So many Blessings to ponder during this Easter season!
On March 31, University of Michigan blogged about my battle with Stage IV Cancer (link). A theme in the article was about trust. How I trusted in the experts, a hunch, my family, and community. In retrospect I believe that the author of this article detected Trust during her interview with me; however, she may not have understood the foundation of this Trust.
I really didn’t know how these past years would actually turn out. I knew the odds; after all, I’m a numbers person. I knew that I had a 5 to 10% chance to live five years from diagnosis of stage IV cancer. But I also knew (trusted) that no matter what transpired; that the Lord would watch over my family and keep them safe, even if I was called home to heaven.
Even though I didn’t know what the Lord’s plan was, that didn’t stop me from hoping and praying for continued time here on Earth. And for asking you all to pray on my behalf. To raise me up in prayer.
I remember a time in 2012 (link), with tears rolling down my face, I wrote about my wife Connie and our plans together. I wrote about wanting to see our children become independent and about wanting to spoil our grand children together.
At the time I was writing this I asked for you all to pray for Connie and my family instead of me. I simply was not sure how things were going to turn out. And I was heart broken at the possibility that I might not ever hold a grand baby in my arms.
On April 9, 2017 Blakely Jean was born to Anna and Charles.
We are so blessed. Beyond anything I could have imagined. These past years were filled with weddings, a baptism, the birth of our first grand baby, birthdays, anniversaries, more weddings (nieces and nephews). And a confirmation is coming up in less than a week. So many blessings. So many moments.
Google is an incredible tool for sure. I’ve turned to google many times to find a perfect image to include in a blog update. But today when I went looking for an image to express Happy Easter to you all I was a saddened at what I found. There were hundreds of images of Easter bunnies, colored eggs, baby chicks, and chocolate baskets. I fear that for some these secular images are all that Easter is to them? I hope that this is not the case. While these images are a part of Easter that is not what it’s all about!
I did find one image that represent the Easter I know.
To me Easter is about eternity. It is true that our human bodies will die. Some of us will live longer than others but our bodies grow old and eventually give out. Some people sadly believe that human beings only exist for a short time on Earth and then slip away into darkness, die into nothingness. How can anyone believe that they don’t have a soul inside of their physical body that is as young as the day they were born? A soul that will live beyond death!
The message of Easter is that death is not the end of our existence. We are created with a soul that will endure beyond death. We are created in the image of God. We are created for an eternity of time with Jesus. Jesus paid the debt for all of our sins. Then He rose up and conquered death! And paved the way for us to live eternally with Him. Alleluia, Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!
Happy Easter to you all!
Today marks the one-year-anniversary since my last chemotherapy treatment for cancer. On 2/25 last year I received my last Erbitux treatment. Thanks be to God I continue to be cancer free (or NED as the cancer survivors call it — No Evidence of Disease).
I went in for a CEA test and scans last Thursday morning. All the results are in and once again, all good news. The CEA test (the blood marker for colon cancer) continues to be under 1.0 and scans continue to show no evidence of metastasis!
The contrast injection for the CT scan proved again to be a challenge for me. I honestly don’t know how I managed all those other scans without getting sick. These last two scans were pretty rough. Even though I did take an anti-nausea medication this time it simply didn’t help. Hopefully we can figure this out before the next scans.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. Your prayers lifted me up to our Lord and his mercy has brought me through this battle thus far. Words can not express how grateful I am!
May our good Lord look upon you today, may Love warm your heart, and Jesus’ smile guide your way.
God Bless and Keep You Forever!
Imagine how I felt when I learned that I’ve been encountering carcinogens two (sometimes three) times per day, everyday, for as long as I can remember. Well, lets say I was not happy. And my first instinct is to make sure and share this newly gained knowledge with all of you…
One of the carcinogens is Titanium dioxide. It is also commonly listed on the ingredients as E171. There are other chemicals used in most toothpastes that are also considered dangerous.
Reference the following articles:
I’m going to pick up some new Toothpaste today. Check out this site for a complete report on safe toothpastes.
Also, as a friendly reminder – Colonoscopies can save your life! A colonoscopy can prevent cancer. During this 15 minute procedure the doctor may encounter and remove precancerous polyps. And because more and more people (over 50) are getting colonoscopies, colon cancer is one of the few cancers that is trending down in people over 50. Very Important! If you are 50 or older, make sure to get this done.
As I contemplate what a wonderful birthday it has been…
This morning, after my 53rd birthday, I sit here enjoying an awesome cup of coffee. And I gaze out the window into the early morning darkness.
Ever so slowly the light reveals a beautiful field covered lightly with a fresh blanket of snow.
A majestic deer cautiously treks across the white carpet. The quietness of the moment seems like an orchestra playing an overture to a new wonderful play.
Although there are clouds I believe in the sun.
I ponder the numerous phone calls, text messages, emails, social media posts, birthday cards.
The delicious home-cooked meal. The yummy vanilla cake and the sweet chocolate frosting.
The wonderful birthday movie date (Hidden Figures).
So much love!
As the light emerges the darkness is driven away.
A new beginning.
I’m thankful for countless blessings. Especially for all the loving family and friends that make this a glorious world.
Thank you all for kindness, well wishes, and most of all, for being you!
And may God Bless you today on this joyous, fresh, wonderful new day!
I wanted to check in with a short update.
I went to UMHS for my first “true” three-month-surveillance test. Previously we were doing monthly CEA blood tests and quarterly scans. Beginning yesterday we are now doing quarterly CEA tests and scans. So this was the first test since August.
And I’m most happy to report the CEA results are in and they are stable at < 1.0. Which means NO EVIDENCE OF CANCER!
We’re still waiting for the CT Scan results but we will celebrate the CEA results today! And we will celebrate life today as well!
Alexis wedding photos came in yesterday and we are having so much fun looking at all the beautiful pictures. Weddings are fun. And as you all may recall Alexis’ wedding on October 1 was our third wedding in fifteen months. And all three were very beautiful weddings indeed. What a run!!!
At noon today we will attend Anna’s reveal party. In case some of you don’t know what a reveal party is let me explain (okay I admit I didn’t know what that was).
Anna and CJ had an ultrasound test done on Wednesday (yes, they are expecting – big smile). The technician sealed the results of the ultrasound into an envelope as Anna and CJ didn’t want to know the gender at that exact moment. The results were then reviewed by a single individual and a baseball made of color chalk was selected for the party. Of course the outside of the baseball is white and looks like an actual ball. But the inside of the ball is either pink or blue chalk. And today at noon, when CJ hits the ball we will all know. Yup. That will be the BIG REVEAL.
And Connie and I will know the gender of our first grand baby (due in April). What a wonderful celebration of life!!!
Now, IF we can add a Bronco and Wolverine win today, wow. I think today may go down as the most perfect November 19 EVER.
And on that note…
From the bottom of my heart, I am most thankful for all the wonderful, beautiful souls that I have had the honor and pleasure of getting to know. Yes, as we approach Thanksgiving I want you all to know that I am most thankful For YOU! I’m thankful for a loving and beautiful family. And for loving and beautiful friends.
I’m also thankful for this awesome, perfect November day!
Today is the Day that the Lord has made. Let us Rejoice and be Glad!
I sincerely wish each and every one of you a blessed Thanksgiving and holiday season.
Sending much Love and Light.
As many of you who have been following my blog know; I am a stage IV colon cancer survivor! And I have had quite a roller coaster ride since Halloween Day in 2011. Seven surgeries, fifty one chemotherapy treatments, over ten different chemotherapy drugs, numerous CT Scans, MRIs, Blood Tests, Ultrasounds. Once again I’m happy to report a continued NED status (e.g. No Evidence of Disease). Dr. Krauss gave me the good news in my September appointment with him.
Stand Up to Cancer (su2c) is hosting a telethon tonight (9/9/2016) to raise resources for fighting cancer (all cancers). The show will be on ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC at 8|7c. Follow this link if you want to give via the web. You may also choose to fight for colon cancer specifically by support FightCRC.org (link). FightCRC is also promoting the #StrongArmSelfie as a show of support for the fight against cancer. Let’s see those strong arms. 🙂
I’d like to remind you all of a few important things…
- If you have colon cancer family history PLEASE consult your doctor about a colonoscopy. It may be prudent for you to have a colonoscopy sooner than age fifty.
- If you’re age fifty or approaching age fifty, please schedule a colonoscopy.
- A colonoscopy can prevent cancer! A lot of people think this procedure is simply to tell if you have cancer. NO!!! It truly can prevent cancer. If pre-cancerous polyps are found and removed they will NOT grow into full-blown stage IV cancer.
- A lot of people in Michigan are deficient in Vitamin D3 (per my doctor at UMHC). And there is strong correlation between Vitamin D3 deficiency and various cancers. Get your levels tested. And take Vitamin D3 if you are deficient! This too may just prevent cancer.
A Good Read Recommendation…
On my doctor’s recommendation I just finished reading “The Obesity Code, Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss” by Dr. Jason Fung. After reading this book I strongly recommend. It gave me a new perspective on many old ideas related to weight loss. It truly was a fast and informative read. I hope it will pay dividends in my weight management and I hope some of you may find this book interesting, informative, and useful.
Thank you all once again. Thank you for your prayers, support, encouragement, and understanding. And may God Bless you today, tomorrow, and all your days on this wonderful planet.
#FightCRC #StrongArmSelfie #crcAdvocacy #su2c
I went into University of Michigan Health Systems (UMHS) yesterday for another CEA test. This was the first test in a couple of months. And I’m HAPPY to report that the CEA level continues to be stable at less than 1.0. Translation – no evidence of disease (NED).
Yup. I’m NED status!
Thank you Jesus for this beautiful day and for this continued remission. And thank you for all my friends and family who pray for me, and with me, and celebrate this remission with me. And thank you for a beautiful summer, full of green and sun and Love!
God Bless You All!