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


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.