"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity." - Louis Pasteur
On this page you'll find updates and reports from the trenches of Chuck's battle against Cancer. The most recent updates appear at the top of the page. Please check back regularly for the latest news.
The Latest Updates
August 26, 2007 - Today marks the 1st anniversary of Chuck's passing. The Heubusch Family marked the occasion by going to the 9:00 AM Mass at Good Shepard Catholic Church in Mount Vernon, VA. Then, after breakfast, we all visited Chuck's Gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery.
August 24, 2007 - Krista sent a E-Mail message of thanks today to everyone who posted a note of encouragement on Chuck's Guestbook page and included their E-Mail Address in their post. If you did not receive a copy of Krista's message, I have added it to the funeral page of this website.
August 3, 2007 - With the anniversary of Chuck's Passing coming at the end of this month, we thought we'd share some pictures taken by one of our family friends.
November 15, 2006 - We've added Chuck's Eulogy, his Obituary, the poem The Dash, and the Location of Chuck's Gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery to the Funeral Page.
November 1, 2006 - This website has been updated to include Funeral information. We have also posted the first pictures from Chuck's funeral taken by Melissa Roy.
October 25, 2006 - Chuck's funeral was on this beautiful, sunny fall day. He was buried with Full Honors, including an Air Force Overflight, the Caisson Unit, the Riderless Horse, the Air Force Band playing somber themes, a Rifle Salute with Taps played on the Bugle, the whole nine yards! He would be very happy to know that his grave site is within view of the new Air Force Memorial. As many of you have reqested, we'll post more details about the funeral itself on the Funeral Page shortly.
October 3, 2006 - We have posted information about Chuck's Funeral on the website
September 29, 2006 - In lieu of flowers, please consider making a tax deductible donation to one of the following charities:
- Sarcoma Foundation of America
- PFCU Foundation's Hospice Suite Fund
- Capital Hospice
September 1, 2006 -
Chuck's wake will be at the following address.
Demaine Funeral Home
520 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
August 30, 2006 - For those of you who wish to attend Chuck's funeral, please mark the following dates on your calendar. Additional details will be posted as they become available. Chuck requested to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery which, as you may know, has a long waiting period. We are hoping this delay enables more of Chuck's friends and family to be able to be present.
- Wake - Monday, October 23rd at Demaine Funeral Home in Alexandria, VA 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- Wake - Tuesday October 24th at Demaine Funeral Home in Alexandria, VA 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- Funeral Services - Wednesday, October 25th 10:45 a.m. at the Old Chapel, Fort Myer, VA
- Burial - Immediately following funeral at Arlington National Cemetery
August 27, 2006 - Details for Chuck's funeral are being finalized and will be posted soon. Thank you all for your continued support of our family.
August 26, 2006 - We are sad to have to inform everyone - Chuck passed away this morning at approximately 9:45 a.m. He was able to speak with his entire family and to reassure us he was in no pain. Chuck shared his ever present dry humor with us until he fell asleep last night. We had a very peaceful morning as he died while sleeping.
We would love for you to share your thoughts and stories about Chuck in the Guestbook so we can forever be reminded of how great a man he was. Your written words of condolence are greatly appreciated.
August 24, 2006 - The Doctors are planning to drain some of the fluids from Chuck's lungs tomorrow morning. Hopefully on Saturday or Sunday he'll be ready for in home hospice care.
August 21, 2006 - Chuck was admitted to the hospital today with a slight fever and nausea. We're hoping he will recover soon enough to make the trip to Philadelphia this Thursday.
August 19, 2006 - Jack and Pat Pitzer brought dinner for Chuck, Mary-Ann, and Steve tonight from Via Venato, the family's favorite neighborhood restaurant. Their generosity and care is greatly appreciated.
August 18, 2006 - Yesterday morning Mary-Ann took Chuck to the hospital because he was having some difficulty breathing. It was a similar problem to the one he had in Round One with fluids building up around his lungs. He was released this afternoon. Steve arrived for the weekend just in time to help take Chuck home.
August 16, 2006 - Chuck went in for an ultrasound on his heart today. This was a preliminary step to see if Chuck can qualify for clinical trials.
August 14, 2006 - Today we hit a bump in the road to Chuck's recovery. Chuck's Doctor informed us the chemotherapy isn't having as much affect we were hoping. The Doctor is working on Chuck's options, which may include Clinical Trials in Philadelphia.
August 13, 2006 - Wayne and Eileen Herr visited from Buffalo this weekend and we would like to thank them for all their help around the house. They brought Chuck a Buffalo Sabres hat to "compete with all of the Canes logos" they saw on this website (See their comments in the Guestook).
Steve and Paula would like to point out that although it is a very a nice hat which looks good on Chuck's head, the Hurricanes still won the Stanley Cup...
August 9, 2006 - Jay and Mary-Lou Swander have been helping out a lot around the house during their visit. As well as cooking and cleaning, they took Chuck in for his CAT Scan today. The results are due Monday, and we hope to have more information to share with you then.
August 8, 2006 - Jay, Mary-Lou, Carl, and Sandy came for dinner tonight. Jay and Carl had fun playing with Chuck's grill. After dinner, everyone gathered for a picture with Chuck.
August 3, 2006 - Chuck recieved the last dose of Chemotherapy for Round 5 today. He reports feeling a little tired, but is just fine otherwise.
August 1, 2006 - The results of Chuck's latest blood test indicate he is a "GO" for another dose of Chemo on Thursday. He is also scheduled for a follow up CAT scan next Wednesday. We are all definitely hoping for more good news!
July 31, 2006 - Steve and Paula arrived this weekend to join Chuck and Mary-Ann at the Kennedy Center for a performance of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's All the Great Books (Abridged). It was an absolute riot enjoyed by all! All the North Carolina Heubusch's were visiting this weekend including the grandpuppies, Emma and Blue.
July 28, 2006 - Celeste and Bob Kersten gave Chuck a prayer shawl lovingly made and prayed over, which he treasures greatly. We are, as always, in awe of the thoughtfulness of our extended family and dearest friends.
July 27, 2006 - Chuck went in for the first session of Round 5 today. He slept through the whole session and then took a nap afterwards. Needless to say, he felt well rested that night! We would like to note this website has now been viewed over 1,650 times and Chuck has recieved over 190 messages in the Guestbook. The whole family is overwhelmed with the support Chuck is getting from all over the world. Thank you to each and every one of you!
Updates Posted During Round 4:
July 6 - July 26, 2006
"Adversa Virtute Repello (By courage I repel adversity)." - Anonymous
July 26, 2006 - The blood test results are in and they are good! Chuck starts the next round of Chemotherapy tomorrow. After the next round, a CAT scan will be taken to measure Chuck's progress, and we are hoping for more good news.
July 24, 2006 - Dr. Ngazia told Chuck today how pleased he is with his progress. Hopefully the next round will begin this week!
July 23, 2006 - Chuck and Mary-Ann were out late last night playing bridge with their Bridge group. Chuck loved getting out and about, but was pretty tired afterwards.
July 20, 2006 - Chuck is feeling better again after his latest "Chemo-Coctail" If all goes well, he will begin round five next week. He's gaining weight the fun way now that he's learned the secret - spicy food tastes better to a chemotherapy patient than regular food. We want to thank the family friend who is also a cancer patient for this informational tidbit. Live and learn!
July 12, 2006 - Good news! Chuck's white blood cell count is very high, so he'll be able to go in for another dose of chemo tomorrow. He has also managed to gain some weight. It must be all the good food Mary-Ann's been feeding him!
July 6, 2006 (Cont'd) - Today is Mary-Ann's birthday. Also celebrating July birthdays are family friends Jim Davis (July 6th) and his wife Donna Davis (July 5th). Since there was so much celebrating to be done, we joined forces and had a party for all three of them. Norm and Carrie Klass are visiting from Texas, and Margo Hacherl is visiting from Buffalo. They were happy to join the festivities along with Chuck and Krista.
July 6, 2006 - Chuck started Round 4 of Chemotherapy today. We would also like to note the website recieved its 1500th "hit" and Chuck has recieved over 170 messages in the Guestbook. Thank you everone for continuing to be so supportive.
Updates Posted During Round 3:
June 8 - July 5, 2006
"Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little." - Plutarch
July 5, 2006 - Chuck is scheduled for a blood test today to see if Round 4 of Chemotherapy begins tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!
July 2, 2006 - Family friends from our years at RAF Bentwaters England were visiting Northern Virginia so Chuck, Mary-Ann and Krista had a wonderful afternoon with Colonel Robert Smith (ret), and his wife Carol. They are now enjoying life in Arizona, but had come East to visit their daughter Melissa Roy and her family who reside in Virginia. R.O. was happy to see Chuck is now sporting the same hair style!
June 29, 2006 - Today is Chuck and Mary-Ann's 38th Wedding Anniversary. Even though Round 4 of Chemotherapy has been delayed for a week, we certainly have many reasons to celebrate.
June 26, 2006 - There are several updates for today.
1. This past weekend Steve and Paula came to visit. Chuck, Mary-Ann, Steve, and Paula went to see Spamalot at the National Theater. Chuck was more excited to see the show than he was to wear his mask, but he put up with the indignity graciously. So many people means so many germs and he has come too far to risk infection now. The tickets were a gift for Steve and Paula's first wedding anniversary as well as a celebration of Chuck & Mary-Ann's anniversary.
2. Chuck, Mary-Ann, Krista, Keith, Steve, Paula, and a friend of Keith's, also named Steve, gathered for lunch to continue celebrating Father's Day. Chucks's children (and daughter-in-law) gathered around him for a picture. Of course, everyone was sporting the Carolina Hurricanes hats and T-shirts Steve and Paula brought from Raleigh. GO CANES!
3. The Doyle Family stopped in Virginia during their marathon summer camping/road trip. The Doyle Boys gave Chuck a Teddy Bear they built for him.
June 18, 2006 - Father's Day: Mary-Ann took a picture of Chuck talking to Steve on the phone while Krista kisses his cheek. The family is extending the Father's day celebration through next weekend so Steve and Paula can come participate in the festivities.
June 15, 2006 - Today Chuck went to the hospital to receive the latest dose of chemotherapy. After four hours he was home and able to make his own lunch rather than having to eat the hospital mystery food. Until recently, Chuck hasn't been able to stomach cooked meats. After successfully eating a hot dog earlier in the week he tried some pork loin that Mary-Ann grilled. Yes, Mary-Ann grilled and it was "A-Okay." Krista and Keith also benefitted from Mary-Ann's grilling skills as they stopped by for dinner.
June 14, 2006 - Chuck went in for a blood test today in preparation for his next dose of the chemical cocktail. This dose is scheduled to be given to him on Thursday.
June 8, 2006 - Today is the first day of Round 3 and the first day of out-patient chemotherapy. Chuck is definitely happy to not have to spend the night in the hospital! Also today this website recieved it's 1150th hit and it's 145th message in the guestbook!
Updates Posted During Round 2:
May 10 - June 7, 2006
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." - Mark Twain
June 6, 2006 - We found out today that Round 3 will begin on Thursday. The great news of the week is that Chuck's chemotherapy treatment is changing from in-patient to out-patient care. From now on it will be brief trips to the hospital instead of extended confinement!
May 31, 2006 - Now that Chuck is out of the hospital, he is going to work for a few hours each day. Today, Chuck was presented with a 10 Year Service Award from his employer, Wackenhut Services, Incorporated!
May 29, 2006 - We had a lot for which to be thankful today! Not only are we taking moment to reflect and remember on those that lost their lives so that we can be free, we are celebrating the Happy First Wedding Anniversary of Steve & Paula AND Chuck's release from the hospital after 10 long days! Round 3 of Chemo won't start until next week, however, we are grateful for a much needed break.
May 27, 2006 - The doctor said that Chuck could go home if his fever stays down for 24 hours. Unfortunately, the starting clock got frustratingly reset at noon so Chuck and Krista are trying every method they can think of when the nurse isn't around to keep Chuck's temperature down (ice pack, cold wash cloth, ice water & cherry ice). If we could figure out how to fake a temperature to stay home from school when we were kids, why not try similar techniques to leave the hospital now?
May 26, 2006 - The doctor's believe that Dad's infection is lingering because of the plastic ports. This evening, Chuck was taken to surgery to have the ports removed. When the infection is gone, we will start the next round of Chemo with new ports. Dr. Keith stopped by for a visit so Chuck was able to show off his "athletic prowess" to his chiropractor. Chuck couldn't lift his left leg without using his hands at his March appointment with Dr. Keith. Every small victory counts!
May 24, 2006 - Today the "Hit Counter" on this website passed 850 hits and there are over 100 messages in the guestbook! We all thank you for your continued encouragement and support. Chuck asks daily if there are any new messages. It is definitely helping him keep up his morale!
May 21, 2006 - Chuck's white blood cell count is still very low, so this stay in hospital has been extended. Amazingly enough, all of Chuck's additional tests can be performed right in his room with portable X-Ray and EKG machines. One positive thing about being at Alexandria Hospital is that Pat Pitzer, a family friend who is a medical technologist here, is able to stop to visit before she leaves at the end of the day.
May 20, 2006 - Once again, the 4th day after the last drop of chemo, Chuck is in for what he calls "Supplemental Hospital Confinement." Since his white blood cell count is low, he is back in reverse isolation to prevent infection. Chuck is in a new ward this visit so we get to meet a whole new batch of nurses. The good news is that Dr. Ngaiza, Chuck's Oncologist, looked at the CAT Scan and said the Chemotherapy is working! He said the sarcoma in Chuck's lungs is visibly smaller, but we have to wait for the Radiologists to make a few measurements before there are more definitive results.
May 19, 2006 - Joe took Chuck in for his CAT Scan today to give Mary-Ann a break. Unfortunately, Chuck had to drink a lot of bananna flavored Barium to prepare. Yummy! The results of the CAT Scan will be ready for next week's appointments when we will officially hear that Chuck's many visits to the hospital, while dreaded, are a life-saving investment.
May 17, 2006 - Chuck made his escape from the hospital yesterday. Despite being absolutely exhausted, the fact that Chuck is able to rest at home in his favorite chair makes all the difference in the world. The next step is to schedule a CAT Scan to visually verify the sarcoma shrinkage.
May 15, 2006 - We have three updates for today.
1. Today Chuck received the last dose of chemotherapy for Round 2 (Hurray!). He's hoping to make another escape on Tuesday.
2. Family friends Pat & Joe Neuland are heading south from Buffalo on Wednesday to help out while Chuck is at home. Joe said he'd bring his work clothes so he could take care of Chuck's "Honey-do-list."
3. The new visualization Chuck is using is of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz - that Sarcoma in Chuck's thigh is "m-e-e-e-e-l-ting." Of course, when going for a walk, the visualization was accompanied by Krista & Tante Lou serenading Chuck with the tune played when Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West rode her bicycle ("Doo doo-doo doodoodoo, doo doo-doo doodoodoo").
May 14, 2006 - Mother's Day! Krista, Keith, Steve & Paula took Mary-Ann to lunch in Old Town Alexandria for a well deserved celebration. Tante Lou was kind enough to supervise the dogs while we were out. Even though Chuck was stuck in the Hospital, he still managed to get a Mother's Day Card for Mary-Ann.
May 13, 2006 - Chuck was chomping at the bit to get some gardening done in the front yard, but doctors won't let him take a chance on infection. So Mary-Ann was dispatched to buy geraniums, petunias, and impatients. Since Steve & Paula were visiting (along with their new border collies, Emma & Blue) to visit Chuck and celebrate Mother's Day, they were put to work in the Garden. "We are digging how many holes?" they said while being supervised by Mary-Ann and the dogs. They did their best. The plants are off to a great start despite a slight mixup with mulch which left multiple colors in the garden. Egad, the horror! Steve & Paula may require more supervision on future gardening endeavors.
May 12, 2006 - It's so nice having Tante Lou in town so that Mary-Ann and Krista can get caught up with work and Chuck has an advocate (and boy do you need one in the hospital). Chuck is tolerating this round of Chemo fairly well and is even keeping up with his daily walks.
May 11, 2006 - Today is Krista's 30-something birthday. Since Chuck was in the hospital, Krista, Keith, Mary-Ann, and Tante Lou had a mini-celebration with Chuck. Candles and alcohol aren't allowed so there was toasting with Cadbury's chocolate. Cheers!
May 10, 2006 - We've just received word that Chuck will be going into the hospital for more Chemotherapy today. It's official! Round 1 has ended and Round 2 has begun. Tante Lou Heubusch is driving down from Buffalo to help keep Chuck company in the hospital during Round 2.
Updates Posted During Round 1:
April 17 - May 9, 2006
"Fortes fortuna juvat (Fortune favors the brave)" - Terence
May 9, 2006 - Chuck is really enjoying being at home! As he caught up on reading the Guestbook entries on the website Krista captured a candid photo. Notice the new "hair-do" that Chuck is sporting after a visit to the barber on Saturday. If all goes as scheduled, Chuck will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow for Chemotherapy Round 2. We are ready for take-off!
May 5, 2006 - This morning the "Hit Counter" on this website passed 400 hits and the number of messages in the guestbook fills six pages! Thank you for all of your support and encouragement. Chuck has really enjoyed his daily reading session of the new notes posted on the Guestbook Page. Please keep 'em comin'!
May 3, 2006 - Chuck is generating white blood cells on his own! He still needs to be careful to avoid potential infection, however he has passed the threshold to be able to go home from the hospital. Since Chuck has to wear a mask when outside or with groups of people, Krista also wore one as they made their escape.
May 2, 2006 - We are in Day Four of the Supplemental Hospital Confinement. Both red and white blood cell counts have increased but not enough to spring Chuck from the hospital. At least one more night and more units of blood are required. The phrase of the week, that is repeated often, is "Reverse Isolation - Very Important" as it guarantees a private room. Chuck is now required to wear a face mask whenever taking his morning walk around the ward and Mary-Ann and Krista have to wash their hands for 15 seconds before entering the room. Just say "No" to infection!
May 1, 2006 - Chuck's Nurse du Jour is the Field Marshall. Chuck, Mary-Ann and Gail had a great laugh this morning as Chuck accused Gail of trying to drown him last week. Thus far, the Field Marshall is our favorite nurse.
April 30, 2006 - Chuck started getting a little feverish on Saturday. Per the doctor's orders, he went to a hospital where a blood test was performed. Unfortunately, his blood cell counts were very low so he was admitted and has been receiving blood cells, platelets, and antibiotics. The treatment has brought the fever down and Chuck is feeling much better. Also, having a private room makes a world of difference.
April 28, 2006 - Aunt Carrie and Uncle Norm Klass arrived from Texas to spend the weekend to help Mary-Ann and Chuck around the house and to do yard work. They told Steve and Paula not to worry, there is still plenty of yard work left for them to do.
April 26, 2006 - Chuck felt strong enough today to spend a few hours at work. Krista had a business meeting close to Chuck's office location so was able to provide the transportation. The highlight of the day was that Chuck and Krista had a father/daughter lunch of chocolate custard before working. Chuck would like to report that the only hair loss he has experienced thus far is on his left upper chest where the nurse shaved him before inserting the port used to administer the chemotherapy!
April 24, 2006 - After waiting all day, Chuck was finally released from the hospital this evening. We are all so glad that it's the end of the first week of Chemotherapy! Chuck's focus is to rest and rebuild the good cells!
April 23, 2006 - It's official - the hospital can, in fact, ruin pudding. Chuck begins every meal with the sentence, "You wouldn't think they could screw up [insert food here]..." The doctor says he may be on his way home soon, which will hopefully give him a chance to rest. It's a little hard to get some shut-eye in the hospital. Chuck's favorite part of the day is reviewing the many cards he receives ("Fan Mail" as Steve calls it). He can't take calls and has no email access, but fortunately the cards keep him in touch.
April 22, 2006 - Steve & Paula arrived from North Carolina to relieve the troops in the field. Mary-Ann got a chance to catch her breath although she ended up using it to read the hundreds of emails awaiting her at home. Krista took the opportunity to get some much needed skate time.
April 21, 2006 - After the first day of his "chemo cocktail", Chuck said his leg was already hurting less. Amazingly enough, he is walking much better than last week taking full strides rather than the half steps. The cane is ever present but he doesn't use it much in the hospital. He does need to rest and catch his breath after visits to the restroom but we still manage a stroll around the ward at least once per day.
April 20, 2006 - We have been working on visualizing the chemo gobbling up the cancer (thanks Lucille). Dad says, "Like pac-man". There is now a picture of a Pac-man game screen hanging in the room with "High Score: Chuck Heubusch" proudly displayed in bold letters. Krista and Mary-Ann are taking turns keeping Chuck company and delivering snacks. He keeps requesting scotch too, but so far all they will bring him is tape.