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.


  1. You guys rock! Through it all - look at all the smiles. I'm so disappointed with you at the turn of events. Here's lots of hugs :) Hoping for a speedy recovery from surgery. Make sure to take lots of drives to enjoy the fall leaves and to gear you up for the next round of chemo. Those memories of the Lord's goodness will help bouy you up for what is to come. Love you guys! Kim

  2. I love the pictures.......I love the positive attitude your entire family carries....like I said....you are an inspiration to me.