Feb 19, 2019 Latest post:
Jul 29, 2019
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. I'm Kim Craft Garrett, Chad's sister, and I will be adding to this journal as we get new information or to update everyone on Chad. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Chad has always been the active, bike-riding, and healthy one in the family. So, it was a real shock when he had to have emergency surgery on Thanksgiving Day and we faced the beginning of his cancer-fighting journey. In a nutshell, Chad began having digestive issues and losing weight late in the year. Doctors wanted to perform a colonoscopy and endoscopy, but he wasn't able to complete the prep without nausea. Finally, on Thanksgiving, with almost no energy left, Chad called an ambulance. Doctors discovered a blockage in Chad's lower intestine, as well as other tumors in his abdomen. They performed emergency surgery, removing the blockage and about two feet of the small intestine, resecting the colon and small intestine. Additionally, they removed another mass and biopsied his liver.
Kim and her daughter, Katelyn, flew out to Colorado as soon as they could get a flight out of Dallas on Friday after Thanksgiving. Katelyn is a nurse and was helpful as a medical resource and advocate for Chad while in the hospital. During that week, we were able to pull things for Chad from home, Katelyn organized and set up a medical notebook for him, and we retrieved Chad's dog, Sunshine, from a friend. We brought Sunshine home with us to Dallas so that Chad could focus on healing from his surgery.
Between that week and Christmas, Chad focused on healing, receiving excellent medical care from his home health nurses. He did suffer a setback with an infection of his incision and had surgery to insert a port. He was also able to meet with a team of specialists in his type of cancer, lower bowel cancer, in Denver at the University of Colorado Medical Center. Lower bowel cancer is a rare form of cancer, much less common than colon cancer.
We all gathered for Christmas in Estes Park, Colorado for a few days of rest and enjoying the wonderful mountains. Chad was not feeling his best during the trip but we did enjoy spending Christmas together as a family. We took our dog, Lily, and Chad's dog Sunshine to Colorado with us. Chad enjoyed reuniting with his Sunshine!
On Monday, January 7th, Chad had his first chemo infusion, followed by two days with a pump attached to his port, pumping the chemo into his body. He has experienced fatigue, but otherwise, no adverse reactions to this first chemo. He will continue to have chemo infusions every two weeks on Mondays.
I will update Chad's story as we learn more. Thank you for so many well wishes and prayers. Also, a special thanks to those who did extraordinary things to help Chad. Thank you to the former neighbor who drove an hour and a half to pick up Sunshine from the hotel desk clerk when Chad was taken to the hospital. Thank you to the staff of Elegante Suites in Colorado Springs for taking special care of Chad, ensuring he had a clean room and food when he wasn't feeling well. There are so many people who deserve a special thank you for doing extraordinary things for all of us during this trying time.