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Michigan Jan-How are you?


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i've been thinking of you both too...let us know how things are going when you're able but know that there are lots of us thinking of & praying for you both constantly. keep on hangin in there...

love,

melissa

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Thank you for asking. It is so good to not be forgotten right now. Monday, Jeff had a liver biopsy in four places. This was done just on the very unusual chance that all the spots on his liver are not cancer, in which case his treatment choices would change. That is nearly impossible. However, they wanted to be sure. The biopsy was no big deal. However it was 100 degrees outside and I knew if I walked to the car in the structure I would get heat sick and I have to stay okay to go and do with him. So they took him most of the way to the car in a wheelchair and then he drove back to the doors to pick me up, having cooled the car. That made me feel bad. I should have picked him up.

Tomorrow morning we go back to Karmanos for his appointment, the purpose of which is to set up his treatment. This appointment follows a meeting at which his records and scans and biopsies are read by 50 doctors. It will be chemo and he is anxious to get started. I hope they don't drop any more bombs on us. It has been just one after another, first finding the cancer, then finding it has spread, now who knows?

He has a white spot on his tongue and a white area behind it to the back of his throat. I will ask them to look at it tomorrow. When were there for the biopsy on Monday, the nurse looked at it and said she didn't know. But the two cancer docs did look in his mouth last Wednesday and didn't make any comment.

He watered all the plants today. Yesterday he mowed. I just loved sitting here in the house and seeing him on that mower--he loves yardwork. It was such a normal thing and I wonder if anything will ever be normal again.

I am just very sad. I am even having the same symptoms he had. I have had GERD for many years. Was scoped about 2 years ago by the same Doc that found Jeff's cancer. At the time the gastro scoped me, he told me I would never need to be scoped again for my GERD. I guess that if you have had GERD for 20 years and still have no signs of Barrett's esophogus (precourser to cancer) at age 56 (my age when scoped) you probably won't live long enough to die of esophogeal cancer. However, I don't know why he told me that, so I may be in for a scoping myself. I will call the gastro and ask him in a few days. I sure don't want to mess with that now. We are busy enough.

If that isn't enough, Jeff wants me to go ahead with the puzzles. We were on the brink of starting a business together when we got his diagnosis. I figured out how to put stories on jigsaw puzzles to make reading more fun and to do it in such a way that causes kids reading the puzzles to practice reading skills and learn about language. (I am a language arts writer). I applied for a patent, made prototypes, tested them on kids in schools, wrote some puzzles, hired artists to do paintings, and the puzzles and box covers were printed and sitting in the factory due to run the day after Jeff had his scope. When I got his diagnosis I called the factory and cancelled the run. All the fun of bringing this product out just died. It was something we were going to do together. Now he has told me to go ahead and run them. They are back in the factory line-up for next week.

I will send them to a warehouse where they will collect rent unless they sell and they won't sell if I don't sell them. I have brochures and a website almost ready to launch. My heart isn't in it. But our friends are all telling us we need to have something in our lives that is not cancer.

I'm telling you that once you get a diagnosis like his, cancer is your whole life. It is terrible. Jeff just came in and said he feels bad and so we are going to bed. He has not said this before. He was leaning on my desk talking to me. He never does that. Says he is tired. They will take his blood in the a.m. 10 days ago he was 10.5 hemoglobin. I hope he is not a lot lower now and that is why he feels bad. I am so worried.

Michigan Jan

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Michigan Jan

my heart goes out to you and your husband, I am so very sorry that you are going through all of this.

I hope that your husband has sucess in his treatments.

God bless you both

sleep tight!

Linda

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Guest Julia59

Jan,

I wanted to let you know that I think about you and Jeff every day.

You both continue to be in my thoughts and prayers each day also.

Please don't feel bad about Jeff having to cool the car. The heat is so bad this summer. You don't want to get yourself sick from that heat.

Blesssings to you both,

Julie :0)

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I am checking in because I feel like checking in. I feel that all of you are friends and I feel like staying connected.

We had a long day. Started with Jeff's dr appointmen this morning. The liver biopsy was inconclusive--meaning they did not get any cancerous cells. The doc offered Jeff a core biopsy, at the same time stating tha the spots on the liver are surely the cancer even though they didn't get any cancer cells. Jeff chose to start treatmemt as soon as possible, so we went down to radiology and they put a picc line in. This is a central line through his arm that runs inside a vein to the heart. Tomorow morning they will admit him to the hospital and give him chemo--a combo of 2 drugs and some anti-nausea medicine. If all goes well he will go home the next day wearing a 5-day pack of a third chemo drug. Thenj he will have 2 or 3 (can't remember ) weeks off, then a second round like the first. They have plans for 3 rounds. He will have scans after the second round to see what happens.

I am tired. I drove home today just for practice and I will drive him down in the morning for practice. Then I can get home alone tomorrow night and back the next morning to get him. Our son said he would go visit tomorrow evening.

It was just another terrible day. We are both scared but only thing to do is get on with it and hope it helps.

If I could just get rid of this pain in my chest. I do think it is acid reflux or stress or both. I have been taking antacid and simethicone and upped my daily dose of zantac. It actually does go away or lessens for a little while, then comes back.

We just got the first statement of charges from the initial scopes. Our insurance will be very helpful, but our part of that doctor bill is almost $400.00. I told Jeff that he had best get to work to pay his bills. He laughed and handed me a postcard from a nearby Montessori school and told me to go sell them some puzzles. I think I am finally glad to have the puzzles to work on. Creating them was one of the most rewarding and exciting things I have ever done. Then, I went to just not caring. Now it may be good to have them, even though they will be a tremendous challenge.

Goodnight all

Michigan Jan

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You both continue to be in my thoughts & prayers. I hope that you are able to get some good rest tonight & that tomorrow goes as well as it possibly can. It's also good to hear the the puzzles are giving you all a smile; I do think it's great that you're going ahead with them, especially since you'll still be able to decide how much time to put into the project at any given time...much different than a job commitment wherein you're having to answer to someone else.

Keep on hanging in there the best you can....

~melissa

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Jan

..I guess you both are putting one foot in front of the other to get on with the treatment....You must be overwhelmed by the illness and the challenges..

I am sending thoughts and prayers to you, Jeff and other loved ones in Michigan.

Your puzzles sound marvelous and hopefully will give you something to think about in between all the other hurdles you have to face.

Sophia

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Oh Jan, my heart goes out to the two of you. Drive safely tomorrow and keep as positive an outlook as you can. I hope Jeff does not react to the chemo and you can have a wonderful and long life together. Never give up hope! There is always hope. If the chemo irradicates the cancer, Jeff's chances for a full recovery are good. My thoughts will be with you tomorrow. Good night. Linda

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Jan,

I know times are terrible beyond words for you. Try not to feel guilty about Jeff getting the car; he understands and remember....it's most likely helpful for him (at least on an emotional and mental level) to continue to do the things he would have done a few weeks ago without thought...getting the car for you being one of those things.

I believe you have to try to hold on to all the hope you can.

I hope his labs don't come back any worse tomorrow. I'm sure mowing the grass was tiring for him but with the heat and the extra stress and worry he has right now that's enough to add to his being tired.

Good luck tomorrow and post when you feel up to it.

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Hi

Sending love and prayers.

The puzzles sound like a great idea, feeling accomlished through something creative is good for stress relief and keeping positive, which willl be so helpful now. It probably made Jeff feel so good that he was able to still take care of you by getting the car. Wishing you that the chemo should be both effective and go easy.

Ariella

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Jan and Jeff, I will be thinking of you. I am very sorry to hear of both of your difficulties. I think the puzzles are a great idea and a good distraction from all of this.

Stay focused and positive; that's all you can do. And lean on each other.

Amy

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Jeff had his first chemo overnight in hospital last night. He is home now and chemo still going on. He had two kinds of chemo in hospital and now wears a pump in a fammy pack putting in 5 days of something called FU.

I have had such a bad week. Wednesday night I spent the night in ER for me. This pain in my chest has been so bad and I may or may not have EDS hypermobility type so not too much risk there for aorta dissecting, but my Doc said to go. I went but told them in emergency that I had to be home in the the morning to take my husband in for his chemo. They did an EKG and took a blood test and did a chest x-ray. Then three hours later another blood test. I aruged wiht the emergency room doc telling him I was going home after the second blood test. He said a chest x-ray was not good enough to tell about the aorta and I would need to stay the morning for a MRI. However, after the second blood test came back, he came in all smiles and said he would let me go. Both blood tests were good, so no heart attack. He said he say he read my chest x-ray and he has never in his life seen such a skinny aorta, so if it was enlarging, he would have been able to see it, so home I went after a 3 hour nap between blood tests. Not bad timing for going to ER with chest pains. I left home about 9:30 p.m. and was back home in bed with Jeff by 4 a.m. so slept a couple of hours before going to the hospital for Jeff's chemo.

Wow was I tired last night. I finally left Jeff in his room at 9 p.m. and came home. I could have stayed all night with him but our son went to the hospital shortly after I left and sat with him a couple of hours and I came home and slept all night and went back this morning to get him.

Now I am determined to get an endoscopy too. My chest symptoms are exactly the same as Jeff's. And they ruled out heart cause and were telling me it is gastric. I do have a close relative with esophgeal cancer. I did have a scope done almost 3 years ago which was good, but if I get another one, then I would have checked out all the possiblities of the terrible pain and maybe I can better get on with being a good caretaker.

Can you imagine us both having the same thing? I just can't.

Anyway, for now we are both home, Jeff does not feel sick and I will have a nap. Our daughter and son-in-law are coming for a few days on Sunday and our son will bring the grandkids over. Jeff can have the little kids now, but in another week, he may not be able to be around them as that is when his blood will likely go low, red and white. Then 2 weeks for it to rebuild and then another round of chemo.

Thanks for support. Much support is needed right now.

Michigan Jan

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Hi Jan,

This really is a tough time. I'm worrie that you are having these chest pains but glad you went and had them checked out. With all this stress it's hard to know what is causing what.

I hope you both can have a calm but fun weekend with the family. Enjoy the kids.

Remember we are all keeping you both in our thoughts and prayers.

(((hugs)))

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Jan, i am so sorry for all you are going through. I hope you are feeling better. You have to be exhausted and totally wiped out! I am glad that Jeff isn't suffering too much from the chemo. Take care of yourself so that you can help Jeff. You both are in my thoughts and prayers. Linda

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dear jan,

just thinking, one, elevate your head, back off on all the antacids, too much can also cause trouble, i found out that my self(too much can slow your digestion down to almost nothing, then you get backed up in your stomach, take an antacid, back up more...), try also "drinking" some meals(meal type shakes) i hope you feel better soon. please get some rest, sleep and eat well

cyber hugs

my best for jeff, and i still pray everynight.

blackwolf

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Thinking of you and Jeff.

Please do take care of yourself; get whatever testing you need done when you can. It may bring you some peace of mind to get things checked out and get answers for yourself.

I'm glad you are going to move forward with the puzzles also; you may find it's something to take your mind off things a little here and there.

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