Monday, March 9, 2009

The Situation.

Hello friends,

Well, this is still a very hard thing for me to write about. But it has been very reassuring to me to have such a great group of friends and family reach out to help my family and I through this very difficult time. To give you all some background to my health I thought I would give you a recap as of today. I have been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma stage II. Back on February 17th at Providence Portland Medical Center I had a large tumor (about the size of a softball) partially removed during a VATS procedure (Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery). I was in the cardiac intensive care unit for three days before being moved to a room on the respiratory floor for a short time and then going home. Since the surgery, I have been healing and learning more about my cancer, and having many tests and medical procedures done to prepare for my treatment.

As of today things are looking quite favorable. Last week I had a PET scan, respiratory function test, echo cardiogram, and a bone marrow test (ouch!!!). I do not know the results of the bone marrow test yet, but everything else did not reveal any new problems. I am starting chemo this Friday and I have a lot of anxiety. I am nervous about my own strength, the strength of my family, and the future, but I have an abundance of hope.

Many of my wonderful friends have asked how they can help since they are too far away to bring by a meal or help me get my garbage can to the curb (which is quite a task). To help provide an easy way to help us, my brother is helping me set up an account at Bank of America where people can make deposits to an account. This would be a great help to Emma Lee and I as we drive over 500 miles round trip for my PET scans, bone marrow tests, and chemo appointments, over 140 miles for my radiation appointments, and 120 miles for my other doctors appointments. It will also help because I have very little sick leave left. Moving from Washington to Oregon I was unable to transfer my large sum of sick days from Evergreen to Hermiston and the Hermiston School District does not allow for teachers to donate time*. I am getting amazing help from many freinds in the district but any additional help is certianly welcome.

You can also help by staying in contact. During the initial days of my diagnosis, I found myself in deep worry many times but was quickly reassured by an incomming email, card in the mail, and other gifts of notes, flowers, and well wishes and prayers. This is the biggest challenge I have ever faced. The one lesson I have learned is that I can not be my normal self; independent, self-reliant, and private. I need to reach out and ask for help if I am going to beat this disease. So thank you for you help, prayers, and well wishes. I will continue to post to this blog with updates and hope to continue to hear from you all.

Thank you and look forward to tomorrow.



  1. Chris, You are the love of my life. I love you always and forever and will be with you every step of the way on this journey as we celebrate life and become survivors. I love you. Em

  2. Chris, you are a very strong person and I know how hard this is for you, espeically opening-up your private life to the eyes of the public. Know that I am always here for you and I am only a drive away if you need help with anything. Believe in yourself, believe in your family, and believe in God. These are the three for sure things that you can always rely on. That is what I rely on and have always relied on. You are an incredible brother and one I love very much. I pray for you everyday and am very proud of the wonderful brother, husband, father, and friend you are. May God watch over you and bless you during this journey you are on. Hold on tight, keep your hands in, and here we go. What a life ride it will be.

    Love Alway's and Forever,
    Your Sister,

  3. Hello there,
    Thank you for the link. I believe that I am posting under my blogspot username (let me know if I am not, I am kind of challenged with this whole thing...) so now you can read about my adventures too! My latest blog update involves me eating bone marrow, so we have something in common (kind of).
    Let me know when you are in Portland next and I will come to visit again. :) Also, the offer still stands to have the girls hang out with me if you need to stay overnight.
    Take care,

  4. Chris,

    I wish I had a bunch of deep, prophetic words of wisdom to comfort you in your journey. I've been sitting here thinking of what to say and all that keeps coming back to me is the memory of you and I sitting at a table in the computer lab one day @ HHS, and I was forcing you to take time to slow down and breathe. Do you remember that? You hated me for it! ;) But you did it, in between the fits of laughter, and both were good for you. Keep that in mind as you go through this process. It is so easy to get all wrapped up in the stress and worry of everything. Sometimes life has to kick our butts to get a message across to us. It stinks when we're in the thick of it, but it makes us so much stronger as a result. So, love those near you (and those far from you) and slow down... and B R E A T H E... and laugh as much as possible too.

    You are such a treasure in my life... I know I'm not always one to gush about such things, but I want you to know how much I value you as my friend. I will do ANYTHING I can to help you and your family get through this. And you WILL get through this. That I know, from deep within me.

    I know it's not your nature to reach out and ask for help, but please know that I'm here whenever you need me, and I truly want to help you. All of your friends back 'Couv side do! I wish you could hear me, because right now, I'm singing "Just call my na-eeay-eeay-ame... and I'll be there!" :)~ No need to applaud... I know I'm good! Mariah who? ;)

    I love you, my friend!

  5. Mr Demianew....

    I heard about all of this from Sophie and Des...and Des gave me the link to this page. So here I am finally getting into contact with you. Especially since I moved from Pendleton and I can no longer just run into at Wal-Mart.

    I to wish I could think of some positive and encouraging words. But all I can remember is my Sophomore year and your class. I was so sick that year. The sickest I have ever been, spending two whole weeks in the Hospital after my surgery, and a few months out of school after that. I remember coming to school, my first day back, people told me they thought i was dead, i was in sweats and you were the first person I saw. The look on your face was priceless, I still remember it vividly today. I probably looked better than I felt sad to say, but you just told me that I needed to go home, and you couldn't even believe i was there. That I looked so sick standing there with my clothes almost falling off me. All i could think about was how I needed my homework, and you thought I was crazy. You were so supportive of me and my recovery. I know the situations are different but I made it through. And you are way stronger than I am. I have plenty of faith in you and know that God is watching over you. You have touched so many peoples lives, and made huge impacts on people, including me, and you still have many more lives to touch. I will be praying for you.


  6. Chris, You have been constantly in my thoughts and prayers the past few weeks, and will continue to be throughout this incredible journey you are on. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you out, school or otherwise. I believe you when you tell me you are going to beat this disease. You are amazing!!!