Wednesday, July 29, 2009

free at last

Just got home from the hospital where I had the port in my chest removed this morning! It feels like a significant mile marker in this journey. I am so thankful to be free!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

a tougher than expected home stretch

When we got the news that the chemo was successful and that I would do some radiation to make sure the tumor wouldn't come back, I think we thought the hardest part of the journey was behind us. Two forces have come into play, however, that have made it seem anything but easier.

The first - we let down. We hadn't realized it, but we had girded ourselves for a tough journey, and when it seemed the end was near, we relaxed our emotional grip on life. It was in this place of emotional safety that we began to realize that we are pretty worn out. We are tired. I am going to work but finding myself doing a lot of staring at the wall. Casey often dreads the daily duties of motherhood. It makes sense that we would feel this way and just need a little time to get back to even keel.

BUT - I guess we underestimated radiation a little bit. In response to our new found weariness, we hastily planned a trip to the mountains in an attempt for needed restoration. But my compromised lungs couldn't take the elevation, so our trip consisted of one 7 hour drive, one scary mid-night ER visit, one 7 hour drive home. We had let our guard down and really weren't prepared for this. It was very discouraging, but as a family we looked at Psalm 22 and talked about how we turn to God in our disappointment. Partly to make up for the failed trip, the next week Casey took the kids to her folks. During that time, I over did it a little bit, which caused pain in my lungs, which led me to take some pain medication with codeine in it, which caused me to just about pass out in a crowded restaurant at lunch time, which prompted the manager to call an ambulance, which led to my second ER visit in as many weeks.

So, I think I have finally adjusted my expectations to be a little more in line with reality. I have taken to heart all the lectures from my friends about over-doing it. I am admitting that the radiation is taking its toll on me. I am back to taking a nap when I am tired and I have found a better way to deal with the pain than codeine. We are still very weary, but my last day of radiation is scheduled for Monday July 13th. I know that if God has carried us this far, he will see us through.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

what's new

Hey friends, I just wanted to keep you posted on what's new with Adam. He's had radiation everyday this week. It doesn't take too long and didn't keep him from volunteering at the sports camp our church helps host each year. He has three tiny tattoos now where they target the radiation. They're permanent. He's really living on the wild side seeing as they are smaller than a freckle. :) Anyway, we are very grateful to be able to get away this weekend with the kids. We will go enjoy the mountains for a few days where my folks have a lovely home. We've been feeling the need for a little rest and the mountains have always been been a place where God restores us. I guess you could say it's holy ground for us. It's been difficult to move forward mentally and emotionally and just knowing that we get to get away for a couple of days is like a breath of new life. Adam meets with the radiation oncologist tomorrow so we'll keep you posted with anything new soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Saw the radiation oncologist this morning. He is recommending 5 weeks of daily radiation. Says that this will take the risk of recurrence at this location from 25 - 30% to 4%. I will have another CT tomorrow and then will probably begin radiation next week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

what cancer?

According to Dr. Cruz, the chemo worked and the tumor is dead for all intents and purposes! He recommends that we talk to the radiation oncologist to do some targeted radiation just to make sure it is good and nuked. He said the chances of it never coming back are around 90%!

On one hand, this is exactly what I expected to hear, and it's almost as if it's no big deal - I am ready to move on with life. On the other hand, I am having moments where I am kind of relaxing emotionally and letting it sink in that I am very near the end of a crazy journey. We have been so geared up to deal with cancer treatment that I haven't really reckoned emotionally with how hard it has been. So I find myself wanting to laugh and cry at the same time.

Most of all I feel so incredibly thankful to God and have a new sense of adventure in life with Him. I feel ready to live each day saying "wherever, whenever,whatever - I'll follow you"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

a taste of freedom

At this moment, I have gone longer without chemo than any time this year. Were I still on the every-three-week schedule, today would have been chemo day. I can't tell you how sweet it was to get a taste of freedom! I am trying not to get my hopes up, though. I'll meet with the doctor next Wednesday May 27th to find out the results of the scan I had on Monday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

good week

Hey everyone, I just wanted you to know that we are having a good week. Adam is doing much better I think because of the shot they gave him to boost his white blood cell production. It has been an encouraging week and we are thrilled to be able to get out of town for a couple of days.
I just wanted you all to know that morale is up and we are grateful. Thanks so much for walking this journey with us. It's not over, but maybe soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I've been trying to get Adam to post a blog, but I think it's difficult for him to post because there's nothing new really. We're in the "really not fun" part of the journey. It's like the stretch between Lubbock and Amarillo that you have to endure on your way to the mountains. You know you're going somewhere good that will be well worth it, but that two hours of scenery leaves little to be desired. Here's another analogy: It's as if we've been running a marathon and just as we think we're approaching the end an official tells us we have 10 more miles to go. Morale is low but we keep going. Adam is still pretty tired these days. His white blood cell counts were 2.5. They should be between 9-14. They gave him a shot that helps him produce more white blood cells which has helped some. They also gave him another medicine for his mouth sores which has helped tremendously. The prednisone he takes can cause depression which it hasn't done for Adam but it does make him more emotionally raw. I don't need any help in that department. :) I cry at the drop of a hat these days simply because I just can't help it.
However, we are looking forward to getting out of town next weekend- just us. This is a huge and welcome blessing. Also, it's a fun time of year full of school celebrations and recognition. We enjoy delighting in our kids and their accomplishments and we welcome the distraction. I am so proud of how resilient they have been. I find myself wishing I had more energy to really love on them.
So, there's what's going on with us. It's not pretty but it's real.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One more?

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a big day. It will be Adam's 6th round of chemo. Hopefully, it will be his LAST round of chemo. Please pray for his health. He's starting this round off already not feeling great. We anticipate a rough remainder of the week ahead of us. We had a chance to go walking together this morning and then to breakfast. We were both thankful for some time together and it was life-giving to be outside. I think we both have come to the breaking point a couple of times, but I have felt like God has taken hold of each of our faces and fixed our eyes on Him. I pray that He will continue to enable me/us to see this situation through His lens and not my own.

Meals for May

Hey Friends...
We are in need of meals for the month of May.  If you can provide one or team up with another family to provide one, it would be much appreciated!

(see care calendar info. on side bar of this blog)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh well...

This has been a crazy week. Actually, all the weeks are running together. What is normal now? We were supposed to take the kids camping this weekend to Palo Duro Canyon. This is Adam's week before chemo- when he's usually feeling his best. We have been saving this week for things that require the most energy or things Adam would really want to feel good for- like camping. The ideal was to get away for a small adventure with the kids. It has been so windy that we haven't had many opportunities to really get out and play. However, camping doesn't ever go as planned. We were aware of this, but it still sounded fun. Nature, scenery, bonding, adventure....However, it isn't going to happen. There are several reasons, one big one for me is that Adam is unusually tired. He's also fighting lots of painful mouth sores. He is so willing to push through his fatigue with a smile that it's easy for me to forget he's still sick. I think it's easy for him to forget as well. Well, this week is the reminder that we aren't finished yet. We are still in this season as much as we'd like to move on. This is when perseverence really kicks in. There is still much for which to be thankful. It's just that now we are practicing gratitude as a discipline as well as an emotion. God is good- all the time. All the time- God is good. That camping trip will come. Just not yet.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Today is chemo day, but more importantly news-wise, we got to talk with the doctor about the CT scan I had on Friday. The news is good!

Bottom line - the tumor continues to shrink and we are right on track with the treatment plan!
While the tumor initially measured around 10cm x 11cm, it now measures at 3.5cm x 5.9cm - a little less than half it's original size. Because the tumor has been responsive to chemo so far, the doctor expressed optimism that the treatment will be successful.

The plan continues to be to take two more rounds of chemo followed by a PET/CT scan which will allow them to measure both the physical dimensions of the tumor and if the tumor is still active or not. This scan will determine next steps. If the tumor continues to shrink considerably and they think more chemo will be effective, they may order two more rounds of chemo. If the PET scan reveals a tumor that has reached the end of its responsiveness to chemo, but is still somewhat "alive", then radiation is the next step. If the tumor appears to be "dead", then we will consult with the doctors on the costs/benefits of doing radiation. They may decide to do the radiation anyway as a preventative measure for any future occurrence since the tumor was so large initially.

Ok - the benadryll they give me before the chemo has just hit me, so I will sign off for now. It's hard to type "drunk"! I will definitely keep you posted if more details emerge. Thanks for all your prayers and love...
-Adam (for Casey, Ben and Ellie)