Help My Angel, Lois, Beat Cancer!
My Angel and Life-Love, Lois, and I have been together for 40 years, and have always been completely and totally inseparable. In late February 2017, Lois was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer, after she started experiencing what we first thought was appendicitis. A CT scan revealed a large (3 inch) mass where the small intestine joins the large intestine (and right next to the appendix).
Subsequent scans have confirmed that there are additional tumors lining the abdominal cavity, but gratefully, not affecting any of the other major organs (liver, kidneys, lungs are clean).
Lois is now undergoing her first chemotherapy treatment. Our oncologist anticipates a 4 month chemo program, with treatment every other week to shrink the cancer as much as possible. After that, major surgery (HIPAC) to clear out the abdominal cavity (removing the colon, appendix, and other linings), recovery, and then another 2 months of a different chemo. In all, we are anticipating between 8 to 10 months for this to take place.
There is strong belief from the oncology team that a cure is possible, and is what we're aimed at. With guidance from her team, we also hope to augment this with holistic and naturopath approaches to help boost her immune system as it will be weakened by the chemo.
As an independent, self-employed photography team, we will not be able to work, or only do so at a minimum as we direct our energy and efforts toward Lois' healing. We are asking for support during this difficult time of transition to cover our basic life necessities and restore Lois' health. When possible, we hope to take on commercial assignments (product shots, architectural, branding, etc.) as time and energy allow.
As her husband and life-love, my immediate and ongoing focus is to provide as much of a positive and healing environment as I possibly can, so that Lois can focus on what it takes to beat this. Lois is extremely strong, upbeat and indomitable, and believes that we will overcome this. I continue to build and nurture her in all ways, physically, mentally, and spiritually, and we both are extremely appreciative of the help, love, and encouragement from the dear people in our lives.
Thank you all for your support.
MUCH NEEDED FUN!!!
Over the past weekend, Lois felt strong enough to spend time with friends we haven’t seen in 3 years: On Saturday we dropped in to visit our family in the dog community that we’ve missed tremendously. Catching a local Agility trial, we saw so many friends (furry as well as people), and had such a marvelous, and totally UP day!!! Lots of love and homecoming!!!! That filled up some buckets.
We went in on Monday expecting the next round of chemo, which ended up being postponed for good reasons. And more importantly, results from last week’s CTSCAN and the labs from super early Monday morning.
FROM THE SCAN - a mixed bag…
The GREAT news: The two large livers in the tumor actually have shrunk a little since the last scan just prior to the two radiation treatments!!!!!! We had been told that these wouldn’t like change in shape, just a different shade of grey, so that visually it would be hard to tell what was going on. Similar to my coral reef analogy, even when the actual animals are dead, the reef remains.
The NOT SO GREAT news: The 3rd spot in the liver has continued to grow and doubled in size. This means that our hope of chemo continuing to be effective is very diminished. It might be working, but if so, just a little bit.
The GREAT news: The other areas outside the liver remained unchanged/stable. They didn’t shrink (again lack of chemo’s effectiveness), but they also didn’t grow. More discussion on this in just a moment.
AND… the one cancer marker that had dropped significantly two weeks ago has continued to go down. YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!
After the weekly Tumor Review Board, consensus is to hit the remaining spot in the liver with the same radiation.
Chemo on this past Monday had already been postponed to make room in the schedule for likely radiation, and because my Angel *really* needed a break from the hammer. Even a week off was cause for <short-term> celebration.
So, after the next Y-90 treatment, it’s back to chemo, with Avastin (blood supply reduction). Chemo is needed for this, as it acts as a delivery mechanism for the Avastin.
We have already started looking for applicable clinical trials. While we have an exact picture of what the molecular mutation/variant of colon cancer is, matching up CTs looks to be challenging. Lois’ version has already eliminated some of the new T-Cell experimental therapies, they’ve been proven to not work. More on this as things develop.
When we started Qigong (Chinese meditation for self-healing), the initial goal was to set the stage for my sweetie to cure herself. There’s a LOT of work involved, and more importantly, trust factors that need to be built up. So, the old “how do you eat an elephant” approach (“one bite at a time”) was needed: First focus on what’s needed to stabilize the tumors outside the liver. Bring their growth to a halt.
We’ve been working on that for a few months now, and voila’!!!! That’s exactly what the CTSCAN revealed. In fact, it seemed that our oncologist was a little puzzled on why the non-liver tumors had stopped growing, given that chemo didn’t work on the last spot in the liver. The best speculation was that since they’re in the peritoneum (the “sack” that contains all the organs), they’re just not that well vascularized.
We have opted to believe that Lois’ work with Qigong is making a difference. And now, belief levels have increased – so that is positive reinforcement in trust, the foundation for Qigong to work.
For those of you who know my darling personally, you also know that if ANYONE can connect with her CHI, it’s Lois. The critical part is getting the right guidance and understanding. Like anything else, there are zillions of people and organizations that proclaim their expertise. Finding the right one and sifting out the others – that’s not so easy. If anyone wants to know who we’ve found, and why we have them in such high regard, please DM me.
FINALLY, we’re also continuing to increase the daily consumption of CBD+THC, and let that do its work as well.
Continuing onward and upward!!!
Our thanks and love to you all!!!!!!!
For those of you who helped support our LoisPalooza 2019 fundraiser 2 weeks ago – we hope you enjoyed the amazing talents, music, personalities, and food from this. THANK YOU for being part of this! There are some amazing donations that we have received and will be making these available online in the very near future. (For example: An official Rolling Stones Tour Jacket!!!!) Stay tuned.
Some complicated information I need to try to share.
2 weeks ago, our labs gave us a much-needed positive result: Cancer markers went down significantly. Doctors cautioned us that this was just one day, not to read much into anything, but after over a year of watching these climb and climb, it was pretty effn fantastic.
Here’s the confusion: We don’t really know yet what helped the numbers to drop. Factors:
Radiation worked well on the big liver tumors
The all-in combo of all chemos is working (even when the separate drugs have stopped)
Qigong self-healing and focused healing meditation
Moving forward, we just had our next checkpoint CTSCAN, but won’t hear the results until this coming Monday. That’s also when we have our next chemo scheduled, and will be getting labs again (hoping/praying to numbers to continue downward). The hard part here – the long-term effects, the wear and tear on Lois is pretty telling, and she clearly needs a break. But – cancer is relentless. It doesn’t care if exhaustion and all the other symptoms are present.
So what’s next?
There was a 3rd small tumor in the liver that wasn’t hit with radiation. If it shrank, that means the chemo/cannabis/Qigong is working! We look at this as a coal-mine canary to try to gauge what’s going on.
If it stayed the same or grew, then we need to consider more radiation before it gets any larger. And obviously the chemo/cannabis/Qigong combo isn’t working <yet>.
Likewise the other spots outside the liver will give us a sense on what’s going on as well for the same reasons. They’re not as well vascularized as the liver spot, so they may not be growing as fast.
And if not radiation, they may have us continue with chemo but add in Avastin (mentioned in earlier posts), a drug that helps reduce blood supplies to tumors. Unfortunately, Avastin has to be administered with chemo, the latter acts as a delivery mechanism/carrier to reach the tumors.
Beyond this, if the chemo isn’t working, then things get even more serious, and we have to move towards clinical trials. That gets challenging, as there aren’t many out there for Lois’ particular cancer mutation (we’ve already had a recent biopsy, so we know the exact molecular variation we’re dealing with).
That doesn’t mean we stop with the Cannabis and Qigong (quite the opposite)! But we’re not leaving any reasonable stone unturned.
Clinical trials also means a likely extended stay somewhere else in the country (e.g. NY, Houston, etc.).
So, results and “what’s next” will hopefully help give us more clarity.
As always, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your wonderful support!!!!!!! Appreciation and Gratitude for you is so deep!!
LoisPalooza 2019 | Help Lois Beat Cancer!
Hi everyone! There’s been a tremendous amount of effort put into organizing an amazing Benefit Fundraiser dinner and concert on our behalf, as mentioned prior.
Taking place this coming Saturday, June 29, this is being hosted by world-famous musician Lee Oskar (co-founder and harmonica virtuoso of the supergroup WAR), with his fabulous group Lee Oskar & Friends. Joining Lee will be Emcee Jeff Renner (formerly KING5 TV), and special guest appearances from Roger Fisher (co-founder, guitarist HEART), and vocalist Bernadette Bascom (The Music Project).
We are extremely blessed by the presence and support of such wonderfully kind and dear friends!!!!
Taking place courtesy of the generous kindness from Bake’s Place Bar and Bistro in Bellevue WA, doors open at 5:30, with the event including live and silent auctions with unique one-of-a-kind historical music treasures and a fabulous buffet dinner prepared specifically for this evening. There are also spectacular auction items that have been donated to help support us as well. ***
Here’s a brilliant short video that dear friend Nicole M. created on this:
Please note: Reservations are required (walk-ins day of show are on a “room available” basis). Tickets are $41/person, and buffet is $52/person (both are required). You can find complete benefit information and a link for reservations at the website:
You can also make reservations directly with Bake’s Place:
155 108th Ave NE Ste 110, Bellevue, WA 98004
We hope you’ll be able to join us for this exciting and deeply appreciated event!
If you aren’t able to be a part of this, we kindly ask that you consider sharing information about this out to your sphere of influence, and/or consider passing along information about our GoFundMe ( www.HelpLoisBeatCancer.org) .
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WONDERFUL, CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR MY DARLING ANGEL!!!
***Auction items include (partial list, other items also present):
• Official Tour Jackets from Queen, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, KISS, and others.
A Lee Oskar Harmonica signed by Bruce Willis (actor and musician)
• A very rare limited-edition Lee Oskar Harmonica signed by the original WAR band members with signed music sheet music from the platinum hit, “Low Rider”
• Extremely rare 2Tek guitar signed by Vince Gill, Howard Leese (Heart), Roger Fisher (Heart), Michael Shrieve (founding drummer, Santana), Alan White (drummer YES John Lennon/Imagine) Lee, Steve Fossen (Heart). All members or nominees in Rock in Roll Hall of Fame/Country Hall of Fame.
• An absolutely stunning original painting by Lee Oskar, “Destiny” that is crazy-beautiful eye-candy!
• Signed lyric sheet from Vince Gill, with autographed photo and guitar pick
• Signed lyric sheet from Amy Grant, with autographed photo and guitar pick
• Roger Dean poster (YES album covers), signed by the entire members of the Prog Rock Group YES
• Gold and Platinum record Plaques (Vince Gill and other artists…)
A few scattered topics to cover today.
First: exciting news!!! Organized, courtesy of world-famous musician and artist, Lee Oskar, we have a fundraiser taking place.
This will be on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at Bake’s Place Bar & Bistro, in downtown Bellevue. Lee Oskar & Friends will be providing an evening of music, joined by special guest performances from Roger Fisher (founding guitarist/Heart), and Bernadette Bascom (founder/The Music Project).
This is a reservation-only event, please call Bake’s at (425) 454-2776. (You will also be asked to make a menu selection at that time). Day of walk-ins are also possible, depending on availability. Underground parking is free.
You already know Lee Oskar, as the co-founder/harmonica player/composer for the pioneering funk/jazz band WAR that composed and recorded gold & platinum hits including “Low Rider,” “Spill the Wine,” “Cisco Kid,” “The World is a Ghetto,” “Slippin’ into Darkness,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
The evening will be hosted by Jeff Renner, former KING5 TV Chief Meteorologist, and a much-loved member of our Angel Family.
Auctions (Live and Silent) with spectacular one-of-a-kind items, including
• AMAZING Official Tour Jackets from Queen, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Kiss, Aerosmith and others
• Signed song sheets with matching signed guitar picks from Vince Gill and Amy Grant
• Extremely rare guitar with autographs from numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees including Vince Gill (Eagles), Howard Leese (Heart, Bad Company), Alan White (YES, John Lennon), Roger Fisher (Heart), Steve Fossen (Heart), and Michael Shrieve (Santana) and of course, Lee Oskar himself!
• Signed music sheet for hit song “Low Rider” accompanied with an extremely rare, gold plated Lee Oskar Harmonica signed by original WAR band members.
• A limited-edition Lee Oskar harmonica signed by actor and musician, Bruce Willis.
• Amazing original painting artwork by Lee Oskar
• A pair of tickets donated by our wonderful friends at Alaska Airlines
This past week, my Angel received the 2nd radiation treatment, and as expected, it’s not been easy. Nausea, pain in the liver, inflammation, zero appetite, heavy lethargy/low energy – it has hit her with a renewed vigor. She had about a day and a half just before this, where things kinda felt slightly normal after the chemo from 2 weeks prior.
The nutrition/lack of appetite continues to be serious and very worrisome. Our wonderful protein shakes and many other comfort foods are no longer palatable, the chemo has severely warped Lois’ sense of taste. Lots of her favs now taste metallic. All proteins (beef, pork, fish, chicken) taste yucky, but even if she can swallow a little bit of this, they really upset her stomach with a lot of distress.
So the vicious cycle continues: little food => low energy => even worse appetite.
And being hungry with no way to satisfy is really eroding her spirit, just making her down.
It’s so hard to watch this.
Finally, financially things continue to be really tough. In the desperate search for palatable food, we’ve spent a lot of money trying eat out. It’s that or nothing right now for us (very few home-cooked meals are consumable). Lois is ordering children’s portions, and still can’t finish them.
Tomorrow (Monday June 10) we’re back at VM for labs, and meeting with the Palliative care team to see what else we can do.
And on the 17th, the next round of chemo, with still no indicator yet if it’s actually working or not.
We’re tremendously excited for the benefit. But… If you can please help get the word out, that would be appreciated so much. If you can’t join us but want to support, contributions to our GFM are what are keeping us going financially.
NEEDING TO ADD MORE FUN!
Another factor that is becoming more obvious – we’re so hunkered down and trying to just get through the treatments, that we’re not getting out and simply enjoying life. It’s too easy to focus on survival, and admittedly difficult to spend money on getting out to breathe. Trying to correct that that, but it’s just a challenge.
THANK YOU ALL!!! We simply cannot express that enough, and hope you know how appreciated you are, and how grateful we are.
My heart goes out to you Lois and Jerry; this is a hard battle, but you two have the kind of teamwork to really do everything you can to get through this and to continue to enjoy the fun lifestyle you have known together for so many years. My love and prayers are with you; this is such a difficult time for you both. Having been through this with Dick, the memories of it all are very close to my heart. You have many folks supporting you and that has got to be very heartwarming for you, as well as many people praying for you. Wishing you only life's very best. Love, Kay
And still, Lois has the best smile on the planet and you have the ability to maintain this flow of information. I am in awe of you both. I am appreciative of your example of strength and dedication. I am praying for full recovery/full restoration.
I am chanting so hard for the two of you will keep trying to add to your fund... love Kelbi
As always, I’m sending you both good energy and visualizing the best for you. I’m fascinated to hear what it is about the meditation process that has you commenting about it
We are sending you Both All of our Love ~ You are in our thoughts Always ~ We are with you both Always in Loving Healing thoughts ~ Sending Huge Hugs ~ Love from Roger ~ Sonja and Family ~
Praying hard for you both! Lois, you are such a strong willed, loving person. I know you’re going to beat this! Jerry, we all know how lucky Lois is to have you by her side. Sending love ❤️
Well, I'm going to focus on the good news, and keep sending thoughts re: the Review Board of having an "ah ha!" moment.
I honestly can't thank YOU enough for keeping us so informed Jerry. It makes knowing what to pray about, ask for, and identify the specific kind of pure energy thoughts that should be sent your way. I love you guys so much and I love this picture of Lois. You two are such incredible gifts and I am praying that your greatest gift in return is on the way! Complete and total healing and restoration. Much love!
Love your story. Would love it even more if you could post some photos from those early days 42 years ago. Sending my love and good wishes.
Hi Lois and Jerry - love to you both. I found that taking Claritin prior to the Neulasta shot [immune booster], cut down on my aching bones... if you can stomach it or your oncologist allows. Best.
Thank you for the update Jerry. I keep you both on my heart and in my prayers always! I want to be of use in some way. Is there anything I can do to help??? Run errands, clean at your house, anything? Anything?! I will try to come up with ways to help you too but please, please know that I am a phone call away if you come up with any need. Love you both so much!
Hey you guys. Just think of the fun we are going to have after we beat this together. Our journeys have crossed paths again and the very minute I beat my stuff I am down to you guys for our happy dance!!i admire you two so much, and Lois is the toughest person I know in a streamline package
thinking of you both nd sending hugs. XXXX
Sending our prayers and continued love.
Hello Jerry & Lois, Thank you for the update. We are sending love and prayers your way always. As for your PTSD statement Jerry, I am no doctor, but many people who are not vets deal with it. I know I have my own, so you may have it on some level. I would think after all you both deal with on a daily basis, the unknown has to effect you. It is after all a stress disorder. Sending you both much love and hugs and just wanted to say hello! Thinking of you! Lana & Patric
I am chanting for the two of you. And sending intense love and light ...love Kelbi
Thank you for continuing to share your journey. It takes great courage, and love, to continue on a path of so much pain, uncertainty and yet joy. The two of you are like a finely honed violin. Such beautiful sounds. My thoughts and wishes for healing go with you both.
Jerry and Lois, this obviously isn't what either of you wanted to hear and certainly not what we wanted to hear either. We remain in your 'corner' and are here for whatever you need...and we'll be happy to throw in some 'green' support as well. Our prayers are with you, we will add those of our prayer group tomorrow...