Ruth Update 8-11-2014

Hi everyone,

Our dear sweet adorable Ruth passed away this morning at 4:32.

We are all very fortunate to have had time with Ruth. She helped everyone who knew her love more sweetly.

If you have stories about Ruth that you would like to share and have posted on, please email Let us know if you would like your name referenced with your story.

Thanks to all of you for your tremendous outpouring of love and support.


Ruth Update 8-7-2014

From a recent email update.


Ruth’s strong sweet heart, as she puts it, keeps pluggin’ along.

She asked me to say that she wishes she could say thanks for all of the love pouring her way, and that she loves everyone.

She has floated even closer to passing.

With love,

Ruth Update 8-3-2014

As I recently sent in an email:

Ruth asked me to let you know that she loves loving everyone.

She is very close to passing.

With love,

Ruth Update 7-28-2014


Here’s another post from our emailed updates.


Hi dear sweet loved ones,

Thanks to all of you who have shared your love with Ruth through visits, cards, emails, texts, and even Facetime! Thank you to those who helped support us as we came to terms with this stage of her experience, and arranged hospice and our home to care for her here.

She has had a busy few days connecting with her extraordinary collection of beautiful, powerful, loving people.

Still our sweet, lovely Roo, she has slowed down even more. Several of her physical systems are showing signs of failing. Her ability to focus and her levels of energy are at minimal levels. With her pain managed, she spends most of every day sleeping and resting in bed. She no longer eats. Only small sips of a few simple beverages throughout the day. She can read only one or two short texts or emails a day, at most. Any visits are very brief with limited engagement, and of course still full of her love.

She is at peace. She is deeply loved. She is ready to move on.

Though Ruth is unlikely to read any more posts, visit to share thoughts, feelings, and memories.

We will continue to let everyone know what happens in this intense and tender journey.

Thanks and love,

Ruth Update 7-21-14


Below is another update based on an email we sent out on 7-21-2014.  This post is dated 7-25-2014, and though every detail below is still relevant, every day Ruth’s condition progresses.

With love, Brian


Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, Ruth went to see her oncologist, Dr. Michele Basche, today. [7-21] We had a good, plain-spoken, tender visit. Dr. Basche made it clear that going forward, we are focussed on making Ruth comfortable and alleviating pain. We talked about Ruth’s bloated abdomen, fluid retention, the small amount of food and liquid Ruth is able to consume, plan for medications, and the course of the disease.


Ruth received several big doses of vitamins (particularly C, B17, and K) in several big bags of fluid in Tijuana. This protocol seems to help shrink, if not eradicate, tumors in some patients. We are not sure how much help this treatment was to Ruth. Unfortunately, the fluids did not stay within her digestive and vascular systems; they ballooned her legs and lower regions, and flooded her abdominal cavity.

Today, we went from her oncologist to the main hospital to see how much fluid might be drained. After a very simple and quick procedure, nearly three liters were drained. Whew!

Ruth’s abdomen is visibly smaller, and she is a little more flexible. She can probably eat and drink a little more now that there is a little more room for her stomach to receive such basics.


Though Ruth’s belly is relieved of fluids, it is still swollen by the disease in her liver – and as it turns out to still be true – other tumor locations here and there around her abdominal organs. Her condition is still very painful. Our visit with Dr. Basche confirmed the pain med regimen she is on, and improved it to address anxiety, constipation, and reflux from her stomach still doing its job even with very little food.

Very small doses of morphine are now a regular part of Ruth’s day. We have created a daily chart to track and check off the meds she takes. By staying on schedule, we are keeping Ruth fairly comfortable.

Hospice and Home Care

We had hoped to determine Ruth’s hospice protocol and set up a regular home care service today. With our day at the hospital, we intend to get these services sorted tomorrow.

Once we have these care providers in place, we can better schedule more people to visit.


We all want to know how much longer our wonderful sweet Ruth has to live. She asked her oncologist this question today. Though no one wants to put a number on it, having a sense of timing helps quell anxiety about an unknown, helps settle remaining practical life pieces (bank accounts, credit cards, car title, worldly possessions, etc.), and helps friends and family visit in a timely reasonable way.

Dr. Basche answered Ruth’s question, saying that of course there is no certainty. However, to generally set a rough idea of timing, if there was no fluid to drain (meaning the swelling was entirely due to disease), Ruth has a couple to a few weeks. If there was fluid to drain, Ruth may have a few weeks, possibly months.

We do not really know how much more time we have. We do know that we want to make our time as good as it can be.
As always, visit, to share your thoughts and feelings.

Here’s a link to make a donation:

We will continue to update everyone as we can.

Thanks and love,

Ruth Update 7-14-2014

Hi Everyone,

Here’s another post based on our latest email update.

We hope you are doing well.

Ruth is coming to the end of her treatment here in Tijuana.

Though the plan was for her to get three weeks of mega-doses of Vitamin C, K, B17, and other supplements, Ruth has maxed out after two weeks.

We will be leaving for Denver Thursday morning, and meeting with her oncologist there to determine next steps.

Because her enlarged liver makes it impossible to eat or drink more than the smallest amount of a protein shake, Ruth is more weak than ever. Her pain has been getting worse, and is managed with increasing pain medication. Her abdomen is still extremely swollen. The fluid retention ballooning her legs is diminishing, easing her discomfort.

Once we are back in Denver, we intend to set up nursing care at home with the emphasis being pain management, and avoid going from this hospital to another.

We have thanked many of you individually for your love support, and donations – and we want to thank you again! (For those who sent checks, we received them just before traveling, and have not been able to respond. We will!) Travel and home care expenses continue to increase. Your financial assistance helps a lot.

Here’s a link to make a donation:

As always, visit to share your thoughts and feelings.

Thanks, we love you,

July 9 2014

Just a quick hello from Roo.  I have been reminded that even a teensy bit of news is better than nothing at all, so an update from today…

First, and foremost, Happy Birthday to Mitch!  I love you with all of my heart and soul, and I hope you are having a great day!

My treatment, in terms of pain meds and such has been quite confusing to me, but they are managing my pain pretty well.  Turns out, cancer inside the liver is painful!! 😉  I continue to be very pleased with the nursing staff here, and will tell you truly it has been far superior to the treatment I recently received at Rose in Denver several weeks ago.  (No disrespect to Rose, just setting the record straight as there was some fear about the kind of care I would receive in Tijuana. :-)) 

I have mentioned that the Vitamin C treatment is tough on me.  I feel that it is getting a little easier, especially thanks to anti-nausea meds, and experience.  I had heard in the past, and have been asked recently, about the Vitamin C — some people have felt really good after an infusion of Vit C.  Here it is a much stronger dose than your typical Vit C infusion because it is being used as the chemo.  So, just clarifying…  It is a super, mega dose and does not give me a good feeling.  However, the feelings I do get I attribute to “the medicine doing its job”, however painful.  Sometimes I do feel burning spots in my abdomen, and it is quite interesting.  

The Vitamin K infusion is a bit less remarkable, as is the Vitimin B-17.  Though the B-17 makes my eyes sting, and sometimes it feels like a blood vessel bursting in my eye.  A lovely gentleman last week had a completely bloodshot eye from this, but he wasn’t in pain, and it is a normal reaction for some folks.

The Oxygenation and Ozonation of the blood I find to be the most intriguing of the therapies.  The Vitamin infusions are every day M-F and the Ozone/Oxygen is 3 days per week.  On the weekends I some detoxing and receive an infusion of minerals — and those feel good to me.

i think we have mentioned that the food here is delicious.  I am up to eating about 3 bites per meal, and sipping on protein shakes throughout the day.  I am quite happy with the diet, though sometimes hungry, I feel I am for the most part getting what I need.  Some days I get a whole bowl of strawberries to snack on throughout the day, and I am in heaven!  Isn’t it funny how little we truly need to be satisfied?  My favorite things here:  strawberries, cantaloupe, papaya, protein shake, chamomile tea, avocado with cilantro on delicious, hand-made (not fried in grease) tortillas, and a bite of scrambled egg every couple of days…  I don’t eat all of these things in one day, but this is my core menu, and I am feeling like I could live off of it for a long time!  Being that this is a very powerfully faith based operation, I am quite sure that I am getting “extra nutrients” via all the prayers that are infused into the food.  🙂

When Terri was here this weekend, taking EXCELLENT care of me (thanks, sis!) we made the journey down to the beach.  Terri pushing me along in a wheelchair on sidewalks and roads that are not meant for wheelchairs!  It was fun, and wore me all the way out, but certainly worth it.  I did get a fresh coconut… Only to discover that I didn’t like it!  Not sure why, but Terrri agreed it just didn’t taste like much.  There were 2 slices of mango in the bag, however, and that was like gold to me!!  Again, thank you Terri for the good care, the comfort improvements, the humor, the prayers and light, and the chick flicks.  I have not been having a good time down here, but when I wasn’t looking, Terri snuck in a couple good times on my behalf. 😉

I suppose that is a good update for now.  I feel like I am either forgetting something, or leaving out very important details…  Oh, well.  More to come on another day.

Again, I just want to say thank you for being there — in all the ways you are there for me.  Every single one of you.  I am going to win this battle, but it will because of my dear army family of loved ones, and the power of the light of Jesus.  We will be victorious, and I can’t wait to hug you in celebration somewhere down the road.  Oh, and help you with something you might need one day, as well…  🙂

I love you, love you, love you!

Hey there y’all, its Roo…

A very quick hello from me to say, as always, thanks you for your unwavering support and love!

My mind is barely clear enough to type this out in the moment — I hope this update finds you all well and happy!

Though this is not chemo, it is no walk in the park. I am still having trouble eating or drinking enough. I am receiving a lot of fluid (3 days in a row now) which will at least keep me from utter dehydration. I like the almond based porting shakes they have my on — I just can’t ingest very much. Same goes for my chamomile /peppermint tea. I have begun to take on a little fluid retention, and we will see what they want to do about that come Monday, most likely.

The Vitamin C drip is the hardest for me. It is very strong, and I do one for 30 minutes (no water 30 mins before or after) and then another Vitamin C infusion an hour-and-a-half later. They make me fearful, crazy, emotional (literally crying my eyes out) and sick. It is a strange thing. Some people here can feel the Vit C burning at the tumor site, and believe some of the emotions to be connected to the tumor being under attack…

All I know, is that I am very weak, in pain, and suffering, and able to do very little myself. The idea that I wouldn’t need much help here was naive. So I am moved to tear that Terri (Brian’s sister) dropped everything to come and be with me for the weekend until Brian can make it back. Already, my spirits are lifted. Its not just the help, its having someone you love with you.

I am so grateful to the few of you who reached out and tried to help. Terri was able to do this with the least fiddling and rearranging of her life this weekend.

Despite my pain and suffering, I want to be clear that I am in the right place. Your hearts need to know that I believe this. May this being you peace.

I hope you are having fun and safe celebrations tonight, and this weekend, for the 4th of July. With any luck, I will have the energy (or a wheelchair) to make if down to the beach for a fresh coconut!

Love you all so very much!

ps: When Terri got here, just fyi, she said “You are obviously in a very safe and well to do part of Tijuana. Its nice here!” And Terri has good taste!
Just in case some of you are wondering…

Ruth Update 7-3-2014


A quick update.

RuthieCare in Tijuana

In our last email, I mentioned that I will be leaving tomorrow, Friday, July 4. I still am – and will return in a couple of days, Monday, July 7. I’ll stay here with Ruth until Friday, July 11.

Susan Anderson will arrive the same day, Friday, July 11, and leave Monday, July 14.

I will return Monday, July 14, and stay until Friday, July 18.

Michelle Kaye will arrive in San Diego on Thursday, July 17, and will stay with Ruth, escorting her home on Saturday, July 19.

Ruth and I want to thank those of you that so quickly offered to come stay with Ruth. Very, very loving, kind, heroic. We this schedule, and the 24 hour staff here, Ruth’s care is covered.


Also, it seems I was not clear about what’s happening with Ruth’s disease. There seems to be very little cancer in the few sites that had been active. The CT scan does not show tumors where they had appeared before. Now the cancer has left the outer lining of the liver, and has gone into the interior of the liver. Her liver is inflamed and significantly swollen.

She is getting pain meds and anti-imflamitory meds. The doc suggests (without being definite) that Ruth will see a reduction in swelling and relief in the next couple of days.

That’s it for now.

Thanks and love,

Ruth Update July 1 2014


Ruth and I are still in Tijuana. Instead of leaving early today, I decided to stay until Friday.

The doctors and staff here continue to be very attentive. In some ways their care is better than some we experienced in US hospitals.

Ruth’s Condition

Ruth’s abdomen has been, and continues to be, extremely swollen. She is painfully uncomfortable. We have been under the impression that, like before, she had a lot of fluid building up. We were anxiously waiting to drain the fluid to give her some relief.

A new CT scan reveals that there is not much fluid. And there seems to be very little indication of the tumor masses in the few places we have seen them before.

The disease that was on the outside of her liver has now spread into her liver. Her liver is inflamed and severely swollen.

Ruth is still getting treatment to prepare her for a focused small-dose chemo and additional supplements she will take in a couple weeks. Her medication now includes an effective pain killer and an anti-inflammatory drug. We are waiting to see when and how well the anti-inflammatory medication works on reducing the size of her liver.

Ruth is barely able to keep any fluids or food down. Her abdominal cavity is so full, a few sips or bites come right back up. She is getting fluids intravenously and is sipping a protein drink as she can.

Two Week Challenge

The doctors are optimistic about the overall treatment. The challenge is getting through the next couple of weeks.

Ruth is very weak, and generally does not leave her room. Though confident, and still very much her sweet strong self, she is scared and physically frail. I have been bringing food from the dining hall to her (now replaced with protein shakes), and help her get to appointments and treatments.

As I mentioned, I am leaving Friday. Ruth and I would really appreciate someone being here after I am gone. We realize we are asking a lot in short notice. If you can afford the time, all you need is an up-to-date passport. We will cover travel expenses to and from San Diego. A hospital van would pick you up. Ruth’s room has a second, full-size, firm bed, and the food is good.

As we know, Ruth has many great friends. Susan Anderson will be here Friday, July 11 through Sunday, July 13. Michelle Kaye will be here Friday, July 18 and bring Ruth home on Saturday, July 19.

Please let us know if you can come for a few days.


Thank you very much to those of you who have donated. Ruth would like to thank you herself, but is not really able to anytime soon.

If you can offer some financial help, click this link:

I will continue to keep you updated. As always, Ruth sends her love

Thanks and love,