Chapter 10

Update 4.14.11


Thursday, April 14, 2011 9:31 PM

Hello All,

I started to send an update… and looked up at the subject line- and it said “cycling over melons”….

What is that? Maybe I don’t want to know… hmm…. anyway- not much to report on- but felt I should tell you what we know.

Paul met with Dr. Jolly on Monday- she told him the ulcers in his mouth are a result of the chemo- not actually from the radiation. As a result of these ulcers… he is now on soft foods and liquids. He said it’s not fun to try and cram stuff down… he also said it just plain hurts now. So his new best friends are cookies and cream muscle milk and mashed potatoes.

He found the smoothie king the other morning and drank a healthy breakfast! Loaded with over 500 calories! (That’s important because he needs to maintain- and not lose any more weight. He is down almost 12 pounds since the latter part of last month.) He met with a Dietitian yesterday too! She asked him about his food intake- seemed to feel he was on top of things… and encouraged him to keep drinking the protein shakes.

He missed an appointment with the Chemo Oncologists on Weds… so his next dose of chemo is now delayed. They require all patients to meet with the Dr.’s before they do another dose- and even though he was in the department- gave the blood sample… he wasn’t told he had that appointment. The Dr.’s are only there for appointments on Weds- so he won’t have chemo on Monday and Tuesday- it will now be Thursday and Friday. He is okay with it- because it’s a “delayed reaction” chemo- he can prolong anymore ill effects for a few more days.

We had a great weekend. He felt pretty good all weekend- of course he was little tired… couldn’t eat much… but that’s now how we gauge a good weekend anymore! It’s amazing how things change…

He will probably kill me for telling everyone this… but c’mon… you all know how hard it for me to keep a secret… 🙂 He said when he got home last Friday- He pulled in the driveway- got out of the car and pee’d in the yard… He said he immediately felt better! What is it with guys peeing in the yard? Marking their territory? “Mine!” I chuckled… I knew it would be a great weekend right then!

He took his fishing pole to Ann Arbor this week! He went to Cabellas- bought some new fishing gear- and is looking forward to his new fishing hole. I think just spending time in the fresh air… out in nature- it will be so awesome for him! He met a friend too- just fishermen… swapping stories. 🙂

Melissa is coming to visit- she will fly in tonight and come home with him tomorrow afternoon- I know he is looking forward to seeing her! (We are both looking forward to it!) She said she wanted to go to the hospital with him- see what happens- check stuff out… it will be good for him to have her there and then here! It’s a short visit… but it’s going to be good!

Thanks everyone for the continued prayers and good loving thoughts- please continue! Thanks also to the great friends who have sent cards and gas cards- We appreciate all the love and the support.

Peace and Love,

Denise & Paul



Paul Update 4.19.11

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 9:43 AM


Good Morning Everyone!

Paul is now into his fourth week of treatment… and tomorrow will be at the half way point! Yeah!

It’s always nice to have something to look forward too… Once again I find myself processing… and finding a comfortable path on this journey. Wow- it’s a daily process… Just for today… One day at a time… whew… it’s a good thing I have recovery in my life! Knowledge is one thing… using those tools is yet another…

I woke this morning and prayed. I have found that I am not as close to God in the past few weeks.. my choice- not his. As I laid in bed-I had an honest talk with God. I really don’t think he cares if I am laying there talking… or on my knees shivering and trying to concentrate.

I asked him to show Paul his love… to help him to feel peace and to surround him in the most purest and positive energy… I asked his protection for the family who struggles too. It’s not hard to ask God for stuff… it really isn’t hard to know what’s appropriate either… I don’t ask to win the lotto… I don’t ask for a new car or for “stuff”…. I do ask for him to show his love to the ones I care about. That to me is just another way to show my love to someone. What greater gift to give someone- than to pray for them?

Paul got a card in the mail last week from a co-workers dad… who happens to be a Shriner. He sent him a card saying that a candle is lit for the next 180 days in Paul’s honor. Now… I am not Catholic- I don’t understand it entirely … but I was so touched! Seriously… thank you all for thinking of him- in your own way… in whatever way you can! That is what I am embracing today… all of the love- all of the diversity… all of the good!

When I was done talking to God this morning…the thought came to me- How very arrogant of me to think- that I could be immune to such a thing in my life? Really? Why or how… could I possibly think that cancer couldn’t or wouldn’t affect someone in my life? Or even me? C’mon… God doesn’t create this and pick who will be affected. He knows what’s going on… and who do I really think that I am- that this would not be possible in My Life? God uses people- he uses everyday average people like Paul and I… to share hope in a painful journey.

As I type this- I am thinking of a friend of Paul’s who told him to visit the UofM children’s cancer ward… When you want to see someone who is living life with grace… look at a helpless child.

Then my thoughts come back to my own feelings lately- that helpless feeling. It’s all fun and games… until you’re faced with a challenge. It’s all fine and dandy… until your husband is diagnosed with cancer.

It’s easy to practice faith and to be loving and supportive to the world…until your very own security is threatened. I think God needs me to feel helpless in order to remain humble… bingo! It’s amazing when I ask… he delivers the answer.

I find myself in a humble spot this morning. Helpless in many ways… yet very secure that we will be okay. I am not saying that I am surrendering the fight- no way- no how… I am saying that today I have once again made peace with the fear. I have choices- there is no easy button… I need to process each day and remain thankful.

Paul’s youngest daughter Melissa came home to visit this past weekend! She was certainly a little shocked by our weather… 🙂 She has lived in Miami for the past few years… It was nice to surround him with love. To support him… right where he is at… and to allow him to feel his own way through things. Holy moly- that’s tough! I just want to help!! (aka… play God…)

He is really in great spirits- and is fighting a good fight. He is positive about his recovery. I think the hardest part is knowing it’s getting tougher… and staying positive! Seriously… who wants to be happy when they can’t flippin eat? Who wants to smile when their throat hurts 15x worse than it’s ever hurt in your life? I can’t say that I’d be happy if someone was eating popcorn in front of me! (Or a fillet mignon…)

He went to GNC and bought some great protein powder and started drinking high calorie shakes. The problem with “eating” a liquid diet… is that it’s hard to consume enough calories. And harder to get all the nutrients to sustain his diabetes… he has to have enough calories- but not too many carbs… but the good thing is his sugar levels have been amazing!

We talked about how much healthier we will eat as a couple when this is done. Small choices make a difference! I think in the interim… he will just continue to cook for me… fatten me up a bit more.. and live vicariously watching me eat! Oh yeah… fried taters… scrambled eggs… and sausage! He couldn’t eat a bite of it… but that’s what he made for Melissa and I- both days! mmm…. 🙂 I guess taking a muffin top for the team might be required- right?

We did some juicing- this past weekend- and Melissa showed me how much I love ginger! (too tangy for Paul right now… spices are all out- even salt and pepper!) A couple of times he numbed his throat with his magic mouthwash- swished for five mins… then ate something super light and fluffy. Actually- he ate better this weekend- than I have seen him eat in weeks! Creamy soups were on the menu! Love love the magic mouthwash! (Lidacaine)

He had some visitors last night- Jennifer and Alexa came to visit him at his hotel! He sent me a picture of the chubber- just to rub it in… she is so stinkin adorable- she is the smiliest child I have ever met! How precious… a nice way to calm the fire within… a child’s love!

As we enter into the next phase of treatments- I ask everyone to continue praying for us all. It’s getting harder to remain in the moment… so please send positive thoughts and love…

I have wonderful friends who help me day by day… they teach me how to stay grounded… feel God’s presence and to just be okay. It’s amazing if I listen… I hear about a lot of people who are struggling right now. Seems like everyone I speak too has something they are battling with at the moment… even the most grounded and stable people I know- are dealing with something! It’s good to know.. in some small way… that even though it feels like it’s personal… it’s not. Again- how completely arrogant for me to think… that I am more special… or any more or less loved than the next of us?

Thank you all for the cards- the gift cards- the prayers- the good thoughts- emails- phone calls… and every other little thing you have done for us all… this is a good practice for someone like me. Some of us are not good receivers…. it’s a wonderful feeling to let people in…. to feel vulnerable and to still be okay.

Peace and Love Everyone!!


Denise & Paul


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