Saturday, February 26, 2011

All In a Days Work

Friday the 18th started off as a normal day. It was even a little better than normal. I received this pretty box in the mail with this beautiful necklace from my Ally. The kids had piano lessons after school so I dropped them off and decided to do some exploring. I was not very familiar with the surrounding town so I thought I would take a drive. The view of the mountains was amazing and I thought I would stop to briefly take some pictures of them. I especially wanted my friends in California to see how beautiful they were. I saw an apartment complex with a large empty field that I could park in and take some pictures. Gavin was asleep in his car seat. I began driving into the field and then all of the sudden my car just stopped. I had no idea what had happened so I opened the door to get out and as soon as I put my feet on the ground, I found out...

an organic mud pedicure! I lost my shoes, literally in the mess. I ended up finding them but they were unsavable. My car had sunk into the mud. I tried to get out but to no avail. I started to panic because my kids were at piano lessons, I didn't have the phone number where they were and I had no idea what I was going to do. I called Saunie. I asked her if she would pick the kids up for me and luckily she was able to. Now to figure out how to get myself out of this sinking mud hole. I said a prayer, begging to get me out. I knew I would eventually get out but I had a feeling it was going to take more than asking this time. The second thing I thought to do was call my dad. He is always good at saving me.

My awesomely incredible dad, who just had knee surgery put broken down boxes all around my tires, found a sharp stick got on his hands and knees, and tried to dig me out. He worked for over an hour, in the freezing mud, with a sore knee. He did not have a chain but he had a rope and tied it to my car. I was just too stuck.
Because I had lost my shoes and was barefoot I was not able to help him dig. My feet were freezing and my car was covered in mud. Mud chunks went flying all around every time I tried to get out. 2 and a half hours later the tow truck showed up. I was so stuck he had bring his jeep and chain to "recover" my car.
All the while Gavs slept peacefully in the back. He woke up about the last half hour and giggled when I told him we were "stuck", and he clapped when we were "free".
So Ally, Lizzie, Katie and Jackson, here are the dang beautiful mountains! Please enjoy them or all was in vain. I was not even able to capture the mountain view I wanted because it was obstructed.

This is the mess left behind.

As soon as we got home we had to get ready to go to the Monster Jam. This was just all too much mud for me, for one day. Hopekids does the Monster Jam event every year. I am so glad that Dylan our home health nurse told us to bring ear plugs for the kids. It was so loud. The kids had an enjoyable time.

It was a long eventful day, but we made it alive and together, and that is what matters most. my middle name.

Spencer was working on his spelling word sort last week. I was busy taping the backs of each word so he could stick them under the right ending category. He says "mom". I look up to this face and the word "danger" sticking to his forehead. He continues "danger is my middle name." Oh I love him. He makes me giggle.

Friday, February 25, 2011

BIC for Good!

As a lot of you know we have been able to be apart of the Make A Wish Foundation. Each wish is granted by donations raised. It is an incredible foundation bringing smiles to many children, some children who will not live much longer after the wish is granted. is sponsoring a fundraiser for Make A Wish. Come help raise $400 next Thursday, March 3rd, at Tangles Hair Salon {7076 S. Highland Dr. in Salt Lake City} from 5:30-7:30 pm to have your head shaved. There will be a video camera ready and the video will be uploaded to the BIC website for you, you just need to show up! There are also donation options for those who want to keep their hair! If you know you will be attending please RSVP to So many of you showed your support for us before, come do it again and help raise money for Make A Wish!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Gasping. Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, visions and pangs of new anxiety would shoot through me. You know when you are just about to fall asleep and you dream you are falling off of a cliff and it wakes you suddenly, almost painfully? This is what was happening but instead of a cliff, it was a new diagnosis of cancer, then sitting with my super sick son in the hospital. It made me almost vomit. My heart was racing and had to sit up to breathe because I was gasping. I feel fortunate to not have had these feelings when these events were in the present. I had moments of sadness and anger, but never of despair or complete loss. I had to keep going. But now as we wrap this treatment up I gasp as those memories play in my mind like a horror film. I had visions of this incredibly sick little boy, with almost no hair, unable to talk or open his eyes and he was wheeled into a van to be transported from one hospital to another to receive radiation.
I have these flashes of his tears shed when we had to shave his head. He cried and sobbed and there was nothing I could do to make him feel better.I remember watching him worry, as he waiting for his biopsy, just days after his diagnosis. I remember thinking that he should have been in school with the other kids, playing, laughing, learning. Other moms and dads were in the surgery waiting room talking about their childs knee surgery, or tonsils being taken out, wishing that was our story. One mom turned to us and asked what kind of surgery he was having and when I told them he was just diagnosed with cancer, the conversation turned quiet, mournful.

These things that seem like ages ago begin to wake me in the night. I am understanding the emotionally scarred soldier who wakes to disturbing battle scenes many months and many years later. Our battle scenes awake me. I feel fortunate to not be overtaken by these anxieties but I am sure they will leave a scar on my heart for the rest of my life. I think these war wounds and battle scars offer us a lifetime gift of gratitude. Gratitude to God for his healing powers, for the strength and peace that He has surrounded us with. Gratitude to friends and strangers for embracing Charity, the pure love of Christ and surrounding our family in love.

I may have nights where visions of this sick little boy pop in to my head causing a moment of gasping. I may have moments of tears thinking of our fatiguing journey. I may have heartache for the lost time of childhood in my babies lives. But even with these things, I wake up kiss my children and thank God that the are alive, that I get to take care of them and that I have become a new woman, a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, and stronger in my faith.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't Stop the Prayers Yet!

I just wanted to give you a rundown of what we have left in our treatment. I think some people may have had the impression that we are completely done because of our last inpatient chemo. We still have four outpatient chemos left, 2 of which last 5 days but can be done at home. This one causes major diarrhea for the poor kid. When we finish our outpatient chemos then we have a 3-4 week waiting period until his final scans. This is where we will need lots of prayers. The scans will tell us if this long year plus of treatment has done its job and has killed the cancer completely. His last scans showed no signs of malignancy so we are hoping for the same results, but because the cancer was so aggressive this waiting period will show us if it truly is dead. After his scans the surgeons will determine if the mass that is still there is small enough to take out without any damage to nerves (sooo hoping and praying for this) and if not then they may biopsy it just to make sure. Once all of this is done then his central line will come out! yay! This is when I will start breathing again. This will hopefully be in April, early April. Once all of these procedures are done then he can start living a mostly normal life again. Taking showers, instead of me sponge bathing him, swimming, running, playing, etc, etc. For the first couple of years we have regular scans every 3 months to make sure there is no reoccuring cancer. Then after a couple of years it will be every 6 months until the last year when it will be yearly. It is crazy. I am so thankful to all of you who have been so wonderful to our family and have kept us in your prayers, but please do not take us out of your prayers yet! lol! We are so close and need the faith you bring to our family!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Last Inpatient. The Bell Ringing.

There are a lot of pictures in this post. I am not going to do a lot of journaling because Jen's pictures are so powerful. We were lucky to have Jenn as our "last inpatient" nurse. She is one of our favorites that we have had quite often throughout this year. We first started when she was newly pregnant, and now she has a sweet little girl. It has been a long year but we are so blessed to have had these wonderful people in our lives.

Ericka has the same birthday as Spence. Even though we don't know her well she always comes to say hi. They have a birthday bond.
Wonderful Jenn.

One last chance to "room service it up."

This is Irish. He is the units practical joker.
This is Spencer. He is the practical joker patient. He decided to beat Irish at his own game by doing one of those Idiot Tests where a scary person pops up and yells in the middle of it.
This is Irish covering his mouth from the expletives he just released. Apparently it scared the {bleep} out of him. I love this picture. I love the laughter.

Spencer loves Mike, the Child Life Specialist. He drew him a picture and painted the frame himself.
This is our super duper housekeeper Sharon. She brought so much love, happiness and cleanliness to the unit and to our lives!
Spence drew a poster for the unit and put it on his door.
This is the bell. We heard this bell ring many times before, only dreaming of the day that we got to be the ones ringing it.
The unit all cheering Spencer on and saying goodbyes.

Mike thought he was funny and made one of the signs backwards. Spence loved this.

Our beloved Julia.

One last raid of the snack room.

I hope these pictures made you cry as much as they did me. I am so thankful to Jen who has graciously captured our journey and created such power. I am so grateful for these images and the emotion they capture for our family.