• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: gastric

Lose it all to Gain life?

One more possession gone.

One more piece of me taken away.

I asked him his story before he took my iMac away. He was a college student studying music..he was a drummer but now wants to produce music. His little macbook Pro laptop wasn’t cutting it and it was time to upgrade to a faster, sleeker machine. He searched all over the place and the prices were high and then he found my craigslist post. One iMac for sale at an amazing price.

It helps to know the story of the person that buys my ‘stuff’. In some ways it lessens the pain when you know what it will be used for and what good can come from letting go something precious. The iMac was just a computer but it was also something Andy loved. He was my Mac guy! He was THE Mac guy! He was so happy when we purchased that computer a year ago with my bonus check. Although he never really did use it much but it was the idea of owning a 27″ slim iMac that really made his day.  I will take comfort in knowing that a college student will be getting more use out of it than Andy did….that it will be editing and recording music just like Andy used to do. At his job he had a sound lab where he helped students record music…he even let me use the room to have conference calls from when I took him to work when he was going thru treatments. What an odd world we live in, where one minute you are alive and struggling thru cancer and then the next I am moving away to an island and getting rid of all my possessions.

I truly own nothing of value anymore! I have clothes and a bed (the bed isn’t really mine though, it’s my parents).  Who am I? What is God up to?! How will I ever survive this crazy new lifestyle when all I have known is collecting stuff and living for a paycheck.

I am staring at the cash I just got my my iMac and thinking, “Man that’s nice but it’s just cash…it’s not going to bring Andy back and it’s not going to bring my joy. It could pay rent though, or maybe buy me a laptop when I need one”.

Why do we put so much value in material things? They are fleeting…

“It is impossible for you to have a need that I cannot meet. After all, I created you and everything that is. The world is still at My beck and call, though it often appears otherwise. Do not be fooled by appearances. Things that are visible are brief and fleeting, while things that are invisible are everlasting.”

Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

In a little over a week I am flying away, one way ticket to St. Croix! This Sunday I am telling my story to a video camera in my extremely empty apartment. A year ago I was with Andy just finishing up Chemotherapy and dreading the months of unknown re occurrence of cancer…not knowing if he was to live or die or when. Tomorrow I will wake up and wonder again what my future holds because that’s just what I do… constantly worry about tomorrow and paralyzed to live for today. Oh what release to live and truly understand happiness. Is it possible to live with little and gain more than my mind can ever imagine?

Healing Eyes

Escape from Cancer

It is possible to regain a piece of life after cancer. It won’t be the same reflection as before but in some ways it’s more precious and amazing than before cancer. You will appreciate the moments of happiness more, the forgotten smiles, the laughter that comes from enjoying each others company. Somewhere during our time in Jamaica we awoke that truly unique love for each other. It might have been all the sun, refreshing drinks, swimming, frolicking with the dolphins … But I’ll take any day that includes Andy smiling and being himself again…his new and improved awesome self.
I dare say the trip was a success with some speed bumps that we overcame. The manager at sandals was great and helped us with Andy’s eating arrangements. Even when we were down the manager and chef surprised us with evening treats and smiles. One Jamaican cook was shocked that andy had no stomach, he wanted to help and even said he would say a little prayer for him that night. There still was the awkward looks by waiters when we ordered such small portions but we tried to shrug them off.
Every night andy was exhausted from the day but finally it was a good tired. Being drained from cancer treatments is far worse than being tired from having fun on the beach and climbing waterfalls.











Healing Eyes

Some words are said silently


Sometimes in life you fight against help from others. Sometimes in life you find certain things trite and insignificant. Sometimes you don’t realize what you have until it’s threatened. Sometimes young people are forced to face life and death too early. Cancer is scarey and serious..face it one day at a time. Even when we have a moment where we fix a furnace together and smile and only minutes later andy gets sick from a harmless pancake. Followed by a serious conversation with HR about life insurance in case of the unthinkable. We cant not think of it though. Face it straight on and try to find humor now to survive tomorrow…(32 going on 80 years old)

Healing Eyes

Craving dirt

Cravings from b12 deficiency are dirt, detergent, and pounds of ice chips…you said what?
I’m busy scratching down notes the doctor is rattling off and she says andy will want to eat soap.
No explanation it’s just an odd symptom that most patients report.

The radiation doctor was very nice after we waited an hour to see her because another patient had fainted or something because of low sugar. But eventually she told us what we expected. She has no specific plan for us either. It appears we have picked a cancer that has no standard cure because of the late stage it was in and the large area it consumed.

What to do…we were given speculations and clinical trials..I suggested another recipe and the doc said hmm yea that could work too.

It seems we r to wait a bit longer for more doctors to give there wishy washy opinions and in 2 weeks I think it’s going to be a consensus to do aggressive chemo again and then possibly try radiation if we think Andy’s body can handle it.

My one question was how much can andy take of the poison before it destroys us and at what cost. No matter what, cancer is here to stay, and lurks in the shadows either way we go. Now we have to accept that reality and prepare for the pain to come and remain sane.

Healing Eyes

Scar tissue thickens

Oncologist still debating on next steps. Chemo most likely.. Radiation seems not an option but not positive yet.
Next Tuesday we go back to hear more hypothetical treatment to choose.
In next two weeks I bet Andy will be on chemo.
Now it’s not the treatment that really matters… It’s allowing ourselves to be happy knowing tumor is out. And to finally come to grips with the inevitable decision to not renew home study for adoption…. Our social worker would need to assess our marriage and our mental state once treatment is over…
Nothing like always being under a microscope to prove ourselves worthy of happiness. For most normal people they get the family and normalcy of being married with kids by now… But that’s not our journey… I just wish I could accept defeat when it blatantly stares back at me.
Damn you determination and denial.

Healing Eyes

Is there a fix

If you broke your arm you go straight to the doctor and get a cast put on…some weeks later your arm is fixed.
If you catch a cold you take some pills and your fixed.
With asthma you take an inhaler every day and problem solved.
When your told that you are cancer free because they removed the tumor you don’t go home feeling better. Instead you leave with a numb feeling of uncertainty.
You are given a couple options of poison they will pump into your veins to kill any cancer left over but remember the doctor just said cancer free a moment before.
It’s a strange predicament .. She said to us we are now in the “survivor” club but still have more chemo to come. It’s saying hey you won but lost.
Now every day, month, and year we have cancer by our side and in our veins.

In a couple weeks the treatment will start and I will watch my andy suffer, but I won’t go anywhere because let’s face it I love him far too much. I would go thru the fire swamp and the snow sands day after day if it meant another moment at Andy’s side watching him breathe.

Healing Eyes


I dread tomorrow.
I remember the tv show House where there was the best friend who played an oncologist. His office looks nothing like ours, and I remember the episode where the oncologist is diagnosed with cancer and refuses chemo because he knows how painful it is.
Our doctor visit is nothing like House.
Our cure doesn’t come in a hour long episode. We have no magic tv cure. It’s not lupus.

Stay tuned for a rerun episode as chemo will most likely be the treatment..but maybe a twist of radiation.

Healing Eyes

A Post to those that Get it

If you are new to this blog and you stumbled upon it by chance while searching for keywords ‘cancer’ stomach cancer’ ‘gastric cancer than this post is for you.

We started this blog to update family and friends about Andy’s health updates. But I think this blog can do more than menial updates on treatments and doctor visits.

If you are a caregiver and are living with cancer thru your spouse or loved ones than I understand and reach out to you..the quiet readers looking for some meaning in why Cancer has chosen you.

If you try to scream at the top of your lungs but nothing comes out because you fear you might explode..or that someone might hear you and not understand than I get you.

Cancer .. the ‘c’ word… the evil shadow that consumes your life it has to be beatable. It can’t always win. There are survivors, its getting past the Diagnosis and treatments that is the true test of someones strength. If you can get past that then thats when you use the word ‘hope’. Now is the time to Fight and endure.. Endurance!

Life is fragile and it can disappear in an instant..living each day as if it were your last now that’s something to strive for. If you are living with cancer like us and really Understand than Scream out as loud as you can today but tomorrow wake up and smile because its a new day and you have another chance to breathe.

Healing Eyes

Miko birthday

This recliner is amazing. It truly is a cloud! I should have bought two of them.

Next steps…December 26 meet with oncologist for chemo and see gastric doc to get the feeding tube removed!

Andy has been eating great. Last two days were all real food so he’s had pizza, egg sandwich, bacon, noodles, ravioli, oh and too many cookies (causes the shakes so I’m gonna have to monitor the intake).
All in all with the holidays and cancer still looming above us we are alive and breathing. Even if it is hard days ahead, I suppose that’s our normal.

Oh miko turned 7 today ! Happy birthday little girl, enjoy your Kamari ball.


Healing Eyes