Thursday, December 20, 2007
With Jon being diagnosed with liver cancer in August, it looked like again there would be no way to go. In fact, we shared our anniversary last September in a hospital in Mexico. As Jon's health got better and then has stabilized, we got excited that we would actually be able to go even if we just rested on the ship and watched the sunsets.
We had a great time! We even had Jon's favorite doctor, Dr. Fingerstein, and his wife accompany us for moral support and lots of humor. We enjoyed beautiful weather, some Mayan ruins, boating, snorkling, entertainment, museums, music and dancing (Jon is a great dancer), good food and laughs. Each sunset we sat on the balcony, holding hands, taking pictures and reminiscing about the wonderful life we have had and how happy our children make us. We fell in love all over again. I am so glad we could have time together without feeling the nagging presence of that dreaded disease, where we felt almost like normal tourists enjoying life . . . and we did!
Jon was very careful on the ship eating only food on his diet. He didn't have his normal supplements or green drinks and the eating schedule was really bizzare. Where most people gain weight on a cruise, Jon lost about 4 pounds. Not a good sign. We are back on the hard core regiment here at home but it has been somewhat of an adjustment this week with good and bad days. We are looking forward to Christmas with the family and wish all of you a very merry Christmas as well. And don't eat all that sugar; it's not good for you!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Do you work out? I have been adding to my exercise routine. I actually bend down all the way and put my shoes on every morning and lace them up too, rather than jam my toes into them and bend the heals down like my teenagers used to do. Then after I catch my wind, I spend a great deal of time exercising my fingers on the keyboard with correspondences. People continually ask me how I feel. I don't feel anything until noon when it is time for my nap. OH! One other thing I have added to my daily routine. I do "in and outs". That's where I get IN my truck and get Out at the next stop. Then do it all over again. It is very taxing and it is just a good thing I can rest in between.
Will I be going back to Mexico any time soon? No, not unless I have a crash of some sort like return of pain, loss of weight, (eat your hearts out) or other obvious changes for the worse. If I actually grow my hair back it won't be because I went there. We can't blame that on them. Besides, my insurance does not cover any sort of alternative therapy so there is a dis-incentive to go unless we fall back into crisis.
What do your doctors say and do for you here? Nothing. Unless I agree totally with them and do as they say they are not in the least able to help me. You see, it is their ball and their field. If I don't play by their rules, then they don't want to play with me at all. Worse, if I prove them wrong (which is already the case) they get a little snooty about it. All warm and fuzzy if I call them and encouraging to the point of nausea. Yet one can easily tell by their desire to do nothing, that it is all show. Funny isn't it? They can't use anything that works for me because they are bound by law in California to only poison, cut, or burn the cancer. There are no other options for doctors. If they do actually start to use alternative therapy, they could easily be ridiculed and mocked by their piers and then eventually lose their license.
So what are you doing and will it work or not? Currently I take a product called Transfer Factor which will increase the strength of my immune system. It is the latest discovery in immune system support to be found in the past 5 years. I also take a series of herbs which will help remove toxic metals and antigens from my system. And I use frequency generation to kill the cancer virus. The last discussion I had with Dale Fawcett, a cancer researcher for the past 25 years, was about what to do next, who to see, and that I would "have a long and productive life". I sometimes hate to embarrass people purposely, but I would just love to do so to those doctors who proclaimed doom and gloom with only a few months to think about it. As I begin to study the facts about cancer cures, not treatment but cures, I find so much more faith and hope than with those who spend their lives poisoning and burning and see the results. They, therefore, become very pessimistic about any cancer course, treatment, or otherwise. They have only to explain the sad situation any patient will be in who undergoes such treatments. I also know the poison they pumped into my vanes for 8 hours not only caused my hair to fall out but sent me sliding down the jaws of death with fangs of fear. I don't want to go there again and I truly feel there is a better way. I am a quack to even state such things according to the pharmaceutical companies. But with $400,000,000,000 a year on the line in chemo drugs alone, we know there is just too much influence to allow for choices that would actually felicitate a cure.
It is with much thought, research, and study, that I have chosen the better course. Only time will tell. Lots of time! Lots and Lots of Time!!!!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Of course, we have had much cause to reconsider our priorities and to count our blessings. One is the blessing for the ability to work. Every day Jon expresses his gratitude to be able to work and actually get his hands dirty. He is anxious to get up early in the morning and get going while he has the energy. We are blessed to still have a working business.
We have enjoyed the blessing of friendship and service. We have received love and support from friends and loved ones near and far. Through the years of raising families, working and becoming so busy with our daily routines, there were so many we grew distant from and who somehow slipped away. How precious our relationships are! And how fortunate to be able to still enjoy those associations!
The blessing of our beautiful world. Just out our back gate we have the blessing of the beautiful trails of Mt. Diablo, and the peace and serenity enjoyed there. A few months ago, Jon didn't think he would be able to hike those trails again and it brought tears to his eyes. He makes every effort to walk in those hills 3-4 times a week as he regains his strength.
Just a few words about improvements. Each step seems so small and insignificant but when viewed as a whole over a period of weeks, they are notable improvements nonetheless. I mentioned he is walking several miles a week. He eats very well, enough where most of us would be gaining weight. But he has stayed the same weight over the last month. His diet doesn't allow for the normal weight gain with sugars, high carbs and fats.
Last week Jon had an Octreotide scan. The day before the scan, he was injected with a radioactive solution to illuminate parts of his body. This radioactive material will be in his body for at least a month and cannot even get through airline security without a doctor's medical note. The Octreotide scan which takes two different visits on two separate days, did not show any signs of cancer anywhere else in his body! Darn. We still can't locate the source of the cancer. This scan also shows other markers as to where the cancer may or may not be lurking. If it shows positive in any perspective then they would want to treat with further Octreotide. If it was negative the treatment would be further chemo. Fortunately these markers were right in the middle so there are no further things they want to prescribe at this time
Next week Jon will have an EchoCardiogram. They want to see if there is any stress on his heart from the round of Chemo or all the other things he has been subjected to. Midst all of this his oncologist called and suggested another CT scan. Jon is worried about all the radiation he has been subjected to and opted to wait until January. This will also give him time to really see if all the other things he is doing will have any affect.
We are sorry but no pictures at this time. Jon says he doesn't want to subject all his friends to so much ugly all at once and they will have to wait until his hair is long enough to see. It's growing but he's not combing it yet. Last week was his three-month mark. The doctor only gave him three months to live if he didn't do chemotherapy. Well, he feels better now than he did three months ago and we enjoy each day that we have together.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Preparing all this has become a part-time job. When buying groceries, everything is checked for ingredients. All sugar, processed white flour, preservatives, and red meat are not allowed in the diet. Boy, we could all be losing weight on this diet BUT since being home, Jon has put on 8 pounds!! His energy level is much better, although he still tires easily. He works a few hours every day; thank goodness for great help and winter schedule.
Had an appointment with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) a few weeks ago and it proved very informative as we move forward on finding the source of cancer, exactly what kind of cancer Jon is dealing with and how aggressive it is. New knowledge will help in determining what kind of treatment to pursue. The doctor was a very nice woman, liver specialist, who didn't really want to hear about what went on in Mexico. She admited Jon looked great, in fact she was quite surprised to see him looking so good from the facts she had seen in his file. However, she did ask how they did liver hyperthermia, a liver specialist who had no idea how to heat the liver. Before we left, she asked us to keep an open mind to chemotherapy in the future even though Jon had such a horrible experience. She was kind enough to give us her direct office number in case we needed to chat in the future.
We have had Jon's family visiting since his return home. His brother Doug came from Maryland and was here for great company, help and advice. Also his mother and two sisters came down from Idaho and we had lots of hugs and laughs.
Friday, September 28, 2007
The good news is after one week of being home Jon gained almost 2 pounds! That's the first gain since March and we are encouraged he is gaining strength. I spend many hours planning menus, shopping, cutting, mixing, and cooking. Everything is whole grain, whole foods and I like the challenge. It's paying off! Jon has been doing some light pool work a few hours a day and tries to get in a mile walk in the evening.
We have an appointment with a liver specialist at UC San Francisco on Tuesday and hope to find out what is available for treatment there. We have lots of questions and we know they go beyond the normal "standard procedures" for cancer. They are listed as one of the facilities that provide hyperthermia for cancer but don't know if liver cancer is included in the clinical studies.
Jon will go back to Mexico for treatment the middle of October for 2-3 days. This will provide some follow-up treatment and boosters to his system for the areas of concern. He also continues with handfuls of supplements every day set up by Dr. Bradford.
Jon's brother Doug arrived last night from Maryland and will be a great support for the next several days as they visit and laugh and work together. Doug is a government attorney and we are so happy to have him here helping . . . fix pool equipment! It's a good change of pace for him!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
As is well stated and all are aware, this blog is to serve as a ongoing “Web Log” of my journey through the near death experience I was given. This may be one of the last needed additions to this blog. Although we will continue it just to limit the number of phone calls we take and the enormous time it takes to repeat the message, but this may well be the first of the last. It goes without saying, thanks be to Kaylinn and Dianna for all the time and effort they took to put this together and to add to it as needed. We have received many positive and encouraging comments by blog, email, letter, card, phone calls, and not to mention in person. So many thanks need to be given.
There are too many to count who have given of their unquestioning support with time, money, gifts, well wishes, hugs, and encouragement of every kind. I cannot begin to mention the heart-felt gratitude that Di and I feel for support in endless ways.
On the other hand, it has been stated by several the foolishness of my decisions to take my health care out of the hands of American-trained and FDA approved procedures and gallivant off to what would appear as a world that cannot be trusted. Astonishment even, that I would give thought to such a course has been expressed by many. “Surly,” they say, “you know of the corruption and vice that exist there. They don’t care about you they just want your money” I would like to take this entry to set those fears aside and to thank my Father in Heaven for offering me a new chance that many in my place are not given.
I do not in any way mean to construe this to be the whole story of my cancer journey, which will never be over and which is too long for a single entry in any journal. Let this simply be my eternal statement and testimony to all those who felt I was out of touch with the spirit and could not make decisions based on God given directions. I feel sorry that my life has been of such a poor example that some would not have trust in my ability to feel the directions of God after searching diligently for them. On the other hand, I more than understand the feeling exactly, by those who know me best, how this would give them reason to pause. I apologize for the many poor impressions I have left, and wish forgiveness from them and my God for having lived in such a way. The most troubling part is that I am but a man. I will no doubt add at later time, wonder and doubt again in their minds, how could “one such as he” ever have been so guided.
And so it starts that, in the beginning Dianna was impressed on an already busy day to take the time and talk to a friend. She was told by her of the place I eventually ended up. By this time I had been given dozens of web sites, telephone numbers, manuscripts, magic elixirs, and places I should look for help. So many people knew someone, something, or someplace I should look. Because I was so out of it, all these were never even looked at. Yet when this friend of Dianna’s called and gave me yet another web site, phone number, and person to talk to about her experience with American Biologic, the following day I was pressed, as it were, to call their number. I ask you, why that number and not the many dozens of other ones I received by well meaning and loving folks? Why be honestly moved to get up and call one, and not have that same feeling to call or research the others?
During my conversation with Dr. Bradford, the
Let me add here, by the time I made this decision, I had my first and last round of chemo and had slipped greatly in my physical abilities to function. Chemo had taken me a huge step in the wrong direction by blasting my immune system with no follow-up to strengthen it, only encouragement to eat right. At this point I am convinced if I had had yet another round of chemo it would have been the sewing of the satin in the coffin, the final screws in the hinges, the fitting of the robes, and the purchase of the plot. I was so far down that I could easily see the end. I had stated more than once I wanted it over, and I didn’t know how much longer I could take it. Can you imagine giving another dose of poison to a person in that condition? Yet that is what my doctor here in
So, along with many other moments in time, and a feeling I cannot explain except to those who have experienced it, of a calm re-assurance that I was being guided by a spirit larger than myself, I attended one more time the temple of our God in hopes for his assurance that I was not reading the many, many signs as more than mere coincidences. In that moment of pure celestial gratitude which I felt, I was assured that there was nothing wrong with what I had decided to do. It was no one else’s decision; I alone made it and secured Di’s agreement.
I have only to stand before you as a person who was given 90 days to live (and given poison to hurry up the process) who will live much longer. You alone will have to deal with this physical testimony that there are powers larger than life that were at work in me and I did, indeed, listen to them. Here I am, touch me, see, and believe that the death sentence was averted. Take it for what it is. Believe how you want to believe. But I am, at this point, very biased in my views. Am I special in my personal worthiness to have received this gift when others have not? I respond with a resounding NO. But there were, for reasons beyond my understanding, prayers by the thousands on my behalf to a loving God who listened to their pleadings. I am forever in their debt.
Once again, I wish my personal example would not have caused those to doubt. I am truly sorry. Yet at the same time they were adding to my healing moment with their own prayers. Again I am eternally grateful.
To summarize, there was guidance from the beginning. I knew ahead of time I was doing the right thing. This is why I could do “such a stupid thing”. Will I share what is available to others as I become aware? Of course, at the same time I will leave it to them to choose what they feel is right.
My gratitude is boundless to those who petitioned our God in my behalf. I simply state here to all who read, Thanks for Life!
Brought Jon home yesterday. So many, many have welcomed him home after his long battle the last 3 weeks in Mexico. When Jon went to Mexico for treatment, we were fearful he was too far advanced for anything to be of much help. He has come so far but it will still be an uphill battle for quite some time.
Dr. Bradford was so encouraged by the progress Jon has made. He stated that only 50% of the cancer patients respond to treatment as well as Jon did. That's a miracle for us! He was so impressed he wanted to take a CT scan there before sending Jon home. On our price list, that was a $400 fee and Jon told the doctor he would get one here at Kaiser upon his return. But the doctor said, "This one is on me." :)
Dr. Rodriguz came running down the hall, "Jon! Jon! You've got to come and see. Hurry and come." Jon said calmly, "As soon as I finish my lunch." Dr. Rodriguz says, "Oh, you can finish that later," as she grabbed his drip pole heading out the door.
The success of the hyperthermia treatment was literally evident in black and white, and Jon has shared the x-rays with me here at home. We compared the CT scan taken on July 16 next to the one taken Tuesday, August 18. How amazing! Many of the tumors were so large on July 16 it was easy to compare tumor for tumor on each film. There was an obvious 50% decrease in size and they didn't look too healthy, meaning not nice and round! We have been told that the complete affect of the treatments will not be for another 6-8 weeks as the tumors continue to shrink and die. So not only is his whole body a health and nutrition fighting factory, his tumors have been reduced by half. How amazing is that! What blessings we have received through Priesthood power! Thank you for your faith and prayers in Jon's behalf.
Dr. Bradford wanted to have Jon back in one month for just a few days. He will be put on IV for some very specific boosters to help in his fight. In the meantime, I am learning how to cook with real food. I actually spent an hour at Trader Joe's yesterday and will become very familiar with the food there, I'm sure. I am becoming expert at nutrition labels.
Today . . . what is Jon up to . . . pool service as usual. We have had wonderful help with the routes and Val Toland's son has been taking care of our commercial accounts. But Jon is looking into a few problems I couldn't handle on my own on his first day home. In fact, he couldn't wait to get his hands working again! He loves being home with his own bed and home atmosphere and smells, different from a hospital room!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Words cannot begin to tell Jon's progress because it is so special and beautiful what has happened. Maybe if you could actually see the blood tests and pictures you could appreciate the miracle he has experienced over the last two weeks. I can tell you this much, we would have never received this treatment in the US. Dr. Bradford has done nothing but build up Jon's body with nutrition. He also uses herbs, vitamins and minerals to fight inflammation and rid the body of toxins. He drinks the "green drink" with every meal in addition to 9 bags of nutrients through IV (which take about 9 hours a day) and 52 pills by mouth during the day, one shot in the rear of B12 (Jon says it stings a lot for about 15 seconds) and a glass of saline mixture three times a day.
Speaking of meals, Jon's appetite has returned 80%. Now he looks forward to his meals and has them gone in short order whereas before he would just look at the food and force himself to eat, taking an hour to get through a meal. Last night he actually got the "munchies" and I went to the little kitchen there and got him an apple, some nuts and raisins to eat. I know the pain medication was key to his loss of appetite and how could he get better if he didn't eat, continued to get worse, more pain medication and the spiral down continues until . . .
And now there is no pain! The liver distress is gone! The swelling is gone! But Jon is still in the critical stage of cancer and there will be many months of follow-up treatment with a strict regime of diet and exercise. We were told to have another CT scan in eight weeks as the results of the heat treatments will not all be visible until then. If there are remaining problem areas, more follow-up treatments will be needed. Not chemo ever again!
We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary . . . yes, in a hospital, but we are so happy!! We are already planning our next 30 years together . . . with a whole new outlook on the purpose and meaning of life.
And here's an interesting article for you about our freedoms being eroded out from under us, another reason why we had to go to Mexico for treatment. Go to: http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/healthfreedomusa/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1077060&t= and read about the "Mother who may be forced to put son through Chemotherapy." (Sorry about the long address.)
Monday, September 10, 2007
As we continue on this journey, we see how far we have come and look ahead as we know there is a long way to go. BUT Jon is moving forward, just little baby steps but it's forward. For example, he is totally off the pain medication, has been for three days now. On Saturday, he said for the first time in many weeks he enjoyed eating his breakfast, he actually felt hungry and it tasted good. Now that was just breakfast on Saturday but today, he said he was hungry for each meal and he wanted to eat. Another little step is his energy. He actually walked about a mile today, pretty slow but steady.
He will have more blood tests on Wednesday, his two week mark, and at that time Dr. Bradford and Dr. Rodriguz will evaluate whether he will need more heat treatments to the liver. I will be there on Wed. to see for myself the improvements to the blood, yeah! I will stay the rest of the week. Actually, we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on Thursday so I've got to get real creative for that.
Jon has had some wonderful visits from friends who bring so much love and smiles, some who live there in So Calif. Another very good friend from Utah is there with him now, flew in yesterday and has stayed all day today and tomorrow. He brought so much laughter and memories with him to be such a lift for good. We had arranged beforehand with the doctor that this "intern" who was learning the program would be in to visit with the patients to talk with them. So in comes Barrie with his lab coat, stethescope, wig, glasses and . . . Billy Bob teeth! I was talking to Jon on the phone when he arrived and at first Jon says, "Oh the doctor is here . . . wait, he doesn't look right . . . I think it's Barrie!!" and he busted out laughing. It sounded so good to hear him laugh again! That was a giant step for Jon.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Yesterday Jon had more blood put under the microscope. When he entered the hospital one week ago, his red blood cells were deformed with only about 30% as nice round cells. His white blood cells were almost non-existent. One week ago we only saw three, one dead, one discolored and dying and one healthy working white blood cell. There were definite signs of liver stress and lots of fungus. Now his red blood cells are up to 80% healthy, lots of visible healthy white blood cells, liver stress down more than half and the fungus is nearly gone.
This treatment of nutrients and antioxidents and all the other cancer fighting good stuff pumped into his body has been wonderful but it would have been only half of what he needed and not enough to sustain his life. On the one hand, killing the cancer without the nutrition, more cancer would have come back. On the other, only nutrition without heat treatments would not have been enough to fight the advanced cancer and hundreds of tumors. Working with the hyperthermia to the liver and killing the cancer at the same time as building up the body with nutrients is what the key has been. So what a blessing and answer to our prayers to find a complete treatment with both parts. We have a very spiritual doctor who prays for her patients every day, that she will be guided in their care. As she was looking at the new blood pictures, she kept saying, "Thank you, God! Thank you, God!" That brings more tears as we, too, say "Thank you, God!"
Not out of the woods yet. He still has no appetite and does not gain weight. At least he is not losing weight any more. He has no energy, feeling tired all the time. A good thing is that he does not take pain medication any more and I'm hoping that will help increase his appetite.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
He continues to receive nutrients through IV up to 6 hours a day. That's in addition to about 50 pills he takes orally every day. His meals are simple with no added salt, sugar or spices but include lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, soups, and at least a green drink or fruit drink with every meal. No pasta or breads, etc. He eats everything they bring with much less effort than last week although he still feels some nausea occasionally.
There is a woman in the room across the hall who Jon has befriended. She is from North Carolina and is in for Lyme disease being bit by a spider 11 years ago. She has been fighting the ongoing illness with $$$ all these years and has high hopes for a cure through Dr. Bradford. Her husband is with her, actually stays in a motel across the border but visits every day. They have included Jon on their walks along the Tijuana streets which isn't really refreshing but perhaps better than lying in bed all day every day.
Kaylinn and my mom were there to visit for a few hours Monday. Kaylinn gave Jon the ultimate buzz and shaved his head because the hair had fallen out and was blotchy and left hair everywhere. She also brought him a picture book full of all our latest family pictures. I had even taken some pictures of my hiking around Mt. Diablo trails which Kaylinn made a few 8X10's. He got pretty teary eyed feeling close to home. My mom took in four more books for him to read since he finished everything he had taken. If you double click on any of the pictures including the slide show, they will enlarge.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
The heat treatments to the liver are given every day, even today. This is in addition to continuous IV feeding of nutrients, antioxidants, elixir and herbs to help with inflammation. Just a little information on the hyperthermia, the machine looks much like an x-ray with a box at the end of a long arm. The box is placed over the liver and microwaves are used with use of computer. The machine is at another location outside the hospital where they actually transport Jon to conduct the heat treatment. The building has no air conditioning so with the window and door open, he appreciates the cross-breeze of air because the heat to the liver actually heats up his whole body and is quite uncomfortable.
The doctor explained that the tumors are literally "exploding" or popping as opposed to shrinking. The debris left over is washed out of the system as part of the IV feeding to the blood. This is not the case with all the tumors because he had a few that were the size of tennis balls. These will only shrink and die and actually become scar tissue in the liver. The effects of the heat treatments will not show up for eight weeks on a CT scan. Since we have a standing referral at UC San Francisco, we will follow up with a liver specialist there. It will be very interesting to see the new CT scan and the look on the doctor's face as he shakes his head in amazement.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
We talked with Dr. Bradford about the hyperthermia to the liver and infusions to the blood with nutrients and antioxidants. These procedures are not "standard" in America and he has opted to practice outside the U.S. Dr. Bradford did his residency and internship at Stanford University and has been practicing for 30 years. He does not have a personal website as yet but you can look up a website for information at www.americanbiologics.com, however, this site is still being constructed. We also talked to a woman who had been through the treatment for her own cancer (several kinds) over 10 years ago and how Dr. Bradford saved her life. She also gave us other referrals of people from the Bay Area who had received similar healing treatments.
Sunday, Jon's hair was coming out by the handfuls so we just buzzed the whole head. As of Monday, Jon had developed yet another symptom of this liver cancer. He started throwing up most everything he ate. So now with the pain in the abdomen and right shoulder, pain medication that was barely adequate and now vomiting and receiving no nutrition and continuing to lose weight, we felt Dr. Bradford's recommendation for immediate help was our only answer. We drove to Laguna Hills on Tuesday to stay with my folks.
We checked him into the hospital in Tijuana, Mexico Wednesday at 2:30pm. (Building with glass front.) He was given food immediately, history taken and blood drawn. We then met with Dr. Rodriguz who took a blood smear from his finger and put it under the microscope. We looked on as she described the blood cells on the screen and the problem areas. After the chemo treatment, there were obvious deficiencies! After making an assessment of Jon's needs from the condition of his blood, she prescribed several bags of liquid by IV containing all the vitamins and minerals he would need for fighting cancer, in addition to medication for nausea and an appetite enhancer.
Today he has been eating very well. There has been a sort of "port" put in his upper chest for the IV liquids being infused into his body. He also received his first hyperthermia treatment to the liver. He said it heated his whole body up and when done his clothes were soaked with sweat. I guess that's a good way to get rid of toxins in the body! The second bed there is for me when I can be with him, but I drove home today to work the pool business and will go back next week.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
We had a new option presented to us on Thursday and it has been in our thoughts every hour. There is a procedure called hyperthermia which heats the liver to kill the cancer cells. The liver will live up to 112 degrees but cancer cells will die at 105. Since the body will die at 107-108, there is a small window in which to work at killing the cancer cells. This is done by computer with microwaves to any specific area. After talking about the current liver condition, the doctor thought Jon would need about 10 heat treatments over a period of 3 weeks in the hospital. This would be in addition to infusions of other chemicals to clean and rid the body of the dead cells, up to 6 hours a day.
This procedure is only at a clinical study phase here in the U.S. and has been for the last 5-8 years BUT we have found an American doctor that practices the procedure in hospitals around the world and the closest one is in Mexico. Of course, this would not be covered by insurance but at this point, money is not the issue. If we had more time, we could probably get a referral to an American medical center (30 universities currently are studying hyperthermia) but time is of the essence. We haven't even heard from UCSF yet for an appointment and the referral was sent in last Monday. We will call them tomorrow.
There is a woman here in Concord we will be talking to that has been through the treatment in Mexico. She had already given up with cancer throughout her body but her brother insisted she give this a try. That was several years ago. It gives us hope!
On a good note, we did spend the afternoon at the beach yesterday with Tessa, Cory and Macade. It was a beautiful day and refreshing to body and spirit. Jon enjoyed the time out of the house and we didn't have to walk far at all to enjoy the water and sand.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We asked for a referral to get a second opinion with a liver specialist and our oncologist has sent a referral to UC San Francisco Medical Center. She had mentioned in our first interview that he needed three chemo sessions before a referral could be sent. Knowing that wouldn't be complete for another 4 weeks and the seriousness of his condition, she went ahead and overstepped the policy. We have not been scheduled for an apt as yet but we are hopeful there may be more options and information specific to Jon's condition.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Went into ER about 6:00pm because we were so nervous of possible problems. We waited until 10:00 to see a doctor, but after ultra sound and blood tests, the doctor assured us there were no blood clots and, actually, the pain associated with the liver often carries up to the shoulder area. There was a little ray of sunshine when the doctor commented that the pain in the liver area was a good sign, that the liver was responding to the chemo, the cells are dying and it hurts. There's a war going on in there and the tumors are not very happy right now.
The doctor prescribed a little more strength in the pain medication and he slept very well last night. He woke up so happy, actually was laughing for the first time in several days and chasing Macade.
Tessa came to visit and help on Friday with our little grandson Macade, 10 months. It has been so fun having the little guy around and has lifted Jon's spirits.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I have had the great fortune of a good friend in the ward here tutor me on nutrition needs for the chemo patient. She brought over information/recipe books, bought bags of specialty foods at the Health Food store and filled my frig and counter with tools to replenish Jon's body with the nutrients he will need to rebuild after chemo and fight the cancer from within. She was in the kitchen making sample vegie and fruit drinks and smoothies to show different food combinations, always adding extra protein, Vitamin C, etc. There's so much to learn!
From the Relief Society manual, page 138, "We pray for enlightenment, then go to with all our might and our books and our thoughts and righteousness to get the inspiration. We ask for judgment, then use all our powers to act wisely and develop wisdom. We pray for success in our work and then study hard and strive with all our might to help answer our prayers. When we pray for health we must live the laws of health and do all in our power to keep our bodies well and vigorous. We pray for protection and then take reasonable precaution to avoid danger. There must be works with faith."
We will have a phone conversation with the oncologist next week (phone because there are no appointments available and she will call on her own time). At that time we hope to discuss some questions and procedures we are still unclear about. The only time we have met with her was the day we received the diagnosis. That was enough to digest for one day and since then there have been so many questions raised as we fight this battle day by day.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Kaylinn arrived last Wednesday and left just yesterday. David was here also arriving Tuesday. He helped out so much with pool service loose ends Jon was trying to finish up. David is very talented and quick to catch on to anything and see what needs to be done. He left this afternoon after being here for a week. What a blessing for us to have the kids here. Tessa will be here Friday with Macade (now 10 months!)
We actually have three men covering pool service and Jon hopes to keep up with phone calls and keeping customers happy. He will sub all the extra work out to friends in the business who have offered to help. Heading into fall/winter schedule, the demands have definitely slowed down.
One more treatment tomorrow. Thank you so much for your prayers. We feel so much love and support and know God will walk us through this.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Jon goes back tomorrow at 2:00 for the second dose. It should only take about 1 1/2 hours.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Jon received a very special blessing Tuesday evening. His father (a patriarch), his uncle (temple sealer), his brother, son David and Rulon (family in Danville) all made the trip to lay their hands on his head.
Jon expressed his appreciation for such a blessing. In the very early hours of Monday morning, he had a personal witness as to Priesthood power. Much of the acts of those who hold the Priesthood do responsibilities out of duty. True love of the people they serve comes after their close association. But the Savior loves all his children with pure love first, unconditionally. And Jon felt that Tuesday evening those five men came out of love to lay their hands on his head, not duty.
Jon will go in for his first chemotherapy treatment on Monday, August 13, then again on Aug 14 and 15.