying to pass an act from Congress! πŸ™‚

If this is the worst thing that happens to us today, we are truly blessed! πŸ™‚


06/17/08

Today’s Happenings: The percocet have run out and John is now on Extra Strength Tylenol. He is feeling some discomfort but not too bad! Thank You, Lord!! This speaks volumes as it relates to his recovery!

Life with an ileostomy brings with it many challenges. It’s all so new and it is quite cumbersome. Your prayers are appreciated in this area. Please pray that John would find the right “bags” to use that would be easy to work with.


06/16/08

Today’s Happenings: John had a good weekend. We did quite a bit of walking around the apartment complex. He is getting stronger every day. He got a Lowe’s gift card for Father’s Day and can’t wait to go shopping! πŸ™‚

Yep, I would say that he is feeling better! Thanks for the prayers!


06/12/08

Today’s Happenings: John is still having pain in the surgical area. But the site is healing very nicely. The butterfly strips have fallen and he has hardly any redness left. I believe the pain is normal because I remember hurting for about 2 weeks after my c-sections. At least he can take pain medicine and have a decent day. John is eating well and processing the food beautifully into the ileostomy. He has learned to deal with it but admits that he feels blessed that it is only temporary. He has much compassion for those who have permanent colsotamies, etc.

John has his follow-up with the surgeon on the 25th and meets with the chemo oncologist on the 26th. The oncologist will have blood work done to see how John’s immune system is after the surgery. This next round of chemo cannot be given with a compromised immune system. The nurse told us that this round would be for a shorter length of time (last time was almost 6 weeks) and it would be an infusion (IV for 30 minutes). She also said that he would have minimal nausea and no other symptoms (like hair loss, etc.). God has been so gracious to us in this area. John has remained physically strong and has handled all the treatments so beautifully. All of this is to the glory of God!


06/11/08

Today’s Happenings: Tuesday was our 34th wedding anniversary πŸ™‚ What a great anniversary gift for me to have my beloved back home!!

The home health nurse dropped by yesterday to see how John was doing. She could not get over the fact that his surgery site was already healed. John did not have staples or stitches. Apparently glue was used to seal the wound and then they used butterfly tape to keep it “together.” The tape fell off after his shower and the doctor had told him not to worry if that happened. I told ya’ll that John was an extremely healthy man. Just to brag on him a little, he rarely called in sick at work. Now he has about 900 hours of sick leave on the books. Plus he donates like a hundred hours to the City’s sick bank for others to use who are in need! What a guy!

Anyways, he is healing nicely. He was up and about quite a bit yesterday and it reminded me of the John prior to surgery πŸ™‚ His humor is back in full swing and he’s back to giving me a rough time! It’s good to have him back! He has a follow up with his surgeon in about 10 days and hopefully he will be released to be able to drive so he can get out of the house! He loves shopping and has already mentioned Wal-mart so I know that he is itching to get out there! πŸ™‚


06/10/08

Today’s Happenings: I am so sorry that I have not posted an update in five days! My hands have been full. Also, my internet connection at home has had problems and will finally be fixed today.

John came home from the hospital yesterday!!! Praise the Lord! It is wonderful to have him home. It amazes me how quickly things change with the human body. John is doing very good. His humor has returned with a vengance and he is making up for lost time πŸ™‚ Thank you all for your prayers! We know that it is because of the faithful prayers going up to Father in Heaven that he has done so well. He is learning to live with the ileostomy. It is definitely a different way of life for him. The stoma, which is the part of the small intestine that comes out of his body, is healing nicely. John has affectionately named it “Stumpy the Stoma”! πŸ™‚

He will have to go back to the hospital after 11 weeks to have it reversed. Also, more chemo is in the forecast. The Lord has been so faithful to us and deserves all the praise and glory. We know that He will take care of John in the same loving and complete manner as He has done thus far!!


06/05/08

Today’s Happenings: When I got to the hospital yesterday, John had just gotten back into bed from a walk!!!! Wow, he’s coming along so quickly! He walked again around 6:00 p.m. His color looks good and his humor is coming back πŸ™‚

The ileostomy nurse came to teach us how to change it, clean it, etc. That was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I was right on top of her, watching and even had some hands-on action going on, LOL! πŸ™‚ The nurse told us that he will have a home health care nurse coming out to the house a couple of times next week to make sure that all is going well. I am so thankful that the Lord provides us with just the right amount of grace we need to get through these things! I walked away from the hospital tired but with great feelings of accomplishment for the day. It looks like John won’t be home until Monday if all moves forward as we hope! He is awakened every 10 minutes or so by nurses and doctors. I hope he gets to go home soon for his sake because he really needs to get some rest! I’m not nearly as bothersome as they are!! LOL! πŸ™‚


06/04/08

Today’s Happenings: Today was a rough day for John. I got there at 11:00 and he had almost 101 fever. Apparently since he could not cough due to pain, fluid was building in his lungs. The pain meds (administred through his epidural) weren’t enough to kill the pain enough for him to cough – a vicious circle, ya know? The pain meds were settling in his right thigh and causing it to be numb. So they took the epidural out and started administering the pain meds via an IV. That worked and the pain meds kicked in and the pain was manageable. John’s coughing improved and the fever went down πŸ™‚ Isn’t God good??? I left him tonight and he was resting comfortably. Tomorrow morning, he will have to get up and start walking – that will help him to start feeling better. The worse is behind us!!! Again, praise the Lord!!!!


06/03/08

Today’s Happenings: The surgery was a complete success! Thank You, Lord! I had no doubt that the Lord would do this for John. All the cancer was removed and the surgeon found no signs of it elsewhere or the lymph nodes. The tumor was removed entirely and the colon was reattached. He has a temporary ileostomy (which is like a colostamy but it’s the small intestine). John was sleepy and in quite a bit of pain. They did an epidural for pain management so each time he felt he needed to take the edge off the pain, he pressed a button and pain meds were dispensed. The first 48 hours are critical and they are watching for any bleeding and infection. He will be in the hospital 6-7 days.

I thank you for your prayers for my beloved. I know that it is because of those prayers and by the grace of God that he is doing so well. I will try to post a little something each day when I get home from the hospital at night. God bless ya’ll!!!


06/02/08

Today’s Happenings: Thank you all for your prayers for tomorrow’s surgery! We have gotten a couple of calls from John’s cousins which really picked up his spirits. It amazes me that we can be closer to cousins than our own flesh and blood. Thank you Joel and Anita for calling John! What a good medicine it was for him. It reminded me of the verse: ~Proverbs 17:22a A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:

John has been on a liquid diet since midnight and has to start taking certain medications and drinking a special drink beginning at 3:00 today. As we approach surgery, “We lift up our eyes unto the hills from whence cometh our help. Our help cometh from the Lord!” What would we do without the Word of God to encourage our spirits?!


05/30/08

Today’s Happenings: We are going on a weekend camping getaway. This will be the last one for John for a little while – until he gets strong enough to man handle the RV πŸ™‚

Everything is ready for Tuesday’s surgery. We are prayed up – packed up – and good to go! I probably won’t be posting any updates until after the surgery since there really isn’t anything to report. Although I could always post something on God’s goodness to us since His blessings come daily πŸ™‚ God bless to each of you who are praying for my beloved! We probably won’t know this side of Heaven how many faithful prayers went up on his behalf!


05/29/08

Today’s Happenings: As usual, God is faithful. The Word says He never changes and I’m so glad! We can be up one day and discouraged the next, but God is our Rock and our Firm Foundation! He never sways and never moves! πŸ™‚ The best way to look at this cancer and all that is involved is “just one day at a time.” To look at the big picture can be overwhelming.

So we are encouraged that the same God of Glory who has brought John through thus far will be there for what lies ahead. Because God does not change, we can count on it! πŸ™‚


05/28/08

Today’s Happenings: John had all the prep work done for next week’s surgery yesterday. They discussed the colostamy with him and gave him literature to take home. I have to admit that I am somewhat apprehensive about it after reading the book. 😦 If there are any who are reading my blog who have experienced this and could give me some words of advice, I would welcome them greatly πŸ™‚ I know that our God will supply us with all that we need to go through this. I am praying for a strong stomach! πŸ™‚


05/27/08

Today’s Happenings: It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend camping! We had a relaxing time and a lot of fun. Today, John has gone to Fairfax Hospital to pre-register and get his bloodwork done in preparation for next Tuesday’s surgery. Your prayers are coveted!

My dear friend Sandy is going to come to the hospital and wait with me since the surgery will take about four hours! What a blessing she has been to this lady! God surely knows how to provide for His children! πŸ™‚


05/23/08

Today’s Happenings: We are taking advantage of camping this weekend and next since John will be laid up for a while after the surgery. This is a much needed rest for him since he drove the entire 2,200 mile trip (all but 4 hours) to Missouri last week. I have nothing but good and positive thoughts for his surgery. Considering that the Lord kept his body strong during the chemo and radiation, I believe with all my heart that He will be faithful to us yet once again. We are encouraged that after the twelve weeks of recuperation we can be Oregon bound πŸ™‚


05/22/08

Today’s Happenings: Surgery is going to be held at Inova Fairfax at 8:00 a.m. However, John needs to be there at 6:30. He has to go in for bloodwork next Tuesday (the 27th) in preparation. Our 34th wedding anniversary is June 10th and Father’s Day is the 15th. Hopefully he will be feeling somewhat human to be able to enjoy both days. I guess our chances of going on a cruise for our anniversary are slim to none πŸ™‚ I’m just thankful that we can celebrate that special day together!!

We did have good news on the chemo treatments! Wow, I never actually thought the words good news and chemo could be used in the same sentence! Anyways, the regiment will be for less time than the first go around (which was almost 6 weeks) and can start as soon as John’s immuse system is strong again after the surgery. That was VERY encouraging news. Olso, the oncology nurse said that the University of Oregon’s hospital is top notch when it comes to cancer treatment. Therefore, John will be in good hands for any follow-ups once we move. Well, actually, we all know that he is in good hands because he belongs to the Lord! It is just comforting to know that we are not moving to an area that we will have to search high and low for a good oncologist.


05/21/08

Today’s Happenings: It is our understanding that the next round of chemo will be aggressive and will more than likely make John pretty sick. As we prepare to go into this next phase, we ask that you pray. We know the Lord will sustain us through it all and we surely look forward to having this phase behind us πŸ™‚


05/20/08

Today’s Happenings: The chemo oncologist’s office called today to let us know that once John has had his surgery and has healed after 2-3 weeks, he is to meet with the oncologist to discuss a plan for the next round of chemo. Not sure when that will start or what type of chemo John will have at this point. But we DO know Who holds the future and we will leave that in His capable hands. πŸ™‚


05/19/08

Today’s Happenings: Thank you to all of you who prayed for traveling mercies for us. We arrived yesterday safe and sound. Our son’s graduation was awesome and it was wonderful seeing him!

We also heard from the surgeon and surgery has been scheduled for June 3rd. John will have a 12-week recuperation with a temporary colostamy and will receive chemo once again. We are nearing the end of this journey πŸ™‚


05/12/08

Today’s Happenings: John meets with the surgeon today. We are praying for positive results and that surgery can be scheduled in the not too distant future. Please pray for us as we travel tomorrow for our oldest son’s graduation from Army Basic Combat Training in Missouri. I will not be posting any updates until the 19th. Thank you! πŸ™‚


05/07/08

Today’s Happenings: This may not seem like much to you, but it meant a lot to me. Yesterday was John’s day off. His “To Do” list was as long as my arm. Our two “adopted” daughters were with him to lend a helping hand. One of these is leaving on May 27th to go to Marine Corps bootcamp at Parris Island. She’s 21 years old and in excellent physical health. John wore her out! πŸ™‚ What a guy!!


05/06/08

Today’s Happenings: After working a ten-hour shift (still on his Police motorcycle), John and I walked a whole mile! He is getting stronger each and every day, it seems. He could not walk that mile about a month ago so yesterday’s feat was encouraging!


05/05/08

Today’s Happenings: We went camping on Friday outside of beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. We were at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and it was absolutely beautiful. It was just the two of us and we just relaxed and had a nice time. Dear friends from Northern Maine (recently relocated to Amherst, VA) came by to visit with us and it was a blessing. John did well – he didn’t appear to be tired at all. Next Monday is his appointment with the surgeon and we are hoping to have a surgery date by then. That would be nice.


05/01/08

Today’s Happenings: Another day of fatigue for John. Although he worked a full day, he got home and did not have the “energy” to do much. We went to church and afterwards came straight home. We both have tomorrow off and will be going camping again. This will give him a three-day weekend to just kick back and rest. He wants to plan our trip to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to attend Aaron’s graduation from Basic Combat Training. πŸ™‚ We are also planning to visit Branson afterwards!


04/30/08

Today’s Happenings: We’re not sure what is causing this, but John’s hands (the inside of the hands) have become quite dry and they are a purplish color. We don’t know if it is the diabetes medication (possible side effect) or if it could be from the chemo or radiation. John is suppose to stop by and speak with the pharmacist today to pick his brain.

John was tired yesterday when he got home from work. It could have something to do with all the work he did on Emma’s car the day before, running into the night. He has to remember that radiation will continue to affect him (fatigue-wise) for several months, from what we’ve been told.


04/29/08

Today’s Happenings: Can you believe that John has been working full time through all of his treatments? The only time he took off was to go for treatments. Now he is in full swing and there’s no stopping him. πŸ™‚ He worked on our adopted daughter’s car last night until 8:30 and didn’t even experience fatigue! God is Good!!!


04/28/08

Today’s Happenings: John is feeling better with each day. His body seems to be getting back to normal. There is less fatigue and he is getting back to his old self πŸ™‚


04/23/08

Today’s Happenings: Each day brings added strength from the day before. πŸ™‚ The closer we get to surgery, the closer we get to retiring to Oregon πŸ™‚ We are looking forward to putting this chapter of our lives behind us.


04/22/08

Today’s Happenings: John continues to improve daily from the side effects of the treatments. He has an appointment with his surgeon for May 12th. He will have a test done to examine how much the tumor has shrunk and plans will be made at that time to schedule the surgery. May 12th is the day before we leave for Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to attend Aaron’s graduation from Basic Combat Training. We’re certain that the surgeon will be willing to wait until we return. πŸ™‚


04/21/08

Today’s Happenings: What improvement in just a few days since the treatments have ended! We praise the Lord that John is finally feeling better. The radiation burns are subsiding more and more every day! In fact, he did not need any ointment at all yesterday! πŸ™‚ God is so Good to him!

Today, John is to call the surgeon to schedule an appointment to discuss his upcoming surgery. More on that tomorrow.

We are planning our trip to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to attend Aaron’s graduation from Army Basic Combat Training! We are so looking forward to seeing him. It has been since February 27th and we are missing him. We will have the opportunity to spend the day with him on May 15th and then he is off to Goodfellow Air Force Base for 27 weeks for his Military Occupational Specialty Training as a Signal Intelligence Analyst. We have been blessed to have two sons and even more blessed that both have chosen to defend their country and are both serving in the Armed Forces. Our youngest is a Marine and is currently stationed in Okinawa. He will be going to Iraq in September so we covet your prayers for him. πŸ™‚ We are so proud of both our sons.


04/17/08

Today’s Happenings: We went out to dinner last night to celebrate John’s treatments being finished! πŸ™‚ Praise the Lord for His watchful hand on my beloved!

John had his weekly blood work this morning and the white cell count is back to normal!! OK, you absolutely have to attribute that to the Hand of God on John’s body! His red cell count was down a bit but we can get that back up with adding a bit more iron to his diet. πŸ™‚ We have some unexpected relatives from back home (in Maine) visiting today so we will be going out to dinner. Wow, going out to eat two days in a row! What a treat!! Note to self: Order John a nice fat steak for dinner tonight πŸ™‚


04/16/08

Today’s Happenings: Update: Well, it’s official. John is heading to his final radiation treatment as I type this. Thank You, Lord! πŸ™‚ Now on to the next step!

These concentrated radiation treatments are harder on John’s body. He has more fatigue and burning and now he is always cold (thin blooded as they say). Today is supposedly the last day of treatments. John called to see if the equipment had been repaired and they were “wrapping things up” as he spoke to them. Hopefully it will be repaired by the time he goes for his appointment πŸ™‚


04/15/08

Today’s Happenings: Update: Can you believe that the radiation equipment is down today so John’s last appointment is postponed to tomorrow? “ALL things work together for good” says the Word so we will leave it at that and look forward to tomorrow πŸ™‚

We are rejoicing that today is John’s last day of radiation and chemo!! The radiation oncologist said that the radiation burns will last another 7-10 days and then John should see some relief at that point! Our next step is to schedule an appointment with the surgeon. I am looking forward to putting the surgery behind us and to see my beloved heal. πŸ™‚

We went to the second class on diabetes education last night. The nurse teaching the class told us that more than likely John’s blood sugar will go back to what it was before the treatments started but he will always have to “watch” his blood sugar from now on. Smart eating and exercise is the key.


04/14/08

Today’s Happenings: Friday’s radiation treatment was zoned in on the tumor itself. It also lasted longer than the previous treatments. This strategy will also be used today and tomorrow. Bless my beloved’s heart, he is in so much pain from the radiation burns at this point. The nurses have given him creams to numb the burning but they do not work immediately upon application 😦 The burning causes John to be nauseous and then it subsides.

But we celebrate the victories in the midst of trial and we look unto the hills from whence cometh our help! John has not seen any blood in his stool for a couple of weeks now! That means the tumor is shrinking and the treatments are working! πŸ™‚ Thank You, Lord! Tomorrow is John’s last day of treatments and we will then schedule an appointment with the surgeon to plan for the next step! πŸ™‚


04/10/08

Today’s Happenings: John visited our Family Physician yesterday and his cholesterol is a concern. Due to the onset of diabetes, it is not good for his cholesterol to be over a certain number. Soooo, yet another pill for him to take. 😦 That was a bit discouraging for him since he has never taken pills all of his life, except for an occasional head ache. I suppose this is a difficult thing for a man to go through when they have been the tower of strength for such a long time.

But on a positive note, John has four radiation treatments left and six chemo days! Praise the Lord \o/ God is so Good. I truly believe that he has done so well thus far because of the faithful prayers of all of our friends, family and blogging community! I thank all of you! I am blessed beyond measure! πŸ™‚


04/09/08

Today’s Happenings: We are counting down the days of our last week in treatments! The symptoms of fatigue and radiation burn increase a little with each day. John was extremely tired yesterday. He directed traffic for about 20 minutes and was exhausted. He even took an hour nap when he got home from his radiation treatment. We went out to dinner with friends and celebrated that he is on his last week πŸ™‚ You have to celebrate milestones, ya know? πŸ™‚


04/08/08

Today’s Happenings: John met with the radiation oncologist yesterday and he said that John will not have to see him after next Tuesday. The next step will be to meet with the surgeon. At this point, another scan will be done to see how the tumor is doing.

We went to a diabetes education class last night from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. It was definitely informative and yet mind boggling at the same time. There is so much to learn. We have another class next Monday night as well.


04/07/08

Today’s Happenings: The weekend was fairly uneventful. We did attempt to walk a mile because the diabetes education states that this is good for John. I think because of the effects of radiation and chemo, it was too much for John. He felt as though he had been hit by an 18-wheeler! 😦 Note to self: ‘No walking until John’s energy returns’ πŸ™‚

We are winding down the treatments! πŸ™‚ After today’s radiation, John will have six more to go and 8 chemo treatments!!! It is so wonderful to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We truly have been blessed. The side effects have not been anything like what April, a dear Christian young lady in our church, has been going through. We can only rejoice and give God all the glory!


04/04/08

Today’s Happenings: John has to attend an initial consultation for diabetes education this morning. He will have to have two, three-hour education classes to learn how to live with diabetes. I guess his three-ring binder of information is going to expand, LOL! πŸ™‚

No new symptoms have surfaced since yesterday! \o/ Thank You, Lord! We are praying that this will be the maximum discomfort that he will experience and we will be certain to give the Lord all the praise, honor and glory for it!


04/03/08

Today’s Happenings: Today is not going to be an easy day. John is driving Adam to the airport and will be saying good-bye. For those of you who do not know our family personally, Adam is a Marine and is being stationed in Okinawa, Japan. We won’t be seeing him until Spring of next year. I know this will be difficult for John and your prayers are coveted!

As for his health, the effects from radiation and chemo are showing up. The fatigue has caught up to him and I found him on the bed napping after his treatment yesterday. He also fell asleep during a meeting and was awakened by his Lieutenant asking him if everything was OK! πŸ™‚ The cream which the oncologist gave him for the radiation burns helps most of the time. Starting Tuesday, John now takes medication for diabetes. We discovered that his blood sugar was 138 back in January, when he went for his first physical prior to being diagnosed with this cancer. The chemo has jacked that number up to over 300 and we are hoping that once the effects wear off, his numbers will go down and the diabetes can be managed by diet.

An encouraging note – after today, John will have eight radiation treatments left and 12 days left of chemo! Wooohoooo! We are seeing the end of the tunnel!!


04/01/08

Today’s Happenings: Update: John’s blood sugar has come back quite high in the last few blood tests at the chemo oncologist’s office. He has had a fasting blood test and his blood sugar is 300. He has been diagnosed with diabetes and a prescription has been given for the time being. Now he has to schedule two three-hour diabetes education classes. Bless his heart!! Chemo plays havoc with the body, no doubt! I don’t have the answers as to why this is happening but I know the One who does πŸ™‚

The oncologist gave John some ointments for the radiation burns and hopefully that will help him. We are rejoicing because truly this is the only thing that has happened thus far that has been painful. The chemo’s side effect of the racing heartbeat and nausea were resolved by resting for 30 minutes after taking the pills so that was easy πŸ™‚ Thank ya’ll for your prayers for my beloved!! I can hardly believe that he has two weeks left of treatments, if a radiation treatment is not canceled for some reason! \o/ God is so Good!


03/31/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s gone through more than half of his treatments and we are thankful that he has done so well thus far. He is beginning to show signs of radiation burn and some sluggishness. This is to be expected. The radiology oncologist told him to let them know when these symptoms surfaced as they have cream he can use. We had a great weekend camping and it was a wonderful time of fellowship with our Marine. His departure is just a few days a way and we’re making every moment count πŸ™‚


03/28/08

Today’s Happenings: Well, John has passed the half way mark on his treatments!! \o/ πŸ™‚ The oncologist has taken more blood to test his blood sugar again. Still no medication has been given to control it at this point. John is enjoying Adam’s visit. We found out yesterday that Aaron will not be coming home between Army’s basic training and Advanced Training. If we cannot make it to his graduation due to John’s surgery, we will not see Aaron again until we travel cross country on our way to Oregon. Soooo, we are praying that surgery will occur after his graduation and both or one of us can go to his graduation πŸ™‚


03/27/08

Today’s Happenings: John is feeling sluggish – not really hurting but just not “with it.” He has a “full” feeling all the time [like you do after you’ve eaten Thanksgiving dinner πŸ™‚ ] That may be why he is feeling sluggish – I don’t know. He is meeting with the Chemo Oncologist today and will discuss this. Other than that, my beloved is doing well. He never ceases to amaze me, that man of mine! Here his body is being pumped with poison and radiation yet he is still working full time as a Police Motorman and has not slacked in any of his chores around our home. The Lord has given me an awesome husband! God reveals His goodness to us every day and we are grateful to be part of His family! I covet your prayers for John as his body starts to feel the effects of his treatments.


03/26/08

Today’s Happenings: John had to have a fasting blood test done yesterday morning for the high blood sugar count from the previous blood work. His counts came back at 183, which is better than the 300. We are waiting to hear from his oncologist to see if there is going to be medication involved to lower it at this point. So far, he is still doing fairly well. He amazes me! Our youngest son, Adam (our Marine), came home yesterday morning for a ten-day visit before he is stationed in Okinawa for the next three years. That is a real boost to John’s spirits, that’s for sure! The Lord has been gracious and has encouraged him! πŸ™‚


03/24/08

Today’s Happenings: Update: John’s chemo oncologist called and said that his blood sugar is elevated. It should be between 70 and 110 and his count is 300! He has to fast after midnight and go for a blood test at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow! John had a good weekend. After today, he will have completed three weeks of chemo and 12 radiation treatments. He had a talk with the radiation oncologist last Thursday and discussed how his appointments keep getting canceled or delayed by more than an hour. It must have worked because as of today, his appointments have been bumped up to 2:15, which is awesome. He won’t have to fight as much traffic! πŸ™‚ So far, John has had no radiation burns. We have a friend who had uterin cancer and recommended applying Cetaphil lotion on the skin a couple of times a day. She said that she never did get radiation burns. John has been doing that and so far so good πŸ™‚ He continues to take it easy for about 30 minutes after taking the chemo. That has helped with the nausea. He can feel his heart racing but not as much when he is resting. After the 30-minute rest, he’s “good to go”!

My husband is my hero, I must admit! He has such peace and I never hear him complain (except for the traffic LOL)!


03/21/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s convinced that the commute to and from radiation is worse than the whole cancer ordeal. He has had to wait up to an hour and a half for them to take him the past few days. Then that puts him at the height of rush hour and the commute home is tiring. Bless his heart! We went to tour Washington, D.C. last night with his visiting family and the steps of the Lincoln Memorial tired him out. We are seeing the first signs of fatigue from the treatments.


03/20/08

Today’s Happenings: Is there a better way to encourage a cancer patient than precious relatives coming for a visit? I can’t think of a better way πŸ™‚ My husband’s brother, Ray, along with Ray’s son-in-law and grandson, arrived last night. They are on their way to Orlando for a much needed vacation and we are glad that we live half way!!! πŸ™‚ John had not seen his brother in two years and this did more for him than any medicine. I think of

(Prov 17:22a) A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:

What a blessing this is to my beloved!!


03/19/08

Today’s Happenings: Traffic in the Northern Virginia area is so unpredictable. It is just as unpredictable as doctor’s appointments! 😦 John arrived at the hospital for his radiation treatment yesterday at 3:10 and he was not taken until 4:45! The treatment itself is quite short and he is usually out within 15 minutes. Needless to say, this is the height of rush hour traffic and John’s trip home was long and arduous! The 22 mile trip home (usually about 25 minutes) stretched into 50 minutes… no wonder he’s tired when he gets home! I’m a healthy person and I would be tired! πŸ™‚


03/18/08

Today’s Happenings: Sitting down for about 30 minutes after taking his chemo seems to help. He still feels a little queezy but that’s all. That’s awesome considering what his body is going through! He has been on chemo for two weeks now and has 16 days to go and 19 more radiation treatments. I know he will be glad to have these treatments behind him! Now we are looking forward to our son, Adam, coming home for a short stay before the Marine Corps ships him to Okinawa! His brother, Raymond, is coming for a visit this week on his way to a vacation in Florida. His cousins, Joel and Sylvia from Ohio (and their niece Rachel) will be coming Easter Sunday evening as well. These are all great distractions, especially our son! πŸ™‚


03/17/08

Today’s Happenings: John began feeling light headed and had heart palpitations after taking the Xeloda last Friday. If he is doing anything physical, even walking, the symptoms appear. However, if he is simply sitting, then he does not feel them. He will talk to the chemo oncologist nurse today to see if this is “normal.” 😦 I can see that he is not himself and can only pray that this will be as “bad as it gets” πŸ™‚


03/14/08

Today’s Happenings: I’m not sure if the fatigue from the treatments is starting to take effect or if John just had an exhausting day – he was pretty tired last night. He had a large docket at court and it can take its toll on him. He went through a full week of radiation and has been on chemo now ten days. His first weekly blood count shows that he is doing well and his counts are well within the acceptable range! Thank You, Lord!! John is upbeat and has not let this thing control his life. We are making plans for Adam’s homecoming and we are going to enjoy him for the two to three short weeks we have with him before he goes to Okinawa.


03/13/08

Today’s Happenings: Still no side effects from the chemo and radiation. Today is day 6 of radiation and day 9 of chemo. John took the car in to be repaired and was able to get a rental car so he can make today’s appointments. Spring is just around the corner for us. Temps are suppose to be 60 today and 50’s the rest of the week. There are tiny buds on the trees and shouldn’t be too much longer before we are enjoying the beautiful cherry blossoms! πŸ™‚


03/12/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s still doing well with the treatments. Not a side effect as of yet! πŸ™‚ While he was driving home from radiation treatments yesterday on I-66, he was following an SUV. He decided to change lanes. Just as he changed, there was something rolling in the road and he could not swerve to avoid it because the SUV was on his left and a car was on his right – so he had to run over this “thing.” He thinks it was the plastic piece that covers the wheel well over a tire. He was going about 55-60 mph and did not lose control of the vehicle at all. I have to tell you, if that had been me, I would certainly have caused an accident! When he got home, he saw that there was damage to the car. So repairs will be done tomorrow and he’ll have to get a rental car. Just another day …


03/11/08

Today’s Happenings: John’s appointment calendar has been done for the month of March. He noticed his weekly blood work had been scheduled at the same time as radiation so we had to reschedule those. Bills are beginning to come in the mail and we can see where it could become quite confusing. The possibility of double paying things seems likely. I think maybe I should start a spreadsheet to record doctors’ visits and bills as they come in. I can’t imagine keeping track of it all any other way. If anyone reads this and has a better way, please let me know πŸ™‚


03/10/08

Today’s Happenings: John has been on chemo for six days and radiation for two days. Unless it’s canceled once again, today will be day three for the radiation treatment. In speaking with Stephana, a friend who has been through the radiation treatments, she shared that Cetaphil Lotion was an excellent way to prevent radiation burns on the skin. So that has been added to our “goodie bag” full of helpful things. So far, John has tolerated the chemo without any incidents. That’s awesome! Thank You, Lord! πŸ™‚


03/07/08

Today’s Happenings: We’re on day three now and John is still doing well. He feels like he is “sloshing” because he has to drink three quarts of water a day πŸ™‚ If that is my beloved’s only complaint in all this, we are truly blessed! The radiation equipment was “down” today so that treatment has been cancelled. In a way, that’s great because John won’t have to fight Friday’s rush hour traffic on I-66 πŸ™‚ Gotta look at the bright side, right?


03/06/08

Today’s Happenings: John has been on chemo for over 24 hours now. The only “side effect” thus far is the taste of metal when he licks his lips. Today will be day 2 of radiation.

03/05/o8


Today’s Happenings: Well we actually got all the problems straightened out with the insurance company and John’s chemo medicine! It will cost $1500 for 8 pills per day for every ten days! Praise the Lord for insurance, that’s all I can say. John started both chemo and radiation today. He will have radiation Monday through Friday and chemo every day (by mouth). He’s doing great today!


03/04/08

Today’s Happenings: Today we heard from the Radiation Oncologist and John’s radiation will begin tomorrow, along with the chemotherapy. So I am showering him with prayers πŸ™‚


03/03/08

Today’s Happenings: We received a call from the Radiation Oncologist this morning and their office at the hospital flooded over the weekend. John’s treatments have been delayed until probably Wednesday. We also heard from the Chemo Oncologist yesterday (YES, on a Sunday!), and he said that his research has shown that John will be able to take chemo in pill form (by mouth). That will more than likely start tomorrow. We’re suppose to hear from his nurse today to let us know the schedule. Spiritual Aspects: John is doing great! He is ready to get this all behind him and move forward with his retirement. He says he is really glad that we are here in Virginia while he is going through this. Our dear friends are here, our precious church family as well and we know our way around this area. Had we been in Oregon already, it would have been more difficult. But we know that with the Lord, all things are possible and He would be caring for us there as well. Still being here in Virginia just shows His mercy in our lives πŸ™‚


02/29/08

Today’s Happenings: We met with the Chemo Oncologist this morning. He will start John on treatments next Monday morning. John will receive a Chemo shot for the first four to five radiation treatments and then the last four to five radiation treatments. The side effects of this chemo are diahrea, fatigue, mouth sores, raw palms and soles of the feet. The side effects of the radiation are diahrea and fatigue. These side effects are the worse case scenario. Not everyone experiences them. The Chemo Oncologist said that John will need to have treatments after surgery as well. The reason for being aggressive is because the recurrence of colorectal cancer is pretty severe and it would not be a good thing for John. I’m all for preventing it from coming back again πŸ™‚


02/27/08

Today’s Happenings: We met with John’s Chemo Oncologist this morning. Unfortunately, he did not have all the test results he needed to have in front of him to make a decision as to what chemo treatment would be best for John 😦 He did offer a tidbit of information, however. He said that if it is the type of treatment he thinks John will have, John might receive a shot for the first four radiation treatments and the last four radiation treatments. That would be awesome if this could be the procedure used! I think the worst part of all of this trial has been the waiting. But I also know that the Lord has reasons for delays and His reasoning is always for our benefit and blessing πŸ™‚ We just heard that our follow-up appointment with him will be this Friday at 9:30 a.m. Looking forward to seeing what the doctor has to say on Friday! So we are in the “hurry up and wait” mode πŸ˜‰


02/25/08

Today’s Happenings: We met with John’s Radiation Oncologist. He told us that John is in Stage 1 Cancer (T2, N0) and not Stage 2! This is good news πŸ™‚ John goes back tomorrow afternoon to have measurements made on his body so he can start receiving radiation next week – 5 times a week for 28 treatments. The doctor said that the type of radiation John needs is like a shotgun shot. It will hit the tumor but will also go around the tumor. John should only have fatigue toward the end of 28 treatments. He said that John’s prognosis is very good for full recovery. He did, however, tell us that John will have to have chemo as well. So Wednesday morning, John meets with the Chemo Oncologist. The chemo treatment will treat any cancer cells elsewhere in the body. We are looking forward to hearing how this will affect his body.


02/19/08

Physical Aspects: John has been diagnosed with Stage 2 Rectal Cancer. We will meet with the radiology oncologist next Monday (2/25) to discuss radiation treatments. It is our understanding that John will have treatments five days a week for six weeks to shrink the tumor. He will then give his body a rest to prepare it for surgery to remove what’s remaining of the tumor. After surgery, he will have a temporary colostamy and will need to recuperate for 12 weeks. Spiritual Aspects: The Lord has been faithful and has encouraged us thus far. I have been able to speak with people in the waiting rooms and I have asked the Lord to send a soul along so I can share the Gospel! I know that we will meet people we would not have met otherwise. What a mission field!!

23 Responses to 1-John’s News

  1. Deborah Odom says:

    John & Kate,
    You are on our church prayer list – we lift you both up to our heavenly Father for He knows best. I know that going through this trial will sometimes seem dark. Please know that we are praying for you.
    Kate, I love that you refer to this as a “bump in the road”! That is the way I always refer to things as they come to us.

    In His Grace,
    Deborah Odom

  2. Mimi says:

    Just wanted you to know I prayed for John today…
    In Him,
    Mimi

  3. Kate says:

    Deborah and Mimi, thank you so much for praying for my beloved!!! πŸ™‚

  4. Deborah Odom says:

    Kate,
    Still praying and praising – our God is an awesome God!
    Deborah

  5. Kate says:

    Thank you Deborah!!! πŸ™‚

    Kate

  6. Mimi says:

    John is an amazing person.. I can’t believe he still functions in his job while he is going through Chemo and Radiation…God is certainly strengthening him , because I don’t know of very many people who can continue to function normally while undergoing what he is going through…

    I continue to lift you both up in prayer…
    Mimi

  7. Kate says:

    I know, Mimi! He is amazing πŸ™‚

  8. Mimi says:

    I am praying especially for the discomfort and pain associated with the radiation…
    and for your appointment with the surgeon…that all goes as expected and they are able to complete the treatment…
    I also pray for you, because I know how hard this is on you as you try to support and encourage John…
    Cancer happens to the entire family…
    Mimi

  9. Kate says:

    Thank you, dear Mimi! πŸ™‚ My beloved and I will never know all those who have prayed for us this side of Heaven! Thank you to ALL who are praying! πŸ™‚

    Kate

  10. Mimi says:

    God is good all the time!!
    Praises to Him for how He has strengthened John as he went through these radiation treatments
    Mimi

  11. Mimi says:

    I am praying for the decisions made during your appointment…
    Mimi

  12. Mimi says:

    I pray for you and John as you meet with his surgeon today!!
    Praying,
    Mimi

  13. Kate says:

    Thank you, Mimi! You are a blessing to us!

  14. Joe says:

    I felt led to pray for John several times in the last few days. And also for you Kate, as these are very difficult times for you also. I pray that all the side effects will be minimal and a comfortable pain level is maintained

  15. Kate says:

    Thank you for your prayers Joe!!! They are so appreciated!!! I continue to pray for you as well!

  16. Heather says:

    Kate
    So glad John is doing as well as he is and that a surgery is scheduled soon! You are a wonderful lady and encouragement to others.

  17. Kate says:

    Oh Heather, thank you so much for visiting!!! I really do appreciate all the prayers for my beloved!!!

  18. Mimi says:

    Praying for John and for you as he undergoes surgery on Tuesday…
    Mimi

  19. Kate says:

    Thank you for praying!!! πŸ™‚

  20. Mimi says:

    still praying for you both as John recovers from the surgery…and continues with the treatments..
    I know it is a most difficult time learning to deal with the ileostomy as he is suffering from the pain and discomfort of treatments
    {{Hugs}}
    Mimi

  21. phil12123 says:

    It has been nearly 8 months since we have seen any news. Please bring us up-to-date. How is John doing?

  22. jil brwn says:

    Any updates? This site is beautiful. My husband had surgery for melanoma last year and now the cancer is back. Prayers for all who come to this site looking for encouragement God is faithful and a True Refuge in times of trouble.

    • Maranatha says:

      John is still cancer free. He has had multiple issues with hernias due to all the surgeries but other than that, he is doing well! Praise the Lord for His unending mercy! I am praying for your husband!! Please come back and update us on his progress. God bless!!

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