Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August CT Scan Update


I come today with fabulous news!  Kurtis had a CT scan last week to check his abdomen and his lungs.  We have been nervously awaiting the results ... today especially.  But, when the doctor came into the room today he immediately told us that everything was shrinking which is wonderful. 

Kurtis continues to have normal HCG readings and will now have to have his blood tested using a "high sensitivity test" which should tell us what number he is exactly at.  All we know right now is less than 2, but that is comforting enough as all we need is for it to be normal (and it is).

Not a whole lot new is going on here, or it doesn't feel new anyway.  I'm back at school and currently teaching two sections of English 9/World Lit combo classes and one section of College Prep Reading.  I've got great students and it is a whole lot of fun.  In a few weeks, Kurtis will be going through the sub orientation for the school district up here and start out subbing by helping me run my intensive (a week long class that is different from "normal" classes) at school.  I'm teaching a whole bunch of social studies simulations which should be a ton of fun for us and the kids.

We are currently fostering three adorable puppies until they can find homes.  We've had them about a week now and it is fun to get to play with them and watch Chauncey be the "big brother."  They wear him out, but he really enjoys having them in the house.  Their names are Dexter, Helton, and Tracy (Rockies theme...) and we're hoping that they are able to find homes soon.

This weekend Kurtis is playing in a golf tournament in Holyoke and we are going to hit up the Rockies game Monday.  I know he will enjoy playing golf with his dad and it will be nice to spend Monday afternoon at the ballpark. 

On September 17, there will be a benefit for Kurtis in Holyoke.  We don't have all the info yet, but it encompasses a golf tournament, dinner, and dance.  As soon as I have access to the flier, I'll get it posted up here.

Thank you for your continued positive thoughts -

Liz (Kurtis and Chauncey)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

-to Indy and back-


I can't believe that it has been about fifteen days since I've written any kind of an update.  That should serve as a very good sign to all of you - and it is.  The short of it is that Kurtis is doing fantastically.

In the last two weeks we've been soaking up summer. 

We've spent a lot of time sitting around and watching tv - mostly "Lie to Me" and "the Tudors" which are both things we don't watch during the school year but have access to on Netflix.  I've been getting ready for school - purchasing supplies and writing lesson plans - and we also finished painting our room and the basement.  Our room now has beautiful black frames with pictures of our family and friends covering the walls along with a new cover for the comforter that we like very much.  Not only that, but we also found time for a few rounds of golf, several Rockies games, and time family. 

This past weekend, we returned to our ever favorite place (in the entire WORLD might I add!), Indianapolis.  Kurtis needed to have a six-week checkup with Dr. Hanna.  In planning the trip, we didn't have a lot of time, so we ended up spending two nights in Indy instead of just one.  Although it is not our favorite place, we had a good time.  The Drum Corps Championships were going on which was very lucky!  Our first evening was spent at a neat bar and grill and then to the park to watch the drum corps warm up.  Kurtis probably learned far more about marching band than he ever wanted or needed to, but we had a great time.  Sunday we hung out in the mall (it was a dreary day...the day following a bad storm where the stage blew over @ the state fair killing several people if you heard that on the news)...which was a lot more fun than it sounded.  We ate at the new California Pizza Kitchen and played an 18 hole round of glow golf topping the whole thing of with a movie and dinner at a cute place on Mass. Ave (the only moderately cool place in the whole town). 

Monday afternoon Kurtis had an appointment - so we spent the morning strolling by the river and checking out the animals at the zoo.  As soon as we got back to the IU med center memories started to flood back. We've had a lot of experiences there reaching back over six months and the sights, sounds, and smells always bring back feelings of being back in there. 

The appointment went really well.  Dr. Hanna checked Kurtis over and went through the details of his treatment and recovery.  Men who respond to the stem cell quickly (Kurtis did) have a 50% chance of being cured completely.  Men whose numbers normalize after treatment (Kurtis' did) have a 75% chance of being cured. Considering that Kurtis had both of those things happen - he is in a really good place.  Dr. Hanna let us know that the next year is important, but if we can get through the first year without relapse that we're in a great place!

We're feeling very thankful right now and extremely happy.  Thank you to everyone for all the support, love, and care over the past ten plus months. 

Here is to the next step in the journey - - -

Love to all -

Monday, August 1, 2011

Didn't see that coming...did you cancer?


We have some very exciting news for you today!!  Kurtis is no longer pregnant!!

What the heck does that mean?  Well - his HCG is NORMAL.  Finally. 

>HCG, for those who haven't been following us for a long time via blog is the hormone that is used to measure the level of Kurtis' cancer, simply speaking.  It is the same hormone that is used in pregnancy tests - when someone is pregnant it is a positive our case it is super negative.  It is responsible for some of the things that Kurtis feels when he is sick - moody, tired, achy, sick, etc...just like pregnant women.  So, now, you get the joke if you didn't!<

They took a test of his blood on Thursday to check his HCG levels.  When we were in the land of Indiana, they can test the blood there and get results back in about two hours - but in Fort Collins, the blood has to be sent to the Mayo clinic and it takes a few days to come back.  With the blood test on Thursday, it meant that we had to wait over the weekend.  Over the course of fighting this junk, we've gotten better about waiting, but it is never easy.

This morning the results were in and I could hardly believe my eyes.  NORMAL NORMAL NORMAL. 

Thank goodness. 

Kurtis has been feeling better than he did last time (aka after his RPLND and we were told that it was gone...).  I talked to him about that in the car today and I asked him if he knew it wasn't gone last time the whole time and he said yes.  He feels different now and you can see that in his eyes and hear it in his voice.  :D

Tonight we're going to the Rockies game which should be fun.  It's raining here as I type this, so hopefully it clears up for the game tonight.

Not a whole lot else to report...just getting ready for school to start up and looking forward to life actually being normal(ish).

Sending love!