Saturday, September 27, 2008

Click the previous video simultaneously to get the sound...

Journey of Hope...

A slide show of Daddy before and after he had Whipple surgery.

(sorry it is so fuzzy-we'll post some pictures later)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippeeeeee

Monday, September 22, 2008

"NEWS FLASH : tomorrow dad scheduled to be released

Hey everyone! Some good news today - our Dad is scheduled to be released from the hospital tomorrow! It came as a surprise to all of us, to say the least.....after our parents get to the motel they will have to stay in the area for approx. 4-5 days just to make sure everything is fine. We were able to talk to our dad twice today for the first time in about a weak! It sure was great to hear his voice - he sounded tired, but said today was a better day for him.

We got more details from the doctor........... out of the 27 lymph nodes they took out, 3 were found with the cancer cells. Of all the pancreatic cancers, this one is the "best"....if you can call any cancer ''the best" ! :) It is a very rare but slow growing fact, the doctor said the tumor has been growing for approx. two years! Imagine that! Also, an interesting thing my mom told us............the surgery incision was a FOOT LONG! Gracious!

Anyway, that is the news for now........thank you all for your prayers and comments (keep 'em comin' !)

Update from our mom.......

Dr. Burns, the oncologist talked to Doug and I this morning. He asked Doug what symptoms he had had that lead to the discovery that he had pancreatic cancer. The pathologist's report showed that the tumor had "eyelet" cells (spelling?????)which produce too much insulin. All of the tumor was removed. The margin around the tumor was good (meaning not diseased). Some of these cells were found in some lymph nodes that were removed. Before leaving J.H.U. Hospital, Doug must have a scan to determine if there are any "blood markers" present. In 3-4 weeks he will need to have another scan to compare the amount of "blood markers". We were told that Doug would be watched closely every 3 to 6 months for five years. If there is any evidence that there is a return of the cancer, it most likely be in the liver.

Doug's cancer is rare. Dr. Burns said that he must find a good oncologist in NY to follow the scans. If the cancer returns, he recommends that Doug come back to J.H.U.Hospital.

Dr. Burns strongly recommends that Doug go to a genetic counselor for testing. There are syndroms that involve the thyroid and pancreas (which Doug has had cancer in both organs). He said it could have implications on the children. Today blood will be drawn for this testing (to see if there are any "blood markers" present). This test will be used for a BASELINE for later comparison.

Dr. Burns will see us again tomorrow.

Doug is looking and feeling much better. He was able to shower for the first time in a week and shampoo his hair! He has been able to sit in the family room for almost an hour and chat with other people who are waiting for a father to have the whipple proceedure. We are very thankful that Doug is on this side of the operation and recovery process!

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for Doug, the girls and I. All of the love and care has been so uplifting. We are thankful for the family of God! Each one of us are growing in patience, faith and hope. God bless all of you above all that you can ask or think.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

We're back! We were gone for the weekend with our aunt and uncle (and cousins) camping in the Adirondack Mountains. We had a wonderful time! The campsite was by the lake - it was a gorgeous spot!

As for our dad - we haven't talked to our mom yet today, but I heard from our grandpa that today was better for him than previous ones. Friday when we talked to Mom she said it was the worst day he had had. ( The 3rd/4th days after major surgeries are usually the worst.) He was in so much pain he could hardly stand it. Yesterday was a bit better though - thank the Lord! We're going to talk to Mom tonight and will know then how today went. Grandpa Canfield actually got to talk to Daddy today ( I think Daddy tried to call here but we weren't back yet....). When we do actually get to talk to Daddy I think I'm going to cry and cry! It's been soooo long!

Thank you to all who have sent cards, e-mails and flowers! The support means a lot!

I do have to tell you something funny though before I go..... As some of you know, last week prior the the camping trip we stayed here at the house by ourselves. No problem, right? Well, not quite. We were doing quite nicely until Wednesday night when a little incident happened that spooked us nearly to death. Now if we were 100% level headed people we would have had no problem, but as is the case we're about 85% imagination and 15% common sense. (Well, at least that night!)

The deal was this - for two nights in a row when we came home we found our bedroom light on when we knew it was off when we left the house. The first night it didn't bother us, but when it happened again, we completely freaked out! We were to scared to go to bed (or sleep for that matter) so we decided to stay up all night and keep watch! Yep - and we did it too.... We made it from about 10:30 when we got home until 4 o'clock in the morning. After that we couldn't keep our eyes open and conked out on the hard living room floor. We slept for about 4 hrs then had to get up to pack for camping...... When we told our mom about it the next day (she is usually unsympathetic to such causes!) she was quiet for forever and then said we wouldn't want to know what she was thinking! Imagine that! Her poor children were up practically all the night and she didn't feel sorry for us one bit because "our imaginations were running away with us!" We never did figure out why the lights were on....... Oh,well! :)

Hopefully more later....

Hospital Address...

OK, for everyone asking for Daddy's address, here it is:

Douglas Canfield
c/o The Johns Hopkins Hospital
room 317
600 N Wolfe Street
Halstead 600
Baltimore, MD 21287

We will not be able to update the blog until Sunday evening - my apologies! Check back here then for the weekend's report........sorry I can't write more, but we have to run. Thank you for your continued prayers! Say a quick one for our mom today if you think of it. She's had one of those "everything-goes-wrong" days - this morning the toilet overflowed, she locked herself out of her room, and the waffles she made for breakfast stuck to the top and bottom of the maker and had to scrape if off the metal.... all this before 11:30 this morning!

Love you all!
the girls

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday update.............

"We arrived about 8:40 and are able to stay with Doug the entire time.The doctors say he is doing very well. He has taken a walk. They plan to move him out of ICU later today.It’s now 11:20, and Chris and I are about to leave to go back to New York. Ethel’s parents and sister, Glenna, should arrive shortly to spend the day with them.Doug and Ethel would like to express thanks and appreciation for all the prayers, care and concern that have been shown to them by so many."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Last update for the night.......

I just finished talking to our mom.............she filled us in on the details, but we received an e-mail from our Aunt with the info. already typed up, so I will copy it here.

Remember us in your prayers, too (as I know many of you have, for which we are very thankful!). Honestly, this whole ordeal from the beginning until now seams more like a dream than anything else - so unreal. I just want our mom be here to give us hugs and our dad to be all healthy again. But God knows and there is absolutely no question that God has been, and will be with us as we travel the pathway He's charted out for us! Above all, we are just so thankful that God has brought Daddy though......and as my grandmother said tonight, we just "want to thank the Lord every day for the rest of out lives" for giving us the jem called "hope" - and for continuing to grant us the gift called "father".

Dad is not in his own room yet - still in ICU, but when he gets his own room number we will post his address on the blog.

7:50 Still no news, so Ethel went to the desk and asked. The patient representative checked and said that Doug had reached ICU but that the nurses were busy. She suggested we just go into the ICU if we had not heard anything by 8:15.
8:15 We went into ICU. We were all allowed to go to Doug’s room. The nurse was still busy doing an assessment but said she did not mind if we were there. The room is large and as pleasant as ICU could be.
Ethel said he looked much better than earlier. Doug said the pain was not quite as bad but was still obviously severe.
He was uncomfortable from laying on his back all day. The nurse said they would be turning him every two hours. They turned him partially on his side at 8:35.
Doug was thirsty. The nurse gave Ethel a cup of water and little sponges on sticks Ethel could soak in the water, then let Doug suck the moisture from them.

It was almost 9:00 when we prayed with him and left for the night.

Dr. Cameron will visit Doug between 5 and 6 in the morning. We can see him at 8:30.

Thank you for your prayers. We are all very tired, but the day went very well."

Thanks for all your prayers and support,
Elizabeth, Evangeline, and Emily

In Recovery.......

Here is the last update we got from our aunt (below). It sounds like he is in a lot of pain - I'd appreciate if you would specifically pray for the pain to subside! I know it's all apart of the "must-go-through" process, but I can't stand thinking of him in so much pain! It was really hard to read the last e-mail!

3:20 We arrived at the Weinberg waiting area and learned that there was not a room in the Weinberg ICU so they had not brought Doug here.

3:30 We went back to the waiting room on the seventh floor of the Osler building (where we had been in the morning). We were told that he had arrived in the recovery room at 3:01 and were told they he would not be allowed a visit for at least an hour. They said they would let us know.

5:00 We still had not heard anything, so Ethel went and asked the patient representative. She called. The nurse called back and told Ethel she could come for 5 minutes.

5:05 Ethel got in to visit Doug.He had an oxygen mask, and it was hard for her to hear him.He was moaning from the pain. (They were told the day before that the pain would be excruciating.) He was constantly pushing the morphine button and could not get more. (It was set to only allow him to get more every ten minutes.) The nurse was going to talk to the doctor about increasing it.He was puffy around the face and ears from all the fluids they put in him during surgery. (They were told to expect this as well.)He will be transferred to the Weinberg ICU by life support.

5:25 Ethel got back to the waiting room – happy that they had allowed her about 20 minutes before sending her away.

5:30 The patient representative received a call saying they were taking him to the Weinberg building.

Surgery Almost Done......(praise the Lord!)

"1:20 Dr. Cameron just came out and met with us.They did the Whipple surgery and are closing now.The tumor was the size of a walnut. The margins were clear, and there was no spread.He said there were no surprises. Everything went well. Doug will be transferred to the Weinburg Intensive Care Unit (a different building in the Johns Hopkins complex from where we are now).Dr. Cameron told us to take a break and go to the Intensive Care unit there on the third floor between
3:30 and 4:00 and someone would let us know there when we could see Doug."

10:40 Update....

10:40 Doug is stable, and everything is going fine.


"8:45 We were just told the surgery began at 8:38. Doug is stable, and everything is going fine."

Tuesday morning update....(from our aunt )

5:00 left hotel
5:30 Doug checked in
5:45 Doug called in for prep
6:50 Family of Doug Canfield was calledFirst, they showed us directions to the waiting room where we would be while Doug was in surgery. Then they took us to the pre-op room to see him.Doug said he wished we could have been with him during that time, because he learned so much.He said a physician’s assistant, Heather Hall, had spent a fair amount of time with him. She said that she is the person who will answer his questions. She used charts to go through and explain the entire procedure to him, all the tubes he’d have, etc. She also gave him a web site for patient family discussion boards, etc.He said recovery would be 6 weeks to 2 months. He will be very weak and tired. Even food won’t taste the same, because everything in his body will be working to heal it.Heather told Doug that he’s about the healthiest patient they’ve ever had.Dr. Cameron also visited Doug at some point during this time.Either Heather or Dr. Cameron, he didn’t say who, told him that the greatest risks are infection and bleeding and that there are no alternatives for this surgery.
6:53 Jeanette, a nurse who will be with him today came in and verified information with him (who he was, who his doctor is, etc.) She said that she is the one who will give the patient representative updates during surgery. She said we will get the first update after the room is set up and they are ready to begin. After that, we will get updates every two hours.Doug already had an IV in, and they had told him that they would give him his thyroid medicine tomorrow through the IV. He said they had also given him a shot in the stomach to prevent blood clots.
7:03 The anesthesiologist came and asked some more questions. We were in a small area, so we weren’t close enough to hear any details, but she explained to Doug the anesthesia procedures they would do.
7:05 Another doctor came.
7:08 They took Doug to the operating room.At that point the rest of us came to the designated waiting room. It is a nice room with a patient representative at a counter. She took Doug’s name and asked our relationship. She said that she did not expect the surgery would really get started until
8:30 and suggested we go downstairs and get some breakfast. She is the one who will give us the updates during surgery. We have done that and are now back in the waiting room.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday update on our Dad

Hello everyone!

Our parents made it safely to Maryland yesterday evening about 7:00. Before they left, we all sang "Through It All" with Daddy playing the piano, just as we have done for about as long as I can remember. Believe me, it was tough to say goodbye, but we got through it. Last evening a bad storm hit - extreme winds, power shortages, and downed trees. Needless to say, it didn't help our first night any, and we woke up more tired than when we went to bed!

Aunt Windy and Uncle Chris will be spending the next few days down there with Mom and Dad, and Aunt Windy will be sending us updates from her computer. We received two e-mails from her today and will post them here:

8:00 Boarded the shuttle van from the hotel to Johns Hopkins. (We had to tell them which entrance we wanted, because the Johns Hopkins complex is comprised of numerous buildings covering several blocks.)

8:20 Arrived at the Caroline (Outpatient) Entrance and after a brief discussion at a preliminary desk were directed to a lower level for admitting. At that desk he learned that he first needed to go to another building to take care of some financial matters. A nice lady led us back up a different elevator, down some long halls, up a couple escalators and down another hall. At that office Shirley, whom Doug had spoken with on the phone before coming to Maryland, met him and took care of the paperwork.

9:15 Shirley led us back down the escalator, corridors, etc. and tried to send us up to the fourth floor. Fortunately we remembered that the people on the lower level said we needed to come back there. So, we thanked Shirley for her help and went back downstairs. There Doug had more paperwork to complete.

9:45 Doug and Ethel were called in for a briefing on what is ahead.Dr. Cameron has done more of these procedures than anyone else in the world.The average surgery time is 10-12 hours, but for Dr. Cameron it is 6-8 hours.Dr. Cameron usually does these surgeries in the cancer center, but because he did not want to wait for an opening, so he is doing it in one of the surgery units in the main hospital.While Doug had read that surgery cannot be completed for 40-60% of patients with this condition, this has happened in only 5 out of the 200 surgeries Dr. Cameron has done this year.They will give us updates about every 90 minutes during the surgery.As he is recovering, Doug will have about five tubes including a catheter and a tube running from his neck to the surgical area for drainage, etc..Doug will have a private room.Doug will be up walking the day after surgery, and it is important for him to be up and walking a lot during the days following surgery to keep him from getting blood clots and to get his system working normally again.The hospital stay should be 8-10 days. Then he should stay here in the hotel for 3-4 days.11:15 With the orientation completed, we headed up to the fourth floor for a chest x-ray.12:00 Back down to the first floor for blood work.Everybody has been very helpful and good at explaining things.The hospital has a (somewhat slow) wireless Internet connection. I cannot send/receive email normally, but if you receive this, it will mean I was able to do so in a somewhat convoluted way.

E-mail #2:

We just got back to the hotel. Here’s the news for the rest of the day.

The 12:00 “blood work” I mentioned in the last email was also an EKG.

1:40 finished downstairs and went up to the seventh floor for a 2:00 appointment with Dr. Cameron

2:00 We (all four of us) went into an exam room to wait for Dr. Cameron. While we were waiting Doug and Ethel told us a few more things they found out earlier.

The biopsy they will take on the lymph nodes won’t be conclusive for 5 days.
The incision will be from the bottom of the breastbone to just below the navel.
During the first 48 hours after surgery Doug will have a morphine pump to administer his own pain killer. (They have it set so he can’t overdose.) After the pump is removed he will need to ask for pain medicine when he wants it.

2:15 Dr. Cameron came in.
He asked Doug about his medical history.
He said Dough will be in intensive care overnight. The next day they will move him to a room where he will stay for 6-8 days. When he gets out he needs to stay in the area for 3 or 4 more days.
He said that Doug is healthy and should sail right through the surgery without a problem. However, he did caution that while 90% of the time when the tests have shown that the tumor is clear of the blood vessels (which is what Doug’s have shown), those test results are correct. 10% of the time it does not turn out to be, and in that case they cannot to the surgery as planned.
He said that he will come talk to us in the waiting room when the surgery it done.
They will know the results of the biopsy when Doug wakes up. (This must be the biopsy of the tumor given what they were told about lymph nodes above.)

Doug said to be sure to tell you that he is very encouraged after meeting and talking with Dr. Cameron.

Since, we heard from Dad after our earlier email, we know it went through. So, we should be able to send you updates tomorrow with that method and plan to do so each time we get an update during surgery. Assuming the surgery starts as planned at 7:30, I hope we may have an update out to you by 9:30.

We plan to leave for the hospital at 5:00 tomorrow to have Doug there before 5:30. We will drive our car rather than taking the shuttle and park at the hospital for the day.

We will be talking to our parents about 4:45 tomorrow before they leave for the hospital. Our last farewells before the surgery....

We will be posting updates as we get them so keep checking. Tomorrow is the day when Daddy will need the most prayer . I told Dad last night not to worry about about the surgery because yes, he does have the best Whipple surgeon in the world, but more importantly he has the Greatest Physician watching over him. With God guiding the surgeons hand, there is no such thing as mistake. Everything that God allows to come into our lives are apart of the bigger plan he has for us, and whatever that plan is, he gives us strength to endure.

Before I close I want to leave you all with the words of the song we sang together just before they left. I took a video of it but Mom has the camera so you'll have to wait until another time to see it. Needless to day it was hard to get through singing it! (This was also the song that I found opened to on the piano when we got back home from camp - the day we found out that Daddy had a tumor.) Here are the words...

" I've had many tears and sorrows, I've had questions
for tomorrow, There've been times I didn't know right from
wrong: But in every situation God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong.

I thank God for the mountains, And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through; For if I'd never
had a problem I wouldn't know that He could solve them, I'd never know
what faith in God could do.

Through it all, through it all, I've learned to trust in Jesus, I've learned
to trust in God; Through it all, through it all, I've learned to
depend upon His Word. "

In His love,
Elizabeth, Evangeline and Emily

Friday, September 12, 2008

Surgery Scheduled for Tuesday Sept 16. 7:30 AM

Sunday at noon, Uncle Chris and Aunt Windy will be leaving to take Mommy and Daddy to Baltimore MD to Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has the pre-0p testing and meets with the surgeon most of the day Monday. His surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 7:30.

The picture above is of the actual surgeon doing the same Whipple procedure that he will do on daddy. He has done more Whipple operations than any other person in the world. Since it is a very long and delicate surgery, we are glad that daddy has the best.

Daddy has gradually been gaining strength and his appetite has been coming back. His pain medication helps him function alot better than he was a few weeks ago, and he is more like himself.

We can't tell you how much so many of you have been such a blessing to us in so many ways. Remember us in your prayers Tuesday morning and on into the afternoon.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Daddy and Evangeline during prayer in the afternoon service
at Richland Camp (mid August).
Hello everyone!

Thanks for all the comments - hearing from you all gives us something to look forward to!

We're hanging' in here, but sometimes only by a thread! :) We're still working on the process of getting Dad into Johns Hopkins, but are running into some problems. Mainly - the secretaries who say they have send his report actually have not (long story but it's been going on since last Thursday) and we can't get him into the hospital without the reports. It's extremely frustrating to say the least, and time is of utmost importance! Please make this a matter of prayer!

Also, our mom is now facing some possible health issues, but I don't want to say until we find out for sure. She's going for tests on Tuesday, so we should know more then...? At this point we don't know if it is serious or not, but you can pray for her too while you're at it.

As for us girls - we aren't sick yet (as far as we know), but by the way things are going, you can just about expect something to happen! :)

Thanks again for all your prayers and support! We love you all!