Thursday, January 31, 2008

Today was kind of a relaxing day in some ways in that my treatment only starts tomorrow. We've felt pretty lost, trying to figure everything out, but we're getting there. In some ways it's felt like information overload. The hardest part for me today was learning about my diet. It's pretty much what I feared and I must say- a little worse. The food is mostly good-just different. We get fresh fruit and freshly squeezed juices every meal. However, very little meat-just occassionally chicken. Weird combos of veggies that are supposed to be salads, etc. Earl had barley juice for supper, apparently there's even oatmeal juice sometimes. I had hibiscus flower juice. Really it wasn't bad, just a little hard to fathom. From what I've read(they have not told me, therefore it's not confirmed)I am not allowed any sugar, white flour, regular salt or pepper, regular dairy products, pork, lean beef only once a week, etc. etc. Although it makes sense that I am trying to build up my body and give it fuel to heal, it's a little hard to realize that some of the normal foods I love, will not be normal in my life anymore. I'm sure with time, we'll figure out healthy options and variations that will be delicious.

The top picture is a view of the ocean. Earl & I walked down to the ocean in the afternoon. It's only 4 blocks away. How amazing to spend time on the beach watching the waves crashing. I hope to spend a lot of time there.

The 2nd picture is the view of the front of the hospital. This afternoon the gardener was planting flowers right outside the front door. It's a little mind boggling to see petunias, marigolds and pansies being planted in January!

The 3rd picture is the view from the beach facing the hospital. The three arches are the entrance to the steps down to the beach. From the arches you can see the hospital.

This evening Earl & I went to a sing along put on by missionaries at the hospital. There were maybe 12 people there, singing songs about cancer disappearing and being healthy, etc. to the tune of familiar songs. What a neat atmosphere to be with a group of Christians, who are fighting the same disease, trusting God to be glorified and praying that our cancer disappears. The man leading the sing along was a patient 10 years ago and now is healthy. How encouraging! I believe the same man and his wife lead devotions every morning, so I'm looking forward to checking that out (if I get out of bed on time)

So that's a run down on our day. Tomorrow all the treatments start. We're pretty tired and will head to bed early.
Thanks for all your prayers and support
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Well....I'm finally somewhat relaxed enough to sit down and write. Ramona is catching up on some sleep and we have atleast a slight idea of what is going on here. Maybe I should highlight the word slight. As I look at the picture of Michelle giving Ramona her last bag of chemo it's hard to believe that that is only two weeks ago. Since then we have been gathering our minds, belongings and paperwork (a special thanks to the special nurse who broke all the rules to get us what we needed for the trip out here).

The night before we left, a fundraiser supper was held in the Morweena Church. We feel incredibly supported. Enough money was raised to make this trip happen (also a huge thank you to those who gave us money outside of this event or group of people). This is what Christian community is all about, people gathering together to pray and support and of

Morweena is a place of love.......

Yesterday was flying day. The only real excitement of flying was that the toilet didn't work on our plane. Everyone had boarded the plane... we were sitting there....the airplane waitresses...whatever their called...had told us how to us our oxygen masks....and then we sat....for over an hour while they tried to fix the toilet....anyway...we switched airplanes...the new airplane had an excellent toilet and we landed in San Diego only about two hours late. I didn't realize it was this easy to get into Mexico. The light was green, so the only reason we slowed down for the border is that it is bumpy right there., I'm sorry I didn't pay attention to your Spanish lessons at work...if you could quickly post all the spanish words you know...I'm excessively linguistically handicapped out here. Anyway, I think Ramona and I are the only ones out here not wearing jackets...the locals here have no idea how good their weather is
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We're here! This is just a quick note to say that we arrived safely. Our orientation process is happening and we get to eat breakfast shortly. We have internet access in Ramona's room so we will have plenty of time to post pictures and all those good sorts of things.
I want to make sure I thank our community for supporting us. What an amazing, powerful sendoff on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The flights are booked and we leave one week from tomorrow! Earl & I are heading to the Oasis of Hope in Tijuana, Mexico for 18 days. The Oasis of Hope is a Christian hospital that has more of a nutritional approach towards health. The emphasis is more on the person as a whole instead of just treating the disease. For those of you who want to know more of the scientific information on what the treatments are about, feel free to go on to their website. I don't fully understand all the scientific information but Earl & I feel peace and have felt led to the hospital. I am being reminded again and again from different doctors that my condition is incurable and that are just treating me with chemo to lengthen my life. Of course God can prove this wrong. I'm excited to see how God will use my time at Oasis of Hope but also understand that it might not remove my cancer. It feels like a big deal to put lots of money and energy into something that my doctor does not approve of or support. However, I want to keep fighting for my life and so that's what we're doing.
I finished my last round of chemo a week ago Sunday. I had a fever on the weekend, but again was able to fight it and stay at home. Today is the first day that I am feeling quite good since chemo. From now on, it should just keep getting better.
I think that sums up the big things right now.
Thanks so much again for your prayers and support. Many times my doctor and nurses are amazed at how well I'm doing and I know that it's due to the thousands of prayers. I was told last week that when I was first diagnosed, Dr. Wong would have given me 3-6 months to live had the chemo not worked. It's quite sobering to realize that I have already lived an entire year longer than I 'should' have. Thanks to God for all the little miracles that are resulting in large miracles!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Goodmorning everyone
I'll keep this brief since Ramona has a pass this morning and is able to head out to church.
Anyway, the meeting with Dr. Wong felt like it was covered in prayer. Thank you so much for praying. Dr. Wong was very blunt with us and told us the cold hard 'facts' of what he believes. He still doesn't believe chemo will be a cure and therefore it makes it much easier to ask that he stop chemo. This will be the last round of chemo (ending tomorrow morning!) and we are very seriously considering going to the Oasis of Hope as soon as we can.
Also, the meeting with Dr. Waddell also had some surprises for us. Dr. Waddell is very willing to experiment and has something for Ramona other than the RFA. I forget the name of it, but it is a focused beam of radiation that they have bean experimenting on tumors for two years. We have a telehealth appointment with the Toronto radiologist at lunch time on monday.
This all deserves many details and humanly speaking can be quite overwhelming.
More to come,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Since last time I wrote, most of you have probably gained atleast five pounds and are now trying to work those Christmas pounds off. I'm writing from the kiosks in the St. Boniface hospital on day two of chemo. Christmas included alot of fun for us and Ramona stayed out of the hospital (barely). Anyway, my mind is hardly on this blog right now. Tomorrow is a big day. We have a meeting with Dr. Wong to discuss the plans he has for Ramona's future and the possibility of alternative options. Also, we will be speaking to Dr. Waddell tomorrow regarding the RFA.
For now,