Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last Thursday, Harv and I took off for a couple of nights in eastern Washington. It was so nice... We took Raney and she got lots of exercise 'cause we went on a few good hikes...She liked that, too. It was nice to get away from hospitals and medicine for a little while.

Today, we're back at SCCA so Harv can get hooked up to the pump for 5FU. There has been a mix-up in the orders getting signed and so we've been waiting for about 2 hours for things to start. (I don't like that.) There's a possibility that Harv might be able to get some or all of his shots in Bellingham. The pharmacist is working on getting that approved through insurance. Wouldn't it be fun if everything could/would get approved in time for Harv's first shot on Thursday?!! (Good thing to pray about.) I think having all of that approved and ready to go would be miraculous, but who knows?! Miracles DO happen.

Not much else to report from us... Harv's hangin' in there. Celeste is still enjoying her job and gearing up for a couple more classes at Whatcom. Sarah and Hannah are just pluggin' away at school. They get to go to a cross country meet in Missoula, Montana this weekend. They are pleased that I'm not going... (They love me, but they're okay with time away from me. Makes me so proud! J

As for our family as a whole: we are still adjusting to this whole little scenario...(Some people adjust better than (I) others do.) Please pray for me to love everyone the way they need it most and for me to rest and heal so that I can be effective at my job of wife, mother, dog-mother, cat-mother, household engineer, etc., etc... And, please pray that everyone in our family feels supported and appreciated... It's kind of amazing how cancer affects so many details in a family's life.  I love Harvey, Celeste, Sarah and Hannah (and Raney and Reba) A LOT!  Sometimes I struggle with all the stuff that's in my brain and my love is poorly demonstrated. BUT! Love them all, I do!

Your continued prayers for Harvey's healing are appreciated and encouraged J.   We would LOVE a little tiny break in trips to Seattle and a break in the medicine.

Thank you all for lovin' us.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


We did not get the news we were hoping for... 

Dr. Lin said that the CEA count has remained pretty much the same. And, he thinks that it's because the cancer and the drugs are fighting and it's kind of like a tie right now. He believes that if we hold off on some of the chemo and just do the immune booster + a little bit of chemo that the immune system will start to gain the upper hand.

So, we'll start next Tuesday by getting Harv hooked up to a pump and beginning a few days of the GMCSF shots -- which we MAY be able to start doing at home (gasp!).  Dr. Lin believes that, if this particular protocol is gonna make a difference, we will be able to see within a month or so.

Neither of us feels particularly discouraged, but we were hoping for different news.

Dr. Lin and Harvey exchanged books -- which they each autographed for each other. :-) They had fun with that.

We are thankful for all the progress that has been made and are continuing to hope for even more.

Many blessings and many thanks for stickin' with us!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013


In about 16 hours, Harv will have a CT scan to determine if he is eligible for a second liver surgery...

Calling all family and friends to say prayers, think good thoughts, do dances, shout from the rooftops, beg, run a marathon, act silly, sing songs or do whatever it is you do to cause God to listen and Harv's body to cooperate so that we can get rid of a little bit more of his cancer pretty quickly.

If, for some reason, that is not what happens, we ask you to think good thoughts, do dances, shout from the rooftops, beg, act silly, run a marathon, sing songs or do whatever it is you do to help us face the future with courage and hope and peace.

Thank you.
Lots and lots and lots of love to you all.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Some (sort of) random thoughts --

Almost two years ago, we weren't sure what our future looked like... Harv had just turned 49 and his prognosis was not pretty. But, we met Dr. Lin and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance staff and we began the arduous journey to try to rid our lives of cancer. And, we have made some good progress... Many rounds of chemo, two surgeries and many trips to and from Seattle.

During that time, we were able to take a trip to the Grand Canyon and two trips to the Washington coast and Harv and I were able to go to Maui a couple of times.  For most of the past two years, Harv has felt pretty good (in relation to the fact that he's been on some form of chemo for most of that time). He has set goals and has achieved them. Last summer (2012) he hiked all the trails of Galbraith. (Raney remembers those days with fondness :-) ) And, this winter he wrote a book and had it published. The time he's had at home to focus on healing has, in fact, I believe, been healing.

If I were able to control him, :-) I would, perhaps, make him drink more water, go to bed earlier, eat somewhat better foods and just sit around idly a little bit more. But, he seems to know what his body needs...(even though I'm sure I know better.)

We have had some good family times. In many ways, I believe Harv has had the most fun he's had in all our married days with children. He gets to be at home all the time with all of his girls. A dream he's had for as long as I've known him. And, while his brain doesn't ever turn off, he's been able to live a relatively stress-free life without having travel or work worries.

As for me, I've tried very hard to learn how to live in, what has come to be, the "new normal." (I hate that phrase, by the way.) Some days I do very well. Other days I'm awful at it. And, more days than I can count, I struggle internally with just about everything I do or say or don't do or don't say.  I can't figure out why it's been so hard for me... There are so many blessings in the midst of our lives...DAILY. Still, it has been quite the journey for me.

Monday, Harv will turn 51! Two years ago, we weren't sure if we'd get to celebrate this birthday. But we do!  Yippee!

Next Wednesday he has a CT scan to see if the latest rounds of treatment have made enough of a difference in the tumors that are left in his liver so that he can have another liver surgery. If we got to run the world, we would definitely make sure that those tumors were small enough. (Well, if we were running the world, nobody would have cancer at all.)... 

I suppose I'm praying for a miracle again. 'Cause I really want him to be able to have liver surgery so that we can get rid of most of the tumors that are left in his system. The numbers that we've seen in recent blood work have not been dramatic so we're a little bit cautious in our optimism for the possibility of surgery.  But we don't know that it CAN'T be done yet so I'm 'onna still pray that it CAN happen. I would love it if you prayed with me... Maybe God will get tired of our noise and just give us what we want. :-)

Thank you so much for taking this journey with us...for your tangible and intangible ways of supporting us...for loving us...for praying for us.  If ever there was a gift in the midst of this, it's the love and support we've felt from so many in so many ways.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Two years ago I wrote this post 'cause my babies were starting high school... This year they will be in the 11th grade!!! Eleventh! They are sweet and hard-working and lovely human beings. I'm very thankful for them and I pray these same words once more.  

Dear Heavenly Father,

A "minute" ago, my little babies were heading to kindergarten. Our worlds changed and grew and got more interesting and scary and happy. They loved learning and they made good friends and had wonderful teachers.

And, they took a step or two away from me.

Tomorrow they start high school. 

I pray, Father, that their worlds change and get more interesting and a little happier. I also pray that they'll have opportunities to grow -- sometimes in ways that they wouldn't choose so they learn how to adapt and move on. 

I pray that they learn a lot and that their minds grow. I pray that the teachers they have will stretch them in good ways and help them to become all that they can be as life-long learners. I pray that they will learn to work with teachers --- even if they may not "click" completely. I pray that you will teach them how to resolve any conflicts they may have and that you will give them the gift of diplomacy and a quiet, gentle spirit when dealing with others.

And, Father, I pray that you will surround them with good friends. Friends that build them up and encourage them. I pray for friends that may think differently, but have strong, healthy values. I pray for protection for them -- even if they might make bad choices. I pray for wisdom and kindness and trustworthiness for them and for the friends they make.

I pray that they will love high school and that they will each -- separately -- find their niche. That you will guide them now towards the things that they will do later in life. And, I pray that you will give them lots of successes with just a sprinkling of disappointments to keep them balanced and real.

I pray, too, Father, for me and Harvey. I pray that you will give us wisdom, kindness, diplomacy and a quiet, gentle, supportive and loving spirit. 

What blessings you have given me in these sweet "little" girls. Please help me to be just what they need in a mama as they start high school and throughout their lives.


September 3, 2013