Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snowmobiling to Chemo in 24 hours

Yesterday was Craig’s 7th chemo.  Dr. Breyer said that after #8 we will do another body scan and see how things are going.  His weight has seemed to level out somewhat around 160 to 162.  The nurse said yesterday that he looked skinner, but on scales it’s looking the same.  He really does look like a skinny little fart.  Laying on his back in the bed you can hardly see a ripple under the covers, just a shinny white head. 

The chemo yesterday went pretty normal.  About 30 minutes into it he got very nauseated again, so they give him a dose of medicine to help it and then he was fast asleep.  About 30 minutes later he woke up, again very sick and they give him another dose, and then back to wonderland he went.  He was sleeping very hard and started snoring very loud.  Everyone in the room just smiled and was glad that the sick person is getting some very good rest.  In any different environment people would start laughing or be offended that he was so loud, NOT at the chemo lab, they are just jealous.  I have to give a shout out to the amazing nurses at American Fork Cancer Clinic.  Every one of them has been so great.  You walk in and they are all smiling and so happy to see you.  They can be consoling when needed, joke around with you as needed, attentive to your every need, and even cry with you when needed.  As we walked in yesterday we were still at the end of a long hallway and Becky was waving and saying, “Hello Craig and Marsha.”  They make you feel like family. You know that you are going in there to help you get better, but you also know how sick it is going to make you feel.  It is such a nice relief to be greeted so warmly. Yesterday they told Craig that they needed a urine sample, they said even a couple of drops would be enough, if he could.  After sitting receiving all kinds of fluids he said that the little Dixie cup they gave him wouldn’t be near big enough for the sample.

When I got him home, he took some of his pain pills and went to bed.  That was at 2:30 and he didn’t get up until 7:30 in the evening.  I say, “Go ahead and sleep off all the sickness.”  When he came out of the bedroom he still was not feeling well but at least 5 hours had gone by, 5 hours that he was able to sleep and not be awake being miserable. 

He just walked out of the bedroom this morning, February 23 8:30 am, and saw that I am writing the blog, and said, “ oh no I better be careful of what I say, it might end up on the blog.”  When I hear him on the phone or the things that we talk about while I am writing, sometimes I include them in what I am writing.  It makes him nervous, Hahahah, I love it.  It’s not quite as bad as when you have a toddler around the house repeating everything that you say.  I, myself, know that one from experience all too well.

On Monday, Corinne, her friend Ryan Born, John Cowley, and myself, went up to Strawberry, and went snowmobiling.  OHH MY! What a great day.  At least 2 feet of fresh powder, and that was right out of the parking lot.  Ryan had never been snowmobiling before and I was very nervous because of all the new snow.  For those of you that haven’t been snowmobiling, powder is very different, and hard to ride in.  Before we even left the truck I gave him the “Craig Perry 101snowmobiling talk” - all of the ins and outs of the snowmobile and riding.  Once out riding I could see that I was a very good teacher, (of course it might have been that he is very coordinated ), but I do think that I did a good job teaching.  Lots of deep snow, good climbing, breaking through a few cornice’s, racing across fields, and weaving our way through trees to the top of the ridge.  The best rest and relaxation I could have received, though my legs are pretty sore today, it was relaxing for the mind.  McKaye, Ashlyn, and Dallin, stayed home with Craig.  I noticed that there was some vacuuming, sweeping and rugs shook, probably some other things done too, when I got home.  Thank you kids, I love you!  I was telling Craig how great of a day it was and feeling a little guilty that he wasn’t there with me.  He was just happy that we had a good day with no problems.  He said that it made him happy to see how happy I was.  I said that he could make me happy anytime he wanted by making me go snowmobiling.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if he were there with us. 

 There is such peacefulness when you are in the mountains, with everything covered in snow, even the smallest of thin branches with snow crystals on them.  It is amazing to see all of Heavenly Fathers creations that he has made for us to enjoy.  I love all of the seasons, but winter, when its looks like it did on Monday, is my favorite.   No one should ever go through life without experiencing Utah’s mountains in the winter time.  That is something that our family has done a lot of together, enjoying the mountains. Whether it is in the winter, spring, summer, or fall, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, hiking, and camping, we enjoy our time together with family and friends in our beautiful mountains.

John Cowley, Corinne Perry, and Ryan Born

Corinne Perry, Ryan Born, and Marsha Perry

Corinne Perry and Ryan Born

Marsha Perry, Ryan Born, Corinne Perry, and John Cowley

Corinne Perry

Corinne Perry and Ryan Born

Ryan Born

Ryan Born and Corinne Perry

Marsha Perry

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and my sweetheart stayed home with me to spend time just being together.  Oh…yes…he has been home with me since the first part of November.  One of these days I might even take him out to lunch if he is good.  We did have a wonderful day.  We received some Valentine cookies from a neighbor and some great cards from a few very cute cousins.  We loved all of the baseballs, footballs, and baseballs, on the cards.  Thank you to J.J, Walker, Kadyn, Justin, Tyler, Jacob, Tommy, Cohen, Chase, Grace, Carter, and all of their parents and grandparents.  We love you!

The chemo last week went well.  Craig was able to sleep off a lot of the nausea this time.  His schedule was as follows; wake up between 9:00 – 10:00 am, take a nap around 1:00 – 4:00 pm, then off to bed for the night at 10:00 pm.  I guess his body really needed it.   He has turned into quite a handsome man with all of the beauty sleep.  The chemo really does a number on his body, if he can sleep it off, more power to him. 

We were given a game from some neighbors, Villarini’s, which we played on Valentine’s night.  Hedbanz is the game and it was pretty fun.  You put a headband on the head and then insert a card with a picture on it, of which others playing can see, and then you ask questions to see if you can figure out what the card is.  “Am I larger then a loaf of bread?, am I colorful?, am I alive?”, etc.  Craig’s picture was a fire hydrate.  He processed to ask many questions of which were not helping him figure out the picture.  One of the questions was, “Does an animal use me?” I thought all of us were going to wet our pants laughing.  We all had a good time.

I have told a few of you of Craig’s weird taste buds.  His now normal drink of choice usually contains Ruby Red Grapefruit in it.  Try it sometime, either, orange juice, ginger ale, or even root beer, with grape fruit juice in it.  He likes the sweet mixed with the bitter.  It works and we don’t complain because its fluid and he drinks it.  Right now he is looking around the kitchen for something to eat and his statement was, “I really hate food”.  I wish I did, it would make my exercise plan a lot easier if I didn’t like it so much. 

The other day we watched a movie starring, Julia Roberts, called Eat, Pray, Love. (kind of close to our wristbands that we had made, LIVE-PLAY-LOVE-PRAY)  At one point during the movie one of the guys started calling Julia’s character, “Groceries.”, because she was eating a lot.  My new nickname for Craig is, “Chemo”.  “Hey Chemo, let’s go for a walk and get some sun on your head.”  Well I thought it was funny.  Now we have 3 bald men in the neighborhood, "Decker, Carter, and Chemo" 


When we went out for our walk, look at all the sun Craig got!  Not really...This is one of the colors that appear when he is going through chemo.  He also goes through, yellow, and white. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fluids, Fluids, we love Fluids

We are at the chemo lab getting fluids right now.  We are pumping Craig up for tomorrow when he gets his chemo.  I never knew that 2 weeks could go by so fast.  I think maybe I have said that statement before, and will probably say it again.

A few weeks ago it was time to start up the snowmobiles and let them run for a while. Craig does it during the summer to just keep them running well.  I thought since the poor things haven’t been out this year we better at least start them up.  We get all 4 of them started up and everyone in the neighborhood is looking out there windows to see who is making all of the noise.  People who don’t snowmobile think that it really stinks badly when we start them.  Others think that it is one of the best smells you can smell in the winter time.  Even our fair weathered girl, Ashlyn, said that it smelled really good outside, and that it brought back good memories.  We are still hoping that we will be able to get out this winter, but we’ll just have to see.

We lost a very good friend last week, Art Smith.  He was 84 years young and had pulmonary fibrosis.  He and his wife, Lois, have been such good friends to us and our family.  He will be missed by many.  I saw him one hot summer day with a broken down car on State Street in Orem.  I stopped to see if there was anything that I could do to help him.  He said he was fine but was really worried about his fresh fruits and vegetables that he had just bought at Costco.  He asked me to take them home to Lois and he would stay and take care of the car.  He was more worried about the fruit and veggies than himself in the heat.  For his career he worked in the grocery business.  His daughter told me that the two of them were talking one day about people who chose to be cremated. This was not something that he chose to do but she asked him if he were, where would he want his ashes spread? His answer was Costco. He loved walking around the store seeing all of the produce and meats and how they were displayed.  I guess you could compare it to Craig walking around Home Depot.

We received a card and flowers from the student officers from Timpanogos high school where our girls go to school, wishing our family all of their love and support. We have great people that live all around us who support us as well and our children. We also had a visit from Emery, Bremmen, and Eva Black.  They are just one of the great families that live in our neighborhood. It really lifted Craig’s spirits. We had a good visit with them about how school was going, an upcoming vacation they are going to take California, and how Emery thought Craig looked better with no hair. I think it reminded her of her Dad who is serving overseas in the military. Just before they were ready to leave, Emery, the 6 year old, asked me, “Do you think Craig is up for a little HUG?” So cute! We sadly had to tell her that she needed to save up all of her hugs for another time. We are still being very careful about germs. Maybe to careful but it’s not worth getting sick. Just her asking warmed our hearts.

Our anniversary was simple but good.  McKaye and I went to watch Dallin play a basketball game, and then in the evening we watched 2 movies with the kids.  I did have Craig push his chair next to the couch where I was so we could hold hands.  The kids just laughed at us.  Thank you to the person, or family that sent us a vase of flowers to help us celebrate.