Sunday, October 9, 2011


Dad passed away Saturday morning at about 1am. We are extremely thankful for all of your thoughts, prayers, cards, voicemails, e-mails, and loving support. There will be a viewing on Tuesday, with the funeral following on Wednesday, details below:

Tuesday viewing: Muehlig Funeral Chapel 2-5pm & 6:30-8pm.
Muehlig Funeral Chapel
403 S Fourth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone Number: (734) 663-3375

Wednesday funeral: St. Thomas the Apostle Church @ 10am.
St. Thomas the Apostle Church
530 Elizabeth Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
"Par is always in sight"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday September 27, 2011

Chris here with a much overdue update.

I'll start off where the last update left off. Dad spent one week in the hospital while the doctors worked towards raising his sodium levels back to normal. His doctor recommended he try a new drug, Tolvaptan. This drug maintains dad's sodium level, and he will have to remain on this drug for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, this drug also makes dad very tired.

In the weeks since dad's return from the hospital, he has resumed chemotherapy and radiation. Midway through the chemotherapy treatments, a scan revealed that the cancer had spread further, which meant that chemo treatments had to stop in favor of radiation. All of these treatments have made dad very tired, if you can imagine.

Last Friday hospice care started at home. Med Equip also came on Friday night to set up a more comfortable bed as well as oxygen for dad. The oxygen will greatly help as dad has had some difficulty breathing (which results in making him feel even more tired). The new bed allowed dad to enjoy a Wolverines, Tigers, and an improbable Lions win in comfort over the weekend.

Dad continues to be very tired as a result of the drugs and endless treatments. However, he remains very positive and appreciates everyone's thoughts, prayers, and support.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011 update

Came in for a blood test prior to chemo on Monday. Went back home and received a phone call from the Dr.'s office who had read the results and said I needed to immediately go to the ER. All my vitals had crashed to new lows. My Sodium level was the primary problem, which should normally be up around 135. It was down to 112. So the week has been lots of blood tests and drugs, and my sodium level is now up to 121. Its been a struggle trying to find a new plan of action. As of today, I think we have things solved and should be home for the weekend. Love Tom.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13, 2011 Update

Chris here with an update in regards to the previous update. Further results from the CT scan show that the cancer has spread to parts of the spine and brain. What this means is that the plan to start Topotecan and AVE0005 is on hold. Instead, radiation is set to start either Friday or Monday at the latest. The radiation will be for parts of the brain, and we are waiting to hear if the doctors will also be targeting the chest in their treatments. The treatments will be Monday through Friday for three weeks and then the doctors will regroup. Dad is feeling very tired and is sleeping as much as possible. We appreciate all of the support we have been receiving from all of you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Went to the doctor this morning for the results of the CT scan & the news was not so good. Despite all the chemo, the cancer has been growing so I'm officially out of the Mayo study. I will be starting a new treatment with Topotecan which is a second-line chemo agent which has been shown to prolong survival and improve symptoms. I will be getting this drug with another randomized drug AVE0005. I get a brain scan on Monday to make sure no cancer has spread there sine my last scan. If I'm good to go, we start the Topotecan immediately.
How do I feel about this? Mayo was a 50/50 chance of getting a placebo. God didn't like the odds either!
Still looking for the miracle. Thanks for your continued prayer.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A short update today. Should be lots more info after my doctor appointment next week. Chemo #6 went very well. No nausea at all but I did spend most of the next day in bed. It just drained all my strength. Fortunately I rebound quickly. Thursday was my CT scan to see what effect the chemo has had. That darn barium contrast had me on my knees in front of the precelain princess over a span of 9 hours later in the evening. Nasty stuff! I'll have the results of the scan on the 7th. Right now I'm scheduled to have the Mayo Clinic infusion on the 17th. Will keep you posted.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cheryl here to thank you all very much for remembering Tom with your prayers, mass cards, and get well wishes. Currently Tom is beginning his 6th round of chemo on June 15. Upon completion of the 6th round he will further qualify for an experimental trial out of the Mayo Clinic at Johns Hopkins. They collaborate with St. Joe's and he would be getting those treatments here. If Tom fully qualifies for this particular trial, we are asking your prayers that he would be given the real deal rather than the placebo. Approximately two weeks after this chemo he will have a full CT scan to see if the tumor has shrunk. If it has, we begin the study immediately, including infusion of the test virus, radiation to the brain, physical exams, blood tests, all on a frequent basis. Since day one of his chemo, Tom has hardly missed a beat except for a few days of nausea which we were able to get taken care of with some different drugs. He has been going to work daily, as well as coaching the boys golf team at FGRHS. This 12th season will be his last and his boys qualified for regionals but did not advance to states. We come full circle on 6/13 when Tom is being inducted into the Detroit Catholic League Hall of Fame.
We especially thank all of you for your many prayers and acts of love as we have certainly felt God's presence in this part of the journey.
God bless each of you in a special way!!!
Love and prayers

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Last chemo, #5, went well and I had NO nausia at all! I had admitted that I thought some of it was brought on by acid reflux so doc said let's fix that. Gotta love those drugs. A strange statement from someone who averaged an asperin every 10 years.
Tried to play 9 holes yesterday, one week after chemo ---- bad, bad, bad. Too soon & I stunk.
District tourney tomorrow for my boys. We should advance but sure haven't been playing well lately.
Blessings to all,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Have enjoyed a couple of very good weeks. Golf team won their 7th straight Championship and I've even gotten in a few rounds.
Today I finished my third infusion of chemo session number five. One more to go in the series of six. Met with doctors on Tuesday and was told that I do qualify at this time for the Mayo trial. They just have to send my biopsy to John Hopkins for type comfirmation, have an acceptable CT after my 6th chemo and have some brain radiation just in case the cancer spread there.
Thank you all for remembering me in your prayers.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Good day to wish all mom's a Happy Mothers Day! I'm a week past my last infusions and must say this seemed to be the easiest so far. Just one small episode of nausea lasting 10 minutes or so. The new meds seem to have done their work. It also feels like my physical strength is coming back faster. Actually cut the grass & did quite a bit a yard work yesterday. I rest often, but it sure feels good to be out.
Golf team doing very well. Haven't lost a league match yet with only one remaining & finished 3rd in a 14 team invitational this weekend. Championship is one week away.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's been a while again. Lots going on so this may ramble a bit. A week ago last Sunday, after hearing the DSO the previous night, I woke up with a cough which was accompanied by rich red thick blood. I thought I'd just wait it out but when I started hearing and feeling a gurgle with it, we figured it was time to make a call. As you might guess, I wound up in the ER where they ordered a chest scan. No sooner was I placed on a gurney than the coughing and bleeding both stopped. Five and a half hours later I was discharged because the scan could not pinpoint the cause but the positive was that the scan showed a shrinkage of the tumors.
Early in the morning on Wednesday of that week, we got the sad news that Michael II, son of our loved friends Dr. Michael and Fran Iannuzzi, had been in a fatal auto accident. Fran & Michael II were actually talking about driving in for the hall of fame dinner. Please pray for their family that the Lord will heal their broken hearts.
Yes, as Chris blabbed, I was inducted into the Gabriel Richard Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Detroit Catholic League Hall in June. Quite an honor for me and as I said at the banquet, I feel that I get a lot more than I give.
I began this week (monday) with a complete CT scan. My first encounter with Barium. My second encounter with it was Tuesday as I knelt on the bathroom floor. Nasty stuff.
Today was my doctors appointment and blood draw. My scan results confirmed that there is some shrinking of the tumors. Doc is pleased with my blood results, no weight loss, and I think he's surprised that I feel so good. While there, I ran into Dr. Phil Stella whose son and daughter I coached in golf. He is the department head. He spent a lot of time with me, gave me his cell number, and asked if I would be interested in a Mayo cancer treatment study when I finished my chemo series. He seemed very excited about it and vowed to work with me to give me the best quality of life possible.
Looks like I've run out of space. More later. Happy Easter, Love to all, Tom

Friday, April 15, 2011

-This post provided by Chris Allen-
Last evening my parents were inducted into the Father Gabriel Richard High School Hall of Fame. It was a wonderful event attended by many special people. I felt honored being in attendance with these great individuals who have given so much to affect so many people in a positive manner. I know my parents were humbled to receive such an honor. I may have a slight bias, however I think they deserve it! To those of you who may not be aware, my dad is also being inducted into the Diocese of Lansing Catholic School Hall of Fame this June! My dad will probably talk about last evening in his next post, so for now enjoy these photos.

Accepting the award.
Coaches with the varsity squad
(win that state title this year, guys!)
Thomas and Cheryl Allen

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"A faithfull friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth." Sirach 6 Reminds me of all my faithful friends praying for me. Chemo round three is finished with just some heartburn for a few hours in the middle of the night last night. Friday (tomorrow) is usually my worst day & the doctor gave me some new meds to help cope. He seems to be pretty pleased with the way treatment is going and my blood labs have been pretty positive. Next event is a CT scan scheduled for the 18th to see how the chemo is working. Will advise. Blessings, Tom '

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's been a while since I've posted which just indicates how busy we've been. Been feeling pretty good! Last weekend went so quickly----Friday night Station of the Cross, Saturday was errands and the beautiful wedding and reception of Nicki Leger at St. Johns in Plymouth, Sunday mass and an late afternoon diner with our marriage encounter buddies followed by a quick trip to the airport for Chris & Anna who were coming back from New York. Poof weekend gone! My golfers are looking pretty good & our home course is opening today. Next week they go on spring break which is great timing as I go for chemo round three starting monday. Going to try & do a little better with the nausea drugs this time so I can be more functional. Friday and saturday seen to be my "rough" days. Most sincere thanks for your prayers. You are all in mine. Tom

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Amazing how much brighter the world looks with no snow. I think the warmer temperatures make us all feel more alive. Saturday morning, despite being 32 degrees, was a very calm sunny morning feeling more like the 60's (with the proper under armor). A perfect morning for a nine hole walk at Fox Hills with my buddy Jeff. We actually played pretty well. It was evident after nine that most of my golf this year will probably be with a cart. My legs were pretty wobbly by the end. Also got the boys team off to a good start with time at the range and on the course. They look pretty promising.
Worked a pretty full week & will continue to do the same as business has been very steady. I'm two months into this journey and still receive cards and calls daily which just amazes me. Thank you all for your love, support & most of all prayers. I want you to know that I pray for YOU all every day.
Prayer works,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chemo round two wasn't quite as kind to the body as round one. Had a lot of nausia & vomiting Friday and Saturday. Might have been that I got lazy on the medication thinking that I'd be ok. Won't happen again! Looking forward to a couple of good weeks now. Cheryl sure needs the rest. She's a light sleeper so when I get up in the night, she's up. Please pray for her strength.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Had a great week. Tom Liberty, my golf partner of many years, drove down from Interlochen & we had a great lunch together managing to drink most all the coffee at the local Big Boy. And what could be better than watching our Wolverines sweep Michigan State in basketball.
Looks like my chemo schedule is set for the beginning of each month starting tomorrow. Had a blood draw on Friday (no results til monday) and my blood pressure was the best it has been in months. (That was before they gave me my bill.) I have experienced no weight loss but look thinner I believe. It does take me twice as long to shower these days. Soap & rinse the same but the rake up of hair takes time. I'll have to post a pix when bald becomes beautiful.
Please keep the prayers coming. They are powerfull.
Love & blessings to all,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finally got a call from my doctors office and & have a Friday appointment & it sounds like we'll be making some long term treatment plans. I do know that round two of chemo begins on Monday, for three straight days. Work has been great. The Finn family has been very supportive. Will post again on Friday when I know more.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dear Family & Friends,
I am convinced that the prayers of many are being answered. I have had a pretty normal week in that I've been going to work and my stamina has held up. I will normally leave a bit early for a late afternoon nap and business has been good. Wish I could tell you more about my prognosis and treatment plan but my new oncoligist went on vacation after he released me from the hospital and has been silent since. Not happy with that & I'll correct that on Monday. I need a protocol so I can know when I'm apt to be sick.
Golf season starts in a few weeks & yes, I'm coaching again this year. Saw a few of my players earlier in the week & they are eager to start. I think we have a pretty special group. This will probably be my last year.
Again I thank you all so much for your visits, calls, cards, prayers......
Bless you all,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thanks to the lack of snow plows yesterday, none in our sub anyway, Cheryl & I had a lovely snow day together. Picture us having a quiet lunch in front of our fireplace. PERFECT!

Back to work today. Lots of renewals & emails to catch up with including a nice note from Ralph Martin in Rome! Please always pray for his protection & ministry. Hey Ralph, while you're there, if you happen to run into ....... , never mind.

Feelin pretty normal today, looking forward to my men's group tonite. Yep, we'll be gettin into some serious prayin.

More at the end of the week.

Blessings, Tom

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Had a marvelous day with Dr. Mike & Fran yesterday. They were able to stay for most of the afternoon and Mike answered many of the questions I had about my treatment and offered some good advise. He even changed my dressing for me (chemo port site). He is such a treasure in my life and has blossomed into such a devoted husband and father. I'd like to think that Cheryl and I had something to do with his falling in love with Fran again. Their unity today is inspiring! Mike & I explored a lot of music while they lived here --- I, introducing him to new classical, he, giving me an appreciation for good jazz. And we both love to read. So what does he bring me? ---- a new iPod nano with 120 classical CD's loaded! Bless you Michael! Thank you.
While I'm on thank you mode, I'd like to say how blessed I am to have our mailbox jammed every day with well wishes. As I say, I know prayer works and I appreciate you all.
Went to 8 am mass today out at St. Joe's. Very nice, small crowd so less germs for me. Looking forward to the boys and the grands this afternoon.
Time for a nap ---- more later.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Well I've read about and talked with patients over the years about the "chemo ride", but it's really something to experience first hand. I've gone from offering it up to being thankfull today for feeling nealy normal. Dr. Mike Iannuzzi, a very good friend, is coming to the house tomorrow from New York to see me for which I am very eager. I pray for a good day to be good company and good patient. Mike is one of the top lung men in the country. Thanks for "lifting me up" in prayer!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Found out last night and this morning that the body really doesn't like chemo. Feeeling a bit better this afternoon as the nausea has passed. I did go out on an appointment this morning to see a favorite client and tired fast.Thanks again for all your prayers. Please remember Cheryl as well --- best nurse a guy could have.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This comes a little late as my final round of chemo ended at 1 pm & I couldn't wait to get into real clothes & leave. Got a few hours of work done this afternoon and my energy is good. This has not knocked me out the way it has others and my sleep was great again last night. Got to go back tomorrow for a shot to help my immunity to infections. Your prayers are very important to me!!! I gave our spiritual care department at the UofM my decision to turn in my "collar" after 26 years there. I simply can't risk being around the sick the way I was. It was a blessed ministry and I learned much about suffering and witnessed some miracles along the way.
More later.
Blessings to all,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday 1;30 pm getting my second round of chemo. Started the day with 8 am mass & ran into a few old friends who were surprised to see me. I have been in hospital ministry for 26 years and have developed many strong friendships with area priests. This has translated into being able to receive the eucharist daily and two annointings! Last night was the best sleep I've had here, probably because I was able to watch Michigan basketball & hockey both win. My chemo for tomorrow has been moved up 4 hours so I can get discharged earlier. I'm expecting a visitor from N. Y. this weekend which I'm pretty excited about. I'll fill you in later on that.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Welcome to the Tom Allen blog! This afternoon begins the journey. I'm being kept at St. Joe's for my first round of chemo with this afternoon being the 1st dose. Plan is to discharge me on Monday sometime. I'm going to have to guard against any infection so feel free to visit if you're well. My plan is for life as usual but I know it will mean a more restricted schedule. We do know this is a terminal form of cancer so we're praying for God's mercy. He's got the plan.