Taking it back

I’ll jump in right here

So first, the texts, emails, messages, and support we’ve received since letting everyone know about the decision is truly heartwarming. I’m actually speechless and don’t know what to say so just, thank you. Ham and I were talking the other day and she brought up something a friend of ours, Beth Harvey said at the beginning of this. She had at one time tumors all over her body but beat the odds and cancer and is still going today. Marvelous person she is. Anyway she said, “you give this disease a year then you take your life back”. Hannah remembered this as I’m positive that whatever brain cell this nugget was locked in my head had been drowned by rum. So it’s just funny that’s what our heroine has done here. Taking it back. Not going to let the treatments or disease stop her from living. In the past two days she’s been out more than in the past two months. We’ll keep going as like I said, there’s more stories to be told. Hopefully they’ll be a little more funny.

Anyway it got me thinking about the first blog post I made a year ago. When we were scared but still thought everything would turn out fine. Interesting how a year changes you. So from the vault, the start of the uphill battle.

Let me just jump right in …..

So, last friday, Elizabeth goes to the doctor. She calls me freaking out. “The doctor says I have the symptoms for Hepatitis A.” Well, hepatitis never sounds good so like any doctor who’s ever stayed at a Holiday Inn express (or Red Roof Inn) would do, I went to the google machine and looked it up. Apparently, you feel like crap for a few weeks but with antibiotics, its all cleared up in a matter of weeks. But, understandably, she’s worried. Don’t worry. We’ll be fine. I gave her a hug (even though I could get something, that’s small potatoes, I laugh at hep A) and told her everything will work itself out and we’ll be back to normal in no time

Fast forward to tuesday of the next week. They call for an ultrasound. Wait……That doesn’t sound quite right. At least to me and probably to Elizabeth as well.

Wednesday, meet with the doctor. OK, there’s no hep A. Well alright alright alright. That’s great news. But there’s a blockage from the liver to the bile ducts. Might be stones, might be a gallbladder. Either way, its a relief right? No Hep A. Awesome. They did send us immediately to Baptist south for a cat scan to see what the blockage is because, there’s still the jaundice (yellow eyes and unbeknownst to me, yellow skin which apparently, she looked like a minion) and the itching. So we need to figure out what’s happening.

So, after checking in, answering the typical same hospital questions over and over and once more again (seriously, they type this stuff in and write it down, is that just for show?) we sit in a waiting room for two hours waiting for a cat scan while CNN blares the story about Donald Trumps relations with Russia, his meeting with Israel’s Netanyahu, and how these emails tie into eretile dysfunction medicines and walk in bathtubs (the commercials may have blended in at some point). So we go to a room to await the results.

Several people came in and out of the room. One doctor, who we’ll call Mumbles couldn’t get the mouse working on the computer (climbed under the desk at one point like a mechanic working on a transmission) and was about as non informative as drywall. However one doctor came in. After hearing the story of what was going on and the symptoms for 583rd time (seriously, why even write anything) she says, well I’ve got the results and pulls them out of her pocket like Maury Povich with the paternity results. There might be a tumor.


Whatever she said after that was ignored. I looked at Elizabeth and we melted. Seriously? A tumor? Couldn’t be right. Or if it was, it was nothing right? It’s a hospital, they cut these out all the time. It’s like having your brakes squeal a little and they say, well, new rotors for you. It’s a bit of a pain and something you didn’t expect but it’ll be fine right?


The next morning the oncologist comes in. Apparently (and again, this is worst case scenario) Elizabeth has this rare form of Cancer called a “Klatskins Tumor”. I post the name so you can look it up and go, WTF! How in the world does she get one of the rarest forms of cancer. 1 out of 100000 cancer patients gets this! Not 1 out of 100000 people, no, 1 out of 100000 cancer patients!!!!! There’s like, 150 a year and we pulled this card? And it typically hits people from 65 to 80 years old. Yeah, and she’s not a liver abuser like myself or almost all my friends. Seriously, how does this happen? And so quickly. There’s really no answer except in this hand of cards we got thrown a stinker

Anyway, they ran tests (endoscopy) and got samples from the lymph nodes and from what the oncology doctor said, yeah, the cells are cancerous. At this time while Elizabeth was still knocked out I went outside, threw up and called my brother in law Jim (who I will never, ever be able to thank enough for his support) to alert everyone. I got back in the room before they wheeled Elizabeth back and……..well. That went about how you would expect. I think, well know, we’re still trying to wrap our head around this new reality

So here we are. I’m pretty confident we’ll bring Elizabeth home tomorrow (Saturday). They put a stint in her to get the liver function down to a normal level and hopefully get her back in her own bed where she can get some sleep and turn her brain off for a bit. We’re going to the Mayo Clinic where apparently the best guy in the world that handles this is at the hospital. And whatever they say, we do, and move on from there. We have a great group of people that are looking out for us and moving this along at a quick level that we all think this situation deserves. The support we’ve gotten from our friends and family is tremendous. I sure never realized how great we had it at that level. It’s overwhelming and I can’t thank you guys enough. Words cannot express the gratitude both Elizabeth and I feel knowing we have an army behind us. I’m going to keep doing this blog to let everyone know where we’re at in the process. Some days may be good, some may be bad. There may be times we just circle the wagons and dont pick up the phone or answer texts. Just know we appreciate the good thoughts, prayers, and mojo you send our way. And keep up with the blog. It’ll give me something constructive to keep my mind occupied and hopefully we’ll all get through it in one piece. Because as I heard one time in a elevator in Vegas and it really sums this up for the first three days, this ain’t a sprint guys, its a marathon. Love you all and blog at you soon.


A year in the life

Get me a towel, I’m jumping in.

Well guys, today marks a year since Larry the tumor entered our lives. Can’t say this is a happy anniversary or anything we really wanted to remember but here we are. Last we spoke our heroine was getting the morphine pump removed due to a staff infection. Well, that was just the beginning of the nonsense. She began to develop fluid in her abdomen. We’d seen it before but thought it was from the surgery or the pump. Turns out it wasn’t. It’s a result of the liver going south. However right after all she went through with the pump they decided to stick a tube from her nose to her stomach, thinking there was a blockage. Well, there wasn’t. So they had to stick a needle in her side to draw it out. All five and a half liters. That’s right. A gallon and a half of water was taken out from her belly. About 14 pounds of belly stew. A couple days later they pulled three and a half liters. So in a couple of days, and I didn’t go to math school so I might have this wrong, that’s nine liters total (plus another three today but that’s another thing). If you’ve seen her, she doesn’t have anywhere to store five and a half liters. Now if you’re going to ask where this fluid comes from or why it collects, you can stop that. We know it’s because the liver is strained/damaged but that’s the extent of our knowledge. We can’t really get a straight answer. I know a lot of this sounds like we’re crapping all over Mayo. Granted, we’ve had some mind boggling experiences. But there have been two doctors and a PA there who could not have been better. Dr’s Ricard and Frey and Ricards PA Julie have truly been phenomenal through this whole thing. That said and this comes as no shock to anyone close to the situation……

She’s stopping chemo.

It happened when we were watching this video of a second tube that was going to be installed so we could extract the gut stew at home. She wanted no part of it. She had the thousand yard stare while staring at the video detailing the reverse vacuum technology. She was getting taken back and just said no, let’s wait. The next day we talked. She’s just tired of being poked, prodded, shot with poison, and generally everything else. So she’s cutting bait. We’re hoping she’ll feel better stopping the treatments, because all they’ve done to this point is make her feel like shit. She told Dr Frey the news today as she was getting drained (we’ll still have to do that plus Pain “management”). He’s going to replace the stints and pull Dwayne the drain. We’re telling the rest of them next week. So, yeah.

So we’re choosing not to look at this as a bad thing. While we’re of course upset it’s somewhat of a relief. Elizabeth feels like a huge weight has been lifted off her shoulders as I’m sure it’s been on her mind for a while, as it has mine. Hopefully she’ll feel better for a short time so we can squeeze out some living and as cheese so eloquently put it “take some pictures and make some memories”. She’s put up a hell of a fight and she’s tired. We’ve put in the call to hospice for help with things. That’ll actually be pretty tough for me to ease up on the reins a bit. I know Elizabeth posted on Facebook earlier but I’d like to share her sentiment. Everyone that’s been behind us through this journey and rode the wave, thank you. And for those that have stepped up when we needed you, whether we wanted it or not, from the bottom of our hearts, a special thanks. Love you guys and blog at you later.

This story ain’t over yet.