Saturday, February 27, 2010
I forgot to mention in my last post that we have an appointment on Monday morning to see the Radiation Oncologist again. (We originally saw him a week after Dave was diagnosed back in December. He said that Dave needed chemo first and then they'd add radiation halfway through chemo.) Last week the medical oncologist (chemo doctor) said we should still discuss radiation even though chemotherapy failed. The purpose would be to temporarily shrink the tumor to make it easier for Dave to swallow. (It's temporary, because the tumor will grow back as far as they're concerned, and I believe he told us in December that they can only radiate an area once.) Dave has no desire to go through radiation, mainly because they've told us it's not a cure, and we believe it will likely do irreparable damage. The doctor we spoke with a week ago said that it would actually feel worse than it does right now at first as it will be inflammed for a while. We will meet with the doctor, but will definitely be discussing all of our options and side effects. I am trying to research what options are out there, so I'll know what questions to ask. Please pray for wisdom/direction in this next step to alleviate some of Dave's discomfort.
Dave has been having more discomfort and pain over the past two weeks. (He noticed that his swallowing, and the tumor in general, felt different a few days before the catscan 2 weeks ago.) Swallowing is becoming more difficult for him. He does have the feeding tube in still, which he hasn't used for over a month, but may become necessary again. (He could take carrot juice etc... through the tube directly, he just seems to be pretty stubborn about that right now.) The pain in his upper chest from the tumor has been steadily increasing this week. In general, mornings seem to be better for Dave, and by the evening he's whooped. He hasn't really been taking any pain meds for quite a while, but did take a Tylenol 3 last night
Today a friend came by before dinner with their dog to play with Brady in our yard. (Thanks James!) Brady & Beau had a blast. We have a big yard and Beau will chase balls thrown with a Chuck-it endlessly. Although Brady isn't a big fetcher, he does like to chase Beau! The best way to drain a dogs energy is to throw another dog in the mix! Brady has currently gone with another friend this evening. (Their little girl called and asked if Brady could go over for a sleepover with their dog Bear. Very cute!)
We had planned on going over to friends this evening to watch the Canada-Slovakia hockey game. Dave really wanted to go, as it's nice to get out, but then started to feel pretty bad as we were getting ready to leave. Although he can be fine for a while, he will get pain that comes and goes and it's just awkward. He's just more comfortable at home right now.
I know this post sounds a little depressing, but thought we'd let you know what's going on so people can pray effectively. Please pray for relief for Dave from this pain and discomfort. Also pray for direction on Monday with the Radiation Oncologist. We'd like to be referred back to the Thoracic surgeon again to see if there's a less invasive outpatient treatment that could be done in lieu of radiation, like laser therapy to open the esophagus up somewhat. Although it's hard to stay positive when he's in pain, we still believe there's hope! Although he's still really tired, most of the chemo side effects have faded. The neuropathy seems to have gone completely, as well as the mouth sores that were starting up. He has lost weight, but his skin looks really good, and his hands were really dry and a mess, but are looking much better this week.
A few times a week, the VON nurse comes in to check on Dave, and make sure his feeding tube site looks OK. (I unfortunately have to work every day, so I rarely see them.) Today he said there was a new male nurse from Turkey. He was obviously aware of Dave's cancer and commented that it was great to see how positive Dave was. They got talking, and Dave told him about the Raw Living Food diet, detoxing, & wheatgrass juice that he's started to fight the cancer and the nurse was very interested and wrote down a lot of stuff, including the name of where we went in Michigan. He ended up staying and talking for over an hour and said that although Western Medicine is great, there is a lot to be said about the food we eat. He said back home they only eat fresh food - little packaged food is available. You go to the market buy your fresh fruits & vegetables, and many homes don't have fridges, so they have to buy fresh food every day or two. He said the extent of our illnesses are unheard of back home. He told Dave that he was amazed how positive he was and his ability to make people around him feel positive. Anyway they had a really good talk that seemed beneficial for both of them!
I apologize again if this post seems a little depressing at first, but we are trusting in God and are not panicking.
Dave hopes he feels well enough to hang out with friends on Sunday afternoon to watch the gold medal hockey game. (Like I said, he feels best in the morning, and worse in the evening, so hopefully the afternoon isn't too bad.)
Have a good weekend!
at 1:47 AM
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Organic carrots! We got 'em.
When, I placed the order on Friday, I decided to change it from 400 lbs to only 300 lbs. That's about 1 1/2 month supply. I'm storing them in my parent's fruit cellar and they should be fine, but I was slightly concerned that at 2 months I might have some rotting carrots, so I thought I'd err on the side of caution. I also got some organic blueberries, and celery at wholesale, as well as some more wheatgrass! (These people were very nice and the only reason I haven't mentioned the name of the supplier is because they don't normally sell to the public and I don't want other people bothering them.) Anyway, I'm very glad to have the carrots on hand. We go through so many of them that I just seemed to be constantly buying and hauling home organic carrots from the grocery store.
On another note, we had a bit of a scare here on Monday at the end of the snow storm we were having. Cale was helping a friend move and while his friend was driving them home, a large pickup with a plow on the front of it, lost control, crossed the road and hit them head on! Cale called and said he was OK, but that his knee was hurting him because it jammed into the glove box on impact. (At 6'8", that's not hard to do!) He got home a few hours later and said he was fine. I asked him to do me a favour and go put gas in my car. I went to bed, and shortly after Cale came back and was in a lot of pain. He was looking for an ice pack and could barely stand, let alone walk. He said the motion of using the gas pedal and the vibration of the vehicle just started hurting and then quickly turned to shooting pain. He crawled to the couch, rolled up his pant leg and it looked like a huge baseball just below his right knee! I'm not talking a bump, it was a huge purple ball that looked like it was ready to explode! I said, "Yeah. I'm taking you to emerg", and after arguing with him briefly about it, he agreed. I dug out Dave's old crutches from the basement, and then I ended up just dropping Cale off, as it was 1:00am, I was exhausted, and he didn't want me to go in with him anyway. (I'm sure I would have just slept in the waiting room, while he spent the whole time texting his friends.) I told him to call me when he was done, and I'd go back & pick him up. (We only live a few minutes from the hospital.) Thankfully, he had a friend pick him up and bring him home in the middle of the night. So, apparently he has a broken vein that created the huge blood blister. They told him that it would likely continue to bleed for a few more days and then will start healing. He's supposed to take it easy for a few days. (There goes my dog walker/snow shoveller.) Yesterday the bump looked much better, and Cale was still using 1 crutch. Today he ditched the crutch, but is walking with a limp. Sigh... Thankfully a neighbour had kindly plowed out our driveway earlier on Monday evening, and it stopped snowing. This evening we gave Brady a bone to keep him busy. (He loved it and it definitely kept him busy all evening!)
Today, Dave went with a friend to Parkhill to watch the Clarke Road girls final hockey game. It was an important game, they won (yeah!), and he was glad he went. Dave's spirits have been up and he's really been keeping positive, and actually has been keeping us both positive! He always seems to know the right thing to say if I'm feeling down. He's awesome!
Have a great evening!
at 10:53 PM
Sunday, February 21, 2010
It's been a tough few days since I posted last. I've been a little down, and Dave's been a little discouraged with his lack of progress in getting rid of the chemo side effects. (I was a little optimistic in thinking that he'd start to feel a little better days after chemo finished.) It's been a bit of a mental block to get past the frustration of realizing how much harm chemo did, with no benefit. But the reality is that we had to go through it to get to the point we're at now.
And so we move on.
A number of positive things have happened in the last few days. On Friday Dave was nominated by his school for the Thames Valley District School Board 2010 Award of Distinction. He was given a copy of the letters that were submitted by a number Clarke Road Secondary School staff members, as well as parents, and past students. (These letters are what the selection committee bases their decision on.) They were all very touching and remind me what a big heart Dave has! Dave was very humbled by it all and in all honesty doesn't feel he deserves it. I reminded him that everything in those letters and every story was true, and he's very deserving of the recognition. I have no idea when they make their decision but it's pretty neat!
On Saturday Dave had plenty of company and I ran errands mainly to check out the Farmer's Market at the fairgrounds, and Slegers Organic Farm in Strathroy. (I bought some more fresh wheatgrass at Slegers!)
This morning we went to church, and then went to visit friends in the north end. Then a friend drove Dave to Strathroy to watch a girls OBA (Ontario Basketball Association) game. A friend of Dave's coaches a team and Dave knows a few of the girls and recently encouraged a Clarke Road student to try out for the team. When he got there, the girls presented him with a basketball that they had all signed for him and had put a crest on the shoulder of their uniforms.
They gave Dave his own shirt with the crest! (In case the picture doesn't show up properly for you, it says "IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING" STAY STRONG MR. RICHARDS!
Very fun and very encouraging!
This evening a friend came over to watch the Olympic hockey game. (Unfortunately, as you all know, the bad guys won.) I went to visit my parents after dinner and when I came home Dave had a lovely fire going.
It's a new week, and all we can do is take it from here!
Have a great week everybody and thanks for checking in!
at 11:31 PM
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
6 weeks of misery is what Dave wanted today's post titled.
We went to the LRCP today for blood tests and to meet with his oncologist again to discuss the results of Sunday's cat scan. This is the halfway point of the treatment. There was a lot of the usual waiting around. Fill out the weekly survey of how Dave's feeling, wait in line to check-in, sit and wait for the pager to go off to go get his blood taken, sit and wait some more for the pager to go off again to meet with a nurse to get weighed and discuss any issues/concerns we have before we meet the doctor, then wait some more to actually see the doctor.
The doctor asked a few questions about how Dave was feeling and about the ongoing issues with the feeding tube, and went on to discuss Sunday's catscan. He said it showed mixed results. Although some parts of the tumor decreased, other parts didn't change or increased, and the lesion on his liver has increased about 20%. We had already kind of decided that we didn't want to continue with chemo given that it isn't a cure and it's so hard on Dave's body. (All four doctors we've seen have been very clear that treatment was just to buy a few more months. And I gotta say they're a few lousy months of treatment.) We had been praying for clear guidance as to whether or not to continue with the chemo at this point. Well the doctor made it pretty clear after discussing the results he said he would recommend stopping chemo at this point because the results are not good enough to warrant continuing with it. (It's basically doing more harm than good.) They also removed the PICC line today, as it's no longer necessary.
We took it in stride but Dave was very disappointed when we got home. Not that we were stopping chemo - as we had already discussed that. But it was just so discouraging to go through all of side effects - exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills/shakes, hair loss, skin rashes, mouth sores, neuropathy, chemo fog, for 6 weeks, for little to no results. They are going to set up an appointment to see the radiation oncologist again. (They said it might be required in the future to make swallowing easier.) We would like to review all our options there but will keep the appointment as we would like to have the option to have another catscan in the future to see how things are progressing.
On a positive note I spoke with a woman today about somebody else that was given a limited time frame and who switched to the raw living diet and is a huge advocate now - many years later. I emailed a local organic farm yesterday, briefly gave them our story and asked if it would be possible to order a bulk order of organic carrots at a discount. (I figured carrots are fairly easy to store and they might not mind selling me a huge order.) They were awesome and got back to me right away and said that they don't normally sell to the public but would make an exception and would sell them to me at the wholesale price (which is 40% less than what we're paying now). She said they'd even deliver them for free as they come to London anyway on Wednesdays! So, I'm going to order about 400 lbs. Yep. You read that right - 400 lbs which is about 2 months worth. We're going to store them in my parents cold cellar. (They only live a few minutes away from us.) Anyway, it was the woman I spoke with at this farm that told me about a customer who used the raw living diet to cure their terminal illness as well. They also sell wheat grass there! (I might order some of that too if I don't have it growing by then!)
Tomorrow morning Dave and a friend are going to pickup a hydroponic unit we've been looking at for growing our wheatgrass. (You can grow it in soil, but I just think hydroponically will be easier/cleaner than soil, and it seems like a pretty mindless system. The easier the better!) We need to make room in our laundry room for it as it needs water and a drain. And I will pester my brother to come help install it! (Sorry Nick.)
After being initially bummed out Dave is feeling a lot better this evening. The bottom line is that we were told and understood that chemo wasn't a cure, and so can now move forward without it and not have to second guess ourselves. Dave should quickly start to feel better as his body heals from the side effects of chemotherapy, and now the raw living food diet, + wheatgrass can help the healing begin. We are leaving this in God's hands, as that's where the healing has to come from.
This evening we're enjoying the fireplace. (We're not the only ones. The dog always loves to crash in front of the fireplace when the fire is roaring!)
Thank you again everybody for your continued support, prayers, and genuine desire to help out.
at 8:48 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Thanks everybody for your concern and love. We feel very blessed that so many people care and are praying hard!
Dave's health seems to be steadily improving over the last few days. The side effects from chemo don't seem to be as bad right now. The neuropathy (pain in hands & especially his feet) seems to be completely gone today, as well as the mouth sores that were starting up. (I've been massaging his hands and feet with a blend of arnica oil that a new friend from from CHI (Creative Health Institute) sent us home with. Thanks Na!)
Yesterday he went to the Woodworking Show at the fairgrounds with a friend. (Said it wasn't that great but it was good to be out, and out with a friend!) Dave still really tires very quickly. (He just hits a wall and can't help but fall asleep whether he wants to or not.)
We went to church this morning and left early for Dave's catscan. You can't have anything to eat or drink the 4 hours before, so we got up early this morning so Dave could eat breakfast. When you're there, you have to drink iodine I believe, then swallow some kind of paste, and they inject you with a dye as well. When he came out he said he just felt like a toxic soup when you add all that stuff to the chemotherapy. This afternoon he felt OK until about 6:30 and then he starting getting pain in his chest a few inches away from the feeding tube site. It comes and goes but can be very painful. They don't seem to know what's causing it, but maybe today's catscan will help answer that. (We will see his oncologist on Wednesday to discuss the results.)
Today as you all know was Valentine's Day. Dave & I have rarely fallen for the commercial aspect of the holiday and don't buy gifts for each other. And although I enjoy a night out at a restaurant as much as the next person, we've tried to avoid restaurants on Valentine's Day because they're always far too busy to really be enjoyable. I always enjoy flowers, no matter what the occasion - and that's what my sweetie got for me today! (He had them hidden somewhere and snuck them on the table for breakfast. We got up so early this morning, that I didn't notice them right beside me for 2 or 3 minutes. He ate breakfast and I went back to bed!)
Tomorrow is 'Family Day'. We usually visit family in Ottawa this weekend for Winterlude and to skate the Rideau Canal. It didn't work out this year, but we're looking forward to it again next year! This long weekend I'll just be enjoying an extra day off work!
Take care all!
at 11:39 PM
Friday, February 12, 2010
I forgot to mention that Dave has an appointment for a cat scan on Sunday morning. Then we have an appointment at the LRCP on Wednesday with the medical oncologist to discuss the results, as well as the usual blood tests etc... We're praying that the mass has shrunk significantly, making all these side effects of chemotherapy worth it.
Dave was feeling a little better overall today. The side effects are all still there, but didn't seem to be as overwhelming. We've been watching the Olympic opening ceremonies this evening. (So tragic to hear about the 21 year old Georgian luger that died on a practice run today.) Dave was able to go out and watch the Clarke Road SS boys semi-final basketball playoff game earlier today as well. (He really wanted to go see that.)
I'm happy for the long weekend and have a lot to do with starting sprouts etc...
(FYI. Dave's still been getting his wheatgrass juice since we've been home. I was able to purchase it still growing in small flats from an organic health food store here in town. I've been juicing it everyday for him. I hope to start some seeds growing myself this weekend, but it's been handy to be able to get some in the interim.)
We are keeping the faith and staying positive! If anybody has any DVD's of the old series 'Fawlty Towers' we'd appreciate borrowing them. Laughter is supposed to boost the immune system. Dave used to love watching that British series on tv years ago and laughing certainly won't hurt!
at 11:46 PM
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Well we're settling in back home.
Dave had a rough day yesterday.
He went to LRCP for his weekly blood test and to replace the 5-FU bottle. He discussed his latest side effects - neuropathy (pain in his feet & hands caused by the drugs stripping the protective covering from nerve endings), as well mouth sores he's starting to get. (They gave him a prescription for mouth wash to rinse with 4 times/day.) They reduced the 5-FU amount by 30% for this week because of these side effects.
He still has a pain a few inches from the feeding tube but nobody seems to know what that's from. He went down to the radiology department (where they put in the feeding tube) for them to look at it. They cauterized the area around his tube to help some pain at the site. (It's like having a constant cut that doesn't heal and so is often painful there as well.) They don't believe the pain he's feeling a few inches from the tube has anything to do with the feeding tube, or even the suture anchor that is still stuck in his chest. (Click here to read about that story.)
The cancer clinic also did a swab at the site of the feeding tube yesterday. They called me this afternoon and it shows that there is a bit of an infection starting, so now he's also on an antibiotic for 7 days.
This all just seems to be a big headache for Dave and he's not even using the feeding tube. He has been able to eat OK and hasn't been using it for over a month now. (We're very thankful that he hasn't had to deal with the noise and aggravation of the feeding pump on top of all the chemo side effects.)
So yesterday wasn't a great day for Dave. He was exhausted and obviously in pain later in the evening. He's not really taking any pain meds though and just doesn't want to. (He has taken the occasional Tylenol 3, but usually at my pushing when I see that he's really obviously in pain from the neuropathy and the pain in his chest.) He says the neuropathy is like walking on glass.
Today he seems to be better. A friend drove him to Costco (thanks Bill!) to buy a Vitamix blender which we need for his new raw living food diet. (I've been borrowing a friend's for the past few days - thanks Barb!) I can tell he's feeling better because he's laughing at 'Blazing Saddles' on tv this evening and hasn't fallen asleep!
Thank you all for your concern and prayers.
I also wanted to mention for those of you that want to help out with food, my biggest issue right now is finding and stocking enough organic carrots. I go through well over 6 lbs of carrots every day. If you see some and want to drop some off it would be appreciated. (In addition to beating cancer, Dave's eyesight is going to be awesome after all that carrot juice!) Please don't feel obliged, I just know that a lot of people would like to help out and that just came to mind.
at 10:36 PM
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Just wanted to drop a quick line to let everybody know that we got home safely.
We've learned a lot, and there's still a lot more to learn but we believe that we're on the right track with this - 'raw living foods' to treat Dave's cancer. While I think of it I do want to thank everybody that has dropped off soups and meals. They have been tremendously appreciated, but going forward Dave won't be 'allowed' to eat them.
At this point Dave still isn't feeling great. The side effects of chemotherapy are still coming on strong. He doesn't have much energy, has headaches, his neuropathy (nerve pain in hands & feet) is better then it was last week but is still there, his teeth are bothering him, and he feels pain in his mouth and throat as well. To top it all off, he still has pain from his feeding tube. :( On a positive note, he looks healthier now then he did a week ago. (His face was a little ashen and he was getting a kind of rash spots around his face & neck. I've noticed that since spending a week on living foods, the spots have gone away, and his face looks healthier.)
His spirits are still up and he is looking forward to a break in his chemo coming up in a week. Tomorrow morning he goes into the London Regional Cancer Center for his weekly blood test and to change the 5-FU chemo bottle. He has one more week, and then he'll have a break while they do another catscan and review.
Thank you everybody for your thoughts & prayers. We've been praying daily for God's continued guidance and are feeling very positive at this point.
at 11:52 PM
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Hi y'all! We're less than 2 hours from the border and yet they don't speak Canadian here, eh? We've been here 3 days and feel very at home. Creative Health Institute is a very homey place and is run by staff and interns who have been healed here, totally believe in the place, and who love it here. We can't say enough about it. (I could go without the 'Green Energy Soup' but other than that, it's awesome!) Everybody here is very caring, staff and guests alike, and it's good for the soul.
I have been off coffee (haven't had a cup since Wednesday morning) and am feeling much better now than I did on Thursday. (I've had a green tea once or twice a day, which still has a little caffeine in it.) I'm very thankful as it's hard to absorb any information when all you want to do is lay in bed and with a caffeine hangover. Dave was feeling quite well until last night. He started getting pain in his hands & feet especially. It's another side effect of chemotherapy and is called neuropathy. (One of the many side effects listed in the chemotherapy booklet sent home with us from the London Regional Cancer Program.) Today was a bad day for Dave. He can hardly walk because his feet hurt so much. Also, he still has pain from his feeding tube and the granulation tissue from that. (Granulation tissue is an overgrowth of healing tissue that has only a very thin lining of skin, and can be painful.)
Today was a nice sunny day here, and our room faces south, so Dave sat in the sun a lot to get some Vitamin D and it was toasty warm for him.
We've been learning how to prepare a few things so far. We've had some 'cooking' classes - except without the cooking, as raw living food isn't cooked. (Again this is all fresh organic food, and no meat, fish, or dairy.) Yesterday we learned how to make almond milk, nut cheese, mock salmon, & chocolate mousse. All very interesting and very tasty. Today for dinner we had 'spaghetti', which was actually zucchini 'noodles'. (Fresh zucchini that is put through a spiral cutter of some sort.) and 'massaged' with some olive oil & spices. The sauce is made from fresh tomatoes and sundried tomatoes pureed, and spices added and warmed but not cooked. (We didn't make the food today - the interns did. But I asked lots of questions. Plus they send us home with all of their recipes.) Dinner was lovely and of course there was fresh salad and dressing. Everything here is very strictly ORGANIC, ORGANIC, ORGANIC. This is a learning institute, and they encourage sharing any information we receive here. We're being sent home with all their recipes. On Monday we'll be shown how to dehydrate and make things like flax crackers and kale chips which are supposed to be really good.
We have been very encouraged and feel positive that this is what we need to do to get Dave on the path to healing. Dave drinks a ton of carrot raspberry juice all day as part of his cancer diet here. We have lots to learn but basically we're building up his immune system and trying to keep any toxins out of his body by only eating organic. I have lots to do at home to restock our kitchen and source all organic products.
Today Dave slept most of the day, getting up to get his wheatgrass shots, and meals. He really is having a lot of pain in his hands and feet and we ask that you pray for this. Tomorrow is Sunday and there is a speaker here in the morning, but Dave would like to head into a nearby city (Coldwater) to go to church in the morning. Also, if he feels up to it, we've been invited to somebody's home nearby to watch the Superbowl. The way Dave felt today, he wouldn't have been up to going, so we hope he feels better tomorrow.
Thanks everybody for praying. We know in our hearts that we're in the right place, and now on the right path.
When we get back home to London, I'll need to contact the nurse at St. Joe's Hospital that told us her story, wrote down the website on a piece of paper for me, and insisted we look into this place.
God is good.
at 9:59 PM
Thursday, February 4, 2010
We're here safe and sound! We had a very easy drive and no hassles crossing the border.
I'll back up a little to Wednesday morning. We were a little concerned about leaving because Dave was really feeling crappy, and having difficulty keeping anything down. He went in to LRCP for his weekly blood tests and 5-FU bottle change and he told them he was doing much worse with nausea and vomiting. They said it was the Cisplatin chemo drug he was given last Wednesday and not surprising. They gave him some fluids and anti-nausea meds intravenously, and sent him home with some new anti-nausea pills. These seem to be working very well for him. He was able to eat some lunch when he got home and felt fine for the whole drive and was actually quite hungry again.
We arrived at about 6:30 pm last night and immediately felt welcomed. It has a camp like atmosphere. (I mean that in a good way.) There are 10 guests, 1 'leader', and quite a few interns behind the scene that do all the cleanup and cooking, juicing and growing of wheatgrass & sprouts etc. This is a non-profit organization and the people here are good and absolutely love what they're doing. (The price is very reasonable compared to other similar places because they have unpaid interns doing the work here.)
So we started detox. (The rest of the group had already started a day earlier.) Dave is feeling very good. (I can tell because he's being silly and trying to make me smile a lot. Lately it's been hard for him to be silly when he's feeling like crap.) So, Dave is feeling good, but I've been feeling awful as the day progressed. I usually have 3 small cups of coffee a day and only had one on Wednesday morning. So, by this afternoon I was feeling pretty bad. I've had a headache and am very sensitive to smells - which make me feel worse.
By dinner time I could barely bring myself to look at what they were serving let alone eat it. (Detox food is very unappealing unfortunately - 'Green Energy Soup' isn't cutting it for me.) Tomorrow everybody (except Dave & 1 other cancer patient here) will transition over to regular meals. I honestly felt so bad I was crying after dinner and the caffeine withdrawl just made me nauseous. (FYI. Dave and the other guests are doing well.) Dave spoke with the leader and then we both met with him and he said that it's the caffeine, but now isn't necessarily a good time for ME to detox. He said it's more important for me to to stay strong for Dave and said that I could carry on with the detox diet if I wanted, but not to feel obliged to. He got me a green tea (which has caffeine) and had one of the girls in the kitchen make me a gorgeous salad. (Unfortunately I was really feeling so crappy, that I ate 2 bites and couldn't eat any more.) The green tea did help a bit, and I'm feeling somewhat better now.
Anyway, enough about me. Dave & I are feeling very good about being here. (I was feeling pretty emotional a few hours ago, but that was from lack of caffeine.) There is another cancer patient seeking help here as well. It is very good to share experiences. (She's been fighting since 2004 and only recently heard about raw food diets to fight cancer. She said she really wishes she'd found out years ago. She is also only able to stay for 6 days.) Also our leader had stage 4 throat cancer 5 years ago and totally understands where Dave is at. He didn't find out about this for a year and half later and wishes he'd started sooner.
Today we went out to the greenhouse where they grow their wheatgrass and bean sprouts. (Dave had to turn around and walk out as the smell made him nauseous. It did smell a little 'farm-like' because they do indoor composting with red wiggler worms in there as well.) We each started soaking some of our own 'sprouts' in a couple of jars. Tomorrow we have to go back a few times and rinse and drain them or something. This evening there was a 'Russian bayna' outside, which is some kind of sauna. I had initially planned on going, but just didn't feel up to it at the time. Dave didn't go as we didn't think it would be a good idea for him.
Well, I gotta get some sleep. The mornings start early around here - 6:30 they get you up to do exercises. Yikes!
Thank you everybody for your prayers, general concern and your comments. Thanks for checking in.
at 11:14 PM
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
From what I understand both Wiarton Willy and Punxsutawney Phil saw their shadows today and predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Drag. It's been a pretty mild winter, but we could sure use some spring right about now.
Our plans are still a go for tomorrow. Dave will have his blood tests and chemo bottle change tomorrow morning, and then we'll head out tomorrow after lunch. Dave really isn't feeling well lately so we're hoping he endures the 4+ hour drive without too many problems. For those of you that are just tuning in, we're heading to the Creative Health Institute in Michigan. (www.creativehealthinstitute.com) We'll stay there for a week and they'll start Dave on a cancer-fighting diet. They'll also educate & train us how to carry on with it when we're home. They would like us to stay for 2 weeks but unfortunately 6 days is all we can do right now with Dave's chemo schedule. We feel the sooner we can start the better, and 6 days is better than nothing right now.
Cale is at home and we have a few different friends that have generously offered to take turns taking in Brady, which is awesome! (Thank you so much you guys! We really appreciate it. We're happy that he doesn't need to be kenneled and can hang out with his buddies Sky, Beau, & Bear!) We're hoping for a good travel day and an easy trip across the border. We really hope Dave starts feeling better. He is nauseous a lot, and just feels like he's going to be sick constantly. He's really lost his appetite. He's still eating but kind of against his will. (He's doing it because he knows he has to, not because he's hungry.) He started using his feeding tube again today for supplemental nutrition. (Unfortunately even the smell of that makes him feel sick.) He ate dinner, but said it tasted metallic. I read that using plastic cutlery can help with that, so we'll be trying that next. I feel so bad for him as he obviously just feels awful.
He still feels well enough to check out hockey games. (On tv - he's avoiding arena's anymore.) Dave's main concern about going to Michigan is ensuring that he'll still get to watch the superbowl on Sunday afternoon!
I've had to promise that someway, somehow, we'll find a tv! (It's the states - it has to be on everywhere!)
Anyway, I have to pack so it's another short post today. I'm not sure about internet access there, so don't panic if you don't see a post while we're gone! FYI. We can both receive unlimited text messages in the States, and I added a temporary add-on to Dave's cellphone so he can send 1000 text messages from the States. So for those of you that text - feel free to send messages, and we'll probably respond in the evenings. (They said they get decent cell service there, so hopefully that's the case.)
Thanks for checking in, and please pray for Dave's strength to be renewed and that he just feels better.
Dave would like to encourage people to leave comments. We know that lots of people are checking in and it's just so nice to read your comments!
at 9:20 PM