Life is a blur after you or a loved one are diagnosed with esophageal cancer. If you or a loved one suffer from persistent heartburn, please see a GI doctor to have it looked at. This is the #1 leading symptom but often overlooked which is why esophageal cancer is diagnosed at such a late stage!
I hope you all are plugging through the shutdowns and self imposed isolation/quarantines which are starting to ease up a little bit here and there. Not in Broward County, currently, but soon.
So … updates?
My father passed away at 3:01am May 8th, 2020. The energizer bunny’s battery finally died. He just stopped eating a few weeks ago and deteriorated from there. 86 1/2 years old. It’s just sad that it happened while the nursing homes were in lockdown. Because he was considered crisis care, they made an exception and let me in to see him Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday I left the office too late and they said no.
Mark’s experience with the immunotherapy allowed his cancer to spread to his pelvic bone. That really stinks as we had such high hopes for that treatment. Our MD Anderson follow up and meeting with the trial board on April 30th was postponed until Mid-July, thanks to the virus. He will have a local PET scan on May 18th and hopefully it has not travelled anywhere else with the current treatment (which sucks by the way, every other Monday followed by 2 days of the pump and a week of feeling crummy. The local oncologist is also trying to see if we can get in to Moffett in Tampa but I have a feeling, thanks to the virus, they are not taking anyone right now either.
I am still working, and thankful the bosses listened to me and applied for the PPP program (Paycheck Protection Program) and received so our payroll is good for 2 months. We are actually still busy but not closing many transactions. Lots of refinance applications are in the process from April but not firm commitments on anything closing yet. Even my hard money people are quiet which we find odd. I’m confident things will bounce back, just going to be awhile, in my opinion. Working from home and going to the office a few times a week. This is hopefully a good lead in to the Indiana move.
We did something that a lot of folks would say was wrong: we cashed out all our mutual funds to cash. Only because Hubby’s earning years are over and well, we’ve lost over 40% already this year so it wasn’t a real hard decision to make. Hopefully we can be quick when it’s time to reinvest and make some money again but at least, for now, it’s safe, even if it’s stagnent.
The house in Indiana is about 95% complete. I am ready to make the move. That means I’m ready to sell the #tinycondo although I don’t think this is the time. The good news is that our complex is in pretty good demand and they sell rather quickly BUT we are probably over-improved and would like a little more money for it but we’ll see. Hubby had flew the coop and went there beginning of April for the month. Considering the we were in a hotspot for the virus, I wasn’t too upset … there he can go for days without close contact with people. Here, going out our front door is a risk! He flew home on Sunday night and we were to fly out to Houston then but that all got changed up. Good news? Flight there only had 7 people, flight home had 38 so all in all, there was quite a bit of social distancing going on.
6. We went to the west coast for the weekend to see the baby. It’s time, been a long while (2 months) and the kids wanted to come last weekend for my birthday and we said no because there isn’t anything going on over here. Heck, our pool just opened but there are no chairs!
Ended up going to the drag strip as it was on Hubby’s bucket list and we really had a great time! Kind of took the sting out of all the bad stuff that’s been going on.
Hoping everyone has a wonderful, Happy Mother’s Day!
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Things have been busy, and certainly have kept me occupied with other things besides this blog!
Mark started Keytruda … 3rd treatment will be on Tuesday. This is good in a few ways: 1 treatment (30 minute infusion) every 3 weeks as opposed to 4 to 6 hours every two weeks! Also, less side effects AND he certainly feels better. Bad news? Not sure how the cancer will respond.
My dad has been a hot mess that I’ve had to deal with. Seriously, emotional, sobbing breakdowns with “am I doing the right thing?” … he’s been in and out of the hospital sooooo many times this past year (15 that I can count) and finally, I agreed to call in hospice AND relocate him to a long term care facility. The last part is only because he is not able to stand without TWO assistants.
Work. Work has been overwhelmingly busy which is good on the bonus front (I get a bonus for each closing) AND I’ve picked up billing for one of the attorneys as a side gig along with doing the private loan documents for another attorney.
Indiana house is DONE. Finished, except a few small punchlist items. I bought the kids tickets for 10 days and we all were together for Christmas there. It was very nice (no snow but hey, maybe next time!) … Mark has been there for about 2 1/2 months solid so when I broke the news to the bosses that I was going for 3 weeks, that was not well received. I stood my ground and said I missed him, I wanted to be with him AND this may be his last Christmas which is why I had all the kids flown in. I drove with the cats, straight through for 19 hours. Doable. Tedious, but doable. Coming home was somewhat better in that Mark came with me BUT it rained from Louisville to south of Atlanta. That was a long drive.
Money stress when it shouldn’t be an issue. Just dumb decisions on my part. BUT the new year is here and I’m buckling down!
The last scan of Mark was late October. All tumors have shown an uptick:
Increase FDG uptake in the distal esophagus, gastroesophageal junction, and gastric cardia concerning for recurrent disease
Increase in size and FDG uptake of multiple lymph nodes in the abdomen most consistent with nodal metastases
New FDG uptake in the right adrenal gland suspicious for metastasis
That really sucks. And then we find out that his leg issues he’s been having was actually neuropathy from the current chemo and was stopped immediately. He went 6 weeks without any kind of treatment. Felt better, energy and brain fog wise, but the swallowing became an issue again. We were hounding MD Anderson for a treatment plan which finally they gave the Keytruda. So far, so good, minimal side effects although the past few days he has been very itchy, describing it as getting into insulation. I told him he needs to tell Dr. Oz tomorrow!
Ok … enough of that, in a nutshell, that’s my life! I’m hoping to get back to blogging again but really need to get my head clear 🙂
Hope everyone is doing well and you all are embracing 2020!
I’m still here … Mark is in Indiana (since Labor Day) but flies home tonight! I’m very excited since I’ve not seen him since!
I’ve been eating good foods while he has been away and I’m excited to share a few new things with him (and hopefully you too!) … we fly to MD Anderson on Thursday for scans and come back Saturday … then he’s home for a week before he heads back to finish the house.
I’ve bought all the kids round trip tickets to come for Christmas … hoping it’s a white Christmas for those who haven’t seen snow in ages. This has put a little pressure on Mark but hey, he can get it done.
Cabinets in 11/15. Appliances in 11/15. Flooring thereafter. Painting and trim, new doors going on now. New sliding door already installed. I’ve lost track of the budget and just let Mark take the lead. It’s his project 🙂 And, a gift to the rest of the family.
Mark is doing ok. He’s been getting his bi weekly treatments in Michigan City … although, he did skip out this past week as he’s sick and on antibiotics. Kind of stinks, but then again, this is the FIRST time he’s been sick since all this started January 2018. The treatment is kicking his ass and it’s getting harder each time to recover … that’s why the house project is good, motivational and has a reason to push forward every day!
Thank you for those of you who are sending me messages and well wishes. I appreciate your kind words and thoughts!
Looking forward to spending some time in this awesome screened room … need to figure out a way to make it more 4 season friendly!
The weather has been awesome here the past few days … a lot of time has been spent at the community pool (this pic is from the old house which I miss the POOL more than anything right now!) The complex does have a nice pool, just a lot of people AND little kids … 😉
Mark has infusion today … then he flies off to Indiana at the crack of dawn tomorrow. All in all, he’s good. Just really tired and the nausea hits him unexpectedly. We used to be able to time his off days. Now we can’t. That stinks
I’m ready to Party! And cook! And go to Costco! All those fun things are coming up in the next 10 days … let’s see if I can share some new recipes too!
Ok, let’s party! You know the rules: family friendly, link directly to the post you are sharing AND most importantly, go mix and mingle, make some new friends!
Houston and MD Anderson was good … the tumors have not spread nor have they grown which is considered GOOD. Mark will stay on the Taxol and the other R-word stuff along withe blood pressure meds. NOW they will focus on dealing with some of the side effects.
We had some great shares last week! Thank you for coming by again this week to share your wonderful ideas, crafts, and of course food! I can’t wait to see what this week brings!
As always, my rules are simple: share family friendly stuff, link directly to your post, link back to ME and go visit others and leave comments!!
The move is underway! We started on Thursday with the movers bringing all the boxes from the BIG storage unit. We left the bedroom set, office desk and chair and my awesome favorite console table. Those will be donated to Faith Farm if I can ever get them to schedule a pickup.
We still have the smaller unit which Jamie moved most of his stuff out last weekend to his new place.
I feel like I climbed a thousand flights of stairs and picked up a million pounds of stuff. But things are getting put away slowly. We still have to finalize our inspections which is a little bothersome in that my stuff keeps getting moved out again to the main living room floor. We don’t have a refrigerator (original one was damaged and now there’s a whole new issue) but we have a cooler with ice and can I just tell you how I’m looking forward to a home cooked meal! Not soon enough!
We had TWO links last week … one of which was mine. I missed my timing and look what happens! But the good news is my Chicken Piccata was shared to numerous sites and has been a favorite so thank you!
Let’s Party! Link up and make sure you link back to The Mark and Jan Show AND visit your fellow party goers!
This is a super yummy and easy to make appetizer for all those upcoming holiday parties …
FYI … THIS IS VERY ADDICTIVE AND YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD MADE A DOUBLE BATCH!
It’s been a looooong time since I made this as we were making it every weekend and both Hubby and I decided that it was a little too indulgent to make “just because it’s Saturday!” BUT now the Boat Parade Party is coming up and well, we are attending as GUEST, what better time than that to make this again! Yippee!!Continue reading “Awesome Onion Dip”
Halloween Horror Nights did NOT disappoint. And neither did the Magic Kingdom or Epcot! So much fun and nice that we know people who are able to get us guest passes for FREE! FREE! Yes, FREE! 😉
In other news, we head to MD Anderson again Thursday and Friday … this time there is a whole slew of test: blood work, CT Scan, PET Scan and then Friday is the Endoscope and doctor appointment. We are nervous and Hubby is having major anxiety from this and other family drama/issues. I am thinking positive, happy thoughts as there are no other options, in my opinion. Everything will work out just fine. Might not be perfect, might not be the way we’d prefer, but it will all be fine.
Moving onward even more … I’m so glad to see you again this week and can’t wait to see what you are sharing! There’s been some awesome stuff and I’m pinning and sharing on Facebook as much as I can! Are you following me on Facebook yet? Not a big social media person but working on it!
Let’s get on with the party, shall we??
We all love comments so make sure you leave a comment when you go visit the others!
We partied over the weekend with a quick overnight trip to see Kid Rock. What an awesome show. Wheeler Walker, Jr. was the opener and we skipped him (no offense but I think he might have been too vulgar for our taste) and then there was Brantley Gilbert who we DID want to see .. and of course, Kid Rock.
I had picked these tickets up in February, shortly after Mark’s diagnosis. At that time, we weren’t sure what to expect for his future … I mean, heck, this is what Cancer.gov shows: