• sarah@healingeyes.org

Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Broken furnace

How to even begin this update…
Well cancer puts perspective on life I guess. So say we were “normal” people prior to illness, then waking up Saturday morning to find our furnace motor has died would be a terrible start to a weekend.
But we aren’t those people. A furnace breaking is nothing compared to our week of ups and downs from the side effects of chemotherapy. Going twice to get iv fluids for andy and watching him lay around in pain all day and night. Seeing his spirits raise for a minute and then plummet back down hour after hour. So bring it on furnace!! What else can you throw at us?

Let it snow all day…outdoor insulation to keep us warm until Monday. Possible longer if we can’t find someone to sell us a motor. Yes we are cheap! But it’s so simple to fix if only we had the right brackets and motor.

Healing Eyes

please .. someone

I just want Andy to wake up tomorrow feeling better… is that too much to ask?

Healing Eyes

Post E.R. update

What’s there to say for an update….I am clueless.. Nothing much happens when you are on Chemo.

Andy got home from the ER the same night and we got his nausea under control, his pain under control, and we went to bed.

Next morning we woke up and Andy felt icky again (not as severe). This round of chemo is far far far worse than prior to surgery.
Why you may ask? “I don’t really know.” “Perhaps because he has no stomach?” … “maybe….”

All I know is that its a lonely path for a caregiver. He hurts and I hurt, he sleeps and I sleep, he wakes and I wake…you get the picture.

My Andy is in what I like to call ‘in-between’ life. He is not living and he is not dying, he is ‘in-betweening’. But he’ll come back, it just takes time and rest, and a whole lot of medications.



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ER room

After an enjoyable morning with a friend I come back home to find andy in the same spot bent over in pain still. He can’t eat or drink from his chemo on Thursday.
He is getting worse…
So this leads us to a drive to the emergency room. On the drive over Andy is trying to vomit but he can’t because cancer took his fucking stomach out.
So just coughing and gagging. I try hard not to cry or scream while driving.

We arrive… We immediately are rushed to a room because of his condition and that he has no immune system from chemotherapy.

Now we wait after they gave him an iv (thru his handy dandy port) with pain and nausea meds. This knocks him out.
Great for him but I still have to wait.
So sleepy and getting hungry since I have now missed dinner. But I can’t complain because Andy hasn’t eaten either and he has no stomach… So… My issued are minimal in comparison.
This is just the beginning of round 2 so it won’t get better, this is our normal. Hospitals and doctors and nurses all asking the same thing over and over.

Healing Eyes

Chemo pains

It’s 6:30 am and Andy is in agony.  It started last night. The chemo from Thursday is ripping his insides apart.
I can’t imagine how it feels but what I see hurts so much.
It is hard to do this to him again after he already suffered so much.
It’s seems like modern medicine is like midevil ages… When they purely guessed and put leaches and bled a sick person.

How can we have so much technology and education and advancement and yet still be stuck blindly guessing at an awful cancer. Seriously It’s 2013!!!!!! And we really have no firm understanding of gastric cancer?! Stop making new iphones and tablets and make better cures for cancer!

Why can’t the doctors have better humane methods than just pumping a bunch of poison in that doesn’t know the difference between good cells and bad!
This is hell and it’s only day 3 of nine weeks!

Healing Eyes



Can’t do this with an iphone!
Off to a good start at chemotherapy

Healing Eyes

Making time for what matters when life isn’t fair

With the lurking Chemo day less than a day a way we decided a mini adventure was in order to reclaim some of our life back from cancer. First snow of the season calls for First ski.

We knew this was our last chance this winter to get out on the fresh powder, yes it was around 12 degrees and it felt even colder on the chair lifts and our faces nearly froze off. But when you know tomorrow is First day of hardcore Chemo a hardcore solution is needed to survive.

We took a quick 2 hour drive on not the ‘best’ snow covered roads to arrive at Caberfae peaks. We got in quite a few runs too and there was barely anyone else on the hills (probably because only crazy people go skiing in freezing weather).

This was our first trip since Andy lost his stomach to cancer. It was a bit scarey to head out when you know every calorie counts and skiing probably eats up a lot, but I think a stronger heart is important too. I don’t know how Andy does it, staying so strong thru the pain, it must be because he loves me sooo much that he won’t ever give up. Thank you Andy for playing in the snow with me today, it really was like the ‘old’ days when we loved eachother hehe

Healing Eyes

Remembering to smile

It’s hard to tell which was worse.
Being diagnosed or living without a stomach. Outside looking in I can’t paint the entire picture but it seems living without a stomach will be the biggest challenge yet for us.

Thursday we start the first cycle of chemo. A couple days after andy will feel the worst and slowly begin to build backup until the next cycle. Three times it will happen and three times we will remember how to live.

How can we smile around others when we know what lies ahead. All things once happy now are just faded memories. We have forgotten how to smile, replaced now by an emptiness.
Time continues on …
Mistakes are made …
Scars heal …
And time moves on … still

Healing Eyes

Round 2 ‘i think’

What’s the story dude!

Well yesterday we met with the Oncologist (who i just noticed is pregnant so thats delightful to have to see while going over the misery to come with chemo). I think Karma has a big bullseye on our foreheads and is just throwing everything all at once at it to see how much you can break a person.

We talked about the chemo plan, which really means we just stared at each other and said, ‘yup andy feels like poo still, yup he still isn’t holding his weight, and oh yea yup he has to do the same chemo regiment as prior to surgery’.  The only thing different is we are trying for the chemo pill so that he doesn’t have to be reunited with Philipé the pump again…mixed feelings on that one since we know what the side effects are like on that, we dont know what the pill will do to him.

We now wait for nurse Katie to call us and set up the game plan which most likely will start next week thursday. The sooner the better we say! Let’s get this shit over with and then get Andy back to work before he goes crazy from watching the Maury show.

None of this means we will ever be rid of cancer or live happily ever after. Lets get chemo done and then get on with the 3 month checkups for any reoccurrence of cancer somewhere else…then I guess we will go from there. YES ever the optimistic I am!

Healing Eyes


Two confirmed ways to relieve stress.
Bicycling and shooting guns.

Shooting guns is by far the most effective way to say, “screw you cancer and stress”! The first loud bang of a semi automatic hand gun being shot off near you sends adrenaline thru your body.
Then it’s your turn….deep breath…hold the gun in the right hand and grip it with your left, the fear of the kick back, fear of the spark…it all leads up to a rush of excitement and giddiness.
Bruised thumb and a little cut from the recoil…worth it.

It’s so true…until you go thru terrible shit in life you have know idea who will step up to help you. Most likely its someone you would never have dreamed of. take whatever opportunity you can to get thru the lows, even if it is only a brief break, to remember what happy times can be like. Everyone needs a reminder that your are allowed to smile…even if its thru the line of sight on a handgun.

Thanks don and Marybeth…that’s just what andy and I needed before starting chemo again…a nice shoot out followed by pleasant chat around the dinner table and free home cooked meal.



Healing Eyes