Monday, November 29, 2010

Rolling Eyes are Never Good!

Hello everyone, I’m not sure how often I should or can write but it has been on my mind a lot today.  Craig’s worst day was Friday.  It was just plain awful, but each day he has continued to feel a little better.  The Bishopric had there Sunday morning meetings at our house and after a nap, Craig felt like he could go to church.  The plan was to get there just before sacrament meeting started, shake no one’s hand and then leave before anyone else.  McKaye leaned over to me before the opening song was over and said, “There is no way that Dad is going to make it through this meeting”.  We looked up and could see it on his face.  The church chairs are not his lazy boy or bed, and that is where he is best.  The fine young men in our ward finished passing the sacrament and Craig gave me the sign to take him home. He picked up his cute dog pillow, and blanket and we were on our way. He had the best of intentions but it didn’t work.

Today he is eating better, many things still make him roll his eyes at me, but that is nothing new.  For those of you that know me, realize that many things that I do and say make Craig roll his eyes.  It is food that is making him roll his eyes this time.  He said today, “I hope I haven’t ruined Thanksgiving dinners,” I thought, how sweet of you to thinking of others during this time.  Thinking he meant how bad everyone felt because he hadn’t been with us.  He said, “I ate a piece of turkey this morning and it still doesn’t taste good”.  So now all I can think about is next Thanksgiving, what will our lives be like then?  Hopefully going to the park for a little neighborhood football game, eating dinner to the point of throwing up just because we indulged ourselves too much, and then playing a little basketball, and being with family. 

He is working from home today and really has been able to do a lot. He is lying in the lazy boy with a pillow on his lap, with a cutting board on the pillow, and then his lap top on the cutting board, it works.  The company he works for, Nutraceutical, in Park City, is amazing.  The love and support they have given to him is great. He is hoping that he will continue to feel better each day this week and maybe go into work a few days this week, but one day at a time.

Thank you for the continued love and support from everyone.  The phone calls, notes, snow removal, hugs, love, prayers, and comments on the blog are all greatly appreciated.  As I talked too many, I continue to hear of other people that are in need of special prayers at this time.  We continue to remember others in our prayers, weather big or small in needs, we are all equal and need special thoughts and prayers directed our way.        


Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday?

Today started off good.  I took Craig out for Black Friday….OOPS, I meant, I took him out to get his pump of chemo taken off.  Driving down there I noticed all of the parking lots were full of cars with people putting things in their trucks and thought,” I wish I were in the stores with all those crazy people, running down isles, fighting over the last of everything, using my elbows to push through all the joy of the Holiday Season.”  Yes I use to do that but have tapered off in the last few years.  But, oh how I was wishing I were doing that instead of driving to a chemo lab.

On Wednesday when we got home from his first chemo he was able to have a good lunch.  Many people were saying to me that they hoped that he would enjoy his Thanksgiving dinner.  I was really thinking that there would be no problem with him getting nauseated that soon.  By dinner time on the first day he didn’t want any dinner. Thanksgiving day I brought him home some dinner from our family gathering, a plate which was not much more than a young child would eat, and he was able to only eat about half.  Today, the 3rd day he has eaten 2 bites of toast, 2 potato chips, 4 pretzels, and about 4 cups of liquid, which on the liquid I think is really good.  YES, I think the nausea is here.  But remember, one bright side in everyday, he has about 4 cups of liquid in him, and he hasn’t thrown up.  I know the toast, potato chips, and pretzels are not a good diet for staying healthy, but I keep offering him things to eat and he pulls the blanket over his face and moans.  Maybe he is pregnant, and it is really not cancer.  The can of Ensure is coming soon.

Earlier today he and Dallin, our 12 year old son, were watching television together and Dallin ask him,” Dad did you think cancer would hurt this bad?”  Craig’s reply, “Buddy I hadn’t really thought about it.”

There are many things that we really don’t think about until we are in the middle of it. We all know people that have gone through cancer and many hard things, but how often do we really think about their pain and what they really might feel like. Sure we feel bad and wish that we could take it away for them, but it doesn’t work that way.  The only thing that we can do for them is give service, love and prayers, in their behalf. 

We have received many of those things already.  Even one amazing person that said he would trade places with Craig in a heartbeat if he could.  We do have many great friends and those of you that have commented on the blog have really helped both Craig and I a lot.  Remember that you never know who needs to hear what you have to say that can make a difference in their life at any given time. Words and thoughts are always needed.   

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day of Thanksgiving

D-Day has finally arrived. Even though this whole series of events has come upon us rapidly, it seemed that this day would never come soon enough. The process of discovering the enemy and locating its strongholds, while necessary, wasn’t doing anything to destroy it. Yesterday, Wednesday, November 24th, I began the first steps of treating the cancer by receiving chemotherapy at the cancer clinic in American Fork. The troops have landed on the beach and are storming the enemy positions. My chemo treatment consists of going the cancer clinic every other Wednesday and receiving and infusion of chemicals, into my newly installed Port, over a period of a couple of hours. After that in-clinic treatment, they hook me up to a pump which will administer additional chemicals over the next two days. As a bonus, I have this very stylish fanny pack for lugging around the pump for a couple of days. Friday morning, following the Wednesday treatment, I will return to the clinic to have the pump removed. After being poisoned with the chemo, drugs which attempt to target and kill the quickly dividing cancer cells, the recovery process consists of spending the next 12 days allowing the body to rebuild and regain strength. This cycle will continue for a period of several months, and then testing will be done to determine the effectiveness of the treatments. I don’t really know yet how these treatments will affect me, but just knowing that we’re actually doing something is a huge relief. I met several wonderful people at the cancer clinic yesterday, some of whom are patients also receiving treatments, which encouraged me and gave me hope.

In case you are interested to know more about the port which was installed into my chest, please check out the following link:

Today is Thanksgiving and I have much to be thankful for. First, I need to express my profound love and gratitude to Marsha. Without her I don’t know how I would be able to deal with these challenges. While she too is having a difficult time, she has been my rock, an excellent caregiver, a source of strength, and is my eternal friend and companion. 143!

Here is a partial list of the blessings in my life: 4 beautiful, talented, and amazing children. They bring me joy and I am proud of them. My extended family is very supportive, and has given me a legacy of love and faith in God. We live in a wonderful home in an incredible area where neighbors will do anything, and have already done much, to help. I work for an incredible company, Nutraceutical Corporation in Park City. Those I work with are like family. Utah is amazingly beautiful and it offers so many experiences, which I love sharing with my family and friends. The vistas are unbelievable; the colors vivid; the contrast of scenery and climate are incredible. (Marsha – I’m sorry I’m ruining a second straight snowmobile season – I’ll make it up to you)

The greatest blessing in my life is the knowledge that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. My faith in Him and God gives me the strength and courage to face any challenge and accept any outcome. All blessings come from God and I am truly blessed. I have a wonderful life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fridays, Fridays, Fridays, I hate Fridays!!!

Friday November 5th they told us Craig had cancer. Friday November 12th they told us the cancer had spread to the liver and bones. Friday November 19th Dr. Weis at the Huntsman told us that the average person with what Craig has lives 2 years. NO MORE FRIDAYS!!!

The pain inside hurts so bad that it is hard to even see straight. I actually have to tell myself to keep breathing.  This is something that no parent should have to tell their children, especially at this age.

Remember we look for a bright side….Dr. Ed Nelson was able to put in the port-a-cath with no problems, which we were very grateful for.  We also received a wonderful phone call from some friends, that after having 3 beautiful daughters, they are expecting a boy. The only down side to that, is he will be a Utah Ute Fan (unless our continued influence has any impact).

 The Doctors at Huntsman are amazing.  All of the technology is there to help people from all over the world. You just never want to be seeing it for yourself.

 Dr. Weis agreed with Dr. Breyer in American Fork, on the type of treatment.  Craig told him that if they told us that there was more that they could do for us at Huntsman we would come there.  They reassured us that right now there is not anymore that they can do than what American Fork Doctors can do so we are moving forward with chemo, close to home, very soon hopefully.

We all believe in miracles and we hope we are in the right line for some now. Miracles are all around us every day.  We are grateful for so many things, our children, our parents, the wonderful neighborhood that we live in.  Not too long ago I received a email from someone that talked about being grateful.  There were many things that we don’t even think about.  Laundry…because then we know that we have clothes to wear.  Gaining weight…because then we know that we have plenty of food to eat.  Car insurance…because then we know we have a car to drive, and the list goes on.  We never think about the simplest things to be grateful for until they’re gone. 

We are all so blessed in so many ways, and now we are pleading with Heavenly Father for a few more blessings and miracles.  We just hope and pray that we will are worthy of them. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Hello everyone, changes in life bring about changes in everything, so here goes.  I am not a writer or a computer person but changes have come hard and fast in our lives and hopefully I can adapt to both.

Last Sunday night we were trying to think of a blog name. Craig’s first thought was “Cancer bites my Butt”, or “Cancer, the pain in my butt”.  Anyone who knows us knows we are always trying to find humor, even in this. It’s hard, really hard. It only adds to the joke that our good family friends gave Craig a dog pillow (pillow shaped like a dog), to bite the pain in his butt. We just have to remember that laughter is the best medicine, so don’t be afraid to joke around with us and have a little fun with the situation we’ve been given (at Craig’s expense of course). We are trying to keep our lives as normal as possible.
About 5 years ago Craig went through the “change of life”, not what most of us think of as the change but, he started doing some 5K, 10K, Triathlons, ½ marathon, and on September 18, 2010 he ran the Top of Utah marathon. All of them have been great experiences. So what I am saying is that up to September he has been in the best shape of his life. Little did we know that there were little changes going on in his body.  No pain until after the marathon, which at that point we thought it was just his body trying to get back to normal. Oct. 18, 2010 we went to our family Doctor. With what was going on he thought it was a very good possibility that it was a prostate infection.  Craig went on antibiotics but the pain increased almost daily. We were soon back in contact with the Dr. and at that time I think our heads started to spin, not knowing that soon they would be totally spinning out of control. The Dr. quickly ordered a CT scan, a visit to a surgeon for enlarged lymph node, and a colonoscopy. On Tuesday Nov. 2 he went in for a colonoscopy and removal of one of the enlarged lymph node, for biopsy. During the colonoscopy they found some questionable tissue in the rectum and took a biopsy. Friday Nov. 5 Craig received the phone call that it was Adenocarcinoma, or colo-rectal cancer stage 3.  Craig has now entered the “BIG C CLUB”.  Monday Nov. 8 we went to Dr. Wendy Breyer, an oncologist in American Fork. She talked about what the plan of action would be from what we knew at that point: chemo for 2 months, chemo with radiation for 2 months, possible surgery, followed by more chemo. She then set us up to go to Huntsman for a full body scan on Nov. 11. That’s the day that we found out that driving in the car is not very much fun for Craig. I think there are a lot of nerve endings in the butt. We are still currently looking for “the perfect seat”. Anyway, Friday Nov. 12 we went back into Dr. Breyer and received the news that continued to spin our world. The cancer is in the rectum, lymph nodes, liver and bone and increased to a stage 4. The bright side (we are always looking for the bright sides), the cancer cells are in the bone but not eating away at the bone, yet. Nov. 16 we went in to get the port-a-cath (portable catheter for the chemo or anything else to go into the body, I think). It was going to be a 45 minute procedure. NOT! The surgeon came out and said that the catheter had entered into the carotid artery instead of the jugular vein and he had started to bleed into his chest and neck causing a large hematoma under the muscle and it was putting pressure on the air way and that he was on his way to ICU. The procedure was about an hour, ending with Craig in the ICU for 2 days. He stayed there the rest of that day and night and was able to leave the next morning. Nov. 18 we took another ride up to Huntsman to a Dr. Sklow, a colo-rectal surgeon. He wanted to be able to do an ultrasound picture to see exactly the size of the tumor. One word, “BIG”.  But, DODO –able (as in still able to use the “porcelain throne”…some what…).  Right now there is no obstruction.  He then set us up with a Dr. Ed Nelson at the U of U for Nov. 19 to try again to put in the port-a-cath. For those of you that might think that we are now Utah Utes fans, again I would say NOT. We only bleed red; Craig’s favorite color is still BYU BLUE. We will then follow that appointment up with a visit to a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) oncologist, Dr. Weis, for a second opinion. There are people all over the world that come to the HCI for treatment and we feel lucky to be only 45 minutes away. 
This is a very hard thing to go through, but already we have been so blessed. Family, friends, prayers, thoughts, hugs, dinners, desserts, car rides, visits from friends, wonderful children, and a very loving Heavenly Father. I often think of the saying, “I did not say it would be easy, just worth it”. Same days I say, “but how hard?  How long can we stand?”  But that is when we have to get down on our knees and ask for help.
This whole blog thing is new to me. A very wonderful friend set it up for me and our whole family thought it would be a good idea. Sometimes I will write, or maybe the kids, or maybe Craig. But we will try to let everyone know how it is going. We love all of you and know that many people are going through hard times right now, many that are harder than ours. We send our prayers out to everyone.