Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Yes I said the "C" word. The "C" word that rocks peoples worlds and changes journeys, or tries to. We found out in March, we have stage 4 pancreatic cancer that has spread to the liver, lymph nodes and spleen. I say "we" because WE are going to have to battle this together. The treatments have started, he's done 4 thus far and then BOOM!
Yes, BOOM, he started vomiting brown bile, back in May and having erratic hiccups, and then rapid weight loss. I mean rapid. We arrive at the emergency room and he stays in the hospital for 10 days, from 5/21 - 6/1. I thought I was going to have to start making phone calls in those two weeks. It was bleak, concerning, and tested our faith. He had a obstruction in is intestines, which is from the cancer spreading, but God is in control. He always is and will be! And Eric is still here to the surprise of his doctors. I keep telling everyone Eric is a Scorpio, he will continue to sting as long as he can. And our faith is stronger than ever.
Eric went back home with a hole in is stomach to take out the bile, it's called a 'G-tube", via gravity, and nutrition bags that I had to learn to put into his port. We had to hold off on the cancer treatment for a couple of weeks so that Eric can get stronger. We went down to 185 Lbs, from his usual 230 Lbs. The goal is to keep his weight at 210 - 215. His oncologist started using another treatment that is not so aggressive and produces so many side effects. So we're moving from the Mike Tyson of therapies to the Mohammad Ali...But this all was back in June.
Now, in July, his intestines have healed. He can now have food, and has had regular bowl movements and gas. Who would think that there would be so much excited on someone passing gas and taking a dump, but it is because when you can't it's not fun. He's weight has climbed back to the 194 Lbs, or 88Kgs, so now we need to had 10 more Kgs to get him to 215, easier said than done though.
We have landed back in Amsterdam in July, spoken to our GP and oncologist here. I'm sure everyone is thinking, why Amsterdam? Why did you leave the USA? Why? That's another blog post But we're here in The Netherlands working with and forming the team. Things are falling into place, until...yes until the weekend of July 23rd. We went to the emergency room in Amsterdam. Yes, Eric had to break in the emergency room in The Netherlands. All of his vitals look good, nothing has spread since his last CT scan from the previous week. His respiratory system looks good as well has his heart, even though his heart rate has increase. But that's due to his body worker harder because of the cancer. We were there for 5 hours, whew! and ready to move ahead.
So now the apartment, which is a 3rd floor walk-up. That was ok when we were "healthy" not so much now, so we'll have to search for something with either an elevator or on the first or ground floor. The search starts, which we hope to find what we are looking for quickly, so we don't have to battle the stairs for too long. We'll keep you posted on that front too.
Our GP is great, she came for a house visit and the team is formed, Oncologist, Gastroenterologist, home Nurse team, and he's exercising as well. I have to contact the mobile masseuse soon, but that will be better with a larger ground floor apartment. Eric MUST have massages, and I'm not a professional.
So the journey continues, are we still going to travel? You bet! We have cancer, cancer doesn't have us. We've made plans for Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Santorini Greece. There are some places that are on our list to do. Yes, we have a little traveling to do, and some discoveries here in The Netherlands, even with cancer, but that's another blog post.
Our journey below from treatment, to obstruction and 10 days in the hospital, to home care, to back on the plane to Amsterdam, to soaking in the sun on our patio in Amsterdam....more to come.
Our scripture we're studying for the month is Psalm 27: "The Lord is my (our) light and my (our) salvation; whom shall I (we) fear? the Lord is the strength of my (our) life; of whom shall I (we) be afraid?... Wait on the Lord and be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord"