Wednesday, August 19, 2009

All Clear!

Carol had her six month checkup a few days ago. She was given the all-clear again...yipee! Clear scans, and no tumor markers in her blood work. So... she's celebrating and heading off to Florida away from the rest of us crazy's. A girl's weekend away! Have fun dear, we love you! - Eric, Mary & Anna

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We're doing good...

I know... I'm a BAD BAD BAD guy! I have only one excuse... and that is it is very hard to come back to this blog as it brings back a whole host of emotions. Life is normal again for the most part, and in knowing that why would anyone want to see, sense or remember this journey. Then... I remembered some of our friends still use this blog to keep up. To all of you I am very very sorry. So here is the scoop! Carol is doing great! Her last visit with the Oncologist revealed that he felt she was healed. Had a 84% sucess rate... great patient, and he expects a great outcome!!!!!! So... Carol got her port removed, and is now enjoying the art of straightening hair! Yes, her hair came back curly, curly, and even more curly! It's a riot, but it is also beautiful as well. That's all for now, and maybe I'll muster up enough emotional energy to come back again when she's had her next follow-up with the Oncologist this summer. Be well, be safe and thank you once again for your prayers, love and compassion! - Eric

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Clean Sweep

Here we are mid February and well on our way to Spring. Our snow of 15" melted away and we're enjoying a fluctuation between 20 degrees at night to sometimes upwards of the 40's. We even peaked to a high of 62 last Monday February 9th. That prompted us to do something special.
Carol went in for her six month checkup. Got a mammogram, and saw her surgeon. Results were... she's cancer free! That and the warm weather prompted inch thick ribeyes on the grill, fresh asparagus to accompany the steaks and a nice vase a flowers to look at while we dined in celebration.
What a great time... here we are just over a year later and she looks great, feel pretty good (just needs to get her frozen shoulder un-frozen), and now cancer free. Dinner was great, spirits were high and our daughters did a wonderful job of showering Carol with all kinds of signs, and both dressed in appropriate celebratory attire.
I'm not sure you can describe the feelings what we felt. Needless to say, we're good now. Of course many more six month check ups, plenty of doctors visits, still getting an IV med, taking a pill, but all-in-all we're doing great! Each day as it arrives prompts all of us in the Sluder family to be grateful for a new opportunity to be with Carol, and to be a family.
Thanks again everyone for the support, prayers and gestures of love. You'll never know how much we appreciate it. Be well, be safe and good night! - Eric

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My One Friend...

Dear Family and Friends,December 2008

When I found out I had cancer (sorry if this is the first time you have heard this), I cried a lot.  I had all the typical questions. Will I die?  How will my family be affected?  Will it ever come back?  Will chemotherapy and radiation be worth it?  What did I do wrong?  Why me? I already have diabetes....isn't that enough??  I wondered if it would change me and what lessons I would learn from this disease.  Then God opened his arms and showed me (and my family) how much he loved me.  He demonstrated his love by using our family and friends to encourage and uplift us.  God also showed his power by answering prayers and proving He still performs miracles!! His love is incredible and so are the actions of all of you in my life.  Here is something I wrote to thank you all for helping me and my family get through this journey.  We couldn't have made it without you...and my one friend.

One Friend is all you need...

One friend sends me cardsOne friend listens to me cry

One friend helps me do laundryOne friend drove me to the ER

One friend shaved his head (to match mine!)One friend bought me a hat

One friend encourages my husbandOne friend prays for me daily

One friend bought me a book on cancerOne friend made us dinner

One friend bought me a book not on cancerOne friend sent us a gift card

One friend went to the altar for meOne friend shopped for me

One friend keeps telling me he loves meOne friend calls to check on me

One friend took my kids shoppingOne friend walks my puppy

One friend sits with me at chemoOne friend organized a prayer meeting

One friend gave me my favorite ice cream (from Cincy!)One friend cleaned my house

One friend bought “day care” for my puppyOne friend shoveled our driveway

One friend organized a Walk for the Cure in my nameOne friend gave me flowers

One friend lit a candle for me (at Mass)One friend takes my kids to the movies

One friend brought me organic foodOne friend gave me MonaVie

One friend knitted me a prayer shawl One friend gave me a thoughtful gift

One friend made me a prayer quiltOne friend sends uplifting emails

One friend sent a box full of gifts from friends in TexasOne friend organized our meals

One friend brought me a huge bag full of hatsOne friend developed a blog for me

One friend takes my kids for the dayOne friend lent us movies

One friend takes my kids to the lakeOne friend gave me a book report on cancer

One friend incentivized my kids to keep their rooms cleanOne friend explains all the doctor stuff

One friend took my kids to a musicalOne friend took my kids to the pool

One friend takes care of me when I am sickOne friend gets my kids off the bus

One friend says he will never leave meOne friend took my kids during surgery

One friend honored me at a church dinner program  One friend keeps me up on cancer research

One friend had a “flower shower”  when I finished radiationOne friend drops by the see me

One friend sponsored me in “100 Voices of Hope” for breast cancer research

One friend took my family to Alaska when I finished chemotherapy

My one friend (Jesus) never left me

One friend is a Gift from God...One friend is all you need.

Carol Sluder-2008 Breast Cancer Survivor

Friday, October 3, 2008

Holey Cow How Time Flys

Dear Friends and Family: I really am sorry I just plain got lazy about updating the Blog. We entered into the Radiation Therapy phase of our journey and it is now COMPLETE! 33 treatments and Carol has been released! She is now recuperating and treating her surface burns (1st and mild 2nd degree burns on her skin). Her fatigue has been manageable for her... and as a family we've all tried to help out!
Her next phase is too wait! I know YUCK! But that is the way cancer is treated. We wait and see if it returns. In the meantime she is taking Herceptin via IV every three weeks (a preventative). She will begin Tamoxifen (hormone therapy) in two weeks from today. That is another preventative measure as her cancer cells are "sensitive" to hormones and want them to help grow. So... the idea is we'll just take those hormones away! No fertilizer...hopefully no growth!
Outside of that... school is well underway for the girls, work is good for me (and I've been truly blessed with many great co-workers) and Carol is a terrific patient.
We do have two prayer requests of significance: 1) Is our friend Al Gianotti's oral cancer is really really getting the best of him. Please pray for a miracle in that God will prevail and place His healing hand on Al, Denise, the kids and all that are involved in Al's journey. 2) Please pray that Carol's cancer is gone for good. I have grown to so appreciate Carol over these past 11 months of treatment... she has been a guiding light to God's grace in many ways to all of us, and to our friends and family. She deserves to live a long and fruitful life, and I know it sounds selfish on my part, but I do love her and can't help but be there! We do have another prayer request and that is... please say a prayer for all of those suffering from Cancer. May there be a cure for each and everyone of them. Again, I am sorry for the long long long time between posts and will do better next time. Until then... please be well, be blessed and have a wonderful wonderful Fall! - Eric
P.S., An optimist is someone who has dealt with reality enough to know you cannot expect perfection, see perfection, or be perfect... but accepts life as it is, and make’s the most of it. - R.E. Sluder

Monday, August 18, 2008

Talk about Pumped Up!

First we visit the Colt's new stadium "Lucas Oil" on Sunday thanks to Tom and Betsy. Then today Carol was told her heart "injection fraction rate" went from a low of in the mid-fifties to 75 in her last test. Now I should elaborate a little and then you'll celebrate!
Carol's rate started out at 77 which is very very good and it means a very healthy heart. When you take certain types of chemo the drug also attacks good cells and some of those "good cells" make up heart tissue. Her rate after a couple of tests indicated she was down in the fifties which is on the low side (can't go below 50). She was pretty bummed about it... as was I.
Then comes God... she has prayed as well and me and the girls, and several hundred of you that she'll be healed from the cancer, suffer no ill affects, and many other great wishes.
Adding to this story you should know that we counciled with a few physicians about it and were told that her rate may raise a point or two, but otherwise she would have to live with it. "It's just something that doesn't recover once the damage is done to your heart" a typical answer we would receive.
Well.. The Great Healer had a different plan...It brings tingles to even write His response which was... He took her rate from the mid-fifties to 75 which is back to normal (actual a high terrific)!!!
I'll leave the rest to you... she had three tests indicating how it would drop after each test while on chemo. Now... though modern medicine says it won't, her rate is back to normal! With that, I really cannot write anymore because what else can I say as a man here on earth other than THANK GOD! Good night, and be well - Eric

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Well it's official... she got her first dose today of radiation. Her head didn't spin around and nor did she spew whirled peas either. when I came home she was and is the same ol' same ol'... the Carol I know and love.
I would love to share more excitement about the treatment, but she said she laid there and the machine moved around and next thing ya know she was done -- Boda Bing, Boda Boom!
On another note a dear friend from Texas stopped by, Laura, her mother and son Evan. They had a great visit today while I was working.
An angel showed up to take Carol to her appointment and then came back and helped Carol get the house clean for Laura's visit ~ thanks Teir, you're a sweetheart!
Outside of that, next up... dose number two! Be well, - Eric