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Friday, September 30, 2011

Going on a Hiatus

Hey friends and fans!

I just thought I'd write a quick note to let you know that Snappee Turtle will be on a hiatus for  a bit.  I had hoped to relaunch the blog in November, but it may be longer than that.  I may do periodic posts to keep you in the loop, but don't expect anything consistent.  Here's why:

My daddy (yes, I still call my dad "daddy" and I always will!) has been battling cancer for 5 years now.  It's been quite the roller coaster, that's for sure!  September 2006 we found out he had colon/rectal cancer.  We thought it was surgically cut out and taken care of with radiation, but the cancer popped it's ugly head back up in a lymph node around that area.  More surgery.  Thought it was gone.  Nope.  Big C was back.  This time in his liver and his lungs.  At this point it was considered Stage 4 since it had spread to distant organs.  2 years of different kinds of chemo and the cancer was gone in his lungs and shrinking in his liver.

However, this past spring he was told his body was no longer responding to the chemo, and his doctor suggested trying some clinical trials.  At the time, his insurance wasn't going to cover all the MRI's and scans he would need every week with these clinical trial.  Instead, he found another cancer center that did a Y90 radiation treatment that his insurance did cover.  He finished the treatment the end of July, and the doctor said "it worked."

The beginning of August he went into the ER because his abdomen was filling with fluid which was causing him a lot of pain.  He needed to get the fluid drained by paracentesis (where they insert a needle into the abdomen to drain the fluid).  During this visit, he was told that his cancer had now moved to his pelvic bone and was untreatable.

My family came down for Stella's birthday, and my daddy's leg/foot had become so swollen that he could barely walk.  He had radiation treatment scheduled for the bone cancer to begin when they got back, which he did for 15 minutes a day for 10 days.  This helped with the swelling in his leg, but only temporarily.

Just last Wednesday he went back into the ER because he woke up at 2:30 in the morning with shooting pains in his abdomen and shortness of breath.  They did another paracentesis and found that his blood pressure was really low and he was dehydrated.  They tried to surgically install a catheter drain so that he could drain the fluid himself into a catheter bag, rather than having to come to the hospital to have a paracentesis every time.  However, when they made the incision, there was too many adhesions in that area and cancer that they couldn't find room to place the drain.

Instead, they inserted a JP drain, which at first wasn't working for 3 days, and then it all of a sudden started working.  Thank the Lord, because it really relieves him from pain when the fluid does not build up so much!

His cancer doctor suggested that he go on hospice care (which you are only approved for hospice if your doctor recommends you because you are believed to only have 6 months or less to live).  We worked it out with hospice that he can get blood transfusions if needed, as long as it doesn't turn into a weekly thing, but rather a monthly deal.  When his hemoglobin is low, he feels really weak.  Hospice is all about increasing your quality of living for the length of time a patient has left to live, so they agreed to this accommodation.

This is a really difficult time for our family.  I was an emotional wreck last week.  Couldn't sleep.  Anxiety.  I am so thankful for all of the prayers that have been lifted up for my daddy and our family during this time!  My daddy has a lot of fight in him, and his trust in the Lord no matter what happens is amazing!  We pray that he is one of those patients that surprises everyone by making it longer than 6 months!

The social worker from the hospital up north was extremely helpful.  She helped us get hospice set up down here (2 hours south of where they live), and my oldest brother and parents moved into our house as soon as daddy was released from the hospital on Tuesday.  So far, the hospice staff has been great!  It's a tight squeeze in our house, but we rearranged enough to fit pretty comfortably.

Daddy needs a walker to get around, but he likes to get up and walk from feeling stiff and sore from sitting or laying all the time.  He's feeling tired a lot.  Not sure if its the methodone or the cancer.  The nurse said it's just part of the journey.

So that's why Snappee Turtle is going on a hiatus.  More important things right now.  Trying to build as many memories as we can in the time that the Lord chooses to bless us with!  Time I don't want to regret that I didn't spend with family!   We played cards last night, and that was fun.  My daddy wants to take Stella to the zoo next, so that's the first thing on our list!  Just needing this cold, rainy weather to cooperate!

Thanks for understanding and for all of your prayers!

Much love,



  1. Oh Eva, I'm so sorry to hear all of this about your dad...I'll keep praying for him and will pray for all of you as you're living together, making memories and enjoying the time that you have. Let me know if I can do anything!!

  2. Eva,
    I don't know you personally, but Amy Cornwell asked that we pray for you. Enjoy every memory. They will always be precious. I love that your Dad wants to make memories with his granddaughter...what a guy. I will continually be lifting you and your family in prayer.

  3. Oh Eva, It makes me so sad to hear about your dad's battle with cancer. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


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