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.


  1. Marsha,

    Nothing I can say will take this trial away from you but just know that you are in my prayers. Don't worry about your blogging ability, you did great.


    Melynda McCarver Epperson

  2. Thanks so much for keeping us updated. I hope you guys know that you can call on us for anything. Cancer is a very tough thing to go through with a loved one and I love that you can use humor to relieve the stress. Please let me know if your kids need anything, even if it is just to come hang out at my house and bake cookies.

  3. BTW, Twice as Blessed, if you didn't guess it, is Shauna Park

  4. Marsha, thanks for the information. I am so sorry this is hitting your family! I have always been impressed by the closeness you have as a family and the strength you display amidst adversity. I know you will approach this the same way and come out victorious. We all pray for you and your family.
    Kathe and the Ritter family

  5. Marsha thinking of you and your family daily. The blog is a great idea because you have a lot of people who care for you and your family. This is a great way to keep us updated without having to repeat yourselves all the time. Let me know if I can help in anyway. Hang in there and know that you are loved.

  6. Kudos on the blog, great idea. We love you guys. Go Utes!
    P.S. Carotid Artery vs Jugular Vein? Come on, even I could make that distinction!

  7. Marsha and family,
    Your family is such a great example. We have looked up to you guys since the day we moved into the ward (and even though you kicked us out we still do). You are in our prayers!

    Putting faith in the hands of Utes is risky, so the Carotid Artery mistake doesn't surprise me. Hopefully from here on out you can get Utes who have sobered up from their weekend Beer Pong tournaments to put in catheters and IVs.

    I have a great story about our experience at the U of U hospital. Not sure here is the place, but it will make you laugh.

    In all seriousness, I have more faith in that hospital than I can tell you. You are in good hands!

  8. Marsha Craig and family I have always thought so highly of you guys and your adorable family you are such a strong family that pull together with the strength of your knowledge of the gospel and you have been such an amazing example to me Chris and it is something I have brought with me into my own family! We love you all and are thankful for the updates and are praying for you all! That is something I always remember about you Marsha is your sense of humor and making any situation into something you can find a smile into Love ya McKell and Chris Provost

  9. Great idea -- the blog! You know you are in our prayers!

  10. Great job with the blog! We sure love your family. We constanly think and pray for you guys. Please let me know if there is anything you need or that I can help you with.

  11. Thanks for keeping us posted. Craig has become a huge part of every one of our prayers. Bless you all! The whole Goodman family

  12. We love your family. Your sense of humor is great. We found out my uncle has stage 4 cancer one week before we found out about Craig. Now our boys pray for Uncle Gary and Brother Perry and sometimes Uncle Perry and Brother Gary! I'm glad the Lord can translate our prayers. As many people are praying for you!
    Wade and Jen Beckstead

  13. Marsha, you did a beautiful job. Thank you for taking the time to do this! You, Craig, your family, and the healthcare professionals caring for Craig are in my thoughts and prayers. I can see why you said this was hard for you to write. I can only hope that in someway writing this lessened your burden.
    --Chelle Gordon

  14. Hi Craig, Marsha,and family
    Letting you know we're thinking about you guys and of course you're in our prayers!! We love you!! Was Craig able to somewhat comfortably watch the BYU game? YEs, Don has converted over to the U side..but we are a house divided..even though I love my alma mater, I cheer for BYU football!! Anyway, thanks for doing this blog, we'll be checking in often as we follow Craig's progress in fighting this yucky stuff!! -Melinda Watts, Don, and the kiddos