8/3/17 Update: From Jerry's Caring Bridge Site:
Is it too late to apologize?
Journal entry by Katrina Beckham — 23 hours ago
50 lashes with a wet noodle for not updating in almost a month. It's been kind of a whirlwind. After the news at Gerald's last oncologist appointment, we packed our bags and headed to Florida to see my family since we knew we wouldn't be making our annual Thanksgiving trip later this year. It also coincided with my 20th high school reunion, which I helped plan. Bonus! Thanks to a gift from a friend, we were not only able to make the trip, but we were able to take the girls to Sea World for a day. We had such a good time! Gerald zoomed around on a motorized cart and we did our best to keep up with him! The girls enjoyed playing at the beach later in the week. It was good to reconnect with some old friends for me as well.
Overall, it was some much needed time to connect with our kids before we came back to face the reality we are in now. We got back on Tuesday 7/18 and the next morning we headed to Gerald's first chemo treatment on Wednesday 7/19.
His first treatment went well. He was EXTREMELY nervous. Like, in 14 years together, I've never seen him like that before. But, by the grace of God, we happened to sit next to a man who has the same type of cancer and is going through the same chemo treatment. Gerald got to watch as they started this man's treatment and it helped calm his nerves. Even better, they started talking and joking around and we all had a good bit of laughs during the 4+ hour treatment. Chemo Buddies! We've even connected personally outside of treatment. I'm thankful for this connection for Gerald. It has truly helped him to have someone who is going through it with him.
His treatment includes 48 hours with a pump that continually doses him with the chemo. We go back on Fridays to have it disconnected. That's when things get rough. This is where I get honest. I haven't updated mainly because I've been trying to process things. Seeing the man you love, who has always been the strength of the family, physically, emotionally and mentally weakened in such a way is slightly devastating. I didn't realize how much it impacted me until I tried to write an update after that first treatment. I couldn't even see the screen through my tears. So, yeah. There it is. This is hard. For everyone.
Today was his second treatment. (He goes once every 2 weeks for 4 treatments.) He had more side effects during and immediately after this treatment than the first time. We were warned this time could be more intense since the drugs are building up in his system now. So we play the waiting game to see what happens. It's like Christmas morning, except all the presents suck.
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7/6/2017 Update From Katrina, Jerry's wife: Today was our follow up visit with the oncologist. We went thinking we would just find out when he would start chemo and what that would look like for him.
What we were not prepared for was the words that came out of the oncologist's mouth.
"This treatment is not curative."
"We want to keep him around for at least 5 more years when new treatments are available."
"This will eventually take your life."
Well, shoot. It was like getting punched in the gut by the Incredible Hulk. But... We know God is bigger than this. We know our faith will carry us through this, no matter the outcome. We know our faith, along with our sheer determination, will help us fight this with everything we have. And that's just what we're going to do.
The doctor wanted him to start chemo next week, but he wanted to put it off for a week so we could take a trip with the girls before we enter the great unknown. So he'll be starting that on July 19th. He will have four treatments every 2 weeks and then they will do more scans to see if the tumors are responding to the medicine.
In the meantime, we have already started improving our diet and doing everything we can do to keep things as positive as we can around here. We're going to hit this from all sides.
People keep asking how they can help, and at this point, I can only point people to the fundraiser that our wonderful friend put together for us. We'll need more practical help in the coming weeks, but with mounting medical bills and this certainly affecting our ability to work during his treatments, any help is appreciated.
PLEASE HELP AND DONATE ANYTHING YOU CAN!
Updates are here: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/fightlikeajedi
Gerald (Jerry) Beckham was diagnosed with cancer (adenocarcinoma) today, 6/13/2017. When I saw Katrina Beckham's Facebook post about Jerry's diagnoses and talked to her about it, I knew I had to step up and repay her and Jerry for everything they have done for me.
I know... I know... another GoFundMe, but let me explain. ..
My brother passed away unexpectedly December 8, 2014 and there were no means to give him a proper memorial. Katrina didn't even ask... she stepped up opened a GoFundMe and before I knew it my brothers entire memorial was payed for. She brought me food, visited me, we talked daily, she and a group of amazing women bought my mother a tree to plant in her front yard in memory of my brother... I mean, do I need to go on? I always thought I would never be able to repay her until now. I know I am rambling on about Katrina, but I needed to speak to the depth of their character. Let's move on to Jerry...
Jerry was layed off after many years at a company and I witnessed his brave move to real estate. He saw this as an oppurtunity that it's time to be happy and take a risk. Katrina worked a few jobs to make ends meet and Jerry started real estate. This is where I grew to know Jerry's amazing soul. He had a passion. That passion was finding the perfect home for anyone that would let him. Jerry had my business as soon as I knew my family was ready to start looking for our dream home a little over a year ago. We found it. The perfect house. My forever home. Without Jerry, I would NEVER be in the house of my dreams. We lost this house twice... I thought it was a lost cause, but he persevered. After another lost offer on a different house that we were settling for, he sat down at his desk to eat his lunch and looked at our dream house one more time... it was just put back on the market. He basically had a panic attack to get ahold of us. That day we put in an offer and it was ours. Jerry and Katrina are very special people. They would give the shirt off their back if you needed it. They are both real estate agents with no sick time, no vacation time and thank God they have insurance, but... please, please, please...help this wonderful family so they can let Jerry get better without worrying about medical bills and providing for their 3 girls!!