Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We are here!

Day one is complete.
Our first day at SCCA included registration, blood draws, and history and physical exams for both Terry and Dennis.
We took the shuttle to the SCCA from the Pete Gross House and decided that we are so glad to be where that is available.
We are now moved in to our apartment, which we are happy with. It does seem small to me, but it is going to be great. The kitchen is tiny and needs more cupboard space for me since I plan on cooking here, but I will survive it and am so grateful to even have it. We had a car full, but we did leave some things home :) We will bring them next trip :). We get to go home this weekend and return again Monday morning. Dennis didn't know that he would have to carry in so many things. We never did include that in his "job description". We did get to use some luggage carts to help us, but it sure made it easier to have his help.
The family room and dining room is all one room and has plenty of space for my "habits" ;) &/or crafts, which will include scrap booking and sewing and exercising and addressing graduation announcements and blogging and even watching movies;).
Lucky us - we have a yard without dirt or weeds. It's just cement and railing, but it's a place to be outside and it is all ours. No grass or plants, but also no having to share with the neighbors, and it's going to be great. Does that sound anti-social? I guess that maybe I am. Sorry!
Our view? It is so impressive - NOT! We have a tooooo (many) story building on one side of us that we cannot see over the top of, but can see right into several of the offices in that building, so maybe it will be entertaining. On the other side of us we see the top of a building with all of it's cooling units and ?things? and the back of the bill board or whatever it is.
Tomorrow is planned out for us, but I won't include that info until tomorrow. Our first appointment is at 10:00 am and our last one is at 2:30 (and might take about an hour, so we could be done at about 3:30).
We did hear one bit of good news today - Terry might not have to have the chemo treatments that were originally planned - but as soon as I say that they will change their minds again and tell us that he does. This is just helping us to remember that things can change from one day to the next. They even warned us of that today.
Thanks again to all of our family and friends who have been so kind and thoughtful of us. We do feel of your love and we are praying for you too! Thank you so much! We love you!
Our address is:
525 Minor Avenue North
Apartment 214
Seattle, WA 98109

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Happy Birthday to Lamont! (1977-1988)
I don't suppose that he celebrates his birthday in heaven, but we send our love none-the-less!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Happy Birthday to Gregory!
We love you!

Happy Birthday to Brandon!
We love you!

Did you know?
Gregory and Brandon were born two years apart, each on their due date. WoW!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Our apartment is available, so we have a place to stay.
We will stay at the Pete Gross house located at 525 Minor Ave. North, Apt. #214 in Seattle.
The count down shows us at exactly one week away from our arrival date.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


First thing this morning Chase had a tennis match or two. He plays doubles, and this day was with two different teammates. They won the second match. It is fun to watch him play. This was the first one of the season, so there's more to come.

This evening he participated in Mr. Sr. and did a great job. (Luckily he was not judged on how good the photos that his mother takes are.) He did however, win "Best Sport" and the "Spirit Award". Good show, I say! We enjoyed the evening, but our personal favorite was Chase!

His talent was a song titled "If my nose was running money". We saw it a few months ago on the internet and knew that was what he wanted to do for his talent.
He used his Grandma Hebdon's guitar, for a prop. I think she got that guitar when she graduated from High School.

Here he is with his "escortee" for the poise and self expression portion of the evening. Isn't she sweet!
Big day! He had a lot of fun with this event.
I purchased a video of the evening, so when I get it maybe I can play it for you. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Good News first - then the Bad News!

Good News:
Terry's CAT scan Friday and visit with Dr. Smith Monday told us that his lungs look good, no longer a concern, so we will continue as scheduled. We learned something else though.

Bad News:
Our count down, for the 3 to 4 months we will be in Seattle begins the day of the transplant, not the day we arrive for testing. So we will be over there longer than what we had originally thought.

We had a "conference call" with Samantha from SCCA last week and learned that his transplant will probably take place on April 21st, so our count down will begin from that day. How did we miss that one? They have talked to us about counting the days before the transplant as -1, -2, etc. and the days after the transplant as 1, 2, etc. But we didn't ever connect the dots to think that it meant that we don't count the days before the transplant as part of our time there.

I'm sure we will keep learning that what we thought we knew isn't really the way it is at all. Oh well! They are probably trying to keep us alert and preparing us to just roll with the punches. We are going to do our best.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just like old times!
Not really old times :0 ;)
We were finally able to go visit LeeAnn and Brian and their family. We had that familiar feeling, even though we were traveling a different direction than we used to, that we have missed for many years now. They used to live in Chewelah and Valley, where we were able to visit on special occasions a few times a year. Then they moved to Texas for several years and we never got to travel that direction. They missed us so much that they have moved back to our area, living in Wenatchee. Okay, maybe they didn't move to Wenatchee because they missed us, but we are so happy that they are closer and that it is a direction we can travel often.
Our children are older and wiser?, and include some extra children and grandchildren, and it was interesting to sense that difference, but we all love being together.
This was a visit that we wanted to do before our trip to Seattle. Alas, we have got it done. But now we just want more! Isn't that the way it is!

Medical Madness
During Priesthood class yesterday the men asked Terry to explain what would be taking place with this trip to Seattle. He told them something like this:
"Elaine has been called on a medical mission and I am to be her companion."
I thought that was really clever. I guess we will be serving in the Seattle, Washington area for approximately 3 or 4 months and then we will be transferred to the Royal City, Washington area.
This mission prep has begun. We are trying to make ourselves ready. It seems to be going well for now.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What next?

Have you seen The Truman Show? This story, as I remember it, is about a man who grew up in a controlled environment, an artificial world where others told him what to do, directed his every move, and did all they could to keep the outside or real world from him. Through the years his life was televised for the real world to see, and he was unaware of this big "set" he lived in. Eventually he learned that there could be more to the world than where he was, and at the end of the movie he finds and opens a door to the real world. I was so happy that he finally knew what was going on and that he had the common sense and courage to escape this awful scene. Yet at that moment I wondered, "What next? How will he survive in an unfamiliar way of life? Where will he go and who will help him? This really was the only way of life he knew and he needed someone to help him. Would his friend find him in time?"

This movie shocked me, and it quickly became one of my least favorite movies as it left me with such an awful feeling. I let these feelings consume me for days, and I'm sure I had nightmares many nights after watching it. Eventually I let go of my dislike and forgot the movie.

But, it has resurfaced. Just yesterday I woke up with this movie on my mind and that feeling of being trapped in a world with little control of what happens to you each day. I wondered what brought that to mind again after letting go of it for so long.

I wonder if it was the fear or anxiety of what was taking place in my life. As I thought about it I realized that there are some similarities. We are going to be in a world, so to speak, where our every move will be directed by others and we will not be allowed to leave it for a time. There are a lot of unknowns, and a lot of limitations. Our lives will not really be our own because of the strictly written rules we will have to follow and even the scenes will be created in the different acts while we are there. Our environment will be very controlled, and not much will seem familiar. We will be keeping a portion of our lives available for all to see. Not televised, but online blogging can be quite open to the public. Then one day, the directors will tell us we can step out of that world and enter back into the real world. What then? We hope it is better than we left it, but we are aware of the complications that can arise.

There are some big differences between the Truman Show and our show. We are aware of the two worlds and we are volunteering for the chance to live in this different world for a time, even though we know there will be some strange and difficult times within it.

I remember how my older kids that watched this movie with us, thought I was silly for letting it affect me so, but it was just so wrong and even evil. Even with these feelings resurfacing, I know that this opportunity for us is not wrong. It is more right than ever before. We are anxious to step into this new world and then one day step back out of it, hopefully feeling better than when we left it. At some point and time it will turn out better than we think.

Maybe we are living in an artificial world right now. That artificial world being the one where cancer lives too. Either way, we will be returning to the real world thru this re-birthing event called transplant.

Let me be clear on one thing before I end - I do not recommend The Truman Show for anyone to see. I do, however, invite those who are interested to stay tuned to our show or blog, for future scenes of our world as we live it. It may not be the best entertainment, but it will be informative.

The star of our show will be the Lord. He will also be the director. He is the writer and producer. He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life! He is the one we look to for peace. He will be here daily to guide us and comfort us, of that I am sure. We hope that you will see Him too.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I’m Fine, By Terry,

Having cancer is like the throwing of a rock into a peaceful pool. In many instances it can be very unsettling and disruptive. Many times the cherished peace no longer remains.

There are times though that the scene can be a thing of beauty. Perhaps the rocking of the gentle waves can set a floating leaf to dance, lively and delighted and made happy by the new found energy.

To the observer the ripples may extend clear to the ponds edge where they may seem to be an harassment to a slumbering frog, seeming to be a never ending teasing at which he wants to smile but never even blinks. Is he pleased by this? It’s hard to say. He stays.

In other ways this cancer rock penetrating the calm becomes a nuisance, as to the fish who lurked below just ready to dine on a mosquito now no longer visible nor available for his favorite lunch. If that rock had not entered the water things could be different.

For many the hope is that the rock will settle on the ponds floor, being seized upon by the mud and debris and for ever there remain. Probably for all who have cancer this is the wish. Out of sight but never out of mind we wish for it’s demise in obscurity.

In an odd way though, many of us as owners, are grateful for this rock. For though the disruptions and loss of calm, we become enlivened by the goodness of the constant ripple of kindness that seems to never end. We have loved ones and care givers and other good people whom we never expected to ever know who have brought hope and help and faith and prayer and a positive attitude. We have doctors and nurses who never blink, who keep their eyes fixed upon the goal of making us well. There are many through unseen efforts who are working to ensure that the rock remains submersed. If my rock should ever resurface I hope it won’t recognize me.

Sadly for many the splash is only the beginning and the rock is seemingly on a string, and those who know this fate awkwardly keep having it return to them. We all wish this not to be the case. But good can come from bad and happiness from sad strength from difficulty and experience from all. So we seem to need to just make the best of it and trust in God.

We know that He who created all nature is the cure. That He can fix our bodies. That He can fix our spirits. That He knows us. That He loves us and that we will be alright, and that it will turn out better than we think. I’m fine!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We Have A Due Date / Arrival date!

A due date sounds funny, but we are due to arrive at the SCCA, with our donor, to begin the preparations for Terry's transplant on March 31st. The term due date fits well since we look forward to this occasion as representing new life for Terry and for our family as a whole.
We are hoping and praying for everything to go smoothly and that every little thing will be the easiest possible for all involved, especially for Terry and his health as he travels this road, but also for the many others involved.

Stage 1 is going strong:
- we have our names on a waiting list for an apartment at the Pete Gross House,
- our new "message center" is up and ready to inform all who need to know the goings and comings of our household,
- we are stocking the shelves and packing our bags (not our clothes, but some food and some things to keep us busy while we are there),
- we are making lists and checking things off as we go.

We are gearing up for stage 2 of this procedure, which begins March 31st.
- Gregory and Adena will be heading out on the 28th to come stay here with the kids.
- Thomas and Dana will be caring for the farm.
(Of course they will be helping each other with their responsibilities.)
- Brandon and Megan are compiling a list of places of interest nearby the SCCA so that we have some entertainment when Terry's health allows.
- Many are offering their help and we do feel loved. We have no doubt that there are prayers offered in our behalf, and they are being answered. Thank you!

We do see things falling into place and we are so grateful.
Stay tuned for updates along the way.



We are feeling it, and you can't get better than that!!!

Terry has finished his last round of chemo treatments before the transplant takes place.
(I feel like I just lied. He will have one more chemo treatment as part of the transplant.)
He is doing okay, but feeling lousy - does that make sense? It will get worse before it gets better, but at least he is on the right track.

We do not have word from SCCA about his arrival date, but we are expecting it soon. We'll let you know when we know. I am trying to prepare every needful thing. I know it is not possible for me to know all that needs prepared, but I can at least do what I can think of. It's consuming me at the moment, so hopefully something good comes from that.

Thanks again to wonderful friends who have sacrificed their time to help us make it thru this week a bit easier, and thanks for all of your concerns and offers of kindness, and for all of your prayers. They are not in vain. Good things are happening.
Thank you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spiritual feast and Missionary update!

We had our Othello Stake Conference this weekend and they were wonderful meetings. Past history proves that, for us, the Saturday night adult meetings are most enjoyable and "the best" meetings. We attend them knowing that the messages will be awesome, the spirit will be strong, and we will come away greatly blessed for having been there. This time was no different. Saturday night meeting was among the best. Then we attended the Sunday session and found it to be very much it's equal. Both meetings were wonderful and we came away having been spiritually edified.

As I sat in the congregation for the Saturday meeting I remembered that it was a year ago that I was asked to speak. I remembered standing at the pulpit and seeing all these people in the congregation, some I knew well, some I was acquainted with, some that were familiar faces, and only a few that were unfamiliar. I felt so responsible to share something of worth and to testify of the gospel principle I was assigned and I felt so nervous while doing so. It seemed to be a scary place to stand. As the first speaker stood there this year, I felt her "pain". Then as I was revisiting my feelings of standing there a year ago, with what seemed almost as a clear view of the congregation before me and the nervous feeling ever present, a calming feeling and thought came to me. It was this -

"We may not all eat dinner at the same table but we do all feast upon the same words."

It was interesting that this calmed me. I guess it helped me realize that though we are not all immediate blood relatives and living together in the same home, accepting each others faults as well as their successes, we do all gather together to hear His word and to learn of Christ and what we must do to find our greatest joy here on earth and forever after. We are one family. Most are even members of His church, but all are His children. We are brothers and sisters of a divine family and each is striving for the blessings that come to those that do good and follow Him.

We had some great messages to help us do just that. I am grateful for these meetings and others like them. I look forward to General Conference on Easter weekend - perfect timing for it.

After a great family luncheon and some home teaching to an awesome family/friend we came home to some emails from Skyler and Michael. Both are doing well.

Elder Michael Hebdon is serving in Kumamoto. He was in a foursome, meaning that 2 sets of elders live in the same apartment. There was a recent transfer where three of those four were transferred, Michael was the only one remaining, with only two other elders brought in. These three elders are to do the work of two companionships. He enjoyed the first set of elders and shared some great experiences with them, even learned that one of them has grandparents living in Longview, just like him. Upon further investigation, we found that their grandparents know each other. What a small world. He is equally pleased with his new companions and has met a missionary couple that lived near Connell - their son worked for us for a short time. The world seems even smaller. He is meeting some great people and is anxious to teach and testify of Christ. We are so pleased with his desire and willingness to serve. I'll share one line from his email this week that seems to be a feeling we sense from him often.

"Well, I'm still super excited about this transfer! I think that it's going to be awesome and full of miracles."

He is certainly heading in the right direction for these miracles to appear. We love you Michael, keep up the good work!

Skyler is still at BYU-I and he is definitely in the college scene. He too has met several people from neighboring cities, even rivals of our football team, but still friends because of the gospel connection (it's that one big happy family feeling). He has only a month and a half left of this semester and will head home to help out with the farm and the family while we are away for the transplant (at least if the timing goes as we assume it might).

All in All - this weekend has once again made me realize how grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Them and I am so thankful to be a part of something so great. I feel Their love and I know They care about me and my family... They care about you and your family.... I find great peace and joy in living the gospel and striving to center my life on His teachings. In the fall General Conference President Monson shared something in his closing remarks that fits so well here. He reminded us that,
"He is ever mindful of us. He loves us and will bless us as we do what is right."