Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

There really is always something to be thankful for, even in the midst of suffering.  I am more thankful this year than I have ever been, and not just on this Thanksgiving holiday - but every moment of every day.

My family has been through a lot.  As much pain and fear that we have had to face, I am thankful that we have made it this far. I have grown closer to my family, and I have learned a great deal about myself. I have learned that I am much stronger than I thought I was.  I have learned the true meaning of faith. I am learning to accept the unknown, which has introduced me to a mental freedom that I have never experienced before.

I am writing this post mainly to thank each and every one of you who have been there for my Dad, my sister and I throughout this past year. I am so thankful for all the love and support that we have been given.  No amount of words can express the gratitude I feel in my heart at this moment.

Mary Beth

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” 
― Seneca

Friday, November 9, 2012

Scan Results

Spoke with Dad's doctor today, and he said that Dad has had an excellent response to treatment. His tumor is 1/4 the size of what it was. They want him to do 6 more treatments and then surgery. Don't want Dad to have to endure more treatment, but I think this is good news. Thanks, as always, for the continued love and support.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our Visit with the Surgeon

Well, we drove up to Atlanta only to hear that the doctor needed more time to compare the scan before chemo with the recent scan (we had the disk with us, and they had to call for the written report yesterday because it had not been sent over). My Dad's regular oncologist has retired and we have not met with the new one yet, so the surgeon wants us to meet with him and also come back to see him in two weeks.

He did mention that just from the written report from the scan, it looks like there is not much difference in the tumor but no new spots as far as he could tell. He said he needed to compare the old results with the new side by side to be sure of any change.

They may want him to do more treatments in the waiting time for surgery, which is 6 - 8 weeks. (One of his chemo medications is similar to a blood thinner, so that is the reason for waiting).  I was hoping he wouldn't have to do any more, but I'm glad that they are staying on top of this. I know how sneaky cancer is and how much can change in 6 to 8 weeks. At least he handles the chemo pretty well and it would hopefully keep the cancer in check until the surgery is done.

So, just more waiting.  We should know more in two weeks about what happens next.  Thanks for the prayers and well wishes everyone, please keep them coming.

Mary Beth

Friday, October 26, 2012

Colon Cancer Awareness

I'm a member of a forum on colon cancer, and unfortunately, I'm seeing more people join the forum who are getting diagnosed at a younger age.  (Recently, 2 people in their twenties have joined declaring their diagnosis.)  It is also unfortunate that the disease is becoming more and more common.

I'm seeing people on the forum who were misdiagnosed for years until cancer at later stages had been found to be the true cause of symptoms (IBS, etc.).  It's important for me, as someone who has seen a loved one fight this disease, to spread awareness about getting screened and noticing early symptoms of colon cancer.

Please know your family history and don't ignore symptoms.  Screening can be unpleasant, but by far, less troublesome than what you will have to endure if you don't catch this disease as early as possible.  **It's important especially if you have a history of colon cancer in your family, to begin screening BEFORE the recommended age of 50.

Click here for information about screening!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chemo (hopefully) Done!

Daddy has almost finished his prescribed 6 cycles of chemotherapy (Thursday he will be finishing up the last 46 hour infusion). In two weeks he will have a PET scan and then we see the surgeon again. I'm so proud of my Dad for his strength and determination throughout this treatment. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Raffle Winners

Raffle Winners: 1st Prize Art/ Gift Basket Raffle - Mike Suggs, Photo Shoot Winner - Mike Suggs. 

I also drew a second and third prize winner for the art raffle, 2nd runner up winner - Cathy Batchelor and 3rd runner up winner - Marsha Kendrick Royal. Cathy has chosen the "Red Tree" painting, and Mike Suggs chose "Perigee Moon". @ Marsha Royal, please contact me to choose your painting from the remaining pieces.

Thanks to everyone who came out today!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Special Thank You!

I would like to just take a moment to thank Cathy Batchelor from Creekside Country Crafts and Modern Woodmen for matching the donations from the last VFW benefit and several donation locations in town that have been collected.  

Also, many thanks to everyone who has so kindly and generously given to help ease the financial burden that unfortunately comes along with a cancer diagnosis.  The support and love that our family has been shown has made such a huge difference in our fight against this disease.  

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Keith Morris & Family.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quick Update on Dad

Dad has finished four treatments out of six in order to shrink his tumor.  Just thought I would let everyone know keeping up with the blog that he is doing well.  He has minimal side effects and has gotten good reports at the doctors on the last couple of visits.  I'm so happy that he is getting through the treatment and still able to do things he likes to do.

He will have a scan after he finishes the treatments which will most likely be late October/ early November.  Then, Dad will have to face another surgery.  I just realized today that the date of the concert benefit will mark the one year anniversary since Dad had his first surgery.  At that time, we didn't expect to be where we are now, but I'm thankful for everything that has happened and that we have the opportunity for surgery again.  

Everyone has been so supportive, and it has been a tremendous help.  We still have some hurdles to jump over but things are looking up!  Thanks and love to everyone, from the bottom of my heart!

Hope to see everyone Oct. 6th!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Art Raffle

I'm raffling my artwork for the October VFW benefit.  The tickets are 3$ each, and the winner will receive their choice of one of my available paintings.  Tickets are for sale now, and will also be sold at the concert.  Please contact me if you are interested.  Thank you!

Update 9/21:  GRAND PRIZE, 2nd PRIZE & New Photo Shoot Raffle

Jennifer Head from Opal's Hope Soaps has added a 30$ value gift basket to the drawing to be included with the painting of winner's choice. Basket will contain 4 bars of handmade soap. The winner can choose which 4 varieties they would like to receive in a basket. See her page for available varieties! Also, Cathy Kunst has donated a gift certificate from Barbara's Beauty Shop to add in with the grand prize ($50.00 value), and Mama's Kitchen has donated a gift certificate as well for a $30.00 family dinner.

Tickets are still $3 each!  I will also choose a 2nd winner to choose one painting from those pieces left.

Sandy Harris Dilbeck from Amazing Grace Photography has donated a photo shoot, and tickets to win this session will be $5.00 each.  That is a $150.00 value, and she does amazing work.  See her facebook page for a sample of her work  here!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friends for Keith Benefit Concert

More details soon, and my art raffle will be included with winner to be announced at the event.  Will update with more details as I receive them.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Great Turnout at the Benefit Bike Ride Today!

Thanks to everyone who came out to support my Dad today!  Also, a big thanks to everyone who set up the event and coordinated, and to the bands for playing.  You all did such a wonderful job and a wonderful thing today.  The support means so much to our family!  Love y'all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Benefit Ride Coming Up, and More News

This is just a reminder to everyone that another benefit is being held for Keith Morris this weekend at the VFW club in Barnesville, Georgia.  There will be a bike ride, poker run, cornhole and horseshoe tournaments, and live music.  I hope to see a big turnout.  See more details here.

Also, I am working on getting a permit in order to raffle of one of my paintings, with the proceeds going towards my Dad.  I will be sure to announce the raffle here as soon as I get the permit to hold it.

There is also a concert benefit in the works for October of this year.  I will be sure to include more details on this as I receive them.

Dad is doing well.  I hope he continues to handle the treatments with little to no side effects and I hope they obliterate the cancer!

Thanks to everyone for the continued love and support!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dad's First Infusion

It's been a long week for my Dad.  He had his first infusion on Tuesday.  We spent most of the day at the hospital's infusion center.  It wasn't what I was expecting at all.  We ate, talked, and watched TV while Dad got his meds delivered.  We have been really impressed with the new doctors and hospital.  I feel very lucky that we are able to have Dad's treatment there.

I'm also so thankful and glad that I'm able to be with him on these visits so that he doesn't have to go through this alone.  Thanks to everyone who is helping to support my Dad through this.

He is doing well so far.  He did need a blood transfusion due to anemia that was done today when we went back to have the pump removed.  I'm hoping that he will begin to feel better tomorrow.

I'm so proud of his courage and determination to fight this.

Just wanted to give a quick update.  Thanks for reading and for the continued support!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Today's Doctor Visit

The doctor's appointment today went well. Daddy will start 6 cycles of chemotherapy on August 7th. He will have a port installed and an infusion every 2 weeks.

The doctors are optimistic that if the chemo works to shrink the tumor (which is now the size of a softball and wrapped around his colon), then surgery can be done to remove it. Now we just need to get him through the treatments and hope the side effects are manageable for him; then prepare for surgery. 

I'm really impressed with Piedmont Hospital. Everyone there has been so considerate, caring, resourceful, and helpful. 

Daddy continues to need as much support as he can get. There are two fundraisers in the works for him; a benefit bike ride August the 18th at the VFW, and a concert there on October the 6th. You can visit my blog if you'd like to donate any amount that will go towards his care, or donate at any United Bank. We appreciate the support so very, very much!

Thanks to everyone, love you all!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Results still not known...

We were supposed to see the surgical oncologist today to get the results from all Dad's recent tests.  The appointment was cancelled, and we were told to see the regular oncologist next week, and that the surgeon would be calling us later in the day.

I sat by the phone all day, waiting for the call.  Five o'clock p.m. came, and no word from him, so I figured they would call tomorrow.  He called and left a message as I was outside doing chores (wouldn't you know he would call as soon as I got away from my phone), and said that he spoke with Dr. York, and they are recommending chemo before any surgery.

That is all we know right now.  I will try and call the surgeon again tomorrow, just to get more details before Tuesday.  The waiting is horrible.

Daddy isn't doing well right now; he is weak and tired.  I'm hoping somehow that he can build up some strength.

Please keep our family in your thoughts.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Benefit Ride Date Change

The Benefit Ride date has changed to August 18th.

Here is a photo of the flyer for the event with the new date.  Please message me if you are interested in passing out flyers.  Thanks everyone, and hope you can make it!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Just an Update...

We saw a surgical oncologist on Thursday who was very nice and told my Dad he would do whatever he could to help him.  He wanted to be sure we know what we are dealing with before making any decisions, so Dad had bloodwork done that day and we have to go for another CT scan and a PET scan sometime in the next two weeks.  We have another appointment to see the doctor in two weeks time.

So glad we've decided to get the second opinion.  Thanks to those who recommended the doctors and to those donating to Dad's fund which has helped so very much with the costs.

Love you all!
Mary Beth

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hopeful News Today!

We saw a new oncologist today in Fayetteville.  After looking over Dad's records, he wants us to go see a cancer surgeon in Atlanta.  A cancer surgeon can tell us if the tumor can be removed as is, or at least be reduced to an operable size.

This news is so much better than "there is nothing we can do but give you chemo to extend your survival time", which is what the other doctor had told us.

We go to Atlanta Thursday of this week to see the surgeon.

We are all very hopeful that something can be done!  I will be sure to update here after our next appointment.  Thanks for all the continued love, prayers, and support!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2nd Opinion Next Week

We go to Fayetteville next week (Tuesday) to see a new doctor.  Please keep Daddy in your thoughts, and let's hope for something good to come of this.

Trying hard to be strong for him, even though inside my heart is breaking and I'm so scared.  I love my Daddy so very much.  I can't and don't want to imagine my life without him.

All of this has been very hard on him - emotionally, physically, and financially.  I think we all just feel really helpless at times.  I know a lot of people love him; the support we have had has been overwhelming.  I had no idea that my Dad meant so much to so many people.

Thanks so much to everyone for your continued support.

Mary Beth

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Wonderful Father's Day

What an amazing weekend we had!  This is a video I put together from our Father's Day adventure.  It was the most perfect gift for my Dad.  Thanks David Haire, Greg Blosser, and "Richard" for an amazing day!

Click the first photo below and a new screen will open up.  You can click anywhere in the screen and go through all the photos in a larger view.