Current Conditions

It is now April 2018. Some time has passed since our last update. Some time has passed and some things have changed.

My fissure that you all have read so much about has finally healed. Since it was the chemo and radiation that caused the fissure, it only makes sense that the chemo is what was keeping it from healing. A couple weeks after I ended my last round of chemo, the pain started to subside and the fissure completely healed. I was able to have my ileostomy reversed October 2017 and resume a “normal” life for a while. Yes, for a while.

After I started having regular BMs again, I developed a fistula that caused a few new complications and pain. January 2018 I had another surgery and now have a colostomy bag. We are hoping this one will be temporary also but the pain is gone and life is again “normal”.

I have recovered to the point that I am now looking for work again. I have not worked since October 2016 so this is a huge step and a big change. I have sent out several applications and have even had a few interviews and I have more scheduled. I am confident that I will get whatever job God has planned for me.

We are gearing up for our very first Relay For Life team. We are excited and are having fun with it. Please click the link on the main page and consider supporting our team with donations or time.

I have been through a lot since my original cancer diagnosis August 2016. Life is good and is slowly returning to normal. I may or may not have more surgeries in my future but I know that God has a plan and will tackle those when the time comes.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Relay for Life

This weekend is the Tigard-Tualatin Relay for Life. Eric, Sarah and I went and walked the first lap which honors Survivors and Caregivers. 

Its amazing to see all the support and hear the survivor stories. 

We made the decision to form a Team for next year’s event. This is now a part of our life. 

Eric walked with the Veterans 


And had his first massage since Oct. 2016

Stay tuned for more news Monday.

Update from Eric

It has been a while since I have posted any updates here but thought tonight would be a good night to do so.

Tonight, I took my very last dose of chemo. 

NO MORE CHEMO!

The radiation was finished before my surgery in January so there are no more treatments of any kind to look forward to.

My rectal pain still persists. It has gotten a lot better than when it started. To give you some perspective, I started off taking 20mg of Oxycodone every four hours. Now I am taking only 5mg-10mg a day! That is quite an improvement. There are some exceptions(like driving to the beach) where I might take 20mg a day but those are very rare. Unfortunately, I have been able to notice this slow improvement until about a month or so ago. I have not noticed any improvement for a while. 

Now that my chemo is over, my surgeon will take another look at my fissure in July and decide if I need another additional surgery to correct it or not. I really want to be completely healed and have my bag removed so that life can go back to our regular abnormal lives.

I know that God has a plan and I am so very thankful for all that he has done for us so far. I thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

We have not been asking for any additional financial support since the Spaghetti Feed. We did not reach our goal on GoFundMe but thanks to everybody who has contributed so far, we will be fine. The ticket sales to the Spaghetti Feed covered the cost of food and silent auction basket supplies. We did make money on the silent auction and other, generous donations on top of the ticket sales. Thank you to everybody who attended. The Spaghetti Feed was more for my emotional support than financial support. It really boosted my spirits to see so many people there supporting me especially since I have pretty much been a ‘shut-in’ for so long.

I am working with the folks at Clark County HR to get my benefits adjusted to a reasonable amount. Even with all of the support we have received, $2300 a month(starting July) for health benefits will eat it all up in no time. We are also working with another, private insurance agent to possibly get the rest of the family covered on their own insurance and I just maintain myself on the COBRA. We are looking at several options.

On another note, those of you who have been following my life BC(Before Cancer), know that I ruptured my achilles tendon a couple of years ago. May 12th was 2 years exactly. Although it has taken two years to get to this point, my attorney has recently filed the lawsuit to the responsible party. We knew this was coming, we just didn’t know when it would happen as lawsuits tend to take a while. We still do not know when it will be over and we can actually get a check. We would have loved to have this all resolved before I lost my job and before the medical bills started coming in. We still do not know when any moneys will actually be coming our way. It could be months or even a couple more years. I have no intention on making a profit from my cancer. When this is finally settled and and we have money in hand, I will be contacting many of you to pay back your generous contributions to us.

That wraps things up for now. Thank you all for your continued support. Prayers are still very much needed and appreciated.

After the scope

OK… time to update everybody on this morning’s procedure. The doctor wanted to scope me again to see if he could find any obvious reason why I am still in pain. Apparently, after 3 months of being on pain narcotics he needs to refer me to a pain specialist. The pain level has subsided greatly in this time but it still persists and still requires narcotics to manage it.

I asked the doctor to be gentle. He said he would. He lied.

The procedure itself has caused increased pain and bleeding. The doctor said it should subside in a day or two. I hope he wasn’t lying again. He really is a great surgeon.

The only thing he found is the large, angry, anal fissure. It is not healing. This is what has been causing all of my pain since last October. It calmed down after my first surgery when I had a loop ileostomy to bypass the fissure altogether. I was actually pain free for a couple months between surgeries. My surgery on January 4th to remove the tumor was extremely close to the fissure and aggravated it again. This is the pain I have been fighting since January. Like I said, the pain is getting better but the fissure is showing no signs of healing. The doctor gave me a Botox injection to relax the muscles and hopefully facilitate healing and help with the pain.

We also got to discuss other options to heal the fissure. There are not many and run the risk of causing incontinence. Long term, if the fissure does not heal, chances are high that I will need to choose between diapers or a permanent colostomy bag installed at the bottom end of my colon. I am not fond of either option.

Pain control is important but I really need the fissure to heal. PLEASE PRAY THAT MY FISSURE HEALS.

Thank you

Isn’t he lovely?

That’s my man …. back from the OR. 

Results are in, everything looks good, except for the anal fissure….grrrrrrr It is not healing well. Another Botox injection  was given, he know has a wrinkle free Anus again! (Sorry – been hanging out with a colorectal surgeon too much these days).

This leads us to a major prayer request, we need healing! That fissure simply has to heal in order for the Ileostomy to be reversed. 

That’s the latest. Thanks for the support. Remember the Spaghetti Feed, please share it and encourage people to buy tickets ahead so we know how many to expect. 

Early Wednesday

We are back at Providence Portland Medical Center today. Eric continues to experience pain which has everyone concerned. At this point in his recovery it should be subsided. 

Dr. Whiteford is planning on doing a scope to see if there is a visible cause for this and give Eric a Botox injection where the anal fissure is to hopefully relax it enough that it starts to heal.

Will update when I know more.