Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We met with Dr. Chen & Dr. Gouw today and the news was fantastic! Nick's tumor has shrunk more than 50% - going from 3.6 x 6.4 cm to 2.0 x 4.7 cm - in just two rounds! He is in for another round today, coming home on Sunday. He'll go back again June 17th, recover, off to First Descents then have scans again around July 10th. IF he is still responding well to chemo, he'll have another two rounds. IF NOT, he'll have surgery. Either way, the cancer is doomed. Chest CT also looked stable.

Nick was too funny as we left the doctors office and went to the front desk to submit out schedule, saying: "May I have some chemo, please?" The ladies cracked up and asked if wanted anything else with it. He said, "Perhaps some iv fluids, mesna - you know - anything with needles!" Then when we checked in to the 4th floor, he asked one of our favorite aides, "Hey, can I come and play today?" I believe right now he is whooping one of his buddies at dice.

Thanks for the prayers! Forever humbled...


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scans today

Nick will be getting a chest CT and an MRI of his pancreas late this afternoon. We won't find out the results until our meeting with Dr. Chen & Dr. Gouw tomorrow for Nick's pre-hospital check-in check-up. He will be getting another round, regardless of the results. We are hoping he has been responding well to the chemo. Please say a few extra prayers for Nick, his medical team and family. I'll update again soon.

Love Lori

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Marathon Totals

I am proud to announce that two checks were issued today: One to CureSearch and one to First Descents - both charities received $8,250 as there was $16,500 raised!!!!!! I am beyond thrilled of the enormous outpouring of generosity and the tenacious commitment of Nick's Warriors by participating in the marathon.

First Descents will be able to send EIGHT cancer survivors/fighters to camp and CureSearch will dedicate their contribution specifically to RHABDO research (I have asked the director to provide specifics and will share once recieved).

We were a little nervous Sunday night as Nick had a fever hovering just under 100 degrees. He slept through it and his counts and spirits were back up on Monday. I'm sure he'll find something fun to do this week before checking back in to hospital on the 28th.

Prayers of gratitude and blessings are being said loud and clear. I'm so humbled as He continues to walk with Nick through each journey, and that you all walk with us, too.

Love Lori

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

So today I woke up in the hospital on mothers day and thought to myself. "I wonder what its like for my mom to wake up on mothers day and know she has to pick up her son at the hospital?" All I know is that my mother is a rare one and I am extremely grateful for her and for what she does for me. She is always there for good advice when I need it and I would not be the man I am today without her.
I don't want to write anything long and emotional (partly because its hard to write fresh off of chemo), but I just wanted everybody and my mom to know that I love her and everything she does.

Happy Mother's Day Mom,



Hair today, gone tomorrow

Today is Mother's Day and after church, I'm going to bring home Nick from the hospital. Round #14 is complete. 14... wow. He's had his usual entourage of visitors and the Penguins lead the Capitals 3 games to 2. I spent the night Thursday night, just because. I needed a little one-on-one time with him, even if we aren't talking about anything in particular, just because.

Here's a couple of pictures to enjoy:
Before and after...

He also had some overnight visitors - Makelle and Kailey:

And, of course, the fairy godmothers came by, showing off their marathon attire:

We learned that Dr. Chen will be taking a year-long sabatical. She has some work to finish up first but then told us that she is going to do what Nick has been doing - lounging, relaxing, having some fun. She certainly deserves it. There is a security/comfort level missing now; we have been assigned a new oncologist and Dr. Chen is always available for consult, but still...
Nick is thoroughly tired of chemo. He'll have scans done on the 27th to see how he has responded so far. His memory is taking a beating, but so has mine so we're a great pair. "Mom, do you remember the score?" I respond, "Who was playing?" Makes for a fun day.
Happy Mother's Day!
With love and gratitude,

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Sorry it has taken me so long to post about my trip to Moab (April 29 - May 2)

First, before I begin to tell you about the awesome time my friends and I had in Moab I wanted to thank Colin Fryer for the wonderful hospitality and friendship that he showed while we stayed at his lodge. It truly was an awesome trip that none of us will forget.

So we didn't arrive to Red Cliffs Lodge (the hotel which Colin owns) till 11 pm, which was not planned. So we got our room keys and headed 0ff to our very nice cabin room located right on the Colorado River. It was an awesome view and cool to see kayakers overcome the rapids throught the rest of the trip. I cant wait to go to FD and kayak again. Anyways, my three friends and I woke up around 7 am to meet at the lodge with Colin and have some breakfast and see what the plans for the day would include. He told us he had put us on the morning trail ride on horseback, which I love to ride horses and so did my friends. We scarfed down are food and headed out to the corrals. The trail ride was a lot of single file walking but the view made it all worth it. Moab truly is a very beautiful place and we couldn't complain. After the trail ride, the guys and I decided to head out to town and check that out since Colin was busy with his new cabin he is building. After scouting out town we headed back to the hotel and took it easy by the hot tub and pool. We then had an awesome dinner on the deck outside of the lodge where the sun was setting and the river was about 60 ft away. It was cool.

Day 2. (Saturday) Was the best day of them all. Colin had arranged for us four boys to help out in a real cattle drive of about 40 head. We were all excited to do this for 2 of us hadn't done it before, including me. This had been my dream since I was a boy watching the movie, "The Cowboys" with John Wayne in it. It was about an 8 mile ride that took us 5 to 6 hours to complete. We started out pushing the cows pretty easy accross open terrain and brush, but about halfway into the ride we started going through the cliffs and mesas that moab is known for. The cows and horses seriously had to walk the trail single file or else they risked sliding off of cliffs and such. It even got better. The rain a few days earlier had washed out some of the trails and cows would try and make their own. A few of them ended up fallin 10 off of a ledge, and somehow came out of the ordeal with only scratches and a bad attitude. It was the absolute craziest and coolest thing I have done. All four of us guys felt like true cowboys after we finished, because we had moved cattle 8 miles over some extreme terrain and also through some rain. As soon as I got back home on Sunday I bought a belt and belt buckle for my achievements. Ha call me a loser but I WANTED IT!!!!

Anyways, We finished off Saturday with dinner at Colin's where we met alot of his family and played some pool. And Sunday we took of around noon to go see arches and then head back home. It was an awesome trip that I will not forget. I and maybe some friends plan to make another trip down there this summer.

I will put a few pics from the trail ride that I have but will have more once my friend emails me more. His are better too so keep an eye out.

Thanks everyone...... Oh ya... I am currently undergoing chemo again (number 14) and will be at the hospital till Sunday if ya wanna stop by.

Love ya guys!,

Nick Raitt