Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I knew it was to good to be over.

I feel like I need to start a blog, a way to get out what I feel. No fancy title, no real purpose other than for me to record the things that have been happening in my life. I also want something to look back on, something I can reference, a journal if you will. I really don't know where to start. I just know I need to start writing. What I need to say will come to me.

A year ago in Feb. I was diagnosed with cancer, Leiomyosarcoma. I underwent a surgery that removed 2 discs and a vertebrae. I had 8 screws, two cages and 2 rods implanted. I underwent neuro-rehab and 18 weeks of chemotherapy.

It was an experience to forget, or was it? My wife Amy, kept a blog on the events of the following months. She commented on the joys and the pains, the recovery and the heartache. I got to read about what happened to me from the eyes of my wife. All of this can be found on our family blog site. Feel free to browse the months following Feb 09' up through the current date.

Well after all of the experiences we have had, we have more on the horizon. This morning was a routine 3 month checkup. I go in every 3 months for scans and tests to follow up on the cancer, just to make sure it doesn't spread.

I was feeling nervous just like I had for the previous follow-up visits. I new I was going to be fine. Getting ready for the day, I had the usual butterflies, the anxiety and the desire to get it over with. When we got to the Hunstman Cancer institute, we got the boys out of the car and headed in to the clinic. Sitting in the chair waiting for the Team of oncologists to come in and tell me that everything was alright, I had a different feeling, a fleeting thought of hold on to your hat! One of the Docs. opened the door and came in asking us how we were doing. We were fine, at least for now I thought we were fine. She asked me if I was feeling anything different. I said I was fine other than a slight twinge in my back, which I was told, visits in the past, was probably my body still adjusting to the drastic changes that had been made.

Well it turns out that the slight twinge was nothing more than the tumor making its new home in my T3 vertebrae. One vertebrae below the original tumor. With the News that the cancer had spread to another vertebrae and the thought of having to go through with everything all over again, I cried. I knew that what ever was going to happen, the Lord was going to be there to lift and strengthen us, like he did the first time. I still cried. I wanted so bad to hear good news, I wanted to be one of the success stories of having beaten cancer on the first try. Looks like I didn't get it right the first time.

The options we have are 3. Spot Radiation treatment, Minor surgery or Major surgery. The Radiation therapy as was described to me will basically cook the area and turn it into a "well done steak" Hopefully killing all the cancer in the process. Surgery is looking more and more like it will need to happen again. The tumor has already started to weaken the bone and make it soft. If we kill the tumor off with radiation, the bone is still deteriorated. The damage is already done. The Neurosurgeon said that we will likely go in and open me back up in the same place as before as well as though the front, under my arm between the ribs, weaving around the lungs and heart to get to the front side of the spine. We were told that this would be a much more risky surgery. However doing it this way would give us the chance to take out as much as possible, in terms of the infected tissue and bone surrounding the area. They would also add more titanium hardware to the front of my spine, seeing as how I would be missing now 2 vertebrae.

This all sounded so exciting!!! (can you hear my sarcasm?)

The thoughts I have running through my head are so many that it is hard to fish through them and think about what I want to say.

The one thing I learned from the first experience was that ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! It will make or break you. Do I get depressed and sulk? Sure. Do I feel like if I go through this again, it will kill me? Yes. Do I feel like my little Family can take more of this? No..... But we will make it through. We have to be positive. We will have hard times, we will have pain, we will have exhausting days. Despite all that will be thrown at us, our Father in Heaven has promised us that he will be there to strengthen us and lift us up. During the first time I was in the hospital, I saw miracles every day, I saw the hand of God in all things. He was there to comfort me, to help me realize that the pain and hurt would be temporary, that all would be well.

The recovery I experienced after my last surgery was remarkable. I was able to get back to doing just about everything I had done before. My family can attest to the fact that I have been a recipient of many miracles. I will forever be great full to my Father in Heaven for such experiences. For the quiet moments of peace, for the added courage I didn't have, for the speedy recovery, for the company of the spirit on sleepless lonely nights, and for the thousands of answered prayers offered on my behalf.

I will forever be great full to My family, who spent hours and hours by my side through the worst parts of this ordeal. They spent time helping my little family. Making sure that we were alright. I love them and appreciate all they have done for me. More than anything I am great full for my loving Wife Amy. She has been a rock. She has had courage and fortitude beyond what I could ever hope for. She traveled up to be with me multiple times a day, she put more miles on her car than I could imagine. Most importantly, she always had something good to say. If I was feeling down she would boost me up, encourage me and show me that "for better or for worse" love. I Love you Babe!

I guess I am recalling all of these memories more for myself to help me remember that as scared as I am to go though it again, I know the same help will be there and God will again be by my side.


  1. Good luck will have my thoughts and prayers for you and your family. And while I am sure you have a flood of "if you need anything let me know" family and friends close to you, just know I add mine as well.

  2. I love you...let's kick some trash again!!!

  3. You are my hero Chad! We believe in you and will always be there for you. You are stronger than anyone I know. You and Amy can make it through anything! God's on your side and loves you more than you know! Keep fighting, Bro.

  4. Sorry to hear it's going into a rematch...but sometimes those prize fights aren't decided in one go (grudge matches aren't just the stuff of movies and pro-wrestling, after all). My prayers are with you and your ya, cousin!!!

  5. Chad - you don't know me, but we are family to Gen and Nath here in Canada - know that our prayers are also with you and your family

    "When God allows a burden to be put upon you, He will put His arms underneath you to help you carry it!"

    This quote has gotten me through many many trials in my life -
    Many prayers -
    Ricks and Cheryl

  6. Chad, You are an inspiration to all of us of courage, faith and devotion. Please know that you are in Lynne and my prayers. We want the best for you andyour family.

    Love, Terry and Lynne

  7. Chad
    Your my hero. The Lord knows you and what your made of and will be with you during the coming days and months as will you family. D&C 112:10, "by thou humble and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answer to thy prayer". We love you,

  8. Chad,

    You were always one of the most upbeat people I knew. I know these are difficult times for you and your family, but I know that you will also find "Joy in the Journey" I wish you the best and am praying for you and your family. Just know that our prayers and thoughts are with you. Always your friend.

  9. Chad-Thank you for your faith! You and your family are amazing. I was shocked to read the cancer is back. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. You are right attitude IS everything. I have learned that through my trials. Its not always easy and some days you have to pray for help to get through, but we are NEVER alone!

  10. I am so touched by your courage! As they say, you don't have to FEEL strong, to BE strong. You have a tough road ahead and we will be praying for you and your family! Keep looking back on the miracles to gain spiritual strength!

    Big hugs from Texas,

    Michelle (Doxey) and family

  11. Hi Chad,
    The last time I saw you we were mountain climbing in American Fork Canyon. Yeah, it's been a while!
    All the Fewsters send their love and want you to know we are praying for you and your beautiful family. We have always thought so much of you - your character, your goodness and your faith.
    Speaking of faith, I remember the first time I went mountain climbing in France for YM/YW. I was having a blast and raced right up to the top. But then I realized that I had to get down. Ha! I was terrified and froze. Do you remember what you told me? After explaining what I had to do, you then said "you've got to have faith - it's just like seminary!" "This is NOTHING like seminary I screamed!!!!!"

    But you were right, once I was willing to trust the harness that held me safe and the person at the bottom holding me up everything worked out. (Although seminary was never that hard.)

    I live in Lehi so not far. My husband, Colin, and I have been married 5 1/2 yrs and we have a son, James (4) and a daughter, Emma (almost 2). I would love to come up sometime and bring dinner or groceries or something.

    Again, we all love you very much and are so sorry that you are going through something so difficult. God Bless.

  12. Chad, you are included in every one of our family prayers. Thanks for sharing on this blog.

  13. My dear son,When I think of what you will have to go through again, my heart hurts. You have the courage of a lion and the faith of a saint. You have always been such a great example of kindness and love. I have watched you through the last battle and have seen HIM bear you up and give you courage beyond measure. You and Amy have grown through these trials, your faith has been strengthened as you have seen HIS hand in your life, all I can say is the Lord must have something very special in mind for you, We are here for you both and pray always for your success through this battle. All my love, Mom

  14. Chad

    This is your old "Frankfurt" friend Chris Porter. I was saddened to read your post but uplifted by your unconquerable spirit and faith. I am impressed and inspired by your optimism in the face of incredible adversity. I want to be like you some day and somehow obtain such incredible faith. Crystal and I will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Remember Jushua 1:9!

    Your friend, Chris.