Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day "101"

Our little family moved into our first home in December of 2007. We had planned to landscape our front yard in the fall of 2008, but as you are well aware, we were out of town for most of the season! :) For some crazy reason, I don't have a picture of how we left our home in November, but just imagine dirt and tumble weeds as the before picture. The rest are what we saw when we turned the corner and headed for home! Jeff was shocked and ecstatic! He asked me if I had drawn up the landscape plans because it was exactly what he would have wanted! In all honesty, I had nothing to do with it! The project was planned and carried out by the Little Valley 1st Ward members as well as several family members. I wish I had a list of those who helped so I could thank them individually, but I hear that there was a combination of young and old working together to create this masterpiece! (If someone does have a list, I would love to get my hands on it!) Anyway, I guess the grass is coming this weekend, and I can't wait to see the final outcome! It is very low maintenance and beautiful (which is great since I will be the one taking care of the place for a while)! :) My biggest worry at this point is keeping those cute tulips alive...I killed everything I tried to grow last year! My kids and I spent all morning and some of the afternoon in the sandbox (Kolten was afraid of our dog, so I couldn't have gone inside if I wanted to!)! We are loving the change of scenery and we feel very blessed to be home! O-ya...I almost forgot the big change inside our house! We are now sporting a surround system that shakes our windows thanks to some old high school buddies of Jeff's! I'm sure our neighbors thought our house was blowing up while Jeff and his brothers were watching U-571 yesterday afternoon! Thank you, thank you, thank you! We appreciate all your help through this crazy process. We could not have survived it without your prayers and support. In the 2008 October General Conference, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave an amazing talk that Jeff and I read several times over the last three months. In that talk he stated, "the Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." Now, I am not sure how faithful we have been or how well we have endured the trial, but I do know that we have been blessed a hundredfold through supportive family and friends. Jeff has not had to walk a single step of this road alone. And for that, we will be forever grateful. I am sure that a lot of healing will take place here over the next several months! We are glad to be home.

DAY "100"

(Yesterday) Well, we did it! We are officially home! I can not explain the sense of relief we (Jeff and I) felt as we pulled off the Boulevard Exit and headed down River Road. we turned the corner and drove down our street...again, there are not words to describe what we found. I will post pictures later today!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day "99"

Today, Jeff had another bone marrow biopsy. He has had two others in St. George, but this is the first one I have been able to watch. It was amazing to watch them screw a needle through his hip bone and suck out bone marrow and a sliver of bone. The last two were done in the OR and cost over $10,000. This one was done right here in the BMT infusion room, and the PA nearly died when I told her how much the last two cost. Night and Day difference! Tomorrow is DAY 100! We will be home to St. George soon!

Day "96-98"

This shirt was given to Jeff by our primary and it explains the last three days for all four of us. Enough said!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day "93"

Can you believe that in seven days Jeff will hit his "100th Day" mark? Really, when I look back, the whole transplant process has passed rather quickly! Especially the last month where Jeff has been out of the hospital. Jeff had all his post transplant tests yesterday. We will not receive the results until next week, but we are praying for good news. Yesterday, for some reason, each and every blood count had lowered from the previous week. Jeff had had the best week post transplant yet, so we were expecting his counts to have sky rocketed...not dropped. Anyway, the doctor was not concerned. He simply said that if he hangs out in that range next week, they won't take his central line out before going home. Yup...that is right! He is still planning on releasing Jeff next week! I have absolutely loved Park City! We have wonderful accommodations (thanks to the Miners), my kids and I love the snow, and we are fairly close to the hospital. But, I can not wait to return to my own home in "sunny" St. George where I can turn my kids loose in my back yard and do household chores without two children at my feet! I know that Jeff is extremely anxious as well. His routine and social life will not change much, but at least he will be in the comforts of his own home.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day "90"

Happy Valentine's day late! Yesterday was a great least it was for me! Jeff's brother Jayson and his wife Laurie came up to Park City on Friday night so Laurie and I could go skiing at Park City Mountain Resort on Saturday morning. Although it was FREEZING cold and snowy, we had a blast. It was the best snow I have ever skied in. Thanks Jayson for watching my kids and MY HUSBAND so I could enjoy a morning off--some Valentine I am! Later that evening, our little family had a fun Valentine themed dinner! Valentines has always been a big day for Jeff and I...we got engaged on Valentines Day 2004! So, we usually ride horses or drive the truck to the spot where he proposed, but dinner had to do this year!

I am actually seeing a little bit of improvement in Jeff lately. He is still nauseated but has not vomited in a week! He also rode the bike in the clubhouse a few times this week. As he feels a little bit better, he gets a little more stir crazy. So, we have been going on "scenic drives" a lot lately. He is starting to ask questions about the transplant, and it is amazing what he doesn't remember. That is probably a good thing. This Tuesday, Jeff has all of his post transplant testing. We will get the results the following week. If things look good, we will be released to go back to St. George. I can't believe we are already to this point! It is a miracle.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day "84"

WoW! What a marathon day! It was all supposed to start at 5:30 a.m. when my alarm went off, but since that never happened (?!) it started at ten to seven! I jumped out of bed, woke up Jeff, showered, woke up the kids, grabbed something to feed the kids, and we were in the car by 7:19! Jeff had a lab and doctor appointment at 8 a.m. and it was snowing like crazy! Somehow, we were only 5 minutes late. From his appointment (which was about 1/2 hour longer than expected), we traveled (again through the snow) to Nephi for "post transplant" dental appointments with my dad. Somehow, we were only 20 minutes late! :) After finding a HUGE cavity in Jeff's mouth (most likely associated with chemo, methotrexate, cyclosporine, dry mouth, kool aid, twix bars, gummi bears, and bubble gum) we ate lunch with my dad, visited my mom at school, and headed back to Park City...again in patches of snow showers! While we were in Nephi, we picked up an amazing care package from the Little Valley 1st Ward Primary! After a crazy day like this, it was awesome to pull out crafts, coloring books, silly faces, and scrapbooking supplies from the primary! We definitely ended the day on a positive note! Thanks LV 1st Ward!
P.S. Jeff's Blood levels are the same or a little less than last week. Why? Well, we are asking the same question! The doctors aren't concerned, so we will try not to be as well.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day "82"

Yup...that's right! Bed Head!! Jeff officially has enough hair to have bed head. I got a good laugh when he stumbled out the bedroom door this morning with his hair standing in every direction--almost as bad as Kaitlyn's. He was good to let me take the picture...let alone blog it! Bed head is a great sign of a good nights rest...something that Jeff hadn't experienced in several days. The first of the week was pretty rocky, but things are looking up. The med switch on Tuesday was ugly. So, Jeff is now back to his original medications, and so far so good. Sorry these posts are so few and far between...I just can't find as much time to blog between picking up toys seven million times a day (while singing the "clean up" song to encourage help from my darling children), pulling my kids up and down snow covered hills in a sled to give Jeff some quiet time, and being Jeff's caretaker (pills, food, pills, food, pills, food, pills...foot rub)!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day "78"

Jeff has officially graduated to weekly appointments because his blood counts are becoming very stable! It has been several weeks since he has needed a blood transfusion. The vision of Jeff in a hospital bed struggling through a blood clot or a manual bladder irrigation is still so fresh on my mind that it is hard to completely convince myself that blood transfusions are a thing of the past. He continues to pass tiny clots here and there, but they are nothing like they used to be and to be expected! He is still experiencing nausea and vomiting, so the doctor switched up his medications a little bit yesterday. We are both (but Jeff especially) are looking forward to a day when we don't have to keep a "barf bucket" within reaching distance! :) Being a family of four again has been wonderful and very difficult all at the same time! While the kids bring a smile to Jeff's face when they come running for him first thing in the morning, they can also cause the opposite effect several times throughout the day. Me...well I can't give Jeff near the attention and care I used to, which makes me feel guilty, but real life had to come back at some point!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day "76"

So yesterday, our little family had a much anticipated and very exciting reunion! Jeff and I woke up early and anxious for them to come. Our anxiety continued to build all through the day until they finally arrived around 4 p.m. They knew they were coming back to mom and dad because Grandpa Andrus "made up" some really good songs about our reunion on their drive up from St. George! I got to see them first, since I had to walk down stairs and let them in the locked door! It was awesome to see their faces light up when they saw me! After that, I took them up to find daddy! After busting through the door, they both ran into the condo looking for Jeff! It was too cute! They were SO excited! I know it sounds silly, but they have both changed so much since I had seen them three and a half weeks ago. Kaitlyn has gathered some big vocabulary words and facial expressions, and she has become quite "good" at coloring! She has also really figured out how to push Kolten's buttons! Kolten...well he has become quite the little climber and his communication skills have sky rocketed! He still doesn't use many words, but he sure knows how to point, grunt, agree and disagree!