Thursday, May 28, 2009

Relay For Life

The following is an email I have just sent out. Since I don't have everyone's email who has followed this blog, I wanted to share with all of our loyal followers!

Hey Friends and Family,

Just wanted to pass along some info regarding Relay for Life. Their website appears to be a little confusing, so wanted to explain the process and provide a tentative schedule for those of you that are able and willing to walk with us at the event. Our team is called "A We Process."

What is Relay for Life?
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. It offers everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Relays are an overnight event.
Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people to:
Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.
Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.
Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.

When and Where?
It begins Friday, June 12th at 7:00 pm at Bonner Springs High School track and concludes Saturday, June 13th at 7:00 am. The cancer survivors walk (or in Jayme's case, ride) the first lap which is at 7:00 pm. If you are also a cancer survivor, Jayme would love some company with him for the first lap! If you want to be there for the beginning, it has been suggested that you arrive no later than 6:30-6:45 pm. Caregivers walk the second lap and then our team will join in and have at least one member on the track all night. Let me emphasize that you do not have to stay all night. We'd love to have you for whatever time you can share with us.

Other Activities
I have been told the event is a carnival-like atmosphere with activities and games. There is an area for kids as well. At 10:00 pm they light luminaries and honor those lost to cancer. If you want to purchase a luminary (I bought one to honor my mom), they are $5 and can be purchased when you arrive. Following the luminaries will be fireworks, provided by the sponsors and captain of our team, Chele and Danny Muder.

How Our Team Got Started
When the home health agency I work for, Blessed Trinity in Bonner Springs, found out about Jayme's cancer battle, they wanted to do something. They asked us if we would like to participate in Relay for Life and have a team in honor of Jayme's survival. I had never heard of it, but the more I heard, the more I liked. Not only is it about raising money to fight cancer, it is also about heightening people's awareness of this disease and the battle cancer victims fight on a daily basis. So thank you Chele, Sonya and Alice for getting this thing off the ground and organizing!

What You Need To Do To Participate
Just show up! You do not need to register on the website to walk. If you would like to donate, go to the following link, scroll down to my name, or any of the names and click on the name. Then click on "Donate" and follow the instructions.

So please walk with us, donate, or both!

We have ordered t-shirts that you can pre-order or buy at the event. They are $10 and the proceeds will all go to the American Cancer Society. They are black with white lettering and say "Survival is A We Process." We have preordered 60 shirts, so you may want to call or email me if you would like to order a shirt in advance. We'll order more if needed. You can pay the night of the event.

Jayme Update
He is doing well, but we know it will be a long and arduous recovery. He is still on tube feedings, but he is trying to eat more daily. He has lost around 40#, but has actually put on a few pounds this week. Pain is still present, but less than it was a few weeks ago. Nausea is still a culprit, so he is experimenting with medication and food to try to conquer that issue. His endurance is still slowing him down, but he is now walking without a device and going up and down stairs several times a day. It wears him out to read or get on his laptop for more than 20 minutes, so he spends alot of time watching TV and napping. Now some wouldn't complain about that life!

He is still receiving in home physical therapy, and hopefully, will be able to tolerate out patient therapy by next week. He is getting out with me or friends on occasion and I hope that will continue and become more frequent. He is more independent overall which has allowed me to get back to work on a part-time basis.

Please feel free to call or email me with any questions!

-- Kay Findlay
Reece & Nichols Roberts
913-709-7160 (cell)
913-299-1600 (office)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Final Thoughts

So thrilled that Jayme was up to blogging yesterday. After all these months of communicating on the blog, I'm sure I'll have a little withdrawal. It's been my own personal therapy.

Thought I would give you an update of Jayme's current status. He is walking with a walker, but starting to move away from it more each day. He has home health physical therapy 3 times a week and will begin out-patient therapy in a few weeks. He has lost a total 30# but has maintained over the past several weeks. He has been told he will likely lose 15-20% more of his current body weight. The biggest challenge I see is getting him to eat regular foods again. He is trying to eat a little throughout the day, but it is a struggle. The pain is much better, still taking pain meds, but less than last week. His mind is clearer, voice stronger and more smiling observed!

He thinks all the out-pouring of support in "a phenomenon." He is so overwhelmed and humbled. It's an emotional roller coaster for him at times.

As soon as he is able, we look so forward to spending more time with family and friends. We would love to see many of you on June 12th at Relay For Life if your schedule allows. If anyone needs to contact me, my email is

I'm sure there will be more blog entries down the road as Jayme fully recovers, but the good new is, hopefully, there won't be much to report!

Thanks you for sharing "A We Process" with us.

Peace to all.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cancer Free!

Well I guess all things must come to an end, whether good or bad. Kay and I went to the oncologist yesterday and we were told I am currently free and clear of cancer.

The first of January, when we first found out I had cancer, I asked just to be given a chance to beat it. The following week the oncologist said your case is "treatable for a cure". I got my chance.

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for their love, good wishes and prayers. I really felt your presence. I want to thank Kay for everything.

The phase we're in now is "recovering from surgery". So basically we are going to cut down on blog entries.

Mission accomplished. God bless.


Friday, May 8, 2009

We're Baaack!

Great to be home. Jayme is tucked snugly in his hospital bed upstairs, Grace is out and about with her friends and I am hangin out with my dog. Life is good.

The drive home was a breeze, made several brief stops for Jayme to walk and stretch. Thanks to our thoughtful family and friends who left goodies for us upon our return. Also, our yard has never looked better. More thanks to pass around! And while I'm handing out thank yous, I want to send out the biggest thank you to my brother, Dave. He has helped out with hotel rooms and flights for my kids, as well as providing moral and emotional support day in and day out. Plus, he got me tickets to the Final Four last year. Boy, I am really indebted!

Jayme has a follow-up appointment with the oncologist on Tuesday. Hopefully, those visits will dwindle down and he can get back to concentrating on his soon-to-be full recovery. I'm hopeful he will feel up to visitors soon. I will keep you posted.

We both feel so fortunate we were able to go to the Mayo Clinic for surgery. I am glad to repeat myself when I say that it is an awesome place. But, the next time I spend 12 nights in a hotel room, it won't be in Minnesota. I'm thinking Hawaii!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Coming Home

Those are a couple of sweet words!

Jayme had his last chest tube and drain removed today. His pain seems better and his mobility has improved since yesterday. Had a little difficulty tolerating his dinner this evening, but other than that, he is OK to come home tomorrow.

Thanks to all of you who have donated or signed up for Relay For Life, which is scheduled for Friday, June 12th at Bonner Springs High School. Jayme and I look forward to sharing the evening (and/or night) with as many of our family and friends that are able to come. If you would like to donate, join a team or make your own team, here is the link. Once we get back to KC, this will be our project over the next month.

I will share more info as I receive it.

And yes, I am a dweeb. I named our dog Reesing after the KU quarterback. Anyone surprised? My kids were briefly appalled!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good and Busy Day

Funny how the smallest things are so significant these days. Jayme ate five bites of mashed potatoes and three bites of chocolate pudding this afternoon. And I was cheering! He commented that that was the first time since early January that food has gone down without too much difficulty. You can imagine his fearfulness since he has had several episodes of choking since last fall. They have progressed him from a clear liquid to a soft diet. They thought he will tolerate soft foods better. And they were right.

They also removed chest tube #2, IV fluids and catheter today. Tomorrow they will take out his last chest tube and drain. The only thing left will be his feeding tube, which he will have for another 4-6 weeks, depending on caloric intake.

We both had educational sessions from the dietician and respiratory therapist. Lots of new information to study. He will need to eat small and frequent meals and lay off the sugar. As a matter of fact, the dietician suggests everyone should eat like that. Maybe I'll give it a try.

The plan is to leave Rochester Friday by late morning. I want to pick him up and head home instead of staying in a hotel Friday night. It will be a longer trek since I have been instructed to stop every 1-1 1/2 hours and have him get out of the car and walk and stretch. Believe me, that will not be an easy task.

I miss my family, friends and Reesing (the dog) and look forward to getting back to Kansas. And excited to go out and watch those Royals!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Seeing Progress

Today was a much better day. The swallow test results were positive so they were able to remove the nasal tube, and, he actually took some sips of broth and juice this evening. They decreased his nausea meds so he didn't sleep as much today and he was able to participate in Rehab. They also removed one of his chest tubes which was a painful procedure, but the pain soon dissipated. I don't know about Jayme, but I feel much better!

I spoke to Dr Nichols and they feel he should be able to go home on Friday if things continue to progress.

Jayme thanks everyone for the cards and gorgeous flowers.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Much New

Jayme had a barium swallow test and liver ultrasound this morning, but we won't know the results until tomorrow. He is still sleeping too much, in my opinion, so they are working on changing his medications so he isn't so groggy during the day. He hasn't been able to participate in Pulmonary Rehab the past few days. He still has his catheter, three chest tubes and his nasal tube. Everything is happening just a little too slow for me. It looks like we may be here longer than I anticipated, so I am a bit frustrated.

Caroline leaves tomorrow and I miss her already. She has made the past week tolerable!

I'll update tomorrow as soon as I have something new to report.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More of the Same

Spent most of the day trying to keep Jayme's nausea and pain in check. We both mentioned to the nurse that he took Ativan at home and that seemed to work well. The Dr agreed and wrote the order. The nausea is much less, but a side effect is drowsiness. Lots of sleeping this afternoon, even during the Royal's game. (Since they played the Twins, I got to watch all 3 games!) The pain pump is gone so they are giving him pain meds through his feeding tube every four hours, which seems to be working OK.

Tomorrow could be a big breakthrough day. He will have a swallow test with barium to make sure there are no leaks at the esophagus/intestine surgery site. They have also ordered a liver ultrasound due to an elevated blood test, though they are not alarmed, it's just precautionary. Hopefully, he will have the nasal tube and a chest tube removed and he can start taking liquids by mouth. Difficult to predict what will happen if the nausea persists.

Thanks to all the elves who have beautified our yard this weekend. I am told we have some new lovely flowers and the beds are mulched. Thanks friends!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Not Great, But Better

Jayme had a bit more nausea today, but felt better by the evening. His pain is more contolled with round the clock meds. I expect him to feel better tomorrow. As Dr Nichols said today, "This is a horserace and he came out of the gate fast. Now he is just slowing down a little bit." All bloodwork and other tests look good, so he is on the right track to progress daily from here on out.

Grace flew home this afternoon and we miss her already. It's great to have Caroline with me a few more days.

Friday, May 1, 2009

"Things Can Turn on a Dime"

That is a direct quote from Jayme this afternoon. Things were going so well for him until this afternoon. He had a violent bout of nausea, so that has set him back just a bit. They removed his epidurals for pain this morning, so the episode caused him to also experience more pain at his incision sites. However, the physicians are on top of all his symptoms and have a plan in place. Dr Nichols has been in twice today and his associates made two other visits. They were going to remove some of his "tubes" today, but will hold off until tomorrow. By this evening, Jayme was much more comfortable.

I'm confident he will get back on track tomorrow. He is still getting all his walks in during the day and following his breathing protocol to keep his lungs clear.

I'll update again tomorrow on Jayme's progress. He'll have a much better day!