"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

Philippians 4:13

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ups and Downs

      Well summer is over and it sure was a busy and eventful one!  We have created some wonderful memories as a family with many more to come!  Jeff has been getting a regular chemo treatment that consisted of pills and an every other week treatment at the Johnson Cancer Center in Muskegon.
 
     Just a couple weeks ago Jeff and his mom went to Massachusetts to learn about a lifestyle change known as the Macrobiotic Diet.  They heard about this diet from a family friend who knew someone with cancer that tried this diet and it had improved their condition.  Basically the diet consists of lots of whole grains and rice, some fish and other strictly organic components.  The goal of this diet is to eliminate putting food in your body that cancer cells feed off of.  Sugars, processed foods and foods high in fats, added antibiotics and stimulating components such as caffeine are almost like an added fuel for cancer cells.
 


"Macrobiotics has long been advocated by some as a preventative and cure for cancerMichio Kushi's book The Cancer Prevention Diet outlines the fundamental philosophy for the diet and cancer prevention. There is evidence that a diet high in whole grains and vegetables and possibly low in saturated fat, red meat, and preserved meat products can help to prevent many types of cancer. A study at the Tulane School of Public Health conducted by James P. Carter and others reported significant improvement in cancer patient longevity (177 months compared to 91 months) when patients practiced the macrobiotic diet."

 **Wikipedia.com
 
     The diet has definitely been an adjustment for Jeff.  If you know Jeff his diet when he lived on his own pretty much consisted of candy and energy drinks, so yes this has been quite a change ;) He is committed and doing well with it, we are so proud of him!
 
Jeff, his mom and sister Kassie at his cousin's wedding in September
 
 
     Just before Jeff left for Massachusetts he had an MRI.  The news was both good and bad.  The old tumor, located in the back left side of his head has shrunk and swelling has gone down!  However, the new tumor has grown by his temporal lobe on the left side, further affecting his memory and speech.  The "fingers" of the tumor are burying deeper into his brain.  The family met with Dr. Mommoser in Ann Arbor on Thursday about this news.  He has decided to change Jeff's chemotherapy treatment, he will still be taking his chemo pills but will undergo chemo at the center just about every week, once a week for 3 hours.  The tumor board also met just yesterday on Jeff's behalf and decided that radiation in the new growth area would be beneficial.  We are unsure of when he will start this or for how long, they are developing a plan for him.  We are so thankful to have such skilled hands working for Jeff!
 
     Jeff, his Mom, Dad, Sister Tonya and brother-in-law Andrew were also baptized this summer in Jeff's name.  A truly touching and wonderful family moment for them! We are so blessed to have such a wonderful community to share in our triumphs and struggles.  We feel all of your thoughts and prayers and appreciate it all!
 
 




       Again, thank you for your continued prayers and support!  The power of prayer will triumph over all.  Jeff is due to have another scan in just over a month and we are believing in healing!  Let's kick this cancers butt!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Faith


"Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise."
Jeremiah 17:14
 
     A lot has changed since our last post.  Most of which has been hard to take.  I will start from the last post...The cancer board in Ann Arbor, MI met on Jeff's behalf to discuss the best possible treatment for him.  That alone is a very big deal, we are blessed to have some of the best hands working on Jeff's case.  We were then informed of his treatment plan.  Beginning August 20th he was to have chemotherapy every day, 9-5, for a week straight.  Then he would have 3 weeks off, a week straight again and another 3 weeks off.  Upon completion he was to return to Ann Arbor for a check-up scan and if the tumor had improved he was going to undergo a bone marrow transplant.
 
     His little sister Tonya was married on the 18th of August, it was truly a beautiful wedding and a wonderful experience for us all.  Jeff did great and even gave Tonya a very nice and touching speech at the reception.  That following Monday he was due to start his treatment.  When Jeff and his mother arrived that morning to start the chemo they were informed no appointment was in the books.  Confused and wary his parents contacted Jeff's doctors to find out what was going on. 
 
Does'nt he look handsome?! ;) With Aunt Kelli at the wedding
 
 
     Apparently the weekend of the wedding the tumor board had again met about Jeff.  The conclusion they had come to was very shocking to say the least.  They had informed us that Jeff had been misdiagnosed back in California last March.  After Jeff's surgery to remove most of the first tumor the neurosurgeon informed us she believed the tumor to be a Glioblastoma, the worst kind, incurable and highly aggressive.  Three days later we received the pathology report that indicated the tumor was a PNET, which he has been treated for up until now.  The UofM doctors believe that the tumor Jeff has is, in fact, a Glioblastoma.
 
    They support their reasoning by the fact that this tumor had returned so fast.  A PNET is known to reoccur but not near as fast as this one has.  Also because of the aggressiveness of this tumor they came to this conclusion.  His treatment has now changed to accommodate the new findings.  He is taking chemo pills every day for a week then has three weeks off while every other Wednesday he goes in for a half hour treatment through his port.  This treatment is meant to stun and control the growth of the tumor.  Every 8 weeks he is to return to UofM for follow up scans.
 
     Jeff is in need of your prayers and support more than ever!  He is such a strong and faithful young man but the support and love encourage his strength that much more.  We are believing for a supernatural miracle at this point!  We know what our God is capable of! 
 
"We live by faith, not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5:7

Monday, July 30, 2012

His Hands are Upon You

   It has been almost a year since our last post.  Things had been going quite well for Jeff.  He had purchased a house with his cousin Ryan in Muskegon and restored it.  He loves having his own place to call home.  He had finished his chemotherapy treatment the end of June and was very much enjoying his break.  He was also ecstatic to welcome his new nephew to the world.
  
   Prior to his completion of chemo he had a brain scan done.  The news was good, the empty space from the removed tumor section had shrunk.  Every three months he has scans done to monitor the old and watch for any new growths.  Just last week we received the results from his most recent scan.  The tumor has spread.  Jeff has also been experiencing some peripheral vision loss in right eye.


The scan on the left is the most recent MRI and the one on the right is from three months ago
The White section under the blank space from the first tumor is the new growth



     Last week he had a consultation with a neurosurgeon in Muskegon who has reported this tumor to be inoperable.  Due to its location and growth throughout his brain to operate would be detrimental to his vision and/or speech.  We were encouraged by his oncologist to seek a second opinion.  Upon approval from his insurance an appointment was made to visit the University of Michigan.  His appointment was scheduled for 8am this morning so Jeff, his Mom, Dad and sister Tonya went to Ann Arbor last night. 

   While they were at a restaurant Jeff was telling a story, as he most frequently does ;).  He began to get frustrated with himself when he couldn't remember a part of the story or certain word he wanted to say.  Suddenly he just stopped talking and began to sweat profusely.  They couldn't bring him back so they dialed 911.  When asked what his name was he replied "freedom".  It was clear something was wrong.  When they reached to UofM Medical Center they were told he was having seizures.  The seizures continued, most when he would become frustrated with himself.  The medical team then sedated him so he could get some rest.

    He had more tests done at the medical center and they are just awaiting a consult from a neuro oncologist to take place tomorrow morning.  They will then discuss his further treatments.  They are also giving him seizure medication to control the seizures, once controlled he will be coming home.

    We are believing in a supernatural healing for Jeff and ask you to believe and pray as well.  The power of prayer is a remarkable thing as we have already seen!  Jeff is in the hands of the Lord and he is holding him tight.  He is much too spirited and strong to not bounce back from this.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt our Jeff is pulling through this with flying colors!
"For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord."  Jeremiah 30:17
 

Jeff and his nephew Dylan
 


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