Hi everybody! I created this blog so that you all could cheer Rory on throughout his battle with DSRCT. I know all of you care so much about Rory and want to be updated on everything going on and so I thought a blog would be the best way to do it! Thank you for all your love and support.


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" - Proverbs 3:5

Prayers for Rory Wheeler from India

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful for YOU

It was one year ago, the day after Thanksgiving, that Rory decided (with a little encouragement from his sister-in-law) that the pain in his abdomen was intense enough that it was probably time to head to the ER.  And while we were all optimistic that it was something easily treated, we never imagined the heavy dose of information we were about receive that night.  With a year of fighting behind us, I decided to reflect on that very night.  

Earlier that week, as Rory continued to complain about his pain that seemed to come and go, he finally decided to head to an Urgent Care center.  He was examined by the doctor who believed his problems were stemming from an enlarged prostate and so a CT scan was scheduled for the following week.  We kind of joked about it and went about our Thanksgiving celebrations we had planned for the week.  The morning of Thanksgiving, Rory and I ran the Detroit Turkey Troy (a 10k - for those of you that don't know that equals 6.2 miles).  Rory ran the whole thing and said he even felt great.  Little did we know at the time, that he was carrying around a nerf football sized tumor in his abdomen.  Talk about being strong!  That evening we enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal with both his parents and mine and the following day we headed to his brother's house where we were going to spend the rest of the weekend with his family who came in town from Illinois.  That Friday afternoon we arrived at his brother's house and Rory's pain just seemed to intensify as the day went on.  With a little encouragement from Rachel (Rory's sister-in-law who is a nurse), we decided to eat dinner and then head to the ER where she worked.  We decided that we wanted to get the treatment going for whatever was causing the pain asap and not wait for the scheduled CT next week.  When we got to the ER, Rory was immediately given some pain meds and finally was getting some relief.  I knew he was feeling "good" when he told me to "take a picture so everyone can see what we're doing tonight."
The night Rory checked into the ER

I remember sitting in the ER room waiting for the CT scan results when the doctor came back and told us that he needed to do further testing and that what they were seeing on the CT scan was "not good," but that they didn't want to say anymore than that before more tests were conducted.  And with those words, my gut dropped and Rory was wheeled back for more tests.  With the second round of tests came the spot-on diagnosis that whatever Rory had was an extremely rare tumor and we were advised to seek out a transfer to U of M.  The ER doctor could neither confirm nor deny whether it was cancerous or not without a biopsy, but believed from the looks of things on the scan that it was indeed cancerous.  The rest of the night was the longest night of my life.  In fact, I didn't sleep for over 48 hours and the next few days all we did was hurry up and wait for a room at U of M to open so Rory could get transfered.  While much of the night was a blur, the one thing that stuck out in my head was the immediate reaction I had.  I never got angry at God, I never asked God why, but I remember just saying to God, ok, I've never been in a situation like this before, and I'm not sure how to quite handle it, and so if ever, I NEED YOU NOW!  And with that, He took over.    

Finally on Monday, Rory was transfered to U of M and a biopsy would be preformed on Rory's tumor to figure out whether or not the tumor was cancerous or not.  To make a long story short, by the end of the week, Rory was diagnosed with DSRCT.  But remember how I had already given it over to God in the ER?  Before Rory was even diagnosed, He was already in the works.  When Rory got transfered to U of M, the doctor who happened to be on-call when we were transfered, was a doctor at U of M who specializes in sarcomas and who has treated DSRCT patients in the past.  God put us right where we needed to be to get the proper diagnosis because many times DSRCT is misdiagnosed as lymphoma by doctors who have never had experience with it before.

This year, as we approached the one-year anniversary of Rory's diagnosis, emotions overwhelmed me.   And yet I now understand that it was God's perfect timing, that Rory's diagnosis was the same week where we we celebrate a holiday known as Thanksgiving.  This year, more than ever, I am thankful for the things that really matter: my faith in God, Rory, my family, Rory's family, and our friends.  I am thankful for all the support and prayers that all of you have been giving to Rory and I in this year long battle.  We would be no where without it.  It is your love, and your prayers, and your words of encouragement that keep us going.

Katie, Rory, and Karen
This year Rory and I were able to enjoy a much more calm and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend and for that we have God to thank.  He is the one who continues to give Rory the strength to fight.  For those of you who know Rory, you know he is not a cancer patient.  He is still a 27 year old handsome young man, who continues to live life to the fullest and seems to have more energy than I do most days!

I can't express how blessed I am to have Rory in my life.  He has made me a better person and he has made my faith in God stronger.  When Rory was diagnosed we had only been dating 10 months and while many may believe it would have been easier to walk away, that thought never crossed my mind.  After weeks of dating, Rory was already the love of my life and I was already in it for "in sickness and in health."  Rory, If you ever read this blog, which I know you do sometimes, I love you so much more than you will ever understand.  There is no doubt in my mind that God made us for each other and I am so blessed to have finally found you!

Happy Thanksgiving!
A personal prayer that I have never shared with anyone involved Rory and I's engagement.  While I trusted God with everything going on in our lives, after Rory's diagnosis I continually prayed to God that I DID NOT want a ring on my finger unless it was a promise from God that He was going to watch over the two of us.  When Rory surprised me with the ring, it was so much more than a proposal.  It was a promise from God telling me that He was watching over Rory and I and that we were in the palm of His hands.  Now every time I look at my ring, it not only reminds me of Rory's love for me, but of God's love for us.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE.  I am thankful for all of YOU!


~“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”   Psalm 107:1


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Has it really been a month?

 Wow, life sure does fly by and Rory and I have been keeping rather busy.  Since my last post, Rory has gone through two more rounds of chemo, a stent replacement, a CT-Scan, and a PET scan.  Rory's second round of treatment was much like the first.  He had very little side effects and pretty much pushed right through it.  Following his second round of chemo (Irinotecan and Vincristine) Rory got his kidney stents replaced and a CT-scan done.  Here's the good news.  Rory's CT scan was the first time we have ever received a good report from the doctor.  Our doctor told us that there are no new spots (YES), that several of the sports have shrunk (YES and YES) and that a few other spots stayed the same or grew very slightly (OK, i'll take it).  According to the doctor, the slight growth could be due to the necrosis in the tumors rather than actual tumor cells growing (in laymen's terms - that's a good thing).  So all around a very much needed good report that has been (in my opinion) long over due!  For the very first time, I left the doctors office feeling like I could breath.

For Rory's third round our doctor added Temodar to the Irinotecan and Vincristine cocktail.  Our doctor informed us that this could really make Rory nauseous and could have a greater effect on his counts.  Well Rory finished this third round last Friday (11/5) and he has yet to get nauseous from this chemo and as I type this he is at the office hard at work.  This past weekend we were able to enjoy a busy Saturday with the Spartan football game, a steak dinner at a local camp, and a get together at my brothers house.  It was a full day and Rory was the last one standing, while I was the one who petered out early!  Also, Rory has finally gotten his appetite back and as you can see from the pictures has been gaining his weight back!  After surgery he was at 126lbs and at our last chemo visit he weighed in at 151lbs!  WOOHOO!  He's been working hard at it, eating non-stop and lifting weights.  So far, so good!  I pray it stays that way.          

One of Rory's biggest requests has been to get his ileostomy bag reversed.  After his surgery in NY we were told by the surgeon there that he could have it reversed sometime in October.  After the positive CT scan results, Rory contacted Dr. LaQuaglia's team last week to see about the possibility of a reversal.  Angela, the NP, got back to Rory, requesting a PET scan be done so that Dr. LaQuaglia could get a better look at what was going on in his abdomen.  Once Dr. LaQuaglia has a chance to look at the PET scan he will determine whether he can have the reversal at this time or not.  In addition to the reversal, while he is in there, Dr. L said he would remove any spots remaining that he can see.  WOW!  We weren't expecting that.  I have prayed continuously that God removes the present sports in Rory's abdomen and that he removes any of the sports we cannot see.  Talk about answering prayer.  Rory's CT scan showed no new sports (prayer answer #1) and Dr. LaQuaglia wants to remove the current sports that are remaining (answer #2).  Rory had his PET scan done just yesterday (11/8) and the results will be shipped of to NY asap.  Please pray that the results show the cancer is continuing to shrink and that Dr. LaQuaglia will be able to reverse the ileostomy and remove any remaining spots that he can see.  I will be sure to keep you all updated on whether or not a return visit to NYC is in our near future!

In other news, our wedding is fast approaching.  Seven months and counting!  I am getting extremely excited and all the details seem to be coming together (including Rory's recovery).

Thanks for all your constant love, support, and prayers.  They keep us going.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.