The latest update is that, while John is doing well, we will need to keep up with the monthly visits to Portland. The doc saw some things in John's latest test results that concerned him and he wants to refocus and continue aggressively. I
In the beginning of the treatment, we were told to expect to have to keep this up for a year, but as most of you know, we were optimistic that John would only need to travel for treatment every 6-8 weeks, based on some very good reports we have received recently. This type of schedule would cut our expenses quite a bit, leaving a time where all we need to pay for are his medications that he uses at home. We were hoping that the decline in tempo would allow us a break to get caught up on finances, but it looks like we will need to keep pressing for at least a few more months. This is ok, God is looking out for us and has provided for us thus far and I know that He will continue to provide what we need as we need it.
Please continue to pray for us. This treatment is hard on John and having the strength to face it every day is a personal challenge for him. He puts on a brave face, but don't be fooled, he's not having fun.
The financial impact of the latest news hasn't helped. It has prompted him to tell me a few times now that he should quit the program. While I can understand his concern and sometimes question myself how we can keep this up, quitting is not an option and I know that if it were me, he would never let me quit. It breaks my heart to hear him say it, because to quit the treatment is to give up on his life, this is a truth that we both know. I can't bear the thought of living without him. His life is worth every possession we have. Please pray that our faith and resolve remains strong.
Thank you everyone for all of your generosity. I was looking through some pictures from the past year and I was blown away by the difference I see in John. He really is a different person than what he was a few months ago and that could never have happened without you! Your prayers and financial support are getting us through this and one day, John will be able to say that he beat cancer. We are forever grateful!!
This week is another week at Portland. Usually I try to get on here to thank everyone, but today I realize that I need to ask for your help. It is such a hard thing to do, but John's treatment is working and we cannot stop, no matter what obstacles we face. To give up would be to give up on his life and that is something that I am unwilling to do.
Unfortunately, our finances have taken an unexpected hit this week and the money that would have paid for this month's visit will now be going to plumbing repairs. Each treatment session costs about $5000 and I am struggling to find the funds to absorb this.
Please share our link with anyone you believe is in a position to help John's cause. I see him growing stronger every day and feel so blessed to have been allowed this opportunity to beat a cancer that they told him would kill him. We are still appealing to Tricare in the hopes that perhaps they will cover even a small portion of the treatment, but that is a slow process and it doesn't look hopeful.
Thank you so much for all of your support and kind words.
It's such a beautiful thing to see the changes happening in John. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has shown support to this cause. You are literally saving my husband's life. We love you all. Lots more ahead of us, but we have hope and that means so much.
John was in Portland this week for his treatment. So far he has been doing this therapy for 2 months and we were not expecting anything special with this visit. Wrong!! Upon arrival, the doc told John that he wanted to run a couple blood tests. One test was to measure the glucose in his system which they want to see under 60; this tells them that John is doing things right nutritionally speaking to facilitate progress. The other is one of the markers used to indicate the presence of cancer. Well the glucose came in at 54, which made John's nutritionist very happy. John said that she was practically dancing into the room when she came to tell him the results....
Now for the great news: the other test came back lower than what it was when John started the therapy two months ago. This means that the treatment is working and John is, as we speak, BEATING CANCER!!! The doc was very pleased to see this and now wants to run a full spectrum blood panel when John goes back next month. He believes that John is responding better than originally expected and depending on what this next round of labs shows, John may be able to decrease the frequency of his visits down to every 6-8 weeks instead of the current schedule of 1x per month. The good doc is also optimistic that John will not have to do a full year of therapy before he beats this, which is originally what was expected.
Praise God, for showing us this path and for giving John the strength and will to commit to this program!! We are truly blessed, because I know that so many people are never even aware that there are other (better) options than chemo. We were blessed to have our eyes opened before it was too late. I can't believe that after 9 months of the most aggressive therapy that the best cancer hospital in America had to offer, John was told that he was a dying man; then after only two months on a holistic therapy that is NOT poisoning him, John is on a path back to health!
I hope that our story can inspire others suffering from chronic illnesses. There is hope out there for those who choose to seek it and it is as simple as getting back to the basics that God put in place for us on this earth.
This is such a happy time for us and we want to thank everyone who has supported us in this endeavor. We would not be here without you. You have helped us to absorb the cost of this life saving treatment where insurance would not and we are forever grateful. You have been there to provide emotional support when we were in the process of making the decision to walk away from conventional medicine. That decision was based on faith and we appreciate everyone who supported us in making it.
The road before us is still long and filled with physical, financial & emotional challenges, but we have renewed inspiration to continue on. While I always had faith that this program would heal him, it is wonderful to have something tangible to hold on to. A dark cloud has lifted from our lives and we see the sun beginning to shine through and that is an amazing feeling!
Thank you everyone for all of your support. Many times during this Christmas season, we have been lifted up by you in different ways. The treatment is certainly no picnic for John, but he is pushing on and demonstrating enormous strength and perserverence. Merry Christmas everyone!
This week is our first week of treatment and we are extremely encouraged! This week has been a flurry of appointments for John as we get him set up on his program. While we will have to come to Portland for his IV infusions, most of the program relies upon a lot of hard work and effort at home.
Yesterday, we met with our nutritionist and reviewed the parameters of his (our) new diet. I was relieved to find that most of what we have already been doing will stay in place. There will be some tweaking to intensify what we are doing, but it won't be a shock to the system. This is a huge relief that we can build on what we know instead of starting in a new direction.
Additionally, John has received his enzymes to take starting in a few days. This alone will require due diligence because we're talking about over 100 pills in a day that of course will need to be taken at intervals, some on an empty stomach, some with meals, etc...These enzymes are the core component of his treatment and they will be responsible for breaking down the tumors. This means that he will need to flush this waste from his body or risk serious illness. He will have to complete daily detox regimens that will be time consuming and somewhat complicated but are completely essential to the cause. To take the enzymes without detoxing would be highly dangerous.
We are very pleased with the clinic and feel that we are receiving very personalized care. All of the doctors work closely together so we benefit from their broad range of experience. Now that we are here, there is no doubt in my mind that this is the right choice. We are truly blessed to have this opportunity. I guess the only down side is the financial aspect, but we knew that was coming. Each day, at the end of the day, we make payment for whatever services were provided and I have to think happy thoughts to override the anxiety I feel at that moment. Another patient was checking out before us and her insurance company covered her treatment, needless to say, I was very envious of her and her co-pay. I won't get hung up on the money though, because John is worth it and I know that we will find a way to make all of this work. John is very dedicated to following his program to a 'T' and that is the most important variable in achieving success here.
Thank you, to all of you for your prayers, support & contributions to John's cause. Please continue to share this page as the money raised thus far will be mostly used up by the end of the week. This will be a long road before we reach our goal....and don't forget to come out to the bowling tournament on 14 Dec (details can be provided upon request). God bless you all!
So now we have two ways that you can support John's cause. Our friend Michelle is an Avon rep and she has set up a charity site through Avon. Please consider doing some of your Christmas shopping through her site. 20% of all sales go to helping John and all you have to do is type in 'Agger' at checkout. We can't thank her enough for doing this for us, please support her and follow the link to her page for some shopping for a good cause!!
As always, thank you so much for reading and sharing!!
We're trying to organize travel details for John's treatment. We've still got some work to do towards our goal, but with the money that has already been raised, we will be able to pay for John's initial visit and testing! He'll have to follow up with more visits every other week for awhile and that expense will quickly add up, but I have faith that God will provide for him. Thank you so much and please continue to support John in his journey. God bless!
TREATMENT UPDATE: we've got a long way to go to meet our financial goal, but we have settled on a course of action. John will be working with a doctor who uses as his central protocol an enzyme therapy that was developed by Dr William Kelley. This type of therapy has been extremely succesful with many cancers, but has been recognized mostly for its success with pancreatic cancer. Many survivors under this protocol who were told that they had only months to live, are living full and healthy lives 20, 30 years out...they are either cancer free or the cancer has become benign. The therapy is extremely intensive and will likely consume all of our time and efforts over the next few months, but we are very optimistic about where this will take us.
That's the good news. Now, the bad news: we can't make this happen on our own. I have to ask for more support and more sharing of our story. Asking for help is such a hard thing to do, especially when people have already been so generous, but there is just no way that we will be able to finance this treatment without your help. We are all struggling with our own struggles and I know that many are unable, but if you are able to reach out, please do so. John has a chance to beat this and live to see his children grow up. We appreciate you all and there is no way to ever express exactly how much. Thank you to all of you for whatever support you have shown. Prayers, words of encouragement, sharing our site, donations, visits from friends...it all touches us so deeply to see such generosity. Thanks for reading, God bless!
Thanks so much to everyone for your donations and helping to spread the word. We still have a long way to go though to get enough raised so John can receive treatment. Please share this with as many people as you can. We love you all!
Thanks so much everyone for donating and sharing this link. Please keep posting it!!
I'm overwhelmed by the response of all our friends and family. Thank you so much for your support, you can never know how much it means to us! I'm trying to send thank you's to everyone individually through the website, but it is a little squirrelly in letting me know who I have or haven't sent a message to. If for some reason, I miss someone please know that we are deeply thankful!
In December 2011 John, was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer. He has one tumor in his pancreas and several that have moved into his liver. In our efforts to win the battle against cancer, we turned MD Anderson in Texas for treatment. As one of the two leading cancer centers in United States we were very hopeful that they would be able to successfully treat John. After trying different therapies, they don't believe chemo can help him. Throughout his treatment, we have adopted an organic, whole food diet and have researched the benefits of alternative holistic cancer therapies. After much thought and consideration, we feel that this is a viable option and now--as our oncologist confirmed this week, something we have suspected for awhile--our only option. As we narrow the field of choices, looking for the most suitable treatment for John's rare cancer, we are painfully aware of the expense of such treatments; especially because none of the expenses will be covered by insurance. Whether we can afford it or not doesn't matter, because how can you put a price on someone's life?
John is the father of three beautiful children who have their whole lives in front of them. Before receiving the diagnosis, John was healthy and active: we had no idea what kind of surprise was lurking beneath the surface. The impact on our family has been incredible and the thought of seeing his children grow up without him is heartbreaking.
John is currently serving Active Duty Air Force and recently returned home from deployment to Afghanistan. In fact, he was home for less than two months when he received the diagnosis. The joyfulness of his homecoming was cut short by the news that he was in for the fight of his life. John has given the Air Force 14 years of dedication. To serve this Nation, he has missed years of his two oldest boy's lives. So far, he missed most of our daughter's first year. This doesn't stop him from loving what he does and living to serve.