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6/20/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
March 1, 2016 Greg had been very sick for a few weeks with a back injury that was keeping him awake at night. He started taking ibuprofen to help him sleep but decided to go to hospital. Once there they did an initial assessment and let us know that Greg was in severe kidney failure. IV therapy was ordered as well as lots of blood work. What we thought was his annual bout of pneumonia quickly turned into the dreaded cancer word.
Greg was transferred to Foothills Medical Center/Tom Baker Cancer center for further testing. After all the vampires were done sampling his blood and a bone marrow biopsy was confirmed we finally had a name to hang our hats on. Multiple Myeloma cancer of the blood plasma.
Multiple Myeloma is a somewhat rare incurable cancer. It is treatable but to date remains incureable. Everyone is different so prognosis varies wildly. Averages seem to be between 2.5 to 10 years, not factoring our Heavenly Father into the mix. " And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:27 NAS
So our lives are now full of chemotherapy and oncologist appointments. Greg is in good spirits and desires to glorify God through this illness. He hopes to revise the book he is writing to reflect this trying chapter and share what God is teaching him in the hopes that it will be of some help to others.
August 31 2016 from Greg. This ordeal is beyond draining. If I didn't have a family who need me, I wouldn't go through it. I've often heard over the years of the cure being worse than the cancer and it's not far from the truth. I'm over the worst of the process right now after the third level of chemo intensity, losing my hair, drug rash all over my body, stem cell transplant and coming out of the hospital with 2% of my energy level and feeling near death. Just getting from the bed to the bathroom was a serious marathon I had to rest from. Unfortunately, they want to crash my system all over again in November, give me intense chemo, kill all my cells and give me a second transplant with subsequent chemo booster shots on a weekly basis. I am SO not looking forward to that.
I am a planner. Pauline and I had our 25th anniversary coming up 5 years ago. I had saved AirMiles up for some 10 years (before they started the rule that they expire after 5) and had a huge amount. I also had some 250,000 MasterCard points. My idea was to go back to Hawaii and Disney Land for 3 weeks with the family as we did on our honeymoon. We were both broke students but scraped enough together to go on the honeymoon though we couldn't afford wedding rings too. Neither of our families wanted to contribute to our wedding, so we put off rings until some years down the road, but had a memorable holiday to start off our marriage.
Unfortunately, I got taken by a conman 5 years ago who convinced me to put my Home Warranty Builder's registration number on 2 houses he bought in foreclosure. I was supposedly going to get the work to complete the half finished houses, but it turned out I didn't get $1 of work and he hired the chimp brigade to finish the 2 houses. Then the tragedy came. Though I didn't do a stitch of work on the houses or get $1 of benefit, I was on the hook for the 3rd rate work done on the houses. I had to tear out the whole Ensuite as the heat sensor probe wasn't put under the floor and the tile shower was put together with Tuck tape and leaking into the room below. The whole house had to be repainted as they didn't use any primer over the raw drywall and all the filler showed through, plus lots of other problems. I had already been stung by the same conman who had me build 2 houses that cost wholesale $1,000,000 each and not only was I left stuck with insurmountable bills, but I did all the home design/decorating and project management for a year without $1 of pay. Supposedly I was going to get paid when the houses were sold with a share of profit, but the conman set us up so that his silent partner foreclosed on the project and got the houses for less than half of what they cost to build. Then, by the time the Home Warranty problems came around, I was beyond broke and cashed in every AirMiles and MasterCard point I could to buy materials to fix problems for a hostile obnoxious homeowner who made it clear he only bought the house because my name was on it??? If I didn't fix the problems myself, Home Warranty would have hired in guys and then they would have sued me for the costs, which would of course be higher than I could do it for myself. The end of it was my years of saving and planning for us to go back to Hawaii and Disney Land fell by the wayside. I was devastated, though Pauline didn't seem to care.
Our 30th anniversary is coming up this October 25th. We've never really been travelers and Pauline's been a good sport about it, but I'd really like to go to Hawaii/Disney Land for our 30th if possible. Since we got married, we went hunting with 2 other guys for Moose on our 10th, drove down the coast for 6 weeks sleeping in my work van for our 15th and had a few weekends away to Vancouver. So pretty minimal for holidays for 30 years. I'll still be in the middle of cancer treatments though this fall and it will likely be March/April before I can get the sexy dongle implanted in my chest removed that will allow me to go swimming and not have the fear of somehow ripping the implanted tube/triple tap going into my heart out, or getting some serious infection.
Right now, I don't see how I can afford the cost to go back to Hawaii during Spring Break 2017 at the end of March. I have some 7200 AirMiles saved up that would help (4600 expire at the end of December though) and by some act of God, business might turn around and real money might come in. Of course, my earning ability is severely limited with my treatments and very low energy and I can't count on working a bit harder or faster to bring things together. I'd so very much love to celebrate our 30th anniversary, though late, and also have a real break from the year of chemo and poisoned fatigue I'm going through. I'm ready for a break now. I'd like to put it out there to see if a crowd fund idea is an option to help us out with the trip for next March coupled with the AirMiles I have now. I suppose some will support the idea and some won't as in anything. I'm stuck for another solution and any feedback and/or commitment or input would be appreciated. If it works it works and if it doesn't, it doesn't. Your consideration is appreciated.
Our mailing address is PO Box 63006 Stadium PO. Calgary AB T2N 4S5. All donations and tributes made on the Caring Bridge site go towards maintenance of the amazing Caring Bridge website. They do an amazing job!