Category Archives: Friends

Lance’s treatment plan will be re-evaluated

Hey everyone, Lance’s brother Parker writing here.

Lance went in for an MRI the other day. The test was to see what effect, if any, the chemotherapy and radiation have had over the last three months.

My brother is part of a double-blind study (in which neither the doctors nor the patients know who gets what) to test the effects of Avastin, a drug which targets the blood supply feeding the tumor.

Well, the results of the MRI are in. They have determined that there has not been the level of impact they hoped from efforts thus far and will evaluate his treatment plan and make new recommendations this week.

What everyone would like to know – me included – is will Lance get better? When will he be back to his old self? Smiling, blue-eyed, Lance.

I am just like you! I created this blog for the purpose of documenting his recovery. I was committed to put prayer first and to hope until the end, and even further, because that’s what we’re taught to do, and what human bonds shared in flesh compel us to do.

But that goddamn cancer. I’ll be the one to speak from my heart, today. It’s tough to say if Lance will get better. My Dad, my Mom, my brothers (especially Lance), my sister, friends, close family, we’re all optimistic, as our nature instructs. Francine especially. She is the strongest of any of us. That girl, God bless her, will love and support and fight until the end. I only write what I write because that’s what Lance would do for me if he were in my shoes.

The cancer Lance has is progressive. It effects the centers of memory and speech. It hits his balance, nerves. It has the egregious character of rendering the brain, that fragile mass of flesh, progessively less capable of understanding what’s happening to it. And it advances, not linearly, like a golf cart, but quicker and quicker, like a plane at takeoff.

I know you have your hope on the line for him. I do too. Today, I hope the doctors and nurses un-blind the experiment to find out if he has been receiving the Avastin, and if not, that they would give it to him promptly.

Lance is with us today. We spoke to one another for an hour on the phone. He was bright and alert. He is bright and alert.

If you are a friend, and you are wondering, do I stop by or not? Stop by. Do it now, because life has a way of slipping, and regret is a bitter pill to swallow.

My sister Ashley is more eloquent, my brother Morgan more sincere. I am pragmatic, spare. This is what I would have done for me, were I the one.

I love you Lance. I am sorry to write about you, and not to you. You are very much at the center of my heart.

Parker

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So far, so good!

Dear Family, Friends, and Supporters all over the world! 

Wow–it’s overwhelming to hear how many people are following Lance’s story and supporting him.  There are literally people all over the United States and in countries all over the world praying for Lance.  On behalf of Lance and Francine and both the Snyder and Costa families, I very sincerely and deeply THANK YOU!!!!! 

I know several people have said to me this week, “I heard Lance began treatment on Monday.  How’s it going?”  I realized there hasn’t been an update since.  So, I decided to jump online and bring you up to date.  

Praise God–Lance is doing wonderfully, both emotionally and physically!  So far he has he not had any adverse effects from the chemo or radiation.  Actually, there has already been an improvement!  The terrible pain he’s had in the left side of his face has finally has started to subside!    

One of my dad’s friends wished Lance a “strong start and a triumphant finish.”  What a beautiful sentiment and picture of hope and victory…A strong start he has had indeed!  Lance has been a champ.  We are so proud of him! 

Again, on behalf of Lance and Francine and both of our families, I wish you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving.

With much love and deep gratitude for each and every one of you,               Lance’s sister, ashley ♥

Today is a gift.  That’s why we call it the present. 

Going all in…

By Ashley (Snyder) Frankis

Today was a special day at our church and also in Lance’s life.

Today marked the end of a series in our chuch called:  CANNONBALL:  All in and making waves.  The idea is that we should dedicate our whole lives, our whole selves to God.  Everything–our time, money, priorities, and gifts; everything we should align with the purposes of God.  We are called to go deeper into the upward calling of Christ.

The thought of going off the diving board and doing a cannonball into the deep end might seem exciting, wild, and freeing; or it might seem scary.  But, regardless, it requires a decision to go forward, all the way; you can’t just do a cannonball part way.

Today marked the end of the sermon series, but the beginning of this new initiative and vision to go all in with God and to make waves, thereby affecting and impacting the lives of others.

I sat in church this morning thinking about Lance and how today marks the end of a period in his life and how tomorrow will be the beginning of his cannonball.

Since Lance’s ER admission on Friday, October 8th, he has gone through a multitude of tests and appointments and a very serious surgery.  There have been many questions, discussions, phone calls, visits, cards, meals, gifts, and prayers.  There has been so much, so suddenly, so unexpectedly, but SO COURAGEOUSLY!!

Lance has been REMARKABLE.  His attitude has been amazing; his disposition strong and courageous.  He’s had a quiet confidence and humble demeanor about him.  He has truly been filled with God’s grace and peace which transcends all understanding.  He is a living testimony and witness to the Living God.  Bless you, Lance, as you move forward into tomorrow–to day one of treatment.

We are right there with you, Lance, in person and in spirit.  We pray that God would continue to strengthen you, protect you, and heal you.

Tomorrow morning Lance will first take his oral chemotherapy and then go to Shadyside hospital for a 9:30am radiology appointment.  Family and friends, would you please sometime tomorrow morning find a quiet moment for Lance.  Lift him up in prayer.  Please also remember Francine, Mom, and Dad as they walk with him.  Let us then just be still, be quiet, stop thinking, and simply listen.

Word of God speak…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JK_6osCH74

Treatment will Be Started on Monday 11/15; met with Mario Lemieux last night

Everyone,

My treatment has not been started; only my fly fishing for Steelhead, Church / Mass during the week and weekend continues, real estate work picks up in a huge way, hanging out with family and friends, and all kinds of sporting events, wine making, getting ready for Holidays, and all kinds of other things. My originial plan was to eat Thanksgiving early, fly out that night for 1.5 days of traveling to the Seychelles. Once at the Seychelles, which is off of Africa half way around the world from Pittsburgh, we would fly fishing for 7 days and travel back 1.5 days which is 8 total flights there and back. Due to the treatment I have to delay this trip although I will stay involved with my friends going; I was going to write fishing articles, update Frontiers Travel marketing / pics, and review new gear we used as well as doing research for Bonefish and Tarpon Trust. Due to the treatment, I cannot go to the Seychelles for a while, but will fly fish for Steelhead in PA, NY, and OH as well as enjoy the whole day of Thanksgiving and spending time before and after Turkeyday with family and friends.

Lastly, I will be finishing our basement in the Winter, continuing my (2) fishing books; 1 for children and 1 for adults. If anyone has questions, comments, needs me to represent them as their real estate agent, call me or text me at 412.779.7076, or email me at lancesnyder@gmail.com. Yinz can do anything here on this blog, I just do not use this as much; everyone, thank you for your thoughts, prayers, gifts, advice, encouragement, etc. I am so ready to roll, confident, I will beat this disease and start having a family as soon as I can with my wife.

My wife is the most beautiful in the world, just turned 27, the smartest, works so hard as the best Pharmacist, helps me and her family, cooks dramatically; we have been married over a year (9/19/09), celebrated our 1 year anniversary in Italy, will do our 5th year in Ireland where we got engaged in Kilarny; I took her from our hotel through the city, through a park, along a stream, and dropped off at a castle and lake by a horse drawn carriage. We hopped in a boat and the captain took us out to an island where we walked in a circle and had lunch out of a wicker basket. I dropped to one knee and asked her to marry me; it was amazing as she said yes and we celebrated.

I am sorry this is so long, I finally updated this and will post a lot of pictures to the photo gallery and read comments and stories.

Lance Snyder

Delicious Detox

Both Francine and I (Lance’s sister-in-law) are Kitchen Fairies. We very much enjoy cooking, and the Snyder family seems to enjoy our cooking as well.

Well, one day last September Francine and I sat in her living room browsing through her cookbooks. I said to her, “Hey Francine, maybe we could put together a family cookbook of our best recipes?”

“Actually, I just started a book of recipes for Lance. He is so particular that I need to collect recipes for foods he enjoys eating,” Fancine said.

“That’s great, so I can add my collection, take some photos and our project is ready!”

I remember that conversation well — that was the recent morning Francine and Lance left for Italy.

Since then, Francine and I got caught up in other issues. We postponed the project because “there is always tomorrow” or maybe because it wasn’t all that much of a challenge. One thing is for sure. Things have changed since that September morning: there are no more urgent issues than Lance’s health, tomorrow may not always come, and the challenge is there…

Kasia and Francine cooking

Francine cooking with Kasia her sister-in-law during summer 2010

So here’s our challenge: Delicious Detox.

Today we start a collection of healthy anticancer recipes on Lance’s blog. Given that foods which display strong anticancer action are for example turnips, leeks, garlic, onions, beets or cabbage…

We may have to ask you to give us the benefit of the doubt when your first try our recipes. I have been brought up in a culinary tradition (Polish) which incorporates a lot of those ingredients everyday. So I can assure you veggies such as turnips are hugely underestimated for their taste, looks and nutritional value. I will share some amazing recipes for those…as well as leeks…and buckwheat…

Francine will add her own wonderful anticancer foods to kill for (such as the homemade tomato sauce). We also invite you to share your “delicious detox” recipes. Please, please join in! Here’s how:

1. Simply post the recipe in the reply box. I will add it to the list.
2. Or email recipe and/or photo to kasiasnyder at gmail dot com.

Delicious Detox Ingredient List
Click this link for preferable and discouraged (to be avoided or used sparingly) ingredients. The only absolute no no’s are white sugar and white flour.

So are you up for the challenge with us? Francine will stamp some of our recipes “Lance’s favourite.” These recipes will have satisfied his choosy palette.

So – aprons on! Back to the fifties!

With love,

Kasia

Below is a list of preferred ingredients:

1. Fish (trout, halibut, salmon, sardines, herring)
2. shrimp, shellfish
3. Organic meat and poultry (but only small amounts)
4. Organic diary (butter, cheese, milk, yoghurt)
5. Olive oil – cold pressed, canola oil, flaxseed oil
6. Multigrain bread, sourdough bread (but only the one on natural s ourdough starter)
7. whole wheat pasta (or white pasta al dente – not overcooked)
8. quinoa
9. Indian spices, especially turmeric mixed with black pepper
10 .mint
11. thyme
12. rosemary
13. garlic
14. lentils
15. beans
16. tofu and soy products
17. ginger
18. cabbage (all sorts)
19. broccoli
20. cauliflower
21. spinach
22. organic lettuce
23. green beans
24. organic cucumbers
25. tomatoes
26. onions
27. leeks
28. shallots
29. chives
30. parsley
31. turnips
32. beets
33. carrots
34. apples, pears
35. organic berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
36. organic pumpkin
37. flaxseed
38. dark chocolate
39. organic orange and lemon peel
40. lemons and oranges and grapefruit
41. organic grapes
42. fruits and veggies generally

Discouraged Ingredients (use sparingly)

1. Pork
2. Large fish (shark, haddock)
3. margarines
4. sunflower oil
5. non organic eggs and milk
6. honey and brown sugar
7. all processed foods – those that can sit on the store shelves for months

Arming for Battle

Dear Friends and Family,

Today is the day Lance undergoes final preparations for radiation and chemotherapy, which are scheduled to begin this Monday, November 1st. As I type, Lance, Francine, Mom, and Dad are at Shadyside hospital where Lance has already had blood work and is now having an MRI. The doctors need to have an accurate, updated picture of where the treatments need to be directed. Later today he will meet with his oncologist, Dr. Frank Lieberman.

Please take a moment this morning to quiet your heart and lift up Lance in prayer. Let’s flood the gates of heaven with cries for mercy and pleas for deliverance on Lance’s behalf.

And remember…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Prov 3:5-6

He holds victory in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Prov 2:7-8

PRAISE TO THE GREAT PHYSICIAN-THANKS TO THOSE WHO HEAL

With much love, many prayers, and an abundance of hope,
Ashley (Lance’s sister)

Our first formal event!

Hi Everyone,

Lance and I went Monday evening to the Consol Energy Center for the Howard Hanna Champion’s Club. It was such a nice event held at the Lexus Club. Lance looked so handsome in his suit and tie and it was great to get a tour of the new Consol Energy Center while no one was there. Lance and I had a great time and enjoyed the company of so many of his fellow workers and friends. Below is our picture taken at the event.

Love,

Francine

Lance’s Week Home

Hi Everyone!
Sorry it’s been a while for an update but Lance has definitely kept me busy all week! We have been entertaining, showing houses, going to the office, and had a haircut from SportsClips. It looks really great and he is thinking about keeping it super short for a while. He is back to working a bit (with me as a side-kick) and gradually working up more strength. His spirit and personality are back to our Lance and he is gearing up for radiation and chemo.

He will start next Monday Nov 1st (All Saint’s Day) for his first treatment and will continue for the next six weeks, five days a week. We feel so blessed with having all of our family and friends surrounding us and for such great medical treatment only 15 mins away.

We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the prayers, the comfort and the food!! We are so grateful and appreciative for everything. Please keep the prayers going, especially through his radiation and chemo. The power of your prayers is so amazing and we would be indebted for life.

Thank you so much,

Francine

Lance with No Staples

Lance's New Hat

Lance is Home!!!!

Hi Everyone!

Today has been a blessed day! Our Lance is home and doing fabulous! He is still resting up but healing great. He is so overwelmed by the pouring out of love that he has received from this blog as well as the cards sent to the house. He and I are so grateful that we have such amazing family and friends…we would be lost without all of you!!!  I will write soon again to let you know how we are proceeding along…..

Love to all!

(Name that thing on Lance’s head – send your suggestions 🙂  )

A Word About Prayer

Last Friday, I called home to talk to my brother. I asked him how he was feeling. He said not good. I asked why? He said I have a headache and I’m scared. I think it’s something serious.

Only 2 hours later, after a CAT scan at the hospital, his worst fear was confirmed.

The 10 days since have been the most difficult of my thirty short years. From seeing my brother Lance suffer pain, to seeing fear in my Mom’s eyes, to seeing my Dad bent over, utterly broken. Words fail me when I think back over the past week. But one doesn’t — prayer.

Last Tuesday in particular. We woke up early to be at the hospital before the surgery began. The city was shrouded in fog. All of us, for about an hour, went into the chapel and lifted Lance up in prayer. Each in his own way, my sister with her head on my shoulder, to give up our fears and anxieties, our doubts and cynicisms. 

At midday, about halfway during the surgery, we received news that the cancer was malignant. Since then, the only thing that has sustained us has been prayer. My Mother’s perhaps, the most profound. She prayed to take upon herself all Lance’s fear. Surprisingly, he has been quite upbeat.

Funny how prayers works.

My friend emailed me to tell me Lance’s name has been added on a slip of paper to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A family friend lifted him up at the basillica in Rome. Another will pray for his health on a week-long visit to Chile. My wife keeps vigil in Warsaw. Everywhere, the prayers for my brother, are being offered up like incense…

And Lance, our prayers have been heard. The Doctor said you may lose your memory. That you may have trouble with speech. But right away, when you woke up, you were so rambuctious and chatty they had to sedate you to let you rest. In the six days since your surgery, you’ve recovered to be your old self.  Full of wit, enthusiasm and charm. Tomorrow, so they say, you may go home from the hospital. Horray!

Our prayers have been heard. So persevere. Brother. My Best Friend.

Parker