Monday, August 22, 2011

Graduation Day

7:00 a.m.

Today is the day!
All weekend we have both been repeating "One More Day" with giant smiles. (Well, my face was a smile, my husbands more of a fake sad grin, to keep me happy)
One more treatment today and then this torture ends.
No more Mask.
No more radiation.
No more chemo.
One more day. Today. It ends....

My husband hasn't been sleeping in bed. 
He has to sleep sitting straight up these last few days since the mucus is so thick in his throat. He has no saliva anymore so this thick stringy stuff just collects like rope in the back of his throat and it chokes him. 
Every 3 minutes he must spit it out and when I say it's like rope, that's no exaggeration. It's thick, stringy and will choke a horse.

If he slips and lays too far down, I can hear him choke and each breath is like dragging a car down the drive with no tires. I wake up with a start when I hear him gasping and think 
"Breathe, breathe, exhale....wait.......
Inhale...Wait.... exhale..... Inhale.... Wait...Breathe, dammit breathe!"
I can hear that stuff caught there and air has no chance to penetrate it.  
Gross? Youbetcha. I can stand vomit or blood... Mucus and spit? Thick and slimy? 
Not so much.

I wake up and stagger to the living room in the still dark pre-dawn of morning and find a very pale, weak, sad looking husband sitting upright in his favorite lounger. Wide awake.
I remind him... "One More Treatment" with a shaky grin.

He shakes his head. His voice is completely gone now.
He looks like something the dog drug in from the back yard. 
How can he possible put on that dreaded mask, be clamped to the table flat on his back and lie there without moving for 40 minutes thru one last radiation treatment and not choke to death.
Does ONE more treatment matter in the grand scheme of things? 
Probably not but I gently remind him that we can and will get thru this last one. One more.
10:00 a.m.

We leave and arrive at the clinic.
I am so fearful they will tack on some surprise additional treatments but they don't.  
Our parole begins today.
They call his name. I sit and wait. The time seems to be dragging. What is going on in there? Is he choking to death on that crap?
I hear a siren wailing in the background. Is that coming here or to the hospital  right next door? 

I feel as tho I took one giant breath as I entered this building and am afraid to take another.  Time is crawling. I know they give him a safety buzzer if he is in trouble but geez, this is a man that never ever complains.
Tick tock... One minute is an eternity.
Finally, I see him turn the corner and his sad little face tells me he is done. 
It's over.
No more treatments.
My eyes well up with tears at the thought. I told him I would drag him thru this. Neither of us is pretty but we did it!

Now what happens?
The other patients all call it "Getting put out to pasture"
They send you home and you wait. Wait to get poked and prodded and then scanned for a recurrence. 
The chemo stays in your body several days but radiation takes about a month so to scan now would all show up as red hot inflammation from the burning and searing of the radiation. 

As I am writing this, our phone rings several times. It seems the word is already out. Our initial doctor's office calls to  schedule an appointment for a flex-scope in 4 weeks.  The radiation clinic calls for a follow up in two weeks just so see how he is progressing. The chemo clinic calls to schedule an appointment for an infusion of  IV fluids on Thursday.
We may be in the pasture now but it's not going to be all rosy.
The feeding tube must remain in place. 
If anyone reading this is or will be going thru this or helping a loved one, I plead with you... Implore you and encourage you to get the G-Tube and get it in place before treatment begins. To do it after, you will not have the energy to do so. 
It has saved my husbands life. 
He has lost 40 pounds but would have probably lost double that without it.
Also, it helps to get pills and water in via the tube. My husband stopped drinking or even sipping water a week ago. I am told he will have to go thru therapy to re-learn how to eat and drink. His muscles have probably locked up. (I know that feeling. My heart locked up about 2 months ago)
So, for now we are out to pasture and I am glad to be there. We have a month of innocent oblivion. We don't know a thing and for now, I'm happy about that. 
Recurrence is now our enemy.
We hear so many people that have treatment then say after the first scan, "I beat it. I'm cancer Free!"

Not so fast... 
Since entering this nightmare and learning more than I ever wanted to know about cancer, I have discovered that you are only as good as your last scan. 
We won this battle. We made it thru the treatment. 
Now we must win the war.
Recurrence, keep your smelly ass outta here!


  1. Honestly, Lana, my heart was in my mouth reading your latest news. I think about you both every day and I don't even know you personally, but you have touched my heart.

    If I feel a bit blue or a bit achy with my arthritis I remember your husband and many others like him who are going through hell and who would give their right arm to swap the big C with my arthritis.

    God love you both - you deserve to win this battle. Lou xxx

  2. Stay strong Lana, Henry will need you even more now. The worry of recurrence is always in the back of your mind. Now is the time for Henry to rebuild his strength and for both of you to have some well deserved rest. Relax and heal that is the main thing. We all will keep on praying for you and your family. Thanks Lana for keeping us up to date. You have so many things on your mind. Don't worry about us, worry about yourself.Hugs and prayers for all of you.

  3. Oh Lana this is such good news. I prayed & prayed for both of you & your family. I will continue to pray too. I believe hope, love & determination is what really matters in these times. Keep your head up and keep on moving forward. You both can do this.

  4. Im so happy for you and your husband Lana!
    You are both so strong and inspiring!! you both should be proud of having hung in there this whole time, bless you both♥

  5. Praying for healing, strength, and improving health for your husband. Your post made me cry, your love for each other and the strength to get through this ordeal has touched me. Doesn't matter that we've never met- My heart, prayers, and healing thoughts/wishes go out to you. May God bless your husband with healing. *gentle hugs*

  6. husband had 50 radiation treatments (although he did not suffer one- tenth what Henry has). We have had 3 months downtime, and we go back soon. The closer we get to the appointment (which in our case will tell us if the treatment worked and the cancer is gone) the more nervous we get. It has become a dark cloud on the horizon. I will tell you this summer has been wonderful. Only a few trips for bloodwork. We decided the day we walked out of the clinic in June, that we would make a conscious effort NOT to talk about cancer unless we had to. It was a much needed rest for mind and spirit. Try and enjoy this time, even though Henry is weak. Have the best time you can, even if it's just sitting and relishing in the fact that you don't have to go out.

    Love you both!!!

  7. Lana,
    You are one strong lady. Bless you both. In my thoughts and prayers

  8. Dear Lana,

    I had tears welling up in my eyes as i read this post. I am so, so happy that the treatments are done and he can do away with that awful mask. I pray that Henry will be cancer free and that he will stay that way and be able to move forward and enjoy life again. I know he has a lot to still deal with but at least this part of it is over. I will continue to pray for healing of your Henry. Many hugs to you both. Faith, Hope & Love <3 Anita

  9. May the good Lord bless you and keep you.

  10. Thank God it is over. He carried you both through this and He will carry you through the recovery and the rest of your beautiful life together. Funny how strangers care for each other. We do care. Lana you brought some of us through the most tramatic times in our lives with your humour,inspiration and outlook on life so in some odd way your videos assisted us in the healing process when no one else would or could.
    peace my friend,

  11. I am so glad you updated us Lana. I was just thinking about you after I woke up this morning. And thought "I need to send Lana a message because I haven't read any updates and I want to know how everythings going." And just like that I log into blogger and here you are.

    I am so glad your honey is done his last treatment!! Hopefully he heals up quickly. And you two can celebrate with a night on the town like two naughty trouble making teenagers. ;)

    <3 you Both

    P.s. Jersey told me to let you know he got a little blue hippopotamus stuffed baby he likes to sleep with and carry around the house.
    He says hi to Izzy and Paris!

  12. although i dont write in every post you make lana, i always wait for them and read them.its funny how you can feel things for people you have never met. i have even talk to friends about you and your i would talk for a person i knew..
    you did Great Lana..your husband is very lucky to have you! you are a great person filled with love.
    Remember everything is a test, and we must first make the most of it, and then sit back and take the lesson from it.the lesson that was predesigned. Nothing happens without a reason. God loves us SO much that he ll never put us through sth so painfull without a good reason. Love you, God bless you..

  13. (((((((((Lana&Henry)))))))))))))))
    Lock the door and recharge those batteries, have time together and enjoy each day till you have to go back to the hospital and we will all be here willing the right result for you both :0) xxxJoolsxxx

  14. enjoy every minute you have together. Xoxoxoxox

  15. I am SO happy for you both. Now the healing can begin. I pray that everything goes well and that Henry's return to health is quick and enduring. Going through what you did is an amazing accomplishment - for you both! It took strength and love and courage.

  16. "My heart locked up about 2 months ago"
    Oh Lana, this made me choke up...
    Your resilience and a positive sometime humorous views even in the face of this incredible life challenge are so admirable!
    You guys have so much zest for life and living & you will defy these circumstances & you will unlock that heart of yours.
    ((huge hugs))

  17. Although I haven't posted before, you and Henry have been in my thoughts and prayers often. Funny how you can care so much for people you haven't met. I think it's because you are so approachable and real. It's like talking to a girlfriend. Congrats on reaching the end of the radiation. An incredibly long and horrid journey for sure but you have made it through. Blessings to you both.

  18. Ok, BREATHE. You, Henry, me... I think I held held my breath through your entire post. I'm so happy that you are finished with this part of the battle. Now the prayers will be all about winning the war! Best of luck to you two. Time to rest, revamp, and revitalize. Love to you both. Wish you were in my area. I'd come over and give you a free facial. Henry deserves one too, but he has to wait for all the chemo-crap to get out of his body. He gets a soak in the jacuzzi instead. :)


  19. You can do it! Henry dear, remember, "For I shall NOT die but LIVE and declare the works of the Lord!" Psalm 118:17

    I'm praying for you both, Lana!
    -lovelylouro (youtube)

  20. Lana, just coast for a while. Phones off the hook, everyone told to leave you both alone for a few days, then rest and do as little as possible. Just coast.

  21. God bless you both, Lana and Henry. You have gotten to this point by taking one step at a time ... you will get over the rest of the mountain the same way. You have given Henry the best gift of all, strength when he had none. You will look beyond the cancer and find many blessings in your "out to pasture" time.
    Henry keep fighting the good fight!

    Peace & Love to you both!

    A fellow hoosier to the north,

  22. Praying and sending lot of loving healing positive energy! Hugs and love.

  23. Peace to you Lana and your beautiful husband this evening; you both continue to have my prayers.

  24. Tough Broad in Heels.
    Your strength and spirit are unbelievable! Keep it up, Lana.

  25. Dear Lana ~ Reading everyone's comments lifts me up, and I know it means so much to you and Henry. I hope you both can feel how much you're cared for. I send love to you both ~
    Mary Sue

  26. Happy Graduation Day Henry.

    I hope you end up at the top of your class!!! Beat them all, and beat cancer's butt.

  27. Lana,

    Whatever happens, from this point on, at least this part of the hellish treatment is over!

    I hope you're taking care of yourself! I happened to re-watch an older vid of yours on your supplements! I hope you are eating as well as can be and continuing with your vitamin supplements! Remember you're not doing Henry (or Izzy and Paris) any good if you aren't taking care of yourself!

    Too many caregivers get sick themselves when they go through such unrelenting stress as you are going through.

    Take care Lana and bless you and Henry!

  28. Lana, I think of you and Henry every day. You are always an inspiration but by telling everyone about this journey you are doing immense good. My mum wore the mask but I had no idea what it was like! You have told us things we don't want to know but in fact need to know. Love to both of you. Margaret

  29. Hi Lana,
    Congratulations to you both. I am so proud and soooo happy that he could complete his treatment. You put in the time and effort and held your ground and you passed with flying colours. You two are remarkable. Now, as soon as he can eat normal food you take his diet in hand. Do juicing with fruits and raw vegetables and keep the diet clean (youtube: type in "liferegenerator") Beans, peas, veggies; as natural as possible. No RED MEAT, sugars, and other bad stuff. Once the body is clean it will be difficult for C to survive.
    I lit my candle yesterday and prayed for you both. Hang in there. Forget about recurrence- you will cross that bridge if and when you get to it. There are people beating the odds and surviving everyday. Henry can too.

    You guys are in my thoughts and prayers everyday.
    Many hugs from Amsterdam

  30. Wow. I just exhaled as well and have too been anxiously awaiting an update and am glad this portion of his treatment is O.V.E.R. for you and your dear, sweet Henry.
    You are conveying this horrific experience so well, Lana.
    Continuously keeping you guys in my and my husband's thoughts and prayers. Please do what you've been doing: Staying focused and strong, both of you because you guys have it in you, you really do and it is working! And like another noter mentioned, please make sure you take care of yourself during these trying times lovely Ms. Lana.
    Much love, strength and virtual hugs from Ontario Canada,
    ShellieBill (Michele)

  31. Lana, I am glad to hear that you and Henry finally got to the end of this treatment. Try and get som rest now, do things you enjoy and try not to think and talk about the great C until you have to. Varm hugs for you both from Sweden.

  32. Wishing you all the very best from now on Lana. I'm sending you positive thoughts and hugs from Greece.

  33. Sending love,love and more love (as always and everyday). We'll keep up the positive vibes and prayers on all lists! Happy to hear you both will have a rest. Think of you both every single day. Hugs xxxx Eva

  34. Lana, you go girl! You and Henry have both been so incredibly strong throughout this, and you both made it through! My thoughts and prayers will continue to stay with you as you relax and wait for the next scan. Until then, you two deserve a break! :]

  35. Hi Henry and Lana,
    Now is the time to rest and heal. Rest in knowing you are not alone. God has not taken back his promise of never leaving nor forsaking you. He has been with you every step of the way thus far and that won't change because his word does not change. You have said the two of you find love from your online friends and that too hasn't changed either. We love you both and are in your corner doing whatever we do to support you. In this case, I'm praying every single day for you both and that won't be changing any day soon.

    <3 from PomMomLisa

  36. Dearest Lana and Henry, I want to give both of you a warm congratulatory hug - I cry reading through your blog today, crying for all kinds of reasons but mainly because Henry doesn't have to be imprisoned in that nasty mask again. Your attitude is a healthy attitude Lana - out to pasture and not thinking beyond that stage for now. Enjoy the well earned rest and wait but enjoy the wait Lana, both of you. You have each other, Henry, you have made it this far and may not have without having gone through what you have done. You are both so brave, your courage is inspirational and admirable. Recurrence is a great big dirty unwelcome visitor and I'll be keeping up my prayers to Almighty God to ban recurrence from your path ever again. The worst of the treatment is over and now Lana, you both have the chance to regain your strength and heal. May God's love and mercy touch you and keep you safe for each other. Lots and lots of love, Leyla xxxooo

  37. Oh God, when I read about that awful mask......

    You are both so brave.

    Thinking of you


  38. Lana, you and Henry got threw this!
    Keep strong!! Your in my PRAYERS!
    Love & ((hugs)) your Viva Las Vegas friend on YT
    xoxoxoxo ~ Lorrie

  39. Lana - YOU DID IT! You got thru the treatments... you are so brave - I think I would have crumbled if my DH (Darling Hubby) shook his head and said no are wise and brave and lovely all at the same time. I was reading a post by another youtuber who said she tells her friends about you ... I do too! I want as many people as I can praying for you both - now on to health! I agree - you two should just close the doors, and BE together for a bit - just enjoy not having to go back there... no more icky mask (that thing is horrible) - much love to you both... as always... PJ

  40. Congrats to you Lana and your sweet hubbie Henry! You might still be fighting a war but by gosh, you just won a battle! I pray that Henry is able to let himself heal now. I think of both of you daily and will continue to pray for healing and for cancer to now leave you both alone. All my love, Jeanie xoxo

  41. Congrats on winning the battle!Hopefully the war won't be a beast to win. I wish Henry a speedy healing from the torture he's endured these past few weeks. I wish peace of mind for you and hopefully this whole nightmare will be over for both of you soon. =)

  42. Lana I'm so glad the treatments have finished for Henry. Enjoy the rest you both deserve it. Sending you love and hugs (((((Hugs)))))) Susan xxx

  43. Lana, You write with such raw beauty. You have written as you traveled kicking and screaming down this dark, ugly, place. You have made us all look at the ugly, tortuous face of cancer. But, in the rawness of the battle--Your courageous spirit and love for Henry, has helped you both to make it through this. Lana, You and Henry are both an inspiration. I'm certain that your journey has already touched more lives than you can ever imagine. To read that today you smiled, as did Henry: albeit a forced grin, felt like we were cheering you past the finish line of an arduous marathon race. All will be well, Lana. All will be well. Hugs and prayers,~Marilyn

  44. You are a great person an a wife which every man want. How you stand by Henry moves me very much. I bet Henry feels the same! hope that Henry soon feels better and that you will have quality time together and will be able to do other things that make you happy. I so feel for you both, a big big cyber hug!

  45. Lana and Henry! What a mountain you have climbed. Any thing they dished out, you did. I send infinite love your way and pray for healing. The choking feeling had to be a nightmare while sitting up and clamped down, just don't know how he did it. The total resolve to get through this is amazing. I pray for beautiful things to come back into your life to replace all you have been through these last months. Xoxo

  46. Prayers are answered and you've gotten Henry through this ordeal. I know you've suffered right along with Henry. It's a different kind of suffering, but it's bad. Thank you Lord that Henry is finished this radiation and chemo. It's insane how treatment practically kills you to cure you. It must be so horrible to have that thick mucus. I have a cold right now and I have swollen sinuses and have trouble breathing when I lay down. It's scary to me and I have trouble sleeping. I can't imagine what Henry is going through. I will continue praying for him. I feel as if I know the two of you. It's crazy that reading your blog and watching your videos makes me feel like that. Just get Henry stronger and take care of yourself. I pray that all these treatments cure Henry. God please cure your son Henry and ease his burden. Lana try to relax and get back to your life as best as you can. Your both in my prayers. Hugs to both of you.

  47. Dearest Lana and Henry,

    Me again. I sometimes read through other well-wisher's posts and I feel boosted, I kind of feel we are a family with so much love and positive energy to give to you and Henry. As a doctor Lana, let me assure you that Henry MUST have the nutrition he needs in the form of MEAT - B12 in its purest form and most vital form is only found IN MEAT!!! As for sugars.....Henry, if you have a sweet tooth, you have gone without useless white sugar carbs for so long and may be craving a big chunk of cheese-cake or apple-pie. If you enjoy your meat, you will look forward to a big juicy steak and I say go for it. Bon appetit and damned well enjoy. With what you have gone through, I reckon you are entitled to have a little of what you fancy no matter how 'bad' it is for you. Infact, no food is bad for us, it is how we eat it, how often we eat it that makes it bad. You are both in my thoughts and my prayers endlessly, throughout the have no idea how often you pop into my mind and when you do, I say yet another prayer for you. Lots of love to you both...Leyla xxxooo


  49. Sweet Lana and Henry,

    Y'all made it through radiation. Wow. You are two strong people. I have been praying for you, crying with you, lighting candles, and counting down the sessions this whole time.

    I'm reading through the comments and am noticing a few suggestions for recovery. May I add one? Lana, will you make sure Henry has 24/7 access to all the football he wants to see this season? :)

    Amazing ordeal. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us.

    I love you both.

  50. I pray for Henry's healing .. may those mutating cells be gone!

    San Diego.

  51. Hey, you two, whom I have never met but have an unexplainable connection to. It is astounding to me as you and your family go through this trial that I approach some sense of how we are all tied one to the other. Lana, I believe that your honesty and your willingness to share your innermost thoughts and feelings with your YouTube and Blog followers have given me insight into what we, as human beings, are capable of... how we can help one another beyond the "normal, everyday," ways. Through my comments over these weeks, I have wanted to give you and Henry some comfort, some reason to hope; it is turning out that you have given these things to me. THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING EXAMPLES OF THE VERY BEST THAT WE SHOULD ALL STRIVE TO BE THROUGH THIS JOURNEY WE ARE ALL ON.

  52. Hope you and Henry are having a great respite,still love and praying for you guys.

    Please light your candle for Lana and Henry here:

  53. Wonderful!!! I wish you both a peaceful and joyous future! And you, girlfriend, deserve new shoes! : )

  54. I'm sure this is a milestone you thought you would never reach. You are both so much more stronger than you ever imagined. God has been with you every step of the way and I will continue to pray that you're husband's health improves so that the two of you can really smile again. Much love to you both. Sylvia

  55. My goodness, you two... you made it through! I'm sure for a while the end wasn't even in site. Now to sit, relax a little, and heal. I know Henry can't swallow and has no saliva, but can he taste? I'm no doc, but I would be swishing pure, organic aloe juice as far back as possible and then spitting it out. (tastes yuk..thus the taste question) I would be hoping for it to seep back a bit farther each time. I'm sure you get a zillion health tips...One of my dear friends suffers from a very rare strain of Gulf War Syndrome. Her entire esophagus is full of 100s of ulcers, as well as her stomach. They have her drink the concentrated aloe heals and soothes (but tastes very "planty").
    I'm very happy for the both of you that this part is behind you. Sending love and thoughts your way.

  56. Oh Lana, I'm so happy for you and Henry! I'll be keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that from now on, Henry will be feeling and getting better and better!!! I'm sending you extra-strength twinkles, sparkles, glitter, confetti, hugs and love. You both have been so brave through all of this. Braver than I could ever be. You two rock! God Bless You both. Take care.

  57. So happy that this part is ending for you and Henry. I pray for you both daily! Hang in there girl♥

  58. Dear Lana,

    I had no idea that you were going through this until I saw your latest YT video (I have been ill myself for quite a while and have not kept up w/videos in my sub box).

    I came to your blog to find out what was happening, not knowing that I would not be able to put your blog down once I began reading. I spent over 5 hrs reading it from beginning to end, even through my own tears (because of your story) I pressed on. I kept reading despite the difficulty.
    We always try to put ourselves in other peoples shoes when we hear of life shattering things and wonder if we could ever have the strength to endure it. I do believe that God gives us that strength- the strength to do things that we didn't know we could. We turn into warriors for the ones we love, no matter how painful it may be. That is what love is.

    Lana, I want you to know that you have humbled me greatly by your story and I thank you for that. My health problems are miniscule in comparison (actually they aren't even on the same page)to what your husband is dealing with. He sounds as if he has a stubborn spirit. I hope so, and I hope he wins this battle!
    I pray also, that he never has to wear that Chinese torture device of a mask ever again!

    You are such a strong woman to be able to not only journal this difficult time in your life, but also by being able to share with us your personal and private heartache so openly. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your husband.

    I do hope he continues to improve and beat this terrible disease and I wish you the best also. PLEASE, please remember to take care of yourself too. Remember that you are also important. Without you, you wouldn't be able to take care of him and he would have nothing without you.

    God Bless you both. Sending lots of prayers.

    <3 ~~<~~@ <3


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