Aftershocks of Cancer – October 9, 2006

It’s been almost a year since Lis went through her final chemotherapy treatment. Thankfully it feels like forever ago. In the year since her last hospital stay we really haven’t felt any other ripples from her battle with leukemia.

We did have a slight scare earlier this year when Lis’ blood count dropped for some unknown reason. It quickly went back up and she returned to being “normal” again.

Things have changed for the better. She looks and feels healthy. She doesn’t have to frequent the doctor’s office, having to go every other month and her hair has grown back fine, though it’s a bit curly in the back and she wishes it would grow faster.

“It was easier when I had less hair,” she jokingly complains while trying to figure out what to do with her hair. And really it looks cute. Sure she has a mini-fro when she wakes up in the morning, but when she’s all done with it her hair looks good. Of course, for someone that – when she had longer hair – never enjoyed spending hours in front of the mirror, it can be a pain in the butt to get her hair to do what she wants to it.

That is one of the few “aftershocks” we are feeling since she was diagnosed with cancer in April 2005 and went through six separate hospital stays going through chemotherapy treatment.

Like an aftershock from an earthquake, an “aftershock” for us is something we feel months down the road that has to deal directly with Lis’ cancer or treatment. Like Lis getting used to her new hair. It’s minor, as is one of the other “aftershocks”, the titanium port in her left bicep.

It doesn’t really get in the way unless I go to grab or lay on her arm, or Erik decides to play twist the tender spot in the bicep and ends up twisting her port. Yah, he did that, and it doesn’t feel good for her or the person that touches it.

Not until recently have we felt the more serious “aftershock” of cancer, waiting to have another child.

It’s kind of sad for us when we see people that had kids around the same time Lukas was born, having another kid. My friend Wendell and his wife, Marta, are expecting their second child. Our friends Chris and Allison have started thinking about it again. Even a friend I met via my blog, Heidi, and her husband are having their second child later this year.

We were told by Lis’ oncologist to hold off on having another child. He said to wait maybe five years before having another one. If Lis is cancer-free (the cancer doesn’t come back) for those five years then it’s less likely that it will return anytime soon.

If we were to have a baby now it could be harmful for her and the baby. Plus, the doctor said, you don’t want it to return and something happen to you and then you’re leaving behind two babies. His brutal honesty is always a direct hit to the heart. Its hard thinking of it but it’s the truth.

It’s hard to think about, especially when people that don’t know our situation ask if we’re going to have another one soon. When we had Lukas we thought we’d wait two years or so and then have another one. We both have siblings that we’re very close to and would love if Lukas had a brother or sister (maybe Leia?). I have two younger brothers and we’re all about two years apart. We’ve been best friends since the age of 2. When we went camping we always had someone to play with, when we moved to a different state we had someone to hang out with, and now when we go to weddings or family outings, we always have someone to joke with. I’d love for Lukas to feel that same thing.

Sure we can wait until later, but I don’t want Lukas to be too far ahead of his sibling because then they may not have that camaraderie that my brothers and I share.

There is also the option of adoption (that rhymed), which we’ve put some thought into and haven’t quite ruled out. But still the whole process of pregnancy, watching the baby grow inside of the mom, having the baby, and watching the baby grow in front of your eyes and then guessing who it looks like, is so much fun!

Oh and then there’s my Mom’s brilliant idea of her being the surrogate mother. Sorry, Mom, no way I’m putting my stuff with Lis’ stuff inside your stuff. We’ll use our own oven. Hehe!

Or Lukas can be an only child. He’s been perfect so far, I don’t want to ruin that with the next one.

I know it may sound silly. We were blessed to have this one child; it wasn’t but four months after Lukas was born that Lis began to have symptoms of leukemia. And we’re fortunate that Lis is able to have another kid (we think she can) because a lot of people that suffer from cancer, especially a blood cancer like leukemia, can’t ever have kids again.

As parents it’s a natural thing to think about having another baby.

As a cancer survivor it’s hard to think about not ever having that chance.

12 thoughts on “Aftershocks of Cancer – October 9, 2006

  1. Well…I have been delaying my commenting because I am kind of shy but thought I better just let you know first of all how much I absolutely adore "Remember When."  I hadn\’t heard it before I came to your blog this weekend and I have been listening to it nonstop since then.  Thank you for writing about your sweet wife struggles with cancer.  She is an inspiration.  I love reading about your family as my family is in about the same stage as yours…my husband and I are both 27 and we have a 2 year old and a 2 week old.  Hopefully soon I will be starting my own blog and perhaps you will be able to read it as well.  Best wishes to you and your family and I of course will keep reading and praying for you!


  2. Hey Kevin –
    I really appreciate your entry today. I too really would like another child – my son is 3 and I would really like him to have a sibling. It probably won\’t happen here. Your entry is helping me with that. Thanks


  3. Yo bro! Fine I\’ll get a girl pregnant so Lukas can have a friend. NOT! Hey I would like some cute pics of Lukas that i can put on myspace. I can\’t get those ones of Zach and him on there. Not sure if it\’s the computer or that me. Anyways let me know what u can do. TTYL! Oh and nice blog.


  4. Don\’t worry – the bond between siblings is not measured in years.  My son, now 8 & his sister, 1 1/2 are just as close as I was to my sister who was just a year and half older than me.  I wish you and your beautiful family my best! 


  5. I so enjoy your blogs and your pictures.Your  such a family oriented person, who is obviously head-over-heels in love with his wife. You maynot know it but your space is an inspiration. A year since your wife\’s last chemo- as a oncology nurse let me just say thats awesome!As far as the baby, may I just say, I have 4 kids spaced at different intervals.My brother and I are 4 years apart.  The closeness in age  doesnt guarentee a closeness . My brother and I are very close, always have been. and my kids…the ones farther apart are closer than the ones closest in age now. When they were little my two middle sons who are closet in age were close., but now as teens…not very close at all
    oh well thats just a "for what it\’s worth"


  6. Thanks so much for sharing your situation.  I can\’t even begin to imagine what dealing with the cancer and the aftershocks must be like.  There was a most inspirational woman on the dr. phil show and you and Lisy remind me of her.  She was a breat cancer suvivor and her story was really inspiring.
    Take care!


  7. Sorry to hear about the frustration you\’re going through with wanting to have another kid.  Perhaps if you\’re patient for the time being it will all work out.  So far, so good, right?  You guys are awesome and we\’re so happy for you and are glad that we\’re friends.


  8. I have been through multiple rounds of chemo and also a stem cell transplant, so can relate to all your anxieties and hopes.. I have a three year old and am grateful to god for this.. But I cant imagine putting my body through pregnancy again even if I could have more children(which Iam sure I cant). The possibility of having an abnormal baby also scares me immensely. You both are really strong .. more power to you…god bless


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