Saturday, June 30, 2012

Well its kinda hard to keep a secret...

Time to let the cat’s outta the bag... And I don't really like cats (well except for Brandy who was my first love, and Gorby RIP, and Duncan my new love)

So Craig had a 6 month follow up PET scan on June 8th.

We were supposed to have a follow up with the oncologist on June 15th however Craig was away in California for a family reunion. I had called to reschedule not thinking anything about it...

On Friday June 15th (the date of our original appointment) the Dr's office called 16 times. I was at work so my phone was on silent. Dr Miles was unaware that we had rescheduled, I mean this was his 6 month follow up, he was feeling fine, No symptoms, and business as usual.

Turns out there is new uptake on the PET scan. Meaning there is a "new area of concern" Dr Miles left me a phone message. At first I was really upset. I mean how dare she drop a bomb like that. But she was leaving for vacation for a week and had notified the Cardiovascular Thoracic surgeon that Craig would need an immediate biopsy. She left a message because if the surgeon’s office called to set up the surgery we would have had no idea what was going on.

More surgery.

I called Craig while he was in Vegas, played him the message. We were both bummed but Craig chooses not to let it get him down and had a fabulous time with his family anyways. Telling only those close to him what was going on.

When he returned on the 13th I picked him up at the airport and we were off to meet the surgeon for the pre-op.

This is Craig’s PET scan, technology still amazes me what it can do! The new tumor in this picture is the glowing yellow ball on the right side of his neck (right side in the picture left side in real life)

This is another version of pictures, in this picture if you imagine one of the vegetable slicers cutting cross sections across your body, this picture was taken from his shoulders in the picture on the right you can see the contrast in red the "tumor" is the one that does not belong is the lone one on the right side.

So we waited for the surgeon’s office to call. And when they did not. I called them. Turns out the surgeon was also on vacation... for 3 weeks.

So I talked to the nurse "So let me get this straight, his oncologist calls and says he needs immediate surgery for a biopsy to confirm if this is a re-occurrence and you’re telling me now we need to wait 3 weeks? To find out if it is Cancer again? 3 weeks?"

She called the radiologists office and Dr Smith (Craig’s Oncology Radiologist) suggested they could complete the biopsy with a CT guided needle biopsy. Basically they inject dye, use a big fancy machine to get the spot to get a sample.

Off to surgery he goes June 26th

I packed the surgery essentials (can you tell I am a stress eater? lol)

We get a call the next day that the pathology is back.

It comes back Non-diagnostic. It was explained they did not get enough sample.

Craig needs another surgery.

Friday the 29th we met with the oncologist. It was the appointment we had re-booked.

First thing she did was apologize for leaving the message.

She then went on to explain what non-diagnostic means (too small a sample, a crushed sample, not enough samples) and pulled the pathology reports for us.

Turns out that big fancy machine and the neurologist that preformed the CT guided biopsy.... Yeah he missed. Did not even get ANY lymph node tissue.

Seriously. A neurosurgeon?

Anyways, now we wait. Craig will be in San Antonio until July 12th and the surgeon will be back the 9th, so we will wait till Craig gets back probably Monday the 19th for the surgery.

It’s going to be another big one. Where the tumor is located there are nerves and veins running through it to the brain, it also rests right beside his spinal cord.

We played the what if's with the oncologist (well I did) because I wanted to get a better look at what all of this is going to look like.

If it’s a confirmed re-occurrence she said they would probably do a different more aggressive regime of chemotherapy.

Because of the FAST timeframe of the re-occurrence (less than 6 months in remission) she also mentioned the chance of a bone marrow transplant.

We did not even entertain the what if's if it was a different Cancer...

So we wait.

We are both in good spirits. Until we have all the information all we can do is pray and hope for the best. We were not going to say anything but I the more people praying and sending good wishes and thoughts the better....

Let me know if you have any questions. I will continue to update as we get more information.


Friday, June 1, 2012

A little bit of Anxiety

So on June 8th Craig has another PET scan to make sure all is well.

Something I have not talked about on the blog because I wanted to make it as positive as possible and for the most part it has been. Was the anxiety that goes with the Cancer.

Mine has been bad. And leading up to each PET scan in particular it gets pretty bad!

I just sometimes wish we could fast forward the next year and a half with cancer free scans and be CANCER FREE.

But I know everything will be fine... We have no choice but to keep on moving!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Has it been that long?

First I would like to appologize for being so lazy.


To be honest the reason I had not posted was I was sitting in this "stage" of Cancer where I kept feeling like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Craig was doing great, the scans were fabulous showing that the Cancer tumors are crystalizing and still shrinking (and will continue to for over a year) he showed NO UPTAKE in is PET scans and all was well.

But the oncologist wanted to wait to have his port removed until it had been a year.

At his last check up (about a month ago) she asked if he wanted it out!

And he had the minor surgery to remove it.

So now it finally feels like he is "Done" with Cancer.


And I promise to start updating the blog again.. as a family blog about us with hopefully no more adu about Cancer....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The not an update, update

2 weeks ago Craig met with the surgeon for follow up and was told everything "looked good"

So Monday last week he had his last round of radiation (21 in total) he has burn marks on his back and shoulder where they were "centralizing" the radiation and its been a little itchy but he says he is starting to feel normal again.

I don't want to post anything in haste so all we know right now for sure is we meet with his oncologist on October 5th for follow up and what the plans are moving forward.

I am getting super excited for Friday though its officially the Light the Night Walk I will be helping with set up and early registration this week too! We have raised over $2000 so I am super excited. If we can effect one life then it works.

I also had a "little talk" with the Director of Operations at my part time job which I may add is one of Forbes 100 best places to work. Its funny he walks in and everyone runs around trying to clean and look busy (Hi Bob)

Anyways I sat down with him to say Thank you. And I may have cried. The management team have been amazing. Without blinking an eye I have been able to have as much time off through this process that I have needed.

I told Bob I was forever grateful and I will work for this company for the rest of my life (and at the time and even now I still totally mean it)

I have been blessed with being able to be there for every chemotherapy appointment, every doctors appointment, every surgery. Without question.

 I am still in awe at how amazing my management team is.

 We lost one of my favorite managers (Hi Melissa) because she FINALLY got transferred back home but I can think of at least 2 times she sat in the office while I cried my guts out and she was there to lift me up. She also helped me laugh up some really unfortunate events that unfolded that we may or may not have plotted for a customers demise. Well not demise really just talking out loud.. lol

Our general manager,  I have gone to 30 minutes before a shift dressed to work and said "If for some reason you do not need me today I would LOVE to be at home with the hubby because he is home today" and without a glance it has always been no problems same thing with our other 2 managers who happen to be boys and although I am not really a "crier" (at work anyways) they have all shared in a few of my tears over the last year.

How do you say thank you to a management team like that? I think I know for certain that there is barely another job on this planet that would have "put up with" or "allowed" this time. And with Cancer.. its ALOT of time.

Bob called about a week after our talk. He needed my help. He needed MY help to get someone he knows the help THEY needed because they were just diagnosed with Lymphoma.

And he thought to call me. It feels pretty damn good.

Also this is the last few days to sponsor TEAM WILLCUTT on the walk and also if you would like me to light a candle and place a picture of the memory wall in memory of a loved one lost or fighting please email me at craigsfight at gmail dot com.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Radiation Update

Sorry I am such a slacker.

Craig just finished week 2 of radiation. 2 more weeks to go. He says he is starting to feel the fatigue of the treatments but has continued to work his regular work week (he leaves early for radiation at 4:45 everyday)

I just spent 6 amazing FREE days in the Bahamas it was a trip I earned through work and it was much needed. I was a little hesitant to go and until my feet were in the ocean and sand was in between my toes I did not realize how much I needed it. Its been a long year. And I busted my hump to earn that trip and it was nothing less than amazing. One of my dear friends Christine joined me and we had a blast. I could not have picked a more genuine, amazing, caring, thoughtful person to lift me up like she did. We laughed so hard we cried (ill post the funniest video EVER for your viewing pleasure) It was a dream

 And I fell in love again... His name was Brewer and I Christie got my sloppy seconds because I got to kiss him first. I also feed him a raw fish straight from my own mouth (mom don't look so surprised) the guy asked for someone brave and I raised my hand and stepped forward without even thinking (kinda ironic now that I look back) and I put a dead fish in my mouth and feed it to Brewer... He even said "EWWWWW" after so we got a good laugh. Once I FINALLY load the pictures there will be more. These are horrible cause they are pictures of pictures. I made everyone in my group ugly cry too.. It was so cool...

Tuesday August 23rd was our 8th wedding anniversary we both joked that if we can get through this we can get through ANYTHING!

His followup with the surgeon is Sept 2nd so he will have a chest xray before hand and then the follow up. Per radiation once that is done I guess we will figure out what comes next.

I have started to volunteer again.

 Its what has been laid on my heart right now. Craig and I have always talked about if we were millionaires and never needed to work another day in our lives. We both said we would volunteer our time to causes that are close to our hearts.

I wish we were millionaires but with medical bills from Cancer we are going backwards for that approach. But we have hope. And we have heart. And well we are just too stubborn to quit.

I actually called my job today and said to my manager "Melissa this is going to sound horrible. We are broke as a joke but it has not been busy the last few weeks and people at work need the money more than we do. So if it is ok with you I would prefer to no come in for my shift and volunteer my time to LLS"

She laughed and said "Why am I not surprised?"

 So I have taken up the cause for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in the battle against blood Cancers. I started tonight and talked to about 35 team leaders (I am one too ***waves hands in the air****) as they get ready for one of the biggest nights of the year. Light the Night.

I have set a goal of $10,000. Not to shabby for 30 days huh? Too high? Too low? If you would like to make a donation however big or small please click here I have teamed up with some pretty amazing people (Her name is Crystal too so that in itself makes it amazing!) and I am going to do it.

If you would like to join our team "Hi mom, Hi Dad, Hi Jennifer, Hi Sal, Hi Sara, Hi Christie, Hi Aly, Hi Amy, Hi Amber, Hi Tiffany, Hi Lisa, Hi Kerri, Hi Price,  HELLO EVERYONE!!!" Please join our team! You do not even need to donate (unless you can afford $5) I spoke to a lady tonight who has 103 people on her team!

Please join TEAM WILLCUTT just go to this page scroll to the bottom and join us! share the link, network us out for this amazing cause!

I have been working my but off and I have 2 charity events planned with the help of Crystal and some local donations to make these events AMAZING! I am aiming for $10,000 if I get more bonus!

So if you are up to it. How about donating $5? Join Team Willcutt be with us in spirit I know y'all already are.

 Its been a rough year for everyone in our lives, all the worry all the prayers. We feel it all. And we are blessed.

Please dig deep the money stays local and all of the people at the organization are amazing!

I received the best compliment from Lauren who is one of the campaign managers. She said "Kristalle your attitude and energy are contagious!"

I believe attitude is everything and I hope I am contagious!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Light the Night!

Well Y'all have been asking about a way to help well here it is.

Kansas City does a HUGE walk every year to raise funds for blood Cancers and we are participating this year and I am SO excited!

So Naturally our team is Team Willcutt and you can click that to make a donation.

And it gets even better!!! If you would like to join our team even if that just be to love and support us and help us raise funds that would be amazing too! You can join our team at the bottom of this link and get your own fundraising up and going!!

I have car washes booked I have enlisted a cheerleading team and church group to come and help..

Well us Willlcutts we do not do anything small so we want this to be HUGE!!!

If you have any questions please let me know~


Craig is doing well he is back at work since Monday, Doctors orders were for 2 weeks he took 1 which we were lucky to get him to sit still that long. In 2 weeks we will figure out when radiation starts.