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Archive for May, 2010

Unfortunately I Still Have Cancer

May 26th, 2010 Comments off

Yeah, I still have cancer.

Although I had a clean EDG and PET scan back in January I had new tests last week and they came back positive in the same place in my esophagus as as before. That means that the cancer was not gone in February , it was just hiding.

The Good News

The good news is that the cancer has not spread and that I am still a candidate for surgery which I am going to do. I have my consultation with the surgeon on Wednesday of next week and am hoping that I will have the surgery a week or two after that. From my research he is one of the best surgeons in the area for what I need so I will be in good hands.

If I remember correctly I should be in the hospital for two weeks recovering. I am figuring it will be 2-4 weeks after that when I should be able to return to normal life. We will just have to see. The other good news is that my cancer doc says that if the surgery goes the way that it is supposed to then I should not need any further treatment which is great. The other bennefit of the surgery will be that I will have a smaller stomach and thus will be a lite eater from here on out. That means that I should enjoy my 150lbs 30 inch waist for the rest of my life ;-) .

To be honest this is not the direction that I wanted to go down but when you have a major surgery in one hand and not living much longer in the other surgery is very attractive. I would appreciate your prayer during this time for our family that the surgery goes well.

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Categories: Cancer, From the Network, Health Tags:

Taco Cabana Gluten Free

May 14th, 2010 Comments off

After calling Taco Cabana they were nice enough to email me their PDF on all of their gluten free items. To sum it up just about everything is gluten free except the things that have flour tortillas.

Below is a pic of my lunch of taquitos (they call them flautas) and chips with queso. Yummy!

Here is the PDF that they sent me – Taco Cabana gluten free

Rudy’s BBQ is Gluten Free

May 13th, 2010 Comments off

God truly loves me because he has miraculously made Rudy’s BBQ gluten free. Not everything there is gluten free but all the good and important stuff is like all the meats and most of the sides.

Unfortunately they do not have their allergens listed on their website but they do have a card that you can ask for at each location. I did just that and snapped some pictures of the card below. One side is all of their lawyer stuff but the other side is their allergen list. I have eaten there a couple of times since finding out :-) .


Counseling and the Question of Surgery

May 13th, 2010 Comments off

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

Around the second week after receiving chemo I started to go to one-on-one counseling at my church. The reason for going to counseling was to deal with the fear and emotions that I was experiencing while going through treatment. I had looked into some other secular counseling options but I felt I really need my counselor to have a Christian perspective. The reason for this was that I was really believing that it was God ultimately that was going to get me through this. Unfortunately some of the websites that I had visited out there were too accepting of the negative outcomes of battling cancer. I needed someone who would ask me the hard questions about my beliefs and help me deal with my weaknesses.

I got that person.

The interesting part (to me anyway) was that while we did talk about the cancer we talked about a lot of non-cancer things as well. We talked about my life growing up and my interactions with my parents, other family members, and friends. My counselor challenged me on a spiritual level but also on a relational level as well. My counselor had a good balance of psychology and spirituality.

It was during our sessions that I explained that I had interacted with the Lord about my healing and that I had questioned Him about why he did not heal my right then and there. I told them that I had felt God had told me that he was going to heal not only my body but my mind and spirit as well. My counselor was very happy that I had this interaction with God and that I should keep seeking Him which I did.As the weeks and sessions went on I began to feel better both physically and spiritually. During that time God did some amazing things in my life in regard to healing my heart in some areas with my family and also in the area of finances. I was really happy that I was making progress.

As I began to get to the tail end of my treatment I started to feel in my heart that surgery was possibly not the best idea. I struggled with this because I had promised God that I would do whatever it took in order to get past the cancer and now it seemed that I wanted to back out of a part of it. I asked my counselor whether they thought that I would not be living up to my part by not having the surgery. They said that although I had made a pledge to God that He was merciful and it was possible that He could make it to where I would not need surgery.

It was weird because I knew of God’s mercy and had experienced it at different levels before but this time around it seemed so much more serious. For me it practically was a life and death decision. I spent a lot of time in prayer, not to try and convince God but see what it was that He thought was best. The more I prayed the more I felt that surgery was not the thing to do. I prayed for God’s will to be done and that he guide and direct me, my wife, and the doctors. I put everything into God’s hands and waited to see the results.

Next Post in this Series: Treatment – The Last Week – Coming Soon!
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

Categories: From the Network, Health Tags:

Counseling and the Question of Surgery

May 13th, 2010 Comments off

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

Around the second week after receiving chemo I started to go to one-on-one counseling at my church. The reason for going to counseling was to deal with the fear and emotions that I was experiencing while going through treatment. I had looked into some other secular counseling options but I felt I really need my counselor to have a Christian perspective. The reason for this was that I was really believing that it was God ultimately that was going to get me through this. Unfortunately some of the websites that I had visited out there were too accepting of the negative outcomes of battling cancer. I needed someone who would ask me the hard questions about my beliefs and help me deal with my weaknesses.

I got that person.

The interesting part (to me anyway) was that while we did talk about the cancer we talked about a lot of non-cancer things as well. We talked about my life growing up and my interactions with my parents, other family members, and friends. My counselor challenged me on a spiritual level but also on a relational level as well. My counselor had a good balance of psychology and spirituality.

It was during our sessions that I explained that I had interacted with the Lord about my healing and that I had questioned Him about why he did not heal my right then and there. I told them that I had felt God had told me that he was going to heal not only my body but my mind and spirit as well. My counselor was very happy that I had this interaction with God and that I should keep seeking Him which I did.As the weeks and sessions went on I began to feel better both physically and spiritually. During that time God did some amazing things in my life in regard to healing my heart in some areas with my family and also in the area of finances. I was really happy that I was making progress.

As I began to get to the tail end of my treatment I started to feel in my heart that surgery was possibly not the best idea. I struggled with this because I had promised God that I would do whatever it took in order to get past the cancer and now it seemed that I wanted to back out of a part of it. I asked my counselor whether they thought that I would not be living up to my part by not having the surgery. They said that although I had made a pledge to God that He was merciful and it was possible that He could make it to where I would not need surgery.

It was weird because I knew of God’s mercy and had experienced it at different levels before but this time around it seemed so much more serious. For me it practically was a life and death decision. I spent a lot of time in prayer, not to try and convince God but see what it was that He thought was best. The more I prayed the more I felt that surgery was not the thing to do. I prayed for God’s will to be done and that he guide and direct me, my wife, and the doctors. I put everything into God’s hands and waited to see the results.

Next Post in this Series: Treatment – The Last Week – Coming Soon!
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian

Categories: From the Network, Health Tags:

My New Best Friend – CurvyCorners

May 13th, 2010 Comments off
If you have been doing web design for any period of time you have run up against the classic question – How do I make rounded corners without images for the website I am working on? There have been a lot of hacks out there and they all have their pluses and minuses. With CSS3 [...]
Categories: Blog, From the Network, Web Design Tags:

When Your Faith is Shaken, Turn Your Eyes to God

May 12th, 2010 Comments off

In life it is hard to not be swayed by circumstances. Sometimes in life you are on top of the faith mountain one moment and find yourself at the bottom of it the next.

I recently found myself in this situation.

In my previous post a talked about visiting my friend in the hospital who had been diagnosed with cancer a month after I had been. He and I talked about faith and God’s ability to heal him. We also talked about how life and death were in the power of the tongue and how through that power we have the power to stay or leave this life.

He chose to leave.

It was barely a week after I wrote that last post. I can’t say that I blame him. I guess in that week from when I had seen him to when he passed away he had not eaten and was extremely weak. I believe that he got the point where being with God looked like a better alternative then being here on earth. I don’t hold it against him but my heart hurts for him and his family. In my opinion his life was cut short.

His passing shook my faith.It was a couple days later that I found myself at my Oncologist for a follow up appointment and the question of surgery came up again. Fear had crept in to both my wife’s and my hearts to where we considered but quickly dismissed it after prayer and seeking God.

My faith was shaken again.

About a week later I visited the GI doctor and found out that I have celiac disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that basically tells my body to attack my small intestines when I eat wheat products that contain gluten. I found out that this could have been a large contributor to the cancer I had.

More shaking.

The treatment for celiac disease is a gluten free diet. Literally from one day to the next 80% of the food that I was used to eating was now off limits. It was a huge change for me.

Yet more shaking.

So here I am 3 weeks after the celiac disease diagnoses and I feel that I have plateaued. I am getting used to the gluten free diet and things are good. Unfortunately I start to feel really dry in my throat and schedule an appointment with the GI doctor. He is not sure what is going on but thinks we should take a look. Therefore I have another EDG scheduled for next week.

Shaken to the core.

All the same questions start to swirl in my mind – is the cancer back? Is it something else? Is it nothing. What if this, what if that? I just become numb.

Fortunately God is there.

I spent time with Him yesterday and told him how I felt. I told him how I was scared. I asked Him if I made the wrong decision not to get surgery. I question him about what is going to happen to my business and my family.

He reminds me of His promise – He has healed me.

At first those words did not comfort me, I couldn’t hear that. As the day went on though it started to sink in – either God is who He says He is or He isn’t. Either I trust Him or I don’t. Again I am questioned about what I really believe. What do I believe? Do I really trust Him?

Yes, I trust God.

That realization brought so much hope to me. With that realization it does not matter what happens – good or bad – He is with me and He will help me. On top of that He did promise me healing and I receive that promise. I don’t need to play the “what if” game because He has that covered. He would not have brought me this far if He was going to let me perish. Life or death is my decision – He has given me that choice and I choose life.

In 1 Kings 18:25-40 we see the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. In that story he has great faith to have God consume his enemies which were the prophets of Baal. But as soon as that Jezebel hears of what Elijah did and tells him that she is going to kill him. Instead of remembering the great victory that God had just given him he cowards away in a cave.

His faith was shaken.

While in the cave the Lord came to Elijah and spoke to him in a gentle whisper. In that whisper He told Elijah that He had the provision in place to overcome his enemies. Elijah listened to God and followed His direction and had victory.

It is in those times that our faith is shaken that we need to stop and listen for the voice of the Lord. It is that voice that brings us peace as He reminds us of His promises. We just have to get still enough to listen.

My circumstances have not changed – I still have the EDG on Monday – but I have peace. I know I am not alone. I know that God is with me. His promise of healing is fresh in my heart and my expectation is that I will see it come to pass. That is all I need to know.

Categories: Christian Living, From the Network Tags:

When Your Faith is Shaken, Turn Your Eyes to God

May 12th, 2010 Comments off

In life it is hard to not be swayed by circumstances. Sometimes in life you are on top of the faith mountain one moment and find yourself at the bottom of it the next.

I recently found myself in this situation.

In my previous post a talked about visiting my friend in the hospital who had been diagnosed with cancer a month after I had been. He and I talked about faith and God’s ability to heal him. We also talked about how life and death were in the power of the tongue and how through that power we have the power to stay or leave this life.

He chose to leave.

It was barely a week after I wrote that last post. I can’t say that I blame him. I guess in that week from when I had seen him to when he passed away he had not eaten and was extremely weak. I believe that he got the point where being with God looked like a better alternative then being here on earth. I don’t hold it against him but my heart hurts for him and his family. In my opinion his life was cut short.

His passing shook my faith.It was a couple days later that I found myself at my Oncologist for a follow up appointment and the question of surgery came up again. Fear had crept in to both my wife’s and my hearts to where we considered but quickly dismissed it after prayer and seeking God.

My faith was shaken again.

About a week later I visited the GI doctor and found out that I have celiac disease. It is an autoimmune disorder that basically tells my body to attack my small intestines when I eat wheat products that contain gluten. I found out that this could have been a large contributor to the cancer I had.

More shaking.

The treatment for celiac disease is a gluten free diet. Literally from one day to the next 80% of the food that I was used to eating was now off limits. It was a huge change for me.

Yet more shaking.

So here I am 3 weeks after the celiac disease diagnoses and I feel that I have plateaued. I am getting used to the gluten free diet and things are good. Unfortunately I start to feel really dry in my throat and schedule an appointment with the GI doctor. He is not sure what is going on but thinks we should take a look. Therefore I have another EDG scheduled for next week.

Shaken to the core.

All the same questions start to swirl in my mind – is the cancer back? Is it something else? Is it nothing. What if this, what if that? I just become numb.

Fortunately God is there.

I spent time with Him yesterday and told him how I felt. I told him how I was scared. I asked Him if I made the wrong decision not to get surgery. I question him about what is going to happen to my business and my family.

He reminds me of His promise – He has healed me.

At first those words did not comfort me, I couldn’t hear that. As the day went on though it started to sink in – either God is who He says He is or He isn’t. Either I trust Him or I don’t. Again I am questioned about what I really believe. What do I believe? Do I really trust Him?

Yes, I trust God.

That realization brought so much hope to me. With that realization it does not matter what happens – good or bad – He is with me and He will help me. On top of that He did promise me healing and I receive that promise. I don’t need to play the “what if” game because He has that covered. He would not have brought me this far if He was going to let me perish. Life or death is my decision – He has given me that choice and I choose life.

In 1 Kings 18:25-40 we see the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. In that story he has great faith to have God consume his enemies which were the prophets of Baal. But as soon as that Jezebel hears of what Elijah did and tells him that she is going to kill him. Instead of remembering the great victory that God had just given him he cowards away in a cave.

His faith was shaken.

While in the cave the Lord came to Elijah and spoke to him in a gentle whisper. In that whisper He told Elijah that He had the provision in place to overcome his enemies. Elijah listened to God and followed His direction and had victory.

It is in those times that our faith is shaken that we need to stop and listen for the voice of the Lord. It is that voice that brings us peace as He reminds us of His promises. We just have to get still enough to listen.

My circumstances have not changed – I still have the EDG on Monday – but I have peace. I know I am not alone. I know that God is with me. His promise of healing is fresh in my heart and my expectation is that I will see it come to pass. That is all I need to know.

Categories: Christian Living, From the Network Tags:

3 Weeks of Being Gluten Free

May 9th, 2010 Comments off

They say that it takes 21 days to create a habit and I would agree with that. Yesterday marked my 21st day of being gluten free and I now feel like I am getting the hang of it.

The first week was the hardest. I think it was the hardest because it seemed that I went from being able to eat anything I want to not being able to eat anything. That first week I survived on Chipotle and Chex cereal. It was depressing and I had several pity parties that I attended – alone.

The second week got better as I discovered that their were more foods that I usually ate that were a actually already gluten free. This made me happy. I was tired of Chipotle at this point but Chick-fil-A came to the rescue as a burrito bowl alternative.

The third week saw me crusing along as I had a pretty good variety of places to eat (sadly no Chinese food yet :-( ). My wife got brave and cooked me some corn tortilla quesadilla’s with chicken, avacado, and Tabasco sauce – yummy! I ended the week finding out that my favorite BBQ place Rudy’s was in fact mostly gluten free (go brisket!).

Today I start my 4th week and now I am on cruise control. I talked with my mom last night and told her how I was doing on the diet and she suggested that I might even learn to cook. I told her not to hold her breath but to keep praying for me as miracles still do happen ;-) .

So here I am, doing what I thought was impossible 3 weeks ago. I still eat out at least once a day but do it gluten free now. If anything it has been a lateral shift in my life as opposed to a complete change. I am so thankful to be doing this now as opposed to 10 years ago as I think it would be much harder then. Back then companies were not aware of gluten the way they are now and information was not as readily available. Today if I am not sure if something has gluten I Google it and within seconds I usually have my answer.

For anyone reading this that is just starting out as gluten free don’t dispare. I was not and am not a health nut and I am gluten free now. It is hard at first but once you get your groove it is doable and life returns to normal (well your new-normal anyway). It sucks at times but the alternative sucks even more. If I can do it anyone can.

Categories: From the Network, My Thoughts Tags:

Switching from Blinksale to Zoho Invoice

May 3rd, 2010 Comments off
I am making another switch in my life. This time I am switching from Blinksale to Zoho Invoice. The reason for this switch is because I currently have a free account with Blinksale that gives me 3 free invoices a month and this month I needed more invoices. Normally in the few times that I [...]
Categories: Blog, From the Network, Monetize Tags: