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When Tragedy Hits, Turn to the Next Chapter

March 30th, 2010 Comments off

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a very good friend of mine. This friend was diagnosed with cancer a month after I was. He went through treatment similar to me – chemotherapy but no radiation. The unfortunate part is that the cancer did not respond to the chemo he received, it got worse.

The day before I went to see my friend he was given the news that cancer had spread and now there was nothing that they could do for him. That is a devastating thing to be told. The doctor said that they could make him comfortable for the rest of his time. Tragic.

When I heard this it threw me for a loop. He had been believing for healing and so was everyone else for him. It was not the news that anyone expected to hear.

When I went to see him yesterday I was already determined that I was going to pray for him. The focus of my prayer I felt was for wisdom and not necessarily healing. I didn’t quite understand why this was but that is what I knew I was going to pray for.

In the course of visiting with him he and I talked about several things. One of those things was what I went through in my treatment for cancer.In my treatment I had reached a point with one of my doctors where I felt that he was no longer effective in my treatment. That is not to say anything bad about him but I felt that I could be getting better information about my individual situation from a doctor who was more familiar with my type of cancer. I told him how I had then gone to another cancer doctor and had gotten better information which led to better treatment.

In telling him this story it dawned on me – his situation was not an end, it was just another chapter in his life, and not the last chapter.

As I brought this up to him I explained that maybe this doctor wasn’t too familiar with his type of cancer and so that was all that he could do for him. Maybe someone who was more familiar with my friends type of cancer could do more. He agreed.

As we talked about this I could see the difference in him as he went from despair to hope. The doctor had given up on him but God had not. I explained to my friend that it was up to him as to whether he was going to receive the word of the doctor and die or the word of God and live.

As the bible says:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21 NKJ

As far as God is considered it is up to my friend as to when he checks out of this life. If he wants to stay then God will give him everything that he needs in order to do so. I am happy to say that my friend agreed with me.

The rest of my time with him in the hospital we talked about different places that he had heard of that could possibly help him. We were also blessed to be able to talk about non-cancer items as well. In all we had a good time together.

When it was time for me to leave I told him how I had felt the need to pray for wisdom before I had come. In my prayer I prayed that God would direct him in this next chapter of his life. I prayed that God would direct him to the people that would know how to fix his situation. I also prayed that he would continue to choose life, and not death, and complete the purpose that God has for him in this life.

He agreed with me in those prayers and we both believe that they will come to pass. I can’t wait to see God do it.

When Tragedy Hits, Turn to the Next Chapter

March 30th, 2010 Comments off

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a very good friend of mine. This friend was diagnosed with cancer a month after I was. He went through treatment similar to me – chemotherapy but no radiation. The unfortunate part is that the cancer did not respond to the chemo he received, it got worse.

The day before I went to see my friend he was given the news that cancer had spread and now there was nothing that they could do for him. That is a devastating thing to be told. The doctor said that they could make him comfortable for the rest of his time. Tragic.

When I heard this it threw me for a loop. He had been believing for healing and so was everyone else for him. It was not the news that anyone expected to hear.

When I went to see him yesterday I was already determined that I was going to pray for him. The focus of my prayer I felt was for wisdom and not necessarily healing. I didn’t quite understand why this was but that is what I knew I was going to pray for.

In the course of visiting with him he and I talked about several things. One of those things was what I went through in my treatment for cancer.In my treatment I had reached a point with one of my doctors where I felt that he was no longer effective in my treatment. That is not to say anything bad about him but I felt that I could be getting better information about my individual situation from a doctor who was more familiar with my type of cancer. I told him how I had then gone to another cancer doctor and had gotten better information which led to better treatment.

In telling him this story it dawned on me – his situation was not an end, it was just another chapter in his life, and not the last chapter.

As I brought this up to him I explained that maybe this doctor wasn’t too familiar with his type of cancer and so that was all that he could do for him. Maybe someone who was more familiar with my friends type of cancer could do more. He agreed.

As we talked about this I could see the difference in him as he went from despair to hope. The doctor had given up on him but God had not. I explained to my friend that it was up to him as to whether he was going to receive the word of the doctor and die or the word of God and live.

As the bible says:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21 NKJ

As far as God is considered it is up to my friend as to when he checks out of this life. If he wants to stay then God will give him everything that he needs in order to do so. I am happy to say that my friend agreed with me.

The rest of my time with him in the hospital we talked about different places that he had heard of that could possibly help him. We were also blessed to be able to talk about non-cancer items as well. In all we had a good time together.

When it was time for me to leave I told him how I had felt the need to pray for wisdom before I had come. In my prayer I prayed that God would direct him in this next chapter of his life. I prayed that God would direct him to the people that would know how to fix his situation. I also prayed that he would continue to choose life, and not death, and complete the purpose that God has for him in this life.

He agreed with me in those prayers and we both believe that they will come to pass. I can’t wait to see God do it.

I Think Google Chrome Killed My WordPress Blog

March 25th, 2010 Comments off
I have been using Google Chrome on my MacBook for the last few months and have been happy with it – up until about a week ago. About a week ago it seemed that it started to run slower especially when I was in the admin section of a WordPress site (which is all the [...]
Categories: Blog, From the Network, WordPress Tags:

Post Cancer Treatment of Other Stuff

March 24th, 2010 Comments off

Now that the cancer thing is pretty much over and done with I get to visit other doctors about various other items.

One doctor I am waiting to see is a hearing doctor since I now have constant ringing in my ears. From what I have been told this is probably a side effect of the chemo drug Cisplatin :-( . The good part about this is that during the day I don’t really hear it. It is only when things are quiet (which isn’t all that often). I don’t want to go deaf though so I am having it checked out.

The other doctor that I am visiting is the GI doctor. This is the guy that goes down your throat and up your backside to make sure things look good. I am glad I haven’t had the latter test yet ;-) . The reason I am seeing him is that is where the cancer was so we need to keep an eye on it.

One thing this doctor says I have is acid reflux and that is what probably caused the cancer. Fair enough, that makes sense other then the fact that I am no symptoms of acid reflux. No heart burn, no upset stomach, etc. Nothing. The only time I have any of these symptoms is when I take the medicine that he gave me for acid reflux – then I feel like I have it.

The other item that he says I have is ciliac disease. This is because although I did not have a positive biopsy for ciliac (it wasn’t positive but abnormal) my blood test shows elevated antibodies, etc, etc. The common side effects of ciliac disease are weight loss, malnutrition, anemia, etc to which I have none of these symptoms. The doctor says that I should go on a Gluten free diet which I am told is a pain in the arse.

If that wasn’t bad enough I am getting conflicting information from this doctor about the ciliac disease. He said my biopsy was not positive but the blood test was and this means Gluten free. But he handed me a packet about ciliac disease and it outlines a variation called latent ciliac disease. In latent ciliac disease the blood test is positive but biopsy is negative. The treatment for this –  do NOT do a gluten free diet. Weird.

The good news is that our insurance changed and this doctor does not take the new insurance. That means I will go see a new doctor and see what he has to say. In the mean time I will be eating as much gluten as possible since I may never be able to eat it again.

Anyone know where I can get a couple gallons of gluten?

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Treatment – Lots of Radiation

March 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Previous Post in this Series: Treatment – The First Week
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian


After getting my first week of chemo in the hospital they sent me home. The first day I did pretty good. It was the second day and beyond that I didn’t do too well.

The last dose of chemo they gave me while in the hospital was Cisplatin. From what I was told that chemo is pretty intense due to a lot of heavy metals in it. Adding to that was that they infused me for 8 hours straight with it. It was so intense in fact that I had special anti-nausea medication specifically for it. This medication was called Emend and basically turns off the communication between your stomach and your brain so your brain doesn’t tell your stomach to get sick. It worked.

That second day I am happy to say that I didn’t get nauseated. Again, I would like to be able to say that it was because of my great faith and grounding in the Word of God. But it wasn’t. The medication, the fact that I didn’t eat anything for 2 days, and other people’s prayers are what carried me through.

Although I didn’t get sick in my stomach I felt sick, and weak. That was the worst that I had ever felt in my life.

I cannot really explain the physical feeling that I had. I just didn’t feel good at all, and a lot. My energy was sapped and I didn’t want to do anything. In fact for the first week after getting out of the hospital the only time I ventured downstairs was to make the daily trip to radiation down in Austin. I usually slept during the 30 minute ride there and back.

It was during this period of my treatment that yet another battle popped up that had to be addressed – eating.

As mentioned before the doctor had a feeding tube put in my stomach. The reason for this was that I was losing weight because I wasn’t eating much. The doctor said that it would only get worse as they started to treat me. Eating was important because it was unhealthy to continually lose weight as fast as I was losing it. Also, the body needed food so it would have energy to fight against the cancer and the chemo/radiation damage. Finally you’ve got to eat because if you don’t you die. Unfortunately I have been told that a lot of cancer patients actually die of malnutrition which is very, very sad.

So my main battle during this time was with my body and the feeding tube.

The first issue was that my body did not want food. I have to tell you, it is the weirdest experience in the world to know you need to eat but your body does not want to. Then when you finally do get something in your body it rejects it and gets sick, really sick.

My first experience with this was what is called “dumping syndrome” . It basically went like this – I would have a can of adult formula and then about 20 minutes later I would have the immediate urge to use the restroom for #2. I would stay there until my body forced everything out of me that it could. During that time my temperature would rise significantly to the point that I would be covered with sweat and felt like I was going to pass out. Once that was done I would be completely drained of energy for several hours.

After 2-3 cans and this happening the first day I was completely defeated. My wife called the nutritionalist to ask why this was happening. She said that I would just need to get used to it.

That was not the right answer.

My wife at that point reached out for prayer from several sources and we sought out to find an answer ourselves.

At our next day of radiation we mentioned what was happening to the nurse there and he suggested a diabetic formula that didn’t have sugar. See along with all of those symptoms I would feel like I had OD’d on sugar as well. I wasn’t diabetic but for whatever reason my body did not like these sugary formulas that we were trying.

We tried the formula that he suggested and it worked – no side effects!

I would like to say that the battle ended there but it didn’t.

The continual battle was fighting with my body to want to eat. It did not want food. I don’t know why but it didn’t. I continued to lose weight.

Knowing this I was getting weighted once a week at radiation. Each time the staff would shake their finger at me and tell my wife with who I would also get in trouble. This happened until I reach 150lbs – my weight in high school. At that point they said that if I continued to lose weight that they would need to stop treatment and give me nutrition intravenously which was risky.

It was at that point that I had to buckle down and force my body to eat – which sounds weird.

I did this by distracting myself by watching videos on the internet while I did it. At first I watched the Daily Show with John Stewart but then settled into watching Greg Groeschel on lifechurch.tv. Watching these messages not only helped distract me but helped to increase my faith.

I began eating more and more through my tube and while I dipped a little under 150 I was able to get it back up to that and maintain it. I believe that it was deciding that I was going to do it no matter what and the strength that I received from listening to God’s Word every day 2-3 times. It is amazing the inner strength you receive when your mind is saturated with what God has to say.

Next Post in this Series: Counseling and the Question of Surgery – Coming Soon!
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

Categories: From the Network, Health Tags:

Treatment – Lots of Radiation

March 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Previous Post in this Series: Treatment – The First Week
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian


After getting my first week of chemo in the hospital they sent me home. The first day I did pretty good. It was the second day and beyond that I didn’t do too well.

The last dose of chemo they gave me while in the hospital was Cisplatin. From what I was told that chemo is pretty intense due to a lot of heavy metals in it. Adding to that was that they infused me for 8 hours straight with it. It was so intense in fact that I had special anti-nausea medication specifically for it. This medication was called Emend and basically turns off the communication between your stomach and your brain so your brain doesn’t tell your stomach to get sick. It worked.

That second day I am happy to say that I didn’t get nauseated. Again, I would like to be able to say that it was because of my great faith and grounding in the Word of God. But it wasn’t. The medication, the fact that I didn’t eat anything for 2 days, and other people’s prayers are what carried me through.

Although I didn’t get sick in my stomach I felt sick, and weak. That was the worst that I had ever felt in my life.

I cannot really explain the physical feeling that I had. I just didn’t feel good at all, and a lot. My energy was sapped and I didn’t want to do anything. In fact for the first week after getting out of the hospital the only time I ventured downstairs was to make the daily trip to radiation down in Austin. I usually slept during the 30 minute ride there and back.

It was during this period of my treatment that yet another battle popped up that had to be addressed – eating.

As mentioned before the doctor had a feeding tube put in my stomach. The reason for this was that I was losing weight because I wasn’t eating much. The doctor said that it would only get worse as they started to treat me. Eating was important because it was unhealthy to continually lose weight as fast as I was losing it. Also, the body needed food so it would have energy to fight against the cancer and the chemo/radiation damage. Finally you’ve got to eat because if you don’t you die. Unfortunately I have been told that a lot of cancer patients actually die of malnutrition which is very, very sad.

So my main battle during this time was with my body and the feeding tube.

The first issue was that my body did not want food. I have to tell you, it is the weirdest experience in the world to know you need to eat but your body does not want to. Then when you finally do get something in your body it rejects it and gets sick, really sick.

My first experience with this was what is called “dumping syndrome” . It basically went like this – I would have a can of adult formula and then about 20 minutes later I would have the immediate urge to use the restroom for #2. I would stay there until my body forced everything out of me that it could. During that time my temperature would rise significantly to the point that I would be covered with sweat and felt like I was going to pass out. Once that was done I would be completely drained of energy for several hours.

After 2-3 cans and this happening the first day I was completely defeated. My wife called the nutritionalist to ask why this was happening. She said that I would just need to get used to it.

That was not the right answer.

My wife at that point reached out for prayer from several sources and we sought out to find an answer ourselves.

At our next day of radiation we mentioned what was happening to the nurse there and he suggested a diabetic formula that didn’t have sugar. See along with all of those symptoms I would feel like I had OD’d on sugar as well. I wasn’t diabetic but for whatever reason my body did not like these sugary formulas that we were trying.

We tried the formula that he suggested and it worked – no side effects!

I would like to say that the battle ended there but it didn’t.

The continual battle was fighting with my body to want to eat. It did not want food. I don’t know why but it didn’t. I continued to lose weight.

Knowing this I was getting weighted once a week at radiation. Each time the staff would shake their finger at me and tell my wife with who I would also get in trouble. This happened until I reach 150lbs – my weight in high school. At that point they said that if I continued to lose weight that they would need to stop treatment and give me nutrition intravenously which was risky.

It was at that point that I had to buckle down and force my body to eat – which sounds weird.

I did this by distracting myself by watching videos on the internet while I did it. At first I watched the Daily Show with John Stewart but then settled into watching Greg Groeschel on lifechurch.tv. Watching these messages not only helped distract me but helped to increase my faith.

I began eating more and more through my tube and while I dipped a little under 150 I was able to get it back up to that and maintain it. I believe that it was deciding that I was going to do it no matter what and the strength that I received from listening to God’s Word every day 2-3 times. It is amazing the inner strength you receive when your mind is saturated with what God has to say.

Next Post in this Series: Counseling and the Question of Surgery – Coming Soon!
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

Categories: From the Network, Health Tags:

Treatment – The First Week

March 19th, 2010 Comments off

Previous Post in this Series: My First Surgery
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

The week after my surgery I was scheduled to be admitted to the hospital for a week to start chemotherapy and radiation. The reason for the hospitalization was the daily duration of the chemo. I was to receive 5FU chemo for 16 hours a day for the first five days, have a day off, then on the last day I would get Cisplatin for 8 hours. The infusion center at the cancer center I was going to was only open regular business hours so they could not accommodate me. The other part of it was that they were giving me so much chemo that they wanted to keep their eyes on my.

While that was meant to be comforting, it wasn’t.

Going into the hospital I was scared. Maybe not as much as when I went into surgery, but I was scared. I think we have all heard of the nasty side effects of chemo in which the chief is nausea. I had not been eating very much since my esophagus was now full closed at this time but I still did not relish the idea of being sick.

The night before I went into the hospital my wife was a little scared too. She went on one of the cancer boards and asked for any advise about dealing with chemo and the side effects. Someone came back and told her that if we expected to get sick and have a bad experience then that is what was going to happen. But if we expected the opposite then that is what was going to happen.

When my wife told be about this it reminded me of the scripture “Let it be according to your faith”.

Here is the scripture in context:

27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. - Matthew 9:27-30

In my mind it made sense. If I expected that I was going to get sick and nauseated then that is what was going to happen. But if I believed the opposite, the opposite would happen. In fact it was this hint of light that started to really spark the faith for healing in my body from cancer as well.

Now understand my faith was not in the power of my mind. There are a lot of “mind over body” concepts out there and honestly I believe them to an extent. But for me it was that I had faith in God’s ability to heal me and have dominion over my body. I was yielding to Him and expecting His influence in my body.

That first day as they hooked me up to the chemo bag I was still a little nervous but I expected God to be there with me. He was. I had a good night of sleep and woke up the next morning without any nausea. In fact I went through the whole week without any nausea. I truly felt it was a miracle and even the staff was surprised. I was the exception to the rule thanks to God.

It was during this week that I also started my 6 week regimen of radiation. I really did not know what to expect from the radiation as no one had really sat down to tell me. A few days into it I felt like my skin might be burning a little. I mean why wouldn’t it be, they were basically microwaving me!

I asked the nurse at the radiation center if I should be feeling these side effects and they said no. The looked at the area of my skin that I said I felt the slight burning and they did find something – dry skin. I needed to put some lotion on – not because of the radiation but because of hard water. See the power of the mind/faith works both ways. I ended up having no side effects that week at all from the radiation.

After going through that first week of chemo and radiation my faith began to increase in that I believed that I as going to make it through this. I think part of that came from the fact that we were now in treatment as opposed to testing and planning. Another part of it was the fact that it was not as bad as I thought that it was going to be. The final and most important part was that I had asked God to help me and I had seen Him come through for me.

I wish I could say that I was full of faith from the beginning and that this was just proof of my awesome faith and dedication to God but that is not the case. I was weak, I was scared. They said I was going to make it through this but I did not always believe them. I really believe that it was the support of my wife and all the people that were praying for us. they helped me get to the point that I could start to see the manifestation of their faith and mine.

Next Post in this Series: Treatment – Lots of Radiation – Coming Soon!
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

Categories: From the Network, Health Tags:

Treatment – The First Week

March 19th, 2010 Comments off

Previous Post in this Series: My First Surgery
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

The week after my surgery I was scheduled to be admitted to the hospital for a week to start chemotherapy and radiation. The reason for the hospitalization was the daily duration of the chemo. I was to receive 5FU chemo for 16 hours a day for the first five days, have a day off, then on the last day I would get Cisplatin for 8 hours. The infusion center at the cancer center I was going to was only open regular business hours so they could not accommodate me. The other part of it was that they were giving me so much chemo that they wanted to keep their eyes on my.

While that was meant to be comforting, it wasn’t.

Going into the hospital I was scared. Maybe not as much as when I went into surgery, but I was scared. I think we have all heard of the nasty side effects of chemo in which the chief is nausea. I had not been eating very much since my esophagus was now full closed at this time but I still did not relish the idea of being sick.

The night before I went into the hospital my wife was a little scared too. She went on one of the cancer boards and asked for any advise about dealing with chemo and the side effects. Someone came back and told her that if we expected to get sick and have a bad experience then that is what was going to happen. But if we expected the opposite then that is what was going to happen.

When my wife told be about this it reminded me of the scripture “Let it be according to your faith”.

Here is the scripture in context:

27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” 28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. - Matthew 9:27-30

In my mind it made sense. If I expected that I was going to get sick and nauseated then that is what was going to happen. But if I believed the opposite, the opposite would happen. In fact it was this hint of light that started to really spark the faith for healing in my body from cancer as well.

Now understand my faith was not in the power of my mind. There are a lot of “mind over body” concepts out there and honestly I believe them to an extent. But for me it was that I had faith in God’s ability to heal me and have dominion over my body. I was yielding to Him and expecting His influence in my body.

That first day as they hooked me up to the chemo bag I was still a little nervous but I expected God to be there with me. He was. I had a good night of sleep and woke up the next morning without any nausea. In fact I went through the whole week without any nausea. I truly felt it was a miracle and even the staff was surprised. I was the exception to the rule thanks to God.

It was during this week that I also started my 6 week regimen of radiation. I really did not know what to expect from the radiation as no one had really sat down to tell me. A few days into it I felt like my skin might be burning a little. I mean why wouldn’t it be, they were basically microwaving me!

I asked the nurse at the radiation center if I should be feeling these side effects and they said no. The looked at the area of my skin that I said I felt the slight burning and they did find something – dry skin. I needed to put some lotion on – not because of the radiation but because of hard water. See the power of the mind/faith works both ways. I ended up having no side effects that week at all from the radiation.

After going through that first week of chemo and radiation my faith began to increase in that I believed that I as going to make it through this. I think part of that came from the fact that we were now in treatment as opposed to testing and planning. Another part of it was the fact that it was not as bad as I thought that it was going to be. The final and most important part was that I had asked God to help me and I had seen Him come through for me.

I wish I could say that I was full of faith from the beginning and that this was just proof of my awesome faith and dedication to God but that is not the case. I was weak, I was scared. They said I was going to make it through this but I did not always believe them. I really believe that it was the support of my wife and all the people that were praying for us. they helped me get to the point that I could start to see the manifestation of their faith and mine.

Next Post in this Series: Treatment – Lots of Radiation – Coming Soon!
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

Categories: From the Network, Health Tags: