Saturday, March 28, 2009

another pass through the chemo line

Hello everyone, I apologize that I haven't posted in a while but I just have not been feeling too well. Yesterday, I almost did not have my second chemo treatment. My white blood count was borderline to being too low to get treatment. But we pressed forward. So I went to my chair and began another trip down chemo lane. It did not go so well. You all may remember that I mentioned last time that they had to put lidocane in with one of my chemo meds so I could handle the pain, unfortunately the lidocane is burning the blood vessels in my arm and they are now at risk of infection. To make matters a little more complicated as I am writing this blog we are monitoring the streaking and black marks on my arm to see if I am going to be making a trip to the ER sometime in the next few hours. I sure hope not. I have been in the hospital enough!!! Oh well not too much I can do now. On the up side I am surprising the doctors for the fact that I haven't lost my hair yet. Most Hodgkin's patients lose their hair right away. I joked with the doctors and the nurses not to talk about it so loudly because the reason I haven't lost my hair yet is because my hair doesn't know I have cancer. So sshhhhhh... Maybe I will get to keep it.

I find it so interesting that when people see me they often comment on how well I look. While I am glad that I still look so handsome and dashing, I sometimes wonder if people would rather if I looked like death warmed over. I actually work pretty really hard to keep my spirits up and to always present a happy outward expression to others. I shower every day, still iron my clothes, and buff my shoes before I head to school. I am still alive and very thankful for everyday I get to have to share with my friends and family. While it takes me a little longer to get up in the morning, to take a shower, to walk down the hall at school, grade papers, and just carry out my everyday functions, it is still wonderful. But ... ...

It is hard.

But they say that the best things in life usually are.

And now for a random transition. (I have been having a lot of these)

The things in my life that I have been reflecting about:
1. the value of cushioned chairs
2. the ticking sound of a mechanical clock
3. the magic of remote controls
4. driving
5. the mystery of the mailbox deliveries (cards vs. medical statements)
6. the ties that bind (family, friends, integrity, and love)
7. Spring
8. bark dust
9. the hearts of humankindand
... ...
10. birthdays

As I am writing this blog my nurse, the caretaker of the house, the mommy to two adorable girls, the program technician for the Farm Service Agency for the USDA, the daughter of Chuck and Dinah, and my wife is scurrying around keeping me comfortable, the kids happy, the house presentable, and planning a bithday parties for our daughter next week and one for her mother tomorrow. She has to be soo tired but she keeps a smile on her face and just keeps carring on.


In closing, I would like to thank all who have continued to send me messages. From former students who have justified that I have done some good as a classroom teacher, to former
Boy Scout scoutmasters and troop members, to the Knights of Columbus for the continued prayers and the beautiful Mass (so sorry I could not attend), to all of the prayer circles that keep me and my stuggels in their thoughts, my teaching partner that has been driving me back and forth everyday from Pendleton to Hermiston to teach (I do not think she knows how tired I really am and how I could not work if it wasn't for her), to the wonderful meals people have brought over to my family (although I have not been in the mood to eat too much my kids devouer all of the great meals), to my wonderful freinds and family, and to the whole community that has come together to help my family overcome this disease. Thank you.

For my wife, I must acknowledge the amazing outpouring of support that her fellow coworkers locally and across the great state of Oregon have given to her so that she can be away from work to help care for me and transport me to and from all of my medical appointments. Thank you.

For those who wish to help in a specific way please email either me at or contact one of the helping leads posted on my last blog. I have rewritten this last paragraph twenty times trying to find the words to ask for help but
I just can not seem to get them to say what I want them to say. The problem is that I am out of sick leave and have few options if I get too sick to work, traveling costs are expensive, and I am really really tired.

Well, enough of that serious stuff. Now I need to ccheck my arm snd call the oncologist back and see if I get the honor of a trip to St. Anthony's Hospital. Thanks again and good night.


  1. Mr. Demianew, you're still in my prayers, my mom keeps me updated and I check your blog often! May the Lord bless you, your family, and the medical teams that care for you!

  2. Chris,

    It was great to see you on Thursday. Such a pleasant surprise!

    Sorry this treatment has been rough on you. You are strong and you will kick the crap outta this chemo stuff! I know you! I really liked your list of things you're pondering nowadays. It's very true what Steve said in his post... Chemo is perspective in a bag. You keep thinking about all the wonderful things in your life and they will keep you going. And as for people commenting on how great you look... just take it as a compliment, instead of wondering if they want you to look like crap. It's not that at all... it's just that even sick, a supermodel like you is gonna look FAAAAAABULOUSSSSS!!!! ;) And if you need someone to comiserate with on how difficult it is to be so beautiful... just call me! I understand your plight! Hee Hee!!

    Anyway... I will be over that way Mon. & Tues. & depending on how you feel, would love to come visit for a spell (that's some Pendleton lingo for ya!)Tuesday evening. I can bring over some dinner so Emily can rest & relax a bit. But of course, that's dependent on what you guys have going on and most importantly, how you're feeling, so I'll check with her first. :)

    I wish there were more I could do for you guys. Please let me know if there's anything you need, want, etc.

    OK... I've rambled enough. I'll give you a call Tues.


  3. Thinking of you, Emma Lee, Rylee and Miss Kaitlyn. Loved visiting with you and looking over the new kitchen. You give me hope, my friend, that there's a little HGTV in all of us! You do look very dashing every day, and I will check for the shine on those shoes, you can be sure.

    Please understand that we want you to be uplifted daily - as your presence does for all of us, students, friends and coworkers. I am convinced, after this year in particular, that friendship means you're loved unconditionally - that when you need to say uncle, you say it, and friends understand without saying more, exactly what needs to be done.

    Understand we love you and we think you're lucky to be married to your best friend. None of us want to learn the lesson in patience you're learning but we appreciate the wisdom you're conveying through this blog.

    Rely on your own best instincts to tell you when you don't need to be at school that day; tell us, as I think you're doing now, when you need help. Celebrate each day a little, and plan on a big party when you're at the end of this journey! I plan to be there, with the wackiest hat I can find, if you don't get it first!

    Hugs XXX and tickles @@@@
    Jan Nichols

  4. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. There is nothing like friends and family in an hour such as this. Casting all pride away and asking for help is courage, not weakness. We stand in belief that God has a plan in all of this and you will see the healing come, you will feel the peace and grace of God.

    Kevin and Robbin Coleman

  5. I simply wanted you to know you are in our prayers. I will forever be grateful to the many educators that have contributed to my son's education...especially teachers like you who made a lasting impression. Praying for you and your sweet family, Dayna Nyberg