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.