Monday, October 31, 2011

My Dad's Obituary

 
Craig Don Perry
1961 ~ 2011

Craig Don Perry, age 50, died October 25, 2011, after a year-long battle with colorectal cancer.

Craig was born March 5, 1961, in Richland, Washington, to Dale Perry and Jeanine Watts Perry.

The Perrys moved to Centerville in 1969 where Craig attended J.A. Taylor Elementary School and Centerville Junior High. After graduating from Viewmont High School in 1979, he attended Brigham Young University and served an LDS Mission in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

On February 5, 1988 ,he married Marsha Cloward in the Salt Lake Temple for time and all eternity.

He is survived by his wife, Marsha, his three daughters, Corinne Perry Born (Ryan Born), McKaye, Ashlyn, and his son, Dallin. He is also survived by his parents, Dale and Jeanine Perry and his siblings, Mike Perry (Donna), Doug Perry (Diane), Denise Norberg (Robert), Lisa Titensor (David), and Andrea Madsen.

He was a computer programmer for 19 years with the Utah County Government. He then worked from September 1998 to the present as Computer Programmer/Data Group Director for Nutraceutical Corporation in Park City Utah.

His passion was in the outdoors! He loved going to the family cabin and going on snowmobiling and four-wheeling trips with his family. He loved being in the mountains, whether it was hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, or backpacking with his family and friends. In the last five years, he really enjoyed running, especially triathlons and marathons.

His motto for the last year has been "Live, Play, Love, Pray," and he did it all.

He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served in many different positions. One that he loved dearly was teaching the Primary children. He served as a counselor in two Bishoprics and was serving there at the time of his passing.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center at 450 E 2000 N, Orem, Utah. A viewing will be held there from 9:00-10:30 a.m. There will also be a viewing Tuesday evening at 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary at 495 South State Street in Orem.

The Craig D. Perry Memorial Fund at Mountain America Credit Union has been established for those wishing to contribute. You may make a deposit to this account at any MACU branch.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Updates

Hey everyone! This is Corinne.  My mom has been really busy and hasn't been able to put up a blog.  We have a neighbor who has been writing and sending email updates to family and friends and my mom asked that I post the most resent update that she sent.  So here it is...

Dear Perry Family and Friends,

Yesterday Craig received 2 liters of IV fluids that were badly needed.  It has been more difficult for Craig to eat and drink enough, and he has lost 8 lbs. since last Saturday, October 15.  He will receive fluids daily while receiving radiation to help him stay hydrated.  In an effort to get more calories into him, they will be starting Craig on protein drinks and smoother foods that will require less chewing.  He is very weak right now.

Marsha and Craig met with Dr. Weis, the oncologist from whom they got their second opinion last year.  They met with him yesterday for 1 hour and 15 minutes and were able to receive a lot of information and get many questions answered.  Craig's radiation treatments are scheduled to be completed next Wednesday, October 26, and they have already set up an appointment in one month from that day to do a brain scan.  They cannot do a brain scan before then, because the brain needs that time to settle down from the radiation.

If the radiation treatments have been working, they will then proceed with chemotherapy for the rest of the body.  If the radiation is not working, there will be no reason to put his body through more chemotherapy that will just make him sick.  The brain trumps all else and must allow the body to get better.

Craig's mobility has been significantly impacted by the tumors and pressure in his brain, but he still has limited ability to get around. Craig is fighting and not giving up.  He is trying his best to do everything he can on his own.  Marsha hopes to make arrangements for Craig to come home after the radiation treatments are finished and he will no longer need to be so close to the hospital.
 

For those who would like to receive e-mail updates on Craig's status, please reply to         obeblb@hotmail.com.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support.  My family really appreciates it.  And Thank you Eva Black for helping with the email updates. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Update: The Most Recent Developments with Craig and his Family


We’ve had a setback over the last several days. Craig had recently started having a hard time focusing on things with his eyes (visually) along with tasks that required any amount of concentration.  Wednesday of this week he got worse and Marsha decided that he needed to go into the hospital and get checked out.  The appointment was for 1:30 in the afternoon, as the day progressed the ability to focus became increasingly more difficult and disorientation started to set in. 

At the hospital they did a brain and the Doctor scheduled a meeting for Thursday morning at 9:45 to go over the results of the scans.  The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful.  Around 3:10 AM Craig grabbed and squeezed Marsha’s hand very tightly, he was having a seizure and was unresponsive.  Craig sounded as if he was choking and needed to be turned onto his side to prevent choking. 911 was activated and the Police and Paramedics arrived to assess the situation. During this time the severity of the seizure had started to decrease however, Craig was still unable to talk, he tried to mutter words but they were incoherent. The ambulance transported both Craig and Marsha to Timpanogos Hospital at roughly 4:00 AM.

This morning another brain scan was preformed and the results were not what anyone had expected or wanted. There are three large tumors and several small tumors in Craig’s brain. Two of the large ones are in the rear, one of which is suspected of causing the seizure; the third large one is located in the front on the right side.  As of now we’re waiting for Craig to get a bed at the Huntsman Center were he’ll receive additional treatments. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fight and Live

On Monday, I went out to do some shopping for a few things for the house.  My friend, Kristine Bone, called and Craig told her that I was out doing, “Shopping Therapy”.  He likes to make people think that I am hard on him with my huge shopping sprees.  I am so good to him on how fugal I am, always saving for the rainy day, and he knows it.  Kristine called to tell him that she and her husband would be at the hospital to be with me during the surgery.  They were a great support.  Both of our parents offered to come.  I joked with my Mom and told her that I was afraid if the Doctors saw my Dad they would admit him to rehab, I mean rehab for his walking, not rehab for what you were thinking. Hahaha


Craig and I went into this surgery thinking that it was going to be a long recovery but it was going to be the end.  As our friend Iva Beckstead stated on her comment on our last blog, “It’s not a train in the tunnel. It’s just a little caboose…Literally, THE END.”  We really thought it was going to be the end. 


When the Doctor’s came out into the waiting room and called out my name, my heart sank.  It had only been 1 hour and 15 minutes, into a 4 hour surgery.  The worst thoughts went through my mind.  He took me into a small room, where he then told me that he had run into some problems.  I was told that he had found cancer on the liver.  He called and spoke with one of his colleagues and also our oncologist, Dr. Breyer.  They both thought it would be best to finish the colostomy and not remove the tumor and rectum.  The reasons were 1st; the recovery process if they did the whole surgery would set us back 2 months.  2nd, not knowing where else the cancer could be they didn’t want to stir things up.  I decided to go with the Doctors recommendation, hoping that when Craig woke up, he would think that I had made the right decision.


Next to having Doctors tell you that your husband has stage 4 colorectal cancer, another one of the worst days is telling him that it is back again and then calling and telling your kids.  There were tears, anger, frustration, disbelief, and sadness all rolled into one.


Craig was released from the hospital on Saturday September 17th and physically feeling pretty good.  We went to see our oncologist Monday the 19th.  She was very sad to see us back in her office under these circumstances.  She was not surprised that the cancer had returned, but that it had come back so quickly.  She also said that we will never know for sure if the cancer was missed by the last PET scan, as they are not 100% correct, or if it is new growth, but it is colorectal cancer again.  The good thing is that we were not scheduled to have another scan for 6 months and who knows how much of his body would have been affected by then, had they not discovered it during the surgery.


We will now be returning to Huntsman for a baseline PET scan the second week of October, and then start chemo on October 17th.  His body needs time to recover from this surgery. The new chemo will be the same as the prior routine, starting a new treatment every 2 weeks, wearing the chemo pump for two days at home, then recovering for 12 days.  This process will repeat for 6 months.  The only difference is the drugs which will be used, as the ones used previously will have likely diminished in their effectiveness.  Though the side effects will change, there will definitively be some.


This has been very hard, many emotions all the way around. Yesterday after Home Health Care left our home, we were struggling again. Craig said, “We can’t pretend it’s not real, but we have to stay positive.” That’s what the nurse said yesterday at Dr. Breyer’s office. “You basically have two choices. You can give up and think that you are going to die, or you can choose to stay positive and fight like heck to live.” She complimented us on our attitudes, and said it is ok to go home and cry and scream and get it out, and then go back to our good place in our heads and in our hearts. We choose to fight and live!



A few of Craig's friends, (Craig's Crusaders) from work, they came with there "Cure the Crack sign's and t-shirts. 
  
They made his Day!   We love you guys!

John Cyrus (Cousin, haha) came from Oregon to visit. Craig finally has more hair than he does.


Ashlyn, Dallin, Craig, Marsha, Corinne and Ryan Born, McKaye.  We were wishing we had santa hats to make it into a Christmas card picture.
Pain scale, I'm thinking his face matches -0.

Rob Norberg, brother-in-law, cut his hair off for Craig.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Change of Plans!!!

Just a little note about Craig’s surgery, he went in on Tuesday September 13 for a removal of the rectum and tumor and to receive a colostomy bag.  The Doctor found that there is cancer on the liver again.  They don’t know if it never left or if it is new.  It was a very hard day, with many decisions that I had to make while Craig was asleep in surgery. Between the Doctor and myself I hope we made the right one.  Not sure exactly when he will come home, hopefully in the next few days, and then we will go see our Oncologist again and see what is the next step. 



By the way…the light in the tunnel that I was talking about in my last blog, it was a train, and it hit us again, just not sure how bad the bleeding is.



Thank you to my great friends who stayed with me at the hospital while Craig was in never-never-land.  Both of our parents have been so supportive, and our great friends.  We love you all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Light of a Train?

Hello everyone.  Well, Corinne and Ryan have been married 1 month now and are doing well.  It is fun to watch them try to stretch their pennies.  They are finding many ways to help save money while going to school.  They have a very cute duplex they are renting in Ogden, about 1 mile south of campus.



McKaye has gone down to Snow College, she has a full load of classes, but is having lots of fun meeting new friends and going to parties.  She is already making plans for next year and wants to stay in the same apartment.  Ashlyn misses her dearly.   The first day of school Ashlyn walked out of her bedroom and had to ask Dallin if her outfit looked good?  His response was, “I have no idea, go ask Rob”.  Rob is her uncle who is staying with us right now.  Anyway…she misses McKaye.



The past week I have been cleaning out the house.  I haven’t done much with it for the past year and it was overdue.  Changed kids rooms, cleaned carpets, washed walls, cleaned out the shed, took two loads of stuff to DI, and one load to the dump.  The house is starting to get a little lighter. 



Craig will be going in for surgery on September 13.  Dr. Griffin, a colon and rectal specialist at St. Marks in Salt Lake City, will be removing the tumor.  It has been just a little short of a year since we started this adventure, and it has been quite a year.  We have had the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows.  We have grown so much as a family and spiritually.  We’ve had such great experiences.  We just wish it was through different circumstances.  It had been a rough road and we know it is not over yet, but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel but hoping that is not a train.  Hahah!  After going through this experience, we could say why us, why Craig?  It has been hard, extremely hard; it’s good that we have had such amazing experiences along the way, and had such great people put in our path to help us soften the load.   We can never say “why us, why Craig.”  When you walk into the chemo clinic and see all of the people, young and old, in all stages of life, you could say, why them?  We don’t know why, we just know that we will not be tested more than we can handle.  When you’re in the middle of the situation that is a hard thing to realize, but we do see how much help from family and friends we have had and that our Heavenly Father knows us personally, and has been helping us along the way.



I am preparing myself for one last ride, which starts next Tuesday.  Taking a deep breath, putting on my game face and tightening my shoelaces, there will be no sissy’s around here; we are getting ready for the challenge.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pre-Wedding

I could use the excuse that the computer is down, or I’ve been out of the country, or I’ve been abducted by aliens, but really I’ve been relaxing by a pool , reading my favorite books, and being fed fresh fruit.  After I’m through eating, I’m going to walk over to the ocean and find a little cove to go snorkeling in…



Holy Cow! Wake up Marsha!



Oh! Corinne is getting married in two days; Craig is still doing chemo and radiation, and just packed up the kids to go on a family reunion river rafting.  Breathe!



OK.  No more excuses, but I have been a little distracted.  Thanks to many friends and family, the wedding will go off very well.  Yesterday I had a young lady that I met for the first time that day on the phone, come and take my dress from me to do a little alteration on for the wedding.  I had tried to do it myself and it wasn’t working.  I had come to the conclusion that no one will be looking at me at the wedding, and I could really wear a pair of overalls and be ok, but this young lady will save me, and everyone that has to look at me.  At the receptions please no comments that I would have looked just fine in the overalls.



Yesterday I took 1 toilet back to Home Depot, that wasn’t needed and now also with the help from friends have 2 new toilets in and only one, and some bead board to go.  It will wait until after the reception down here.  We have some new neighbors and Craig’s comment was, “I hope they don’t think that we are white trailer trash.”  All of our old toilets are at the side of our house waiting to be taken away.  Really the house looks pretty bad; it could be a poster for “My Big Redneck Wedding”.  You walk in our front room and there is wedding stuff everywhere and one toilet seating in my living room.  It is brand new shiny and clean, but still.  Oh! I mean BUTT STILL.  It is all coming to an end and the house will get looking normal again soon.



As I said, the kids went on a river rafting trip with the Perry’s this past weekend, and because of that, I had to give up my air mattress bed that I have been sleeping on, at the side of our bed for 8 months.  For the last 3 nights I have slept in the same bed with Craig, well at least that where I started.  He still is quite jumpy in bed.  I sure hope that it is from all of the meds and once he is off of it all, will lie still at night.  This morning we were talking about all of the abnormal things in our lives right now, looking at him was one of the big ones.  A tube going into his chest, no hair, very sore feet, skinny legs, sores in his mouth and nose, etc.  Then he started wiping his eyes.  His comment was, “these are normal sleepy seeds that are coming out of my eyes.”  We laid there and had a good laugh. 



Corinne and Ryan get married on Tuesday August 2nd.  There will be a reception in Centerville that evening at Ryan’s house and then a reception in Provo on Saturday August 6th at the Utah County Historic Court House. We hope many of you will be able to come and celebrate with us this wonderful event.


Aug. 4th at 4:45 pm.
Ok…now you can really see how crazy I am because Sunday I wrote the blog and then Craig read it, sent it back to me and then I forgot to post it. 


Corinne is now married and one of the receptions is over, one more to go, Saturday night at Utah County Historic Courthouse at 6:30 – 8:30, and then we are done! I will write about all that has gone on after that.


Love all my family and friends!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cabin for the 4th

Hope everyone had a good 4th of July.  We were able to go up to the family cabin; it had been since September the last we were up there.  Unfortunately Craig had just finished his 6th radiation treatment and was starting to not feel too great.  We were hoping to make it farther into the treatments before the side effects started, but he went into this not at the top of his game.  The pain for him comes on quite fast, so when he is feeling good, he is really feeling good - when he is not, he not.  There is not too much in between time, the past 8 months it was pretty much bad all of the time.  So basically we go like crazy when he is feeling good.


We had quite a big group up at the cabin, and not even everyone was there.  Funny how all of those little grandchildren have grown up and now are adults that take up so much room.  Craig, McKaye, and brother-in-law, Dave, had a great time singing and playing guitar.  It was good to see how much Craig was enjoying himself.






Craig’s body temperature is still really weird.  At night he sweats in bed and has a sweatshirt on during the day.  A few weeks ago Dallin had baked some cookies and the kitchen was extremely hot, it was up to 82 degrees.  I thought I was going to die and Craig was just getting comfortable.  He has started to get some “Man Cub Fuzz” all over his body.  It is so crazy, tiny light hair all over the place; it seemed to start growing over night.  His hair is starting to come in a little better, but not soon enough to look ok for the wedding, so we will keep him bald for a while longer.



We have been enjoying eating outside in the evening.  Keeping the air fresh for Craig.  The smells haven’t been bothering him very much this time.  But we did move the toilet outside to make it easier for him to get to.  Hahaha, No we are not a redneck family, we are just finally getting to the point of changing out our toilets.  The patio is our toilet holding area before the DI. 



McKaye is staying busy with her singles ward.  She has many great friends that she has met, and is hardly ever home.  Ashlyn just got back from girls camp yesterday, and had a great time.  She said it was great weather, great activities, great food, and great people to be around.  She even didn’t smell too bad when she got home.  Dallin is having a fun summer also.  He is finished up with baseball, it was a pretty rough season with all of the rain, but he had fun.  Now he is keeping busy with friends, mowing lawns, and the latest - making blow dart guns.  I told him and a friend “absolutely no aiming at each other”.  As they went out the door Craig yelled, “At least don’t tell your mother about it”.  My mouth dropped open, he said, “Don’t worry, he knows better than that”, really though, sometimes I wonder?



Wedding plans are hopefully wrapping up.  We will soon be to the point, if it doesn’t get done, it won’t happen.  But the important things are done, (I think).  Thank you to all of you that are helping out.  They say, “It takes a village to raise a child”, I’m adding also to pull off a wedding. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Maybe Next Year!

Hello all…I have been waiting to talk to more Doctors before I wrote another blog, and during my time waiting I got caught up in wedding plans and kids being out of school.

On June 7th we went to see Dr. Blair, he will do the radiation.  It is quite the process to get ready for radiation.  They take multiple scans and then put them all together to see the prefect direction to shoot the radiation.  Dr. Blair and his staff are great people.  Craig mentioned to him what great doctors we have come across in this process, Dr. Blair thanked him and said that all Doctors that go into oncology usually do because of someone they’ve cared deeply for that went through the experience.    

On June 13th we went to see a new Doctor, Dr. Griffin, a rectal surgeon.  He had already spoken with Dr. Breyer and discussed a new plan of action.  In addition to radiation and chemo, on this coming Friday, June 24th he is going to “take a PEEKY” at the tumor, can’t remember the name of the procedure, it’s like a short colonoscopy.  He will be putting tattoos around it so that he knows how much it shrinks.  As we were driving home from the appointment we passed a tattoo shop and I started laughing with the thoughts that we could go into the shop and ask for a tattoo, and then explain to them where Craig was in need of it.  I think just the thoughts of that could cure anyone from wanting to “give or get tattoos”.  It’s never a bad time for a good laugh.

Craig has continued to eat and put on weight during this time off chemo.  It is like a day and night difference in how he feels.  He is still down 28 lbs but is looking really good. 

 The past few years, Craig has run with a team from his work in the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay.  It is a race from Logan to Park City (192 miles) with 12 people to a team.  It is not just a race but a party for 30, plus or minus hours.  They say, “Run, Drive, Sleep? Repeat.  This year the team decided to run in Craig’s honor.  The team name was “Craig’s Crusaders”.  The whole team ran in shorts with the rubber bum on the backside, and blue rubber gloves.  The suburban’s were decorated with decals that turned heads continually.  A few of them read, “This won’t take long” with a doctor pulling on gloves.  “Thumb for the bum & cure for the crack”.  “Are you buying me dinner after this?”, and, “I love the smell of petroleum jelly in the morning!”  We were honored to have them run for Colorectal Awareness.  We were able to go see some of the team run through Heber and then again at the finish line in Park City.  It was quite an event.  Hopefully Craig will be back to running in it next year.  He looked just about as tired as the runners did after their 30 hours of running.  The walk to get to the Park City football field from where the shuttle buses dropped us off was really hard for him.  Thank you to all team members who ran for the Nutraceutical team.































                                         Kristy Mitchell


                 Jaymi Gale, Lori DuPaul,Craig, Michele Patterson, Josephine Booth.



                            Nancy Ortiz finishing in Heber.


    Lori DuPaul, Nancy Ortiz, Craig Perry, Michele Patterson, and Jaymi Gale


    Lori DuPaul, Nancy Ortiz, Craig Perry, Michele Patterson, Kristy Michell, and Jaymi Gale.



     Josephine Booth running her last time through Heber, and still smiling.


                   It was a long walk in for Craig


                   Crossing the finish line with the team!














Jaymi Gale, Nancy Ortiz, Kristy Mitchell, Josephine Booth, Michele Patterson, Andy Nelson, Craig Perry, Todd Christopherson, Tonii Humphrey, Bill Hughes, Lori DuPaul.  Missing from the picture are Dave Bunch and Tim Ashby. Pretty good looking team for running 192 miles with very little sleep.


                      Proof that they are behind Craig all the way!









                                      Marsha and Craig


This week we have appointments 4 out of 5 of the days.  We start chemo on Tuesday, a dry run through of the radiation on Wednesday, then start the regular, 5 days a week, radiation on Thursday, followed by our appointment in Salt Lake with Dr. Griffin for the PEEK, and tats.  We’ll be quite pinned down for the next 6-7 weeks with daily visits to the various doctors, but we know that we are now very near the end.  Following the radiation treatments, which will end very near the wedding date, Craig will get a month off to gain enough strength to be able to undergo surgery to remove the remaining mass of the tumor.  By the end of September, almost exactly one year from the time he began experiencing problems, he should be recovered from the surgery and on his way back to full health.

We continue to make wedding preparations with the help of friends and we look forward to August 2 for the wedding and reception in Centerville and then a reception in Provo at the Utah County Historical Court House on August 6th.         

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Believe In Miracles

I first need to start off by thanking everyone who has had our family in their thoughts and prayers, and helped us out in anyway.  We have been very blessed and we will pay it forward. 

On Wednesday May 25, we went to Huntsman to get a PET scan, which is the scan we did in November that showed how far the cancer had spread through Craig's body.  On June 1, we went into our doctor’s office and were told that Craig was cancer free.  REMISSION!  We both were numb.  It was very hard to even process what she was she was saying.  She read the correct report, she went to medical school so we knew she knew had to read correctly, and from the look on her face we knew she was amazed also.  The PET scan is quiet a process, it takes about 2 ½ hours, and what it does is makes any cancer cell in the body light up.  In November his scan looked like a Christmas tree.  NOT this time!  The nurses gave us some Sparkling cider to have to celebrate.  This is the kind that is ok to drink while on medication, notice the bag of pills in his hand.

We made it home and started calling and telling us many people as we could.  Our children and family were the first to celebrate with us.  Many tears were shed and getting on our knees to thank our Heavenly Father for this great blessing.  WE ARE BLESSED!

A few days before we even received the results from the scan Craig was actually getting the munchies.  Towards the end of chemo sometimes he would start eating a little better but never get hungry.  He left all of the hunger and munchies to me.  It was really weird, late one night he came into the bedroom eating some potato chips.  The doctor now wants him to put on as much weight as possible before we start the next step.  When she said that he needed calories, I mentioned that it needed to be healthy food but high in calories.  She said NOPE! It really doesn’t matter; he just needs to put on weight. 

We had another appointment with her on June 3 and she had spoken with a number of doctors and the decision was to start with chemo 7 days a week with radiation 5 days a week, for 7 weeks.  At that point he will heal and get stronger for 4 to 5 weeks, and then undergo surgery to remove the tumor.  Yes the tumor is still there and causing a “Pain in his Butt”, but now we can really focus on it.  We still have a long road ahead of us, but we have our lives, our family, our friends, and our faith.  What more does a person need?

More excitement this past week - we attended McKaye’s graduation from Timpanogos High school.  She is finished with High School, and ready to move forward.  I remember that time in my life, so scary but also exciting.  She will be going to Snow College in the fall on a scholarship and we are very proud of her.  

Thank you again to all you for your support and love, especially the young children.  We have received so many cards, letters, and gifts of love from children and youth from our area, we will always treasure them.


P.S. from Craig – “He lives, all glory to his name… Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my Redeemer lives.”

Friday, June 3, 2011

LIVE-PLAY-LOVE-PRAY=MIRACLES!

I don't have time right now for a long detailed post, but just wanted to let anyone know that hasn't heard me yelling it from the roof tops, Craig's scan showed that he is in REMISSION! We are hoping to find out which doctor that they want us to go to now, because the tumor is still there, but no signs of cancer!

We love you all and most importantly, we know that our Heavenly Father loves us and knows each of us personally. Miracles do happen.  Now we will pray for everyone that is still battling this terrible disease.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Bit of Everything!

Hello…Sorry it has been so long since the last post but I’ve been a little preoccupied.  Chemo, wedding plans, and my Mom and Dad.   I will highlight a few of the things that have been going on.  

On May 12 my Mom finally allowed myself and my brothers to check her into a rehab center.  It was very much needed and we are grateful she is there.  She decided to have my Dad be checked in as well, they are sharing a room.  My Mom has struggled with a small drinking problem for quite a while, and Dad has had similar problems, plus a few extra problems with some addictions to pills, which he claims are for hips, back , and Parkinson’s, but we kids know better than that.  We are just glad that they are finally getting the help that they need. 

OK! RELAX!  I don’t want to start bad rumors at the family reunions, cousin’s lunches, or condo’s.  Mom had a knee replacement on May 9th, she was released from the hospital on May 12 and we checked her into a rehab center, that is true, but it is to recover and receive therapy on her knee.  She really has to help my Dad a lot with daily activities so my Dad is her roommate, thanks to Wyatt Cloward, my cousin, who works at Stonehenge.  My Mom’s recovery is coming along very well.  She is a good patient and is really pushing hard with therapy.  Everyone she talks to tells her “if physical therapy hurts, it’s doing its job”.  My brothers each took a day to come down and help my Dad while my Mom was in the hospital, which was a big help to him and a relief to her.    

Craig didn’t have chemo on May 11 because his body just wasn’t strong enough.  We made the decision to wait until Monday the 16th and give his body a few more days to rebuild.  It was a great decision.  He was able to feel better, and get stronger, each day. 

 Wednesday, Ashlyn competed in Timpanogos High School Region track meet.  She has been competing in the 400 and 800 this year.  It is her first time running in track and she is enjoying herself.  Just one week before region the pole vaulting coach ask her to come and try jumping.  She said it was really fun and is going to give it a try again next year.  










We are continuing to work on the wedding plans.  The other day I told Dallin that I was leaving to go and do some shopping for dresses, he said that he thought we had done that the last time we were out shopping.  Yes we did and will continue to shop for dresses until we find the right ones.  He just doesn’t get it that we didn’t buy the first ones that we saw.  I so wish that were the situation.  Saturday, Corinne and I were able to find a wedding dress.  It is an amazing site to see your daughter in a wedding dress.  She has tried on many dresses in the past few weeks, but when she put this final dress on, she didn’t want to try on any others, she knew it was the one.  Now the real work begins, finding a dress for me!  Thank you to all who have offered there help and are helping to lighten my load during this time.

Sunday we had Stake Conference, which McKaye was asked to speak at, and Craig was able to attend.  A friend took our patio reclining chair and set it up at the meeting.  I was hoping it would be at the side, or somewhere that we didn’t stand out so much.  No! It was in the very front row right in front of McKaye.  I am more of a person that likes to sit in the back or somewhere out of the way, but it turned out just fine.   I think all the men were jealous of him because he sat in recliner so that he could make it through the meeting.   It was a great day, and McKaye did a great job on her talk.  Many people told us what a wonderful job she did, we are very proud of her.  One of our sweet little neighbors, Karina Garner, also spoke.  She is only 10 years old and she acted as if she were an adult speaking and the way she conducted herself.  Her parents are great people and are raising a wonderful young girl.

Monday we had chemo, 6-b.  Today we get the pump off that continues to give him more chemo for 46 hours.  On May 25, up at Huntsman, we will have another body scan.  We are praying for good news, but either way we will continue on with the fight.  Many people have told us how they look up to us for how well we are doing facing this challenge.  We do have our days when we are very discouraged and feel sorry for ourselves.  We know that is normal, but the important thing is that we pick ourselves back up and continue the battle.  Thank you to our family and friends, and even workers at Home Depot for helping us, we will hopefully come out on top.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Jr. Prom

Making good use of my time at the chemo clinic today, Craig is getting 2 liters of fluids and the good old nausea medicine, hoping it helps.  This time with chemo, 6-A, one week ago, kind of kicked his butt.  I guess we were on to much of a high from Corinne’s engagement.  Maybe we got a little cocky and needed to get humbled a little.  The weekend was rough; the feeding tube came out again.  Monday afternoon we were back at the hospital getting it put back in for the 3rd time.  It’s pretty easy to tell for him when it’s out; he gets a lot of pain in his stomach.  I asked them to put a sinker weight that you would use fishing on the end of the tube to add weight to keep it down.  You would think that there could be something to help keep it in place better than it has.  We asked for a permanent tube in his stomach, but because of the chemo and risk of infection they won’t do surgery.  I should have looked into the magic 8 ball and got a tube put in before we started chemo, my BAD!

The kids are getting a little antsy for school to end.  McKaye is very antsy; she was ready for school to be over in September.  It’s hard to believe that it is almost over.  I worked at Northridge Elementary for seven years, I miss being there with all of those great teachers and amazing children.  I was at the store the other day and a little boy walked up to me and said, “I know you from my school”, I was so happy that he remembered me it made me feel so good.  His next comment made me laugh, “You’re the lady in the office that gives us band aids, your Mrs. Killpack!”

A friend of mine gave me the idea of putting air purifiers in the family room and kitchen, to help with the smells from cooking.  You can usually find Craig with a blanket over his nose anytime there is a smell in the house, and that is before anyone else in the house can smell it.  I have told the neighbors that when they see the doors and windows open at our house, they will know that I am cooking, even a piece of toast can set him off.  So hopefully the next purchase will be two purifiers.

On Saturday we woke up to about 5 inches of snow, crazy Utah weather.  It was a very busy day, Ashlyn and I spent the morning at home depot buying 2 toilets, paint, and multiple light fixers for both inside and outside.  Later I was rear ended on State Street in the Elantra, and McKaye and Ashlyn went to Timpanogos’s Jr. Prom.  It feels like much more happened but I can’t think of it right now, but it was a busy day.


 On Monday night our neighbors the Jensen’s, came over and gave us some raspberry starts and helped us plant them.  Next year will be a tasty one.  Before they left the kids asked if they could see Craig.  I went and got him and he stood out on the front porch and talked to them.  Kids are always so excited to see him.  They talked to him for a little while and then the 3 year old walked up to him smiling and laughing and said, “You don’t have any hair!”  She has seen him before many times but that is what popped into her mind at that moment.   Kids just make me smile, they say whatever is in their heads, and you can always count on them to tell you the truth.  Craig has received many cards and gifts from many children around the neighborhood, they really love him and he loves them.

Craig’s next chemo is May 11, that will be 6-B.  On this chemo they usually go through 8-B, which would be 8 months every two weeks.  After 6-B, we will be doing another body scan up at Huntsman in Salt Lake City.  They will determine whether the chemo is doing well enough to continue longer or to change to a different kind.  It is ultimately our decision but that’s why we try to pick good Doctors and let them give us good advice.  We are kind of hoping for a little break to get strong for the wedding August 2, but we will just have to see what they recommend.

Corinne and Ryan will be getting married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 2, 2011.  We will be having a reception in Centerville that evening where Ryan is from, and then on August 6th in Orem.  They both will be returning to Weber State College in the fall to continue their education and hopefully be in an apartment somewhere near the college.    

Monday, April 25, 2011

Are we ready for this?













 Yes!!!!

On Saturday we were able to go snowmobiling for the second time this year, and probably our last time this year, and during the ride Corinne Perry and Ryan Born got engaged.  It was the perfect place for Corinne, since she enjoys snowmobiling more than anything else.  Craig and I both knew it was coming soon. On Friday night Corinne and Ryan came down from Centerville.  Ryan had called me earlier in the week and told me of his plans.  I then needed to try to get Corinne out of the house for a while so that Ryan could have a talk with Craig and properly ask to marry our daughter.  I accomplished getting Corinne to the grocery store and Ryan took care of his business.  I had to ditch her a few times in the store to give them more time to talk, but that went pretty well also. 

After a sleepless night wondering how I was going to pull off a wedding, we were off to the mountains.  There is still a lot of snow up there but it is the normal snow conditions for April, hard and packed down.  But as they say, “The worst day snowmobiling is still better than the best day working”.  The good thing about spring snowmobiling is that you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in all of the powder, just the rivers, but we were careful and were ok. 

I knew of Ryan’s plan, so on the mountain I informed our neighbor, who went with us, “If you see Ryan and Corinne stopped somewhere on the mountain, just keep riding, he has a ring!” We continued to ride and soon Corinne and Ryan were not following us anymore.  The plan was hopefully moving forward.  About 30 minutes later we rode back and could see them in the distance.  We continued to ride quite a distance away in the trees.  They periodically could see us riding but still far enough away that we were not just sitting with them.  I found a place about 400 yards away in the trees and got off my snowmobile and crawled through some trees so that I could see where they were and took a couple of pictures, just so that they can have pictures of where it all took place.  If anyone would have seen me they would have thought I was a crazy lady stocking some wild animal.  I have hunted with Craig and knew how to stay low and out of sight.  I just giggled to myself thinking about what I looked like. 

After giving them about 45 minutes, we rode back over to where they were.  As I drove up I rode by and stuck my hand out and gave Ryan a high five, hoping that he had been successful.  We sat with them for a few minutes and nothing was said about what I thought had just happened.  They both looked very happy but they have looked that way for quite a while.  So we continued to ride for a little while longer.  I kept wondering if maybe Ryan had lost his nerve.  Corinne wasn’t saying anything to me and I was starting to wonder.  I could see that there was no ring on her finger.  We stopped to eat lunch and still nothing was said.  As we started off again I was able to ask Ryan if he had asked her yet.  It was a very quick conversation over the sounds of the snowmobiles engines, and he said yes.   I told him that I didn’t see a ring on her finger.  At that point I almost died when he told me that she gave it back.  After what seemed like an eternity, he said, “she didn’t want it to snag on the inside of her gloves and wanted him to hold it for her until they were through riding”.  It was done! It was official!  I was going to get a tall, cute, respectful, son-in-law, and my daughter was very happy.  So off we went to pack up and go home to tell Craig, the kids, and everyone else the good news.  It’s always good to go snowmobiling, but that day the experience that Corinne and Ryan had over shadowed the riding.  Corinne told me that when they stopped and were starting to talk, Ryan came over and wrapped his arms around her and she could feel his heart beating.  Her first thought was that they hadn’t even been riding very hard and he was all ready out of breath and his heart was beating very fast.  Little did she know that the riding wasn’t what was making his heart beat fast.  He said he was so nervous and was having a hard time controlling his breathing.

Ryan is a wonderful man, attending Weber State University and working two jobs.  He comes from a great family that love and support him very much.  It looks like the wedding will be sometime in August, before they are both back in school. 

We are very proud of our daughter Corinne for who she is and what she is trying to become.  Side by side they will do well.  They both have high goals and now “Together” they will achieve them.