Chemo Round 2

Sorry that it has been a little bit since our last entry.. We have been a little busy with the new year and spending time with family

*** WARNING this is a long one***

So a little summary of our past few days.. Let’s start with Friday the 30th.. Evan had a checkup at UW with his Doctor, Dr. Schweizer. Long story short, he is happy with how things are going so far in regards to the diminished pain and no longer hacking up any blood! Hopefully that means the cancer is shrinking!! To confirm this, they will redo some blood work/scans/etc.but according to their protocol, they don’t do this right away which bugs me…lol but with cost, exposure to radiation, and being that only 1 round is complete so far, it makes sense. However, how Evans body is responding (no pain, coughing up blood) is very positive and hopeful!! The only concern the doctor had was about his absolute neutrophil count (ANC) which is a type of white blood cell in the body that helps fight infection. With chemo, this is a common. His blood work showed that his ANC was .5 and the normal range is 1.5to 8.0. So he put him on an antibiotic to help boost his immune system and as a preventative.

The doctor also gave us the biopsy results which revealed what kind of testicular cancer this actually is. We were expecting 1 but there is actually 2. He indicated this isn’t abnormal and that it is actually common to have more than one kind. Both are considered germ cell tumors. The one is called choriocarcinoma and the other is embryonal carcinoma. Both are a type of non-seminoma germ cell tumors.

American Cancer Society had some brief info on these types of cancer so I used my nursing school research skills to explain them a little cause I myself didn’t know what these crazy words mean and here’s the website: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicularcancer/detailedguide/testicular-cancer-what-is-testicular-can…

“Most tumors are a mix of different types (sometimes with a seminoma component as well), but this doesn’t change the general approach to treatment of most non-seminoma cancers.

Embryonal carcinoma:This type of non-seminoma is present to some degree in about 40% of testiculartumors, but pure embryonal carcinomas occur only 3% to 4% of the time. Whenseen under a microscope, these tumors can look like tissues of very earlyembryos. This type of non-seminoma tends to grow rapidly and spread outside thetesticle.

Embryonal carcinomacan increase blood levels of a tumor marker protein called alpha-fetoprotein(AFP), as well as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).

Choriocarcinoma: Thisis a very rare and aggressive type of testicular cancer in adults. Pure choriocarcinomais likely to spread rapidly to distant organs of the body, including the lungs,bones, and brain. More often, choriocarcinoma cells are present with othertypes of non-seminoma cells in a mixed germ cell tumor. These mixed tumors tendto have a somewhat better outlook than pure choriocarcinomas, although thepresence of choriocarcinoma is always a worrisome finding.

This type of tumorincreases blood levels of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)”.

ANYWAYS Friday after the appointment we made plans with Salina because she kindly offered to take some engagement photos of us! She took them right before the sun went down at Gas Works Park! It was freezing but we had fun and now have some of our favorite pictures that we can’t wait to get printed!!! Thanks again Salina:) The next day, Evans Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt and Uncle from Oregon came to visit! We spent New Year’s Eve day with them and enjoyed just being able to hang out together and watch some football! New Year’s Eve night we went to our friends Nick and Salina’s, who live right next to Lake Union, so they had the perfect roof top view to watch the fireworks at the Space Needle. They also have a fur baby named Bubba who Rollo LOVES to play with so it worked out great.

The next day, back at Evans parents, we all participated in Heather and Reichie’s Fondue lunch that they do every New Year’s Day! Evan couldn’t get enough of the cheese and bread, of course..lol When we got home that night, we had dinner at our place with the Matz family and my family!Monday was a cleaning day for me, being that I started school again on Tuesday!However, Evan watched football ALL day. Which was a win, win situation for us..haha because usually when I clean the house someone leaves a mess where I already cleaned… so not this time 😉

While being at home, Evan has been able to take Rollo out for walks regularly and eat normally! He really has been doing great while at home. He hasn’t taken any pain med and is able to sleep comfortably all nightlong!

Yesterday, Kyle brought Evan up to UW around 1230pm, where they met up with his parents and checked in for his second round of chemo! They did more blood work to check his levels again, did an X-ray to make sure his PICC line (aka where the chemo goes in) was in the correct placement, and the pharmacist took forever to make his chemo. (Chemo is so expensive that they make it every time it is needed, they never have premade bags) So his chemo did not start until like 9pm and ended at like 3am but luckily it just runs into his PICC line. So he was able to sleep and receive chemo at the same time AND Kaylee brought him a Dick’s burger and fries so we was content to say the least. He slept all night and woke up with a big appetite. He had chips, cereal, crackers, a bagel,apple juice and has subway on the way. He wasn’t happy to be back here and he has expressed that it scares him, however he is happy that the cancer is being killed!!! We all are and I keep telling him every day to stay positive and that we are going to get through this! And just like his buddy Nick said, “You have nothing to be scared of. I know it’s painful but in the end you’re going to be better.”

So day one of five is complete and he’s ready for the next!He is VERY determined to go home Monday and he’s not letting anyone forget that.. lol I hope I covered everything and I hope everything makes sense lol I usually have someone proof read my stuff but Evan is currently sleeping so excuse errors etc. Also, I may be in nursing school but I don’t know everything so hopefully my information is correct lol I have been told my knowledge will come with time… lol

Also Maddie and Garrett got back to LA safely yesterday and we miss them already! Thanks for hanging out with us! xoxo

Oh and thanks dad for driving me up here last night, you’re the best!

Don’t forget to save the date on February 11th 2017 for Evans Benefit dinner! All are welcome and the more the merrier! We will have more information to follow soon!

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Sorry for the delay..

Guess it has been a few days since we checked in. We spent Christmas Eve across the street at Grandpa Fritz & Gramma Barb’s house with all of Marissa’s family. We had a great time but one of the highlights of the evening was Evan’s marriage proposal to Marissa. We were all in on the surprise and were able to put Evan’s idea into action and somehow managed to totally surprise Marissa. Not sure how that many people pulled off the surprise but we did!!! The rest of Christmas was tons of fun getting to know Marissa’s family even more and enjoying the day!

One of Evan’s favorite gifts was a new wall mounting bracket for his tv. It pulls off the wall and tips to make his gaming station complete!! We now spend our days listening to Evan yell loudly at the tv because he can’t hear himself with his new headphones… 🙂 (thanks to kyle)
Evan continues to have more and more appetite each day but is still very tired. They say that is to be expected.
Last night we spent going to the ER to have his PICC line (tubing that the chemo is administered through) checked. We thought there might be some infection starting and according to the docs and nurses, the PICC line isn’t anything we mess around with. It goes directly to his heart so infection is taken very seriously. They changed his dressing, did a culture of the fluid, drew blood and sent him home with antibiotics. He doesn’t have a fever or any other symptoms so “if” there is infection, it was just starting so we caught it at the best time.
Today (Tuesday) we started the day with a good visit with Bonnie and Ron Chase. Was good to see them….. their prayers and love are very much appreciated!! Then we had to drive to Seattle UW clinic to have the dressing changed again….. or at least that is what we thought. They decided they didn’t want to take off the dressing because every time you expose it to the air, there is infection risk. So…… we decided to take Evan to our new favorite Asian Restaurant which is Din Tai Fung………so good…… Then we started the long journey home through the oh so great Seattle traffic.
We rounded out the night watching the movie “Sky High” which was one of his favorite movies when he was a kid…..
Well that’s it….. we are looking forward to a visit from Grammie and Grampa Diller and Aunt Heidi and Uncle Fred at the end of the week….. so until then!!

An Exciting Christmas Eve!

Salina here, Marissa and Evan’s friend! These two began dating back in our PLU days years ago and they have been inseparable ever since. Everyone has known these two would get married and we were just waiting for Evan to pop the question! In fact, Marissa even caught the bouquet at my wedding so I knew it was just a matter of time (;

As some of you know, Evan proposed to Marissa on Christmas Eve surrounded by their friends and family. It made for a memorable night that they will both remember forever.

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I just wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to Marissa. She has been Evan’s rock! She has never left his side, never lost faith, and has stayed positive despite the circumstances. She has showed so much unconditional love for him and I know that with her by his side, he will kick cancers butt!

Home day 4

Another relaxing day at home with some good company! Evan got some good sleep and slept till 1 today 😴 Auntie Kelli came to visit and brought some yummy treats and warm hugs!! Heather came back and helped ev sort through some paperwork/mail. We received a package from his Aunt Heidi and Uncle Fred which was so sweet of them! My dad, my sister & I went to go pick up the #evanstrong tshirts that my mom had custom made for Evan as part of his fundraiser. And they are awesome!! Maddie and Garrett did an amazing job designing them and we are excited to get them out to everyone! Look for details at the bottom! Ev took Rollie to the park 🙂 Then our friends Shayna & Gaige came over with their Great Dane puppy named Hardy, who is one of Rollie’s best buds!!! They had so much fun! And Evs good friend Sam was here too and they all had fun visiting and playing Xbox, of course!

We ended the night with a puzzle! Super fun, haven’t done one is a long time!
Ev continues to eat well & be in good spirits! His nausea and heartburn seem to be controlled, as well as his pain! I forgot that our family friends from yesterday the, Cox’s brought ev ginger, hard candies and ev loved/indicated that they helped too!! Thanks guys 🙂
We are so blessed with all the love and support everyone continues to give us! It means so much!
I’ll share the picture of the shirts down below! We haven’t received the bracelets yet but when we do, we are asking $20 for the shirt and bracelet! All proceeds will go towards Evans treatment funds!
Thank you in advance and we look forward to seeing you guys support Evan with your new shirt and bracelet!
The best way to do it will be to probably contact me so we can find a way to get the shirts to you/have you pick up/sizes etc! Here is my number text me/call me! I will get back to you:)

Home Day 5

Today was uneventful just like we like it! Evan had no pain meds today which is awesome. We have been spending a lot of time on the phone trying to get appointments set up, paperwork handled, insurance taken care of………. all the fun stuff NOT!!!

So after all that fun stuff, Evan had an afternoon of video games. His buddy Kyle went Christmas shopping and came bounding in the house a few hours later insisting that Evan open his Christmas present RIGHT NOW!!!! It of course was a new gaming headset complete with awesome sound which apparently allows you to hear the footsteps of people trying to sneak up on you!! Haha….. guess that is an awesome feature. And Evan also seemed to think it was awesome that he could no longer hear me talk to him while he was trying to game.. 😦

Marissa and her sister were busy flitting around town buying last minute gifts and collecting food from her Gramma and Grandpa in Port Orchard. They came home with quite the load. My personal favorite is Lumpia which I haven’t sampled yet because we have to cook them first… Can’t wait to try it as it could very well be my favorite food.

Evan fell asleep in his chair after a good bowl of potatoe soup tonight and is now in bed sleeping soundly. Each day home seems to get a little better and he is able to eat a bit more. Still is very tired but has been out for a few walks with Rollie which they both enjoy.

Tomorrow which is Christmas Eve promises to hold some special times with family and maybe even some fun surprises!! Guess you will all have to wait to see what Santa might bring.

To our family from Oregon that isn’t going to make it because rats chewed through some very important wires in the car, we will miss you all very much and can’t wait for you to get here for New Years!! And yes the story about the rats is true…. I don’t think I could make that up!!

That’s it for tonight….signing off  “Mom”

Home day 3

Evan had another relaxing day at home! Overall, he had a pretty good day! He ate well, had less heartburn, he had pain med before bed last night and didn’t need it again until 5pm today! The only reason he started feeling pain was because we took Rollie for a walk and that sure takes a lot out of him. However, it’s good to get some fresh air and get the blood flowing, and of course play with Rollie:)

Today my grandpa across the street came to visit him, our good family friends, the Cox’s, who brought us another yummy salad, and the Hammond’s brought us soup, cookies, and fruit/veggies! So sweet of all of them! Evan loved visiting and enjoying their company!
He’s ending the day with some gaming with his friends online and cuddling with Rollie.
If anyone else wants to visit just let us know! He loves visitors but some days are better than others for Ev.
Christmas is in 4 days! Yay!! We are still so glad we can be home for Christmas!
We wanted to continue to thank everyone for their generous donations and for reaching out to us with all your kind words and prayers! It means so much!!

Day 7.. home day two

It feels good to be home & be able to sleep in our own bed, thats for sure, and Heather is staying with us in the guest room! We had a pretty relaxed day! Heather and I were both able to make it to the gym.. which felt good to be back! Ev got to relax in his favorite recliner my parents recently gave him, play with Rollie, play xbox (Garrett is now 2 for 2..lol) and do whole lot of nothing:)  He continues to have a good appetite. However, he gets heartburn pretty bad.. 😦 Last night he had a craving for fries, which we were pretty excited about, but the heartburn ruined it.. hopefully we can talk with the doctor and see if there is something else we can do besides taking tums! Evan’s medication is controlling his pain really well and he hasn’t had to take any of his break through medications yet! YAY!

Overall, being home is really nice, especially during Christmas time and we are enjoying every minute of it!!
We are watching a movie and heading to bed!
Also, my sister Maddie is creating a video of photos for the upcoming benefit dinner. If you have any photos of Evan that you would like to see in it please send them to evanstrong5@gmail.com. Thank you in advance!
And there has been some questions about when this dinner might be… we do not have a date yet but we will try to come up with one soon! Just sometime after the new year and everyone is welcome!!