Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Celebrate good times... Come on!

It was time to celebrate! We had beaten cancer and after our first great doctors appointmen...t we were going to party, and party we did! My dad planned the whole thing, no one knew where we were going. I love suprises! We were told that we had to be ready on Saturday at 5:45 and we were going to be picked up at our house. We were definatly suprised! We were just sitting in the living room, patiently waiting and the next thing I know I'm staring at a very large Hummer limo sitting in front of our house! It was awesome! Drew and I climbed in to find the my parents, Drews mom, Brad, Lindsey Austin and Kate. It was so much fun to all be able to ride together and have a wine toast to start the celebration and to give thanks to God for being the Great healer. We headed out to Grand Rapids for dinner. It was a suprise to all of us until we pulled up at this BEAUTIFUL old manison which has been converted into a resturant called Mangiamo's. We had a nice secluded room and had an amazing dinner.It was so good to be able to look back and reflect on the last 6 months and talk about what the struggles, high points and amazing people that we are surrounded with who walked with us during this journey. After the great dinner and conversation, he headed back into the limo and headed back to my parents house. We the got into "birthday" mode! We were also going celebrate Drews birthday coming up! We opened gifts, and also  had strawberry shortcake!( a staple in our family since most of us dont like cake) It was a such a great night and a great way to celebrate the ending of one chapter in our lives and moving on to a new one! Thank you SO much dad for all the planning that you put into this AWESOME celebration! We are so blessed to have you as a dad! You are amazing!

You can see Drews head peeking around the curtain when the limo pulled up!

Recaping how shocked we were when the limo pulled up!

Cheers, Yay God!

Group shot


Dinner time!

Drew and I

Brad and Lindsey

Austin and Kate

Drew and his Mom


Laughing a funny card from Austin and Kate

Opening gifts!

Monday, April 18, 2011


We had our first post cancer appointment today with our oncologist. It has been about 3 months since Drew's surgery in Indiana. We were getting pretty anxious about this appointment because the last time that we saw our oncologist, he told us that the chemo hadn't gotten everything and sent us into complete panic mode, so just the thought of going back there was a little anxiety provoking.This appointment was very different than the last. It  all good news. Drew's lab work(his tumor markers) came back perfectly normal. He also had another CT scan which was clean! YAY! It was such a good feeling to have a little closure. The doctor told us that we will have to do it all again in July and October ( both labs a CT scan) for continued follow up, but hopefully after that we will go done to every 6 months then every year. We are looking forward to that time when we don't have to think about when the next appointment is but right now we are just so excited about the big victory of being cancer free!
On another fabulous note, Drew has been rocking another new look. For those of you who haven't seen him in a while, Drew's hair has grown back curly! His hair was PIN straight before chemo and now has some serious curls! He is pretty excited about it but the oncologist says it normally doesn't last. He said is usually lasts about a year, but we will enjoy it while it last! I think he is seriously good looking either way :) We will try to post a picture of it in a little bit!
We are SUPER excited about our next little adventure. We are going to be going on a vacation with 2 great couples to the Dominican Republic in less than 2 weeks. We will be going as a little celebratory "we beat cancer" vaca and lands perfectly over Drew's birthday! We will post pictures when we get back!

Monday, February 21, 2011

It will be 5 months this week, since that day...

I haven't posted in awhile. I guess I associated blogging with cancer and didn't want to think about it for a bit. People have been asking how Drew is doing, and he really is doing quite well. He is moving basically like he did before the surgery, he isn't taking any pain medications, he does get sore at times especially when he sneezes but its generally incision pain. He is walking on the treadmill to gain some strength and get moving again. He has changed his blood thinner from the injection Lovenox to a pill called Coumadin. He is going to have to be on that for about 6 months. Its nice not to have to give him those shots twice a day but he does have to have his blood drawn twice a week to check his blood levels. His incision is looking good, I took out the staples 2 weeks ago and it is healing up nicely. Overall his recovery time has been better than we had anticipated, which is awesome. It has been really nice to get back into the swing of "normal" life. I have gone back to work full time and we are basically doing what we did before the "C" word came into our life, playing with the cat, going out with friends and family and enjoying each others conversation without every word covered in cancer. We still talk about it, but its nice looking at it in more of a past tense not present.
We are going to have a check up with our oncologist here in April for the first official post-cancer appointment which I'm sure will bring anxiety as it gets closer but right now we are enjoying life.

I also wanted to take time to thank everyone. There have been so many people who have shown their love for Drew, myself and our families during this time that I will never be able to properly thank them.

To everyone who was praying for us... thank you, it was felt. God's grace surrounded us through this 5 month journey and the thoughts and prayers were such a blessing.
To everyone who sent us cards.... thank you, they were so uplifting. There is something truly special and awesome to go to you mail box and get lovely cards with such inspiring messages and letters.
To everyone who made meals for us... thank you, they were so tasty! It was so nice during those rough chemo weeks to not have to think about getting groceries and making dinner.
To everyone who send gifts, gift cards and money... thank you, they were so unexpected and gracious. We are truly blessed with such amazing family and friends.
To my co-workers who traded shifts with me and the amazing gift.... thank you. I don't even know how to explain to you how amazing you guys are. You are the best co-workers and friends I could ask for.
To our amazing family and friends who were always there to listen when things got just a little bit overwhelming, who were always there to help cheer us up and distract us when we needed it so desperately. Who drove Drew to chemo when I couldn't, keep Drew company when I was at work. Who were always there for a shoulder to cry on and take us out when we just needed to get out of the house... thank you.

I could go on and on... but just know that Drew and I are so grateful for everyone in our lives. Thank you.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


God is good.

Drew is cancer free.

We woke up this morning expecting to be discharged but not know what the pathology said until later this week. We had a nice suprise when Dr. Foster showed up around 9:30 saying that it was all teratoma... no more cancer was left in the tumor, it was just benign(non cancerous tumor). We were thrilled! He gave us all his discharge instructions and said we wouldnt even have to head back to Indiana for a follow up appointment, we will just talk through emails the next couple of weeks to make sure everything is okay and set up for follow ups with Drews urologist here in Holland.
We were on the road by 11am and home by 3:15. It was a great ride, the sun was shining, traffic was minimal and no snow! We are excited to be back home and start to get back to "normal" life. It wont be completely back to normal for a while as Drew will have to lay low for 4 weeks and after something like this you somewhat change what "normal" is for you but just to be home is a great start.

Thank you so much to everyone who was praying for us and sending us messages. We are so blessed to have such amazing family and friends!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Drew is a champ. Thats all I can say.  He is doing really good. He is doing everything he needs to be doing to get better. He has started eating today, not much but little by little he is starting to get his stomach working again. He has had a little nausea with eating but we are hoping this will get better and better as he continues to eat. He got his IV taken down this afternoon and now is only on oral pain medication.  He is walking the halls about 3 times a day and sitting up in a chair for parts of the day as well. It is painful at times when getting in and out of bed and coughing but the pain is generally tolerable. We couldnt be more excited at how well he is doing, we just pray that things continue to go smoothly and he is able to continue to increase his food intake and moving with minimal pain. He might be able to get out of the hospital tomorrow if he continues to do this well. Please pray for a comfortable drive as it will take about 4 hours to get back home and we are hoping for smooth roads and little traffic.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am sitting in Drew's room, having a little time to reflect on the crazy day we just had. I am insanely exhausted but just waiting until the nurses/techs get everything done for the night so I can get a little sleep with a little interruptions as possible. Thanks to my sis and a friend of hers ( thanks Kate!) I have a nice little blow up mattress in Drew's room so I can stay with him during the night.

Drew is doing good, he is on a lot of heavy duty pain medication so it is in and out of sleep. His pain is  under control except when the deep breathing, hiccups and coughing takes place. He hasn't gotten up yet but they say we will try that tomorrow. He also cant have anything to eat or drink not even ice chips until tomorrow. We are hoping things progress as smoothly as they did today.

Thanks to everyone for everything that they have done for Drew and I and our families. We will never be able to thank everyone for everything. We have never felt so loved and had such a strong idea of what the family of God is all about. 
Now time for a little sleep. Good night.


There are no words to explain how excited and relieved we are. Dr. Foster kicked his surgery out in only one hour and 15 minutes. He said Drew is doing well, they are doing an intratheccal injection- which is a shot into his spinal canal with narcotics to help with pain control, and then he will be moved into the recovery room for a couple of hours. Dr. Foster thinks that the tumor was teratoma, which is a benign tumor and if it is this, Drew will not need anymore treatment!! We wont know for sure what the pathology will be while we are here- apparently pathologist don't work on the weekends, but will hopefully know more next week. He is guessing that Drew will be able to be out of here either Sat. afternoon or Sunday morning.  There is still debate if Drew will have to continue on blood thinners after surgery but Dr. Foster was going to speak with Dr. Einhorn (the oncologist) about what he thinks. Alright. We are going to have some celebratory sour patch kids and diet coke now. Yum! I will try and update again tonight once we have a change to see Drew but we are having difficultly finding Wifi connections.
Thank you so much for everyone who was praying, we could feel Gods grace and peace this morning.