Adam’s Story

Site created on November 25, 2019

Thank you for visiting Adam's CaringBridge page. We decided to start this page as a way to keep our friends and family informed of Adam's journey and for the continued remembrance in the power of prayer.

Adam was diagnosed with advanced gastric (stomach) cancer on November 8th, 2019.  To say we were shocked is an understatement. I don't think anything can prepare someone to hear that news, for themselves, for their spouse, for anyone they love. Adam had been experiencing some minor stomach discomfort for a few months, but then began to feel as if he was feeling full after not eating a lot, and it progressively got worse. He started to lose weight rapidly, and after a check-up with his primary care physician, tested positive for a bacteria called H. Pylori (which I later learned can cause cancer), and had an endoscopy a few weeks later, which detected a large ulcer but also one that appeared to have cancerous cells around it. Biopsies confirmed it.  

So now, my 46 year old, hard-working, otherwise healthy husband, is about to embark on a really hard journey. But God is with us, every step of the way. We believe in the power of prayer, and we ask for continued prayers. 

As of today, the cancer is considered Stage III (possibly Stage IV) because it has affected one nearby lymph node, the tumor has grown through the stomach lining, and there are some potential 'areas of concern' in his peritoneum (the abdominal lining). A likely laparoscopic surgery will happen next, and then we will know more distinctly, what the treatment plan will look like. We see a surgeon tomorrow to discuss these possible next steps. 

Our children, Ava (16), Gavin (13), Gabriella (10), and Graham (5) know that Adam/Daddy is sick; the older children know it's cancer and understand more about that. 

I will try to post frequent updates here, as I know many of you want to know how things are going. We are standing in our faith, and know that God's divine providence is at work here. We're ready to fight!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Charlotte Cantu

Day 188 (6 months and a few days)

So....I've thought about whether I should post an update here and have gone back and forth, but in the end, it actually plays a part in the healing process, and it's helpful... and after a week like last week in which Texas experienced unprecedented temperatures and dangerous conditions, I also know there are some who may just be wondering how we are. I'm so grateful to learn that family and friends were safe, and  it reminded me yet again how lucky we all are to have each other.

And while Graham and I bundled together in front of the fireplace on the 18th, 6 months passed quietly by....

A lot and a little has happened since. I've been told the first year can be the hardest because of all the 'firsts' associated with not having a loved one here. This is real. And it is hard. Because firsts don't just have to be dates on a calendar...it's firsts in just doing life without him. A new year with unexpected challenges and learning things for the first time (who knew you could dethaw a frozen water line with a well-angled 'mirror' made from tin foil and a piece of cardboard - thanks neighbor Brian!)

I also know that everyone's grief journey is unique to them and some move forward (not to be mistaken with moving on ), quicker than others and some not as....and that too, is okay. It is as it is meant to be. I'm not sure where I am exactly on my journey but I am trusting God’s will because what I do know is that He has me right where I should be - this allows hope to guide me, and in turn, guide my family. I have experienced moments of true joy and happiness in the last 6 months, and Adam would be happy to know that.

What I have learned so far is that there are two absolute truths in grief (at least for me):

1. Grief is the last act of love that you can give to someone...to grieve is to have loved deeply. 

and

2.  Grief sometimes feels like an endless state of limbo....As C.S. Lewis stated, 'Grief is a state of frustrated feelings, of a love cut short, curtailed in what seems an untimely manner. And yet everything feels provisional: a permanent provisional feeling...The permanence of death is acknowledged which makes time feel long and inescapable, and yet the state of mourning feels novel and thus transitory.'

It is understanding these truths that allow me to forge a path forward...some may wonder (and sometimes out loud in front of you) how long it should take for someone to 'move on' after a loss...the reality is that we don't move on...that implies we 'get over' something or someone, and that is just not a truth. We move forward, with them,...and we choose it - we move forward with the love we were honored and privileged to have known by having them in our lives.

And so......I choose  to continue moving forward with my three beautiful children, and they too will continue to learn about life through these experiences and the people who choose to love us through them.

I am staying busy with work and kids' activities. And I am keeping my promise to Adam to continue fighting for a cure for stomach cancer. I've been incredibly blessed in getting to spend more time with the Stupid Strong team, the non-profit based in Texas dedicated to this very cause - I've  had the opportunity to share Adam's story in several forums to help raise much-needed funds to support continued research for gastric cancer treatments. In fact, we are partnering to hold a softball tournament in Adam's memory this coming Fall - stay tuned for more information on that. Thank you again to those who have supported this cause; it means so much! 

Ava, Gavin, Gabby and Graham are all doing well. Ava was accepted to Baylor University and will be studying architecture later this year. Gavin joined me earlier this month in advocating for stomach cancer federal funding via the 9th Annual Debbie's Dream Advocacy Day. We teamed up with other advocates to represent the great state of Texas. Gavin did a great job speaking to several congressional offices about what this meant to him. Adam would be SO proud. Gabby is flourishing in middle school and is so incredibly helpful to me all the time, and Graham just started tennis (he says he wants to learn all the 'ball sports' - haha!)

Thank you to everyone who has continued to pray for my family and to check in on us from time to time. During so much unrest and uncertainty in our world, kindness and love just say so much.

Be kind to one another and please, don't leave things unsaid to those you care about...never leave a moment 'undone' if you can help it...

Because these moments continue to matter. 

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ. (NLT)

God Bless,

-Charlotte

Patients and caregivers love hearing from you; add a comment to show your support.
Help Adam Stay Connected to Family and Friends

A $30 donation to CaringBridge powers Adam's site for one month. Will you make a gift to help ensure that this site stays online for them and for you?

Show Your Support

See the Ways to Help page to get even more involved.

SVG_Icons_Back_To_Top
Top