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Update from Michigan Jan

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I went to my neighbor's to water her flowers this morning and it was so humid and close that my asthma decided to start up. I did not finish the flowers and came home to get in the air-conditioning. Chest still hurts. Because of my POTS I do not take any puffers. They will run my heart and make me extremely nervous and fearful and trembly. So I have to depend on a course of preventative meds year round. Luckily because of this, I don't have many symptoms of allergy very often. So I think this will pass if I just stay inside.

Jeff's sister and husband come today to stay until Monday. Tomorrow, his other sister comes to stay until Thursday. I want to make pies and do some cooking, but just don't want to move because of the way my chest feels. As it is, I will have to ask Jeff to finish those flowers I didn't get to.

Right now Jeff is feeling pretty good. He just did the grocery shopping. He hasn't missed mowing the lawn even once since his diagnosis of cancer. Yesterday we went to his oncologist and he had blood taken and his med-a-port certified as ready to use. His blood counts were low but not any lower than the doctor expected. He goes again Thursday for a blood count and if the counts are higher than they were yesterday, he will have round 2 of the chemo. This time the doctor said he would lower the dose of the 5FU because Jeff had some really bad mouth sores and the doctor said lowering the dose of that med would help them not be so bad this time around. When Jeff told the doctor that he didn't want his dose lowered if it meant less help fighting the cancer, the doctor said it would'nt effect his treatment to lower the dose.

To all of you who have prayed for him and are sending thoughts of healing his way, please keep going. He seems to have benefitted from from the first round of chemo. He still has the ache where the original tumor was located but it is not as bad. I think everyone who was praying for him helped carry him through.

I had quite a day this week, in that I hired a new houskeeper and she liked working here and we liked having her so she will clean for us. While she was here cleaning, the window washers showed up to do the outside windows (they come 4 times a year) and my friend's son who is a contractor came the same day to replace some rotten wood on the house and gate and the landscaper brought his crew to prune all the shrubs. Next week the outside of the house is getting painted. It was just a ton of stuff that got done real fast and it made me feel better.

However, now I am depressed again. The doctor keeps stressing that all treatment for Jeff is pallative--just buying time by keeping the cancer in check. I am just so sad.

And the puzzles (Why on Earth did I ever want to start a business!) are made and will arrive this week. I have the website up and running but it is basicallly a dead site since it has not been picked up by the search engines and I have done no advertising. I can't see how I am ever going to make a success of that now, especially when it doesn't even seem important. All I really want is Jeff to be well and be with me.

Michigan Jan

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First, I'm glad to hear that Jeff isn't feeling too worn from the treatment--and that he's able to continue much of his daily routine.

I'm saddened that you are so down :) I wish I could give you some sort of sprititual injection to help you. I continue to think good, healing thoughts for you both.

As for your website, it takes a while for sites to "propagate" once they're live on the web. You can help that process by making sure you have keywords tucked into your source code (meta)--and by registering your site with online search engines. If you haven't the time to register on your own, there are many, many places that will do it for you (for a fee). Just google the words "increase search hits" and you'll come up with many:


It's good that you're having some much good stuff done with your home; it helps to give you the feeling that you still have some control in this crazy, crazy world. Big hugs to you both. BTW, Dorothy was asking about you both when I talked to her two nights ago. I'm hoping she will give you a call soon.


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Hi Jan, you and Jeff are constantly in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be. You seem to have found several ways to cope, and make it through the days, which I think is just fantastic. I understand the depression, but I credit both of you for pushing through this. I think hiring the cleaning person is such a great idea, should be a big help for you, and the cost will be well worth it. I bet you did feel great the day everyone was working in and around your house! :)

As for your search engine issue, I was a business broker 2 years ago in a very small firm, so our website wouldn't make it to the larger search engines for a few years either, one site I registered with was overture.com.....it's fairly cheap, you actually set your own rates for keywords you want associated with your website, and it's like a bid for position website......it was great!

You pay for keywords, and those keywords will put your website up higher on the top search engines. --for example, you pay $0.15 (per click) for people who do a search on puzzles, and if 15 cents is in a high position on overture, then your website will probably be on the first page of yahoo search--lower than major companies who sell puzzles, but much higher than people who either pay less than you, or don't pay at all. You can put as much or as little as you want, and I actually found it pretty fun, it's just a way to get noticed faster than waiting on search engines to pick you up, and they have a great keyword suggestion tool which takes some of the work off your brain! you also set you own rates for different keywords so more important words like puzzles, you'd want to pay more per click, less important, less $ per click...... It's been 2 years since I've used it, and yahoo bought it, but I doubt much has changed, and if it has, I will research it. If you do check it out, and want any help, or have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Please take care, take each day as it comes. Thanks for keeping us updated, I really appreciate it.


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I am way behind on posts...I was planning to pull up one of your earlier threads and reply to it b/c I have been wondering how you were coping. So, I am glad that you posted a new topic and updated us.

You definitely got some good tips about the puzzles. I don't know the first thing about that stuff that Nina and Steph were telling you! For some reason, I have been thinking a lot about you 'puzzle dilemna'--whether to continue on with it or not. I know that it was something you and Jeff were going to do together and that many encouraged you to do it while he was going through treatment. I have turned this over and over in my head. I still don't think I have all the right words figured out yet....so please bear with me. I might have said...'wait on the puzzles' and just be with Jeff. I know that when I am at my worst, nothing else matters but spending time with those I love. I don't always need other 'distractions' to help me cope...in fact, at my worst, there is not energy for those, I'm just surviving and holding on to a moment with my mom or dad or dog. Nothing else matters.

When I saw your post today about the website not taking off, I thought some more about it all. Why this is nagging at me so much I don't know. And if my words will help, I don't know. I hope so though. Anyway, from what I sense, you are a person of strong faith...and for me, part of faith, is in trusting in the 'timing' of things. Maybe the puzzles need to 'sit' for a while? Maybe they will take off in time, when you need them to. Maybe you couldn't keep up if they did take off right now? I do believe in my heart that the WILL succeed. When I read about them, I thought...WOW, go Michigan Jan! Your passion for them was so strong. I think it's okay to take some time away from them and focus on Jeff right now. But, that's just me. As for your website...can I look at it? I know that I would buy them!

Just some thoughts. I hope that I didn't stick my foot in my mouth too much. I have been thinking about you both so much. I cannot imagine how painful this is. And, not so great for the POTS either, huh? I am glad that you have help fixing up the house and also cleaning help. It's amazing how a clean house helps! It seems like in the 'grand scheme of things' it shouldn't matter if there is dust or not, but it always makes me feel better when things are clean...esp. clean sheets! I love that!

I don't know how you face each day knowing that Jeff is getting palliative care. I really don't. I cannot make sense of suffering...not matter how hard I try. Know that you are both held in many, many hearts and please continue to reach out to us for support.


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you & jeff have both been in my thoughts & prayers & i was so glad to see your update. i'm sure that it doesn't feel it but it sounds like you both are truly doing quite well considering all that's on your plate these days.

for what it's worth, i'll say that emily's thoughts about the puzzles not taking off too quickly rang true to me too. this isn't to say that it still might not be good to get the website a bit more visable in some venue, but i'm guessing it would be a bit overwhelming to get hundreds of orders right away, ya know? i still think you'll be glad in the long run that you went ahead with the puzzles....and i still think they sound really cool:-)

glad to hear that you've been able to get some help around the house. i know how wonderful it can be to get things of that sort done. it definitely has made me feel better at times.

as far as the doc's attitude goes, i can't imagine how hard that must be to keep hearing. have you told him that you know the "stats" or whatnot but that you don't need to hear him stress it so often? i understand why the doc wouldn't want to lead you on without being honest, but it seems so unnecessary for him to keep on pressing the issue. like many have shared already, there are so many instances of people coming out of health situations that were "impossible" to come out of, so keep on hangin in there...one never knows how something will turn out. including the doctor.

keep on keepin on,


keep on keepin on

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Jan and Jeff, My thoughts and super prayers are with you as you go along this difficult and bumpy road. I put money in the Jewish Tzedaka box in a multiple of $.18 to send prayers your way. In the Jewish religion, 18 is equivalent to the word "Chai" which means "life."

Enjoy your weekend with the relatives but don't overdue it.


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Dear Jan, You and Jeff have been in my thoughts and prayers. I will keep praying-miracles do happen! Jeff has a wonderful outlook from the sounds of your posting. That attitude may be as strong as the chemo treatments are. I think your suffering is as bad as his- he is your life. Take care of yourself during this hard period, enjoy each other and reach out for help wherever you can get it. Prayers and love to both of you. Linda

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I'm glad to hear you have had some positive events recently and hope they keep flowing. For your puzzles, one of my friends is an elementary/middle school librarian and I know she said they have a LISTSERV that most librarians around the country belong to. It seems to me that they would be a great group to expose to your reading puzzles. Unfortunately I don't know much about these LISTSERV groups myself but if you could somehow connect with this one it might help your exposure.

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Oh wow! I have not been on my computer since I posted the beginning of this topic. And so now I visit and I am greeted by a personal message of encouragement from Nina. Thank you Nina. And I feel so supported by reading everyone's replies. Jeff's sister and brother-in-law were here for 2 days and left today. Now his other sister is with us for the rest of the week.

I am amazed by the people who are praying for Jeff or sending healing energy his way. His sister who is her now is a Buddist nun and her community is sending him metta (loving kindness) and one of my friends who is new age in her views went outside at lunch where she works with another new ager who is a healer and they held a healing for Jeff. And now Lois is sending him prayers in the Jewish tradition.(Thank you, Lois!) He got a card with several women's signatures on it from a Woman's Prayer Group (Born Again Christian) at a church we never heard of. I finally did track it down--I realized it is a church that a good friend attends, so I was able to write them a note and thank them. And because Jeff has been such an active volunteer with the local Salvation Army, they have been praying for him. What a mix of prayer, metta, and healing energy is coming his way! I will never be able to keep up with it to thank everyone. But you all are making me (and him) feel so blessed. And I do believe that it has made a difference.

Stephanie, I once did use Overature to promote a book I had written and you are right. It did work well. I have managed to register with some search engines and I do have keyword meta tags on the index page. I am going to look into whatever name Overature has changed to and try it when I get time.

Emily, Ernie, Melissa, Steph, and Buddy Lee's Wife. I think maybe it is good the puzzles do not take off right away. Chemo is coming up on Thursday if blood counts are good, so while we still need to do something to get going, it can be slow going. I do not want to post a link to my webpage here. It is a commercial site. If anyone does want the address and emails me at writeplace@comcast.net I will send it. The UPS truck did roll in here this morning and bring 90 cartons of puzzles. I think that means that the bulk of the inventory must be at the warehouse by now. I haven't had time to check. I hope to find the time tommorrow. Had to get Jeff to a dermatologist today for very large area of strange looking skin. Turns out he has an overgrowth of a fungus due to the chemo, so he now has a prescription cream. The dermatologist said "Don't worry. This will control it." That was a relief.

Thanks so much to everyone for your support. It really helps.

Michigan Jan

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