Monday, December 27, 2010

Chemo and Scan 12-27-10

Hi Everyone,

Well we had the big scan today. We didn't get the best news but things could definitely be worse. The doctor was comparing the CAT scan my dad got today with the first CAT scan he got before starting treatment back in September. He also looked at the PET scan that was done on November 1st. The answers were very far from black and white. It seems that this chemo has worked on some areas especially in the stomach, but hasn't done much of anything to many of the tumors in the liver. Some spots may be new, old spots may have gotten larger, but some spots are gone. It just is very hard to tell I guess. The stomach looks better the doctor says and the esophagus stayed about the same.

As of right now we are staying with the same chemo regimen that we are on. This could possibly change when blood tests come back if the CEA would be up, we probably won't know that until tomorrow.

Keep the prayers coming. I continue to hope and wish for a miracle or for a new chemo regimen that will work better AND not make my dad sick. I know that the last thing any of us want to see is him sick..

His blood counts were all very good today, but he was down a few pounds.

Thanks for all of the prayers,


Monday, December 20, 2010

Chemo 12-20-10

Hi Everyone,

We got great news today! My dad's blood counts were up (the ones we want to be up!) His whole blood or Hemoglobin was at 9.5 and his white blood count was at 1600! These are both still on the low side but they are up significantly from last week even with getting chemo last week. This is great news and we thank everyone for all of their prayers, once again they have helped! Keep it up!!

A friend of my mom's told her a neat quote by a doctor today,The doctor had said he had a deal with God; "I don't tell people when they are going to die, and God doesn't give chemotherapy."

We thought that was a great saying because no doctor can tell for sure when someone is going to die; especially people who refuse to give up like my Dad.

We are very happy with our news today and continue to hope and pray for good news next Monday when we get our next CAT scan.

Thank you to everyone for the prayers, I want to especially thank Gail and Paula Cropsey again for all of their meals since I found out that they didn't know about the blog so they never saw the last thank you, SO thank you for all you do!! We appreciate it so much and are so truly lucky to have friends like you!

I talked to my mom and dad earlier and they said how busy chemo was today, all of the chairs were taken for a while so they actually had to wait for one to open before chemo could start. This just shows how many great people are either directly affected or affected through a family member or friend due to cancer.

With that being said, this holiday season, be thankful for what you have and most of all the family you get to share it with. Don't dwell on the small stuff like just getting gifts because you have to, the decorating, or the food but on the people you are sharing your time with, the memories you are creating, the thoughtful gifts you are giving and the faces on those who open them, and most of all be thankful...
For everything.

Life is a gift!

I know I am very thankful for everyone reading this blog, my great friends, and most of all my family.
Mom, Dad, Ben, Cory, you make Christmas the best day ever just by being there! I love you all!

Thank you again and again for all of the prayers! Please keep them up, we appreciate it so much! We are so blessed with great family and friends!

I'll end with this:
"Efforts only fully release its rewards after a person refuses to quit."
So glad you choose to never give up Dad!
Someday this cancer will give up and I know you have what it takes until it does, that's only one of the many reasons you are my Hero !

God Bless, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

12-16-10 My 22nd Birthday!

To: My King
From: Your Princess

Thanks to my amazing dad for making my birthday the greatest day ever. I love you Dad, and had such a great day with you-(as usual!)

I'm so proud to be your daughter and to get to spend my birthday with you- I wouldn't have chosen it any other way, it was PERFECT!!

You will always be my HERO so keep being you!!

Have I told you lately that I love you?!!?!

See you tomorrow!!!
You will never know how much I love you,

"I'm going to be like you dad, you know I'm going to be like you."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chemo: 12-13-10

Hi Everyone,

My dad got chemo today. His weight was stable, but his blood counts are still very low. We are hoping that these counts come up for next week.

We have another whole body scan on the 27th. The scan will be a big deal, we will see how much the tumors are shrinking, pray that we get very, very good news.

Keep up the prayers, we need some big ones... My dad truly deserves every single prayer.

I love you dad, keep up the good fight,

xoxoxo Jill

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dad's Chemo 12-6-10

Hi Everyone!

I am happy to report that I have good news!! The CEA test that we were all praying for to go down, did go down! It went from 64 to 59. Not a huge drop, but the important thing is, is that it did drop!! Thanks for all of the prayers, they are truly helping, I just know it! My dad wasn't able to receive chemotherapy today because his white blood count was getting to low. He is at 600 for the white count which is very low. We are hoping that he can make some whole blood along with white blood cells this week so he is recharged for next week. He was up 2.5 pounds so that is really awesome!! His whole blood was at 9 and normal range is 12-15 so that is a bit low. He received a shot to help his body make more red blood or whole blood.

He did receive his Herceptin today but that was it.

We are so appreciative for everyone's prayers, please keep it up! We are so blessed to have everyone of you in our lives. My dad is such a fighter and such a fun, energetic person. He is loved and looked up to by so many people and I am truly honored and so proud to be his daughter!

Thank you God for our many blessings!

I love you Dad, I know you'll beat this cancer! Have I told you lately that I love you?

Love always,


Friday, December 3, 2010

The Best dad in the world and his proud kids!!

I thought I would provide a few more great pictures since I figured out how to do that now!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dads Chemo 11-29-10

Hi Everyone,

Well we have our 12th Chemo treatment done and my dad has completed exactly 4 cycles of chemo ( there are 3 weeks/chemo treatments in one cycle). His blood counts were a bit low. This time his hemoglobin was down a bit again to 9.8 (normal about 12). We haven't had troubles with hemoglobin being low for a while. He didn't need transfusions but they did give him a shot to help with the anemia. His white blood count was down as well but still OK at 1500. (normal should be between 4,000 and 9,000).

He's not getting a week off like we thought he possibly would. Next week he will get another CEA scan which will hopefully be down from last time at 64. Please pray that this number is down, if this number isn't down we will have to look for a different/new treatment option or different chemo combination. I know everyone is praying and please continue, my dad deserves every single prayer he is getting and we truly believe each and every one helps.

During this Christmas season be thankful for everything you have, the most important thing we have all realized through this rough journey is the importance of saying I love you, giving hugs, and being happy with the wonderful things God has given you. We are blessed for all of our family, friends, and people we don't even know that are praying for us. We love all of you and send you big hugs!!


I see trees of green, red roses too.
I see them bloom for me and you
and I think to myself What a Wonderful World.

-Louis Armstrong "What a Wonderful World"

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We had a great Thanksgiving and are very thankful for all we have!! We had a wonderful time with all of our family!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dad's Chemo 11-22-10

Dad's Chemo went good today! He didn't end up seeing the doctor, but talked to the nurse and she said not to be alarmed by the CEA result from last week. We do need to pray that it is back down the first week of December though. A steady increase in the CEA is a bad sign, but if the CEA is down next time, it doesn't matter about the one that was up last week a bit.

He was up 1.5pounds which is great! His blood count was good but down from last week, we are thinking we might have a week off of chemo coming up due to low blood count; that is what happened last time when his blood was down, he was given a week off.

He wore his shirt that I got for him today "My bald head is better than your bad haircut" and from what I hear everyone loved it!

We will keep moving forward, each week we are one step closer to beating this cancer!!

Keep my dad in your prayers. We appreciate everything and everyone!!

Love always,


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dad's Chemo 11-15-10

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I'm so late posting about last weeks chemo, but everything is still going good. White blood count was still good, in the 3,000's which is good and my dad's weight was still stable. He has been doing really good with keeping weight on, many people have a hard time not losing a significant amount of weight so we are proud of him for that. He is the same weight now as he was when he was diagnosed at the end of August. The CEA result was a bit up since the last time that was tested; they only test the CEA every three weeks so we hope that in three weeks it will be back down again.

We had another great weekend and look forward to Thanksgiving this week. Even within our circumstances, my dad always says he wouldn't trade his life for the world. He knows that he has an amazing support system through friends and family. We have so much to be thankful for and will definitely enjoy being thankful this holiday season.

I will be posting again tomorrow after tomorrow's chemo treatment. He will see the doctor again tomorrow so hopefully we will have some more good news.

Thanks to all of our followers.
"You gain strength, experience, and confidence by every experience where you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you cannot do."

Go kick that cancer's butt tomorrow dad!

My dad: My Hero

Love always,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chemo Monday, November 8, 2010

Well, Dad's got another week of chemo in. This was his 9th chemo. He did great again. Everything was stable. His hemoglobin was 11.8 which is great, his white blood cell count is 3,700. His platelets are good too and his weight is stable. He didn't need iron, so that's good news too!

My dad got a port put in today. This is a device that is inserted under his skin. He won't have to get a needle in his vein anymore for chemo, they will give him chemo through this port.

Well, thanks again everyone for the prayers. Continue to pray and we will hope for more good news next week.

Love you all,


Friday, November 5, 2010

Dad's Cat Scan and Chemo this week!

Hello all,

Sorry I'm a bit delayed this week, school has been hectic; on a positive note, I taught my first whole class lesson and it went great!

My dad got his first CAT scan since his diagnosis Monday, (My mom's birthday) . We got very good news in that his lymph nodes look clear and healthy now! In the first scan, when he was first diagnosed, he had many lymph nodes that were infected by the cancer! WE ARE SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS!!

His blood count and weight were still stable which is always good news too!

As for other measuring of tumors and such, they couldn't get a good grip on the differences because the first scan he got done was a PET scan and this was a CAT scan and they aren't completely comparable. He will get another CAT scan in the beginning of January and that will be easier to compare with this CAT scan he got on Monday. ***Keep praying that there won't be any comparison because the cancer will be completely gone by January-it has happened!!!!

Chemo went well again, of course my dad did great like always!!! I just got home tonight and it's great to be home! My dad is always in such high, good spirits. He is working on a big job now and hoping to get it done in this next week-Still working as hard as usual!

Love to all of you!!


Love always,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We got even more good news last night!!! My dad's CEA blood test is down to 37!! When he was first diagnosed he was at 232. A few weeks ago it was down to 181 and now it has dropped SO dramatically to 37!!! We want this to be as low as possible!! We are sooooooo thankful that it has dropped this much and thank everyone for all of the prayers!! They are working!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, October 25th

Hi Everyone!

Last week was our week off of chemo. My dad's blood count was very low, but we have great news; his count went up tremendously with the week off of chemo!! So you all understand, his white blood count was at 300 when it was scary low. A human's white blood count who doesn't have cancer and is very healthy can be anywhere in the range of 4,000-9,000. So as you can see 300 was VERY low. I am so honored to be able to tell you that today his white blood count was at 5,000!! Yes, 5,000!! Everyone should be SOOO Proud of my dad.

He told me he was "going to take that cancer to town" and he sure is!! With his blood counts getting higher he won't get sick as easy, which will make him stronger and harder for the cancer to fight him because he will be able to keep getting chemo.

All of the credit really goes to him. He fights this cancer so hard every day and has an amazing outlook on life. He has the best attitude and perseverance out of anyone I know,people with cancer and without, which is truly, truly, amazing. We thank god every day and appreciate every moment and piece of good news that we are given.

Even though the tough circumstances, we will get through this. I believe that one day my dad will be one more of the beautiful, amazing cancer survivor who never gave up the fight and who never gave up on their dream of beating this horrible disease. Continue supporting cancer research and praying for more technology advances.

My dads getting chemo today and will get another scan next week. We pray for the good news that the cancer has shrunken back tremendously and that the chemotherapy is kicking butt!

I hope to be able to keep posting all of this good news and updates. Our family thanks everyone that has been praying for us, sending cards, food, giving hugs, etc. EVERYTHING is appreciated SOOO much. I wish we had the time to personally write a thank you to everyone, but there have literally been hundreds and hundreds of cards, prayers, kind wishes, etc. So THANK YOU everyone. It really helps. Our whole situation really puts things into perspective on what is important and what isn't as important.

On that note, everyone please cherish your family, friends, significant others, etc. because life it to short to be anything but happy. Realize that money cannot buy happiness; you can find happiness in so many of the things right next to you and the people you care about. You can never give enough hugs or say I love you enough. Remember, with God, anything's possible.

Here are a few thank you's from the us:

A HUGE thank you to Paula Cropsey for all of the delicious food!!! You keep us healthy and help us maintain weight:) ha-ha!

Thank you Grandma Schuh for all of the food as well and the tater tot casserole is AWESOME!
Thank you Lynn Ihde for all of the great food too! Cory and I are very spoiled!
Thank you Kait, Erin, Brooke, Ashley, Kelsey, and Kristen for the nummy pumpkin pie and most of all being there for me.
Thanks MCEA Cohort for making me laugh and being the smiley, friendly, faces in classes :)

Special thank you to Immaculate Conception church and all of the members for being so generous with prayers, hugs, etc. We love our strong Catholic community.

Thank you Kat, Jamie, Jenna, and Jack Just for providing me with such a great family comfort in Milwaukee. You are a wonderful family and I admire all of your love, care, and help you shower me with, I thank god for all of you every day.

Thank you Cory, I can't even begin to list the things you do for me because they are endless. You are amazing and I truly couldn't do this without you. Thank you for always being there no matter what. I love you so much.

Thanks Mom, for being there every minute of every day for dad and for always keeping everything in line and squeaky clean. You have so much on your plate but no one could handle it and do everything as perfect as you. You are a true angel and deserve everything in the world.

Thanks Benny and the landscaping crew included Keith Evers and Chad VanAsten for all the work you do for our business. It is truly amazing how you all do so many things without even asking and how much stress you take off of my dad's shoulders by helping out.

Most of all:

Thank you dad, for being such a fighter and positive person. You are such an amazing person and I can't even begin to tell how much I respect and honor everything about you. You truly are my hero. Mom, Ben, and I will be by your side helping you fight until you win. Thank you for taking care of yourself and having the strong perseverance, prayer, and will to never give up. I appreciate every moment and know we will have many memories for numerous years to come. "Cancer can bring you down, but it cannot stop you."

Thank you God, for being our guiding light and person to turn to in this hard time. We will always follow you and remember that nothing is impossible with you. Thanks Be To God.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday October 11, 2010

Well we had another great weekend and chemo went well again today. My dad recieved a double-dose of Herceptin today because he will have a week off of chemo next week. His white blood count is getting low and they would rather let him re-coop so he can hopefully raise those blood counts by having a week without chemo next week. The doctor however still wanted him to have the Herceptin, which is why he gave him a double dose today.

We will hopefully get another scan the first week of November, continue to pray for my dad's strength. He has an amazing attitude and is going to take this cancer down! We thank everyone for their prayers, thoughts, food, being there for us, etc. We love all of our family and friends more than you all know. We are all so proud of my dad and are so happy to be a part of his life!

"With God, Anything is possible."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chemo 10-4-2010

We had another good day of chemo today. Dad's weight and blood remained stable and I'm sure he will be working the rest of the week!

He got his hair cut and he looks very handsome!!!

No more news, we are so thankful that everything is going so well!!

Keep praying for him! The prayers are working!!! We appreciate it sooooo much!!

I will keep posting each week with how chemo goes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Todays Chemo Treatment (9/28/10)

Now that I am all caught up I can give you the great news I have gotten this morning!

My dad gained blood all on his own! His count went from about a 9.2 to a 10.3 in one week's time with no transfusions! This is a great sign!!! This is most likely the most blood he's had in quiet some time.

We are so thankful that we tested positive for the Herceptin drug and that he can receive it again today! We have heard great things about this drug!

I actually just got a call from my dad about 15 minutes ago and we talked just like normal even though he is receiving chemo! It is great to know that besides being a bit uncomfortable, he isn't in a great deal of pain. We are just "zapping" those cancer cells out of there, he will always say!

Still no nausea, tingling fingers, etc as side effects from the chemo. He is starting to lose his hair a little bit, but we will take a minor appearance flaw over physical sickness anyday! We thank god that this is his only symptom!!

I hope I keep having good news!!! We are so blessed!

*Chemo is Monday of next week instead of Tuesday.

Second Opinions

We are currently working with AMC and Dr. Gunther who is a phenomenal oncologist. He has a great educational background and is into all of the latest procedures and treatments.

We did get a second opinion at Froedtert in Milwaukee. We saw Dr. Thomas. He was also a phenomenal oncologist who has had lots of experience at the Medical school in Madison and experimental treatment. He agreed with the treatment plan completely that we were already on with Dr. Gunther and said he had no further options for us until we get scans to see how the chemo is working. We will continue to work with these doctors as well as get more information from other places to see what is available.

A few updates about chemo and past treatments

Today my dad had his 4th treatment of Chemo. To catch you up a bit about the past:

*My dad was tested for a drug called Herceptin, he had a 15% chance that he would test positive for Her2New cells in his tumors; if he tested positive he could receive the drug Herceptin along with his chemo.


*He has had one dose of Herceptin and is receiving the second dose today.

*He receives Carboplatin and Taxol for his chemo combination and goes once a week.

*My mom goes with him each week, usually Chemo is on Tuesdays and they are there from 9:00am-5:30-6ishpm. It takes this long to get blood tests and distribute the chemo and Herceptin. He also receives iron, Benadryl, and non-nausea medicine through IV. At first he had trouble with the "jimmy" legs but now that is better and he usually sleeps.

*In the past he has been EXTREMELY low on blood, he of course, being the tough guy he is says he can't tell the difference, but he has had to get transfusions before chemo could be started. In this case chemo is pushed back a day. He has gotten two transfusions so far, but last week he didn't drop much so he didn't need a transfusion. Also, last week he GAINED three pounds, first time that he didn't have a loss.

*They will continue to do chemo until he can't handle it anymore or until it stops working. They will scan in one month to see if the tumors are shrinking.

* So far, he has had no side effects to chemo!! WOO HOO!!

For Starters...

Well, if you are on this web page you must be interested in my dad, Jim (Morgan) Peterson's fight against Esophageal Cancer. I thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and special intentions for my dad for we need all of the prayers we can get. For everyone who knows my dad, you know I am not lying when I say he is an incredible fighter. He is the strongest man I know along with the best dad, and most caring person ever. Everyone knows he would do anything for anyone and he LOVES to make kids happy!

We learned of my dad's cancer on August 26, 2010 but weren't sure how bad it was until Thursday August 29, 2010. My dad was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer, Stage 4 with Liver tumors and Lymph node metastasizes ( which basically means it spread from the initial location of the esophagus). Some good news is that it is not in his lungs, neck, groin, or bones. They gave us some scary statistics at first but I am not even going to include them because "statistics mean nothing to people who believe." I am going to say that there have been survivors and we trust in god's miracles.

Coming into all of this we had no clue what any of this terminology and diagnosis meant; we did know it was very bad and it scared us all to death. I took it into my own hands to research like crazy, I know more about Esophageal cancer than I ever imagined I would. My mom has been researching like crazy and my brother has been doing a great job of keeping an eye on my dad at work and helping out with the business on chemo days. We are blessed to have a strong bonded family and we can all count on one another to be there. We have a great extended family on both the Schuh side and Peterson side who have done amazing things for us. I can't even begin to describe the number of friends who have cooked for us, done extra things for the business, sent cards, prayers, etc. We are so blessed and we appreciate everyone.

Tuesday is our Chemo day. I will update now on, on every Tuesday or chemo day. So far we have gotten the best news we can possibly ask for. We thank god for the wonderful gifts and endless strength he has given us at this time in our lives. We have always been in touch with god and our church but we feel his presence more than ever now.