Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two Years

Sonja Drew with her Uncle Drew on Christmas

Two years ago Andrew was diagnosed with cancer. His doctors would not have guessed he'd be where he is at today. We are so thankful for the constant love and support from all the amazing family, friends and medical professionals.

Andrew continues to plug along, doing chemo for 10 days and off for two weeks. He will be in Houston towards the end of January for more tests and will meet with Dr. Araujo for a new treatment plan.

Please keep praying for Andrew, that his tumors would shrink and that his body and spirit would be renewed.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We love you all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September Update

I wanted to send out a quick medical update for everybody who is following my medical progress. I am currently doing a round of chemo both this week and next week. I think this is my 3rd round since I last blogged in late July. I did gave a scan done about a month ago down in Houston at MD Anderson. I would call the test results positive mixed results. No tumors in any major organs and nothing blocking anything vital at this time. I did have some small growth in the tumors that still exist in my abdomin wall, interestingly though I had some shrinkage in similar tumors in the same area. I will be getting scanned again in mid October. At that point we will see if I need a new chemo regimine. I feel good, other then a few pounds overweight right now, I feel the best physically and mentally that I ever have during this nearly two year process. I have alot of good things going on outside chemo that I'm excited about as well. Thanks everybody for all your continued thoughts and prayers. Congratulations to my sister Elizabeth and her husband Tyler on their second child, Sonja Drew Denton!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Late July...

Hey Studs/Studettes,

I started another two week round of chemotherapy this week at Swedish in Seattle. Once I finish this round, I will be in Houston Aug 16/17 to meet with the MDAnderson crew. I'm going to see if I can start spreading these treatments further out, so I can lead a slightly more normal schedule, we will see.....Some thoughts from the land of chemo:

1. When you have been off for several weeks and are finally feeling like a normal human, that needle that is shoved into your body which attaches the port to the chemo infusion is really annoying! It lets you know quickly "you are back! welcome to the land of the fuzzy!"

2. Nurses are awesome, don't ever act like they are giving you a service of some kind, and not true care. I heard an elderly gentlemen say one time "Medic, I need service over here" I almost spit up laughing, but that dude nearly got kicked in the face and kicked out of chemo for that comment....

3. When you start getting the first infusion after being off for awhile, so much races through your head immediately. "am i going to die soon?" "am i going to live longer then anyone predicts?" "am I ever going to decide what I want to be when I grow up and get done with this insane cancer process that feels like a scene from the movie inception?" All these kind of thoughts flood your mind for like the first 20 minutes of treatment, then you resort to wondering what yummy food item a friend or family member can bring you! haha...

4. Many people will ask you what stage cancer you are in. Its always an odd question, I don't mind answering but its almost like the guy at the gym asking you how much you can bench press, or somebody asking you how much money you have.....The conversations between people about what stage they are in, and what level of treatments they have done is hilarious.....Not taking anything away from ANYBODY who has done ANY treatment of ANY kind for cancer, everyone is a winner, and a fighter, but you would think some people had fought on the front lines of a major war when they get treatments a couple times a year for a treatable cancer......(No I'm not jealous, well a little bit maybe...hahaha) Enough locker room talk.

5. Maybe my attitude or something has rubbed off on this one particular patient or something but he made a comment to me the other day that made me laugh, smile & take things into perspective (thinking about all my struggles over the last 1.5 years) and reply with a funny response.

Patient: "How's life at the top my man?"
Me: "Oh my friend if you only knew, if you only knew...." haha

Thanks everybody for following, I am truly amazed and blessed!


A couple PS's:

-This Lance Armstrong deal was pretty cool, despite all his steroid troubles, he still reps the cancer crew hardcore. Click here

-Inception and Salt were both cool summer flicks

-Some pictures of my family below from the spring

Vegas in March for Tyler's 30th birthday

Woodland Park Zoo with Riley in March

Family Easter Dinner

Henry's 2nd Birthday in May

Elizabeth's 30 Birthday in May

Friday, July 9, 2010

July update

Blog Followers!

I had a scan done a few weeks ago, it was relatively uneventful in a positive way! There continues to be no new growth or existing tumors in any major organs, which is such a blessing-Especially the tumor in my liver that existed. I feel so lucky that isn't showing on the scans as of right now.....I still continue to have very small tumors in the lining of my stomach wall. NO growth or enlargement of those spots to report which is really cool. I also completed a round of chemo last week, which was nice to enjoy the fourth of July chemo free so to speak. It was a hard 2 weeks for some reason this time, but we made it through a-ok....I think the world cup on at all hours helped me pass the time! I am planning a visit in a couple weeks to MD Anderson, as my doctor is back from maternity leave. I need to work with her on what the next six months looks like, then the 2011 year. I'm certainly grateful for how far we have come in this past year and a half. I couldn't have dreamed for these levels of positive reports. So far to go still, but still grinding!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June Update-20 rounds complete

Hey whats up!

I have gotten several messages recently from friends asking me how I am doing, and its been forever since I updated my blog-so here I am! I just completed my 20th round of chemotherapy last Friday. It's hard to believe that its been nearly a year and a half worth of treatment, and 20 cycles worth. Certainly feels like a heavyweight bout. I should have more of a medical update for everybody here in the next week or so, as I am having a scan done in between the 20th and 21st rounds. My doctor in Houston has been on Medical leave, and doesn't return until July. Its been about 12 weeks since my last scan. As has been the case during this process, I will be praying for continued shrinkage of existing tumors, and no growth or spread to any other portion of the body. I have done 12 cycles of a particular chemo mix, and I'm not sure how much longer I will be on that dose/mix. This has been a really good chemo dose for me, as my energy level isn't tremendously low, side effects have been minimal, and its been great having all of my hair. We want to keep the tumors guessing, so a new dose may be in store. We will see.

May was a good month. A ton of family activities....Martha turned 28, Elizabeth turned 30, my Nephew Henry turned 2, Elizabeth and Tyler's wedding anniversary, we remembered both my grandmother and Tyler's father, and of course mothers day....It seemed liked every weekend we had a party going on. I will post pictures later tonight from those events. I also have enjoyed riding my bike. I bought a bike a couple of months ago and have been riding it a ton, trying to shed some lbs that I have picked up from all the good food, and the steroids that I am taking. Yes its true I am on steroids!! If only I looked liked Fabio and not Flabio! haha.....Anyways, I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of summer. Thank you as always to everybody who keeps sending me messages, cards, emails, texts, etc. The support from friends and family remains so strong, it truly has been amazing.


Friday, April 9, 2010

birthday boy on sunday!

andrew's nephew and niece are here to remind you that andrew turns 32 this coming sunday april 11. don't forget to wish him a wonderful birthday!

happy friday!

Monday, March 15, 2010

March Madness

Since the last time I've blogged I have been to Houston to get the latest PET scan results and also done (1) ten day round of Chemo. I start another Round next Monday. The results from my last scan were again very good. I am so thankful for the great progress. I didn't have any spread or growth of the existing tumors, and even had some very small shrinkage of the tumors in the abdomen wall. My doctor in Houston has been very encouraged at the success of the chemo treatment plan thus far. I will go visit Houston and have another Scan and checkup in Mid April. Dr. Araujo is actually going on a 90 day leave in late April as she is having her Second Child. I will just have one appointment in Houston while she is on leave in Mid June. Dr. Milder and his Seattle team of Nurses/Staff continue to be excellent. I really enjoy doing my treatment at the Swedish Facility. I completed another round last Friday at Swedish, it went really well. No Hiccups to speak of, just get tired from the chemo, but zero side effects. I had a really cool family trip two weekends ago for my Brother in Law Tyler's 30th birthday. I had a great time with all my sisters! I love this time of year, as many of you know I am a big college hoops fan so I have been enjoying all of the numerous games that have been on. I'm crossing my fingers for my beloved Huskies in the First Round of the tourney. Also rooting for the Mizzou Tigers for all my Missouri buddies.....I'm happy to report quality progress. I still have a long road ahead of me, but it's been a blessing so far!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Results Delay and Magic


I actually won't have any results to share until next week. I had to delay my trip a few days down to Houston. I will update the Blog as soon as I get some news (probably Tuesday).....On another note, I did try Acupuncture this week for the first time. I had a really good experience with it, so I have scheduled several more sessions. I got referred by my Aunt to a really cool dude(Eric Hartmann).....Its a little bit like Yoga for me though, I kind of laugh when they are doing some of the exercises like its hocus pocus or magic or something but all in all it was really cool and I left feeling good, more relaxed and "centered" ha ha.....Have a good weekend.


Friday, February 5, 2010

14 rounds, doing my hair, and spring around the corner

Whats up!

I'm like the lamest blogger ever, one month between updates isn't acceptable, sorry y'all! I completed my 14th round of chemo last Friday. WOW I can't believe its been that long already. No real issues to report, just some mild stomach issues and tiredness from the chemo days. I am heading to Houston next week (wed and thu) for a scan and meeting with my Doctor. Please stay in continued prayer for positive results. Thanks to everyone who has been so great to me during this process, I feel so much love and support from so many different people, and the love has flowed from all around.

So I have to admit its really cool getting to put my gel and hair products in my hair (shot out to Kev, no LA LOOKS for me anymore, just the good stuff! ha).....My hair has continued to grow on the top of my head, face, etc. For those that know me well, know that I love getting haircuts at the barber, and having a "do" to go out with...So even if its for a short period I am really thankful to have hair right now! I do however have every girl/woman's dream, NO HAIR grows on my legs! Kinda weird but its an easy trade-off for the mop on top.

A few things that I have enjoyed as the new year has started......re-uniting with old friends, spending a lot of time with my family and really good friends, spending time with Riley and Henry (niece, nephew,)going to a ton of movies, going to husky hoops games, checking out live music in Seattle at several places, cool social events, eating good food as always, watching football playoffs with the buds, re-connecting into church, enjoying hanging with the singles crew and the married with kids crew, planning what I am going to do this year with my life, and just overall a great start to the new year.

I'm ready for my favorite time of year, SPRING! Talk to everyone soon, I promise an update next week from Houston with the latest scan results.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday!

It was just a year ago at this time that we learned of Andrews diagnosis and were in the midst of the worst nightmare possible. At the time it felt impossible to put one foot in front of the other, but we have learned that with lots of prayer, love and amazing people we have been able to survive. And not just survive, but experience tremendous joy and a new depth of love and faith. I want to thank everyone who gave us a tremendous amount of support in 2009. It has been remarkable and we could not have done it with out you. We look forward to continued positive results for Andrew.

Cheers to a new year, a fresh start and a lot of living life to the fullest.