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Sunday, April 22, 2012


As many of you might already know, Adam received the OFFICIAL 'Cancer Free' diagnosis!

Adam had his surgery about two weeks ago, and we were going a bit crazy because they told us we would have the pathology results within 3-5 days and that never happened. Instead, around day 4, we started hounding them. Finally on Thursday, a nurse called Adam back and let him know that his biopsy had been free of the cancer, but that was all she would tell us and we were to come in on Monday for a follow-up. Just the way it was said, we were kind of dreading it in a 'what now!?' kind of way. On Saturday morning while I was getting ready for the day, Adam came in and let me know that he had a voicemail randomly come through from Friday and it was the Neurosurgeon. He let Adam know that he had been out of town at a conference and had just wanted to let Adam know that he was officially CANCER FREE and we would be seeing them in three months for a follow-up scan and blood work.

YAY!! It is really hard to describe the flood of feelings that comes from that one voicemail. We still have a little way to go to pull ourselves back together after this five-month endeavor but we are really, really looking forward to being able to breathe a little easier these days!

Thank you everyone, again, for all of your support, encouragement, and love for us. We truly, truly appreciate it and could not have done it without any of you!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

{Adam's Surgery}

Just a quick update!!

Adam had his double biopsy today. Everything went great, the surgery itself lasted about two hours. They were able to get good samples to ensure they had a sample to work with. They weren't too sure what it was they were seeing and the pathology will take approximately 3-5 days so we are hoping to have answers by the end of this week!! The Dr. sounded very optimistic because he felt the tissue samples that he looked at didn't look too abnormal, so we are keeping fingers crossed!

Adam was able to go home about an hour after surgery. He is relatively pain free but he was sent home with a prescription just in case! He is sore and his back is pretty stiff but he is doing pretty good! He was able to get over to my parents tonight and have dinner with my aunts who are in town!! We will see how good he is feeling in the morning, though!

Thank you everyone for the well wishes of support!! A lot is riding on this week so we continue to try to keep a positive attitude! We will keep you posted...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{A Request}

I was asked last week to set up an account to receive donations for on-going support, such as medical bills, treatment costs, family expenses.  I'm still in the process of trying to find out what has to be done for an account at the bank level that does not require me to hire a lawyer to process the request through a separate trustee. For the meantime, I have set up a 'donate' account through PAYPAL where receipts can be printed off for tax purposes. The 'donate' button will be on this blog in the margins and you just have to click on the button to get started. I will continue to work on this request and let you know if and when this changes. Thank you for the suggestion as I never thought of this before, but I hope those who requested find this helpful.

Thank you again for your support for our family, it has been truly, truly appreciated!!

{Calm Before The Storm}

Well I should start by apologizing that it has been a MONTH since my last post. I greatly apologize!! To say that this experience has been difficult would be a major understatement. This has been an incredibly stressful, trying time for our family! We thank everyone who has reached out to help our family in any way, especially financially. It is very humbling to be in a position of needing to ask for help because Adam hasn't received a paycheck since January. I have been truly humbled by the generosity of those surrounding us!

This past month has been a crazy one. So much has happened, and I will do my best to cover everything so that you can catch up. Adam finished up his last round of chemotherapy about three weeks ago. Shortly after, he was scheduled for CAT scans and blood work. His blood work showed that the AFP marker in his blood that started at over 56,000 was now down to 5 (normal ranges!!) and his CAT scan showed that all the tumors in his lungs, liver and abdominal cavity have all disappeared. His lymph nodes in the abdominal cavity also reduced in size. He had a follow-up MRI on his spine where they viewed from the base of his skull down to his hips to ensure they covered everything. The tumor that was once compromising the nerves at the base of his spine is now completely gone as well. The density changes we saw in his spine at the beginning of all this has also mostly cleared up.

What we did find on the MRI, though, is a spot on his spine. Nobody really knows what it is. Just that a vertabrae (I believe L4) showed up bright white in contrast with the other vertabrae. They don't know if this is a tumor that grew into the bone, scar tissue from the cancer, or something new. We just don't know. So we find ourselves in a tough place. The doctors at OHSU took Adam's case to two separate tumor boards to discuss among the top specialists what the proper next step would be. Both boards came to the same conclusion on their own that a biopsy needs to be done. So we have a biopsy scheduled on Saturday, April 7th. Based on the results from this biopsy, we will find ourselves in one of three situations: if it's nothing - we will go back for follow up CAT scans and MRI's every three months to monitor for any changes along with blood labs, if it's bad he will either have to have radiation which will take 1-2 weeks or, worst-case scenario, a very invasive surgery that will replace several vertabrae with what the doctor's referred to as 'the steel cage'. So, obviously, we are hoping for the best. Between the both of us, we are really hoping for this to be over. Adam has been very happy to be back at work, even though it has only been three days. It has made a difference already in his recovery. We are just hoping that he will get to stay and that we will no longer have to worry about additional treatment.

I promise to keep everyone posted (I will be better, promise!) about what we find out. Thank you again for your support, we truly appreciate everyone!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

{Is The Fight Over?}

In a sense, yes. Adam completed his final round of chemo yesterday and as far as we know, we are on to greener pastures. What started as a kick to the groin last August, we have been through one surgery, one hospital stay, four chemo rounds and no more hair. His very first dr's appointment was  November 7th, 2011 and look at us now. Crazy, huh?! I can't say that it has been an enjoyable ride, but it has definitely taught us a lot about what our strengths and weaknesses are. Our family and friends have been AMAZING. Simply put - we couldn't be any more blessed than we are with the tremendous amount of support that we have received during this time.

As far as the nitty gritty...here is what we know. On December 15th, Adam was admitted to OHSU for an emergency round of in-patient chemotherapy. On this day, his AFP test came back just over 56,000. (This is the protein marker for the cancer -- a normal person has between 0-4 in their blood). We were advised that in order for us to deem this a success, they (the dr's) would want to see the AFP number drop each time by a factor of 10. After the first round, it dropped to 6400. So close, not quite there...therefore it left me a little nervous. Then the next one came back at 233...HUGE! Way better than a factor of 10 and we were quite relieved to see this number. As of this last week, it was at 15. If it drops by a factor of 10, he will be back within normal range. He has a dr's appointment and CT scheduled in two weeks to determine if there are any remaining tumors as well as to get a better look at his spinal tumor that damaged the nerves in that area. I don't know what will happen if there are remaining tumors - if it will mean surgery, another round of chemo, or a 'wait and see' approach. There is a possibility this could come back because it had spread through his blood. According to statistics, most reaccuring testicular cancers happen within the first two years. I can only assume we will be aggressively monitoring this to make sure it doesn't get away from us. We will keep you posted on what happens with that Dr's appointment!

As far as Adam, he is doing good. He hasn't regained nerve sensation back yet, so he still has his catheter. But they are talking about testing it as we go through this next couple of weeks and that is encouraging. He had his best chemo week yet -- more energy and an appetite. But suddenly this weekend it is really hitting him. Everything tastes bad and he has NO energy. Poor guy, he is frustrated but I keep reminding him that this is the end of one phase and we have to be positive about that at least! Plus...there are no expectations. He has every right to feel crummy after all his body has been put through. He's allowed a bad day :) Hopefully as more time passes, he will get feeling better and stronger. He would like to return to work as soon as the doctor's clear him, so that is something that he has set his sights on. He hasn't lost a ton of weight which is really good. Right now he and Sophia are 'camping' in the living room and watching movies tonight. We make it work with what we have, right?!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

{Catching Up}

I guess I should begin this post by apologizing for their being such a lapse in posts. I am truly sorry for I know you all depend on these updates to see how Adam is doing and he isn't in the position of doing it himself.

Without revealing too much, there is a lot that cancer brings with it that you just cannot prepare for until you are faced with it. It can be overwhelming, angering, terrifying and absolutely heartbreaking. But you deal with it in any way you can and hope that your children aren't going to need therapy to deal with all that is going on. It is even more difficult when you begin this process with a plan and instead realize there is just no planning with these things. It doesn't help that there isn't a support system at the hospital for the family of cancer patients (or better said - a wife who has a young child that can't be left with a babysitter for day-long periods) and it is hard attending Adams appointments when I am not a part of the process or conversations. But I am trying to do my best!

With that being said, Adam is doing great with his therapy. He originally started with the protein marker being well over 50,000 and as of January 9th, his numbers were just above 6,000. Our goal was to be between 600-700 after this last round and we found out that it is just over 200!! So the chemo is doing it's job and we are hoping after his last round in two weeks, we will move on to the next phase. He has had a much harder time with side effects after these last couple of rounds. The nausea, loss of appetite, overall tiredness and lack of energy have been much more pronounced and lasting much longer. We are just trying to maintain at this point because avoiding is somewhat impossible. We have met with a nutritionist who helped to better explain what he should and should not be eating and how to measure these amounts to make sure he is not exceeding anything on a daily basis.

We do not know what is going to happen after this last round besides the follow up CT scans and MRI. He is doing physical therapy for his left leg because of the swelling. They believe this is because the lymph nodes on that side are swollen due to treatment and need stimulation to keep the circulation going. The nerve medication has been increased to help him stay comfortable. We are hoping this means the nerve is repairing itself but we won't know for sure until we have those follow up scans. He is now completely, shiny bald but some little whiskers pop up every now and then. The catheter remains as the nerve / muscle functions have not yet returned but this will be looked into further after the treatments and when we know what is going on with the location of the tumor in his spine. Otherwise he is doing well and we are very appreciative of the kind words and support from you all. Thank you!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

{Thank You}

I wanted to post a very special 'Thank You' to the HHH Foundation and to Hugh's family and friends who made a point to come and reach out to me and Adam while we were at the fundraiser today!! It was a very succesful fundraiser with an amazing turnout for a very worth cause. I only hope that I am able to help donate my time and efforts in the future for such a wonderful foundation! Jack and Melinda ~ it was a great, great time and we truly appreciate all of your support for our family! Hugh was so very blessed to have you as friends and we will most certainly pay your kindness forward when given the opportunity. Thank you to everyone who was able to come out today, we feel very blessed and appreciate your help in supporting Hugh's legacy.