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Carlos Ortiz - Journal

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Posted 2018-10-09T17:46:54Z

October 8, 2018

That's the day my port was removed.  What a year! From going in for removal of an ulcer, finding out it wasn't an ulcer but cancer, getting a massive infection, having to wait for the chemotherapy to begin, it has been quite the experience.  Looking back at everything that has happened, I'm not surprised by any of it. Things happen for a reason. Good, bad or indifferent, everything happens for a reason. Like I've said before, we might never know why things happen but there is a plan. [...]

Posted 2018-07-12T03:56:07Z

Post treatment blues.

after months of doctors visits, lab work, chemo treatments, radiation treatments now everything has basically stopped. It might sound strange but I feel left out in the cold. I know nothing was found in the scan and the oncologist was happy with the way things were going but I still feel apprehensive. I have read stories of other people feeling the same way after the intensity of the diagnosis and the treatment. They say it gets better with time but I did not expect to feel this way. It’s so weird. I thought I would be all ready to go and going full speed ahead but I didn’t expect to feel the way I feel. The stories I read and the articles I have studied all say that it is normal. Hopefully it starts going away soon. [...]

Posted 2018-06-26T21:24:39Z


That’s what the doctor said. The CT scan came out good. The blood work was normal.  Feels like being born again. He wants to do another scan in 3 months. If everything continues to look good then they will take the chemo port out. After that every three month a follow up for 2 years. The oncologist is very happy by the way things are going and if he’s happy, I am definitely happy. [...]

Posted 2018-06-26T02:22:08Z

Next part of the journey

today I had my intitial body CT scan with contrast.  I’ve had ct scans before but this one is way different.  It is the base line for everything else that comes after.  Tomorrow I see my oncologist and we will see what the plan is for the future.  It has been difficult to mentally prepare myself for what comes after. So many unknowns.  But like with everything else the came  before, facing forward with determination and faith.  Can’t stop now.  Too many plans have been made and many others to be made. Looking forward to car shows, fishing trips and road trips.  Nest month there is a plumeria sale in Corpus Christi and I will be there god willing.. after my appointment tomorrow, I will post an update.[...]

Posted 2018-06-12T12:42:00Z

The day has arrived

As I get prepared to go to my last chemo session I look back to when all this started. It’s been a process both mentally and physically. I have not been alone. I know God has been with me and if you have read this journal you know why I say that. My wife Joanne has been with me. She has been a rock by my side. I know it has been really hard on her but she has been strong throughout. I don’t know what I would have done without her. My sister Griselle was a godsend especially during the period with the infection. My sons Carlos frank and Jamey along with their wives Eugenia and Amanda. Couldn’t ask for better sons. Our friend jose who was there ready to do what was needed at any time, like he always is. My brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. All our friends and neighbors which I won’t mention by name so as to not forget someone. Those that I have not even met but who had us in other prayers. Las but not least, the doctors, nurses and staff at Baylor Scott and White who with their knowledge, professionalism and true caring made this journey that much easier. Thank you to all and may god bless you.[...]

Posted 2018-06-12T01:22:30Z

The day before

Tomorrow is my final chemo session. My mind has been all over the place today. I am ecstatic and at the same time apprehensive. I never thought about the future much. I had plans and worked on those plans. I looked towards tomorrow or the next day. I guess like most everyone, I lived day to day.  Now things are different. It seems I want to cram as much as I can. I want to do so many things. I have to force myself to slow down.  [...]

Posted 2018-06-01T00:17:05Z

The challenge of cooking

I love to cook. Since the start of the chemo/radiation treatment, this has become a challege. I love a challenge.  Since everything tastes like caca, I have to cook by memory and instinct.  My wife is my official taster. I can’t break the habit of tasting what I cook but it’s just a habit since it never tastes like I expect it to.  At the beginning the bad taste would make me sick to my stomach but now, like a good troop, I push right through it. It was another win for the home team when I was able to swallow food even though it did not taste right.  It’s the little things that add up as time goes by.  I know my life will never be the same but I will not be beaten. Like they say in Jurassic Park, life will find a way. Or as in Galaxy Quest, never give up, never surrender!!!!![...]

Posted 2018-05-26T15:46:00Z

A thought about caregivers

We had a conversation last night with a friend whose husband just went through a very serious medical situation.  At one point the conversation kind of slipped into the caregivers.  Mainly just how few people recognize the needs of the caregivers.  People automatically think about the person who is going though whatever emergency exists, whether medical or whatever and that is good but the caregivers are also having to deal with the situation on a constant basis. 24 hours a day 7 days a week with almost no respite.  If they are lucky someone will give them time to rest or at the least lend an ear so the caregiver can let out pent up emotional feelings that they cannot express in front of the person with the let’s say, medical emergency.  In my case, my principal caregiver is my wife.  We were lucky to have my sister and a group of friends around but think of the ones that do not have a support group.  [...]

Posted 2018-05-02T10:11:18Z


There’s is an old joke about the young child that keeps asking why after every answer. There is a lot of truth in that joke. Throughout our lives we continually ask “why”.  The easy answer is, because. It’s not an answer but it is easy. The hardest answer requires a leap of faith. We must acknowledge that we are not perfect and that we are not in control of our existence. It’s easy to just believe that we are an accident of nature or that a sequence of natural events allowed us to be created. It is very hard to believe that we are part of a master plan and each one of us are here for a purpose. That is hard. [...]

Posted 2018-04-25T02:31:57Z

Hard times

lately it seems that bad news is the norm.  So many people that I know that are going through difficult times. So many different medical issues. Seeing the family’s reactions to their loved ones situation is hard.  These are good people. Good friends. Hardworking folks.  I can relate to their situation and I will give my support and my prayers unconditionally.  It has help me immensely the opportunity I had to talk to a survivor and his wife.  Being able to talk to someone who can relate to what’s happening is amazing.  They helped me keep my positive attitude and keep my focus forward. That’s very important. It’s pointless to dwell on the past. This is a brand new life with brand new rules and brand new situations. Thinking of how things used to be is self defeating,  that chapter is closed and the page has turned.  Live life in the now and the tomorrow not the yesterday.  That’s the best advice I can give.  [...]