Saturday, November 29, 2008

Web MD Health Hero 2008

Well, here it is....just announced in the November/December 2008 Web MD Magazine.  Winter is the youngest recipient in the history of Health Heros.  You can also go online to see the online article about her recognition-see right column and click on picture.  As you can imagine we are so incredibly proud (an understatement) of what Winter and her brothers are doing.  This award has already made 2 million viewers online aware of what Team Winter  stands for.  One small baby step towards Winter's goal of having a blue ribbon (prostate cancer) to match every pink ribbon (the oh, so visible breast cancer).  To see her state her goal in front of 250 of the leading Prostate Cancer Researchers at Lake Tahoe, go to the video 
For those who wish to follow Team Winter in more detail (which so many of you have already done) go and join Facebook.  There you will find Winter Vinecki, Group- Team Winter and Fan Page- Team Winter.  This is where everything related to Team Winter will be published, including upcoming events.  You can also get there thru and clicking on facebook.

Michael had his tube in the liver replaced with a larger tube last week to help drain the liver better, which has caused great discomfort as one can imagine.  His energy level is wiped out and he has only a few good hours a day right now.  We are able to get care for some of these issues nearby so we don't have to run back to Mayo right now.  

Our Love,
Dawn, Michael & Kids


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adding Tubes

Well.... Mayo went well a week and a half ago.  As well as can be expected. The liver abscess seemed to be healing well so they decided to pull the final remaining tube Michael had. (that was short lived..)  CT didn't show any  new tumor, which is a welcome comfort to Michael for the time being.  There is a new spot, very small- 5-6mm, on the lung that they aren't quite sure about.  It is too deep to biopsy so they are just going to watch it.  Last Friday Michael started to have a lot of pain in his liver again so I had a CT done which showed his cavity in the liver that previously had the tube in it, had filled back up with "yucky" stuff.  It was significant enough that the Dr's at Mayo thought it would be best to reinsert the tube.  Luckily for us it could be done locally so we didn't have to travel back to Mayo.  It was a rough weekend for Michael, the tube causes a lot of irritation and pain.  NO hunting for Michael.  Guess the wife has hunting duties to fill the freezer for the family.  And this snowplowing thing should be easy... just drop the blade and go like h----, at least that's what it looked like Michael did last year.  These hallucinations Michael has on pain medicine are getting pretty good....who needs late night TV!!
Sorry about the humor, but sometimes that is all you are left with to deal with the day to day.

We are holding off on any reattempts at Chemo at this point.  His liver is not healthy enough to be tortured by that and neither is Michael.  The kids are doing great.  Swim season has started and it is so exciting watching the boys tackle this new adventure this year.  All four kids are swimming, including their 2 cousins.  Between them, they can almost completely make up their own relay teams.  Soon all four kids will be either skiing or swimming every night and every Sat/Sun.  How fun is that as a parent??

Team Winter is up and running.  Incredible things have happened in the last month which I will post soon (yeah, I know....define soon-----soon in my book is "when I get to it").

I just wanted to briefly take 10 minutes out of my sleep to update you on Michael's status.  He is sleeping as we speak and probably wishes I would get off the computer.  I have had many requests recently to update the blog so here I am.  WE appreciate the huge volume of prayers that are going out, the homemade healthy food people are sharing with us and the love that surrounds us on a daily basis.  We are grateful for every day.

Dawn, Michael & Kids

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Back To Mayo For Check Up

Sorry About the "Lost Month"!

Time flies when you are trying to get the kids in a routine for school and with after-school activities, trying to hold a full time job down and oh yes, helping a husband recover and battle metastatic prostate cancer.  That is all in a day at the Estelle/Vinecki home.  No news is good new they always say and is pretty much where we are at right now.

Michael has spent the last month training himself to void all over again, so yes we have potty training going on in our house once again (I thought we were done with that after Ruger). Michael did not like the idea of cathing himself 6 times a day, so he has managed to get his bladder working again.  This is an amazing feat if you consider how much damage was done to the area around his bladder.  It may take him ten minutes to  empty his bladder, but hey it beats the alternative way of emptying the bladder.

The last several weeks have been the best weeks for Michael since before surgery.  He is finally able to get off the couch and move around and do small tasks around the house.  The hair started growing back in since he is off chemo right now but he got too many comments about his hair looking like goose dander so he shaved it off again.  Michael was able to get some much needed R&R in Las Vegas last week for a few days.  He managed to survive being dragged up and down the strip numerous times.  The highlight was seeing Elton John live in concert.

Michael is back out at Mayo this week getting more follow-up CT Scans done to look for recurrence of tumor.  They were able to pull his drain from his liver this morning so he no longer has any drains.  He only has his colostomy and a PICC line (for medications when needed) left.  We stopped his daily antibiotics last week since his liver infection and blood infection seem to be resolved. 

Winter has managed to round up some of the best researchers in the world for prostate cancer after her recent trip to Lake Tahoe.  She was a special guest at the 15th Annual Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat.  She presented them with a check for prostate cancer research and gave a brief speech to all of them after they all watched her video from the Florida triathlon.  It was a very powerful day for prostate cancer research.  A video of this event is available at  These researchers are committed to trying to help Winter's Dad anyway possible.  We will be looking into clinic trials and newer up and coming treatments depending on the results of his CT scans.

Michael will be starting to put some entries on the blog.  It will be good to start hearing things from his prospective.  Much of the activities of Team Winter can be tracked thru 

Winter can also be found on facebook and under "groups",  Team Winter can be found and you can join as a "fan" to view what is up and coming for Team Winter.

We thank all of you for your continued thoughts and prayers,

Dawn & Kids