Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to Chris...

Since today is Chrissy's birthday Alex sent me a picture from her cell phone that she took in Ocean City around the 4'th of July when they were out there. Of course Chris was just having a great time with the boys while she was there as evident from the picture. Sorry guys!

Today I went to the Oncology Center in Frederick and visited with the head social worker there. I took her a bunch of things that Chris wanted them to have. In fact they've been boxed up for about 2 months and we just never got over there. We chatted for awhile and then I left to go to the cemetery.
I spent a couple of hours at the cemetery sitting in a chair under the tree next to Chris's grave. It was incredibly difficult at first and I cried a lot. The first time I've felt that way in a couple of weeks. I did a little grounds keeping while I was there and then ran out and bought a huge mum for her. I brought it back and it was just perfect. Other people came to visit today as well. Co-workers and family alike. It was a happy birthday in different kind of way. It is just so very hard to not have her around. Just look at the picture and the smile that she has with the boys. That's what we miss most right now.

Tomorrow we are going to Lycoming to visit with Alex for Parent's Weekend. We're going out to dinner and then attending the football game on Saturday. After the game Alex's team has an intrasquad scrimmage so we'll see that and then make our way home. She's doing well and looking forward to seeing us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Nice day for some pretty flowers!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day after my Endoscopy

Yesterday (Monday) I went to the outpatient center to have an upper endoscopy done as prescribed by my GI doctor. The test went well. I was asleep for it and the entire process took only about 90 minutes from the time I got there to the time I left.

After the procedure the Dr. told me that nothing major was found. They found a few "erosions" which can be aggravated and cause pain. They took a few samples and sent them for biopsies. The CT scan and bloodwork done last week came back and all looked normal according to the Dr. This was a huge relief to me as I was really starting to get worried about how I was feeling and what it could be. I follow up in 2 weeks with him. Thanks to everyone for looking out for me and keeping tabs on me.

I started doing some things again for work. I'm way behind but have still managed to bring on 3 new accounts in the last few days that I had already been working with. I spoke with my boss Phyllis, which many of you met, and she has been more than supportive.

Tonight I took Ty and Michael out to get ice cream in Frederick. They enjoyed it and it was nice to get out together. School is going well for them so far. Michael still has work to makeup but is getting there.

Thursday is Chrissy's birthday. I don't know what I'm going to do that day, but I'm sure I'll go and sing happy birthday for her.

This weekend the boys and I are going to visit Alex at school for parents weekend. We'll go to the football game saturday and watch her play lacrosse after that on the turf field. We're coming home late Saturday.

Today I received the Chrissy's death certificates. That was a tough envelope to open. I have a long list of places to contact but several people are giving me a lot of help.

Good night to everyone....

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Saturday night we went to the Washington Nationals game in Washington, DC. We had a parking pass so we just drove down. It was the 1st Nats game we've been too so it was kind of fun. The boys were tired and so was I so we came home a little early.

Today, Sunday, we got up early and went to 9AM Mass at St. Johns. The boys gave me no problem at all about getting up and going. This is what Chris wanted for them to do and they have no problem carrying out her wish. Tyler went to his 1st confirmation class this afternoon and Michael had 2 lacrosse games today. Chris's Mom and Dad surprised Michael and I and showed up to watch his game. It was an absolute beautiful day. Michael scored a goal this afternoon as well.

The intern that Chris hired for the summer stopped by and delivered a couple of meals for us before going back to college this evening. She really liked Chris a lot and was so thankful that she hired her.

Michael has youth group tonight and I'm just watching football. Not something I get a chance to do very often but I'll take it while I can.

Tomorrow is my Upper Endoscopy. More on that later. This week is Chris's birthday as well so I'll be preparing myself for that...

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

1 Week

What an incredibly difficult week. Alex is in school, and so are the boys. They all seem to be doing okay. There are lots of people keeping they eyes out for them so that is very reassuring.

Last night (Friday) the boys and I went over to some friends (The Fords) in our development. They heated their pool and had some other young people over for a little pool party and cookout. It was a great time for them and I had a very nice time talking with them and getting a chance to place some euchre (cards). We didn't get home until almost 1am!

Stacey is going to help me with Tyler and his upcoming confirmation classes through the church. Her daughter is going through the same thing and she offered to drive and help teach his class. This is great for me as Chris took care of all of that for Alex. I'm an outsider looking in it seems. I'll be prepared for Michael for sure.

Tonight the boys and I are going to the Washington Nationals game in DC. We've never been there and are looking forward to spending some quality time together! We may take the subway into the stadium too.

I posted some information on the bagpipe song above the pictures. Here is a link to the song.

Thank you to everyone who has called, and emailed me. I really appreciate that you are looking out for us. Never hesitate to give us a ring or stop by.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Thursday Tyler got up early for school and got off on his own. I didn't have to get up early with him. That was a big help and allowed me to get some extra sleep.

I got up with Michael and ran some errands. I had to get the dog's haircut and the car in the shop, along with several other trips to town. Thursday I had to go to get my CT scan done. I had to drink the contrast 2 hours early and then ran over to get my bloodwork done. I came back for the scan and while I was laying there I started to cry. This is the same scanner Chris was on many times before.

Later that afternoon I came home and started catching up on my emails for work. It's been quiet so I'm not too far out of the loop. I tell the boys that they need to catch up with their work and I need to do the same.

Sleeping is starting to get a little more difficult. The pain in my back/side keeps me up sometime and, well, my mind is just going in circles.

This weekend should be quiet. Today is Friday and there is no school for "fair day". I'm taking the boys to the County Fair and letting the loose! Tonight dinner over at a friend/neighbor in our development. After that...
who knows?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Everyone's back to school

Monday afternoon the boys and I packed up Alex in the car and drove her back to college in Williamsport, PA. We got up there around 4pm and took her up to her dorm. We then went to a hotel and checked in for the evening. The boys went swimming and I sat and relaxed.

We then met Alex and her friend Jon (no H) at the Bullfrog Brewery in downtown. This is Michael's favorite place up there and mine too. I'm fond of the brewery part. We had a nice dinner and then I drove them back to the campus. We went back to the hotel and then watched some of the Redskins game. I fell asleep around 10pm and the boys right after that.

The next morning I was happy to see the Redskins won. I think Chrissy is giving them some extra help from above! We went to the campus bookstore around 10 am and met Alex there. We got some coffee and then took off for home. Alex will be in good hands up there but I am going to miss her dearly! She got me through this week with a great deal of help.

We got home just in time for Tyler to go to golf practice. I picked him up and when we got home I made our first dinner together. The 3 or us sat quietly and ate our dinner. It was sad but peaceful. We miss Chris a lot and it shows.

This morning (Wednesday) Michael and Tyler went back to school. They have a lot to catch up on but should be able to make it up quickly. I ran the dog to the groomer, went to the lawyer's, drycleaners, dropped off the car for service, and picked Tyler up after school. It was a quick day but productive.

Tomorrow I go for my CT scan of my abdomen. I've had some problems for about 2 months and need to get it looked at. Blood work too and my endoscopy on Monday. Wish me luck.

Good night...

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An email from my sister...

It's been quite awhile since I've seen my sister. She made the trip out here last weekend and it was great seeing her. She left early Monday morning and just sent out an email to some of her close friends. I thought I would share it with you all.

Well everyone I finally got back Monday and I have just spent the most emotional draining weekend I have ever had to encounter. If there was ever the meaning of true love, my brother and his wife who just passed, had to write the book. They were the pillars of the community and calling hrs went past there hours just to accommodate the lines that went out the door and into the parking lot.

The Catholic Church was filled to capacity, and not one dry eye in the place. The emotion was running high as the Priest himself shed tears, knowing Chrissy, and that he himself has cancer.
By the time we reached the cemetery and everyone was slowly walking toward the grave site out of no where bagpipes started from a distance and came toward us. After a quick sermon and as everyone was saying their goodbyes the bagpipes filled the air and slowly headed off to the distance.

My brothers house was overfilled to capacity with everyone being there to give support to Charlie. He is blessed to have some of the most wonderful neighbors and friends anyone could ask for. We never had to touch a thing. They had all the food and arrangements done. Even his daughter's entire lacrosse team came from her college in PA just to be there.
I was so glad that I could be there for my brother and it meant alot to him that I could. Over the weekend I learned what the meaning of true love really is, and that life is to short, staying in contact with family and friends should not be put off for another day.

For anyone interested please go to just cut and paste or type in and go read chrissys blog that my brother had set up for her. Beware tissues are needed !!!

I love you all !!! Vicky

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Saturday... A day to remember forever.

All I can say is WOW. I was looking forward to this day. I was not scared. I knew that today would be a wonderful send off for Chris. I was not disappointed.

The day started around 5:30 AM. Yesterday was a rainy day and so was the evening. I was sleeping with the windows opened and at 5:30 AM I was awakened by a huge gust of wind that blew the trees for about 10 minutes or so. It was as iff a hurricane was blowing through. After this short time the wind stopped blowing and the trees became calm. From that point on the weather started clearing up and continued to be as perfect as it possible could. I know that this was Chris clearing up the weather for everyone who attended.

The funeral home sent a car to come and pick us up at the house and take us to the church. We arrived around 9:45 and the sun was shining brightly and the wind was blowing a little bit. The church was already about 3/4 full when they seated thed kids and I. The service was absolutely perfect. The readings that Jenny, Alex and I chose were very appropriate and were listened to very attentively by everyone there. The music was beautiful. When I stood up to receive communion I looked back at all of the people in the church and the entire church was almost full. It brought tears to my eyes to see all of the people there to say their last goodbyes.

Chris's sister Jenny played a song during the service that I had not heard before. It is a country western song by Craig Morgan entitled "Tough". It did not leave a dry eye in the house. Here are the lyrics:

She’s in the kitchen at the crack of dawn
Bacon’s on, coffee’s strong
Kids running wild, taking off their clothes
If she’s a nervous wreck, well it never shows
Takes one to football and one to dance
Hits the Y for aerobics class
Drops by the bank, stops at the store
Has on a smile when I walk through the door
The last to go to bed, she’ll be the first one up
And I thought I was tough

She’s strong, pushes on, can’t slow her down
She can take anything life dishes out
There was a time
Back before she was mine
When I thought I was tough

We sat there five years ago
The doctors let us know, the test showed
She’d have to fight to live, I broke down and cried
She held me and said it’s gonna be alright
She wore that wig to church
Pink ribbon pinned there on her shirt
No room for fear, full of faith
Hands held high singing Amazing Grace
Never once complained, refusing to give up
And I thought I was tough

She’s strong, pushes on, can’t slow her down
She can take anything life dishes out
There was a time
Back before she was mine
When I thought I was tough

She’s a gentle word, the sweetest kiss
A velvet touch against my skin
I’ve seen her cry, I’ve seen her break
But in my eyes, she’ll always be strong

There was a time
Back before she was mine
When I thought I was tough

It was very beautiful and the lyrics were right on. Chris was tough and this song was written as if it was about her! Click here and you can listen to it yourself!!!

After the service we mingled around in front of the church for a little while. I saw so many people that I have not seen in a long while. It was so nice. The procession took about 15 minutes through downtown Frederick to get to the cemetery. The police had several intersections blocked off so that we could scoot through. Once we arrived at the cemetery we pulled up along where the tent was. Off in the distance a person began playing the bagpipes. I don't recall the song but it was absolutely wonderful. It was a beautiful addition to the ceremony.

The kids and I were seated next to Chris's parents right in front of the casket. Father Wayne was there and said some more beautiful words. The flowers were brought to the site and placed on the casket and near it. After some time it was time to say good bye. It was very, very hard for all of us. We were finally able to make our way back to the car which took us home from the cemetery.

Everything was just perfect. When we arrived home we saw that several friends and neighbors had taken over the house and brought in tables, chairs, food, drinks, EVERYTHING needed to feed a couple hundred people. Many people came over to the house for awhile. It was just wonderful and made me feel very good to have them there. There were relatives, friends, bosses, neighbors and everyone in between here!

One thing that will stay with me forever is when the Lycoming Women's Lacrosse team showed up in their team van and a couple of cars. Out piled about 30+ beautiful women athletes who came to support Alex and the rest of the family. They made the trip down from PA early in the morning and stayed until late afternoon. This is Alex's family away from home and when I saw them I knew that I had no worries about her when she would return. They would take care of her for me.

Later in the day everyone eventually went home and it was just the kids and I along with my sister. We were exhausted. I finally went to bed around 11. I'd been sleeping in my room all week but this night was really difficult. I laid in bed for quite awhile. Saying goodbye is a very hard thing to do. I'll miss her so very much.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chris remembered at COMSTAR

This email was sent to me from COMSTAR. It is about a member of the credit union who was talking about Chris the other day...

just thought I would share a story with you. So many of our members
remember Chris from when she worked here.

We have a member ( Nancy ***** ) that lost all 3 of her grandsons to domestic
violence a few years ago. Chris and I used to talk about Nancy.( Chris
remembered her) Well today Nancy came in when she heard about Chris. And
through her tears, she said to me, “ Well Chris has been promoted to an early
Grandmother, I am sure she is in heaven right now hugging my grandsons. Just
wanted you all to know that even way down here Chris made a big impact…..

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rainy Friday for Calling Hours

Friday was the day set for calling hours at the funeral home. It rained quite a bit all day Friday and that made things a little more gloomy. All of Chris's family was there with me and my sister actually made it up from KY to be with us as well.

The kids and I went to the funeral home a little early and we went in and spent some time alone with Chris. Of course we were all a little bit scared as we went in. We started in the back of the room and made our way forward. Well as soon as we saw her the fear was gone! She looked beautiful. Just beautiful. The flowers that were there were so vibrant and wonderful as well. We brought a couple of jewelry items to put on her and some pictures to put around the room for people to see. We were really happy.

We then went over to an alcove to watch a slide show on a video screen. That brought the tears for us. But not sadness, just joy as they were all great memories that were coming back to us. Chris's parents came in and spent time alone as well.

People started coming in around 2pm and there was a very steady flow until about 4pm. After that we walked down to a restaurant in downtown Frederick for a dinner in between. It was nice to get some food and sit with the family for awhile.

We went back and around 6:30 the people for the evening session started filing in. The line was out the door and onto the porch the entire evening! I met so many friends, family, business associates that I will have to go back to the guest book to remember them all. It was so soothing to see all the support come through the door all night long. Chris's parents, brothers and sisters were also greeted with the same love and caring. Thank you to each and every one of you who was there in the rain to be with us.

Afterwards, we had some time to wind down. During that time Michael and I placed some items in the casket with Chris so she could have them with her. A cat's meow house of LaPaz (favorite restaurant), a depression glass from her collections, some photos of friends and family, along with a shell from Aruba were some of the things we gave her. After that it was then time to make our final goodbyes. Everyone else went first and then Alex, Tyler, Michael, and I had our

We talked a long time about Mom and how much she meant to us. We then gave each other a huge hug. The kids left and I told Chris that I loved her and promised to do my best to take care of the kids. I thanked her for all the love and devotion she had given me for 23 years. I then kissed her 1 last time and then said "See you soon...". In the big picture life is very very short and our time on earth is only a speck. It will be soon and I look forward to seeing her again.

More to come...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Jump in and get wet!"

I have received hundreds of emails in the past several days. I have read each and every one of them but unfortunately cannot find the time to respond. Today I received one from a one of the people at COMSTAR that has worked for Chris for quite awhile. She is also a very good friend of mine and our family.

She and Chris recently went to Las Vegas for a conference at the end of June. I will share with you her email in it entirety. I think it says it all... I miss her so much.

One of my most treasured memories with Chris happened when we were in Vegas. I’m sure you already heard Chris’ version of the story, but I don’t know if she told you everything. We were at the CareerBuilder/Barenaked Ladies concert which was poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel. The first thing we noticed when we got there was that the stage was centered in such a way that you HAD to be in the water in order to be close to the band. Everyone seemed to be sitting in the cabanas and hanging out around the pool, so we staked out a great location sitting on the edge of the water (and pretty close to the stage). As the concert started and some more of the alcohol was flowing, people began to slowly brave their way to the center island portion. We had a great time laughing at the people who were trying so desperately not to get wet. The BEST was this guy who came out of the water with a towel wrapped around him. All of a sudden the towel dropped and it turned out that he had NOTHING ON underneath! (Thank goodness we got the backside!)

I guess seeing all of this craziness inspired Chris and she decided that we had to get in the pool. I looked at her like she had finally lost it! “You do realize that I have on a white skirt and you have on white pants?!” I asked her. But it didn’t matter to her, “You’ll never see these people again, so who cares?” she said. I continued to flounder with it, thinking about what people would think of me, that if Charlie were here HE would certainly do it - but I just couldn’t do it. I could tell she was disappointed, which hurt me – why couldn’t I do something this simple for her? Later on she turned to me and said, “You know Marianne, sometimes in life you just have to jump in and get wet.” I knew that moment was something that I would always remember (I still have the pictures of us on my phone from that night), and especially what she said. I hope that I’m able to able to do just that – jump in and get wet - and make her proud.

I love you guys.

Chrissy's Obituary

This was in today's Frederick News Post newspaper. Click the image for a large view.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Final Arrangements

The following are the arrangements that have been made for my wife Chris.

Calling hours will be at the Keeney and Basford Funeral Home on FRIDAY September, 14 from 2 to 4 PM and from 7 to 9 PM.

Catholic Mass (everyone is welcome) service will be at St. John the Evangelist Church on SATURDAY September, 15 at 10 AM.

Both of these locations are in downtown Frederick, MD

If you are coming from out of town and wish to stay over you can use the Hampton Inn Hotel listed below. I have called the hotel and they are offering us a special rate.

If you are flying in I would recommend BWI in Baltimore. It is much easier to get here from there. Approximately a 50 minute drive. You need to simply find and get onto Interstate 70 West from the Baltimore beltway (695), then exit number 56 is for Frederick.

At this point, nothing has been set up for after the burial service at the cemetery on Saturday. If something does get arranged I will resend that information separately. Otherwise we will notify everyone at the service of any plans.

If you go the blog I have posted some maps that you can print off to help you find everything.

Thank you to everyone for the emails you have sent to me. I have read each and everyone but unfortunately don’t have the time to respond….. YET.

I was notified late yesterday about a special trust fund that COMSTAR and a local lawyer have setup for people to make donations. They’ve asked me to let people know about this fund. It is being administered by the law offices of STERN & THORNTON, P.A. and the trustee is there as well. It is set up strictly for the educational future of Alex, Tyler and Michael. In the obituary tomorrow it will read “In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Chris DeWitt Children’s Trust Fund c/o Douglas Thornton Trustee, STERN & THORNTON, P.A. 127 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland 21701”

We are doing okay right now. Alex is here and is keeping our family together. She has helped me with many of the arrangements, from cemetery plot, clothing, etc. Just a wonderful help to me. Tomorrow…. Flowers and meet with the church.

~ Charlie

Funeral Home information (FRIDAY):

Keeney and Basford Funeral Home
106 East Church Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Map location:,+Frederick,+MD+21701,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title

Hotel information is:

You can call the hotel directly and ask for the DeWitt Family Rate which is $99.00 per night.

You can use the internet site to reserve a room and then just ask for the rate when you check in.

Hampton Inn- Frederick-Fort Detrick, MD
1565 Opossumtown Pike
Frederick, MD 21702
1-301-696-1565 as for Reba Beaver

Reservations Online:

Map location:

Church Service Information is (SATURDAY):

St. John the Evangelist
118 East Second Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: 301.662.8288
Map location:,+MD&fb=1&ll=39.42479,-77.412071&spn=0.16363,0.270882&z=12&iwloc=I&om=1

Cemetary Information is (SATURDAY)::

Mount Olivet Cemetary
Frederick, MD
Map location:

The DeWitt House Information is:

9512 Bridgewater Ct. East
Frederick, MD 21701
301.662.5453 house
240.285.7251 cell phone
Map location:,+Frederick,+MD+21701,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title&aq=t

Maps of Frederick and Services

This is a map of the Frederick area showing where services and such are being held. Click the map for a larger image. It will show the hotel and the location of our house.

This map is a zoom in showing only the funeral home, church, and cemetery. Again click the map for a larger image.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chris is now at PEACE...

Over the years I have written many emails regarding Chris’s battle with breast cancer. None of them has prepared me for the email you are about to read.

As you know she came home from the hospital yesterday around 2PM. We were excited to have the opportunity to have her home. Some people from work came by to visit with her and we were all glad to see them. At approximately 6:30 AM today (September 11) Chris’s 3 year long battle with this dreaded disease came to an abrupt halt. I wish that there was some other way that I could present this to you, but I can’t think of any. She was at peace, and not in pain. I was by her side all evening as were her brothers and sisters.

We stayed with her and made sure she was comfortable the entire night. I brought pictures of the kids into the room and put them by the bed hoping that she would somehow be able to see them. There were flowers, which she loved, there as well. I talked to her about a great deal of things, but mostly told her over and over again how much I loved her.

She has not been able to wear her wedding band since her 1st chemo treatment 3 years ago. Last night I found her ring, and was able to slide it onto her ring finger! I said my wedding vows to her again. When she took her final breath there was both extreme sorrow and some sense of relief that flew through me. It was indescribable.

She is in a much better place now and I look forward to the day of someday joining her to be by her side again.

At this point no details are set but we should have them shortly. I will send them in another email. Please pray for my family in hopes to ease the pain that doesn’t seem to subside.

Peace be with all of you,


Monday, September 10, 2007

Chris comes home....

Dear Friends & Family,

Right now I am sitting at the bedside of my beautiful wife as I type this. As you know she has been in the hospital for 1 week after being admitted on Labor Day. It has been a very stressful and hectic week trying to shuffle work, school, and everything else in between. I could not have made it this far without the help of my family and some very special neighbors.

The liver tumors that Chris has been battling for 3 long years have finally found a way to defeat all of the chemo and procedures that we’ve thrown at them. The latest CT scan showed a significant progression of the disease in her liver. The team of Doctors here at Johns Hopkins have consulted and week informed us that there is nothing else that can be done to help prevent the cancer. Chris’ liver is beginning to shut down and very soon she will succumb to effects of her disease.

It has taken me awhile to sit down and send out this notice to everyone because we had to ensure that our boys and Alex, along with all of our family were told first. Chris wanted to make sure that we told them ourselves. Tyler and Michael came in on Friday and Alex came in on Saturday. Chris and I both spoke with them and told them the news and then told them what needs to be done as we go forward in our lives without her. They are strong children, but at the same time love and adore their mother very much. The news was quite hard on them.

Currently Chris is very tired and has a hard time staying awake. She has been on oral pain medication for about 4 days now and that has made it much easier for her to sleep. She can sit up but cannot move very far at all without assistance. She is comfortable and that is what is important at this point.

Today the Frederick Hospice is coming to deliver some equipment to our house (bed, table, oxygen). We are leaving the hospital sometime today in an ambulance transport and bringing Chris home. The Hospice will then take over her care at that point. We think that it is very important for her to be home during her final days so that both she and I can be with friends and family during this time.

I have had many wonderful offers of love and support during the last week. In fact, that same love and support has been coming for 3 long years. September 18th, 2004 was the day that Chris and I were given this horrible news and from that day forward we have been blessed with all the love and care that we could ever need. This is an incredibly difficult time for me and I promise that I will lean on you for help and guidance. We could not have made it this far without your help and I’m sure that I’ll need your help just as much in the coming days, months, and years to come.

Please keep my family in your prayers, and ask God to watch over us and guide us in the right direction.

God bless all of us!

Frederick, MD

240-285-7251 cell phone

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Late night update.

I know everyone is so very interested in how Chris is doing. I know how important the blog is to you and will try very hard to keep it updated. Today (Thursday) was a much better day. Her pain levels have lowered a lot. She still has trouble standing and walking but is able to do so with much less pain. That is good.

She had some x-rays, and ultrasound this morning. I stayed home this morning to see the boys off to school. I then caught up on some things around the house and for work. I picked Ty up at school and took him to golf practice and then came to the hospital around 4pm. Jenny brought Chris's Mom and Dad to the hospital today to see her.

When I arrived they were getting ready to take her to get the tube inserted into her abdomen so that the fluid can be easily drained off if it starts to accumulate again. They had to sedate her for the procedure and there was the recovery room thing to deal with. It went well and I got to sit with Jenny, Mom and Dad for awhile. They left and I went back to see her in recovery.

When we got back to the room she was finally able to eat dinner. She had not eaten all day while waiting for the procedure. Her appetite is really good and she is pretty fond of the health shakes.

I spent 3 more hours sitting and talking with her. She is really much better than she was on tuesday. It is really great!

Tonight, thanks to some very special people, I am spending the night in a hotel in downtown Baltimore. This will allow me to get some extra sleep and still be at the hospital early tomorrow morning! Thanks very much to you guys. You know who you are! Oh yeah, the boys are staying at a neighbors house for a weekday sleepover thus allowing me to stay her. Thanks there too. Thanks, thanks, thanks... to each and everyone of you out there reading this and helping us out.

We found out today that Chris is not allowed to have flowers in her room. It is an oncology rule. She received a couple orders today and they truly brightened her room for a while. I will take them home tomorrow where she can see them when she gets home.

No indication when yet. But if she keeps getting stronger like she is today, hopefully it won't be too long.

Good night from Bal'more.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Day 2 Finally Home!

I'm home finally. Chris is comfortable and sleeping well. She is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow morning early. She was very talkative this evening and showed no signs of confusion today at all.

We are grateful to each and every one of you that have continued to show us your love and support. At this point, we don't know what the next steps are going to be. The primary goal is to stop the pain. There are options and we are weighing them all carefully before making a decision to move forward with a treatment or another procedure.

Her Mom and Dad are coming up to see her tomorrow. I'm going to stay home in the AM and catch up on some things before going up in the afternoon. We don't have an estimate on when she'll be coming home just yet but will let you know as soon as we find out. Hopefully soon!

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Day 2

I have a few minutes and thought I’d bring you up to date on Chris.

Chris's sisterJenny came to the hospital this afternoon to visit with Chris and give me a little break. I'm beat. I’m in the lobby now and will be going back up soon. Chris is about the same right now as yesterday. They are doing a procedure to drain all the fluid out of her belly that has built up. It involves a big needle and is called paracentisis. Tomorrow they will put in a drain so that we can drain it ourselves if it fills up again. It most likely will.

The team of Dr.’s are still doing tests to determine the best plan of attack. The CT scan yesterday did show numerous tumors in her liver that are obviously causing it to not function properly. Right now we’re trying to get her comfortable. Dr. Emens will be up later to discuss in more detail all of the findings.

That’s it for now. I wish I could tell you more but right now that’s where we’re at…

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

1st Day in the Hospital at Johns Hopkins

This has been a busy day to say the least. 10 to 12 Doctors have come in to examine Chris and order tests. Right now she is not doing well. About the same as Saturday which was not a good day. Her liver is not functioning properly. Her bilirubin is very high (not good) which causes the jaundice in her eyes and skin. Her belly filled with fluid. They put 5 liters in since she arrived and some of it just passes through the liver and into her belly region. No lie, she looks like she is 7 months pregnant.

She is in a great deal of pain and is on morphine. Small doses, but enough to take the edge off. She had a CT scan today and is still scheduled for an MRI today.

Doctors are ordering all sorts of tests to get a better picture of exactly what is happening. Lots of assumptions but they need the tests to plan an attack. I won’t list all the possibilities but there are many.

I don’t have internet access in her room but there is some in the lobby. I am sitting in a chair right now looking at her. It is so difficult to see her in this condition and to not be able to help her. She is in very good hands. The nurses have been great and the doctors too. One of the nurses that was working the clinical trial came by to visit her today and her oncologist, Dr. Emens, came by as well. Everyone is aware she is here and working hard to get her better. The nurse that she had today ordered a “sitter” to come in this evening to be with her all night long. They stay in the room just in case she needs anything during the night. During the day I’m here and there is a lot more activity but at night they wanted someone with her all night.

Home life is another story. This really, really turns us on end. Just not being there with the boys is really hard. They are doing good but I wish that I could be there with them too. I need to be here 1st though. This morning I woke up about 6:20 to see Tyler off to school. Well he was still in bed! I got him up and out the door in time to catch the bus. I laid down around 6:45 for a few minutes. I had to get Mike up at 7 for his bus at 7:30. Well at 7:25 he was tapping me on the leg telling me he was leaving! He got up at 7, made his lunch, got breakfast and got himself together all by himself. Not bad for just 11. I was pretty proud of him.

We talked to Alex today so she knows exactly what’s going on. She knows that it is important for her to focus on school and that she should not worry about her mom. She should think of her often, but not worry.

Chris is in room 5D-11 in the Weinberg building at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

I don’t really know what else I can tell you right now. If you have any questions you can send me an email if you like. I can answer those pretty quickly late at night.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Admitted to Hospital

We are leaving to go to John's Hopkins. I spoke with them tonight and they want her in there. Leaving soon. More for you later. Thought you'd like a quick update...

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sunday - Beautiful day outside, a little better inside.

Last night I went to sleep around 1am after an exhausting day. Chris got up 3 times in the night. She needs help getting out of bed and to the bathroom. We got up around 6:30 this morning. She actually got up and came downstairs for awhile.

Jenny came back today and stayed with Chris all afternoon. Gave me a chance to do some things for work and get outside for a little bit. What a wonderful day it was.They sat in the family room all day so Chris was not in bed most of the day. Very tiring for her but certainly signs of improvement.

Chris was doing somewhat better. Walking, slowly and painfully, but walking. She did fall down once on the stairway landing. She get's around with a walker upstairs. She is eating some more and drinking some more. Not a lot but enough to get a little energy back. No vomiting since Thursday so that's progress.

Jenny left around 6 right before we ate dinner. Tyler is at the movies and Michael is outside
playing. Chris went back upstairs and fell asleep immediately.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. She has an appointment with her oncologist on

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Some help for Charlie

This morning Chris's Mom and Dad came over. This gave Tyler and I a chance to get out of the house for a little while. We went to Home Depot for a couple things and went to the lacrosse shed to do some clean up. On the way home we stopped for a quick lunch. That was nice to get away with him.

Chris and her mom talked a lot while I was gone. She is still not doing well and in fact is almost back to her the level she was at on Thursday. Her mouth is dry and she is suffering from a great deal of pain. It is killing me to see her this way. She is trying to eat some and drink but is not making enough progress. She needs a lot of liquids to replenish herself and she's not even close.

Her sister Jenny came by around 5 or so. She hasn't seen her in awhile so it was really nice for her to sit and chat. Jenny is a home health care nurse and has a good handle on all this. While we all agree that she needs to replenish the fluids in Chris we don't want to take her back to the hospital unless we have to. That may come tomorrow if she doesn't show improvement over the next 12 hours or so. We/She just can't do it here at home as quickly as it is needed. The GOOD news is that Chris has not thrown up since 12:00 noon on thursday. So that still is progress I suppose.

While Jenny was here she told the boys and I to get out and have dinner. With Alex gone it's just the 3 of us a lot when Chris is not well. We went to Waffle House for breakfast/dinner as they put it. It was nice to sit and relax with them. This has been extremely tough on the boys too. They help out a lot! Yesterday and today was laundry day and they helped fold, sort, and put away about 8 loads of laundry! I couldn't do it without them.

Jenny left and said she'd be back tomorrow and give us some more time together. It's a wonderful weekend weatherwise and we need to try and get out and do something.

I'm tired, but I'm also really worried. 3 years of fighting cancer and Chris has only felt sick 1 or 2 times. She's missed a handful of days at work. Now, she's been out for almost 2 weeks straight and is really physically and mentally unstable. Work has ALWAYS been great for Chris. She loves her job and most importantly loves the people she works with. It's a great place. When she is there she is part of the family and they all look after her. Now she's away from them and she is feeling the separation.

I'll keep you posted as best as I can. Please put and extra prayer in the prayer box tomorrow morning when you go to church. We could use it.