Sorry about the lack of updates; finding enough time to get everything done, let alone sleep or put out periodic updates has been an ongoing challenge. I am just now seeing the post Chris put up, someone could tell me that it needs editing!!!! Good news, Chris is doing so much better than when he made that post! Thank you to everyone who has called, to share support and check in. So here's what's been going on...
In June we went to get a second opinion at University Hospital and consulted with the head of the Cancer center. Unfortunately he didn't have any good news for us. He told us that Chris does not qualify for any of the research programs there, and that our best bet is to continue with what we are doing and hope that the 'new' chemo comes out. He informed us that the advantage of the new chemo is only that it is 'new'. He suggested a better balance for Chris's medicine which has helped. His overall advice was to go do whatever Chris wanted while we still could and expect that Chris would survive only 6 months after he quit eating, which was not enough time for us. Chris asked if there was anything he could do to increase the time he has and the doctor told us that he would have to start eating again and get lots of exercise to build his strength back up.
Ok, so we understand what the Doctor was saying, but we cannot live this time counting away the days and months. I need to really make the best of the time we have together, so we have decided to get after the more alternative medicines. Time to get moving, no time to waste, loads to learn, and yes, I need to remember to get some sleep. To assist Chris with regaining his balance, and being able to walk safely, we got Chris a Physical Therapist. She taught him how to use a walker to balance when walking, and spent hours walking with him, making him stronger, giving him exercises to help strengthen him. At the same time I started learning about essential oils, and Chris began healing massages. I also noticed that Chris felt much better and stronger when we went down town for fluids but it was very challenging to find an extra 4-6 hours a day for this even with the assistance of our neighbors who were able to drive him occasionally. Chris began to get stronger and stronger. His mind was starting to work better. He was not falling so many times, so I put together an argument for the Doctor about how we were not going to spend all this time driving for fluids and that I felt Chris would benefit from daily fluids. With the second opinion and all, what did we have to loose if I did fluids every day at home? So now we do fluids when he is watching TV, and I have time to get things done. They also gave us a note to travel with the supplies. Now he is up walking a bit each day, watering plants every morning, feeding the dogs and going out for little adventures.
Chris had another MRI which showed no cancer growing in his brain, and only traces of 4 of the largest tumors. We are very glad about the good brain report, however, I feel that they have radiated a bit too much. But as they pointed out, he had no chance to fight cancer with out clearing the tumors in his brain.
Chris has now gone on long term disability with his company. Whether from the radiation, other medicines or their combinations there is a noticeable difference in the way Chris thinks these days. He tried going back to work, sometimes his work caused him to use the undamaged portion of his brain, but sometimes he found it very difficult to follow a train of thought or find the correct words he needed. So in order to simplify and extend our time together, he has had to go on disability. We still have some things to work out with it, but for the most part, it is one less thing to stress with.
Two weeks ago we went to Hudson Gardens for an outdoor Heart concert and last week we went to Minnesota to visit our first Grandchild Emma and her wonderful parents Jerry and Wendy. Dan and Rachel joined us for the weekend also. If I can figure it out, I will add a photo of Emma with her Grandma and Grandpa.
Next weekend we are going to Phoenix AZ for an appointment with an alternative medicine doctor for more suggestions and alternative education. It seems to be making a huge difference in Chris, each day he seems to become stronger. He can handle the chemo treatments so much better. Yes, he still has the cold effect, and his nose and eyes run constantly, but he is stronger, and able to help plan trips. Now I just need to get him to take over the dishes, that would be fun for me!!
Despite what the doctors say, Chris is still determined to fight the cancer, and grow stronger every day. With hard work, optimism, prayers and your love and support we will be able to stay strong.