Thursday, August 30, 2007

MEXICO for Treatment

It has been a few days since this has been updated but we have been busy making this decision and then making the move.

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, 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

Knowledge is Power

During the last few days we are aware that the pain is getting progressively worse. What Vicadin could handle last week, the Percocet is only adequate this week. Jon has trouble stretching doses the required hours before taking more. We have a referral for acupuncture in conjunction with herbs for pain management.

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

Keeping on

Just a simple update as there is nothing new to report. Jon continues to try and eat but continues to lose weight. The last few days have been good with a little more energy and better eating. He still takes the pain medication but is stretching the time in between. The liver area is very sore. He does some minor pool fix-it errands where I will drive and help when needed. That's only about 1 hour per day and he comes home pretty tired. Our pool helpers are doing great work on the routes, so we are grateful to find good, dependable help.

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


It's been quite a week, one that we're glad is over. The three days after chemo were really hard. Even though we knew they would be hard, little did we know!! Jon will tell you, "It really kicked my butt!" Yesterday was the worst with a very sore abdomen, especially when he would breath deep, yawn, cough or hick-up. Sharp pain would shoot up his right side through his right shoulder and down the arm, 8-9 on the pain scale. Needless to say, he didn't sleep well and was very listless all day.

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

Today was more of the same as yesterday although this morning he felt pretty good for a few hours, ate a good breakfast and felt more human than a grizzly bear in winter hibernation. Then fatigue set in and loss of appetite most of the day. I have to work really hard to get him to eat anything. He's supposed to have 2000 calories a day and I'm lucky to get 500 down. Every bite has to count, full of protein and nutrients and calories! I'm hopeful his appetite will return soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Jon couldn't wake up today, mixture of chemo and vicadin. He slept much better last night because of the vicadin but then slept all day; get dressed, lay down again, take a phone call, go back to sleep, do some office work half hour, lay back down. He slept all the way to the hospital, slept through chemo and slept all the way home. Opened one eye once in a while during the baseball game or for a news story. I made him eat/drink something every 2 hours so he had to wake up long enough to go to the bathroom.

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


Didn't have treatment until 2:00pm. He was feeling just okay this morning so he took the opportunity to go out with the man who is taking over his routes, at least one more time, to help him find addresses and answer questions. He said he didn't get in and out of the truck, well, maybe a few times. When he got to the hospital, he wasn't feeling so good and even worse after the treatment. He slept the rest of the afternoon and Vicadin helps a lot. He complained only about the liver hurting, and then would admit that was good if there is a war going on in there.

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


First day of chemotherapy went really well, long but well. It took about 5 hours, mostly sitting in a chair hooked up to the IV. About 11:30 he complained that he was really hungry so I went to the cafeteria and got him a big turkey sandwich and small container of cottege cheese which he readily ate. He felt fine going home and actually took David (our son) with him to a pool site to finish a project. David did all the work while Dad "barked" directions. They came home about 6:00pm very hungry and again ate a good meal, lots of fiber and protein.

Jon goes back tomorrow at 2:00 for the second dose. It should only take about 1 1/2 hours.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Happy Birthday

Jon's 54th birthday is Saturday, August 11, two days before his first chemo session. We spent the day at Jack London Square in Oakland.

Priesthood power

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.