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.