Gavin and Mommy

As many of you know, in December of 2016, Chanin was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of stage 4 cancer known as High Grade Neuroendocrine Carcinoma; her primary cancer believed to be gastrointestinal in origin.  Many cancerous lesions were found on her liver, where the cancer had spread, with the largest tumor measuring a large 7.5cm x 7.5 cm.  Unfortunately, the type of cancer she has is very painful, as her liver is pushing against all her internal organs and placing a lot of pressure on her body.  Because of the incredible speed the tumors grow, time has been a factor, and surgery has not been an option.  Chanin immediately began intensive chemotherapy 3 days in a row, every 3 weeks.  She recently completed her 4th round of chemo and has two more rounds to go.  Although the chemotherapy comes with many unwanted and uncomfortable side-effects, it is proving to be effective, and the largest tumor has shrunk to about the size of 3cm.  We are very thankful for this positive news; however, we all know that there is still a lot of fight left and there is no cure. The tumors will continue to come back and Chanin will have to undergo further treatments.

Chanin remains positive and is committed to this battle.  She has been doing everything she can to survive.  She has always been a survivor (previous double-lung transplant and kidney transplant!) and knows what she has to do to continue to live.

Many people have asked how they can help us out during this difficult time, which is why we decided to start this fundraiser.  I’m trying my hardest to do many of the things Chanin used to do, and Chanin’s parents have also been a great help to us, but there just isn’t enough time in the day to do it all and still be able to spend quality time with Chanin and our son, Gavin.  Fortunately, I am employed, and I have a supportive employer.  But, we’ve had a lot of unexpected expenses come our way relating to our situation and some support would be very helpful.

Plans for donations:

  • Medical Expenses: Because of the extensive medical expenses relating to Chanin’s cancer treatment, we already owe our full deductible to our medical insurance and our out-of-pocket max.  Additionally, we are driving around 40 miles each way to Phoenix and back an estimated 3-4 times a week to get Chanin to her doctor’s appointments and chemotherapy.
  • Meals: We’ve had a couple friends/family donate meals to us which we are EXTREMELY grateful for!  I do know how to cook, but it has been very difficult for me to find the time to prepare and cook healthy meals with all that is going on, and nutrition is very important for Chanin.  There are some online meal services which deliver food and also some places where we can go to prepare the meals ahead of time and freeze them until we’re ready to use them.  These services do cost more than our normal grocery shopping, but they save a ton of time and will allow us to have some “real” meals at home.
  • Electric Scooter: We would like to buy Chanin an electric scooter to help her can gain back some of her independence.  Between Chanin’s cancer and chemotherapy, her body has become very weak.  She currently uses a walker to get around, but she is unable to go anywhere that requires her to walk any longer distance than the typical car to doctor’s office.  Thanks to generous friends of ours who donated tickets to us, we’re planning a trip to Disneyland soon, and the scooter would allow Chanin to make her way around the theme park with ease.  Chanin also misses doing simple things like shopping, running errands and participating in regular family activities, which the scooter would allow her to resume.
  • Housekeeping: We are looking to hire a housekeeper as I am finding it tough to keep up with the regular household chores.  Between my day job, chauffeuring Gavin around, driving to doctor appointments, making trips to the pharmacy, running errands, cooking, doing dishes, etc., it has become increasingly difficult to focus on keeping the house clean, a job Chanin prided herself in doing.  We think some help in this area will really take a load off.  Also, Chanin needs to be in a clean environment to help avoid infections, so we think this will help.

Those of you who know me know I have a hard time asking for help.  It has always been difficult for me to look outside myself for assistance or to share my burden.  However, I never expected to be in a situation like the one our family is in right now, and after some encouragement, I decided this might be a good way to go about allowing others a chance to show they care.

Thank you so much for reading and supporting Chanin and our family throughout this journey.  We are grateful and appreciative for all the thoughts and prayers being said for us.  This is a very difficult and scary time for our family, and we are comforted in knowing that we have all of you on our side.

For many more details about Chanin’s progress you can visit her CaringBridge site here: Chanin’s CaringBridge

Polar Express – December 22, 2012

December 26th, 2012 | Posted by james - the dad in Family - (2 Comments)

The weekend before Christmas we took Gavin for a ride on The Polar Express, and to visit Santa at the North Pole!  Gavin had a blast playing in the snow and riding on a train (his first time).  We’re definitely going to head back to the Polar Express in the years to come!

The Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, AZ.

 

A really neat old train.

 

Gavin having fun playing in the snow.

 

Sipping on some hot chocolate (Gavin calls it hot coffee).

A special present from Santa!

 

Mommy and Gavin snuggling.

 

Our silly little guy.

 

A view of the train depot.

 

The weather is just about perfect now in Phoenix, so we decided to head out to the Desert Botanical Garden for some nice scenery and a walk. During our visit we were able to visit the Monarch Butterfly Exhibit, which will be wrapping up soon since it’s getting too cold outside for the butterflies. Gavin had a lot of fun searching for items on the kid’s scavenger hunt, and picked a big plastic ant as his prize for completing it! The garden is a great place and we’ll definitely be heading back soon!

Easter – 2012

April 15th, 2012 | Posted by james - the dad in Family - (1 Comments)

We’ve been in Seattle for about a year now, and last Sunday marked our 2nd Easter away from home. We would’ve loved to spend time with the rest of our family, but the flights to So Cal were so darn expensive. We still had a great Easter on our own and Gavin had a blast.

We started things off on Saturday by decorating hard boiled eggs. Gavin started with a nice multicolored egg, but with his second egg moved into the dunking phase. He kept dunking his egg, and hand, into each color for a good 30 minutes until they we’re both a nice dark green/purple color.


On Sunday morning Gavin woke up and found a surprise from the Easter bunny!

After he loaded up on candy he was ready to go on an egg hunt! The Easter bunny hid eggs all around and Gavin ran around searching and gathering them up. This year was his first real Easter egg hunt, and he loved it!

Chanin worked her usual magic in the kitchen and whipped up deviled eggs, potato cheese casserole, green beans with bacon, honey glazed ham, green salad with homemade dressing and rolls. Later, we finished it off with strawberry shortcake. Mmmmm…


We had a nice Easter and our little guy had a lot of fun!

Click the button below to view a full screen slideshow!

Snowing in Seattle

January 17th, 2012 | Posted by james - the dad in Family - (3 Comments)

This past Sunday morning we woke up to snow here in Seattle! Since we grew up in Southern California, and own a house near Phoenix, we’re definitely not used to seeing snow outside our windows. However, it was a welcome surprise and we were all pretty dang excited!

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We rushed the little guy out of bed and bundled him up in many layers of clothing (long undies, warm pants, sweater, winter coat, scarf, mittens, and snow boots).

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Gavin had a blast playing in the snow and I had fun throwing little snow balls at him! The word on the street is that tonight/tomorrow we’re going to get even more snow, and they’re recommending that everyone stay home!

Day at the Park

November 2nd, 2011 | Posted by james - the dad in Family - (2 Comments)

Now that Fall has begun, the weather here has really started to cool off, but the partly cloudy skies and crisp air we had this past weekend made for a very nice park day.  Here are a few pics!


 

Click button to view slide show:

 

For our 5th Wedding Anniversary, I wanted to surprise Chanin with something different and a little adventurous.  After dropping Gavin off to spend some time with his cousins, we headed to Seattle Seaplanes for a scenic flight around Seattle.  We were both a bit nervous since this was our first flight in a small aircraft, a Cessna 206, but it turned out we had nothing to fear!

We hopped aboard the little plane and taxied out to the “runway.”   The runway always changes and is dependent on the boat traffic on the lake.

Once the Captain saw a break in the traffic he revved up the engine and we were soon airborne!

We flew the route below, but not in the same order.  Overall, we got a really nice birds eye view of the city and surrounding areas.

 

After the flight we made our way to Ray’s Boathouse for dinner and an amazing view.  Between the two of us we enjoyed salad, salmon, sablefish, a crab cake, sturgeon, nutella mouse cake, Caramel Pot de Crème (basically fancy caramel custard), a brewski, a fancy cocktail, and coffee.   Mmmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

 

We had a great time celebrating our 5th Anniversary and are looking forward to many more!

 

To view a full screen slideshow click—>>> HERE.

For Father’s Day 2011 Chanin and Gavin took me to Rainin’ Ribs (menu) for some finger lickin’ good BBQ.

I ordered the 1/2 rack of baby backs with fried pickles, hush puppies, and a Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale to wash it all down.  Chanin ordered the “Who’s Your Mama” with a side of Brunswick Stew.  The “Who’s your mama” is a humongous pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw piled on top.  Both the ribs and pulled pork were smoked perfectly and very tasty (all smoking is done on site with fruit woods).   All of the sides were very good as well, with the hush puppies being the unexpected favorite.  They were fried up just right and had a hint of jalapeno in the batter.  Little Gavin munched on home-made french fries and sweet corn bread.  YUM!

Eatin’ ribs with my two favorite people while overlooking Lake Washington on a Sunday afternoon.  You can’t ask for a better Father’s Day than that!