Sunday, July 12, 2009

Great News, Wonderful Retreat

I have much, much better news to report this week. Giving Chuck a one week hiatus from the AZD (the trial drug) and then reducing his dose made all of the difference in the world and Chuck is starting to feel much, much better. He is still pretty weak and needs to eat a plain diet – but all in all is feeling like himself again.

On Friday, July 10, we spent the day at Dana Faber and Chuck received his post radiation MRI. This was Chuck’s new baseline MRI - what the doctors will base his next round of treatment on, and the results couldn’t have been better. The swelling in his brain has gone down significantly, his right ventricle has bounced back to normal size (the ventricle is the part of the brain where spinal fluid is produced and stored – before his first surgery his right ventricle had completely disappeared because of the swelling in his brain), and the tumor was smaller in size and bulk. We are overjoyed by these results, and his doctor told us that we couldn’t hope for a better response to treatment She said that they are happy when the tumor responds to treatment by staying the same, or even growing at a slower rate – so to have Chuck’s tumor shrink is amazing. Yay!!

On Friday night Chuck also started his second round of chemo, which is double the dose of last time. The chemo can have some pretty nasty side effects, but so far Chuck is feeling ok and seems to be tolerating the drug well.

We also have some more exciting news – on Monday morning Chuck and I leave for a two week cancer retreat!! We are SO excited, and can’t wait to get away (esp from the hospital) to get some well earned R&R. This retreat, located on the beautiful island of Hawaii, specializes in retreats for people with advanced cancer, and they have a wonderful, supportive program that offers a holistic blend of ancient and modern Western, Eastern and alternative healing therapies. We want to give a special THANK YOU to all of our wonderful friends and family that helped to make this happen for us. We are both so excited and know that this special retreat is going to help aid in Chuck’s recovery. We promise to take a ton of pictures which we will post as soon as we return at the end of July.

When we return from the retreat our friends will already be on day two of the Walk! We are so thankful that we have such an amazing, supportive group of friends, and feel so lucky to have them in our lives. We love you guys!!


  1. Hi Jen,
    It was many years ago, but I worked with you and Chuck at Placewares. I stumbled across Chuck's story through an email I received from Candle Cafe. What a surprise to read about him and all you've been going through! I have been thinking of you both, and how you're fighting the cancer with such determination and so bravely. I'm very impressed with both of you! Know that many of your former Placewares colleagues are supporting you in your quest for remission. We are here to help, please let me know if there's anything I can do for you and Chuck.
    Veronika McDonald King

  2. Hi Veronika,

    I just wanted to let you know that our 300 Miles For Chuck fundraiser is ending tomorrow, in case any of Chuck's former Placewares colleagues would like to make a donation. The address is

    You can also check out our blog about the fundraiser at


    -Casey Martinson


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