Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Mondays

Our Monday's are a day of rest ~ Our Sabbath day.

This is just one way we are able to live above cancer, not just 'with it'

Today I hold still

To balance and recharge,
To release the week before
And prepare for the week ahead.

With you Lord here beside me,
My mind quiets to hear Your voice.
My heart opens to draw You in.
And, with Your peace
within and around me,
I thank You for this opportunity
to be made new.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Have I told you the favorite room in my house"? (an excerpt from Terence's journal)

The following is an excerpt from Terence's journal.  It is actually a letter written to me (he writes to me daily).  I have his permission to share this with you since he knows he's been lax on writing on this blog!

The entry was written about three months ago. It touched my heart.

"I found myself meandering down Seattle area today. Neighborhoods full of cookie cutter houses, row upon row of "support structures", i.e. banks, Macy's, Nordies, Starbucks, The Cheese Factory......

People in their house-boxes working 9 to 5, not wanting to go to work and then not wanting to come home.  One life just like the neighbors.  Keeping up with the Jone's; you know the "American way".  Work 'til 65, retire and die.  Corporate America.  I've been there.  So have you Sherry.  Suburban clones is something we never wanted, never being able to see the stars at night.  Only Asphalt and concrete.  This is not who we are.  We would do well to remember that.

Oh, have I told you my favorite room in my house?  It's the one with the big blue ceiling,  the architecture is magnificently done and the surround sound is live, not recorded.

I desire above everything to make it home again to the Rockies.  To set roots down so that you, my love can live a safe, unpretentious and free life" ~ (Terence, 2011).

Still believing for a miracle,

Saturday, May 21, 2011

falling off planet at the drop of a hat

Enjoying the nice weather playing Bocci ball.

Wow, the past two weeks have been stressful ones.  Terence is adjusting to the new dosage of the ketoconazole- and it's making him sick and tired (pun intended).   He seems to fall off planet  at the drop of a hat, and needs to check out, and go to bed-usually nauseated and sick-y feeling.  He sometimes just disappears, and I go hunting for him- he's usually in the bathroom, trying to overcome the nausea.

I came down with a 48 hour bug of some sort- which makes life harder.  Its difficult for me to 'check out'  and rest when I'm sick, because Terence still needs to eat, laundry needs done and the house cleaned (boy do I miss the days when I had a weekly house keeper!!!!!).  Life becomes rather stressful because I turn into an 'arm chair quarter back' (calling for Terence from my bedroom, "Terence, don't forget.......such and such has to get put and so is coming to pick-up  such and such, please have it ready.......") .   Fortunately (for Terence), it didn't last long.

Smoking fresh salmon on cedar planks tonight.
 Terence will getting another PSA test done next week- to see how the new dosage is affecting the tumor growth.  Dr. M's hopes are that it will slow it done some.  

Not much else to share. We're still here trying real hard to live above it all, not just live with it.  By the grace of God.

Thanks for your prayers.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Medical Up-Date

At Isabelle's baseball game 5/2011
Medical Up-Date

Terence's oncology appointment last week was fairly uneventful, or rather anti-climactic since we knew ahead of time that  his PSA has risen 54 points (up to 158).  We were only a little anxious as to what his next treatment would be.  

Dr. M recommended that Terence double the Ketoconazole dosage from 200 mg 3x a day to 400 mg (3 X day) along with prednisone.  He stated that though it failed in it's first round of treatment it can have an effect on lowering the PSA in 25% of the men who try it at a higher dosage.  Terence is trying it for 6 weeks.  He'll have another PSA test in 2 weeks to see how the new dosage is working.

The doubled dosage has made Terence a little sicker and a lot more tired.  Other than that, he is dealing with side effects of the continued hormone therapy (fatigue, muscle loss, aches and pains, degenerating bone loss).  He is considering stopping therapy at the time of his next treatment.  He's praying for further wisdom in regards to what is best for him.

Meanwhile, we are continuing working in the ministry, staying plenty busy and enjoying the days as they unfold. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's not the same as a leisure retirement!

Boarding with our nephews in Hawaii

Since 2009, Terence and I have had wonderful opportunities to spend lots of valuable time together with our family and friends in many great places;

  •   Alaskan cruise with Nadine, Mike and the Jensen family.
  •   Hawaii  with my family and Joan and Terry Butters.
  •   Alaskan tundra with Terence's best bud, Matt Litlzeman.
  •   Seattle and Montana with Terence's brother Dan and family.
Alaskan cruise with kids and the Jensen Family
  •   Unlimited time in Gig Harbor, with all of our kids, grand kids.

I've unfortunately had some slightly snide "comments"; "That sure must be nice.....sure wish I could do that...."   


I am really thankful we can take the time to do things together. But it's not the same as a leisure retirement!

It would be great to  'vacay'  without the dark passenger (cancer) tagging along!

Trust me, we'd rather  be holding down a 80 hour a week job rather than taking "vacations" with a terminal illness!!!!

Montana getaway at Brian and Sara's cabin

We can't "vacate" like we used too.

We're simply trying to live above cancer and enjoy life in the midst of crises and we are grateful for the opportunities to do this!

Thanks to everyone who make these times possible.

Terence & Sherry

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Know the difference between signs and symptoms

My husband Terence was surprisingly diagnosed with advanced/mets. Prostate cancer in July of ’09.  He hadn’t been sick so we were  surprised that he had cancer and shocked that it was so advanced.
 I wish we had known the difference between signs and symptoms. In fact, we were so ignorant of cancer in general we were naive to its symptoms and definitely knew nothing about signs.

Looking back, I saw signs about 2 years before the devastating diagnosis. I didn’t realize I was recognizing signs (I didn’t see them as something wrong, all I knew is something was different).  Since prostate cancer is one of a personal nature, Terence being a typical guy wasn’t too comfortable talking about it when I brought it up and he regularly dismissed my comments.  I noticed a few things such as  frequent urination (among other things) and  about 12 months prior to his first symptom, he seemed to tire more easily, seemed weaker in general and started losing some weight.

It was the symptoms that finally got his attention although signs were present at least 24 months prior to the first pain.  Unfortunately the symptoms presented themselves only weeks before the actual diagnosis. 

We are cultured to recognize symptoms for early detection, but signs can be present much earlier.

Know the difference between signs and symptoms

A sign is also a signal that something is not right in the body. Signs are signals that are usually noticed and seen by someone else -- maybe a loved one, or a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional for example; Fast breathing, and abnormal lung sounds heard through a stethoscope may be signs of pneumonia.

A symptom is a signal of disease, illness, injury, or that something is not right in the body. Symptoms are felt or noticed by the person who has them, but may not be easily seen by anyone else. For example, weakness aches, and feeling short of breath may be symptoms of pneumonia.

I don’t think we should live in fear and be paranoid when signs seemingly pop up but we are mortal bodies in finite flesh susceptible to possible toxic surroundings.  I’m only suggesting we live a little more harmoniously with our bodies and those closest to us.

I'm not second guessing ourselves with the "what if" question,  I'm just making an observation that prostate cancer (in particular) deals with such a sensitive area of the male anatomy, that men can be a bit be embarrassed to discuss with their wives or  partners what could be early signs of cancer and possibly miss an early diagnosis.