Saturday, February 28, 2009


I feel like dookie today...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

what makes nausea worth it

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I've started several in my head, but they didn't make it to my fingers. I'll post those later, but here are some details about today.

Today was my third round of chemo, of 6 scheduled treatments. Halfway! For the most part it felt very routine - draw blood, see the doctor, nurse sticks the iv in the port and I sit there for 5 or 6 hours, and now I am home and feeling weird. ("weird" is what I write when I don't want to go into details about how I feel because it feels like complaining. Is it helpful to know more details, or is 'weird" enough for you? Just wondering...)

Anyway, I got some really good news from the doctor today. I got to see the CT scan they took in the ER a week and a half ago next to the original scan, and the tumor has definitely shrunk! In the "before" picture, the tumor almost totally obscured my heart from the top view, and most of my heart is almost completely visible in the most recent scan. This is especially good because it only reflects the effects of the 1st round of treatment and a little of the 2nd!

Because I had the unscheduled CT in the ER, the doctor has pushed the next scan to after the 4th round. So in effect I will have scans after the 2nd, 4th and 6th rounds.

That's the main news from today. I'll write more later this week with other tidbits about how we are doing. Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and prayers. We feel overwhelmingly loved by you and held close by God.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Updated Meal Calendar

Just a note to let you all know that there are meal calendars set up for March and April now.  We are still doing 2 meals a week.  Casey says the meals are great...they provide a break for her, while allowing her to still cook many nights a week (which is something she enjoys).

If you wish to provide a meal or a gift card to a resturant, please go to (calendar #: 10660 /security code: 9900)


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Casey here. I just wanted to update you all a little bit. Ellie is feeling all better. Friday was her first fever free day and she jumped on the trampoline for over an hour out of joy that she was finally well and free. I must admit, it was a challenging week with her sick and Adam's pleurisy issues. If this week had a theme it would be "learning hard lessons." In this case they are hard but good lessons meant to draw us nearer to God and who we are in him. I have had many opportunities to fix my gaze on Him when I have completely run out of my own resources. The more "out" I am the more I look to Him. I am encouraged that I am learning to do this even with the little things. For example, I took both kids with me to Walmart on Sunday. We were trying to stay out of the house so Adam could catch up on some sleep after being in the ER very early that morning. My strategy had been to shamelessly bribe the kids with a surprise reward for good behavior but they blew that plan in the first 10 minutes. We managed to get all our shopping done and they stopped fussing with each other for the most part. As we were leaving I remembered that we had parked far away from a place to return our cart. We had been at Walmart for two long hours and I couldn't wrap my brain around this obstacle. "What do I do with this cart? I don't want to leave it here but I don't want to be that far from the kids while I return it. My brain can't wrap around another obstacle." This was a small, silly delima but I asked God to help me. Just then a car parks next to us and as I'm pondering my next move a nice man asked" Can I take your cart?"... God is with me even in the silly little obstacles. As I fix my gaze on Him more, I see Him more and I see Him care about the silly little things because He loves me. This lesson is hard but good.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In the ER

Saturday morning I woke up with some pretty good heartburn. Heartburn is a common side effect of chemo-therapy, plus I was smart and had a bunch of jalapenos at Rosa's Friday night. Well this heartburn lasted all day and then was accompanied by some general chest pain. At 4am this (Sunday) morning, it hadn't subsided and I figured I better to to the ER. (I had been mildly scolded by the Dr.'s office for not going to the ER the last time I had chest pain.) The blood tests, EKG and CT scan revealed nothing out of the ordinary - which is good. (the main risk associated with pain related to my breathing is a blood clot in my lung) The Doctor diagnosed the pain as Pleurisy, which is an inflammation of the lining of the lungs. There's pretty much nothing you can do about it except treat the pain.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

drained today

I woke up feeling extra drained today. In fact, I use the term "woke up" very loosely. My white blood cell counts will be at their lowest today, and I am sure that has something to do with how I feel. Also, after faking us out this weekend, Ellie showed her true sick colors yesterday and is holed up on the couch with a cough and a fever. This means Casey is doing this delicate dance of trying to care for both of us while keeping us separated in order to protect my compromised immune system. I have to admit, not only is she really good at taking care of those she loves, but she is really beautiful as she does it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Couple of Prayer Requests

Hey friends, I just wanted to ask you to pray for us this weekend. Ellie threw up this morning. Adam's second round of chemo was Wednesday which means his blood counts will be very low over the weekend leaving him susceptible to sickness. Please pray that Adam would be protected from Ellie's virus (as well as Ben and I). I have disinfected every surface I can think of including the car. Also, please pray for us as we consider what to do with our Volkswagon. It is misbehaving on a consistent basis and we are tired of throwing money at it. We want to make a wise decision even if it means waiting (though I'd like to just drive it over a cliff). I know Adam referred to Pslam 34 in his blog. I had prayed through that Psalm and was encouraged by it yesterday and didn't realize until last night that it was the same Psalm God had given Adam in the hospital in December. It meant so much to me to see how God has purposefully given us this Psalm- it wasn't coincidence. God is good. We hope you are all well and are so grateful that you are walking with us on this journey. -Casey

Here we go again

I really want to sit down and write something inspiring - something about persevering or how I have experienced God in a powerful way. But truthfully, I just feel gross.

Chemo went as expected on Wednesday. Thankfully I did not have the same reaction to the Ritoxin as I did the first time around - then again, they gave me enough Benadryll to down a rhino. Like last time, I do feel nauseous and tired and hopefully, like last time, it well ease up after this weekend.

One thing I am thinking about right now is how I connect with God when I don't feel good. Usually I just don't. I think I have something to learn being still before God. Not bringing something to Him or doing something for Him. But persevering by just waiting in His presence. I am definitely not very good at that.

I am reminded as I write this of the Psalm I read when I first when into the hospital - Psalm 34

v.8 says "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."

and v.18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Monday, February 2, 2009


Today is the day I've anticipated since the day I learned of my diagnosis. This morning I noticed an unusual amount of hair in my towel as I dried off after a shower. Mind you, it is not unusual to find hairs fleeing from my balding head, but not this many. So I am going to spare the rest the humiliation of suicide and am going to shave my head as soon as I am done here.

It is funny how bad it feels to lose your hair when you didn't really have that much to lose anyway. But still, it is a bit demoralizing. It's really not going to be that much of a change for anyone looking at me, and yet I still am feeling preemptively embarrassed. It just serves to show me that my vanity extends beyond thinking I am a better driver than I really am.

Before the hair exodus, I was planning on writing today about how I was wondering how the second round of chemo, scheduled for Wednesday, would be different than the first. For round one, I felt sick and tired for one week, tired and a little sick for the second week, and a little tired for week three. I wonder - will it be better, worse, or the same this time around?