Wednesday, May 26, 2010


And so the treatment went. He finished the chemotherapy and radiation mid-June and began the process of letting his body heal some. We were blessed to have family come to visit to help out and just spend time.

The plan was to return to the surgeon once the treatment was complete so they could analyze the results and schedule surgery. For some reason, I had misgivings over the surgery, but I just put my faith in the doctor and we moved forward. The surgery was scheduled for the beginning of August. In preparation they did a Cat Scan. When the results came back, there was concern over a spot on his liver. Up to this point they considered the cancer to be stage 3; it had spread through the wall of the stomach and into the lymph nodes in the surrounding areas. If it had spread to the liver - we would be stage 4.

They explained to us that stomach cancer is considered to be a fast spreading cancer. Once you are stage four your survival rate of living five years or more drops from 25% to 5-7%. They scheduled to do a small incision on Chris' side and go in to take biopsies of the liver.

We had a family fast that the results would be negative - that everything would come back fine and they would proceed with the surgery as scheduled. But, Chris and I seemed to know. We had a feeling that this would not be that simple.

Chris' brother was there at the hospital with me that day. The miracle goes something like this... They went in to look at the liver, and as they looked at this suspicious 'spot', the doctor realized it was just a fatty deposit. Since he was in there - he was also going to take a look at the hernia. As the doctor moved the scope to the area of the hernia he noticed microscopic white 'dots'. The surgeon was in the neighboring surgery room - so the doctor called him over to take a look. They both agreed they looked suspicious and they began to take biopsies. As he explored a little more they discovered these 'dots' were spread all over.

The biopsies came back positive for cancer. There was no point in the original surgery - it would do no good for him - only allow these millions of other tumors to spread.

The suggestion was offered to meet with another doctor. He had some experience with doing a 'chemo wash' of sorts and may be willing to try this treatment on Chris.


  1. When I think back it is so weird to think as Chris wa beginning this fight that would eventually take his life I was in the homstretch for giving birth to the twins. The cycle of life amazes me. Chris was so strong, I always admired him.

  2. Shannon,

    One of my favorite photos is of us at your twins baptism. In the photo is you and your husband, Chris and I and one of the babies. Chris' hair was thinnned from the Chemo. He was wearing a sweater which speaks to his weakened body... but in my arms is a healthy new baby, with life just beginning.

    Thank you for giving me a tiny piece of responsibility over her life. I am probably the worst God-parent any of your kids have (someone has to be the worst) but I always think of Chris when I see those girls... and I keep track of how old they are by remembering this year and how long ago it was.

    For me the past six years have had some trials and rough roads - and in too many ways I have felt a lack of progression. But when I see your girls I remember how much life can be lived in such a short amount of time. How much we can grow and learn, and why we should all be a little more child-like.