Sunday, December 16, 2007

1st week back home

Every day I am recovering more of my strength and stamina. I have my share of aches and pains, mainly due to being inactive for such a long period of time. I take these pains in stride; sometimes it is hard not to think that these are somehow related to my cancer.

The official diagnosis of my condition, for which I was admitted to the hospital, is pleural effusion due to pneumonia. The type of pneumonia was not determined (i.e. bacterial, viral, fungal, etc.). The fluid extracted from my chest tested negative for cancerous cells.

If this is truly the case, then I firmly believe that the pneumonia is a blessing, as who knows when/if the melanoma in my liver would have been discovered. I thank the Lord for having the shadow on my liver show up on the original CT scan when I was admitted to the hospital.

I will be meeting with the melanoma expert at Karmanos next week, which hopefully will help us lay out what to expect for my treatment.

Deb's mom returned home on Friday after spending a week with us taking the kids to a from daycare and running countless errands to keep our house in order. We thank you so much for all the time you have given us.

Mom and Steve arrived on Friday evening. Dad arrived on Saturday, together we spent a few hours working on the kitchen. Derrick and Mike installed the base cabinets on Tuesday, John put in a new sink on Wednesday, and our floor was installed by contractors on Friday.


grandfather said...


What a great idea of putting your comments and reflections on a blog. Thank you, thank you. It's always better getting the story from the "horses' mouth."

By the way, were you ever able to open my paper on "Doping?"

Grandfather Chas

marissa j. van reken said...

Nate & Deb,

We just got back from a weekend in Chicago for the VanReken Christmas party and it wasn't the same without you! You were in the center of our thoughts and prayers all day as we gathered as a family. I'm so glad you set up this blog so we can follow your recovery (without you having to answer the same things over and over). I hope you can feel our love all the way from Florida! Love,
Rebecca & Gustavo

cdt said...


Can't wait to see you, Deb, and the kids next week! You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

I'll catch you later on the Box!

Cal and Wendy said...

Nate, Deb, Landon and Morgan - Sorry the snow kept us away yesterday. Hopefully we will still get to see you this week. Thanks for sending us the link to your blog!

Love, Cal, Wendy, Grant and Morgan

Glenn said...

Hi Nate....been keeping up to speed on how you are doing through your Dad. Encouraging news is being heard. Please know that you continue in my/our prayers and will be there just as long as you need. Hang in there Nate!!!


Jeff S said...


It's good to hear that your out of the hospital. My sister and mother in law had surgery (August and October) and treatment for cancer and are doing well. Medical research has come a long way. Best wishes to you and your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We are all looking foreward to seeing you at work next year.

Claudia said...

Nate and Deb, Keith and I are praying for you and your kiddos daily. We are cheering your recovery on, and we will be sure to ask for great beach weather in th esummer of '08 so you and your dad can be back our beach to sail Bob's boat!Claudia Flemingloss

wschoenherr said...


Janie and I have been praying for you daily once we heard the news. Thanks for creating this blog and providing info that keeps us informed. This is much better than hearing it 2nd or 3rd hand from the 'horse' in Wheaton. Every time Karl, Molly, Evie, Lydia, and Angie call home they ask about you. I will share this website with them. The Kansas contingent will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.


Biff said...

Good to hear things are getting better, I was just informed of all this by reading the blog. Don't hesitate to give me a ring if you need anything.

Bill Stockhausen said...

Nate -

So sorry to hear about your situation. Our son, Karl 26 yrs old, was just diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma (on the back of his head). If you're up to it, I would be interested in a brief past history of your melanoma and what you know about your future therapy. Maybe it would be helpful to compare notes.

Our whole family will keep you and your family in our prayers.

Bill Stockhausen

Anonymous said...

You all are in out thoughts and prayers. Have a joyful Christmas with your family and friends.
Franklin and Marsha

JC said...


Glad to hear that you have turned the corner. I hope that you continue feeling better. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

Dear Ones,
We both want you to remember to take time to laugh. You will find a laugh in the most unexpected places. It does the soul good. We love you all and you remain in our daily prayers.
Marsha and Franklin

Anonymous said...

Nate, your diet may be non-traditional, but it sounds good to eat. Your blog means a great deal to us, as do you and your whole extended family, all of whom remain in our thoughts and prayers. Franklin and Marsha