- Pics from the UNDY 5000
Lizzy showed up to mark the FIRST annual Arizona
UNDY 5000. Attendance broke records for a first-time UNDY
5000 event - 1,250 came to make a difference. Every 9 minutes
a balloon was released to draw attention to the statistic--that
every 9 minutes someone dies of colon cancer! Click
here to see the pictures of Team Lizzy at the UNDY5000
- Join the UNDY team, update from the Oncologist, Norway pics
am kicking off my promotion of UNDY 5000 for Colorectal
Cancer Arizona this weekend and here is the link
to register for Team Lizzy as a runner and that can be virtual
if you live out of state or just donate to me. And how it
works if you register to be a walker/runner you will get a
pair of really cool boxers, if you raise $100 you will get
the boxers and a Really cool T-shirt! I am reaching for the
stars, and stating this race will be as big as Komen Race
for the Cure in a few years!!!!
when you go to the above link on the left side of the screen
you can register and be sure and sign up for Team
Lizzy or you can donate to ME and just look for me
on the list. If you need help just e-mail and ask! And if
you really want to help BIG TIME forward this e-mail to friends
and family and help me raise awareness and funds! The Phoenix
UNDY 5000 is one of three test cities doing this race Philly
and Dallas are the other cities so since this is a “Test”
I want to be sure the powers to be know we want this race
to stay!!!! The race is November 15th and
if you are out of state and wanna come we have plenty of room
at Morningstar Lane
met with my oncologist today and I graduated again to 6 month
visits and every 3 month blood tests, Yahoo!!!! He was very
glad to admit he was wrong and that I was his first patient
in 30 years at Stage III to refuse post surgical Chemo, the
Chemo I had before surgery did me in enough and I knew I could
beat the Beast without the additional Chemo! My decision was/is
not for everyone but it is working for me! Still have my kidney
stint surgeries though and another next week on the 17th of
September, so say a little prayer for me on that day!
- one more thing - Pictures of my hike in Norway can be seen
here, then clicking on "Norway 2008". Don't
- Liz updates her Cancer Journey
results and an upcoming trip to NORWAY!!
more from Liz and her latest update on her Cancer Journey:
- Update from Liz
to all my family and friends!
Yes it is "me" Lizzy.........I have been in a very
dark tunnel and I see the light now! I can't believe I have
only been home from the hospital just over 2 weeks, I feel
500% better then I did the day I came home. I know the trip
to the mountains for fresh clean air and this past weekend
in San Diego helped tremendously!
Family and friends at The Beach Cottages
in San Diego. (L to R): Liz, Jen (Jessica friend), Jessica,
Cousin Christopher, Elva, Stacy, Joyce Anne (Mom)
Liz and her daughter Jessica
A Rose Between Two Thorns - Liz with
long time running buddies Bill Hermann (L) and Ken Myers (R).
I had my post-op appointment today with my surgeon. The visit
went fairly well. I finally discussed in depth what happened
in surgery. I have a frozen pelvis cause by excessive scar
tissue. The scar tissue is/was growing like cancer, hence
the reason they thought the cancer was back. It is rare to
have such excessive build up scar tissue, I just love hearing
how "rare" my case is. The scar tissue has closed
off both of my ureters and I have stints in them that will
need to be replaced every 3-4 months for the rest of my life.
I also have diminished bladder capacity due to the scar tissue.
Other than that no other organs seem to be effected at this
point. They will watch the scar tissue on future scans and
we will always be told that I have a pelvic mass because the
scar tissue looks like a pelvic mass, it will be troubling
to hear that I have a pelvic mass because that is what my
cancer was called. I do also have some issues with my ostomy
that I have to work around, but it is working well overall.
The overall prognosis seemed to be good, I just have some
physical challenges to deal with on a daily basis.
All the blood work I had done on Tuesday came back, and all
the tumor markers were below normal, very good, no indication
of cancer growing. I will also be having a Petscan in June
just to be sure no cancer is growing and to look at my Thymus
Gland, if you remember that was swollen in March for some
I received a work release today and will start some work at
home next week and back in the office on June 11th. I am ready
I am starting to answer the phone again, I know so many of
you have called, e-mailed or texted and I apologize if I have
not gotten back to you yet. As many of you know I am normally
an extrovert, but my coping has been this past year to go
deep inside of myself to survive, and become an extreme introvert
during my healing times. But my ole personality is coming
back again and I am feeling so much better. Don't all call
at once though. LOL
Words cannot express how grateful I am for each and every
one of you, over this past year you all have prayed for me,
sent me cards, e-mails, and gifts. The month in the hospital
was so long and at times I felt no hope, but I would look
at my wall of cards and know that I was loved and I have so
much to live for, THANK YOU!!!!!!
"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for
us" Hebrews 12:1
- Update from Mom
candle on the altar in my bedroom is still burning. Like the
Olympic torch I made sure that the fire from one candle ignited
the next wick and so on. I will let its glow fade naturally.
The dancing shadows on the ceiling kept me company these past
nights that I have been sleeping in my own bed. I imagined
that it was Liz’s essence reminding me that her soul
is full of life and eager to get up and move. I have no doubt
that all of the candles burning across the country and world
penetrated the darkness of fear that Tom wrote about. Eternal
flames. Symbols of an athlete’s burning desire to cross
the finish line—no matter what. She did it!
and I cried together this week when I bathed her one day.
She looked down at her scarred tummy and cried. I could only
imagine what she was thinking. Feeling. I said “Let’s
cry together now then later let’s bless these new roadmaps
on your body; they saved your life.”
is much to ponder. There is much to be thankful for. Gratitude.
Gratitude. Go Gratitude.
- Update Part 2 (from Tom)
is home! It's official. I wouldn't believe
it either (I am named Thomas), but I've witnessed it myself,
seen it with my own eyes, kissed her cheek as she sat in her
own "comfy chair", fed her cheese cake off my own
fork in her living room (cause she only wanted a bite), yelled
good bye to her as I walked out her door, at her house. Did
I say it would be soon? Well . . . . I can safely report that
it's true. The end of camp Desert Sam, as we knew it, has
come to pass. Liz is now home - more progress!
hospital's wall of cards had to come down when we moved camp,
but I got a picture of most of the wall before the move.
Thanks to all of you that contributed to that wonderful
expression of care.
There is, of course, more work to be done, still. Those of
you who live in Arizona, give Liz or Mark a call and ask what
you can do. I know the fridge is stocked right now, but later,
it will not be, and later still, and later still. this is
a long term project for Liz and the family.
But today is the day to acknowledge the end of a long, difficult
time. Was it really 35 days ago that Liz had her reversal
surgery. We were so happy when things seemed to go so well
on April 11. That seems a century ago, so much has happened
between then and now.
To all of you that lit candles, sent cards and emails, prayed,
or lifted a hand toward Arizona, we can't thank you enough
for all that you have done to help keep Liz moving in a positive
The journey now continues
Liz has just started to walk her next thousand miles.
- Update Part 1 of 2 (from Tom)
it seems these days that nothing presented in a serial fashion
can end in just one sitting -- it seems there must always
be a two-part season finale, or a sequel, or a prequel. So,
in keeping with that great American tradition, here is part
one of what we believe will be the season ending episode to
"Recovery at Camp Desert Sam." Sorry we can't be
more certain, but it's been just too difficult to predict
from day to day where this is going.
So, let me just say these few things, and you'll have to tune
in to part 2 to find out if the ending is as advertised, or
if there is an added twist.
Liz has continued her progress -- at times it seems like one
big step backwards with a blockage and all the pain that comes
with it for a couple of days last week; and then a little
more of the same one day this weekend. But, then she will
take two steps forward. Overall, we're still seeing progress.
So, it seems that there is a chance, at least as of this moment
that I am writing, that Liz will be released back into the
real world soon, and returning home to continue her recovery.
Did I mention it should be soon?
Note the ambiguity, the noncommittal words; how we don't give
away too much. Just pretend as you read this that this is
being read by that deep deep voice that tells you about all
the other season finales.
We told you it would be special . ..
But its much much more than that.
It can't be missed.
Coming soon, in part 2 of the finale
What was muddy (or muddled) will become clear?
Oh, and those of you in Arizona, be prepared
Be very prepared,
to begin cooking low residue, high protein meals for a certain
family in Tempe.
And for the not-so distant future, start recounting those
tax deductions to make sure you made no mistakes.
Because soon, very soon,
Your favorite CPA will be back to an audit near you.
Ok, OK, stay tuned, and all will be revealed . . . soon.
- Progress (from Tom)
for the delay. I know it's been a few days since the last
The word for this update is "Progress!"
When I last wrote Liz was still getting over the worst part
of her surgery. Every day since then she has made progress.
We have thought about temporarily changing her website to
"WalkLizWalk." Every day she takes a few steps more.
I didn't get too many moans about the "baby steps"
comment in my last update, but my Mom thought about it and
said she liked this one better . . . "The journey
of a thousand miles starts with one step." Another
one was shared with me years ago by a colleague, (who also
happens to be a nun):
Pilgrim, Pilgrim, Pilgrim. (maybe for this group, "Penguin,
There is no way
You make the way
By walking, walking, walking.
And, Liz is walking! Every chance she gets.
Moreover, as of Saturday she was drinking. No, not what you're
thinking. It was Cinco de Mayo and I did offer to sneak her
in a beer, but it was only broth and Gaterade.
More still, on Sunday she got her chocolate shake. She didn't
drink much of it, (nausea) but it was a start.
And more still, today she ate real food. Ok, it was hospital
food, not real food, so you'll have to understand if she only
ate a few bites. But at least it was something that did not
have to be sipped through a straw.
So, we have progress! The body is making slow progress toward
healing. (Did I mention there was progress?)
Of course, the spirit still has some catching up to do. Liz
hasn't really been much in the mood for visitors. Mmm, I can't
imagine why after being stuck in an indoor campsite for 3
over weeks, can you? But, even when your not in the mood to
dance, if you just get the feet moving, the spirit will find
you. And Liz is moving, as best she can.
The doctors plan to keep Liz in the hospital until she is
on a regular diet and functioning completely normal. I hesitate
to say when that will be, but we can almost feel it! Liz has
a long-planned trip to the Beach Cottages in San Diego coming
up in three weeks -- a Memorial Day tradition for her and
her family. I think she will make it - I know she knows she
will. More progress to look forward to.
Thank you all for the most recent burst of care over the past
few days. The wall of cards was almost full when I was last
there yesterday. It's so fun to is read them all - some of
them are funny, some are sweet, all are full of love and dear
to Liz. I caught her grinning on Sunday as she read one she
had just received. I can't remember what Seinfeld said about
the rule for holding on to cards after you receive them, but
I think these will all find their way to a very special place
for posterity, marking the start of Liz's next thousand mile
Hopefully, the next update will be to announce the closing
of the not-ready-for-national parksite Desert Sam.
Until then, keep those candles lit against the darkness of
Fear. Trusting in Love, however you conceive it, keep one
palm toward the Light, wherever it is that you find it, and
the other toward Liz.
- Very quick update (from Tom)
last 36 hours since the surgery have been tough for Liz. This
one has taken much more out of our girl. For just a taste
of how that first night went, here is a brief message from
an email my mom sent me in the morning.
"Liz had a marginally smooth night. This surgery is being
rougher than any of the previous. When I hear her call "Mommie"
I know she is speaking from a very different place. All night
she said, "Mommie help me." Talk about feeling helpless!
We made it through the dark hours. She is resting peacefully."
Liz had a fever in the 102 range all day yesterday (Wednesday).
Her heart rate was accelerated to over 100, which is no doubt
due to the infection. It jumped up to 120 when she decided
to take the initiative and sit up in bed while I was there.
She is also trying her best to breathe into that meter-thingy
with the little ball. The doctors are unsure of the source
of the infection (other than the obvious), so did some tests
to rule out any lung problems and also to search for any embolisms.
They were negative. So, we wait for the time and antibiotics
(and prayer) to heal her.
Mom reports this morning that Liz's temp is down to around
100. Also, Liz made it to a chair so they could change her
sheets and wash her up a bit. That is a good step in the right
direction. The next one will be a walk around a block. You
see, my Mom bought me an exercise kit once, with a little
wooden building block in it. The instructions said to walk
around the block. LOL. Then, perhaps today, a little further,
and a then, a little more. Isn't it funny how anything worthwhile
always starts that way, dare I say it - baby steps. (Oh, he
didn't really use that overused cliche did he, ugh; we need
to invent another equally descriptive metaphor for grown ups,
don't we). I just know that eventually, she will be joining
you across the nation walking 5 K's, at your side with her
face toward the sun, smiling at the thought of that first
walk around the block.
Right now, Liz has an immediate mission - to get that tube
out of her nose! Hopefully by tomorrow.
Thanks again for all your prayers. Keep those candles lit
against the darkness of Fear. Trusting in Love, however you
conceive it, keep one palm toward the Light, wherever it is
that you find it, and the other toward Liz.
- Surgery update (from Tom)
had her surgery tonight and she is back in her room. The surgery
started a bit later than expected at 6:00 p.m. Everyone was
doing ok and thinking about ordering in some dinner when the
doctor had a nurse call out after only 45 minutes of a planned
2 1/2 hour surgery. Mom took the call; the doctor was saying
that there were some complications and the surgery could not
go as planned. And, (you think I wouldn't be surprised anymore),
no further details were given.
those of us there in the waiting room spent the rest of our
time speculating about what that cryptic message could mean.
I won't go into details, but we were all pretty upset as our
imaginations took over about what that message meant. And,
of course, we all expressed our fear in our own unique ways
resulting in some fall out among the more over-anxious of
us in the waiting room. (moi?)
waited and waited, until about 8:30 or so when the doctor
emerged. He reported that he was able to successfully create
the permanent colostomy. However, there was so much scar tissue
in Liz's abdomen that the parts of the colon (and other parts)
that he had planned to remove were basically fused to essential
organs (e.g. the bladder) and bone. So, he was not able to
remove everything that he wanted. He apparently saw that early
on, and that was the reason for the earlier call.
the surgery went about as well as it could have gone under
the circumstances. My mother is with Liz now and I am sure
that, exept for the nurse's hourly watch, she will sleep tonight.
thought it might be nice to fill up a wall with cards for
Liz to get through this (hopefully) last week in the hospital.
So, she asked me to pass on a request to send not only your
thoughts and prayers, but maybe a Hallmark as well. Probably
best to send it to Liz's home and Mark can bring it to her.
you don't have Liz's home address, you can send it here:
c/o Childrens Dental Village
7360 S. McClintock
Tempe, AZ 85283
may have other such requests as she transitions back home,
hopefully sooner than later.
thank you all again for your out pouring of care. Sometimes
the pessimist in me takes over and I think, well, the outcome
was not the best possible, so what's this prayer/energy/support
thing really all about. But as soon as I think that, I also
think of a conversation I had with my Grandma Ware one New
Her tradition was to eat black eyed peas for good luck in
the year to come (a tradition my mother carries on still).
One year, I said to Grandma, "you know what; I'm going
to skip those black eyed peas this year." Grandma asked
"why," and I explained, "Well, I ate them last
year and I didn't have such a good year. In fact, it was a
terrible year. I don't think those work for me." Grandma
just looked at me and smiled, saying, "Well, honey, just
think of how much worse it would have been if you had not
surgery did not go perfectly. But, as Grandma Ware would have
said, I can't imagine what the outcome for Liz would have
been, or will be in the future to come, without all of your
thoughts, intentions, and prayers.
once again, keep those candles lit against the darkness of
Fear. Trusting in Love, however you conceive it, keep one
palm toward the Light, wherever it is that you find it, and
the other toward Liz.
2007 and earlier news updates