Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011

Dear Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Donald Beckett passed away Oct 19, 2011. As you know, Don fought courageously to defeat cancer so it is important that his story be shared. His legacy will live on through all who knew him. Thank you for your continual support during this time of mourning.

The Beckett Family  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15

Ok, I'm back.  I am sorry for long delay of blogging.  I have been really down and basically bedridden with Heidi taking care of  me.  I am just going to ramble and try to catch you up up.

I ,still not able to take any food or liquids by mouth.  We tried all the different formula of tube feeding by doctors through my feeding tube and they did not agree with me.  Caused more mucus build up and made me sick.  So, we did our own thing and started jucing organic veggies and putting them in my tube.  I am getting everything from, carrots, brochilli, beets, green beans, kale, spinach, celery, peppers, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, romaine lettuce.  Heidi also adds soy protein and we are trying some others.  We are staying away from cow's milk.  We ran all this by two doctors and they were in agreement.  It is alot of work for Heidi but she does not mind. 

I only weigh 139 lbs now.  In January, when we started treatment I weighed 196.  My energy level today is about 20% .  It has been lower.  We got the pain under control finally by seeing a pain management doctor.  I am on a regiment of Methadone 3 times per day.  I am also take Nuerontin 3 times per day.  So pain is no longer the biggest problem.  The biggest problems now is the mucous production and interfering with my breathing.  No meds for this as anything would dry out my mouth more.  I have to carry water bottle and spit cup now to moisten my mouth regularly.  The other problem is nutrition.  All the muscles in my legs and arms have broken down from lack of nutrition and this also caused me severe leg pain.  My legs and feet are currently swollen.  I have some Ted Hose to wear on them. 

I had to cut off visitors for a while cause I could not get enough rest.  However, now I see visitors.  I appreciate all the cards, txt, emails, etc.!

The other self treatment that helps me is what I call my Coke Flush.  I force a drink of coke down my throat and it binds with the mucous and then I throw it it up.  I clears the mucous out for couple hours.  It sounds bad but it is somewhat refreshing as I get some ice cold liquid in there when i am so dry.  going through a lot of coke. 

If you are trying to bring something for me, bring organic veggies, coke or 7 Up. 

My goal is keep veggie feeding and get strength up until I can eat again.  The doctors cannot tell me when that will be or what is going on right now.  Hope this info helps you.  I am currently, just staying home in bedroom and Heidi is assisting me when I need it.  I love you all!

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 9

I wished I was writing good news with much improvement, but not yet.  My current condition is still have pain that ranges from "5" to "10" on scale of 10 depending on when I took pain medication last.  I have not eaten any food or liquids for 9 weeks.  I also can longer swallow any pills.  They either get stuck and come right back up or come right back up out of my stomach.  This makes fighting the pain more difficult. 

I saw Dr. Cline (Gastro doctor) about a week ago.  I asked if there was anything else we could try to heal up the uclers and get rid of pain.  He said no.  They only thing he said we could think about was putting in a stint that would widen the opening but I told him that was last resort.  I have too much disease to risk a stint tearing that area.

I went back to Dr. Marquinez (Oncologist) on Wednesday.  He started me on Fentanyl patches for pain and also a liquid Oxycontin that I can put into my feeding tube.  Unfortantly, the Fentanyl patches you start at a lower dose and work your way up until you get relief.  The dose we started at is not even touching the pain.  Therefore, I am living on the liquid Oxycontin every 4 hours (usually every 3 hours) to keep pain under control.  I will get a stronger dose patch next week.

I had been vomiting about 10-15 times per day due to pain and mucus.  That has been reduced to about 6-8 times per day right now. 

I am still losing weight and we did increase my tube feeding calories to try to help.  The problem is I have to be connected to the tube feeding for 16.5 hours per day to get the necessary calories.  I now weigh 154 lbs. 

I am sleeping a lot during the daytime.  Since I am up and down all night taking medication, spitting, throwing up, etc. and the narcotics also make you very sleepy.  It is nothing for me to take a 3 hour nap at such time as the pain wakes me up to take another dose. 

I mentioned in last blog that we had an offer coming in on house.  It was not a good offer.  It was $50K less than our asking price.  Obviously, we could not accept this. 

I do have to admit that I have become a bit depressed about things.  It is hard to keep a positive attitude when you don't see any improvement at all.  However, I have been receiving a lot of cards and notes in the mail that have been very encouraging.  I appreciate that. 

Still no pension check yet, so we currently don't have any income.  We expect a pension check by the end of this month.  The bigger delimina is that we won't get our health insurance card until after I get a pension check.  The pension system has to pay the insurance company.  So, even though I have insurance which was effective Sept 1, I have no card or acct number.  I have to pay for everything and then try to get reimbursed.  Heidi just purchased $343.00 worth of medication for me last night.  The tube feeding cost $143 per day and I have to front this money.  We were also told that my new insurance company does not cover tube feeding.  So, not sure where this will lead us. 

Some areas to pray specifically for:
1.  Pray for pain relief with new pain medications
2.  Pray that I may be able to eat and drink soon and get off tube feeding.
3.  Pray that our insurance coverage would get established so we don't have to pay this money.
4.  Pray for Heidi as she is my source of inspiration and comfort.  Pray that she may remain healthy and strong.  Pray that the Lord will continue to use Heidi words to comfort me and help me keep my faith!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30

Many of you have written me because I have not written a blog in quite some time.  It is because I have been very sick. 

I have not eaten any foods or liquids in 8 weeks.  I have constant pain in my chest 24 hours per day and I am living on pain medication right now.  I have been throwing up approx. 8-12 times per day.  I now weight 155 lbs.  I am tube feeding myself every night from 7 pm - 7 am with a pump.  I get 1500 calories per night.  This is keeping me going right now. 

Even  though this sounds bad, I feel inside like maybe I am about to "turn the corner"!  I think it just had taken much much longer to heal up the ulcers in my esophagus and stomach from the radiation.  I cannot wait to be able to eat food again and pick up my strength.  We scheduled to see the Gastro doctor couple weeks ago, a little difficult to get into to see.  I have appt. for Thursday this week.  I am not even considering further cancer treatment until we get this ulcer problem under control.  

We did get some good news today!  We finally received a check from Toyota for $2500 matching the Don Joseph Car Dealership "Team Beckett" Program.  This money will really help out since we are no longer receiving any pay checks from the City of Kent.  I was officially off the books with City of Kent August 5.  A huge "Thank You" to Kathy Beatty and Brock Murphy for their follow up to get these funds.  They really had to jump through a lot of hoops, but got it done!

We are also expecting an offer on house today!  Don't know if it will be a good acceptable offer or not but at least we are seeing some action.  Please pray that this will work out and allow us to lower our money expenses!!!

Ryan finished the Kent State University Police Academy last week.  He resumed classes at Kent State University for his senior year yesterday!  He is currently looking for a local police job full or part time!

Please continue to pray for Heidi as she provides me with daily support and keeps my spirits up!  She is amazing, don't know what I would do without her!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday August 14

Most of you probably guessed since I had not written on the blog for a week that I probably was not feeling too good.  I can definitely say that I have felt worse the last 2 weeks than I have have before.  Fortunately, the tube feeding is keeping me going and keeping me out of the hospital. 

First of all, my pain is constant 24 hours per day.  I actually increased my dose myself of the Oxycontin extended release.  I am also taking Percocet every 4 hours around the clock.  This keeps my pain to a tolerable level.  It has been very difficult swallowing the pills with water as sometimes they do not want to go down.  However, I have been getting by with small sipes of water. 

I still am not able to eat any food or drink.  It has to be at least 7 weeks now since I have eaten food.  I do attempt something each day just to try to get that started again.  I am tube feeding from 7 pm - 7 am everynight and getting 1500 calories this way.  I need to supplement with some food soon.  My current weight is 158 lbs.  When I started cancer treatment on Jan 7 I weighed 196 lbs (38 lbs lost).

My energy level is the worse it has been.  I have pretty much been in bed napping most of the day away.  I do not like this at all, but some of that is the narcotics.  Simple walks now wear me out.  This will improve after I resume eating and exercising more.

Mentally, I have been a bit depressed.  I just keep thinking that any day, I will be able to eat again and then get my strength back and clear up ulcers and then be able to reduce pain meds and return to  a more normal lifestyle.  Each day it does not happen.  Fortunately, I have Heidi who cheers me up and keeps me company.  I know she is probably tired of being at home all the time, but I have not felt up to going anywhere.  I also have dry heaves about 6-8 times per day.  This is easier at home.  We also have the added stress of not having income at this point.  I am no longer on the books at the City of Kent Fire Department and it will be about 60 days until i get a pension check.  When we do receive the pension check it will not be enough to cover the bills, so this drains the savings accounts.  Hopefully, we will be able to sell the house in timely manner and stop draining the savings.  We had serious lookers at the house this week (2nd showing) but they must have purchased another house they were considering.  We did not get any more feedback. 

Please pray for Heidi to keep her strength, positive attitude and her health!  Please pray specifically for me to be able to eat food, eliminate ulcers and reduce pain levels.  Yesterday, in the mail I received a prayer cloth from a church in Florida.  A group there have been praying for me and sent a prayer cloth!  What a priviledge to be one of God's children!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday August 7

I have been home from the hospital one week today after surgery for my feeding tube.  I can't say I made much progress this week.  I am feeding through the tube every night from 7 p - 7a.  I get 1500 calories a night with 1250 liters of fluid.  I call it my baby formula.  I still have a very sensitive esophagus and vomit about 6 times per day usually when I first wake up or when I am swallowing pills with water.  I am still not able to eat any food or drink any liquids.  I was told it would take 2-3 weeks before this would take place.  Most of the pain in my abdomen is gone from the surgery, however the pain in my chest from esophagus is actually worse.  I am using Oxycontin every 12 hours and taking Percocet for break through pain and most days I am using about 5-6 of the Percocet.  I was hoping to be off of these by now.  I have not gained any weight but I did stop losing weight.  I now weigh 161 lbs.  I have began any chemotherapy treatments yet.  I am would like to be able to take some food by mouth first.  I did get the staples out of my abdomen on Thursday and site looks pretty good. 

We have had a few people look at our house.  One couple may be coming back for second look this week.  We are keeping our fingers crossed.

This past Friday was my official last day with the Kent Fire Department.  Very sad day for me.  I loved that job and all those people!