Friday, March 11, 2016

End of the first POST-TREATMENT WEEK & Happy Birthday Bright Eyes!!!!

I know not all of you follow me on
FB or are able to access
so I am going to copy and paste 
my journal entry here
for those of you 
that don't have access to that site.

Happy Friday!
John had a very long week.  His throat is raw inside and out and he feels miserable overall.

We had our final 'follow-up' visit with Dr. Kevin Mortara, the oncologist this morning.  Let me say here that he is a high-quality person.  An intelligent caring man that is encouraging while still bringing reality to the table  We like him for his optimism, but also for his honesty.  He did not say- You are going to be great in a couple of weeks.  He did tell John that he believes this is the "low point" post-treatment. 
John has a long, hard battle ahead of him.  While the treatments have ended, now comes the reality of recovery.  Dr. Mortara says 6 - 8 weeks--more like 12 weeks.  We were told that John has done exceptionally well during his treatment.  He followed directions just as they were given and, as a result, it appears that treatment has been successful.  We will know more in early June when they do a final PET scan.  Although John still has a couple of nodules on his lungs they do not feel they are anything to be concerned about at this point.  If they are---well, we will cross THAT bridge when we come to it.  At this point, we are believing there is not another bridge to cross....except the one to good health.

John does fight taking "drugs".  He is so opposed to taking anything that is opiate based that it was hard to get him to accept the fact that morphine might offer him the only relief possible.  Nothing else has worked.  When his pain level reached a 5 (on a scale of 1 to 10) he finally allowed me to administer morphine.  The results were almost immediate and he slept for 5+ hours.  It was the longest uninterrupted sleep he has had since this started last fall. I closed my eyes and thanked the DRUG PUSHERS (known as doctor and pharmacist) that enabled John to find relief-even for a finite amount of time.

We are continuing to go into the cancer center for hydration 2 or 3 times a week.  This will most likely continue for a while.  John has not been able to swallow and I can only put so much water into his feeding tube before he feels bloated and miserable.  IV hydration is the answer for him.  It is about a two hour session in a big comfortable chair with warm blankets and a bright window. 

See this cute little Irish colleen?

The bright spot today is that our little Anna Ireland is TWO YEARS OLD TODAY
Her mom put a sweet little birthday dress on her and she went out to mow the lawn.  That's my girl!  
What a blessing she is in our lives---as are all our grandkids.

I hope you all have a beautiful wonderful weekend. 
I will leave you with the last words Dr. Mortara said to us today---"I would encourage you to live each day to the fullest.  Look at each day as if it is the only day you might have because life is uncertain, and you never know what tomorrow might bring." 
That is one smart man!

AND THAT is my new mantra!

Blessings and love to you all- Diana
your photo name


  1. Happy birthday to that sweet girl! Such a precious picture! I'm glad John finally agreed to taking some meds for relief. Good to know he was able to sleep for a good amount of time too. I've read you do the bulk of your healing while sleeping. Wishing many, many blessings on you all and awaiting the great news you're going to be receiving in June! xoxo

  2. I'm truly sorry to hear the pain John is suffering. But so glad the treatment are over and now the healing can begin. I do hope John will take the drugs when needed! This is no time to tough it out!!
    I can't believe Anna is two already. She is sure a sweetie, Diana.
    continuing to keep you both in our prayers-Kim

  3. So glad John is finally through the treatments, and was willing to accept the morphine. Rest will be a crucial part of his recovery, so glad it helped him get some sleep. Compassionate doctors are a true Godsend when dealing with sickness. Glad you found one!! And, how can it be that Anna Ireland is TWO!!!!!!! She is beautiful.

  4. Thanks for sharing an update! I look forward to them. I know that the doctors words are bittersweet. They are promising, but not guaranteeing of anything. I guess that's the nature of science. It's ever changing. Everyone responds differently to treatment. I hope that John will take peace in knowing that he is done with treatment now and will eventually start feeling better. If he's dehydrated, I know he feels crummy. I've been dehydrated my fair share with my ulcerative colitis. Getting IV hydrated feels wonderful! My husband is a firefighter and knows all too well that life can take a deadly turn at any given moment. he has seen so much tragedy. I know that your husband has too since he ministers people during difficult times. It is eye opening isn't it? Your doctor was right. Live each day to the fullest. For you NEVER know. I don't blame your husband to be cautious of those types of pain meds. They can be addictive and mess with your stomach and your teeth. My mil that passed away last December lost most of her teeth to those pain meds and suffered terribly with stomach problems. We know she became addicted! She would beg for it. We gave in though because she was bed ridden and wouldn't have any quality of life without it. Sometimes, it's for the best. I'm sure his doctor will monitor him carefully. She took them for years so it took it's toll on her body. Your husband shouldn't worry if he doesn't take them that long.

  5. Diana, I am always happy to read your updates. I am glad that John was able to rest. I remember when my sister was going through her treatments the doctor said that the body needs time away from pain to heal. I will continue to send prayers! Happy Birthday to that sweet baby girl. Man, she just gets cuter all the time!!!

  6. I think those words are the ones we should all follow even if you are in good health. As we do not know what the future will bring. Happy Birthdy to your sweetheart. And I hope John is able to have lots of more pain free days. And also take care of yourself.

  7. Thanks again, Diana, for the update on John. Sounds like a very wise doctor. So good to hear her was able to get some sleep. Praying for strength, peach and healing. You're a good nurse, too!
    Shelia ;)

  8. Thanks for the update. These next weeks are probably the hardest but it WILL get better. Just hold on to that. I like your doctor's words. He is a wise man. I remember begging for pain meds when I had my stomach surgery. I was at a 10 out of 10 pain level and was begging the nurses to kill me. I'm so glad now that they didn't! To have some pain relief and be able to sleep was the best thing ever and I'm sure it was for John too.

    Your little Anna Ireland is so adorable. She must take after her grandmother. Have a good night!

  9. Sending prayers and hugs to you both...I love the quote from the doctor...wise man...words that should apply to all of us. Happy Birthday to little Miss Precious...she is adorable!

  10. Thank God for the little blessings (grandchildren's birthdays) that come along side the pain and misery. No sugar coating from the doctor which is a good thing. It sounds like you are in great hands....this side of Heaven and in His hands in Heaven!

  11. Continuing prayers for John, Diana! I pray his recovering is quick and easy. I pray his pain is diminished and that he'll be able to swallow and sleep. I pray for you, too. I pray for strength, peace and comfort. And, I wish little Miss Bright Eyes a happy 2nd birthday. Hugs!

  12. Oh she's a sweet as can be! How cute to be mowing lawn in her cute little dress! 2 years already hard to believe.
    This is quite a battle you have both been facing. I can't imagine the physical discomfort John is in. You are right about the medications being a blessing both physically and psychologically. Keeping the prayers for you both going. Hugs, Liz

  13. Happy birthday to that sweet little angel!!!!!

  14. I didn't want to write this on John's journal today, but one of my best friends died today from an unexpected heart attack and I know she is in Heaven, BUT what your doctor said is so true! Hugs and prayers.
    Love and hugs, sandie

  15. Very wise advice...sending hugs to you both..Love the dress and lawnmowers combination.. She's a cutie .Hopng John finds comfort soon.

  16. Diana, I know first hand this has been a long hard struggle for you and your beloved John, as I too went through this with my son. It's good to know that you have the support from family, friends and the medical professionals. There really are no words, just the reality that we must take one day at a time and remain hopeful for the future. I'm glad to hear he has responded well to his treatment and in time he will be well again. In the meantime, take care of yourself and know that I'm pulling for you.


  17. Your grandkids are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey. I LOVE your honesty and your sense of humor. A long time ago, when I had Ali, I talked to a family priest about what was going on in my head and about the unknown and what he told me I will never forget, He told me on days when I don't think I can handle anymore, ask God for strength and do what I can, and leave the rest up to God. Those were some of the best words to live by during my trials with having a daughter that was different and all her medical needs. I still use them today. Keeping you in my prayers...Hugs

  18. A friend of ours had radiation for esophageal cancer and the two weeks post-treatment were the worst. I'm glad John is finished the first week. Every day is another day closer to healing. I empathize with his unwillingness to take drugs, yet it seems that the doctors do know how to control the pain with them. Blessings to both of you, and happy birthday to your sweet Anna Ireland.

  19. Diana, Dr. Mortara looks so much like my late husband's cardiologist Dr. Carl Leier. He was Jim's doctor for the last 7 years of his life and gave both of us so much more than excellent health care. He gave us hope and compassion. I will always be grateful to him for his part in Jim's life. I'm glad John was able to get some rest. As always, you're both in my prayers. Gentle hugs, Nancy

  20. Diana yes a smart doctor and also the way I live my life. I learned early in life the meaning of it. "The reality of recovery" sounds like a commitment minute to minute strung together for many months. Prayers and blessings to you and your family. Happy birthday wishes to adorable Anna Ireland.

  21. I'm so happy to hear such great progress, Diana. I pray it continues. And thanks for giving accolades to John's doctor. He is a true hero. I know how it feels to know someone who has your loved one in his/her hands. Miracle workers. My guy shunned medication as well, I really had to convince him he would feel better enough to sleep and sleep is often the answer. I hope things continue to improve and he gets hydrated on his own soon so you can both relax at home.

    Love the pictures of your little sweetie..she is an absolute doll!


  22. wishing you strength, courage, and love during this challenging part of your journey <3

  23. Sounds like you have a good oncologist with a good "bedside manner". I'm glad things are looking up for the future. Continuing to pray for you both.

  24. Sounds like you have a good oncologist with a good "bedside manner". I'm glad things are looking up for the future. Continuing to pray for you both.

  25. So glad to hear that your man finally accepted some pain relief; I know how we can always worry about getting hooked on it, but if it gives him a good sleep I say why not. When I recovered from my surgery last year the Dr's were clear that the body will heal faster if it isn't dealing with horrendous pain. Sending love and prayers to you. Your granddaughter is so beautiful, an Irish lass to be sure.

  26. Great update! I know things are moving slowly, but they'll get better each day! Glad John took the morphine. I know how he feels - I'm that way too about drugs, but sometimes it makes you feel so much better and the sleep will help with healing. Take care and know y'all are in my thoughts and prayers! Love and hugs, Leena

  27. John has one fine doctor, doesn't he? This sounds like good news, Diana. I'll continue to pray for him, and please know that I think of you often. :)

    love, ~Sheri

  28. Oh friend. What a long, hard battle. You are both an inspiration. I love the doctor's advice on how to live life.

  29. Thank you for the updates, I have been thinking of you, your husband and family! Lots of love and hugs! xo

    1. Oh my goodness!!!! My comment went through! I tried leaving a comment on caring bridge about a month ago, then your blog and e-mail and I kept getting a error. I'm glad this is going through (finally) and know how much I have been thinking of you and your husband and praying! I hope the swallowing becomes easier for him soon, he is so lucky to have you!!! love to you!

  30. Thank you for keeping us posted on the blog and the care bridge.
    Sending hugs and prayers,

  31. Thank you for keeping us updated on John's progress. I am so sorry that he is in so much pain. Soon, God willing, the pain will subside and his recovery will proceed without so much difficulty for him. My prayers and thoughts remain with you and your hero during this most difficult time.

  32. I'm glad your hubby was able to get some rest. It sounds like this doctor is giving you advice. Continued prayer for you both.
    Your granddaughter is beautiful. (I'm reading your blogs in reverse, so I already know how that "moment" turned out. Hehehe.)

  33. Glad John is finished with his treatments, and can now concentrate on recovering. Looking at sweet your little granddaughter will be good medicine!


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