Tuesday, January 29, 2013


We decided to backtrack a bit and, for the time being, stop worrying about the raw part and concentrate on eating the right things. Tonight we returned to one of man's greatest inventions. Fire.

Today's food was pretty uneventful besides the fact I forgot my carrots for my carrot and hummus mid-afternoon snack. Won't do that again... For dinner tonight I made a "pizza" by combining grated cauliflower, cheese and garlic and baking it into a crust. Then mixed the remainder of our ricotta with more garlic (we've gone through two bulbs in two days) and used that mixture as a sauce before layering it with shallots, squash and zucchini and topping that with feta. That got baked for a little while more and finally we added some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and green onions to the top. It was amazing, even Tim loved it and we are finally full.

We came home to the sweetest note along with a balloon and flower from one of our neighbors. Emery told her mom that "Mr. Tim needs a pink flower" and apparently searched through the balloons until she found just the right one. We are incredibly lucky to not only be surrounded by great neighbors but to have become close friends with so many of them.

Unfortunately we did find out today that Tim's CEA has risen again so it looks like it is business as usual for the next two weeks and unless this new diet plan does some amazing things in the next two weeks he will be switching after that. We're really praying hard that it will stabilize as we need the security and stability of knowing what to expect with the current treatment he is on and he's still so worn out from the last treatments. Just not ready to get back into that schedule again.

Also, please keep our friends Ally and Landon Powell and their families in your prayers as the Memorial Service for their daughter Izzy is tomorrow evening.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"OMG. You mean we don't cook anything? Like ever?"

So Monday started out pretty well, no huge problems occurred with our new diet plan other than practically lugging around a suitcase of all of the snacks, juices, etc. Then lunchtime came.

First I went downstairs to my office kitchen to find that someone brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Sometimes fate is cruel, sometimes you find out that fate is your father. Yep, he actually brought doughnuts to work on my first full day of the new diet regime. Thanks for the support dad! :) I had to use a lot of Peppermint Oil to resist that temptation.

I took the leftover "Garden Lasagna" only to find it had become "Garden Soup". Needless to say it was not appetizing. Luckily I brought a salad (always thinking ahead!) and an afternoon snack of berries, hummus and carrots. I ate it all at lunch. By 3 I was so hungry and all I could think about was sinking my teeth into a cheeseburger (I never said that Tim was alone in his drama). Not too long after that I got a text from Tim saying how hungry he was as well. Lesson learned, have to bring even more vegetables in until our bodies adjust to the new standards.

Needless to say we were both really looking forward to dinner. I made another Kris Carr original, a Buddha Bowl which promises to be fast, easy, filling and delicious. Lies. First of all, short grain brown rice is not rice as we all know it. It's chewy little orbs of nothingness. Secondly I think I have discovered Kris Carr's secret. Garlic is used in every raw dish as an attempt to hide the flavor of whatever creation has been concocted that time. In this instance the Buddha Bowl was past the point of no return. Tim got the idea to add some hoisin sauce to "make it taste better" which it absolutely did not do. That was the first dish of this experiment to head to the compost bin. At this rate it won't be the last. :)

We also tried to make a veggie Pad Thai. It started out strong and quickly went to mediocre, even though we used real spaghetti noodles rather than Kelp Noodles. It was another Kris Carr raw recipe and, you guessed it, was loaded with garlic. We both got through almost a bowl each.

Tim finished his dinner off with the remainder of his yogurt and granola while I worked at our berry tray.

I'm thinking we may have been a bit too ambitious to start out with all raw recipes in our first week (my stomach just growled its agreement). In our defense we had no idea that these were all raw recipes...you are a tricky woman Mrs. Carr! I believe we will go back to cooking our food next week while keeping the same parameters. Hunger does not suit us well. So if you see either of us and we look slightly on edge or are a bit grumpier than usual (another lesson learned, two grouchy people are not a ball of fun :) ) just know its because we either smell that delicious meat you ate for lunch and are extremely jealous or it's that our bodies/minds are currently rebelling us for the forced changes. The goal is to make it for two whole weeks and go from there once we get Tim's results. We're hoping (really hoping) that we can get Tim's cancer under control and maybe one day not eat like rabbits any more . :) As Tim's cousin Danielle pointed out, I'm really looking forward to the point where this becomes habit rather than effort.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Parsley - It's Not Just a Garnish Anymore

Tomorrow is a big day, Tim will get a blood draw which will tell us if his CEA has gone up or not. We're hoping that perhaps it hasn't gone up too much and maybe Dr. Edenfield will let him stay on his current treatment for two more weeks so we can really get a feel as to if our clean eating really makes a difference. So if you think to, if you could say a quick prayer about Tim's CEA staying even at the very least (but a drop would be fantastic!) over the next few days we'd be really grateful (we should get his CEA back on Wednesday).

Yesterday we spent a good hour at Barnes & Noble trying to find some cookbooks that followed along with (somewhat) the new & stringent guidelines for Tim (& myself). Mrs. Haas gave us Crazy Sexy Diet awhile back and it is by a woman who has controlled her liver cancer by living on a raw vegan diet. We found two options (one complimenting Crazy Sexy Diet) and two more at Williams Sonoma today. So these are now our food bibles. Feel free to pass along any additional cookbooks or recipes you'd suggest if they will go along with our crazy new plan!

After quickly selecting some recipes from Crazy Sexy Kitchen and armed with the recipes for the required juices we headed to Whole Foods. $300 later (if anyone has any local sources for inexpensive local produce - preferably organic - we'd appreciate it!) we unloaded and started trying to figure out how and where to store our new produce section.

We made batches of the juices yesterday to get an idea for what all it would take. A head of romaine, 1 1/2 handfuls of parsley, a lemon, a lime, 6 granny smith apples and almost a container of coconut juice/milk? later we had our first 3 days supply of green juice. It actually isn't too bad but of course Tim had to be slightly overdramatic and gag his down :).

We made our second juice which is called a "blood builder" out of six carrots, a few sprigs of parsley (I have no idea what's so special about parsley but it's slightly ridiculous how much we're using these days), two leaves of lettuce and a red apple. The color actually slightly looks like blood...go figure. It tastes like carrots though (sweet) and I think would actually be good with an additional apple added in.

Tonight's dinner was a Kris Carr original, Garden Lasagna. We left out the cashews & pine nuts it calls for bc of my allergy but has soy sauce and olive oil soaked portobello mushrooms layered with sliced tomatoes and zucchini. ricotta and a mix of tomato and garlic.

You don't cook it so you can get the best nutrients from all of the vegetables (and this actually broke two of our rules or no tomatoes and no dairy). I was surprised and thought it was pretty delicious. Tim on the other hand did not as shown by the picture below...

Basically we have to cut out dairy, alcohol, wheat, meat (except 5oz. of fish a day), acidic fruits (oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes - for some reason we are supposed to use lemons & limes in the juice though...), coffee (so far Tim is refusing this one) and my biggest love, sugar. Whenever we get a craving for sugar (for me that's all the time) we're supposed to swirl peppermint oil around in our mouths. All it does for me is trigger the thought of Girl Scout Thin Mints....

Initially we are not going to be too strict (for example Tim had a tuna salad sandwich for dinner tonight) but are severely limiting the amount of any food that is "not allowed." Neither of us are quite ready to give up coffee so rather than Starbucks we will each be allowed one small cup from the house a day. Sugar is only allowed in small quantities in our coffee. We're each eating a little bit of chicken at lunch each day but are not going to eat any red meat or pork at all. Once the rest of our bread is gone (only 5 slices left!) we're not bringing any more into our house (and are not allowed to eat it while we are out). We each have a little bit of creamer in our coffee in the morning but that is all we're allowed for dairy even though we cheated a bit tonight (good-bye butter and eggs!). We did use some tomatoes in tonight's dinner and have a little bit for one other dinner but that is all we get and those will be out as well. 

We're going to be as strict as possible for the next two weeks in the hopes that just maybe it will help to bring down his CEA so he can stay on his current course of treatments. The nutritionist has good reasoning for all of these intense changes, cancer thrives in an acidic environment and lives off of sugar so essentially starving it and creating an environment that is not conducive to it living will hopefully help to kill it. 

In the meantime I will be constantly smelling like peppermints (My name is Jenny & I am a sugar addict) and Tim will struggling to swallow our juices and eat hummus as his snack (which he hates). We should make quite a pair! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

For Izzy

It's late and Blogger erased my previous post but this is something I've been thinking about for awhile but lacking the words I need.

Our friends, Landon and Allyson Powell, had two beautiful baby girls recently. Ellie got to come home awhile ago to meet her big brother Holden. Izzy has remained in the hospital and was actually Medivac'd up to Cincinnati for treatment. Landon and Ally have been coming back and forth trying to balance their time between their two kids here and their very sick baby up there.

I can't even begin to imagine what they've been going through much less what they are facing now. They have shown more strength, graciousness and faith in this short amount of time than many of us will ever have to.

They have also inspired me as although I've grown up in a church that I love, I've never been comfortable talking about my faith. Ally and Landon have not only been unwavering in their faith throughout this but have set an example of that faith that we should all hope to follow.

Tonight is a big night for Izzy, the Powell family could really use a miracle. Please say a prayer for this little baby to be able to receive that miracle and for Ally and Landon to have a sense of peace. I can't imagine what they are going through but I do know how much it helps to have that feeling of peace during a scary time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Updates & Save the Date!

We met with Dr. Edenfield yesterday to get the status of Tim's treatment and what will happen next. As of right now he will continue on his current form of treatment. They will take another CEA on the 29th and if that test shows another rise in his numbers then it is time to move onto the next treatment. There is a new drug out and approved by the FDA that is taken in combination with chemo which Tim hasn't tried yet. There are also some trials out there that we can evaluate when the time comes to see if Tim has any interest.

In the meantime I have become a nazi about everything that goes into Tim's mouth. Food is the one thing we can control during this and I've noticed a correlation between what and how Tim eats and how successful treatment is. It may all end up being nonsense but for now it gives me just a little feeling of control in our very out of control lives. Eating out has become the enemy as we have no control over if the food is local, processed, filled with chemicals, etc. I've always enjoyed cooking so Tim never had to suffer through me burning meals or anything of the sort when we first married but now is a different story. I'm learning how to cook a different way, with everything from scratch and different types of food that we've never considered so Tim has been "blessed" to now get to experience my experimentation. Spaghetti Squash was a success, mashed cauliflower was not...at all... He has been very open to the experimentation though and I think it may partially be due to a book and some advice he was given by a friend's girlfriend (who happens to be gorgeous :)). Hopefully some of these efforts will be rewarded by Tim having a drop in his CEA with the test on the 29th and buy us some more time with his current treatment. If you think to, please pray for that CEA to drop over the next 2 weeks!

Regardless of the circumstances we're in or the trials we go through, we know that we are very very lucky for Tim to be doing as well as he is. I finally (after almost 3 years) got him registered with the Cancer Society of Greenville and after they heard his diagnosis they seemed shocked to hear that he works full time, we live a relatively normal life with all things considered and that he didn't really need nutritional supplements or medical assistant devices right now. On top of that, interest in colon cancer research is starting to finally gain a little ground and there are some promising things on the horizon, we're just hanging on until the right one comes along for Tim. Each week that Tim gets through on his current therapy buys a little more time in finding a cure for him. Ultimately we just trust that God has a greater plan for him and I believe that he is working through Tim and all of your to spread the awareness of this disease.

Below is an email I sent out recently letting people know that the date has been set for this year's golf tournament, dinner and silent auction. We are really excited and this truly is one of our favorite days of the year. We hope that you all will be able to make it out to join us and we will share more information as we get it together! Please feel free to pass along this information about the tournament as well as the wonderful house that is being built by Goodwin Foust and their incredible network of contractors and vendors to anyone you think may be interested, we're hoping to beat our donation from last year of almost $15,000 and need all the help we can get to do so!

Hi all!

It's about that time again! Each year we put together a golf tournament that is followed by dinner & a silent auction. You don't have to be a golfer to attend the dinner (and technically you don't have to be a golfer to play in the tournament either...).

The funds we raise from the tournament are donated to iTOR Center for Cancer Research here in Greenville. They are doing some amazing work and making huge strides in finding additional treatments, enough so that Tim is still able to be here with us today and enjoy a semi-normal lifestyle.

I wanted to pass along the information to you all about the tournament and dinner so you can save the date in case you're interested. I'll be sure to send out more information about registration as the date approaches.

2013 BrightLife Tee It Up for Cancer
Thornblade Country Club
Greer, SC
April 8, 2013
Golf :12PM - 6PM
Dinner & Silent Auction: 6PM - 8PM

This year some family friends of ours have also VERY generously decided to build a house and donate the proceeds of the sale to BrightLife/iTOR. It will be open for tours during April and is really incredible, enough so that it blows my imaginary Pinterest house out of the water, which is saying a lot :). The contractors and subcontractors have all been very generous in making sure that this house has all of the bells and whistles.

Here is a link to the current listing for the house, feel free to drive by and check it out (or buy it! :)): http://www.cdanjoyner.com/listings/greenville/1252165

Please also feel free to pass along this information to anyone else you think may be interested in our events or the house!

You can also "like" our Facebook page to get updates as we have them: https://www.facebook.com/BrightLife.FB

And as if that isn't enough for you to click on, in case you were not already aware, Tim & I write blog posts periodically to keep everyone up to date on his condition, if you're interested you can find the posts here and keep up with us: storyoftim.blogspot.com

As much work as this all entails, this day always ends up being our favorite of the year as we get to have so many family members and friends in the same room. Most only get to experience that once in their lives, on their wedding day :). Thanks so much in advance for your help and we're looking forward to seeing you all there!

Jenny & Tim

Monday, January 7, 2013


Well as I had just about finished my blog somehow I hit the wrong button and deleted my entire post that I had just written.  That is just par for the course today.  So let me start all over again.

I want to start this post out today and talk about Jenny's grandfather, Zade Rash, who passed away a couple of weeks ago.  He was a Chief Master Sargent in the Air Force.  He was an amazing person who was genuinely concerned about me and how my health was doing.  He treated me as if I was one of his grandchildren and not someone who married into his family.  He would do anything for anyone including give them the shirt off of his back.  He was a great person who will be greatly missed.

As Jenny wrote in the last post my CEA had gone down two times in a row.  And since this post I have gotten 2 more results which includes the one I got today.  My CEA has risen again, which is something that Dr. Edenfield told me would probably happen, and I just wanted to give a little bit of an insight into a bad day for me.

At around 4:30 today I called my nurse to check on a couple of prescriptions and then told her to "give my some more good news on my CEA".  Her voice quieted down and said that she wished she could but it has risen.  Immediately my heart sunk and I began to try to think of things that I could have done differently in the past month.  I was in my brother's office and he could tell that I had just gotten bad news and asked what it went to and I told him and immediately the encouragement came from him.  "It's just one you will get it back down next time".  I finished a couple of things that we were working on and I decided that I was still going to head to the gym to get my workout in (New Year's resolution) even though I had no desire to do it.  And I am not going to lie to you, there are always thoughts when you get bad news of if this is the start of more bad news to come.  Those thoughts come and they leave just as fast.  When you are facing a situation like this you can't afford to think like that.

I got to the gym with no desire to be there and decided to just get it over with.  My new thing is to workout for 30-45 min and then get on the elliptical for another 30.  Before I even started I wanted to cut it to 30 and then head home.  But as I started to workout one of my buddies Colby had just started his workout and told me that he also had no desire to workout today.  I told him that I was probably just going to lift and then head home and at worse do 10 minutes of cardio.  But I kept watching him as he worked out and he was working out really hard and was really throwing around some weight, and it donned on me as I started on the elliptical that I can't take days off.  Colby went to do a couple more things and walked passed me and looked that the time on the machine and said "I thought you were only doing 10 minutes?"  I told him I changed my mind because to me if I give up on just working out and 15 minutes then what will I do if things really get tough.  I am not a quitter and I never will be.

2 Chronicles 15:7 
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

I guess that I just wanted everyone to know that even though I seem positive, most of the time, that I do have bad days and things are always sunny.  

I hope that everyone has a great week.