Help My Angel, Lois, Beat Cancer!

$75,035 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 552 people in 29 months


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.
Jerry Levin
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Status update 2019-08-15: Celebrating our 36th Anniversary, Y-90 mapping postponed

Anniversary Celebration and then medical update…

YES!!! We just celebrated our wonderful 36th Anniversary. My brilliant, wonderful, charming, amazing, incredibly beautiful and marvelously strong Angel has tolerated me for 36 years, legally. And really, 42 ½, since that’s when “we” became a we. (Winter of ’77). How fortunate am I?????

The day was quiet, not a lot of energy nor finances to go out do crazy. Instead, we had a wonderful time up in La Conner (one of our favorite towns, kind of like Cannon Beach, but without the ocean that we need to see again so badly).

Dinner, courtesy of a kind gift from someone, was at a local steak and seafood house, and was just… sweet.

And for a few moments, we went outside just after midnight to catch a few of the Perseids (meteor shower). I managed to see at least one fabulous streak, even though there was a lot of competition from an almost-full Moon.

Medically, things are quiet, but for only a short time more. We were scheduled for the Y-90 mapping procedure on Aug 5 (visual angiogram). But for a variety of reasons, this was postponed by 2 weeks.

We arrived, got prepped, had IV and all the other tubes, needles, and EKG things hooked up. All looked ready to go, until our doctor came in, and explained the complications.

First – one of the liver tumors previously treated still shows some remaining activity. Not so good, and needing another zap. The good news – the very first (and largest) liver tumor looks like it’s toast. Because it was nicely concentrated, they were able to give it a “super-dose” and that worked.

The second tumor was more spread out, presenting a more challenging target, and radiation with less intensity, hence a part of that that’s still alive.

Second, the remaining large spot in the liver has continued to grow, aggressively. So, while radiation is the answer for it, Lois has some unusual anatomical features making this quite a bit more challenging.

Specifically, most people have 2 or 3 large blood vessels going into this region, and she has 10!!! The complications are significant. About half of these lead directly to the stomach. Since Y-90 can *only* be tolerated by the liver, if that stuff gets out, it will create permanent, very painful untreatable ulcers. So, great care is needed here.

Additionally, the machines needed for imaging these areas were down (both the main, and the backup) so the day turned into a prep, wait, and “never mind”.

We’ll try again on the 19th.

In the meantime, I also asked the doctor about the “common knowledge” that livers are able to regenerate. I was hoping that, over time, the treated areas that are dead tissue would eventually be replace by healthy liver tissue.

Not the case. In order for livers to grow back, they need to receive a “shock”, to stimulate this. Surgery, cutting, will do that. But radiation – not at all. A question I have since thought of – would it make sense to go in and cut the areas that have been killed off. But, I fear the answer is the same reason why they didn’t go in and surgically remove the areas in the first place: Because there’s cancer in other parts of her gut, that prevents surgery from being an option. Part of the concern is that they don’t want my Baby having to go 3+ months recovering from major surgery, only to allow the other spots unchecked growth (can’t do chemo then).

So, current plans are Mapping (Aug 19), Y-90 Treatment (Aug 30, tentatively), and then back to Chemo+Avastin 2 weeks later, for an indefinite time.

Finally, food intake continues to be the most challenging issue on our day-to-day lives. Nothing tastes good (not even things that appeared to be solutions for us earlier). Virtually all forms of protein (beef, pork, seafood, bird), and protein shakes are close to off the table for my darling. The tastes are a challenge, and her stomach feels pretty yucky after eating. And this is with a month since the last chemo treatment.

Her weight is slowly dropping, as is her energy. Just a slow fading.

I’m actively looking for new sauces that can help make foods more palatable, or just tolerable.

And, actively looking for a reliable hypnotist (something we know nothing about) to see if that could be a helpful channel.

In the meantime, we continue with the medical marijuana and meditation, and try to stay active.

I’ll have one more update in another day or so, on an different topic, as this has gotten a bit long.

Thank you all for your support, love, and encouragement. We appreciate this, and certainly need it!!!
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Status update 2019-07-28: What are you going to do today?

This past Friday afternoon gave us a bit of news: No chemo until around September 1st! On Aug 5, we have another mapping procedure (visual angiogram) of the 3rd tumor in Lois’ liver.

Then, on the 19th, the actual treatment – more Y-90 radiation, and then recovery for 2 weeks before returning to chemo + Avastin.

I asked our oncologist about the liver’s ability to regenerate, and if that is something to expect in our case. Unfortunately, the answer was a strong “NO”. Once an area of the liver has been hit with radiation, it’s dead, and no hope of that region growing back. So, that also means we can’t continue getting new liver treatments indefinitely if new tumors show up. What does happen is that the surrounding tissue takes up the load and tends to overproduce in terms of the liver’s functionality.

But, for the time being, we have a month of NO CHEMO!!!!

This also means – we are actively seeking work in the short-term while we can! If you’ve been contemplating headshots/professional portraiture, or product images, please visit our site (newly re-minted!!!) at www.jerryandlois.com and see if there’s a fit to what you have in mind.

Finally…

I asked my sweetheart when we got the news, what she was planning to do today.

Her answer, “Be Happy”!

And THAT’S my Darling, right there!!!!!
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Status update 2019-07-17: After CTSCAN and labs, what’s next

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.

MONDAY
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!!!!!

WHAT’S NEXT…
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.

LONG TERM…
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.

WHAT’S INTERESTING…
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!!!!!!!
+ Read More
Status update 2019-07-12: Crossroads and confusion

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)
Medical Cannabis
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!!
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Read a Previous Update
Laurie Rapuzzi
26 months ago
2
2

Prayers for everything you need and more.

+ Read More
Kay Fisher Meyers
28 months ago
2
2

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

+ Read More
Vivian
3 months ago
1
1

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.

+ Read More
Kelbi
3 months ago
1
1

I am chanting so hard for the two of you will keep trying to add to your fund... love Kelbi

+ Read More
Roger
4 months ago
1
1

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

+ Read More
Zoe
4 months ago

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 ~

+ Read More
Sibahn
5 months ago

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 ❤️

+ Read More
Dino
5 months ago

PRAYING!

+ Read More
Kevan
7 months ago

Well, I'm going to focus on the good news, and keep sending thoughts re: the Review Board of having an "ah ha!" moment.

+ Read More
Vivian
7 months ago

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!

+ Read More
Julie
8 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Jane
8 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Vivian
8 months ago

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!

+ Read More
Gene
8 months ago

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

+ Read More
Sandra
8 months ago

thinking of you both nd sending hugs. XXXX

+ Read More
Greg
8 months ago

Sending our prayers and continued love.

+ Read More
Lana
9 months ago

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

+ Read More
Kelbi
9 months ago

I am chanting for the two of you. And sending intense love and light ...love Kelbi

+ Read More
Les Gruner
11 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Jeff Renner
14 months ago

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...

+ Read More

$75,035 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 552 people in 29 months
Created March 10, 2017
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$500
Anonymous
7 days ago
$50
dave and danille Turissini
15 days ago
WD
$25
Wendy Dahl
19 days ago

Joining in today's happiness theme. Sending fresh, free-range hugs from Vashon to you both!

DA
$80
Darian Asplund
23 days ago
LG
$50
Lynn Grandin
26 days ago

It’s just a fraction of what is needed, but each fraction added gets us closer to the whole. I will continue to add fractions when I can. I want to preserve that smile on that lovely face! It makes me happy.

$100
Anonymous
1 month ago
CC
$100
Cherry Chau
1 month ago
RA
$100
Raymond Attisha
1 month ago
$100
Dave and Danille Turissini
1 month ago

We love you.

KH
$150
Kim Hartwig
1 month ago
Laurie Rapuzzi
26 months ago
2
2

Prayers for everything you need and more.

+ Read More
Kay Fisher Meyers
28 months ago
2
2

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

+ Read More
Vivian
3 months ago
1
1

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.

+ Read More
Kelbi
3 months ago
1
1

I am chanting so hard for the two of you will keep trying to add to your fund... love Kelbi

+ Read More
Roger
4 months ago
1
1

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

+ Read More
Zoe
4 months ago

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 ~

+ Read More
Sibahn
5 months ago

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 ❤️

+ Read More
Dino
5 months ago

PRAYING!

+ Read More
Kevan
7 months ago

Well, I'm going to focus on the good news, and keep sending thoughts re: the Review Board of having an "ah ha!" moment.

+ Read More
Vivian
7 months ago

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!

+ Read More
Julie
8 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Jane
8 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Vivian
8 months ago

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!

+ Read More
Gene
8 months ago

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

+ Read More
Sandra
8 months ago

thinking of you both nd sending hugs. XXXX

+ Read More
Greg
8 months ago

Sending our prayers and continued love.

+ Read More
Lana
9 months ago

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

+ Read More
Kelbi
9 months ago

I am chanting for the two of you. And sending intense love and light ...love Kelbi

+ Read More
Les Gruner
11 months ago

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.

+ Read More
Jeff Renner
14 months ago

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...

+ Read More
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