CORRECTION to update!

After speaking to Francine just a short time ago, I learned that I made a few errors in relating information to you regarding Lance…

He went to the hospital not because of head pain, but just because of stomach pain and a fever.  He was transported by ambulance to get faster admission into the ER.  Also, the tumor has progressed drastically; but it still contained within the left side of the brain.  The tumor has not spread to the right side.

I apologize for the misinformation I communicated earlier.

And, as always, THANK YOU each and every one of you for your prayers.  Our entire family feels SO lifted up.  We couldn’t do this without your support of every kind.

And again, a gentle reminder that visitation be restricted to immediate family.

Thank you and God bless,

ashley

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Update as of 5:00pm March 23, 2012

I am writing to let you know Lance went to hospital this morning at 4am via ambulance.  He was having bad head and stomach pain throughout night.  Francine, Bob, and Mom were there but couldn’t get him into car; that’s the only reason he went by ambulance.  They did an MRI today and found more tumor progression; it’s across the entire brain now.  They will keep him overnight and likely put him on high dose steroids.  Beyond this we don’t know anything.

Bob is in Pittsburgh right now and has been at the hospital.  That is how I am being updated.  I haven’t spoken today to my mom or Francine, only my dad (who–thank God–seems ok).

As per Francine’s request, no visitors at this time except immediate family.

Feel free to call, text, or email me.  I will do my best to get back to you and keep everyone updated.
Thank you kindly.

Love,
Ashley

ashleyfrankis@gmail.com        cell:  302.228.6770

 

My Brother, My Hero

Lance Perry Snyder is a gem of a brother. I’ve known that since I was a kid when my Mom and Dad put us in the same room. At night, we’d lie awake talking to one another past our bedtime. He’d ask me questions and I’d reply with big-brother answers.

Lance ParkerOnce, I made fun of him for being afraid of the dark, and pulled out the nightlight to help him overcome his fear. He got up and tried to re-attach it to the socket, only to get shocked by the electricity. As a big brother who knew better, I had him wash off the electricity in the bathroom sink.

Later, we played on the same soccer team. I don’t remember the name of the team, nor our coach, but I remember the last game we played together in Norwin, PA. Our team made it to the final. Tied 1-1 until the last minute, Lance and I combined on the game winning goal. Winning in Norwin was bigger than the Pens winning the cup.

Lance Parker

Along with Morgan, Lance and I share a love of golf. All three of us used to play on a junior tour where 15 to 18 year olds competed. One year the tournament was held at the Oakmont East golf course.

At the end of the day, I went to greet my brother who was playing along with an 18 year old, twice his size, and the expected winner of the tournament. To my surprise this guy was congratulating Lance, who had just won the tournament after sinking a ten foot putt on the final hole of the course.

Lance has an easy-going nature. I never really met someone who didn’t like Lance. Not just his peers, but guys much older than him. When Lance was in high school, some of his friends had already retired. I remember his boss at his first job out of college with Pulte Homes was a guy named Robbie, a big burly former marine. He and Lance were pals. They’d go fishing, boating. Lance has a good soul. He’s a gentleman, who loves everybody and is loved by everybody.

Sometimes, because I live far away, I lay awake at night wondering if we squeezed the lemon. It’s easy to say no when the devil of doubt crawls beneath your skin, and you start to think – not about what you did – but about all you might not do.

But as I write this blog post in the guest room of his house at 106 Virginia Ave, on a short visit home to spend time with him, I don’t doubt he’s already lived more in 30 years than many live in 60. How few even get started on the house of their dreams, let alone renovate it before age 30?

Some of you may be wondering how Lance is doing. From my point of view, he’s doing well. Although his spirits are down, he’s surrounded by his siblings, Morgan and Ashley, his wife Francine, Bob, Cherie and Kasia in spirt, by his Mom and Dad.

Yes, Lance we squeezed the lemon.

As I get ready to head back to my wife and son overseas, I have to say that Lance and Morgan are the best brothers I could ask for.

Lance, you are still teaching me the value of hard work. Morgan, you are teaching me the value of treating everyone the same, as you work for the good of all those you meet. You both have accepted me for my decisions. Thank you both. Let me close with a few words from the dedication Lance read to me on the day of my wedding in 2007:

“Parker and Kasia will unite and become one. Together, they will create opportunities for others with new beginnings and better endings. They will travel with one another, know no distance too long, no barrier or border too big… where others would see only differences, they would see love.”

Lance, I am hoping you will get better and trust you to the gracious care of your wife. But while I’m gone I want you to know that I love you.

Lance Parker

Email Addresses for Lance’s Familiy

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all of your emails! 

I only mentioned my email and I’m not sure why.  (Maybe because it was 1:00am when I finally finished the post!)  I guess I was thinking more in terms of giving you a “contact” or because I would feed bad if you took the time to reply to the post but I never saw the comment.  I can’t speak to how often my brothers, parents, and Francine look at the blog.  But, I would like to offer their emails too because I’ve received so much uplifting, encouragement, and love and I would be so happy if my family could receive the same.  We really need and appreciate it at this time!

With much gratitude, ashley

Francine Snyder (Lance’s beloved wife):  francinacosta@gmail.com

MaryAnn Snyder (Mom):  MAMom4@comcast.net

Allen Snyder (Dad):  allensnydermd@gmail.com

Morgan (brother):  morgansnyder@gmail.com

Parker (brother):  parkersnyder@gmail.com

Ashley (sister):  ashleyfrankis@gmail.com

 

Sometimes there are no words…only love

February 22, 2012

For the past year or so Lance has been doing very well and all MRI scans have been consistently “stable.” He was counting down to only three more chemo treatments when there came a very sudden, severe turn in the road.

A couple weeks ago Lance started having right foot pain then right hand pain. He was having trouble finding words and remembering details. Additionally, he stopped reading and writing. With all of these new signs and symptoms Francine moved up his March MRI to this past Friday, February 17th.

The results were not good. It’s hard to even type these words. In the doctor’s own words: “The tumor came back quickly and aggressively.”

Consequently, the chemo regimen was changed; irinotecan was stopped and carboplatin was added to the Avastin. As far as I know, this will be administered once every three weeks.

Today Lance began this new regimen. I heard that he slept comfortably during the treatment. I know it was an especially hard day for my mom; it was her birthday. And there she sat all day in the hospital–beside her baby.

I know everyone reading this blog has been thinking about Lance and has been wandering how he is doing. (I know the posts don’t come very often.) I know many of you have tried to get in touch with Lance over the past several months, either via email, text, or phone. If you didn’t hear back from Lance, it was because–at some level–he was unable to respond; it was for no other reason.

I pray that everything I have reported tonight is accurate and honoring to Lance, Francine, Mom, and Dad. As I said, today was the first of the “new” treatments. It was a long hard day and I have not personally spoken to anyone at home.

Last week I read something that has been echoing in my mind; I’d like to share it with you. This holds true for each and every one of us:

SATAN PROMISES LIFE BUT DELIVERS DEATH.
GOD PROMISES DEATH BUT DELIVERS LIFE.

A heavy heart overflowing with love,
ashley

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Please feel free to call, text, or email me; that is the best way to communicate with me directly (versus leaving a message on the blog). Thank you kindly.

Ashley (Lance’s sister)
C 302.228.6770
ashleyfrankis@gmail.com

Our Christmas Miracle

Seasons Greetings Family and Friends! Hope this finds you and yours doing well and finding (or should I say making) time in the midst of this busyness to b-r-e-a-t-h-e and enjoy life. I am so happy to report lots of GOOD NEWS!!  Lance has been doing incredibly well.  I’ll go so far as to say it has been the miracle we’ve prayed for.  He has been thinking so clearly and speaking so well.  He has been remembering and reflecting and asking questions.  A couple times this past month Lance has said how happy he is to be alive; there is nothing more he could ask for.  He gives all credit to the healing power of Jesus and to our prayers that have been offered up on his behalf. Well, maybe there is just one more thing he would ask for right now–the privilege to drive again.  Because Lance has been doing so consistently well, his doctor referred him for a driving test.  Just this morning Lance had an evaluation and test to see if he was sharp enough to drive.  The instructor’s answer was an emphatic “YES–WITH NO RESERVATIONS!”  We are so very happy for Lance and his lovely wife.  What a perfect Christmas present!  Happy driving, Lance and Francine 🙂 It is true indeed that God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Eph 3:20). Father, we THANK YOU!! The Snyder Family

One year ago…

I thought for sure we were losing Lance.

One year ago, on Friday, October 8, 2010, I was cleaning our guest room, excitedly anticipating my mom and aunt’s visit. That is when I got the phone call. “Ashley, it’s Mom. We are in the ER…with Lance. They did a CT scan and found a mass; it looks solid. We are praying it’s not a tumor.” I dropped everything and collapsed on the sofa. In one instant our world turned upside down. Cancer wasn’t just someone else’s story; it was ours.

Lance and Francine had just returned from a trip marking their one year wedding anniversary. She was 26 and he 29. Just one year married. “In sickness” came much too suddenly and far too soon; yet it did not shake their marriage, their faith, or their love.

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Francine, you are remarkable. One would never know to look at you that you work full time as a pharmacist, managing an extremely busy pharmacy and that you never, ever, get a full uninterrupted night of sleep. You have spent one year caring for Lance in every way imaginable–from managing his appointments and medications to very agreeably allowing him to take on any and every home improvement project he wished to do (even in the wee hours of the night!). You have every day looked beautiful and so perfectly put together. And you were never without that million dollar smile! You have never once complained or lost hope or said, “What about me?” I don’t know how you do it! Francine, thank you for standing by Lance, for never giving up, for loving him and believing in him, and for your tireless example of “dying to self” and serving others.

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Brother, you are courageous. You are strong. You are brave. It’s hard to believe you are the same guy that avoided doctors at all costs and who got dizzy just walking into a hospital! You have taken on every challenge that has come your way and you have come out a WINNER every time. You have lived fully, you have loved immensely, and you have won the hearts of many. You are a fighter, Lance. Bless you.

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Mom and Dad, this is beyond what you could have ever imagined. I have watched you explore together uncharted territory. I have seen you experience the full breadth of emotions. Yet, your faith has never been shaken. One year ago, on October 12th, as Lance’s surgery was drawing to a close, I witnessed you in your “Garden of Gethsemane” outside of the hospital literally lean into each other so as not to fall. You are a team and you are committed to that promise. Thank you for that gift you give your children.

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I remember the devastation. I celebrate the gift of life. And I believe in the triumph of the spirit.

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Family and friends, I believe we have seen a miracle happen. One year ago today Lance’s neurosurgeon gave us a very grim prognosis. The most recent MRI largely shows an absence of cancer. Overall the picture, for now, looks good. And, clinically, Lance is doing great. He is, in Francine’s words, “the old Lance.” He has been able to stop several medications that were contributing to his confusion and speech deficits. He is thinking and communicating more clearly. He is more relaxed and sleeping much better. He’ll always say when asked, “I’m doing great!”

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God, we thank you for giving us your gift of daily bread, for your deliverance, and for shepherding our hearts.

As I read recently on a church’s sign: We do not know the master plan, but we know the Master has a plan!

Lovingly,
ashley

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY LANCE AND FRANCINE!

The title says it; today is a very special day! Two years ago today, on September 19, 2009 at St. Raphael’s in Morningside, Lance and Francine were married. What a better way to celebrate than to return to the site of their wedding reception. Last night Lance and Francine were very warmly welcomed by the Oakmont Country Club. They were given a complimentary meal and bottle of champagne!

In Francine’s words: “Lance and I had an amazingly special night. We went to Oakmont for dinner and it reminded us of our amazing wedding. We took great pictures…It was awesome.”

Here’s to you, Lance and Francine, from all of your family and friends…

WE LOVE YOU AND CELEBRATE YOUR LIFE TOGETHER!!

~ashley

July 12, 2011 LANCE WAS 30!!!

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Quick update…Hope is rising…

Things are looking better. Tuesday Lance had an MRI. His oncologist, Dr. Lieberman, said the tumor appears to be shrinking and there is evidence of many dead cancer cells. We are thrilled with this news! Answered prayer…

However, Lance continues to have considerable trouble verbalizing his thoughts. They are all there in his mind; however, in trying to communicate, certain words come out wrong or in mixed up order. Additionally, he has been quite confused. Right now the doctors are trying to determine the cause for this.

Seizures might be a possible explanation Dr. Lieberman said. Lance had an EEG yesterday; all findings were negative (no evidence of seizure activity). He is currently, and has been, on an anti-seizure med; the dose was just bumped up. Lance may have a 24-hour EEG in the very near future…

Lance is excitedly awaiting the arrival of Parker, Kasia, and Baby Tristan on June 6th. Shortly thereafter Morgan, Cherie, Joshua, and Abigail arrive. Then in July my gang comes home. We are all looking forward to being together.

Dear Family and Friends,

Words simply don’t seem adequate to express our family’s gratitude for your prayers and support. Please continue flooding the gates of heaven with prayers and petitions for Lance’s recovery and, specifically, for his mental and emotional stability. Also, please pray for Francine and my parents–for strength.

With sincere gratitude, on behalf of all the Snyders,
thank you…ashley

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But those that hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31
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