Happy Happy Happy!
Posted 06/22/2019 by Emily Valverde
Friday June 21st marked the end of treatments for this little strong, happy and courageous family. Brachytherapy was five days straight. It was a pretty intense set up of medical devises inserted for localized radiation to the tumor on my cervix. Set up took about 45 minutes, then I would be placed on an imaging table to make sure everything was perfectly aligned. Back on the gurney and taken to the radiation room. I was then hooked up to a small machine that the medical staff named R2D2. The huge vault like door would close and then radiation would run from the machine into a plastic devise called a smit sleeve that was surgically placed weeks before. The radiation would take about 10 minutes, then the large door would release and open. All medical devises would be removed and I would head home only to do it all over again the next day. I want to thank Seth Short and Ricky Meyer for taking me on Monday and Tuesday to my appointments.
Monday morning was met with anticipation and nerves for Mario and myself. We had a scare when Mario passed out and turned yellow and started foaming from the mouth. Ernie Valdez, Frankie Rodriquez and Denis Shea responded to the 911 call on engine 1. They got him started on fluids and we watched him head to the ER in an ambulance. Seth Short and his amazing fiancé Richelle to the rescue. She stayed with the kids, while Seth took me to my appointment as it was a crucial date to start the final round of radiation. Mario was severely dehydrated and given a gallon of fluids through an IV. It was the hardest thing to have to leave him there and go on to my appointment, he has been with me every step of the way through this process, and I couldn’t return the favor at his time of need. Keith Emery stood in for me and sat with Mario and brought him lunch, Devin Kile brought him home after he was realeased. He is now doing much better and on the tail end of a sickness and a five day antibiotic.
Yesterday I had tears streaming down my face as the big steal door opened for the last time at the end of treatment, signifying for me, WE MADE IT! Made it through a diagnosis, external radiation, chemo and brachytherapy! A long hard road that would have been impossible without my loyal amazing family, and ALL of you!
I have follow up appointments in one month with 3 out of my 4 oncologists. Pet scan in 3 months. This will continue for the next two years. After that it will be every 6 months until we get to the 5 year mark.
We are excited to get back to our routine and sincerely thank everyone for all they have done and continue to do for us.
Posted 06/12/2019 by Emily Valverde
Yesterday was a scheduled CT scan. We got the confirmation call from El Camino Hospital, fast 3 hours prior and CT scan only. I had a hunch and told Mario I should call and confirm with Dr. Sinha, but did not follow through with my gut feeling. Upon arrival I was asked if I had taken pain meds from my internal radiation oncologist. We were having a CT done with the devise for imaging inserted to be able to proceed with treatment on Monday the 17th. I was asked if I wanted to try the process unmedicated. I tried, but this was a NO GO for me. My oncologist was not comfortable proceeding and I could not physically handle the pain. We will try again tomorrow Thursday the 13th. If all goes well we will begin treatment as planned and I will find out after these images if it will be 4 or 5 sessions of consintrated radiation.
He is the second oncologist to confirm for me the tumor has shrunk in size significantly!!
This morning we met with Dr. Varma my medical oncologist who checks blood levels and ordered chemo. She said I still have anemia which I developed from the infusions. It is looking better and I feel significantly stronger. I have also been cleared to take supplements. Multi vitamins, D and calcium to support bone weakening after external radiation.
Saturdays BBQ/fundraiser was amazing. I want to thank all who worked tirelessly to support, love and help our family. The turn out was overwhelming and we sold out of walk up orders at 12:50 after starting sales at noon! AMAZING!
The committee and volunteers that helped put this all together thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you so much!
Franz from Salinas City BBQ knows first hand how it feels to support family during the battle of cancer. His donations, volunteers and set up were crutal to making the event the success it was. Please continue to show your support to his business. We all know Salinas City Barbeque is awesome!
Please continue to keep us in your prayers for the next week of treatment, not going to lie this is the most scared and vonerable I have felt. I know we will get through this, couldn’t do it with out you all.
Love you guys, and as always thank you for keeping us a float!
Posted 06/07/2019 by Devin kile
I want to thank all of you for the many donations and meals everyone has brought to the Valverde family over these past few months. You have all shown how special this family is, and what true friends and family do for one another.
As a reminder this weekend is the big BBQ fundraiser at the Salinas High parking lot on south Main street. So if you have already gotten a ticket don't forget to pick your meal up. If you were unable to get a ticket feel free to stop in and grab a meal or just say hi. We will be out there between 12-6. (Or until we run out of food.)
If you have a free hour or two your more than welcome to come help build plates and serve them. Or just hang and chat with good company.
Thank you all again for everything you have done.
Last day of radiation
Posted 05/30/2019 by Emily Valverde
Today was the 35th and last day of external radiation for the wife. What a day , the emotions ran high, from start to finish this has been a bumpy road with lots of detours but she has stayed focused on the fight and has overcome the obstacles that have been put in her way. So much thanks to everyone who has helped her through this. Next step is a couple more body scans followed by some lab work and then the internal radiation on the week of the June 17th. The love and prayers are felt daily in our lives, thank you all for what you have done and for what you are still doing for the the wife and family.
Trip to OR
Posted 05/25/2019 by Emily Valverde
Well today was a planned in house dr visit that turned into a trip to the OR. We are up here in Mt. View at El Camino hospital wife’s going under again for a procedure that needs to be done prior to the internal radiation. Originally she was going to get it done in the dr office but it did not go as planned so now she is scheduled for a 7 pm procedure here at the hospital. She is still in good spirits but in lots of pain. She should be able to go home tonight around 11pm. Thank you all for the love support and prayers that you send our way.
Fundraiser June 8th
Posted 05/22/2019 by Emily Valverde
Tickets will be sold on Saturday May 25th and Saturday June 1 from 10:00 am- 4:00 pm at Star Market on South Main Street.
The BBQ will be Saturday June 8th at the Salinas high school parking lot.
Thank you SFD and to all who help put this together.
Posted 05/22/2019 by Emily Valverde
First off wife’s doing good and is stronger and more beautiful than the first day i met her. Ok big day today we met up with the new dr for the internal radiation, it was a big event for the wife. We were up in Mountain View for most of the afternoon very emotional and happy and nervous but she did it. The days are still counting down for the external radiation (5 more days) May 29 is the last day as long as everything stays on track. Now todays dr visit was to find out about the internal radiation “brachytherapy “ and when it will start and finish. The dr’s are happy with her progress and are able to tell us that the chemo and radiation treatments so far have definitely shrunk the tumor. With the new start of the internal treatment starting mid June there are more obstacles to go through.Fingers crossed that the insurance comes through right away and the plan flows smoothly.If all goes as planned she will be getting an MRI scan, a Smit sleeve ,another CT scan and 4-5 treatments starting June 17. After the dr is able to see the MRI and CT he will then be able to tell the wife if it will be 4 or 5 days of the HDR brachytherapy ,with that said her new end date would be the 21st of June. I hope this gives you all some answers to any questions you may have. Thank you all for your continuous support thru donations,meals, and prayers. We could not have done this without you.
Posted 05/15/2019 by Emily Valverde
Anniversary breakfast on the east side
Posted 05/15/2019 by Emily Valverde
Look who’s hungry!
Last day of Chemo , Amigos
Posted 05/15/2019 by Emily Valverde
Well i wish i could say 6 weeks flew by but I would be lying. It has been a hard time, but also an easier time going through this with the help of you all. My heart is truly touched by everyone who has helped us out during this fight, the family, friends, doctors and nurses who have been by our side , thank you. From here the external radiation continues until the 29th of this month. For everyone wondering how much longer the treatments will last , we will have an answer on the 21st of this month when she has her consultation with the internal radiation Dr up in Mountain View. I hope one day we can help out each and every one of you who has been there for our family during this time. The Chemo drug Cisplatin will remain in the wife’s system for 39 more days after today’s treatment. The Dr visits will continue but not as frequent after the final radiation treatment is given to her. The Dr’s say that they will not be able to say the cancer is all free and clear until 2 years past the last treatment. With your continuous love, support and prayers i know my wife will be healed 100%, and for our kids Zuri and Isys we could not have done this without you.
1 more chemo infusion after today
Posted 05/08/2019 by Emily Valverde
Here we are again SVMH 5th floor IV drips in, Chemo running and she’s still full of jokes and laughs. There is so much that runs through my mind as this treatment continues, everyone has helped us so much with dinners, donations and support. So after this infusion the wife has one more chemo infusion on the 15th of this month , which crazy to say but that day is also our 8th wedding anniversary. Her birthday falls on Mother’s Day the 12th “Devin Kile’s birthday is on the 11th”this year too. Such a huge month for our family, the kids are really doing great for what they are going through with the wife’s diagnosis of cervical cancer and how quickly they have adapted to the days and how the chemo and radiation changes their moms energy levels daily. Makes me wonder ,you never know what’s going to happen in life and to realize that every day you have with your wife and kids is truly special. Huge thanks again to the support from family, friends, SFD and CDF, your love and prayers are felt each day. Love you guys.
Infusion 4 of Cisplatin
Posted 05/01/2019 by Emily Valverde
Here she is sitting at SVMH straight from radiation, IV running, chemo in the body and the wife, still with the smile on her face and making me laugh. Her strength really does show more so now than ever with this cancer battle she is fighting. Weeks are counting down and half way mark is here. This treatment process and day to day life would be a whole lot different if we didn’t have the support of family, friends and the SFD family. For everyone wondering how the kids are holding up, they are great. We are all making each day better than the last, don't get me wrong there are ruff days and long nights but all that does is make us stronger as a family and definitely as a couple. We are all so very thankful for what we have, and how much you all have helped us out in so many ways in the past couple of months. Thank you for the love, support and prayers you send our way each day.
A nice little Saturday
Posted 04/27/2019 by Emily Valverde
Last week, chemo kicked my butt. My medical oncologist Dr. Varma takes her time with me and asks several questions. Monday’s I do my blood work at svmh, Wednesday’s I meet with Dr. Varma at 8:15 before radiation at 10:30 and chemo at 11:30, we go over blood work and the prior week. She didn’t like what she heard, so she she ordered me to return to the infusion center, Thursday and Friday for hydration and more anti nausea meds. It has made a world of difference for me this week. I was very tired but didn’t suffer the pain I had the prior week. Happy to say I’m figuring out how to deal with the way my body reacts to all these crazy drugs!
On an even happier note Mario is able have a special day with Isys, starting early at Lovers Point for the 3K by the bay run. Then later tonight they’ll get all dolled up for a Daddy Daughter dance.
Zuri is just home from science camp currently enjoying sleeping in, and then I’ll be school him at some video games.
Love you all so much thank you for the constant support and strength you provide to me by standing by my side and my family!
Week 3 Amigos
Posted 04/24/2019 by Emily Valverde
Here it is a day closer to the end of the treatments. Today is week 3 of radiation and the third chemo infusion. The wife “Emily” is staying strong and positive through her daily radiation and once a week chemo treatment. The chemo really drains her on Thursday and Friday and she starts to come around on Saturday/Sunday then the days get better on Monday/Tuesday, and the circle continues back on Wednesday. Just to let everyone know the kids are staying strong and are doing fine, we are still trying to maintain the schedule as normal as we can for them and stay positive ourselves. As i sit here with the wife during the 3.5 hour chemo infusion, i want to thank everybody for positive words and prayers that you are sending our way and for covering my shifts at work ,you are all amazing and making this process easier during this hard time for our family.
Radiation/Chemo week 2
Posted 04/16/2019 by Emily Valverde
Here she comes week 2, well now that we have a scheduled and kind of have an idea on how the radiation and chemo infusion works we are doing our best to get through each day with the Valverde positive attitude towards life. With all that the wife is going through my love grows stronger for her each day , our amazing kids are really helping her get through this process with their positive words and love for their mother who is fighting the hardest fight for her life. It’s truly amazing to see our little family grow even closer than we were. I cant thank everyone enough for all that you are doing for her and our family, thank you family and friends for your letters ,flowers, and prayers.
Chemo session 1 in the bag
Posted 04/10/2019 by Emily Valverde
Thank you all so much for the awesome heartfelt gifts, words of encouragement and positivity! We couldn’t get through this without you. I’m feeling good and ready to head over to radiation. So long cancer!!
And it begins
Posted 04/09/2019 by Emily Valverde
With all the phone calls, Dr visits and constant daily battles with the insurance, there is finally a start date for this beautiful strong loving wife of mine. Tomorrow 4/10/2019 the Chemo and radiation will begin. Thank you for the constant support and love from everyone. With the treatments starting, we really ask to use your best judgment on visits especially if you even feel like you are getting sick. Dr orders to keep away from anyone who may be sick, or has been sick in the past 2 weeks prior to any visits with Emily. As much as we love to see and talk with all of you the next few months is going to be a whole new lifestyle for us. For everyone working for me, my eyes are filled with tears as i type this and without you this cancer battle for the wife would be a whole different story, thank you. If anyone has any questions bout dinners or stopping to see us just text Emily or myself. Thank you for all your prayers, love and support.
Thank you so much!
Posted 04/03/2019 by Emily Valverde
Thank you so much for bringing us all that yummy food, I also want to thank you for offering to help on the meal train. With all of the confidence you have for my Mom to be fine it helps our family not to worry because the doctor will help my Mom. Thank you again for helping!
Posted 04/02/2019 by Emily Valverde
Family and friends thank you all for the love and support.
On 4/1/19 Emily and I met with her medical oncologist who will be administering chemo. It will be done at SVMH out patient center, it will be a 3 hour processs and will be given thru and IV once a week for 6 weeks, along with 7 weeks of radiation. The radiation oncologist and the medical oncologist are working together as well as getting in contact with the insurance to move this along as soon as possible.
Having that meeting with Dr. Varma and moving forward with this battle was huge relief for our family.
While we are getting closer to the start date of the radiation and chemo please try to remember Emily will be highly susceptible to any type of sickness. She needs to stay as healthy as she can thru this treatment. To all our friends and family please text or call before coming by it will be greatly appreciated, we love you all and again our biggest hugs and kisses from the bottom of our hearts.
Mario and Emily
Posted 03/23/2019 by Emily Valverde
Hi everyone, so many thanks to all of our friends and family. The support and love is amazing. Well, this past week has been ruff. Phone calls to the insurance and appointments to dr offices with no true answers, really made this fight for my wife harder than it already is. We did end the week good. Yesterday morning she got the phone call she has been waiting for, to move forward next week on Tuesday with the 6th CT scan. This one will scan her body from her pelvis to her shoulders, they will build a mold of her that will be used for her to lay in the same position for the 7 weeks of radiation. Huge step forward in this fight against cancer. I want to thank you all again for everything you are doing to help us through this.
Dr. Biehl is freakin awesome!
Posted 03/15/2019 by Emily Valverde
Hello friends, family & all who are deeply loved. Today was a good day. Met Dr. Biehl, radiation oncologist extraordinaire. He is an angel. I honestly felt at ease right from the start of meeting him. He was warm, answered so many questions before we could even ask them, and was a very gentle soul. He is going to set me up in office for a CT scan to map out my treatment placement. I will have a mold of my body made as I need to lay perfectly still during radiation therapy. These treatments should be able to start in about two weeks, as my incisions from lymph removal are still healing. He also refered me to a medical oncologist who will give chemo, either once a week low dose or every three weeks stronger dose. After seven weeks of external radiation, and six weeks of chemo both done here in Salinas, I will need internal radiation treatments for 1.5 weeks in San Jose. I’ve been in great spirits, I look forward to all who visit and welcome you with open arms. Please reach out via call or text so we can coordinate with the many doctors appointments. Again we thank you all for everything.
Posted 03/12/2019 by Emily Valverde
Today was the one week post op visit in San Jose with Dr. Lilja. We received the report from Good Samaritan on lymph node removal and aborted hysterectomy. This means we have the documentation to move forward with the next step, radiation and chemotherapy. Having a positive cancerous lymph meant radiation would be the best attack, and no future surgery should be needed. Dr. Lilja is hopeful radiation five days a week and a small dose of chemo once a week will kill the cancer in my body. However, there is no way to know until treatments are finished and I have scans repeated in 24 months beyond that. We meet Dr. Biehl my radiation oncologist this Thursday here in Salinas. He will let us know in detail the timeline and how soon we can start.
Thank you for the outpouring of support and love, this means the world to us. We are beyond humbled, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for EVERYTHING.
Mario, Emily, Zuri & Isys
Posted 03/09/2019 by Emily Valverde
Last night we had an amazing dinner prepared and delivered by station 5. Then a surprise dessert (best cookies I’ve ever had) delivered by station 1. The thought of these very busy men and woman, taking the time to shop and cook for our family makes me overwhelmed with happiness. All while working the many calls they receive and taking care of the many station tasks. I feel so blessed and cared for. Last night while station one was here I had a wave of pain and I must say our city is very lucky to have the care I was provided. I have a whole new found respect for all they do from the perspective of someone in need. I felt a bit embarrassed but this is just the reality of what is going on right now. I continue to get choked up thinking of the love and compassion I was shown. Mario continues to impress me everyday as he has for the last fourteen years. His commitment to our family has helped to heal me. I’m happy to say, I had an amazing nights sleep and have been able to go without pain meds so far today.
Love you all!!
March 8 2019
Posted 03/08/2019 by Emily Valverde
Well everyone this is so awesome to have so much support, and help.My family is my life and for my wife to be going thru the hardest time of her life is a real challenge for our day to day life, this is such a stretch for me to even reach out and ask for help but to have this huge response from all of our friends and family is amazing, I honestly don’t know how to express all the feelings i have while I’m writing this, just know that you are all making a huge impact on our life right now at this time when we need help and support so much , everyone’s phone call and text is super rad because the positive support and words that you send our way is so good for days .If anyone wants to stop by please do just shoot me a text cause we love to see, laugh and have a good times with the family and friends we love.
Posted 03/08/2019 by Devin kile
If you are trying to sign up or send a meal gift card. It will ask for an email address. Please use Valverde.email@example.com
That way it can go to them directly.
Thanks again for all the love and support.
Posted 03/07/2019 by Emily Valverde
Yesterday did not go as planned. My oncologist told us once inside they will know more about the location of my cancer. Mid surgery the decision was made not to move forward with the hysterectomy. He removed lymph nodes and did several biopsies. It has spread to the lymph nodes. The safest decision in his opinion is to attack with radiation and chemo, five days a week for seven weeks. We have a post surgery appointment in about one week. This news hit Mario and I hard. Knowing we have the support we do behind us has made all the difference.
Last night we had a visit from Anna and Cherie. They brought everyone’s favorite things, and had a dance party with Isys. This lifted our spirits and kept the joy for our kids in tact.
Thank you to all for reaching out and checking in. Lots of love!
Posted 03/06/2019 by Devin kile
Just to Clarify on Allergies for the Valverdes. Dairy and Walnuts are the only thing they are Allergic too. (Butter, Milk, Yogurt ect.) Eggs, soy and other nuts are okay.
Thank you again
Posted 03/05/2019 by Emily Valverde
Thank you ALL for this thoughtful and helpful extension of your friendship.
Here is a short update on how we’re doing.
After a bit of back and fourth from our insurance we are happy to say, I got the approval for a PET CT scan. The scan was performed on Thursday February 28th. Got word today March 4th from my oncologist that the surgery to remove the tumor will go ahead as planned, on Wednesday March 6th. Should be able to come home the following morning as long as all goes well.
This was caught early and diagnosed on January 28th as stage 1 cervical cancer. The kindness, love and generosity from the Salinas Fire Department family is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed.
Keeping spirits high and maintaing a routine for Zuri and Isys has been our top priority.
Thank you for your support to make this possible.