photo taken by Angela Speiker

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun fishing day

This is an email from Cheryl:

Hello all,

Just thought I'd let you all know about the absolutely wonderful day we had yesterday.

Saturday actually began several weeks ago when I found a flyer at Wesley Rehab promoting a fishing event for the disabled put on by an organization called "Fishing Has No Boundaries". I stored the information on my cell phone "To Do List", never dreaming we would still be in Wichita come September 25th. About ten days ago the notification sounded to remind me of the long since forgotten event. With Walt's recent decline and his upcoming radiation and chemo treatments, I really wasn't sure if this should even be a consideration, but I mentioned it to one of Walt's wonderful friends (a true fishing buddy). Brad called to say his Saturday was clear and he would be happy to take us to the event held at El Dorado Lake (with the loan of a van from another truly dear friend--Dave). Still unsure of how Walt would tolerate his first week of treatments, I called the number from the flyer to explain our situation. They were so wonderful and invited us to come for whatever amount of time Walt could tolerate. Midweek, I began asking about the possibility of us taking Walt out of ManorCare to attend this event (red tape, paperwork, and learning to give his noon insulin shot).

Saturday, the Lord's creative hand painted the most beautiful fall morning with perfect conditions for our excursion, and after breakfast we set out for El Dorado Lake. The Fishing Has No Boundaries organization provided all the equipment (rods, reels, bobbers, bait, boats, and volunteers) necessary for a most pleasant fishing experience. Although I didn't witness the catch, Walt landed a "monster" measuring in at a whopping 5 (the kid measuring had to really stretch the tail to make the 5� hash mark) and was probably in the running for smallest catch from the bank (although we weren't able to stay around for the closing events on Sunday).

Around 11:45, Walt really began to tire and didn't even want to stay for lunch, but the lure of pizza changed his mind. A couple of slices of pizza and a salad which he enjoyed immensely (not having had either in over 3 months) perked up his spirits and we were able to make it back to ManorCare with only minor complaints of "Tired Butt" during the last 10 minutes of the drive.

No sooner had Walt been tucked in for a well deserved nap, than the skies darkened and the rain came down. I only hope the storm didn't dampen the spirits of those who remained for the rest of the day and those that camped overnight (hope they brought their long-johns as it got quite chilly overnight) and continued to fish on Sunday.

At supper, Walt reveled in telling his tall fish tale (with a little assistance in recounting the event) and was very grateful for the friends that helped him to enjoy the experience. To check the organization that prompted our fishing outing go to

By the way, Walt seemed to tolerate the first week of radiation and chemo successfully with only minor body soreness.

All our love,
Walt and Cheryl

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some long overdue pics


I thought I'd finally get around to posting some pictures of the kids with Pop Pop!
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Path results are in from Mayo

Today is the start of a new chapter. Walt & Cheryl met with the oncologist, Dr. Moore, and received the results from his biopsy (performed 2 weeks ago) that had been sent off to Mayo Clinic. Walt has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma. This tumor is located in his brain, and there is not a plan to have any future surgeries on the tumor due to its location. Walt has received a treatment plan from his oncologist which will include a mix of a daily chemo pill and daily radiation treatments. This particular form of chemo is said to be "well tolerated". His radiation will be done at Wesley as an outpatient service. There is a plan to continue with radiation and chemo 5 days a week for the next 3-6 weeks. Both Walt & Cheryl are very positive about finally having a diagnosis and knowing what lies ahead of them. They are ready to work hard toward this path to recovery. Walt has a great attitude ready to attack this thing. For now the plan is to remain at the rehab facility and take his daily trips to the hospital from the rehab facility. We aren't sure exactly how much therapy he will be able to tolerate during this time.

Many people have called or emailed asking us how they can help. Knowing that Walt & Cheryl will remain in Wichita for awhile longer, we have a few suggestions. If you would like to help, we would love to gather some gift cards for Cheryl. She has had to eat out for several meals, unable to spend time cooking meals. She loves Panera Bread, Sonic, McDonalds, and Starbucks, and could possibly use some gas cards to places like QuickTrip or Dillons (there is a gas location located near my parents house, where Cheryl is currently staying). We aren't saying that you have to do this at all, but for those who have asked, this would be extremely helpful. If you are interested, please call me, or email me at and I will give you an address to mail the cards to her as she really isn't getting her mail from McPherson all that frequently.

Our family continues to ask that you pray for Walt during this time of healing. We ask that you pray for the doctors who are working toward his recovery. We pray that Walt continues to stay positive and keep up his spirits as he is undergoing his treatment plan. We also ask for prayers for Cheryl as she continues to support her loving husband. We ask that prayers for her peace of mind, her well-being, and her ability to stay strong throughout this trial. We ask that your prayers show your continued love and support of her as she fights this battle with Walt. We ask for prayers for Walt's children who are trying to understand this diagnosis and continue to show their support for their father.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More waiting

Cheryl spoke with Dr. Morgan today. The path results are back, but are not really making Dr. Morgan satisfied. In order to clarify the results, he is sending it on to Mayo again to evaluate there. While this is somewhat frustrating, it is also reassuring in that we will have definitive results in the end. I am going hold off on any slight details of today's results until we get confirmed results from Mayo. In the meantime, Cheryl has been speaking with Dr. Moore's office (a wonderful oncologist referred by Dr. Morgan). He will hopefully be meeting with Cheryl and Walt this week.

Keep praying for patience. The move and transition was especially hard on Walt this time around. He has seemed nervous in his new surroundings. Today he got back into therapy sessions, which we all feel will help him. He is also able to use a loner wheelchair again, and this will hopefully make him feel better to get up and out of bed. Hoping for a speedy trip to Mayo............

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yet another new address

Walt has been moved from the ICU to a place called Manor Care. This is a place in which he can receive therapy, but less than at his previous rehab facility. We are still being patient and waiting on the path results from Tuesday's biopsy. Dr. Morgan has been fabulous at answering all our questions and will continue to stay on top of this, even promising to come in and speak with us this weekend (while he has scheduled time off) when he gets the results. Walt was in some pain after the surgery, on Wednesday, and was able to get some relief. He had another procedure done on Wednesday as well. I think he kind of feels like he's been put thru the ringer. He is still struggling with speech, but the pain seems better now than was on Wednesday. We are hoping that the new facility will be able to fit him for a wheelchair today so that he is able to get out and enjoy some of this fabulous weather! Cheryl has been staying strong thru it all, but we can tell she is tired (not that she is ever complaining).

This process has been a lot of "hurry up and wait", and has been teaching us all just a little more about being patient. Hoping and praying for some positive results soon........