Friday, December 23, 2016

Oops! I Forgot...

I thought I had already made the last post of 2017 but I was wrong. God willing, this will be the last for this year! That simply means we get through the next week and a bit without anything worth talking about! :)

December 22, 2017 - Chad had his appointment for pain management. I had forgotten about this one!I can't recollect if I told you his neck surgery was delayed due to red-tape with the VA. We will pursue this again in the new year. In the mean time, they have shoved a big long needle into his neck! Ouch! The actual puncture site is what gave him trouble last night. He is still asleep so I am not sure how he will fare today but God willing this will help him manage the neck pain until we're able to move forward on the other stuff!

Dr Love (yes, LOVE!) performed the procedure in Paducah. It was relatively smooth and he seemed decent enough. There were some bad reviews on the internet so I was weary but all seems okay for the moment!

Thank you all for continuing to follow us on this journey. For those who still keep Chad in your prayers and send love! xo We wish you a Merry Christmas AND a safe and happy New year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Life is a series of obstacles. Sometimes you have to jump through hoops, just so you can sit down and relax awhile.

Yesterday was the dreaded colonoscopy. While Chad did not have colon cancer, appendix cancer is treated the same and pops up just about anywhere within the abdominal cavity. When he was prepping for his big surgery in March of 2015 he had to have his first colonoscopy. It was a horrible experience from the prepping right through to the results. He did not have cancer in his colon then but he did have three large polyps, one of which was considered pre-cancerous.

With all of Chad's digestive issues, it lingered in the back of my mind (his too I assume) that maybe something else is going on. There was also the hernia to contend with.

Well I am delighted to report that he is clean as a whistle. Not even a polyp in there. The doctor also did not make any notes in reference to the hernia so we can assume it's not protruding into his digestive track anywhere. Unfortunately, still no answers where that is concerned.

He still has Pain Management on Thursday. But this whole neck spinal thing has become another burden because he is having a lot more flare ups but when we went to get re-approved for his neurosurgeon visits, they decided to deny them this time. So we have to start that process all over again.

But for now - We have a clear CT Scan, a clear colonscopy, good blood results - so as far as anyone can tell - Chad remains Cancer Free entering his two year mark! We're beyond blessed!

It's the best Christmas present we could hope for.

So from our family to yours - have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Life Keeps Us Busy

And that is a blessing indeed. Every day on this beautiful, messed up planet is a gift from God. As tired as we may be, as much pain as we may be in - every individual in existence who gets one more day is given a gift.

I am tired but this isn't about me. Ha! For those in the blog world only and not Facebook - Chad and I did something that we never thought possible. Especially considering where we were just two short years ago. We bought a house.

Purchases like this are crazy to begin with. Pair that with the cancer stuff and it puts you in a weird spot. In my support group I've seen so often people say; "I was planning this or that but what if the cancer comes back" And all I can think of is; "But what if it doesn't?" Do you want to wake up ten years from now regretting all the things you didn't do because you were scared you couldn't?

Chad has been doing alright. He pushed himself to the end of the earth. He worked so hard, you wouldn't believe. And kept going and is still going. I know the pain he has is crippling at times but he never gives up - or gives in. He's my hero. Even when he's cranky and makes me cry. lol

Monday, December 19th - We're headed to Marion, IL for his colonoscopy. They'll be able to get a better idea about his hernia and God Willing, no polyps or any other concerning things are found. Hopefully.. Just answers and a plan to help him feel better!

Thanks for your continued love and prayers. We're forever grateful

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Results and Other Stuff...

I am writing from my phone but wanted to post about this week's findings.

God has blessed us in so many ways, I am.humbled and so beyond grateful.

Monday, November 28 - Chad met wit the GI doctor and has a colonscopy scheduled for December 19th. He also seen the dermatologist and got the all clear for the spots on his back and the bad spot on his leg.

December  1- CT Scan. We were in and out, it was faster than any CT Scan in the past and it worried me. I was already nervous and suffering from scanxiety big time. Chad's oncologist retired and left the VA, so when we went to see the new oncologist, we were informed she does not read her own scans so she would have to call us with the results. Or get us back in to see her. We were not expecting to hear until sometime next week but she just called...

NED! No evidence of recurrent disease! She did confirm Chad has a hernia and that the cyst on his liver (that he's had for years) remains unchanged. So we are just super happy.

We will still be getting the scans sent to Dr Sardi in Baltimore but at least the preliminary findings gave us some relief!

Thanks for your continued prayers! They worked!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Delays, of course!

Some folks have been asking about Chad and I thought I'd best update the blog. We were supposed to go to Paducah on Monday to see Dr. Hall but the appointment ended up getting cancelled because the confirmation number for the VA approval expired in October. It's just governement red tape. They approved him for three appointments but for some reason or another put a 6 month expiration on it. So now we had to go back and request a new confirmation number. We will re-schedule the appointment as soon as we get that.

Chad's neck has been considerably bad lately, which is so depressing. With him still being fairly new at work and the impending move (*knock on wood*) the timing is just really lousy. However, his health has to come first and if his neck is getting worse, he'll have no choice but to have the surgery next month.

Again, we won't know until we get the appointment re-scheduled. So in the mean time, love, and healing prayers are always appreciated! xo

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's That Time Again...

I know it's been awhile since I've updated. Chad has been having the same troubles he has had for awhile. His stomach still hurts to the touch and still swells, he still cramps, he still has what we call a hernia (which is totally crazy because it literally sticks right out of his belly at times) and he still has his neck spasms. With all that said, he also still pushes through and carries on living. He has been trying very, very hard to focus on the positive and each blessing that has come in his life and we're so thankful and grateful for every day given to us. Chad makes effort every day to eliminate negativity from his mind and puts his effort into his family and things that make him happy. It is so refreshing to see him smile more, enjoy life and get excited about things. I know it's a struggle for him, which is why we ask anyone who is a part of our lives, to please keep things positive when you're around us. He has such a difficult battle to begin with, dealing with his own anxiety - he just needs to remain focused (and happy!).

His physical therapy ended awhile ago. It did help him a bit I think and I would like for him to be able to continue. He has his first pain management appointment tomorrow. It's taken almost 6 months to get to this point. He also has a follow-up appointment with his neurosurgeon Dr Hall next week. Big decisions will be made in terms of his neck surgery. The original plan was for him to have surgery in December but I am really not sure where his head is at right now.

Now it's time to talk about the inevitable. It's that time of the year again. His CT Scan is scheduled for December 1st, as well as his appointment with his new oncologist. The blood work he had done a few months ago looked good but it doesn't make me any less nervous. I still check into the Support Group daily and some of the stories make my stomach churn. This cancer, especially the type Chad had - is just scary. It's devastatingly scary. And the best defense we have against is are scans and blood work and they're not even that reliable. That is why is it of utmost importance to cherish every single day given.

I will continue to pray and ask God to watch over Chad and help him remain cancer free. We can take the obstacles given and work to get through the trials and tribulations - I just pray that nasty disease stays gone for good.

I will post again once we meet with Dr Hall and let you all know what the next step will be there.

As always, thank you for your love, support, encouragement and prayers xo

Monday, September 26, 2016

Blood Results and Updates

Last week Chad went in for his quarterly blood tests and to get some other things checked out. I didn't post at the time because everything was up in the air and I had no news.

We had a follow up appointment today and in true VA Style, it was pretty much a waste of time. It felt like everyone was so on the ball before and now they're getting lazy.

I read the results myself and analyzed them. lol We got confirmation today (but only because we asked not because anyone told us)

All of his tumor marker results are good. These test are used to measure a certain substance that is produced by cancer itself. So when the levels get high or are on the rise, it may be indictive of cancer. The test can also be completely useless but there is so little one can do to catch cancer early, these - combined with scans, are our best chance at staying above water.

Chad did experience some blood in his stool which was concerning. He did submit a test last week when we went in but we still have no results on that. It lasted for two bowel movements and then he had some dark stools. Everything cleared up until recent when it was black again.

I know this sometimes seems too much information but this blog has become a useful tool. Since he has so many odd things going on, doctors always ask WHEN. I cannot tell you the number of times Ive consulted this  blog to answer that question.

The last thing he had checked out was this spot on his leg. He had it looked at by a dermatologist in March but since then it has grown quite a bit. Since he is fearful of melonoma, we're ering on the side of caution. They took some photos and sent them to the big hospital in Marion, IL. The doctor we went to today is about 30 minutes away and just a clinic.

Anyways, Chad is having cramping again which is unfortunate since it got better there for awhile. His neck seems pretty good. He still has lower back issues but he's pushing through.

His Physical therapy is complete for the time being so we will see how that goes

Sometimes, the biggest struggle is the mental anguish that accompanies cancer. It can really mess with your outlook and causes a stupid amount of anxiety for everyone. :(

I apologiz for the typos. I am writing from my laptop and it never turns out well! ha!

Thanks for your continued love and support!

Friday, September 2, 2016


Chad went for his nerve conduction test yesterday. This has been months in the making. The VA has been good to us but getting through their red-tape sometimes proves to be difficult. Granted, I am sure that can be said for any 'insurance' - so it is what it is.

A Nerve Conduction Test/Study is when they send an electrical current/impulse through a nerve to determine how much damage there is and if it is communicating properly. Chad's spinal damage has left him in considerable pain and his hands often go numb where he drops things all the time. This will help Dr Hall (The neurosurgeon) determine how sever the damage already is.

As a result of them picking and prodding and sending tons of electricity through his nerves and muscles Chad is in an overwhelming amount of pain today. He said he hasn't felt this bad since when this all began many moons ago. :( Please send a prayer for healing and comfort. I have booked him an appointment at the Chiropractor this afternoon to hopefully offer some relief for this weekend. I tried to get him an additional Physical Therapy appointment and pay out of pocket but his therapist does not work on Friday and the appointment would have cost over $300! I would've paid it but I know Chad wouldn't have accepted that. That's neither here nor there because she isn't available anyways. :(

Someone on the website I work for wrote me this morning. He had a near-death experience and his friends and family were told to come to the hospital to say their good-byes. He miraculously pulled through but is now suffering the after effects of his body going through a traumatic event. His words brought tears to my eyes because I think he put into words what Chad is most likely feeling... Here's a few excerpts;

"I am so sick and tired of my body not responding the way I want it to. A good part of it is just damned age, but then there are the days when getting up from a chair and walking to the kitchen leave me winded... and pre existing spinal issues make it impossible to get up out of a chair without assistance."

"It gets so frustrating, and the excessive amounts of testosterone that we guys carry around amplifies the frustration. We don't want to think about it, we just want to get on with it, yet it's always there in the back of our minds."

"I feel I have survived the initial illness, but I'm not so sure about the trickle down effects. They seem to go on forever and ever and they constantly remind us just how vulnerable we are. Yet another thing we fellas aren't really keen about knowing!"

I don't think the gentleman who wrote this will ever quite understand the impact of his words and how much I needed a reminder that my husband is truly, truly hurting and it is my job to help support him and get through this.  I also know we're not alone - other people out there are going through their own personal hell and I hope we can lift each other up in prayer.

It is pretty much a constant struggle in our household. Adapting to these changes that will most likely never leave him feeling 'good' again. Half the battle is physical, half the battle is mental. How does someone adjust to something like this? People don't understand either, they just don't get it. They think "well he beat Cancer right? It's not chemo or anything causing this?" No, it's not. It's just like once he had the surgery and began to recover from that, everything else began to fall apart.

Cancer never goes away. Even when it does. It's always there. Reminding you of what it took from you and how easily it can take more.

I just hope and pray that it all levels out - sooner, rather than later. It becomes manageable - physically, emotionally and mentally - and that he and our family as a whole - can truly begin to heal and enjoy the blessings we've been given.

Thank you all for your love, support and prayers xo

Monday, August 8, 2016

Therapy Update

Chad has been going to therapy for a couple weeks now. I can't say it is making a huge difference yet but hopefully it will in time and allow him the ability to keep working until his surgery.

He has been having some major digestion related issues again.  He always says he feels something isn't right. :( It is difficult because we have to listen to our bodies - but what do you do when all the tests tell you everything is 'normal'? Just sit around and wait until something does show up? God willing it never does.

His back and neck issues suck because they're present and affecting his daily life but nothing sucks more than the cancer that seems to always be looming around the corner. The fear it will come back. The fear something else really major will happen. All we can do is keep pushing it back and keep on living.

Within the past week two people I've met through my online Support Group have passed away. The news from both of these completely broke my heart. I cannot even put it into words... If you could keep their friends and families in your prayers tonight, I would be truly appreciative. xoxo

Monday, July 25, 2016

PT Therapy Consult Tomorrow

The much anticipated Physical Therapy Consult for Chad is tomorrow. The goal for this is to make life a bit more comfortable and manageable so that Chad can make it until December for his surgery.

Fortunately, we were able to use the Tri-West program with the VA, which allows you to use local facilities. I called around and thankfully Chad will be using the Murray Health and Wellness Center! (That's my gym as well!) Super excited about that.

Chad is doing his best. He is a hard worker and even though he may be in excruciating pain at times, he pushes through. He's not always happy about it ( ha ha ) but he has never given up. He amazes me sometimes. I tell him REST! Nope. Not happening. :)

We are still waiting on the pain management thing but since that is likely just different or more medication, we're not concerned. The physical therapy is the important one in my humble opinion.

I want to send a special thanks to those of you who check in and keep us in your thoughts. There are so many of you out there who live with chronic pain and whose lives have been turned inside out with a cancer diagnosis, it just means the world to know that we're not alone.

Cancer may not be present in our day to day lives, but the threat never leaves. The thought is never to far from ones mind. I continue to lean on you all for strength. Thank you for being there. xo

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Well This Kinda Sucks

I am going to keep this relatively short because I am a bit on the depressed side. We had the follow-up consult with the Neurosurgeon today and it looks like Chad will be have surgery in December to put a spacer in his cervical spine. He currently has zero spinal fluid protecting his spinal cord around the 5th and 6th vertebrae and very little around the 7th (I think). So in an effort to prevent further damage, including future paralysis - the surgeon recommended surgery. 

It will not necessarily help with the pain but will hopefully improve it somewhat. More than anything, it's to prevent further trouble in the future. This isn't something that needs to be done immediately, hence delaying it until Chad has time off this holiday season.

It will still be a long recovery. One night in the hospital but three weeks minimum out of work and a 3 month+ recovery. I am not looking forward to it. I can't lie. I hate this for him and I also hate this for me. 

In the mean time, he will be going for Physical Therapy and Pain Management. Both for his neck and his lower back. The surgeon doesn't think surgery for his lower back is a good option at this time. So hopefully therapy will improve that situation.

It's crazy to think this blog started about Cancer and morphed into a General Health blog. It's been a very difficult and challenging 1.5 years and God willing, we manage to get through these next hurdles as well.

One day at a time. 

Thank you all for your love and support.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Spare A Prayer?

They often say God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Like most, I wish his confidence level in my ability to preserver was a little lower :)

Life is tough at the moment. I won't get into my own personal demons because this is about Chad and his journey through these crazy web of health issues but man - I miss the easy days.

If you have a prayer to spare, please send them in Chad's direction. He started back to work and it's been tough. The neck and shoulder pain has flared up and it's to the point where he loses sensation in both hands and is dropping things 4-5 times a day. On top of that, his whole body seems to hurt and he's experiencing a lot of the same stomach burns and pains he had before they discovered he had cancer.

It's frustrating because all the Scans and tests show everything is 'as it should be' but he feels anything but 'normal'. There was one blood test that I noticed was high. His oncologist didn't seem concerned about it but it made me wonder what was going on. 

Chad finally called the VA to set up on appointment to see a doctor and the nurse reviewed his charts and thought it was concerning as well. Unfortunately, the beautiful VA is very, very short on doctors so Chad no long even has a primary physician. The nurse, (April) is going to call someone and have them review the tests and we'll go from there.

For the curious, the blood tests are SGOT/SGPT (AST/ALT) and are linked to liver disease. Chad hasn't had any problems with his liver, aside from, I believe, it being slightly fatty. His levels previously, were not this high. (They're almost double the normal range) He has started drinking wine so I am hoping if he cuts that from his diet, it goes back to normal and is nothing too serious is going on.

In  my heart, I think it was just a one-off. He drinks a few glasses a week. Hardly enough to amount to anything. He shows no other signs and all the tests/scans came back clear. My hope, deep down in my heart, is they run the tests again and everything is back to normal and it was just an off day.

So - if you have a prayer to spare. Please send it his way. Just to find some sort of tolerable level so he can enjoy his life again. (Which means I can enjoy mine too) Many, many thanks everyone. 

The love and appreciation I have is immeasurable.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Preliminary Results For CT Scan

This morning, (very early this morning) we made the trip to the VA hospital in Marion, Illinois for Chad's 6-Month CT Scan. He had blood work as well but it will take a week or so for the result of that to come in. The CT Scan was followed by a meeting with his oncologist who had a preliminary look at the scan. It Looks Good!

Once the doctor gets the results, he will phone if anything changes - but the preliminary looks positive! So, God willing, we'll continue living for another six months :) The only unfortunate thing about the trip up to Marion was that Chad's oncologist Dr V is leaving the VA and Chad will be re-assigned to a new doctor. 

I have mixed feelings about this. When we first met this doctor it was rough sailing because we were fighting to see a specialist and he wasn't interested in helping us achieve that goal. As you know, we did it anyways but Dr V was still to be Chad's 'local' oncologist. I remember when we were set to see him for the first time again after Chad's surgery, I was concerned but it went very well and we've championed him ever since. He would call Chad on the weekends, just to check in and was always very receptive in getting him help for his post surgery pains. Now, we'll probably never see him again. 

Hopefully the new VA Oncologist will be as helpful and caring! Only time will tell.

Chad starts a new job at the local University next month. I have mixed emotions but mostly excited and relieved for him as I know he was going stir crazy. As it stands now, he is doing pretty good. He has the EMG at the end of the month, followed by an appointment with a neurosurgeon in July but hopefully between now and then - things are manageable!

As always. thank you for your support, your friendship and your prayers and positive thoughts!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

More Appointments

Hello World!

I am happy that nothing major has happened that required any updates! Chad is doing pretty okay! Aside from back pain and his usual stomach issues - he is trucking along nicely. He has been working hard at home on some pop-up camper updates and cooking up a storm. I swear this man needs to have his own Food Truck. He's an incredible cook!

Anyways, you're not here to hear about his cooking skills! 

This is what our schedule looks like now.

May 25 - Small Bowel Series

Basically, this is the last test the GI Specialist can think of to check and see how Chad's Small Bowel is operating. He will consume this thick dye-like beverage. They then proceed to take X-Rays of his abdomen at various stages to see how the liquid passes through his system

June 1 - CT Scan and Follow-up Appointment with his Oncologist.

Obviously, this is the big scary one. The one that we really want your prayers on. God willing, the scans are clear and we can continue living for another 6 months. Pray for NO CANCER! Also known as NED! (No Evidence of Disease)

Unknown Date - MRI 

We are still waiting to hear when the MRI will be repeated as per the Neurosurgeons request.

June 29 - EMG Test

This is related to his neck/spinal issues and will test how much/if any nerve damage has been done and if his muscles/grip strength has been affected. 

July 6 - Neuro Surgeon Follow-Up

Hopefully he will have the MRI Results but then and compare them to the EMG results. From there, he will give his reccomendation as to whether Chad requires surgery for his neck/spine.

Phew. Thank you all for your continued love and support!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Neurology Consult Results

Yesterday was the much awaited consult with the Neurosurgeon. Dr. Hall was his name and while on the young side, he was informative and listened to all of Chad's explanations and such. He reviewed the MRI and told us that the disc between a couple of Chad's vertebrae are basically non-existent. He thinks they're completely gone but before making any definitive plans on how to proceed, he needs another MRI with cross-section images, as the VA didn't supply them/do the original MRI correctly.

He also wants to perform an electromyography (EMG) on both of Chad's hands to assess how much/if any nerve damage has been done and if his muscles/grip strength has been affected. 

Once he has the results of both of these tests, he will make his recommendation on treatment. Chad also discussed his lower back pain and the surgeon was very honest in saying that there was very little surgery he could do to improve the pain from that but he has also ordered an X-Ray of his lower spine.

At this point there is a 50% chance he could require surgery on his neck. If that route is taken, they would put placing a spacer in between the discs to avoid them fusing together. If that route isn't taken, then he will be doing physical therapy and pain management.

So now we await the VA to approve these other procedures :) O Joy!

Generally speaking, Chad is doing okay. He has a fair amount of pain from the spinal stuff but he doesn't let that affect him much. He was really not well the other evening. Stomach cramping, super naseous, dizzy, sweating... but was doing better today.

His CT Scan to check for cancer is now less than a month away. *sigh* That makes me feel a little ill, I can't lie. I will continue to pray every night, for the rest of my life, that his cancer never comes back.

When you think of us, I appreciate if you could do the same.


I mentioned a few blogs ago about a friend who was in her final days of her pancreatic cancer battle. I am saddened to report that heaven has gained another angel. A remarkable one at that. Jane, you have left an undeniable mark on every person you have ever met and you will so very greatly be missed :(

Much love to everyone out there, we appreciate your support and prayers more than you know xo

Monday, May 2, 2016

Slight Change

Sorry Folks! Slight change of plans.

Chad spoke with the doctors office tomorrow and the appointment has been rescheduled until tomorrow. The surgeon was already running behind an hour due to surgery, so since there was an opening tomorrow - we opted to go for that.

Will update again once the appointment is complete!

Big Day

We have been waiting for this appointment for approximately three months! (And people say Canadian health care is bad for wait times) Today is the big consult with the neurosurgeon. He will review Chad's MRI and medical history and make a recommendation as to how to proceed.

To be honest, I am not entirely sure what I am hoping for. Obviously, for this to NOT be cancer related. But I don't think it is. Since he's stopped painting, he's only really had one incident where the spasms were really bad. His neck gets stiff and sore but absolutely nothing like we were dealing with when this all started in January. That was excruciating.  His side is still very sore from when he sneezed. He still isn't convinced it was just a pulled muscle because his back has been giving him a lot of problems. 

So I just hope for a plan and guidance. I pray this doctor is knowledgeable and is able to steer us on the path that is right for Chad. 

If you're reading this and in the prayer and good vibe mood, send one up. Since I don't know what to ask for, just ask for healing - in whatever form that may be!

We love you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sometimes I Get So Angry

Before I go on my rant, I'll do a quick update on Chad's health.

We spent some time in the ER last week. Unrelated to any of his current ailments. He did something and pulled a muscle in his back/side. He was in a lot of pain and couldn't breath or move. His concern was a broken rib or something related to the spinal injury. 

The X-Ray showed nothing of concern (don't they always lol) so we went on our merry way. It's a slow trek but he is improving. He's coaching Pinto Baseball (and doing a marvelous job if I do say so myself) He is keeping busy around the house and seems to be doing fairly well *knock on wood*. Pain of course, don't get me wrong but he soldiers on and pushes through it. There's even a job prospect in the near future - so any prayers and positive vibes would be much appreciated! 

Now it's time to vent. Unrelated to Chad. Well Kinda.


 I truly, truly do. I hate it. A friend of mine who I know through work was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last Fall and is now on her last days and it absolutely devastates me. This woman had the best attitude about life, she was always happy and joking around and I believe her mission in life was to make people smile.  She did that and the legacy she'll leave behind will continue to bring smiles and warmth to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.

I hate cancer. I just really, really hate it. :'(

Friday, April 15, 2016

He's Smiling :)

I just wanted to give a quick update and let you all know we're still kickin'! Chad is still bloated (some days worse than others) and having irregular bowel movements but they're moving so that's what is important! His neck and back is still hurting but the spasms are back to a minimum.

More importantly, he's been smiling and happy :) I know he still hurts and he pushes through so much pain but I can't tell you how much it makes my heart smile to see him joking around and just being happy. He endures so much every day with the pain, it's such a relief to know - despite it all - life can still be good.

So that's all. No big changes except the frowns are looking a lot more like smiles lately :)

Baseball season starts on Saturday and Chad is the coach so things are about to get even MORE busy in Kentucky! We're so blessed to be given each day. Thank you all for your love and support ! xo

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spasms, Spasms Go Away!

And please don't ever return. Ever.

Chad's neck spasms are back. We have no idea what he's done to aggravate it but they're fairly bad. As usual, he is pushing through it but it's so stressful. How can he return to any sort of, even-remotely, physical job if even moving around causes this excruciating pain?

His stomach is also bad and cramping and insanely bloated. It's a mixture between weight gain and bloating. Some days the distention goes down and is much smaller but most days, he stays pretty bloated. He tried changing up his diet to a low residue but it's slow going. I still worry something more sinister is happening and I almost wish it were June so we could get a CT Scan again to remove that worry.

With that said, he keeps pushing forward and takes whatever life throws at him.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and for always checking in!

Shannon and Chad

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Quick Medical Update

Chad had a few appointments at the VA today. His legs have been fitted for the fancy compression socks. He had the ultra sound and a follow-up appointment with the doctor and all looks okay there. No 'reflux' which is what the concern was. So no urgent need for any procedures where that is concerned. They've given him topical cream in combination with the socks and will keep an eye on it.

Aside from that, we got the results back from the endoscopy. Mixed feelings. First and foremost - relief. The biopsies came back clear. Results = just stomach irritation.

This is good because well, there's no cancer or anything seriously bad happening in there.

This is so-so because we were hopeful there would be some treatment and his pain would get better. So we're back to square one. There is one other test the doctor wants to run but we've basically concluded this is just going to be something he has to live with and will be a life-long complication from surgery. I feel bad for him because he just has to learn 'deal with it' ... but I also feel thankful that this is 'all' he has to deal with. I know, easier for me to say than him ... but it sure as heck beats some of the alternatives.

So, in conclusion. I consider it a good day. :)

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
Onward and Upward
Shan & Chad <3

Monday, March 28, 2016


I seen this photo and it made me laugh :)
I've been waiting for the results of the biopsies prior to making any updates but we still don't have any. Some folks have been checking in to see how things are going - so here I am!

It means so much to us that people seem to always have our family in their thoughts. It truly is touching. Chad has been having some better days lately. His neck and back is still stiff but the spasms are minimal. His belly is still super distended but aside from yesterday (which was a bad day cramping wise) he's been digesting things better. I reached out to the Support Group with respects to the bloating and weight gain. There were quite a few people who responded and said they experienced the same sort of things Chad is experiencing.

It's such a crazy disease. For some it makes them so super sick and they can't maintain weight. For others it's the opposite.

We did finally hear back from the VA..

Good News: Chad has an appointment with a Neurosurgeon
Bad News: The appointment is in May.

Chad explained that his life is on hold right now. He can't work due to pain and fear of making everything worse. The woman on the phone was very apologetic and suggested we call and get put on a wait list for this surgeon in the event he has a cancellation. We've done that. So we wait.

Tomorrow we head to Marion for three different appointments. Nothing major and nothing related to spinal/stomach issues. It will just be a very long day.

Thanks again world.
We love you

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Endoscopy Complete

Chad had an upper endoscopy this morning. For those who follow this blog, you know that Chad has had on-going stomach issues pretty much since surgery a year ago. Nothing showed up in the CT Scans in December and the colonoscopy was clear. All the blood tests he ever has, shows zero indications of anything 'out of the normal'. The upper endoscopy was one of the last things we could try (aside from a digestive track test, which we're pursuing)

Fortunately and unfortunately, the doctor did see some areas of concern. I say fortunately because - God willing - this is something they can address and hopefully treat to give this man some relief. I say unfortunately because - well, we don't know what it is.

The best I can gather based upon what the doctor told me and what I could confirm on Google is the endoscopy showed reddening toward the bottom of him stomach and in the upper intestine called the duodenum. He believes Chad has Gastritis and has taken samples to have them biopsied.

Cancer? From what I gather and what I read; cancer is not the concern at this time. I asked specifically what they were testing for and the doctor said; inflammation, infection, parasites, etc, He did not mention cancer. According to google stomach cancer would present itself with tumors, ulcers or at least some visible sign of a cluster of cells. So unless the doctor was leaving that bit of information out, I am going to try my best to push that concern out of the picture.

Should this turn out to be Gastritis, there are two types. Acute and Chronic. Both are usually caused by some type of irritant. Chronic has an underlining element of Helicobacter pylori. This wouldn't be great because it destroys the stomach lining and increases the risk of gastric cancer.

In conclusion: We'll know more in a couple days. I am praying for a best case scenario again which would be this is something not-so-serious that can be treated by either tracking down and removing the irritant from Chad's diet and/or taking antibiotics or whatever else is required to give him comfort.

While the concern is not removed completely, I do feel confident that the doctor didn't indicate there were any tumors or anything of concern in that domain.

Quick Update on Spinal Issues: Chad is still stiff and sore. The VA is screwing up in their usual method with the Veterans Choice program. He was supposed to see a Neurologist and they made an appointment for a chiropractor, so we're back to working on that to ensure we see the correct type of doctor.

The job search continues. We're just trying to take everything one day at a time. He isn't physically able to work right now in most jobs he is qualified for but I have faith that this (seemingly never ending) road will lead us in the right direction.

Continued thanks for your love and support! I know which of you out there are genuine and my heart will never be able to say thank-you enough xoxo <3

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Year Or A Lifetime

One year ago today Chad was being prepped for surgery. We had absolutely no idea what the doctor would find when they opened him up and every possibility you could imagine was running through my head. I prayed and cried and begged and hoped ...

We've had some positive outcomes but we've also had some seriously difficult struggles. Chad's belly pain has come back in folds and his bloating has been very bad for a couple days. I know his CT and Colonoscopy came back clear but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still concerned it could be the big "C". In my heart, I don't think it is. I think his digestion is just very different than it used to be and I think the scar tissue is the cause for the pain since it is in and around his scar.

Today, right now, he is in Mayfield getting his 3-Month Blood work done. God willing, the results come back normal. Your prayers are appreciated beyond words.

I'm just thankful. To have him with me. Every day. And I pray the road gets a little less bumpy for him. I pray he heals and he is able to get back into the working force. I pray that he has more good days than bad and appreciates every one for the blessing that it is. I know it's 'only been a year' but it does feel like a lifetime.

I pray for good. Good news. Good days. Good life.

Thank you for your love, support and prayers xo

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hello Mr. Neurosurgeon

Chad had an MRI yesterday as well as a consult with a vascular surgeon about his varicose veins. While painful and annoying the doctor assured Chad the small veins will not cause any serious or harmful issues and they are separate from those which cause blood clots to travel to the heart and lungs, etc., There will be a follow-up appointment to do an Ultra Sound on his legs to ensure his bigger, internal veins, are functioning as they should.

It was supposed to take two days for the MRI results to be available. They phoned Chad while we were en route back home. Chad didn't answer (I didn't even know they called) because he didn't want to know. They phoned again this morning at 8 am.

The MRI showed Chad as Spinal Stenosis with his C4, C5, and C6 discs bulging. They are setting up a consult with a neurosurgeon to review the findings and determine what sort of treatment plans are available, including potential surgery. Since they want this done immediately, the neurosurgeon will likely be done via Tri-West and hopefully somewhat locally.

It is pretty serious but not uncommon. We went to Chad's Chiropractor appointment today and provided him with a disc of the MRI. We will have more detailed information tomorrow about his thoughts on what he sees and how sever the bulging is. As of right now - it's not a huge shocker that his spine is jacked up but it's no less nerve wracking to consider another surgery may be in his future. Our hope for now is that it is far in his future.

So things aren't amazing but we'll get through this, just like we've gotten through everything. Hard work and determination. Chad's neck pain is manageable at the moment with medication, heat and rest. Unfortunately, Chad lost his job last week. :(  It was a hard pill to swallow but we're considering it a blessing in disguise because of all that is happening and with the neck pain, he likely couldn't have continued in that line of work for long. He filed for unemployment which isn't much because it's based on last years salary - of which Chad didn't work for seven months due to cancer - BUT it will be enough to help make ends meet. One day at a time, right?

Currently, our focus is him healing, feeling better and getting these medical concerns under control. Taking each day as a blessing and figuring everything out... one day at a time.

As always, thank you SO much for you continued support, love and prayers. <3 I pray for the day when I can write and say he feels great! Everything is going smoothly! No more surprises! lol We'll get there someday! xo

Thursday, February 18, 2016

MRI Booked

Sometimes I don't have the energy to post but I wanted to let everyone know who's been asking.

Yes, Chad is still having spasms and has a considerable amount of pain :(  Some days are better than others and he does get some relief. He is a trooper and keeps pushing through, bless his heart.

Fortunately, they have scheduled a Cervical MRI for Tuesday.  While I don't want them to find anything 'serious' going on, I do want them to be able to pin point the cause for the pain and hopefully develop a plan to correct it.

MRI - February 23, 2016
Endoscopy Consult - March 10, 2016
Endoscopy Procedure - March 16, 2016

Between now and then we will continue focusing on our blessings and working towards a happier and healthier tomorrow!

There are a lot of people who contact me on an on-going basis with alternative medicines, tips, hints, etc., and I really want to thank you! We try some of your suggestions, research others and plan to look into more. While we can't necessarily do everything, we're definitely appreciative of how many people care and always look for ways to help us with both advice, love and support!

Thanks Everyone!
Shannon & Chad

Monday, February 15, 2016

VA - You Suck Today.

While it took a lot of maneuvering last year to get the VA to support the route we needed to take for Chad's cancer, they've been good to us. Chad received the care he needed and generally speaking, we've had some good experiences.

But holy goodness, I am so unimpressed with them and this Tri-West program it makes my head spin and blood boil.

As you know, since Chad's colonoscopy came back clear in December, we've been trying to get him in for an endoscopy to make sure everything checks out in that direction. He was supposed to have had the scope in February but they messed up on the approval.

He finally heard from the doctor today and they have scheduled his appointment for March 10th. But oh, this isn't the endoscopy. This is another ridiculous consult because it will have been 30 days since the previous visit so we yet again have to go through this red tape! The actual endoscopy has already been approved this time and will take place on March 16th.

Still no word on the MRI.

I need a vacation.

Please forgive my rant. My frustration over this is through the roof. As always, your support and love is beyond appreciated.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Same Ole' Same Ole'

It's been a little while since I've updated. Truth is, nothing has really changed. Chad did go to acupuncture last Friday and it seemed to help him momentarily. By Sunday afternoon he felt decent and by Monday it looked like we were on the way up. Then Tuesday morning he woke with spasms again. He's ended up having to take the whole week off work again and he has an appointment with both the acupuncturist and chiropractor tomorrow. He did call the VA to request they put in for the MRI but I have no idea what will happen there. It's just difficult. Physically and emotionally. I won't air the dirty laundry but needless to say I've started polishing his resume :( 

It's just been a tough few weeks. I am sending up extra prayers and putting faith that everything is happening for a reason and we'll get through this.

Thank you all for your kindness, love and support! xo 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Needles, Needles! Everywhere!

No Work and No Play

Usually when someone takes the day off, they get to play. Not Chad! Nope. Instead he got to  suffer in pain all day. :( My patience for this is growing weary. The VA has to figure out what is going on because it seems obvious that it's more than just a muscle spasm. Tomorrow will be two weeks he's been dealing with this, with very little relief.

I've been trying to get him to consider acupuncture for a little bit now and it seemed everywhere we turned, people were suggesting it as well. Today he agreed to give it a shot. It's a bit on the expensive side but it will be worth it if it gives him some relief from this constant pain and spasms.

He feels better than when he went in but neither of us think it will last long. He is still sore but for the moment - no spasms. We have another appointment for Monday because he likely will be unable to work then either. It's worth a shot right?

I'm exhausted. I'm trying to focus on the positives and remember life could be so much worse and our struggles could be so much more difficult. It's just when I see my husband in constant pain and unable to enjoy the gift of life he's been given.. well it's just hard.

Thank you to everyone for checking in and always offering so much love and support!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Life Can Change On A Dime

I keep typing and deleting. I don't know how to approach this update. First and foremost, Chad is okay. There's not much change. Before I get into that - I just wanted to share some internal thoughts. Life isn't always easy. We're all imperfect human beings and every day we're given on this planet is a blessing.

Chad's life, my life - our family's life - was turned inside out and upside down 13 months ago. Yes, it's been hard. Yes, it feels like it never ends. But we are so blessed to still be here, still together, still fighting, still loving, laughing and living. Far too often lately, I've seen live lost, people gone way too soon. Whether it be cancer, other alarming health issues or a tragic accident. I've shed many silent tears over the past few months for people I knew, barely know or even some I went to high school with. Gone too soon. So even though things get tough and our own private hells are exhausting. Life is a blessing and I'm so thankful for every day.

Chad did not have his endoscopy today as we had hoped. The VA Veteran's Choice Program is a complete joke and the people handling the paperwork are less than competent. Hopefully it will still happen some time this month.

He did go to his Primary Physician today. He was working in Mayfield (the same town the VA clinic is in) - so I didn't actually go. (I hurt inside a little when I say that lol) This was the first doctor visit I hadn't attended and it's difficult for me because I only have second-hand information and I, of course, couldn't ask my million questions I always ask.

Chad has yet another new doctor at the VA and I hear he seems nice. He is actually familiar with appendix cancer and has dealt with it before. (Not sure what that means or to what extent) Apparently he was an Army doctor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chad addressed;

Neck and Shoulder Spasms - The doctor has put in for an MRI. He has also prescribed Chad stronger muscle relaxers. He suggested Chad get a cervical traction device to assist in stretching his neck muscles.

Belly Pain and Bloating - Chad's oncologist put Chad on amitriptyline to address some scar tissue pains he was having in the beginning. It has a side effect of weight gain and is also an anti-depressant. Chad decided to stop taking these a few weeks ago (with doctor's approval/encouragement) It has been my opinion, that this drug was the cause of some of his prior issues, as well as his new neck spasms. I believe a lot of Chad's trouble with the spasms is tension/stress and since the amitriptyline is weaning out of his system - it's attributing to his current difficulties. His new doctor seems to believe the same. He has put Chad on some different kind of anti-depressant that doesn't have sever side effects.

Leg Pain - This isn't something I've discussed before because it was never really related. Well I may have mentioned it in passing when I bought him some compression socks. Anyways, Chad has bad varicose veins in his legs which have began giving him a lot of pain and discomfort so the doctor has also put in for Chad to see the Vein Clinic people.

Medications - I don't know what this doctor has done but he's combined three medications/treatments into one so Chad isn't pouring so many chemicals into his body. This I have very little information on, so I don't know.

He did not address;

Moles - I mentioned a mole previously that caused him concern. I wasn't too concerned about it because it didn't look bad. It was a raised mole (always has been) and he said it was sore but I think he just irritated it by rubbing it against something. it stopped hurting the next day and looks normal. With that said, he does still need to have another check of his moles due to his family history of melanoma but due to his dislike of the VA Doctor who seen him previously, he is reluctant. Since I wasn't there, I couldn't push for it. Sigh.

In Conclusion:  *Sigh* I dunno. He's hurting right now. Bit of a cramp in his neck which is the first one since we left the ER on Sunday. Probably due to all the stress of the doctors but who knows. Hopefully his endoscopy will still be this month and God willing him being off the amitriptyline will eventually lead to fewer problems, rather than more.

As always - your love, friendship, support and prayers are priceless!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Laughing Gas

Do you ever get so overwhelmed and frustrated that you just end up laughing because really - there's nothing else you can do? The absurdity of life just leaves you at a loss for words.

Brief Update on Spasms: Chad went to work today. *Insert unimpressed face* Despite my many protests he went to work but promised not to, even remotely, try to push it. He didn't have any further spasms last night so the medication may be working. It did however, leave him very very nauseous with an intense burning sensation in his belly. I took him breakfast today and he is 'making it' (his words) He has another appointment after work with the chiropractor.

He did begin to tense up such because he got a call from Dr. Williams office (The one who was supposed to do his endoscopy). They are having trouble getting the approval they require from Tri-West (the VA Veteran's Choice providers). Apparently, the last time they dealt with this they ran into the same issues. After three (very, very aggravating) phone calls to Tri-West, I finally got a woman who was respectful and kind and did her best to assist me. She couldn't tell me anything other than Dr. Williams office needed to submit a form. When I explained the urgency of the situation (the appointment is in two days) she offered a suggestion. To which I phoned Dr. Williams office - spoke to the nurse and passed it along. The nurse (Alex) will re-submit the form again (Supposedly for the third time) with an attached note and mark it URGENT! in an effort to get approval in time.

Currently though - Chad's scheduled endoscopy that we've been waiting for since December - looks to be in jeopardy. Chad does have an appointment tentatively scheduled for Wednesday with his primary care physician in the event that we can't get the approval required for the endoscopy.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick Update

I am going to keep this short because I am tired. I decided to post this final update for the night (God Willing) via the Blog since not everyone is on Facebook and I know a lot of people have grown to love and care for Chad and his well being.

I mentioned a few days ago that Chad was having neck spasms that began last Saturday. We started off by going to the Chiropractor and then a local doctor (To avoid going all the way to Marion to the VA hospital) We did all the treatments they suggested as well as the doctor prescribed muscle relaxants. He had a few decent moments but unfortunately it didn't last and the spasms returned with a vengeance. Chad has been off work since Tuesday and was supposed to return tomorrow - so I gently suggested that we had to go to Marion, to the ER because it's been eight days and there's not enough improvement. We knew an X-Ray was the next step in the equation and the local VA clinic cannot perform those. 

Today, we went to the ER. It took way too long and very little was done. They did run an X-Ray which showed nothing. So the next step is the ER doctor will forward his recommendations to our local doctor - which is physical therapy and an MRI. We are going to try and get in to see Chad's primary physician tomorrow but hopefully they schedule the MRI sooner, rather than later.

The doctor did prescribe him an anti-inflammatory and a steroid which is supposed to help with the spasms. God willing the man gets some relief tonight. 

The pain he was in was absolutely excruciating for me to watch. As a 'care-giver', seeing someone you love more than life itself, go through such pain and there is not a damn thing you can do. It's horrible. I annoyed myself because all I could do was hold his hand, remind him to breath and try to distract him from the pain in an effort to get him to relax.

Thank-You again to everyone who offered prayers, positive vibes and encouragement. I honestly don't know how I would get through days like today without you guys to lean on.

Much Love,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It Never Ends...

As if cancer wasn't enough.  As if a mini-stroke wasn't enough. As if a sinus infection from hell wasn't enough. As if never-ending abdominal cramping, bloating and weird pains wasn't enough. Let's throw in severe muscle spams to the mix just to keep things exciting.

Chad started having muscle spasms Saturday night. He has worked as a painter for 20-odd years, so he is no stranger to having neck and shoulder pain - but these spasms were new and took it to a new level. He suffered through the weekend, not wanting to make the drive all the way to Illinois to the VA hospital. On Monday, he went to his trusted chiropractor for an adjustment and it helped a slight bit but by the time he got home he was stiff and sore and some spasms were resuming.

Tuesday, he again went to work but by 11 AM I had to go get him because the spasms were so bad and pain so severe he was getting nauseous. When I seen how much pain he was in, I braced myself for a trip to the ER but instead we took him to a doctor in town. This isn't covered by the VA but she's close and Chad likes her. She's actually not even a doctor but one of those fancy RN's who can prescribe medication. She gave Chad a couple shots and a prescription for a muscle relaxer.

I brought him home and then got his prescription. By the time he was settled and laying down we only had 45 minutes until his next chiropractor appointment. That actually went very well and Chad felt relaxed for the first time since Saturday. He was getting a bit stiff last night and in a little pain but nothing too bad. I was hopeful.

Until he woke up this morning and the spasms are back in full force. :( Every night before bed I thank God for another day. I pray for continued support and guidance and to make Chad better, just a little bit, as each day passes - and of course my biggest prayer is that his cancer never, ever comes back.

And I am thankful. I am so grateful. I am also tired. I am also so, very tired. It's emotionally draining to always, always be worrying and never being able to make things better.

He is icing his shoulder now and has taken the medication for spasms. He doesn't see the chiropractor again until Friday. He was ordered off work until next week. God willing this storm does pass. And sooner rather than later.

His endoscopy is still scheduled for February 3rd. I hope they don't find anything but I still stress about what is causing his issues. Sigh. Like I said.. it never ends.

I want to thank you all for your continued Love and Support. It means the world to us. xo

Monday, January 18, 2016

Endo - nope?

Today, Chad was to travel to Tennessee for his endoscopy. As suspected, it turned out just to be a consult. Which is complete silliness since the same doctor seen him, not too long ago, for the colonoscopy. Red tape. You know how it is.

His actual scope is now scheduled for February 3rd. The doctor suggested it may be IBS. Chad said "I would love for that to be the case but I want to be sure. Last time they told me I had IBS for two years and it ended up being cancer"

Like sand through the hour glass .... 

Things are pretty much the same. Same discomfort, same cramping, same pain. The abdominal belt I told you all about did arrive and Chad has worn it but it's hard to say if it does anything. When asked he said it 'doesn't hurt'.  Meaning, it doesn't cause him additional pain but whether it is doing more for him - I have no idea. 

He has a worrisome mole on his side. A call will be made to his oncologist to see about seeing the Skin Cancer specialist we had seen previously. Better safe than sorry, right? Right.  

I appreciate all of you out there who read this and still check in! It amazes me when I have people contact me asking for another blog update lol We love you guys! xo Thank you for your support!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January 7, 2015

I have been writing a lot lately and the reason is probably obvious. This time last year was life-changing. Up until this point, we didn't quite realize what we were in for...

However, shortly after 5 PM on January 7th, 2015 Chad was given some absolutely terrifying news that would change his life forever. He was diagnosed with appendix cancer. Dr. Swain didn't know much about it so he did research on it before delivering the pathology. It was rare and the kind he had was very aggressive. He wouldn't give us time lines, partly because I assume he didn't know (because there was SO much unknown at that time about whether it spread or not) and partly because he didn't want to scare us.

I will NEVER forgot that moment. I will remember the look on his face and on Chad's face until the day I die. I could only hear half of what he was saying and my mind was racing a million miles a minute. I remember asking questions, even asking if there's a chance the pathologist was wrong. (Wow, wasn't that naive) I remember when he left the room, holding Chad's hand as tears quietly found their way out of his eyes. I remember feeling numb but calm. I never once questioned if he would survive this. I remember leaning in and saying to him "I waited my entire life to find you, I am not going to lose you yet"

I didn't go home that night to shower like I had the nights before. I couldn't face Haven. Instead I went to the Chapel .. I put it in God's hands. He carried us and continues to carry us.

Last night was a strange night. We went to dinner with a couple of friends to celebrate Chad's fight against cancer. And then we went to a viewing to pay our condolences to our Preacher whose sister passed away ... from cancer. Chad met her briefly once. I had never had the pleasure. One thing is for certain though - from the amount of people who showed up - she and her family are very, very, very loved. Our thoughts, prayers, love and respect go out to Josh and his family.

Today? Today is another day. Another blessing. Another chance to prove ourselves worthy of this life God has given us. Embrace it. Cherish it, Make it count. Surround yourself with those you love and love them fiercely. There is no promise they will be there tomorrow. Never miss an opportunity to show someone how much they mean to you. Don't save the 'I Love You's' for another day. Because tomorrow they may be gone and will never hear them.

Today is the day worth living for.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, Dr. Swain came out to the hospital waiting room to tell me that Chad's surgery was a success. He was able to remove the gallbladder and the appendix without incident and Chad was in recovery. He said there was a cyst on Chad's appendix but he didn't think it was anything to be concerned about.

By the evening, Chad was enjoying a liquid meal watching the Cats play on television. It wasn't until the following day that our lives would change forever.

Chad was one of the 'lucky' unlucky ones. This surgery actually did remove all the cancer from his body. The surgery he had a couple months later was still necessary for a number of reasons but today - officially - marks one year that Chad is cancer free.

May God continue to watch over him, help him heal and please... please... don't ever let cancer enter his body again.

Many, many continued thanks for your love, prayers and support.

We love you all

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Had We Only Known....

This photo was taken on January 5th, 2015. The kids were being creative and having fun with the hospital items.  Chad had a bunch of tests taken this day and his surgery was scheduled for the following day. The doctors decided they would remove his gallbladder because it was only functioning at 12%. The doctor was also considering taking out his appendix because it looked 'murky'. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

It's A New Year - A New Day!

Focusing on Chad's health, this holiday season has been so-so. Nothing much has improved and he's had some other health things to deal with but I won't get into those because I don't know if he'd want me to and we don't know what it even is. Just weird pain, non-surgery related (I assume).

We had a nice Christmas Eve and Christmas day surrounded by family. The kids enjoyed their presents and the food was great! Chad is a wonderful cook so his Christmas Eve meal was amazing. And his mother is also a wonderful cook, so we had a delicious feast on Christmas Day at her house.

Chad, Haven and I brought in the new year sipping champagne and watching various balls drop across the country. Or the same ball drop, several times I guess! Thanks to the local stations for NOT putting Nashville's celebration on television - that was awesome (sarcasm).

Chad's endoscopy is scheduled for January 18th.  (In Paris, TN - the same place he had his colonoscopy) While I hope they do not find any cancer, I wish someone could come up with some explanation (and fix) to help him with his stomach issues. I posted to my beloved Support Group (sometimes I don't know how I'd have gotten through this past year without those people) and surprisingly, there were quite a few people who experience the same things as Chad. Unfortunately, no one (them or their doctors) had much to say about correcting it. One gentleman who's symptoms almost exactly match Chad's suggested a Support Girdle/Belt, so I have ordered him one to see if it helps. That should arrive sometime next week so I will let you know!

We've tried all sorts of things such as teas and herbs and other random things people suggested but nothing has really made any impact unfortunately. While I personally found comfort in the fact that he isn't such an oddity and other people are going through this as well, it didn't do much for him because he still feels like crap.  Which is absolutely understandable. I feel terrible asking for continues prayers sometimes because God's already blessed us so much. My biggest prayer of all and forever will be - that his cancer never returns. I pray for that every. single. night and I will until the day I leave this earth. Even if Chad and I end up on opposite sides of the world, my biggest prayer of all to God is that his cancer never comes back.

But I can't pretend I don't also hope for a little improvement. Day by day. Just to help Chad feel a little more like his old self. Correction. I want him to be a better version of his old self. To take the lessons and blessings that have been bestowed upon us in 2015 and use them to create a stronger love, bond and family unit than ever before.

From our family to yours -  I hope this year finds you surrounded by love, hope and good health! Thank you, as always, for your continued support and prayers.