Friday, December 25, 2009

Stratton Success


We made it home from Stratton in about 8 1/2 hours of solid driving. Our Malerick / Coburn caravan was fun with the talk-a-bout radios keeping the cars in constant contact. We even managed to leave the house by 6:10 a.m. and no blow ups or tantrums. The weather got milder and milder as we moved west. We had a ton of fun and in contrast to the rain we had today in Ohio, the cold weather was much better for skiing than 37 and rainy would have been.


Now we had Christmas this morning and we tortured the kids by making them wait while Heidi and I showered, made coffee etc. They posed for their picture on the stairs which will make it onto our montage of a New Years card along with the Good News/Bad News letter we finished authoring today. We had no family and no plans today so we just lounged in our pajamas and the kids played video games while Heidi and I traded naps. Heidi is making the mother of all Christmas dinners and convincing herself that cooking is very over rated. We are having a no bake pumpkin pie, roasted chicken and salmon, spinache souflee, mashed potatoes and some fantastic Sanford Pinot Noir. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Water Works


We had a cold fun day of skiing. It was like 16 degrees but felt like 2 with the wind howling. The best part was we came back to the house and had running water. The skiing was so/so because they have not had that much snow but mostly because it was cold. We did all manage, the nine of us, to cram onto the gondola for a wind free ride to the top. Tomorrow we will try out Okemo and hope for better snow conditions. We are having fun and enjoying the real wood fireplace of the house we are in.



We have arrived at Stratton, Vermont. We are staying in a nice 4 bedroom house with our buds the Malericks who have two boys age 12 and 14. The 10 hour drive was made much better by our caravan with painted window messages on the cars declaring our destination. We even left on time at 5 a.m. per Mr. Malerick's instructions. One small problem is the water is not currently working at our rental home. The owner is feverishly working on a solution, meanwhile we are going skiing. More later.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Good News on Carcinoid

Great visit to the doctor today. The tumors in Heidi's liver are stable and one has even shown itself to be slightly smaller. It reduced from 2.1 cm x 1.8 cm to 1.8 cm x 1.8 cm. This is great news and will make our vacation much more relaxing. We celebrated with a nice afternoon lunch at Downtown 140 in Hudson.

Carcinoid Cancer Scan update coming today

It is early Friday morning and I have taken the day off as Heidi will get a comparative result back today from the Cleveland Clinic appointment regarding her tumor size. Since she has been on Sandostatin for the last 6 months we are very interested to see if her liver tumors have grown (which they did last time), shrunk or stayed the same. Appointment is at 11:30 EST so stay tuned.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carcinoid Update on Heidi

I was reminded today, how scary it was to hear that my wife had cancer (not nearly as scary as it was for my wife, I guess). I got a call just now, from a woman who was just diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving with Carcinoid similar to Heidi's. She found our blog through the www.caringforcarcinoid.org website and called my cell phone. I am so glad she did. Because the first thing I did was scour the web when Heidi was diagnosed. You find a lot of bad stuff out there on the web if you look for it. It is great to talk to someone who is living with cancer. According to what I read, Heidi would have already left us based on the "data". Thankfully, that is not the case. Heidi is doing well. While there are still cancer lesions present throughout her liver, they occupy less than 5% of the total volume and they were growing the last time we checked, albeit slowly. She went on Sandostatin which is a monthly injection of a drug which has shown to slow the growth and even shrink the tumors. We have our next check and results at the end of this December.

We have ridden two Pan Mass Challenges with the Caring For Carcinoid Foundation and raised $25,000 for direct research on neuroendocrine tumors at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. That is empowering.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanks for Dirt Bikes

We had a dream day on Saturday following Thanksgiving when all the boys went out and road dirt bikes at a friend of my brother Kevin's. It was 55 degrees and clear. We had a total of 3 bikes and had a great time running around. Connor said it was the most fun he had in his life. Two weeks before, the rock climbing was the most fun he had in his life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Boy Scout Climbing Adventure

Last weekend, Connor and I had a great trip to Kentucky and went climbing. Here is the 9:59 minute video of that little adventure. Great time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cP6-tM31Ac

Monday, November 16, 2009

I was in Switzerland for a week long meeting in September with the other heads of customer service for Nestlé from around the world. This is me on a break going out for a run in front of our lake front hotel. It was a great meeting, made even better by Heidi joining me afterward for a 12 day tour of Europe. We are doing well and Heidi is feeling great. We have another results Dr. appointment coming in the next month to see how the Sandostatin treatments have worked on the tumors in the liver. I feel so lucky that we have continued a "normal" life post cancer diagnosis for Heidi. Now is a tough time for me as we approach the one year anniversary of my Dad's death from cancer. At this time I was spending a lot of time in Chicago last year. We will go to Chicago for Thanksgiving and all but Karen and Mark will be in town. I had an amazing rock climbing trip with my son Connor and the Boy Scouts this weekend 6 hours south of Cleveland in Kentucky at Torrent Falls. More on that later.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

PMC post script and link to movie!


Well I guess I never really posted how well the Pan Massachusetts Challenge Charity Bike ride went because I was working so hard on my movie of the event. You can best view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTvaC4P5ZH4


They both did a great job riding 85 miles and feeling great about the whole event. I drove the support vehicle and managed to get in 55 miles of my own chasing them around on the bike, not to mention the 105 I put on the car. $12,000 has been raised by these two so far and that puts them in the heavy hitter category for the race. Heidi is feeling great and now talking about doing the whole thing next year. Should be great.


Michael

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sigrid comes to Hudson

Beginning this Friday, we will be hosting a 47 year old woman named Sigrid at our home through Sept 9th. She from Hudson's sister city, Landsberg. Pretty cool thing is that when Heidi and I go to Europe in September, our return flight will be from Munich and we will visit Landsberg for our final two days. We are doing a 25 mile bike tour while Sigrid is here and all of the kids will come too.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pan Mass Challenge round two


Heidi's dad Jack, Heidi and I are here in Boston ready to take on the Pan Massachusetts Challenge tomorrow for the second year. The two of them have raised over $12,000 for Carcinoid Cancer research and are really looking forward to this ride. Jack is 78 and is a 4 time cancer survivor himself along with double knee replacement and heart bypass veteran. He is one tough dude. We made the 10 hour drive from Cleveland after Jack and Linda (his wife) came up from Florida. My mom, Mary Anne, also flew in from Chicago and is very capably taking care of the children back in Hudson. She has taught them the card game hand and foot which was an old favorite of my mom and dad.


Check back for more posts and photos after the ride.


Thanks to all of you who donated to this cause. The money goes directly to research at Dana Farber Cancer institute for Carcinoid Cancer research ( Heidi's cancer). Heidi is feeling great and is looking strong on the climbs... a bit like Alberto Contador when she flys up the hills.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Great Visit from Mom

Click on picture for full view.


My mom just visited us for a week. Heidi and I got a way to a resort about 3 hours away for the first time since 2006 as a couple. It was awesome, we hiked at Ohiopyle and then toured Fallingwater, the property designed by Frank Lloyd Wright pictured above. Mom is back in three weeks when we head for the Pan Massachusetts Challenge.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday in June 50 mile bike ride




Heidi and I did a beautiful bike tour today with 700 other riders. It is in Amish country and the weather was perfect. No wind, 73 degrees, sunny skies. This was Heidi's life long ride in preparation for the Pan Mass Challenge on August 2 when she will go 83 miles. We wore our matching PMC jerseys from last year and got many comments on that event. Check out some cool photos from the ride.


video

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heidi is 46 Today!


Well, I said to Heidi turning 46 sure beats the alternative...not turning 46. Funny how you look at life when you get a lightening bolt of a message that all is not guaranteed. Of course we all really have that same message coming. We just don't all heed it. Heidi is training very hard on the bike along with her training partner Alane Malerick pictured with Heidi here. We rode 40 miles this past weekend and Sunday we go for 50. She is doing great and while she complains about how hilly Ohio is, I am sure it will pay off for hilly Massachusetts.


All is well. Hope the same can be said for you.


Cheers,


Michael

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baseball, Softball, Riding & Swimming

Click photo to see larger view of Isabelle and Frederik (no she is not riding the Great Dane)

Even though it is only spring, it feels like we are in the full swing of summer. Above you see Isabelle getting ready to go to her horseback riding lesson. Frederik the Gread Dane is standing with her and is not part of the riding program. Isabelle is also in softball for the first time. Annelise is doing Hudson Explorer Aquatic Team (HEAT) swimming program and it is quite serious and she has become a good swimmer like her grandmother. Connor is finishing up soccer and big time into AAA little leage baseball playing for the Yankees. I never thought I would be wearing a Yankees cap around town as I am an assistant coach. Heidi is riding like crazy in preparation for the Pan Mass Challenge on August 2,3. Her milage is up to about 30 miles per ride now and growing. I am trying to get through my allergies and the accompanying asthma...I'll be fine. All in all we are doing well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Minimal Growth ... is still growth

Well, what had become fairly routine (for me) trips to the oncologist every 3-6 months gave us a bit more news than we were used to today. As you may know, while Heidi's primary tumor was removed in Oct of 2007, there was spread to the liver of over 20 lesions. 4 of those are essentially measurable in terms of 1.5 x 2.0 cm each. These 4 lesions (tumors) have shown some growth with the results of the last CT scan (1-2 mm on each measure). This is the progression of the disease and while a bit disconcerting is not the end of the world. It does cause us to consider next steps like starting what is called Sandostatin Long Acting Release (LAR) which are monthly shots that Heidi would get to attempt to slow any progression of the cancer. There have recently been studies out of Germany which have clinically shown this to be the case. The hard part is that there has also be some evidence that over time the effectivness of this drug can diminish. So we don't want to start it too early. Which begs the question, is this the right time. We will do some more tests to see if there are chemical markers on the rise along with the tumor growth to help us with the decision.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Is it March already?


Yes it is March and the weather is starting to turn. I would say for the better but we have been so focused on skiing this winter at the local hill that we don't want it to end. The bulbs we planted in the fall are starting to poke up through the mulch.


Heidi has recovered nearly fully from the January surgery but it was longer than expected. She is now back on the bike and treadmill as we focus on August 1-2 and the Pan Mass Challenge. I slipped a 20 mile ride in last Saturday evening as the temps reached around 66 degrees. It felt great.


We have sent out the letters for support for the PMC ride and have set a target of $10,000. I am confident that we will reach the target and drive more and better research for a cure for Carcinoid Cancer. Here is the link to donate to the cause. www.pmc.org/mypmc/profiles.asp?Section=story&eGiftID=HC0036

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Surgery...no problem


Heidi came out of another surgery yesterday very well. The procedure was to repair an incisional hernia which was as a result of the hemicolectomy surgery of 15 months ago. Heidi came home yesterday which was better than planned. I have been off these last two days taking care of her. All is well. Heidi is registered for the PMC 153 mile route for Aug 1-2 of this year. I will be support and chase her around with the kids. We are staying with my friend Jaymie Janse from Ocean Spray who lives near the 1st day ride end point in Bourne, MA.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year

This is my blog. It is not something I do alot but I started it when at my parents house and found it to be fulfilling. Read what you want enjoy the pics. I am looking forward to a great 2009. I hope your is also awesome.

Michael & Heidi's Info

What is going on in our lives and occassional updates on Heidi's fight with Carcinoid Cancer.