Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back at cha, Jeannie

 

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Jeannie my first blogging friend awarded me with yet another blogging banner award, The nice award. Hmmmm, for the most part I suppose I am nice, but mostly, I try to treat others as I would appreciate being treated.
Boring, I know but sometimes predictability will take you a long way.

I have too many blogging friends now to make the award to just a few, I read and get to know all my friends and live vicariously thru their writings sometimes, cry with them sometimes, and laugh with them sometimes.
But if I didn't think you were all nice people, I can tell you I wouldn't keep coming back. I bow to you all, and award you my blogging friends, the very same award.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Asking again for your prayers


Faith a few years ago

Hi all, today I have a Faith update. I also refuse to believe anything that is not positive at this point. The fact is they don't have all the info to make and informed decision, soon they will and I pray it's good news.
For now, I intend to pull myself up and put the work clothes on (Meaning prayer skills) and pray for a better outcome.

Update as follows:

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Family and Friends,

For the past 36 hours I have struggled to find the appropriate words and approach to share the news that Heather and I received late in the day Monday. I am sorry, but I have had no epiphany; there is simply no good way…

Late Monday afternoon we were called back to OHSU to discuss the results of the final pathology report and we were informed that Faith does indeed have bone cancer.

Like us, I am sure that each of you will have many questions, thoughts and concerns. Our heads and hearts are overwhelmed with trying to comprehend what the news means, which is nearly impossible because life has taken a very uncertain turn for us right now.

We are more than happy to try and answer any of your questions, but please know that it may take me some time to respond and we will not always have the answers readily available. For now, I offer the information below:

Ø The surgery performed last week was required to remove the deteriorating L3 vertebra, which had been consumed by a mass. The initial biopsy was thought to be benign, but the entire mass was sent to pathology for a complete and final diagnosis, which we received late Monday.

Ø It was diagnosed as malignant bone cancer called Osteosarcoma

Ø While the affliction is actually quite common, Faith’s specific situation is extremely rare because OHSU cannot find any documented cases where it has impacted a child under 5 yrs old and in their spine.

Ø The cancer is considered LOW GRADE, which I understand that LOW does not mean less harmful, but simply slower or less active in terms of tumor growth, which actually makes it more difficult to detect and treat. Hence the reason why it was missed on the first two biopsies, which only removed a small sample of the mass.

Ø The Staff at OHSU/Doernbecher’s are working with several top institutes across the country to develop a treatment plan.

Ø Our next steps:

§ a CT scan of her chest to check for tumors in her lungs

§ and a complete bone scan

§ Both of these are scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday 9/13)

§ At this point I do not know if we will have results the same day

Ø If there are tumors in her lungs, we were told that the situation is very bad and they would not go into details of this scenario.

Ø If her lungs and bone scan come back normal, then we have a 70% chance of survival.

Ø Our Oncologist is working with the Neurologist that performed her back surgery to determine when it is safe to begin chemo, allowing time for her back to heal more.

Ø We were told to expect that chemo should begin within the next 2 weeks, and will last for 30 weeks.
We explained the situation to the older Brother and the older sister last night, understandably they are upset. We emphasized the fact that every day hundreds of people across the world are diagnosed with different forms of cancer and every day people win the fight against it. We all had a good talk and we all cried a bit.

Little brother understands that Faith has a hurt back and he can see the incisions, so he is very careful with her and tries to make her feel good. At 6 years old, we feel that knowing she has a “hurt back” is enough for now.

Mom is doing well. It is still hard for her to discuss, getting the words across her lips is a struggle, but she is remaining strong.

Personally, I am refusing to remain anything but positive about this situation. In all of this, the only thing I can control is how I react to it and I do not have the energy or time to dwell in sadness. We have to remain focused on getting her the best care possible to ease her discomfort and fight this battle. Additionally, we have more kids than just Faith, so we need to ensure that we keep things as normal as possible for the entire family. I have taken a leave of absence from work so that I can focus all of my energy on our family while we sort through all of this and establish a treatment plan.
We have received many offers of support, to which we are sincerely grateful. Folks continue to offer to cook meals, help with kids, buy gifts for Faith, etc. At this point we simply ask for your prayers and positive thoughts. As a family we are doing fine. We appreciate the offers of support, but at this point meals, child care and such are not necessary – we really are doing okay in these areas.
I am sorry for the long email – we are looking into utilizing a website for future updates; stay tuned on this.
Finally, we do not consider this situation “private”. Please feel free to pass this information along.
Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to respond.
Keep Faith in your hearts!
Faiths Dad

Saturday, September 08, 2007

It was a homecoming today


Today, I saw little Faith for the first time since her surgery. She was strapped in her moms SUV freshly out of the hospital, she looked weak but mostly coherent. I met her out by my mail box with a freshly baked hot apple pie to welcome her home. It was great to see her smile again.
I promised to come visit in a few days when she was feeling a little better.

Things like this bring Joy to my world.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What if?


Why is it when you’re faced head on with someone's death that we step back and become so profound or we immediately question, what if?

A younger Brother of the Mr.s, Pro Steer Wrestler: A young Farrier with so much potential and with true grit. All around great guy to have on your side, A BIG heart, He would pound the living crap out anyone who hurt someone he loved. Yet bring home every stray this and that, that he could find.

Always had a funny story, a good or bad joke to tell just depended on the day. Hair lip and dirty jokes were his favorite not to make fun of anyone but to bring laughter to his audience whom ever they were.

He had an accident with a horse during a shoeing, A non thinking, back yard horse with little or no hands on, I'm sure, Reared up while he was shoeing and came down on his head with its hoof and crushed the left side of his scull in. He was life flighted to a hospital after some time of the people just standing there wondering if they should even call the Dr. (yet another incidence of stupid ness)
That was almost 2 years ago.
Now lately he'd been having some blackouts & memory lapses and seen the Dr. the news was not good. More surgery was required the plate did not adhere and his life as he knew it was in Jeopardy. Not having insurance, Barely working he knew he couldn't afford it. He made a choice to work as long as he could and go for broke.
What I haven't told you is he had an alcohol problem also, and after this it became very apparent it was only getting worse. He would binge drink and then abstain for a time.

Now with many bridges burnt, but repairable, with the slightest amount of progression towards abstention from alcohol. Everyone loved him. If only he could have helped himself just a little bit.
We never gave up on him and I told him regularly. But he gave up on himself and his life he took.
That's 2 I've lost to either drugs or alcohol in my life. 2, too many.
It's a A permanent solution to a temporary problem and we all lose greatly.

I can't believe he's gone forever...We'll miss him terribly.

"Squeak"
8/4/78-9/5/07

If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1.800.SUICIDE (784-2433). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller’s location. Services are available 24 hours a day,7 days a week.

Know the signs of suicide Click Here

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Mr.'s late Labor Day

 

The Mr. is having a day off finally, He tends to get a little grouchy when he's put in a couple of months of 6 day weeks. He took his son and went fishing, This was Bo's late Birthday present. I don't know about you but it looks to be a pretty good Birthday party on the Ol' high seas. Now, I'm hoping he'll bring home some Dungeoness Crab too.
Now, due to the marvels of modern day cell phone technology, I was sent this picture only moments after this King Salmon (45+lbs.) was caught. This was sent to me from the Pacific ocean with no land in sight. It still simply amazes me how far we've come. Doesn't it make you wonder, say even 20 years from now, what we'll be doing then.
I hope you had a good "Labor Day" weekend.

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