About

This site started out with various objectives, in no particular order: brainstorming ways to do good, sharing observations or knowledge that might help others, a personal journal of sorts, exploring life and places, and attempting to make a difference before hitting “the wall.”

However, since January 2008, the focus has been to chronicle the experiences of Sheila’s battle with lung cancer from my perspective. She has her own blog, sheilawheatley.workpress.com, to chronicle this journey from her perspective.

It’s not written for anyone. Some of the entries may seen mundane or overly detailed, but that’s for me. If you find benefit in what I write, great. If you ever want to comment, offer suggestions, a different point of view, that’s fine too. As long as it’s not attacking. Different views are fine, caustic is not.

I’ve kept a written journal since the early ’70s and this of course is a much better, more convenient way for me to capture my thoughts and have “conversations” with myself. The detailed entries are my way of recalling a moment or a place. It adds texture to the memory.

Responses

  1. Ken, I met Sheila several years ago through my step-daughter, Cathy. We spent the evening sipping champagne and sharing “war stories” and laughing. I found her to be beautiful, bright and charming. I was deeply saddened when I learned of her illness.

    People will tell you that they understand how you feel…but they usually don’t. Having walked in your shoes I KNOW the pain and uncertainty that you are facing day in and day out. I know about that first conscious thought that you have upon awakening from a fitful sleep; when you pray through the fog, in that place that is neither asleep or awake, that it was just a bad dream and then suddenly you are fully awake and it’s then that you are hit between the eyes with the reality of the nightmare that you are both living.

    My husband, Cathy’s father, fought and lost his courageous battle with lung cancer. However, that was eighteen years ago and treatment has come a long, long way since then.

    I am now married to a physician and I attend medical meetings with him and I never cease to be amazed at the miracles that have become almost commonplace.

    My best friend’s sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1992. She was given five to seven years, tops. That was sixteen years ago and she is still with us, cancer free, vital, happy and just became engaged to be married. I’m not saying that it was easy for her. There were many times when we thought that she wouldn’t make it through the night. There was pain and suffering, nausea from chemo, fear, anger and everything in between…but she NEVER gave up fighting and neither did we.

    This is the message that I offer you today. There IS hope and people DO get well and what YOU are doing is a great part…a HUGE part… of Sheila’s recovery. You are her strength and her reason to fight for her life. I think you are an amazingly strong, insightful, sensitive, wonderful and loving man.

    I will follow your journey and I will hold you both close in my thoughts and prayers.

    Keep strong but allow yourself the tears…you’re not alone…

    With love,
    Elena

  2. Ken, You and Sheila have been in my prayers lately. I keep thinking of how lucky y’all are, despite your current difficulties, to have love and a partnership based on unconditional love and pure enjoyment of each other. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and Sheila. Your friendship means so much to us. Laura (and Mike) Pritchard

  3. Ken and Sheila – Please check out LDNINFO.ORG. Click on the blue box that says “LDN and Cancer”. There you will see the success that Dr. Bihari had in NYC treating over 400 patients with cancer, most of them with no options left. He had remarkable success – even with NSCLC.

    I am not trying to get you to buy anythying as I have nothing to sell. I too am a Stage IV NSCLC patient, DX about 12 months ago. I am using LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) for my cancer as are many around the world. In some, it has the potential to halt the disease or even move it toward remission. There is even a Yahoo chat group set up exactly for discussions about LDN and people with cancer:

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/LDN_4_cancer/

    I asked my Onco to write the prescription, which she did. I asked her, “what do I have to lose”? It has not side effects and does not interfere with the current chemo regimen I am on (Taxotere, Avastin, and Zometa). Opiod based pain relievers block its effectiveness. I only use Tylenol. A compunding pharmacy must fill the prescription as it is prescribed “off label”. If you want to ask more, please feel free to contact me. Best of luck to you. I don’t know you, but we have something in common to be certain. Blessings.
    Steven Birdsall

  4. Ken and Sheila – I just realized that my “response” on your site does not necessarily give you info on how to contact me.

    birdss@ci.loveland.co.us

  5. I love your site. Keep it up !

  6. Thank you for reading and commenting….

  7. ken

    you and sheila are in deb and my prayers. we have taken the liberty of having your names put on our prayerline with friends around the world.

    warmest regards
    bill and deb lundy

  8. Thanks Bill. And I heard that Deb is doing much better as well, so I’m glad that the move turned out to be the right thing.

  9. Ken,
    My name is Erin, I live in Indiana, and I stumbled across Sheila’s blog one day as I was Googling ‘lucanix drug trials’ for my grandmother, who is also battling stage IV lung cancer. I started reading her blog and found myself unable to stop reading, engrossed in the details of her courageous fight. Since then, I ‘check in’ every so often to see how she is doing with her treatment. It’s funny how the details of a person’s life whom you’ve never met can touch your own life in such a profound way. I just wanted to let you know that both of you are in my prayers, and I hope that the coming months bring successful treatment at USC. Stay strong.

    Sincerely,
    Erin DiPierro

  10. Thanks for the note, Erin. We appreciate your interest in Sheila’s journey. And realize that it hits close to home for you and your grandmother. Hopefully she’s having success in her treatments. As you can see from my latest post, Sheila starts treatment tomorrow at USC. So our fingers are crossed that she’ll have better luck with this one.

    Give our best to your grandmother. And we’re sending our best wishes to you and the rest of your caregiving family as well.

    Take care,
    Ken

  11. Hi Ken,

    We are the Chicago family Christi and Allen were also visiting in San Diego. They shared your blog information with us and we have been reading along ever since. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story. It is very helpful to us as my little brother shares the same diagnosis as Allen and Sheila.

    We think of you both often and hope for the best. Fight to keep your positive attitude. You are doing a great job!

    🙂 Julie and Kirk Dennis – Chicago

  12. Ken: 9/17/09

    I am sorry for your loss. I will be out of town the day of the services for Sheila. However, I want you to know that I will be with you in spirit. May God grant you the strength to endure these dark days, weeks, months without Sheila and I want you to know that I am here for you whenever you’re ready. I will continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and daily prayers. God bless you and your family!!!!

    Sincerely,

    Josephine Romero

  13. Ken,
    I am so sorry to hear about Sheila’s passing. If you’ll recall, I wrote you some time ago and have been ‘checking in’ every so often, and I feel terrible that Sheila lost her battle. It sounds like she was an incredibly courageous woman and fought a very tough fight. I’m sure you’re very proud of her. I lost my own grandmother to Stage IV lung cancer just this past weekend. I don’t think their battles were in vain, though; more and more is being learned about how to treat this awful disease and I hope that someday there will be a cure. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    Sincerely,
    Erin DiPierro

  14. Erin,
    First and foremost, I’m very sorry about your grandmother. But as we both know, for their benefit, it’s really better that the difficult task of fighting something that at this point is incurable is over for them. It’s difficult, to say the least, for those of us left to mourn their absence.

    When my head clears I plan on getting more involved with the Lung Cancer Alliance, or whatever group has the best chance of securing better treatment protocols. It’s an underserved/underfunded/undervalued area.

    Take care of yourself, and I’m sending you a condolence hug,
    Ken


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