This first journal entry has been too long in the works and I'm relieved to finally get it out to you all. I promise future posts will not be this long!
This site is private by permission only and will serve as a more reliable source of updates on Todd - which I know you all want, need and deserve. I'm personally excited about the opportunity for you to post (under "well wishes") and hope you will flood the site with stories and thoughts about and directed to Todd. I know what a wonderful human being he is as am blessed to have known him 23 years (19 married). It's uplifting to share and hear your experiences - not to mention what a special gift it will be for our boys Aidan (16 years) and Tyler (13 years)! Keep it PG high school and college friends, there will be kids on this site 😁.
We want to THANK YOU ALL for the prayers, prayers and more prayers during this year and a half roller coaster of shock, fear, pain, hope, grief, uncertainty, etc... - PLEASE keep the prayers coming🙏 !! We appreciate the introduction to medical providers and resources when we didn't know where to start, VIP care in the hospital, generous amounts of food, gift cards, visits, transportation (to and from chemotherapy and multiple for our boys), prayer bracelets, flowers/plants, books, inspiration, hugs, positive vibes, other necessities, blankets for warmth and one blanket which was prayed over by an amazing group of church family friends. You disrupted your own family life to travel thousands of miles to care for our kids and run the house like stress-free clockwork when Todd and I had to be away. You cleaned our gutters and shared photos of our kids' sporting events when we couldn't be there. You honored Todd's wish that our boys be able to make the annual Kid Hunt in Uvalde when he could not; assumed responsibility for them; cared for them; educated them and gave them an extra special experience of shooting buck that they will never forget. You continue to offer help without condition and hold our boys close while getting them out of the house for some fun and entertainment. We are so thankful God blessed us with you all and led Todd and I to people who opened the path to our current employer's and work family/friends who have supported us generously in this difficult time as well.
Todd has fought so hard! Escalating abdominal pain started in June 2018. PCP care, diagnostics, antibiotics, pain medication and steroids were tried but ultimately in August 2018 his pain was unbearable and the ER visit resulted in hospital admission, colonoscopy and a diagnosis of Metastatic Colon Cancer (Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma) which metastasized to the omentum (stomach lining) and 11/21 lymph nodes tested. What followed was 8 additional ER visits, 5 ambulance rides, 8 hospitalization (longest being 31 nights), 2 inpatient surgeries, 2 outpatient procedures, several PET and CT scans, 21 Chemotherapy infusions, multiple medications, an ileostomy, multiple bowel obstructions, a PEG tube for stomach drainage, Home Health, IV Nutrition, IV pain control and current Hospice care at home.
FAQs: 1. How is Todd now? It varies day to day. We put this situation in God's hand which give us hope, strength and comfort - we will continue to pray. Fortunately near the last week of Todd's last hospitalization (10/9/19 - 11/9/19), an amazing Palliative MD, Dr. Asha Wurdeman of Methodist Sugarland, spent an abundant amount of time (in and out of normal work hours) to understand Todd's extreme pain and nausea challenges - she got him stable - advocated for him and got him home under Hospice Care with pain and nausea both controlled better than it had been in a year or more... we hoped to see weight gain and gradually lessened dependance on the pain, nausea control and IV nutrition in order to move back into curative care but we are not there yet. One of many wonderful people I have talked with about this situation told me "Prayers go up and blessings come down" - we will keep praying and ask you to as well.
2. How are you Amy? Again...It varies day to day. We put this situation in God's hand which give us hope, strength and comfort - we will continue to pray. You all have helped, loved and supported which means more than I could ever fully express.
3. How are Aidan and Tyler? My reply is that I feel they are doing quite well in light of the fact that they have experienced the same roller coaster of shock, fear, pain, hope, grief, uncertainty, etc. but they are amazing, loving, wonderful boys who have stepped up to help with their dad not being able to, they are respectful, work hard in school, make good grades, overall make very good choices and know God is with them. They have been willing to talk openly and have asked great questions. Hospice provides support for us all but I also see their friends and family rallying for them. One example are the prayer bracelets created in support of Todd (thank you Johnson family) - there have been some healthy school competitions about who is more supportive based on the quantity of those worn - the bracelets are maroon and the challenger is all about UT - that's love! 😊
4. How can we help? Keep praying for and loving us. Please come by for a short visit with Todd. I am blessed to primarily work from home which means Todd has quite a bit of time to himself during the work days.
If you want some prayer bracelets - please swing by or send me your address. XOXO