Monday, December 21, 2009

CyberKnife is done

Mom's series of CyberKnife treatments are finished now. The radiation should continue over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, the pancreatic cancer will be gone at that point. Praise God. It's really a miracle that she's come this far.

They are now treating her for the primary liver cancer. She is tolerating all of the treatments relatively well. We don't know yet how she is responding. She'll have to have another chemoembolization treatment 2 more times. They are 6 weeks apart and it was pretty painful.

Please pray that she will be able to keep up her strength and for God's continued healing for both cancers.

May you all have a very wonderful Christmas. God bless you!!!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cyber Knife

We got a call from the Radiology Oncologist. My mom will start the Cyber Knife treatment on Monday afternoon. This is a robotic radiosurgery system. Please pray for God's protection and wisdom and guidance for the medical staff as she undergoes the treatments. This treatment is for the pancreatic cancer and will be a series of 5 treatments.

She is now taking oral chemotherapy for the liver cancer and is receiving chemo embolization therapy as well. She has 2 more to go! Fortunately they are spaced 6 weeks apart as the procedure was painful and had difficult side effects. SHe's feeling much better now.

People have asked me how these treatments work... so I thought it was easier to direct people to these sites rather than try to explain with my limited understanding. I'm so thankful that we can trust in God and not have to lean on our own understanding!!

Chemo embolization:


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mom is home!

Mom came home from the hospital last night and is doing much better. She'll be doing follow up visits with the cardiologist, oncologists and her primary care physician. Through all of these times, I have seen God's hand in the care my mom is receiving. It truly is miraculous to see how much her pancreatic cancer has shrunk. We are praying that the liver treatment will be effective as well.

I think all of this must be very draining on my father. He is experiencing intermittent pain in his hip and legs.

Psalm 18:1-3
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Back from ER

I just got back from the ER and mom is doing well. They do not believe she has had a heart attack and they have checked for clots in her lungs... all clear! She had very high blood pressure and she was in considerable pain for a while because her pain meds wore off and the pain from her cancer was quite bad. They've given her pain meds and have gotten her blood pressure back down. They've kept her overnight for observation, but we're hopeful she'll be able to come home tomorrow.

I have to thank the Lord for the care she received at Hoag. The doctors and nurses and techs were all so nice. Even when they got very busy in the ER, they were smiling and courteous and so caring!!

It seems that the pain from the chemo embolization is also subsiding. Before the chest pain today, she was really starting to feel better.

Thank you all for your prayers and concern.



My mom had chest pains and numbness in both arms.
Her Dr. told her to call 911.
She is at Hoag Hospital. Please pray.

Thank You All.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chemo Ebolization

Mom has started a new treatment, Chemo Embolization (sp?) and is experiencing a lot of pain. They said the pain would likely last a week. She is also feeling sick to her stomach. Please pray that pain will subside and that the nausea will go away.

She is also being prepared for the CyberKnife treatment which should begin soon.

With so many doctors, cancers, treatments... I know we have to trust this all in God's good care.

I thank you for your prayers!!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving blessings

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. We were able to enjoy a very wonderful time with mom, dad, Rich, Sheryl, Elizabeth, Emily and our good friend Jocelyn. We had plenty of delicious food and lots of things to give thanks for. Even though mom started her chemo for the liver cancer, we was well enough to have a good appetite.

Last week my mom had gold seeds implanted into her pancreas. They will use these as markers when she begins the CyberKnife treatment. She got a pneuma thorax (air pocket in her lung)because they had to go through her lung to implant the seeds. They are watching this very closely because if it gets worse, her lung could collapse.

The CyberKnife will be a series of 5 treatments. She will also be getting CT scan series next week so that they can prepare for the CyberKnife.

On Monday, Nov 30, she will also get chemoembolization, which will put a seed of time released, chemo into the tumor in her liver. This will also be a series over the about 18 weeks.

It has gotten quite complicated because of the 2 different cancers. It's amazing that what treatment works for one, won't work for the other...

We thank God for the miraculous way her pancreatic cancer is shrinking and are trusting in him to do the same for her liver cancer.

Thank you for your prayers and love for my mom and for all of us.



Thursday, November 19, 2009


Today we met with the oncologist who specializes in a radiology called Cyberknife. Orange Coast Memorial is the first hostpial in Orange County to get this equipment. The pancreatic cancer has shrunk to a point that she will be able to get this treatment and hopefully get rid of the tumor in the pancreas. We are very thankful for this miraculous progress.

At the same time, we have found that my mom also has primary liver cancer and that the tumor in her liver has grown considerably. She will now stop the chemo for pancreatic cancer and begin treatment for the liver (chemo and radiation). Please pray that the liver cancer will also respond to the chemo and shrink away and the cancers will stay contained. We will meet with the oncologist for the liver cancer and my mom will also be starting tests and processes to prepare for the Cyberknife.

Please pray for all of the doctors and medical staff as they plan my mother's treatments. It is very rare to have both cancers and it requires multiple oncologists/radiologists and technicians. The Cyberknife is new to the hospital so there are engineers on hand to help. While it all seems overwhelming, I know that nothing is too big for God.

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matt 19:26)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More news...

This past week the pharmacy called about a prescription for Nexavar. This is a chemo therapy for liver cancer. We haven't spoken with the doctor yet, but it appears that she may have liver cancer as well as the pancreatic cancer. This is not a metastasis. This is also a very rare occurance so though we knew there was a slight chance of this, we were hopeful that it was not the case. We will be meeting with the oncologist soon and I will post an update when I know more.

Thank you for your concern and prayers.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More tests...

Job 37:5-6
"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour."

I am so glad that God is in control. I've been going to my mom's oncologist appointments with my mom and dad, but everything is very complicated. Trying to to understand the doctor, trying to understand what my mom is going through... then there are all of the tests and procedures.... everything is very confusing!!!

...yet all the more, I see how wonderful God is. I told some people my mom was no longer taking pain meds. I guess I had that wrong. She's still on the meds but they seem to be working and she is not in as much pain as before.

She's just had another biopsy, which was very painful this time. Hopefully the results will be more conclusive. Last time the sample was too small. She will have a PET Scan on Friday and we'll meet with the doctor again sometime after that. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors and for God's hand on the procedures so that the tests come out clear and accurate. The doctor is trying to see what to do next.

In the meantime, my mom has been having some irregular heart beats. She went to the cardiologist today, but he said there didn't seem to be anything to worry about. He's having her go in for another test just to be sure.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for my mom. Praise God for his lovingkindness and faithfulness.

May God bless you abundantly,


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!

Psalm 105:1-5
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,

Thank you all for your prayers for my mom and for my family. Today, we went to the oncologist and got to see the results of the first CT scan since my mom started chemo. The bottom line is that the tumor in the pancreas has shrunk by 30%. Praise the Lord!! Truly this is by the grace of God!! I won't go into all of the details (feel free to ask me if you want). The bottom line is that the cancer is considered to be in partial remission. Of course, it is not complete remission (70% of it is still there). Since she is responding so well to treatment, she may be a viable candidate for additional treatments.

Please continue to pray for my mom in the following areas:
- My mom had to have a transfusion yesterday because her blood count was so low. Please pray that they will be able to keep this in check so she can continue treatments.
- Wisdom and God's hand in all of the details as the oncologist researches the best options as we move forward.
- Maintain her weight and have minimal nausea.
- That she will feel well enough to get the exercise she needs.
- Maintain blood sugar levels (it's gotten as high as 600) and also too low

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)

May God bless you all!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God is good!!

My mom got good news from the oncologist yesterday. Her tumor markers have gone down to 5050. They started at 27,000 so the chemo therapy appears to be working and we are praising God. They will be doing another CT scan so we will know just how much the treatment is working in a couple of weeks.

Throughout this time, I have been so blessed by God's faithfulness and the kindness and love of our friends and family. Thank you again for your continued love and prayers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Round 4

Mom started the 4th found of chemo last Wednesday. They finally put in a porta-cath so they don't have to find a vein each time they want to do hydration or inject chemo. Since it was under the skin, it is still pretty painful. Please pray for healing where the porta-cath was inserted. She has two more weeks of chemo and is feeling nauseous though, not as bad as the first day.

She hasn't felt up to going to church, but she is enjoying Bible study and fellowship with her friends.

On good days, when she's not feeling too ill, she's out gardening or cooking meals. We find out again how the chemo is working at the end of the month. Please pray for God's continued healing and shrinking of the cancer cells.

Thank you for all of your concern and especially for your prayers.

May God bless each of you.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thank you everyone for your prayers and concern!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. I've received so many calls, emails and cards telling me that people are praying for my mom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's hard watching my mom be sick. She has always been the one running all over the place with so much energy. Now, a lot of the time she is nauseous from the chemo. She lost another couple of pounds, so that's not too good. Please pray that she will have more good days so she will be able to eat and keep her weight up. Also her white blood cells have been low so her immune system is down.

I find hope because the last tests were very good and because I know how much God loves each one of us. Praise God! We have another appointment with the oncologist coming up when he will review her progress. Please pray that the cancer continues to shrink.

God bless you all,


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9/16/09 Update

Today, Mom starts her chemo again, as long as her white blood count is high enough. She's had some good days during this "no chemo" week and enjoyed Bible Studies, a visit with Rich and the girls this weekend as well as notes and visits from friends from church. Please keep her in your prayers as she starts another round of chemo.

Thank you all for your prayers!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Update Sept 8

This week my mom has no chemo so hopefully she'll have time to recouperate. She was pretty ill last week. Her white blood count is down again and this time her red blood cell count is also down. We're praying that these levels will come back up and that her digestive system functions properly and that she won't have nausea.

The doctors and staff are all so attentive and willing to see her every day if needed. God is good!!! Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

God bless,


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Praise God!!!

Last week was a very difficult time for my mom with severe stomach issues, low blood count, nausea and pain and even a trip to the ER. The last couple of days, my mom has been feeling much better and able to eat. I have been so relieved and grateful for that. Today has been the best day since I first found out that my mom had cancer. As Rich posted, her tumor markers were down almost 1/2 and this is only after three weeks of treatment. The oncologist said he couldn't be more happy. Some of you may know that in the beginning we had a slow start trying to figure out which oncologist to go to, whether she had 2 different cancers, or just one... God has certainly been faithful. The oncologist we are going to is amazing. He and his staff really make us feel that mom is being well cared for.

The other great news is that my mom's liver functions are also improving, which means that the chemo is also working in the cancer in her liver.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We know that this is truly answer to prayer.

Please continue to pray that the chemo continues to work and that they can keep her constipation and diarreah in check. Mom sees an endocrinologist and dietician next week. I have such a greater appreciation for the complexity of the human body and the wonders of mankind that God created in His image.

God bless you all,


Good News

My mom's cancer markers before treatment were 27,000.
The result after three active weeks of chemo her markers were 14,000.

The chemo is working!

4th IV Chemo Today

Today mom gets her fourth IV chemo treatment. She also starts five days of oral chemo. After that, her 2nd round of treatment ends with a whole week off chemo.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Looking Better!

My mom gained two pounds!
She seems to have better managment of her nausea.

We just got back from Northern California. We stopped in San Jose J-Town and got some fresh manju. This was one of Alice Kataoka's (my mother-in-law) favorite things.
My mom loved the monju and ate one right away and another one after dinner!

Alice is not doing well. The week we were up there visitting her, she was just diagnosed with Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. It is a very rapidly progressive dementia, that is fatal and incurable. I also started a blog for her:

This is going to be a tough year.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where we are at

Michi Endo was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.
On August 5th 2009 she began her first round of Chemotherapy.

Two major concerns were constipation and White Blood Cell (WBC) Count.
Being regular is crucial to my mom's ability to eat and keep weight up.
The other factor in her ability to eat is nausea and general loss of appetite.

After Michi's first two week course of Chemo, her WBC was so low that they had to give her WBC booster drugs. Thursday evening a side effect of the WBC booster drug caused excruciating back pain. Her WBC and back are doing better now, but pray that her WBCs recover quickly.