Saturday, February 27, 2010


Happy Birthday to Ellen!
We love you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


We have been hoping and praying to hear that Chase was accepted to BYU-I.
TA DA! He is!
We don't know what track yet, but we are happy to accept whatever they give us. We are already aware of many of the inconveniences our family will be going through this spring/summer/fall. I am not sure if timing on this will make too much of a difference for us, though he would like to stay here and work this summer before heading to college.
This is another case where "I will go WHEN you want me to go, dear Lord"!

I know that there is no better place for our kids to go to college than to one of the BYU's. They are awesome schools! They meet awesome people! They have awesome experiences! They have awesome fun the first year, and then try to get into it a little more seriously the next years. I guess our kids need a year of "freedom" to find their own way. They do come around and so far, they are becoming awesome husbands and fathers, and worthy priesthood holders. They have always been awesome sons! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finally a word about our visit to the SCCA

We did have our consult with Dr Stirewalt at the SCCA (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance / Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) on Thursday. For me, the hardest part was the driving just after leaving the center. We weren't sure if we were very hungry, even though we had missed lunch, but I needed to get out of the car and relax after leaving those messed up streets. We ate at a Chinese restaurant in Issaquah and it was so peaceful that I wasn't sure I wanted to leave. It's a good thing I did want to go home or I might still be there :)
Too bad I can't get familiar with those roads before having to drive them.
Even with the frustration I know we had a little tender mercy - I just followed the car in front of us, even if it looked like he was going the wrong way / against the road signs, it was where we thought we should be and if he could do it, so could we. Certainly he was supposed to be there at that very moment, and he was. Without him, I might not have even made it to that peaceful restaurant. (Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was a pretty stressful event.)

We did learn a lot and our minds were filled with concern for many things. The timing, insurance and finances, housing, family responsibilities, farming, etc. There were so many things to think about I'm not sure we remembered the biggest thing of all - health.

I didn't feel like I knew what to post about what we learned, so I just avoided it until today, after some gentle prodding by loving friends. So, here goes:

- We are still unsure of the date of the transplant. We think we know that it will take place no earlier than the first of April, and it will probably be no later than June. Just today we are wondering if maybe it will be May. Who knows right now?!?!?!?

- Terry will have his scheduled chemo treatment the first of March. Dr. Stirewalt will talk with Dr. Smith (Terry's oncologist in Wenatchee), she will take x-rays/scans, and discuss the findings, and decisions will be made. They need to check if there is an issue with the condition of his lungs, and clear it up if there is.

- We wish we could just pick the three or four month period and get it decided, but we can't even find a good section of time that suits us all. One thing we do know is that we want to keep it as good a time for Dennis as possible, because in reality, he doesn't even have to be there. We are grateful for him and pray that it works out okay for him.

We have studied our options and will discuss our findings with the doctors, and then we will turn it over to the Lord. We have a great need for Divine help and guidance. We have decided to ask that He guide the doctors and all involved, knowing all He knows about our lives, which is more than what we know, and He can help make that difficult decision. No one can do it better than He.
My new slogan is, "I'll go WHEN you want me to go, dear Lord"! We place our lives in His hands, and there are definitely no better hands than His. He will help each of us thru this no matter when we go.

Other little things we learned include:
- Terry will never be admitted to the hospital unless there are complications. He will stay with me in the apartment and we will travel daily for his visits and treatments. I was glad to hear that I might not have to sleep in a hospital chair night after night, but I am worried about the little unknowns.

- Dennis (his donor) will need to come on the first day, and will be there for about 10 days.

- We must find housing, and get ourselves on their list as soon as we know a date. I guess we will have a summer house in Seattle this year :). It will most definitely not be the most fun summer of all, yet it may be a most memorable and possibly even a favorite in some ways. It will hopefully be a new and better beginning for Terry.

- I am not liking the idea of having to rely on so many others for so many things for so long a period of time. Maybe even more scary is the fact that I will have to come home and take over all of it again and I worry that it will be so foreign that I'll still need help. You know how you feel when you come home from a vacation - you loved being gone, but finally wished to be home; you got home and had to get into real life again and you wanted to go back on vacation. I remember some of our return missionary sons coming home and feeling like they wanted to escape the noise and attention from their siblings that wouldn't leave them alone for one minute. (maybe their parents too :) I didn't mean to make them feel that way). And, who's to say my kids will want me back after being "free" for so long? Well, don't I have the strangest concerns. I'll try to let go of them too.

- Before we head out, I'm getting a priesthood blessing, and I'm making sure each of my children get one too. And most obvious, Terry will certainly have one.

- I've decided on a label for the upcoming posts about the transplant - I'm labeling them Medical Madness. Isn't that a most ridiculous thing to concern myself with. I guess it fits for several reasons - I really must be mad, crazy mad. I love M&M's :) (almond are my favorites :).

It's late, so Ta Ta for now!
(I hope this post makes some sense)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Happy Birthday to Jill!
We love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010


I might be hooked on blogging - I've posted something 4 days in a row now, and here I go again. Today I'll share some "truisms" that Terry has made up and told the kids the last couple days:

After sitting in the car for several hours with them Saturday, he told them;
"Of all the things that pop into your head, only 5 percent of them should ever be said."

Then, after hearing them Sunday afternoon he decided to tell them this one;
"Of all the ideas that enter into your mind, we want you to act only on the very best kind."

We have enjoyed having the kids home this long weekend, and maybe it has helped us recognize how much we need to ever so faithfully continue to teach and train them, so that they have a better chance at becoming great adults.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! A few quotes to enjoy, and a few to live by:

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." ~Albert Einstein

"Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." ~ Robert Heinlein

"There is no remedy for love but to love more." ~ Thoreau

"Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others." ~ Henry B. Eyring

"Feeling the security and constancy of love from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such love nurtures and sustains faith in God. Such love is a source of strength and casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Such love is the desire of every human soul.
We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we express love—and consistently show it." ~ David A Bednar

"Jesus taught, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). True love is a reflection of Christ’s love." ~ Thomas S. Monson
“Come what may, and love it.” ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

Saturday, February 13, 2010

FYI (WARNING - it may take a lot of your time to read this!)

I'm learning that blogging can actually be a great "sounding board". I guess I need to post this mostly for me, and I offer it to those who may wish to read it. I know it is lengthy, but I don't feel too bad about it since it is a choice the reader can make.

We have been preparing for a visit to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for, well, actually several years now, but we do finally have a consultation appointment set up for next week. We are hoping it will be the information we need to help us understand a little more of what is going to take place, and when it will take place. It is a step in what we consider to be the right direction.
The Hutch or SCCA sent us some information this week and I have read thru it several times, trying to make sure I haven't missed anything, and trying to remember anything that might be helpful to us in the future.

They group the transplant procedure into 7 steps, and they are:
1 Planning ahead -
"The beginning of a long journey", except it seems that it really started over 6 years ago for us. We are barely into this step, but after the consultation we should be able to work thru this step a bit more effectively.
2 Preparation -
Almost sounds like a "hurry up and wait" game, with exams, numerous labs, tests, etc., and then waiting for the results and deciding the correct procedures and treatment.
3 Conditioning -
Sounds to me like it could be one of the hardest steps, depending upon the side effects. It includes high-dose chemotherapy, higher than what has been given before.
4 Transplant -
Bed rest, can read, watch TV, visit, etc. He may experience some side effects, but it's uncommon and mild if they do occur.
5 Waiting for Engraftment -
Expect signs that new bone marrow or stem cells are growing or engrafting, 10 to 28 days after the transplant. He stays put, we wait, we watch, we keep a daily record, he is monitored closely to detect and treat early signs of complications.
6 Recovery After Engraftment -
"Support your recovery and manage any complications". Possible "Graft Versus Host Disease" which can occur shortly after the transplant and even up to about 18 months after.
7 Long-Term Recovery -
GVHD is listed in this step too. Return home and continue recovery. May take up to a year for immune system to become normal.

It has been interesting to see how my emotions have surfaced as I have been reading this info. I have not yet lost control, but surely I will feel completely overwhelmed by the 2nd and 3rd step.
- I marvel at the knowledge these doctors have and the treatments available to help prolong life and even possibly cure terrible diseases of which it seems we personally have no control over.
- I worry about the discomfort and pain that Terry will be subjected to, yet I know he has gone thru so much already and, I know he is strong.
- I worry about my ability to learn all that I need to know, and doing all that is required of me as his caregiver for those (approximately) 3 months at the Hutch/SCCA. I am glad to learn that they offer classes to the caregivers and I do hope to understand and remember all that I am taught. I don't want anything to go wrong because of something I did or did not do or understand.
- I am, and will be eternally grateful to Terry's siblings who so willingly accepted the request for donor testing, and that one has been found as a perfect match. I am equally thankful for our children and friends that volunteered. Dennis is the match and, though I am unsure of exactly what is required of him, I do know that it will cause some difficulty as he will have to miss several days of work to selflessly give of himself to help his brother recover.
- I am ever-so-grateful for the peace that comes from our Savior as we embark on this journey. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of our individual needs, and that He does hear our prayers and answers them in a way that is best for us, though maybe not always the way we want them. Sometimes it would be nice if we could just wiggle our nose and our trial would disappear as if it never happened, but we sure wouldn't learn much would we!?!?!?!?
- Terry has been looking forward to this with great anticipation and with a hope of being cured. I too, look forward to it, but have worried about it, especially because of a conversation I had with a patient who went thru a transplant being left with the disease and worried about her future and her husband and small children being left without a wife and mother. She spoke of her experience as like going thru hell and back with nothing to show for it; left with a not so promising future ahead. I met this young mother during one of Terry's earlier treatments and I do not know what kind of cancer or treatment she had. It was probably a different kind than Terry's, but it still leaves me with concern. Having shared that, I must also say that I do believe it is the right thing for us to do, and I pray that all will go well. I wish I knew what ever happened with this young mother and her family. Certainly God is taking care of them wherever they are. Hopefully they are looking to Him for comfort and guidance - He freely gives it to those who ask and strive to come unto Him.
- I am pleased to know that we will all be taken care of at a top notch facility. They are "ranked 1st in outcomes", 1/3 of their patients permanently cured, have 80% survival rates, they pioneered the bone marrow transplant treatment over 40 years ago, they are the most experienced transplant center in the world. They also care about their patients, including their caregivers and family members, offering many programs and conveniences, and trying to make it a home away from home for them. Learning about their facility almost makes me anxious to be there ... almost!
- Though I have learned a lot, I recognize that I still know sooooo little. I guess I'm afraid of what I don't know. (As I wrote this I could almost hear Terry snickering in the background. I tell him that I am not afraid of the dark, just what I cannot see in the dark. He thinks I'm funny that way. I suppose he is right. But it's true - the dark doesn't scare me, it's the unseen things that could be out there in the dark that concern me. It's the same with this upcoming event in our lives. And yet this transplant has nothing to do with being in the dark. I expect the Light of Christ to be with us throughout the whole thing.)

I guess I'll close on that note!
I'll update with any new info after our consultation.
As Paul Harvey would say -
Good Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

30 Years Celebration!

We are celebrating 30 years of marriage today.

What do we have to show for it? (other than a few extra pounds :) I'll tell you a few -

A loving and eternal relationship, 8 handsome sons, 1 beautiful daughter, 3 great daughters in law, 3 awesome grandchildren (and one more on the way), a beautiful and comfortable home, a strengthening testimony of the gospel, many great friends, several great life experiences ....

The written list could continue, but we are mostly grateful that we have each other and our family, whom we will enjoy for eternity if we live worthy. We find joy in the written and the unwritten list, and we look forward with excitement to so much more to come.

Last year we celebrated our 29th anniversary in the chemo room and it felt kind of strange to celebrate in such a way, but it felt good because it was part of what is making it possible for us to still have each other here on earth. Though it felt strange, it seemed like a perfect place to be, and this year I was almost disappointed that we didn't get to celebrate there again. (Weird huh! but it represents life and love to me now.) Terry is still having chemo treatments this year, but it was last week, so we get our special day free from treatments, but not so free from the side effects that come because of it.

We are happy to be celebrating 30 years together, especially the together part. Surely there are some difficult roads that lie ahead of us, but our loving Heavenly Father will help us travel them so that we can reach our eternal destination. There may be stones that cause us to stumble or streams that cause discomfort as we cross them, there may be lakes and rivers that stand in our way, but the Lord will help us build bridges, making it possible for us to reach the other side as long as we remain diligent - "more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ" as Elder Bednar encouraged us all in General Conference last fall. As we do we will certainly find joy and satisfaction, and many eternal rewards that we can not even imagine.

We will keep the faith!

It is expedient that we should be diligent that thereby we might win the prize. (D&C 10:4 and Mosiah 4:27)

All victory and glory is brought unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith. (D&C103:36)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Two Years Celebration!

I started blogging on Feb 11 2008, and obviously, I have found it to be worth pursuing since this is post #196. (75 of those were posted my first year of blogging.) And, because I find it so worthwhile I plan on many more to come.

It wouldn’t be so fun if I didn’t have family and friends to share it with, so I thank you for your interest and concern. (Thanks for the fun comments along the way! We love your comments!)

I also find joy in searching the blogging community for family and friends updates on their personal blogs, and extend a thank you to each for sharing your life with us all. In our busy lives we often find it difficult to sit and visit with everyone we care about, which makes blogging the perfect way to share so that others can keep in touch when life gives them an opportunity. I cannot even begin to count the number of posts from family and friends that I have read throughout the years, but there are many, and I really do enjoy it. It brings a bit of sunshine to a cloudy day and even makes a sunny day brighter. Thanks a bunch!

LIFE IS GOOD! It is worth sharing with others to help make things more pleasant and enjoyable.

Thanks again!
And, Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Happy Birthday to Dawn!
We love you!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Time for one of Terry's "Everyday Insights" from years ago.


There are certain times especially in our slack moments when work isn’t as pressing as at other times that we think about life and the world around us and sometimes become somewhat amazed or bewildered.
Just such a season has taken place in our home. It seems like everyday there is something brought to mind that when pondered really produces wonder as well as gratitude. The most recent one was the repair made o the telephone system. Have you ever wondered how a telephone works? How is it that the sound of ones voice can be relayed to a distant place with such speed that there is a continuous conversation no different than if at arms length? The clarity of the words is good, and you can receive and transmit at the same time and not jam the line.
There are many things like this. Here are a few other points to ponder.
Who was it that thought to break and egg, cook it and eat it, or who was it that figured; and what was the reason to think that grinding wheat would be beneficial and that it is possible to make bread, cakes, and other goodies?
Did you see conference on television or listen to it brought into your home by radio or view it at the stake center by satellite relay and transmission? What makes this possible? Is it not truly amazing?
Have you ever traveled by airplane, used your calculator or even turned o a light switch and wondered at it?
These are just a few things that seem amazing and that inspire gratitude from what must be a continuous divine tutelage for the benefit of man.

A thought to ponder.
By Terry, 9 Oct. 1984

Notice the date he wrote this. That was many years ago and we wonder and marvel at even more now.
Consider the fact that I can just post this here on the Internet for anyone to view at anytime they wish, and in any place they wish, depending mainly upon ones desire to have the Internet available to them and the means to pay for it. The possibilities are growing daily.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Happy Birthday to Dennis!
We love you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Good Eats! .....

We like to watch the cooking shows and often the food looks so good it makes us wish we could sample some of it. The last few days we have been able to do more than sample, we have enjoyed some great food that was prepared and delivered just for us. Definitely Good Eats! We recognize, and are so grateful for the sacrifice that others make in our behalf. It is a great blessing to us.

We are so thankful for good friends, and for their kindness. Several have called or visited to check in on Terry and our family. We feel our Saviors love in all the world around us. We are aware that He sends His love to us thru others, and we feel it. I want to be just like them when I grow up! :)
Thank you! to all of our family and friends who have blessed our lives in so many ways, including the many prayers on Terry's behalf. We do feel blessed.

We are also grateful for good nurses who take such good care of us. They are so tender and careful with their patients and I am grateful to them. Tuesday became a slow day in the infusion room, and Terry was the only patient there, so the nurse washed down a chair and slid it over by Terry's chair and let me sit by him for the last half of his treatment. It was a kind act that made me grateful for kind and thoughtful people, especially since some days I end up having to sit in the hall because the room is so full of people.
Terry doesn't sleep well during treatment week, so during the treatment Wednesday he was feeling tired and trying to get some shut eye. The nurse was aware of this and would tip-toe into the room, whisper if anything needed to be said, and was extra quiet and careful with everything she had to do so that she would not wake or disturb him.
The Moses Lake Clinic is making improvements in their oncology department, and we are feeling the benefits of that. We are grateful to them - we need them.

We are grateful to all who have tried to make this week the best it could be. Thanks so much! We love you and appreciate your kindness.

3 more days completed!

Terry has finished round two of chemo in this war with cll/sll that we have been battling for 6 years now.
These treatments affect Terry more than the last set of treatments, so we are heading into some not so good days ahead. Luckily he doesn't have any farm work that needs done and he can try to stay down and rest. He does wish that he could be out working on the deck, but it can wait.

Our visit with the doctor gave some fresh info about the near future, but again it has changed a bit from our previous info, so it's hard to want to share it. Nevertheless, I will say that we should get a call soon to set up a consultation with the doctors in Seattle to discuss the stem cell option.
We'll let you all know when we feel like we know.