Whirlwind of activity

Wow, it’s been a busy couple of weeks for #TeamEric.

Eric has had three doctor appointments in the past nine days. He also started his second round of chemotherapy on March 7. He takes 3000 mg (6 – 50 mg honkin’ big pills) of capecitabine with breakfast and dinner. He sees his Oncologist, Dr. Ian Schnadig, or his Nurse Practicioner, Tawna Pangborne every three weeks to look at his blood counts and see how he’s handling the chemo and any side effects. He seems to be tolerating it well, with exception of having the “blahs” most days. He just feels blah.

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Mark Whiteford, MD

The most pressing issue right now continues to be the pain Eric is experiencing. His surgeon, Dr. Mark Whiteford is fantastic and doesn’t mince words with us, even though we spend a lot of time laughing with him.

 

He’s concerned that the pain is still there this long after surgery. We  know that the anal fissure (graphic on the page) is still not healed, however he feels that pain should be gone since he has the ostomy. Sometime in the next week or two, he will be taking Eric back to the OR for a “look-see”. Perhaps there is something obvious causing the pain. He will give Eric another botox injection to relax the fissure and allow it to heal. As long as it’s there, he cannot reverse the ostomy .

Once he’s done that, we will map out the next course of action, which may include bringing a Pain specialist on board.

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One major piece of news we learned yesterday, is that the Pulmonologist that is the lead for Eric’s lungs is leaving practice to focus on her family. I will be starting a separate page with information on this, it’s a critical piece to Eric’s medical journey these past 5 years.

Dr. Danielle Hosmer  has been a part of our life for nearly 4 years and as far as we are concerned, she was instrumental in saving Eric when his lungs were bottoming out. She has been there when we had questions, when we had successes and failures and truly has been an amazing person to work with. She has two other associates that were a part of his care from time to time and we will discuss with her, where she feels his lungs will get the best care. It’s going to be a big loss for us as well as those suffering with Interstitial Lung Disease as there are so few around that understand it and are able to diagnose it. Please pray that we find a new physician that will fill her shoes well.

Ok, I think that catches us up. We have the Spaghetti Feed for Eric coming up on March 25th and our GoFundMe is moving along – THANK YOU! Please consider sharing the info with family and friends, the Support page give more information as to why this is so important to us.

 

Support Page up

We now have the Support Eric page up and running with all the different ways you can help us. Of course, prayers are always welcome. Our reality is that in July, we will be fully responsible for paying our COBRA payments in full, which amounts to $2300 a month.

We will be researching other Insurance options between now and then, but if you’ve been anywhere other then under a rock lately, you know the Insurance system in the US is in a bit of an uproar right now and we have no idea what it will look like in July.

Important to us is that he keep all of his doctors and current medications. If the only way we do that is with our current plan, that’s what will happen. Somehow.

So please, share Eric’s story. It’s still being written here on earth – there will be more on that later. We will be adding more pages to discuss some of his other issues because while Cancer is the BIG one right now, he has two other medical issues that he lives with daily. At some point I think we will change the name of this place to “Not My Illness”  ….

Have a blessed day! Eric started chemo again this morning for the next 14 days.

Marissa

We moved – and an update

Welcome to “Not My Cancer”, the new home for all things Eric and his battle to fight Rectal Cancer. Excuse us as we get things settled in here, this location is new to us. 

Now that surgery is over, people have asked what’s next. Eric has a total of 18 weeks of treatment, 3 weeks of that is already done. This series of 6 rounds is 50% stronger than prior to surgery and longer each time around. He will take 3000 mg twice a day for 14 days straight and then is off for 7 days. Since the tumor was removed, there is no more radiation happening.

This Tuesday Eric will begin his second round of oral chemo. He did pretty well during the first round although in the days after he was feeling nauseous and tired.

Eric has been trying to walk daily and at the same time, he is broadcasting it through Facebook Live. It’s being cross-posted to the FB page, Eric’s Pesky Rectum for all to participate in.

We ask that you share our GoFundMe page https://www.gofundme.com/2pbadfhc with people. 

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Super Bowl Sunday update

I took Eric down to the Elks Lodge for the first half of Super Bowl. It was great to see him laughing and smiling with folks. He spends most of his time standing up or laying down, so he was on his feet a lot there, which aggravates his Achilles tendon. He simply can’t win.

We came home at halftime and within 15 minutes he was in bed and asleep.

He has started getting Acupuncture twice a week for pain relief. He’s two treatments into it, it’s expected to take 5 or 6 before he notices any improvement. He will be speaking with his doctors tomorrow about his pain level.

We’ve been blessed with some donations to the GoFundMe account this week. We ask that you continue to spread the word about our situation and consider helping out. Our finances are a real concern for Eric, we know God will provide however the bills keep coming and it’s added stress.

Oncology update …

My oncologist was very pleased with the pathology results. My next round of chemo starts in 2 weeks. I will be taking the exact same oral chemo as before but in a stronger dose. There will be a total of six rounds of treatments. Each round will consist of 14 days of chemo two times a day and then 7 days off.

At this point, we are unsure how my body will react but do not anticipate anything very serious.

I meet with my surgeon Feb 9th. He will review my new chemo schedule to help him determine when to reverse my ileostomy.

In the meantime, I am still dealing with the pain and recovery from my Jan 4th surgery. Please continue to pray for me and my family.

Thank you. – Eric

Another procedure




Today was a crazy day. Eric has been in rough pain for weeks, although he says it’s a level 3 or 4, his physical being tells me it’s much higher than that. Let’s go back a few days … 

Last Saturday we ended up at the Providence Portland Medical Center Emergency Department for blood work and a CT scan to see if there was any infection or signs of leakage from the surgical site. Fortunately, everything was ok, unfortunately it meant that the pain was around to stay. 

He called his surgeon to speak with him about things yesterday and this morning we got a call saying that he’d be going back into the hospital for an outpatient procedure tomorrow, then it was changed to 3 pm today, and then at 9:15 am we were told to be at the hospital by 10 am. And we were. 

And in they went … and Eric is very well aware of what his pain level now is. According this this scale, he’s been living in the area between 6 and 7 … NOT a good place to be. 

So, what is going on? Well the good news is that everything is healing well. Unfortunately that anal fissure is still there and because of the proximity to the surgical site, it’s adding to the irritation that comes with a major surgery. PLUS his bladder is right next to the site also, so when his bladder begins to fill, it presses on that area and his pain increases.

He is now moving to a different medication regime AND will start Acupuncture on Monday, which his surgeon says can do wonders! 

Dr. Mark Whiteford – ROCKSTAR MD