Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Now you see it...Now you don't!

Spence had his line taken out a week ago yesterday, on April 18, 2011. His central line went up through his subclavian vein, which empties right into the heart to administer quick and efficient chemotherapy. He had this line put in on February 12, 2010. He actually has also had it replaced once last April.

The Final Plunge! Or flush should we say. To make certain that the line does not clot or become infected we have to flush it every day. Sometimes multiple times a day depending on the unit of Heparin we are using. It is just a normal daily routine that we are so happy about dismissing! Dad got to do the final flush!

We needed to be at the hospital at 8:45 in the morning. Here in the first waiting room you can tell he is nervous for surgery.
He wanted to hold my hand all morning.
Vitals and such. Getting ready for the OR waiting room.

We are so lucky that Aunt Chelsey works in the OR. She takes good care of us. She definitely helped calm his nerves. She has that impact on people!
Lizzie-do you get to make hospital buddies?
Chelsey brought my camera back to the OR with her and snapped some pics of prep and putting him to sleep! It is so fun to have connections! He chose to go to sleep with the Rootbeer flavored gas. The "surgery" was so simple they did not even intubate or i.v. him. Just a little bit of sassafras dreams did the job.

A little woozy out of surgery but woke up much faster without major anesthesia in his system.
They take care of him there. He was able to have a rootbeer slushy as soon as he was ready for one. Which was only a matter of minutes!
We had a sign a waiver of release of bio hazardous material but they let us keep his line.

We have been waiting for this moment for sooooooo long! We never thought it would come but here we are.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trying To Fit It All In

So many posts. So many pictures. I am going to try to fit a bunch into one. A few weeks before Spencer's final chemo he was not feeling so well. His teacher called me from school and said Spence felt like he needed blood. I took him straight to the chemo clinic and low and behold, he was right. It is amazing how well he knows his body. He not only got hooked up with blood, but slushies and Benedryl. He was out before we left.

Gavin is obsessed with Toy Story. It is a rare thing to get him calm and still. He is in the Toy Story zone.

Our last Pack Meeting Spence earned his Bobcat badge from Cub Scouts. It was a cowboy themed party. Spence made the banner for it.
Handsome boys. I love this picture of Gavs. He is so photogenic.

After one of Spencer's treatments we went out for hot chocolate and to the delicious Sweet Tooth Fairy.

Not sure if licorice was the best idea.
A visit to Grandma Greats.
Best buds. Brock and Gavs.
Some people may see a skinny, pale sick, child. To me I see beauty, strength and faith.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I know I apologize constantly about not blogging sooner, especially when I have so much to post. I have had a horrible case of food poisoning the last 2.5 days and have literally been in bed or the bathroom. I have never been this sick. It makes me empathetic to my sweet little boy. It is no coincidence, I feel, that I have been able to feel the pains of my son, during this time of celebration of the Resurrection. I could not let this day pass without expressing my testimony of gratitude and sanctity to my Savior Jesus Christ. There are a few things that I have come across this day or that I have been thinking about that will best describe my testimony. First, one of my most favorite scriptures has always been Isaiah 53:3-5

He is adespised and rejected of men; a man of bsorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we cesteemed him not.

4¶Surely he hath aborne our bgriefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5But he was awounded for our btransgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his cstripes we are dhealed. I don't know if you realize that when the bruised him with leather it was not just a normal "Indiana Jones" type of whip. They were big thick piece of leather, lots of them, laced with bone. They ripped his back open. He did not speak an unkind word. He did not complain. With his stripes we are healed.

Here is a talk I came across by Joseph B. Wirthlin title SUNDAY WILL COME. I have taken bits and pieces of it for you to read. It is a little long but worth your time.

"In the lonely hours I have spent a great deal of time thinking about eternal things. I have contemplated the comforting doctrines of eternal life. We know what the Resurrection is—the reuniting of the spirit and body in its perfect form. Spencer W. Kimball amplified this when he said, “I am sure that if we can imagine ourselves at our very best, physically, mentally, spiritually, that is the way we will come back.”

When we are resurrected, “this mortal body is raised to an immortal body. … [We] can die no more.”

Can you imagine that? Life at our prime? Never sick, never in pain, never burdened by the ills that so often beset us in mortality?

The Resurrection is at the core of our beliefs as Christians. Without it, our faith is meaningless. The Apostle Paul said, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and [our] faith is also vain.”

In all the history of the world there have been many great and wise souls, many of whom claimed special knowledge of God. But when the Savior rose from the tomb, He did something no one had ever done. He did something no one else could do. He broke the bonds of death, not only for Himself but for all who have ever lived—the just and the unjust. 6

When Christ rose from the grave, becoming the firstfruits of the Resurrection, He made that gift available to all. And with that sublime act, He softened the devastating, consuming sorrow that gnaws at the souls of those who have lost precious loved ones.

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.

On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.

On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.

On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.

I testify to you that the Resurrection is not a fable. We have the personal testimonies of those who saw Him. Thousands in the Old and New Worlds witnessed the risen Savior. They felt the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. They shed tears of unrestrained joy as they embraced Him.

After the Resurrection, the disciples became renewed. They traveled throughout the world proclaiming the glorious news of the gospel.

Had they chosen, they could have disappeared and returned to their former lives and occupations. In time, their association with Him would have been forgotten.

They could have denied the divinity of Christ. Yet they did not. In the face of danger, ridicule, and threat of death, they entered palaces, temples, and synagogues boldly proclaiming Jesus the Christ, the resurrected Son of the living God.

Many of them offered as a final testimony their own precious lives. They died as martyrs, the testimony of the risen Christ on their lips as they perished.

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours?

We will all rise from the grave. And on that day my father will embrace my mother. On that day I will once again hold in my arms my beloved Elisa.

Because of the life and eternal sacrifice of the Savior of the world, we will be reunited with those we have cherished.

On that day we will know the love of our Heavenly Father. On that day we will rejoice that the Messiah overcame all that we could live forever.

It is my solemn testimony that death is not the end of existence. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Because of the risen Christ, “death is swallowed up in victory.”

Because of our beloved Redeemer, we can lift up our voices, even in the midst of our darkest Fridays, and proclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 9

May we understand and live in thanksgiving for the priceless gifts that come to us as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and for the promise of that bright day when we shall all rise triumphant from the grave.

That we may always know that no matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I know I have shared the lyrics with I know That My Redeemer Lives once before but the words speak to me. The power in the song is how I feel about my Savior.

I Know That My Redeemer Lives Hymn

I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my ever living Head.

He lives to bless me with His love,
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed,
He lives to help in time of need.

He lives triumphant from the grave,
He lives eternally to save,
He lives all glorious in the sky,
He lives exalted there on high.

He lives to grant me rich supply,
He lives to guide me with His eye,
He lives to comfort me when faint,
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears,
He lives to wipe away my tears
He lives to calm my troubled heart,
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise, heavenly Friend,
He lives and loves me to the end;
He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing;
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives, and I shall conquer death:
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives, all glory to His Name!
He lives, my Jesus, still the same.
Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives,
I know that my Redeemer lives!

I am so thankful for my Savior and for his sacrifice and love for me. I am thankful that I am never alone. The Savior bore my pains, my sorrows, my sins. Through my times of darkness, and grief I know because of Jesus Christ Sunday WILL come.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Okay. I have two requests today. First thing, Spencer's birthday is the end of May. All he wants for his birthday is a room make over. I am trying to get a "Utah Utes" room done for him but I have so much to do and I cannot imagine trying to get it done on my own. I need some helpers to assist me in painting his room. It is a big room and I need help. If I could get maybe four friends to help out that would be FABULOUS! I also need some help making some Utes curtains. I do not sew well. It would take me forever to get them done and I would like them done before his birthday. I can get some fabric to you if you can help me. I think that is all for now with his room. Painters and a seamstress is what I need most. I am refinishing furniture in his room and if any one with a sander would at least like to help me sand down some stuff that would be great too. OKAY. NOW TO THE GOOD STUFF. On SATURDAY MAY, 28TH (which is his actual birthday) at 3 p.m. I am throwing a huge "HAPPY BIRTHDAY/CANCER FREE" celebration. I want everyone who is able and who has had the opportunity to get to know Spence through our blog to be able to meet him and celebrate with our family. Because we have sooooooo many wonderful friends I will have to ask that everyone brings some kind of treat. We will be holding the party at our church building 12830 south 4570 west Riverton, Ut 84065. This celebration is a surprise. He has no idea! I want him to be able to see all of his supporters! Especially since he missed his fundraiser last year. If you are able to make it please leave a comment or email me at goochymomma@gmail.com. I would like to have an idea of who can make it. Also, if you are a "stranger" and have not met our family but are part of our blog family we would love to have you there. We would love to meet you! I have been so looking forward to getting to this point and having a reason for celebration!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I do not even have words enough to express how I feel. I woke up this morning thinking "what is different about today?" MY SON IS CANCER FREE! The knowledge of this can get me through any day. Bad days will never be the same. A bad day is when you have to rush your immuno-compromised child to the ER, or when his blood pressure drops so low that they rush him to the PICU. A bad day is watching your child cry as their hair falls out in chunks, or when they are so sick they cannot even open their eyes and have to be fed through a tube. A bad day is when your little girl cries and cries because you have to go to the hospital again with your other sick child and she doesn't know when she will see you next. A bad day is when you aren't quite sure that your child is going to make it through the day. I have many new perspectives and this is one of them. Yesterday was our scan result appointment. It was a super busy day and we waited for probably an hour and a half before any nurse or doctor was able to meet with us. I was surprisingly calm. I guess you could call it Faith. I have been trying to determine is that is what it was. My Sara reminded me the day before that the opposite of faith is fear, and since I had no fear or anxiety (which is soooo not me) that I must have had faith of good results. Nate was a little full of anticipation and Spence ate 3 Otter Pops and a bag of pretzels as we waited. The clinic has a ton of treats so he kept going back and forth. Love him. When our doctor finally came in she was pretty straightforward. She said "the scans look great, there is no malignant activity anywhere in his body" {and big fat breath out}. Before I continue I have to say that I prayed for a miracle this time. I begged the Lord to let the mass of scar tissue be gone. This has been the ultimate test of my faith. I prayed that if the mass did not have to play a roll in his life again to let it be gone. I let Him know that I know he has performed miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead, and begged to let this mass be gone. I told Him that I did not ask for any humongous miracles during this trial. I never asked for the cancer to just be gone right away, knowing that he needed us to go through this, but that now I was asking for this miracle. SOOOO....when our doctor handed us the report she then said "oh and the report says nothing about the mass of scare tissue." The reports are usually pretty thorough, explaining each detail and each fraction of an inch of scanned surface. She told me she would have to look into it more and that we will check up on it but I knew why they didn't mention the mass. Spencer and I prayed and fasted for this miracle. She then told us she would schedule his surgery for his line to come out for next week and we asked if it could come out the next day (which is today). She said "sure!". Unfortunately, the OR did not have any room for him today but Monday will be the day! He is on the schedule. What a day! I also know what good days are! Good days are when after a year of tears and trial and your child's life hanging in the balance, someone comes and takes that all away. A good day is when your faith is confirmed. A good day is feeling the peace of God. Please do not stop following us, as we have so many fun things to go through yet, especially our Make a Wish Disneyworld trip this Fall. Plus I am still trying to catch up on this year! Thank you for all of your prayers and fasting. They are powerful and have gotten us through this trial. We are all different people because of this tribulation, and it will be interesting to learn to use these new life lessons. I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for all of the blessings and trial in my life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First Post Treatment Scan

I am working on a "mega post" and it may take me awhile so I will at least, prelude it with a smaller, more informational post. Today was Spencer's first post treatment PET scan. The first of many. He will have scans regularly for the next five years before he is considered "cured" or a "survivor". He usually is able to get a contrast injection through his line but because this one was a super duper scan they used a power injector and that has too much pressure to go through his central line, so he had to get an I.V. It totally sucks when this has to happen. He has the dang line so he does not have to be poked so much. He cried and is still complaining of it hurting and I cannot blame him, I really dislike I.V.'s myself. The scan only took about an hour but the whole procedure from I.V. to oral contrast, to end of scan was about 2.5 hours. We have done a PET scan before several times so it was nothing new. I know he will not love me telling this story and if your kids read this blog have them be sensitive. You have to be totally and completely still in the PET scan. The poor kid drank like 500 ml's of contrast before the scan, and even went to the bathroom but had to go so bad during the scan. I could hear him yelling to the techs but they cannot stop the scan and he has anxieties about moving around. He ended up wetting his pants because he didn't want to have to wiggle at all during the scan. He felt so bad. Sweet kid. When he was done they got him a pair of scrubs to wear and put his wet clothes in a plastic bag. It never ends for him. We had a bunch of errands to run so we went by Target to get him some new underwear and pants. I made it up to him by taking him to Cafe Rio for lunch. He kept saying "This is so good I cannot even explain how good it is." I love him. He told me all about his favorite names that he wants to name his children. For boys he loves Nathan (go figure) and Joseph (which is Nate's middle name) and Matthew, and John. He told my dad that he will name one of his son's middles names after him, which is OK (capital O capital K no periods). Don't ask his dad was a drunk and in the military. Named him OK Joe. Better than the alternative, GI Joe. He told me he loves the names Emma, Emily, Ally and Becky for girls. I don't know where he came up with any of these but I love that he thinks about it. He even said "I hope my wife lets me name our son after grandpa." He makes me giggle. He told me over and over that he loves me and thank you for our lunch date. How lucky I am to be his mom. Tomorrow is our meeting with the oncologist to go over his scan results (trying to have ultimate faith but mostly borrowing Spencer's). He keeps saying he is excited for tomorrow because he knows the results will be great. After clear scans then we will make an appointment next week for his central line to come out. This is something I cannot even imagine because it has been in so long and will be the final step to being able to breath again. I will continue to work on the mega blog post and keep you informed on our results tomorrow.

Friday, April 8, 2011


I am struggling with my blog. I have so many words to write and so many pictures to post and catch up on and I am just tired. I am lagging. I think the emotion I express takes so much energy that I have to prepare myself for it. I have been trying to understand why life is not feeling normal. Things have slowed down significantly and I am not the same. We are not the same. Then I realized, isn't that what this is all about? Trials are a refiners fire, right? I am not supposed to be the same. I have tried to jump into some of the same things I did before and have not felt the same desire for them. I think that my priorities are just much different. I used to rearrange my schedule to go out with friends, and although i love my friends, i love being home with my husband and kids even more. I have become more of a home body. I have become more of a snuggler with my kids. I am learning to pray. I have learned to lean on the Lord. I need to not be discouraged that I don't feel the same. I should be thankful that this experience was not all for naught. So here we are 14 months later, fresh out of the fire, trying to understand this new form that is taking shape. We are rediscovering our new selves as the ashes are blown away. There are so many more lessons to learn in this life but how lucky we are to be able to understand the beauty in trials. How lucky I am to have a fabulous family, immediate and extended. My friend today said something so beautiful that made me realize how lucky I am. She said she was thinking about her dreams in life and what more she would want. She thought to herself that she IS living her dream. She is mom to great kids, a wife to a great husband, she gets to stay home with her kids and there is not anymore she could want, she is living her dream. How perfect is that? I love that even though there are crappy trials that is even so much more happiness in this life. How beautiful. How lucky.