the journey thus far....

His smile and his laughter. It is his beautiful expression he gets from his eyes all the way down to his toes. His cute, little wrinkles he gets around his beautiful blues show how big he is smiling. When he is sitting down, he tends to kick out his legs and cross them at his ankles when he is laughing hardest. I have so many favorite things about him....his smile is definitely up at the top of my list. :) We both laughed quite a bit this weekend because of competitive games and stories of the past. We are so thankful for the family and friends who have come in town and who are coming to visit very soon.

This week has been full of appointments and they are not going to slow down anytime soon. Monday, we met with the surgeon at MD Anderson. He stated the same thing Florida Hospital doctor's have been saying. There is no need to do surgery right now, causing him more pain than what he is already going through. They will have to see how he does out of his first full round of treatment. Tuesday he got a port put in his chest to make it easier to access his blood and to submit his chemo treatment week to week. He had to be put under once again, and is recovering from the pain day to day. Today, Wednesday, was hard for several reasons. We met with the oncologist at MD Anderson today and he was in complete shock about John’s condition. He stated he had never seen it move so rapidly, be so severe and in someone so young. He said we were on the right track with FL Hospital and to stay there with those well respected group of doctors. John then wanted to know life expectancy and what he would be facing with and without treatment options. I know this question may be hard for some, but he has every right to ask, so he did. The prognosis was the same as before…without treatment, under a year…with treatment, longer if they could get it under control. Sadness always floods the room when something like this is said, even from the doctor’s side.

From that appointment, we went to his first radiation treatment. Here is the road map they drew on him.

Since the area was so large, they wanted to see how his reaction would be after his first round of radiation. On our way home, he got sick and we had to pull over. As soon as we got in the door, once again, he got sick and threw up. I gave him some nausea medicine and he fought to keep it down. It seemed like anything he put in his mouth would come right back up again. Finally, after a couple of hours battling his own body and his own nausea, he fell asleep and is doing that now…right next to me. My sweet angel has worn himself completely out and is exhausted. I feel so horrible for him. I do not think either of us thought he was going to react so quickly to the treatment. His body just violently lashed back out at him for trying to get rid of the mass in the first place. The radiation treatment cycle will continue for 24 more sessions and chemotherapy will be every Monday for 6 hours at a time…the first one starting this Monday.

The key to this prognosis, sadness and “bump in the road” is always staying strong and utterly positive, especially around him. I am not saying it is not okay to cry...we do, together, every night. What I am saying is that this is about nobody else but John and we all should be honored to battle along side with him. He has not left, he is still very much here and he still has incredible fight left in him. Again, I know it is okay to be sad and to ask “Why?” but I also know it is even better to love without conditions, to push each other to be better, and to always be by his side even in the darkest moments…because I am his wife and he is my husband, he is my best friend and soul mate, and we are a team.


  1. You all are the strongest two people I know. We love you with all out hearts.

  2. Just wanted to let you know we are praying for you both!! I began to cry when I read your blog!! I can not imagine the sudden news, shock, heartache and the exhausting days that lie ahead as you and John fight this battle. I teach art in Southlake and am one of the leaders for Relay For Life. The entire community is coming together to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Matthew (my husband) and I are leading two teams of students. We do not have anyone that we are walking for and we would love to "walk" for John. Let us know if this is ok with you both. Keep us posted and we will continue to pray for strength and a peace.
    -Stefanie (Dunn) Chapman

  3. Tell John that manly beard definitely draws attention away from the drawings on his belly.
    love you both, we got this.

  4. You are amazing! You two together are amazing! I love you both and hate that you are dealing with this, but I have to say with such sadness you two keep it so positive and full of love and life! I love that about you :) I am so happy to hear and feel your fight ( after reading this) you guys still have left! Not an hour goes by that I don't think of you two. So many prayers and well wishes are said for you daily by us ( my household)!!! I am liking the facial hair though... it looks good on him ;) Lots of love to you both. I think if any 2 people can conquer this it is the both of you!
    Love ya

  5. Katrina and John:
    I just want you guys to know that every morning I say a prayer for John. I have faith in the Lord that John will be healed. I have faith that all things happen for a reason. Sometimes we can't explain those reason. JOHN BE STRONG AND POSITIVE!. Even though I have not called or come over, I am trying to give you space. DAILY PRAYER IS MY HELP TO YOU.
    MARY (Ross Sister).

  6. Cat--Debbie Smith again. I am praying before and behind and around you and in you both. Pray for strength for today and for tomorrow. Pray for complete healing, prayer for being able to handle the treatments with no illness and that the treatments will be complete and perfect in healing. That pain will be greatly decreased. "O Lord, be our strength every morning, our salvation in times of distress." Isaiah 33:2 "The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you." II timothy 4:22 Much love and care, Debbie

  7. Cat

    It's been forever since I have chatted with you... I found your blog on facebook and added you as a friend.

    Today I went to read about you and your hubby... I was filled with sadness when I began to read this post. I'm so sorry that you have to go throug this "bump in the road"... I know people always say that things happen for a reason, but this really sucks! The only advice I can give you is to enjoy all the little things and laugh every day :) I love u girl and i will pray for both of you.

  8. wow,John looks different. Still beautiful though! I'm with you everyday in thought and prayers. I've been with dad lately, sorry I haven't written. We have a big day tomorrow. Stay strong my babies, I love you bunches. Give John a kiss for me, I'm sure that will make his day,haha or not. talk to you later this week.