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Another blow

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Sorry I haven't been to the board all weekend, but I just got home from the hospital.

About 3:00 AM Monday Keith started to complain about stabbing side pain (this time on the opposite side from the last ER visit). So we went into the ER.

I could go into a long story of everything that went on for the last two days, but I just don't have the energy. The short story is...

Rapid progression of disease that is even surprising to the oncologist since his last scan on May 9th.

The pain may be a combination of things. The tumor on the tail of his pancreas grew so it has elevated his pancreatic enzymes, it is also restricting the flow of blood to his spleen so that is enlarged. It could also be his liver again, which has now become so enlarged that it is no longer on his right side but is now spanning almost to the center of his left rib cage. Keith now also has fluid on his right lung that is as the radiation doc explained it almost up to his armpits. The scariest thing is that there are are two areas, one in the center of his mediastanum and one in his neck that are both compressing his vein feeding his heart (SVC) Superior vena Cava or something like that. Keith's arms are swelling. They can't radiate because both spots have been radiated to their maximum doses already in fact the one in his neck was radiated twice.

The solution: Keith is going in on Friday morning to see if they can insert stents into his veins. (I don't know what will happen if they can't), he is also going to have the fluid drained then too.

He has been taken off of his clinical trial drugs. His plateletts dropped too low for continued Temodar, and the thalidomide alone will not reach full potency for a month to month and a half. The doctors think that Keith doesn't have that kind of time to wait for it to get to full potency at the rapid rate of progression they are seeing.

The doctor is arranging a consultation with a doctor at the University of Chicago to see if they can get him into any phase I trials. Other than that option, they are out of options.

I'm so scared. I can't do this. I cried uncontrollably all day at the hospital and in front of Keith too. He was great about it, but I hate that I have made him worry for me when he has so much to worry of on his own. I don't know what to expect going from here. I don't know what to look for or how to help. I don't want to learn the hard way on every symptom diagnosis and complication of lung cancer. I'm so afraid I am losing him and I our time is running low. I'm not ready. I can't do this. I'm so selfishly afraid. I'm incredibly afraid for Keith too, but I'm also very afraid for how unbearable and horrible my life will be without him. I don't want him to suffer, I just want him to be healed.


Well, my short story got long, but I just needed to let it all out.


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Carleen -

I don't know what to say. I know how strong your faith is, and mine is as well. I am praying for strength and peace of mind for you. We can't predict what God's will is...I wish we could. Right now, just try to keep breathing and know that God has both of you in his hands although I am sure it doesn't feel that way. Carleen, you are so strong, you will survive no matter, no matter how painful. How I wish I could take some of this from you. get through each minute, each hour -- and keep loving your dear Keith the way you always have.

With so much love,


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I am so sorry, no one should have to go through this. I hope they are able to help him on Friday. Others here have had stents put in for SVCS and come through fine. Let us know, we'll all be wondering.

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Dear, dear Carleen, After I read your post I went into the bedroom and got down on my knees to pray for that miracle. Through my tears I asked God to heal Keith. I just don't know what else to do, but I sure can keep praying.

Love and hugs to you and Keith,

Nancy B

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I find myself crying with you. That doesn't give much comfort , but know that I care and I'm praying hard for you and Keith. I wish I could tell you that everything is going to be ok , but I can't , noone can. I can offer some experience as far as the SVC.. Mike had a stent.. as a matter of fact, he had two overlapping for strength , put in . He had follow up radiation also, but the stent procedure was quick, about 40 minutes and he was already greatly improved by night, as far as the swelling. He was swollen in his face, neck, arms and upper body until the procedure was done.

Carleen, I wish I had magic words. Just know that you and Keith have my prayers.



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Carleen, I just called my Mom in Florida and she is a great prayer warrior. You and Keith are on her prayer list (she prays several times a day over her list) and she is also e-mailing her other prayer partners.

Love, hugs and prayers,

Nancy B

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I am so sorry, Carleen, that words seem so shallow and hollow at this time. I am so hoping that prayers will give you some comfort, but don't know about that either. You and Keith have been traveling this road for so long, it just seems there MUST be something good to come your way. Know that Fred and I have held you both in prayer for quite some time now. Prayers tonight are for strength and courage for you, dear girl, to be able to continue your undaunting support of your wonderful husband. Sorry there is not more I can do.


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Hang in there, honey. Like Tina said, God will sustain you. I said those exact same words - I can't do this. I went to the counselor and said I can't do this, I don't need help, I need God to do ALL of it, because I can't do it. I swear to you, every single day, several times every day I said out loud, to myself and to anybody that would listen that "I can't do this!" I also followed those words with . . ., but I WILL!!!

Guess what? I really couldn't do it, Carleen. I knew I wasn't strong enough. I knew I couldn't handle it, and I knew that if God didn't come through for me that I really would curl up in a tight little ball and die. He did come through - before, during and after. If He hadn't, I wouldn't be here writing this note to you. Not only did I love Don for 38 wonderful years, but I depended on him for everything. Like your Keith, he was my rock, my substance, my provider, my caretaker, my EVERYTHING. Everything I did revolved around what he wanted to do first. Everything I cooked, bought, made or did was pretty much what he would like or want. It was also vice versa - he was like that for me, too.

So, in summary, I "get it" - what you're saying, what you're feeling, and what you're thinking. I typically hate the expression, "If I can do it, you can do it", but that's what I'm saying!

As you know, you can always send me a PM and we can hash it out as much as you want. Put your chin up, wipe away those tears, use God's strength, and not your own. You will be amazed at how strong you will become.

I love you, and God bless you, Carleen!


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Oh Carleen...I am so, so sorry. This is just terrible. I pray every day that my friends here get blessings of healing...this disease is just so horribly strong. It is frustrating! Please know that I am praying for you and for Keith. My dad had the SVCS also, and it is scary. Stay together, pray together, and know you have people, all around the world who are praying for you as well.

Dear Lord, please bless Carleen and Keith with strengh, hope, and peace. As always I pray for the miracle of healing for them, and for all others so plagued with this and many other diseases.

God bless you Carleen.

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Carleen... You ARE doing this. You ARE. You wake up each day, and you keep going. And that is what you will continue to do no matter what happens. It might feel like you can't do this anymore, but you already are. You are remarkable.

I'm praying so hard for both of you. Praying that Abba will just hold you so tight in His arms. Praying for any miracle he may give. Praying for special time for you two right now. Praying for pain control. And peace. And healing.

We love you both, and we won't stop praying.


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Dear Carleen,

My husband died a sudden death (car accident)so I had no time or thought to say I cant do this!! He was 29 and I was 28. We had 2 young Sons , one which was only 8 months old. We had been married 10 years. I had thought that if anything ever happened to my husband or children I couldnt survive and yet I did. I brought up those boys to young men that I am very proud of. It was a nightmare losing him but I knew God had him by the hand and he was in Heaven. That is what kept me sane!

I am sorry for going into my life when I am writing about yours but I just wanted to tell you that you dont have the choice but to go on. Your faith and that of Keiths will assure you of where he is going when the Lord calls.

I pray for you every night and look on this board especially for you and I pray for a miracle!

Please know that you have this whole board praying for Keith and you and here to support you in any way we can.

Please God Give them strength to go through what ever you have planned for them. Hold them tight in your arms and soothe them.

We all love you Carleen and Keith and are sending up prayers all the time for the both of you.

God Bless Them Dear Lord,


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I know there's no way that words on a screen can compare to what you're going through right now...just know that I (as we ALL are!) praying every moment that Keith gets that healing! I'm praying for your strength, to lift you up and let God fill you when you're at your weakest. And I'm praying that you know peace with the journey you're taking with your dear Keith.

I wish I had more than prayers to give to you...but know you're always in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so sorry that Keith is having to go through this and that you're having to worry.

I know those words of "I can't do this"...I say them often myself. As Val said...you ARE doing it. Sometimes whether we like it or not, we're doing it. And we keep doing it because we have no other choice and we love. We're here for you. Lean on us. Let us help you.

Much love and prayers...

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Carleen I am so sorry to read of your pain. I reckon you guys have just been through so much, it is so very unfair.

Just know that you have a huge family here, one that would take away the pain if we could.

I will hold you and Keith in my thoughts and hope for the best.


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We talked In chat last nite and just want you to know I am praying for a blessing for ya! If you need anything You know Where I am here. Good luck with research and trip to chicago and know we will probably hear from you before that trip. Saying Prayers in Carolina.

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