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Dad Update from Mom: 20100616

Hi Everyone:
As most of you know, Bill was diagnosed with metastatic cancer to the liver at the end of 2008; this was a metastasis from his original ampullary cancer.  He received chemo for all of 2009 and intermittent scans showed that the original lesions were slowly reducing in size.  At the end of 2009, however, this changed and new lesions were also discovered.
Bill was placed on a new chemo treatment which was much harsher than the previous.  He not only continued to have problems with his food having no taste but he developed “pins and needles” (neuropathy problems) when eating or drinking anything cold; he even experienced this when handling anything cold in his hands.  In addition, his other side effects were very hard on him and he lost a lot of weight (down to 129 lbs), had no energy or strength and was generally very weakened and we feared for his overall health.  However, in March of 2010 the scans showed very little evidence of the original or subsequent lesions and no new cancer.  We were elated with the news and after much soul searching, decided that he would go off the chemo for a short while so he could regain some weight and strength.
Bill has been off the chemo since late March, 2010.  He has felt sooo much better.  Most of the taste of his food has returned and his neuropathy has decreased quite a bit.  He is eating non-stop and while he didn’t regain a LOT of weight (his current weight is 145 lbs) you can see a difference and he has regained a lot of his energy and strength.  He has been very happy these past few months and seems to do better daily, despite some persistent pain which we think is a result of the major surgery he had in early 2008 for the original cancer.  Being off the chemo however, has been hard too; you just can’t help worrying out what “might” be going on inside!  We were very apprehensive about returning to the doctor this month for the most recent scan results.
Happily, the results remain the same; there is very little evidence of the disease.  What they do see, they believe is the remains of the previously treated lesions.  The doctor said we “might” be able to consider this as a remission of the disease, but it would still require constant vigilance and oversight.
So, here we are today, almost 2 1/2 years since Bill’s initial diagnosis, very hopeful again.  Bill will remain off the chemo until the next scans which are scheduled for late August.  Hopefully he’ll gain more weight and strength during that time so that he is better able to handle the chemo if it becomes necessary to go back on it in the future.
We appreciate so much all of your concern, thoughts and prayers for us during these difficult years.  We hope that you will continue to keep us in your prayers. 
I apologize for taking this method of updating you because I know many of you are STILL waiting for an individual response since my last update, but it’s just been a really tough year for both of us.  Since my surgery in January, my health has just been up and down with a myriad of complaints that no one seems to know what to do with.   I have had absolutely no energy and have been very weak with walking difficulties; my physical therapy on my arms had to stop because I was unable to continue them so consequently, I still have very little use of them.  I spend very little time on the computer, and then it is mostly to just read to keep up with what is going on with most of you. 
Thankfully, during my worst days, Bill was feeling well enough to take care of me.  I really don’t know what we would have done otherwise.  I have recently been feeling a lot better and seem to be improving.  I am walking better and have a little more energy.  I am seeing some new doctors and am hopeful for a full recovery eventually.  In the meantime though, please understand that it’s not that I don’t care; I just have to conserve what energy I have to keep up with what has to be done here.  So my response to any emails will not likely improve soon!
Again, thank you all.  You’ve been great and so supportive.  We are so happy to share this good news with you all!!
Betty and Bill
Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad

Dad Update – From Mom – 20100408

Dad was doing great in 2009 with his chemo. It didn’t seem to be bothering him a huge amount and every three months the scans showed the cancer lesions getting smaller. At the end of 2009 though they didn’t change at all and several more appeared. It was pretty disheartening news.

The Doc put dad on different chemo and he’s had a rough time with it. He’s lost a lot of weight. They went in for the results of the first scan since starting the new chemo on Tuesday. The news was fantastic. :)

From Mom:

Hi everyone!!

Bill and I got the results from his latest CT and PET scans yesterday. The doctor says that the lesions they saw on his liver from the previous scans are now gone. Also, his original lesions cannot be seen except for v ery vague enhancements.

Needless to say, we are delighted with the news. We had expected bad news since the new lesions showed up in January. They changed his chemo at that time and he has been having a tough time of it. He has lost a lot of weight (is down to 145 lbs right now) and has been experiencing neuropathy in his hands and mouth area, which has made it difficult for him to eat.

He will be continuing with the same chemo, at least for the next three months, but the doctor said it can be adjusted if necessary to relieve some of the effects.

Thank you, everyone, for all your prayers, good thoughts and concerns. We are hoping that things conintue this way and that he soon regains someweight.


Dad on Honeymoon - 1958

My First Christmas – 1960

Well, no… not really.  I was born at the end of June in 1959 so my REAL First Christmas was in 1959.  But geeze I was only six months old.  I doubt I had much fun.  Christmas 1960 – on the other hand – apparently rocked!

 Check out this awesome rocking chair I got.  And what about those stylin’ PJs?

 Uh.. mom?  No socks?  I’m sure we had moved from Miami Beach back to Philly by now.  In fact I know we had.  Babe was born in November 1960 so she’s around here somewhere… only a month old.  Boy I bet she doesn’t know WHAT is going on.

I was probably sick as a dog the week after this picture was taken. LOL.

On the other hand check me out with this new Jack-In-The-Box.

Growing up, everytime I saw this picture it I thought my mom’s finger was inside a hole in the side of the Jack-In-The-Box.  Funny how you think stupid stuff like that.

Oh well.

Merry “First” Christmas Billy!

Pfft! Who Need’s Farrah?

My mom had Farrah’s car in 1977. 302 V8 with four-speed…   Yeah!  I used to love burning rubber in that car.  It would chirp the tires just by punching the gas. :)

Mom was stylin’ man! How about that Big Hair? How about that outfit?

Go Mom!  You Rock!

My Mom, The Artist

I remember when I was a kid my mom was always a talented artist.  She could always draw cool pictures and stuff. 

After she retired she decided to take some painting classes.  Then she got one of those easels and some paint brushes and some canvas’ and went to work.

Boy she really paints good.  She has a lot of her paintings around the house.  She painted for quite awhile but I think the fumes from the oil really bothered her and she doesn’t paint much anymore. :(

I think she still plays around with water colors and pastels once in awhile but I haven’t seen her work on a painting in a long time.

Here are some of the paintings she did.  She did a MESS of them and a ton of water colors and pastels… but I am not going to display them all.  I just want to document the fact that she did this and show some of the paintings I really like.

This is one of my favorites.  I’ll try to get a better picture of it sometime because it looks a million times better in person than it does in this picture.  It’s a tree frog.

This is an Egret.  There are a lot of these hanging around the pond behind my parents house.

I don’t know whose baby this is.  But I think mom took a photo of one of her friends babies and painted a picture from it.

This is a picture of my sister that my mom painted from a photo.

Here are some pastel chalk pictures of a bird, a cheetah & a cat.

I may have displayed this before… It is a little girl on the beach.  I really like this one too.

Stream in the Forest.

I like this one of a lighthouse on the beach with a big ‘ol moon behind it.

Here’s the cat again.

A Cheery street.

One time Mom found this print of an Indian maiden in a magazine and painted it.  I think it’s one of the best ones she ever did.

Indian Maiden Finished:

I’m really proud of how well my mom paints and I love to show my friends her paintings. That is the reason for this blog entry. 

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.

Way to go Mom! :)

Mom… What’s up with the suits?

My mom had this thing about dressing me up in a suit and tie.  Musta been like every holiday or family function.

I’m not sure if she tied these neckties on me or if I was just a natural tie tie-er.

I went to Catholic school from the 2nd grade til 7th grade and we had to wear a maroon necktie everyday.  Clipons. :)

I bet I have a lot more photos than this with me wearing a suit but I only have a few right now.  I’ll find some more for “What’s Up With The Suits 2″.

Happy Easter everybody.

Me & Babe – Easter 1962

This is labeled Me & Babe – Easter 1962 too… but since we’re wearing different clothes (suit) I guess it was probably 1961 or something.

This says I was 4.  I doubt it.  This looks like a school picture. I was probably 6.

Me & Babe again under the apple tree.

I guess she could only find a bowtie this year. :)

I sure looked sharp though didn’t I? :)

Wow… It’s February Already!

Well I guess it’s time to write something here again.  In my last post you’ll recall that after doing all of the work to implement our new aircraft maintenance system a decision was made by the powers that be to postpone for a month. 

Well, the month is now over.  It’s in as far as I know.  They’re supposed to flip the switch at 8AM tomorrow.  All I know is that my part is done.  This is really just the first part.  It is putting all of the inventory and part of the financing (another system) up.  The actual aircraft themselves (we have 138 50 seat CRJ200’s we fly for NorthWest Airlink and 5 – soon to be 16 – 84 seat CRJ900’s we fly for Delta Connection) still have yet to be put into the system.

I came in at 8:30 Thursday and went home at 2AM Friday morning; came back in at 8:30 Friday morning and went home at 1:30AM Saturday morning; came back in at 9 on Sunday morning and left at 5PM to go to BW-3 to watch the Superbowl.  Woo Hoo! 

Since Thursday I think I’ve worked over 40 EXTRA hours.  I’ll be sure to try and snag a comp day or two when I go to the lake.

This weekend or next I need to get down to see my sister.  She’s VERY ill.  We found out she had lung cancer in August of 2006.  They did some really agressive chemo and radiation.  It took its toll on her.  2007 was a good year for her though.  She came through the illness pretty good.  Unfortunately she took a bad turn around Christmas of 2007 when we found out that the cancer is now in her brain and in her hip. :(

I have be flying back and forth to Florida to spend as much time with my sister as I can.  I don’t know how much longer she’ll be here for me to do that so I am trying to do it as much as possible.  Even though the airline doesn’t pay me as much as I would make working somewhere else, it is really a blessing that I can literally just hop in the car and drive to the airport and jump on a plane to Tampa anytime I want to.  For an unbelieveable price.  As long as there is an empty seat of course.

Thank God my sister is down in Florida and not in Utah or California where she used to live.  That would really suck.  Especially for my parents.

I don’t know how my mom does it.  She’s like a rock.  She’s always been there for us.  When I was 19 I was in the hospital with a brain tumor.  She was right there for me.  It was a long, hard 9 months in that hospital with many illnesses.  Many times they thought I’d die while in there.  But she was always there for me.  Now… years and years later… we’re all grown up… and it’s my sister.  Unfortunately her prognosis is nowhere near as positive as mine was.  My mom is still right there.  She will be til the end.  Just like a rock.  She’s an amazing woman.

I find it weird when I think about… what are the chances that you marry and have two children… and that BOTH of them end up with brain tumors?  Archie Manning ended up with two kids who each won the Superbowl as the quarterback of their respective NFL teams.  My mom and dad end up with two kids with brain tumors.  Life is funny sometimes :( 

Say a prayer for my sister please.  Say one for my mom & dad while you’re at it too. :)