Thursday, January 27, 2011

Band and Stage Missionaries

Elder and Sister Murset sent us an email that made our day. It included these words and this photo:

"They have been working very hard each day with practicing..."
"The Band is diligently learning many new pieces of music and we are very pleased with all the missionaries progress. They go home tired each day!"
"We have fallen in love with each of your missionaries..."
"Their countenance shows how much they love serving the Lord and they are sure having FUN doing it!"

(Chase is easy to find in the photo, he is in the back row, second from the right. He is wearing a blue and black tie.)

We are still waiting for an email from Chase. Their p-days are not all the same day, so we don't know when his is yet. We can see that he is doing fine! We love the emails from Elder and Sister Murset and will miss them if they slow down, and I'm sure they will.

Rituxan Two

Today Terry got twice as much Rituxan as he did Tuesday, and things still went well. He isn't feeling bad, but he's not feeling really great either. I suppose he is just doing good. :) We are so pleased that the infusion went well this second day. He gets a much higher dose Tuesday so we are anxious to see if it is still okay. We are betting that it will be.

Also reporting:
BrittanyJo wanted to play in the basketball game tomorrow so she went to see the doctor today. He did not give her a release, but said to wait another week and come back to see him then. She is feeling much better but still needs to be careful.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Day, but Hard Night!

The good day yesterday turned into a sleepless night for Terry. He gets some pre-meds before the Rituxan, one being a steroid, and that keeps him awake when he'd rather be sleeping. I guess it's a trade off for not having to feel icky from the infusion. I suppose he could take some sleeping meds, but we think he's taking enough meds as it is.

Other news on the home front:
Thomas has been able to harvest a little more of our corn during the last several days or week. It's been on again - off again, due to the fog and other moist weather, but every little bit counts. We like to have the harvest done before Thanksgiving because it just seems to make the holiday nicer to celebrate. Last year we celebrated family and forgot the fields for a minute, so we had a great holiday in spite of the corn still standing. We promise to get it out before this coming Thanksgiving. Just think, maybe we will get to celebrate two years of completed harvest in one! Always something to be grateful for!

Michael is doing well. His letters lately have been short and simple, but still sweet to have. The last one was a little bit more informative and we could tell that he is enjoying his new comp and that for the time being, things are good there in his area.

BJo is on the mend, but it's lingering longer than we'd hoped. We are taking it one day at a time. Last night we watched the State of the Union address and she turned her back to the TV so she didn't watch it for too long. She does try to use the computer and knit so she doesn't get too bored, but still no sports. More time!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We are home from today's doctor visit and can happily report that the Rituxan infusion went well. Doctor called it a "wimpy dose" and Terry objected to that adjective so she then referred to it as a "low dose". Either way, we are just glad that it went well. We'll go back Thursday for a bit more, and expect it to go well too. Having it go well seemed to make sense to us. We wondered if that was why we were not fighting against it. It was one of those times when the Lord just leads you through things and it turns out better than you think. We are grateful that it has turned out well.

WBC = 2.6 (L) Down from last week, but not critical.
RBC = 3.06 (L)
HCT = 33.3 (L) Down from last week, but not critical.
Neutrophils = 1.5 (L)
Platelets = 33. (L) Still low, but not critical. They are beginning to build back up, or at least for this week. They are up from 12 last week. Doctor made the lab repeat the test to make sure, and the second test proved to be the same. Yeah platelets! No platelets infusion was needed today.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Medical Maddness of a Different Sort.

During the basketball game Saturday night BrittanyJo was knocked to the floor with another player falling on her, which ended in a concussion. She didn't get to play the rest of JV or any of Varsity that night. We took her to the doctor yesterday because of the concern and discomfort/pain she was having and confirmed that things are okay, but she cannot participate in any sport for the week. When we see the symptoms going away we can take her back in to the doctor and he will release her to play again. For now she is to rest her brain and her body. This is a tricky thing. Often when we rest we like to watch TV or be on the computer. She is already failing at the computer thing. :) She is not to do much reading or activity that uses her eyes too much. She really wanted to knit, but that is a no-no for a few days too. She looked through our old annuals with us last night - it's so hard to rest the brain and the eyes. She is going to have a tricky week - I'm sure she'd rather be playing ball. Doctor says that sleeping is good at this point, but I'm sure she will get tired of that really soon too. She's going to wish we hadn't gone to the doctor. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

End of the week!

My goal to get my tree down and Christmas put away was realized. YEAH! It was up too long, but I still enjoyed it, except for the dead tree. I didn't let it bother me too much because I knew I had other, more important things going on. This was the week it had to come down though and it happened, slowly, but surely. The room is clean and there are places for people to relax again.
My time was consumed with putting things away and cleaning up. Terry and the kids helped with the meals so that I could have more time. It was a big help, making things easier and faster for me. I did have a few dishes to catch up on though.
My cold and head aches kept me slower than I would have normally been, but that too is almost gone. We look forward to attending church tomorrow and a new week to follow. It's almost like I am starting my new year this coming week. Did I wish everyone a happy new year already? Hopefully you are having a good one! We are!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Congrats to Chase!

Chase auditioned (playing the trumpet) and was selected as a 2011 Young Performing Missionary in the Nauvoo Brass Band.

I spent some time this morning google-ing Nauvoo Brass Band and have learned some interesting info. I'm sure it will be a delightful experience for Chase and we are excited for him.

The Nauvoo Brass Band consists of 15-17 band members who are single, high school graduates through the age of 24. It is a 4 month service in the Illinois-Nauvoo Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He has received his acceptance info, will have his interview with the bishop and stake president, send in his Ecclesiastical Recommend Form before February first and then receive his formal mission call.

This will not take the place of his 2 year mission, but only defer it a few months. His plan is to participate in this performing mission from May thru August and serve a full time mission as soon as possible after that. It is a great opportunity for him.

Band missionaries must live according to the Church Missionary schedule, including companion study, personal study, lights out curfews, remaining at arms length with the opposite sex, wearing appropriate attire, etc. No telephones and no emails or use of computers without the consent of the Mission President.

It appears that they might spend the first couple weeks practicing and learning about 60 songs. They will perform daily and nightly musical shows, on a Band Wagon through the streets of Nauvoo, concerts in the Grove and at an outside program by the Mississippi River. I also saw one place that said that band performers give tours at historic sites on Sunday. I'm sure there is much more to learn, and we look forward to it.

I am grateful for music today. Chase has a wonderful opportunity before him that is partly due to his love for music. Good music speaks to the heart and soul.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Strange things continue to happen:

Terry got a platelets transfusion again today. Still no explanation as to why the platelets are so low, at 12 again or still.
White blood count was 4.0, which is still low, but higher than it's been in a very long time.
Hematocrit is 36.8, again, this is low, but higher than it's been in a very long time.
Neutrophils are 2.4, that's on the slight up swing too.

About the chimerisms test they did earlier - the T cells were about the same and the myloid cells were down. The people at SCCA do not believe that the low numbers are due to graft failure. They do believe that the residual CLL may be repressing the graft. In that case they suggest (the evil) Rituxan as a possible treatment.

Rituxan is the chemo that Terry had terrible reactions to earlier and would not consider having again. They suggest that it be given in small, incremental doses, increasing over a few days if it goes well. I am surprised that we are okay with this. I thought I'd be fighting against Terry having to have Rituxan ever again, but we are both okay with it. I don't know why, maybe that will change, but for now things seem peaceful. We are grateful for that peaceful feeling and pray that it continues.

No extra appointment later this week unless we notice some problems, but Tuesday we head back to Wenatchee for the regular blood draw, the doctor appointment, and the Rituxan chemo treatment. If that treatment goes well he will have another on Thursday and again the following Tuesday and then one each Tuesday for maybe 4 weeks after that. If it does not go well we will probably take a trip back over to Seattle for an evaluation. At least that is what Dr. Smith is suggesting at this point.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today's medical update:

Terry did have another platelets transfusion today. It makes for an all day affair, but we are happy to have it available for us. The count was up to 12, but that just isn't enough, especially with the weekend coming up and our next appointment delayed until Tuesday. He will get an IV dose of benedryl every time he gets platelets now. It seems to help, and it also helps him get some sleep, which is much needed and enjoyed since his nights are often quite sleepless due to the prednisone he is on.

The doctors at SCCA are talking about Terry during their "rounds" and will hopefully have some answers in the next day or so. We hoped for answers today, but of course that didn't happen. We really should have known! :)

We usually see Dr. Smith in ML on Mondays (because that is where she is on Mondays) but because we cannot get the irradiated blood products in ML we are going to change our appointments to Tuesdays in Wenatchee so we can be there for any transfusion he might need and not have to travel from ML to Wenatchee for it.

Even though the platelets transfusions are very important they do not help him feel better. Low platelets don't really cause any pain, discomfort, or exhaustion. Low platelets do cause thin blood concerns. He must not get any injuries that cause external or internal bleeding because he could bleed to death. He has been told that if he falls he is to take an ambulance to the hospital and have some CT scans to determine if there is any internal bleeding.

Be Careful! is a main theme for the last several months. Be aware! is another. It seems that both would be good for all aspects of life.

Having a Great Week Together...

We are so happy and grateful that they came to see us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

medical update

We started out with an appointment in Moses Lake, seeing Dr. Smith and getting the blood workup done.
The results:
WBC = 2.4 (low)
RBC = 2.75 (low)
Neutrophils = 1.6 (low)
Platelets = 9 (critical)

This means platelets transfusion for sure, so we traveled from ML to Wenatchee for the transfusion. Terry has to have irradiated blood or blood products and they do not do that in ML. Gregory, Brayden and Tawny went to ML with us, so they got a full day of waiting. We left at 9:00am and returned at 6:30pm. Not the way we thought we'd spend the day, but we made the best of it.
Before the transfusion was complete, Terry started to feel itchy all over and started getting blotches on his skin, so he had to have an IV dose of benedryl, which made our day even longer, but made Terry feel so much better. We are glad we were there to take care of it and not half way home (or worse).

Next appointment is Thursday!
Dr. Smith has called SCCA and visited with them. Part of the blood draw got sent to Seattle for a chimerisms testing. They will have results on that at our Thursday appointment. Those results will help them decide what happens next. There is much talk of us heading back to Seattle for a boost or ?????

We don't feel like we have enough answers as to why the blood counts are always having issues and why things are not going well like they originally started out. Sometimes it seems like it has all been a waste of time, but that is the negative side of things and we must keep positive. The positive side is that we hope to get something going that will help turn it around and get us heading in the right direction. This is a trial that we will all grow from if we just keep enduring and remembering that Our Future Is As Bright As Our Faith!

We are enjoying our time with Gregory's family and are so happy to have them here with us!

OH! Great News! Brandon has a new job. And, he's enjoying it!!!! Much to be grateful for! Happy New Year to all!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Happy 90th Birthday Idris!

We are so thankful for the love and support that she continues to give us. She is a wonderful lady!


The road conditions slowed us down a bit, but we made it to our appointment in Wenatchee only a couple minutes late. We had to play the waiting game because we were double booked, but we finally got the blood draw and the doctor visit. Platelets had continued going down ( at 11 today ) so Terry got a platelets transfusion. Did you know that platelets are yellow? They are! We do not know his counts after the transfusion, but we're sure it's better or they wouldn't do it.

Dr. Smith is still concerned with what is causing the counts to be so low and said she was going to call over to SCCA and suggest that we go over for a visit / work up. We don't know what will happen for sure, but might learn more on Monday, at our next appointment. We'll continue to keep you posted.

We got home just in time to gather with family for Idris' 90th birthday. We had a great visit and great food. That reminds me - I haven't gone thru and put all of the family birthday's on posts for the year. I better get a move on!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Anthony got his braces off today!!!!!


We are so thankful for orthodontists and the beautiful smiles they help create.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Today's blood counts were pretty much maintaining, until we got to the platelets which are at 15. Sounds crazy doesn't it, but it's true.
Terry does have a bit of a sinus issue that hasn't been really bad, it's just been starting, and slowly at that. They prescribed an antibiotic and more prednisone for him in hopes to help the platelets go up. They have to try something! We go back Friday to check again and see if it is better or worse. If better, we'll continue watching. If worse, he will probably get a platelet transfusion.

OH! We talked with Chase and he did have a great day!

To have a friend, you must first be one!

I tried to do the facebook thing a while ago and just couldn't get into it. Maybe you saw my post and apology. Well, I really do want to keep track of what my kids are saying there, and can't unless I'm there too. So, I'm back on facebook, but don't expect to spend much time there.

What To Do First

Priorities are hard to decide sometimes. I was going to do my best to get it straight this year but it seems that many things are always getting left undone. I have become accustomed to that and am learning to adjust. With a long list of things to do, which includes cleaning up after the passing year and preparing for the new year, I chose to take a look at the things we are thankful for.

A couple weeks before Thanksgiving our family decided to write down something we were thankful for each day for the rest of the year. Not everyone participated daily like I had hoped, but it was a fun read for me this morning as I looked at the things that were written.
Each paper was rolled up, put into a jar, and not looked at until I read them today. I tossed them in the garbage after I read them and then decided I should keep them for a little while longer.

Here is a sampling of what was written on our papers, but not in any order, because they were dumped out and scrambled. Some were written more than once in our jar, but are listed only once here (hopefully :):

family history
warm blankets
postal service
general conference
our farm
pots and pans
living prophet/Pres. Monson
relief society
communication / words / etc.
pretty wrapping paper
game consoles
support from everyone
indoor plumbing
friends old & new
peace & happiness
the Holy Ghost / Comforter
my husband
The Hebdon's
Book of Mormon
what Christ did for us / how He died for us
Bishop Allred
visiting teachers
gifts / giving
Jesus Christ
cooking utensils
patriarchal blessings
warm house
patriarchal blessing from grandpa
each member of our family was listed individually, including some aunts and uncles and cousins

The bishopric gave each family a gratitude book for Christmas. I'm going to write this list in that and we'll continue to add to it. We'll also add some stories or experiences that help us realize how grateful we are for ... whatever we are thankful for. Surely it will be a great year if we are trying to be aware of our many blessings and recognize whom they all come from.

I am surely grateful that we had a safe trip to and from Rexburg, for the family we saw there (and left there) and for BYU-I .... I am grateful that all was well when we arrived home again.
This is Chase's first day of college and I surely hope to be grateful that it was a good one! We love you Chase!
Now on with my list of things to do .... I'll get them done - eventually!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Days Gone By:

We enjoyed visiting family at the Hebdon family reunion.
We played games...

The men branded a "slice" of wood, using Keith's brand and slices of a tree that had been chopped down out of their yard. The brand is Lightening Lazy H.

Some made snake ties. They were so cute.

The women's craft was putting vinyl lettering onto a box, which read; "Your future is as bright as your faith", a quote by Pres. Monson. We put together a puzzle, learned about some of our ancestors, and enjoyed being together.

Each family took turns cooking and cleaning...

We ate...

We took pictures.

And played in the snow.
I didn't get very good photos this year. It was a busy time for me since we were in charge of things. We hope to share photos, so that everyone will end up with much more than they were able to get themselves. We love family and are so grateful for this opportunity to gather together and enjoy each other's company.

We came home and put things away as much as possible, loaded up again, and traveled to Rexburg Idaho, where we left Chase to attend a semester of college before his mission. We spent the night with Sherri and Bryan, took one day getting Chase settled, went to see Lisa and Skyler's home and headed for home. We love family and are so happy to have so many loving family members there to help Chase when he needs it. We are excited for his experiences this year.

Connor, BrittanyJo and Anthony stayed home so that they could start school Monday. It was such a quick trip that they only felt bad that they would miss lunch at Craigo's. :) It's good pizza! It's strange to think we only have 3 kids at home now. Connor and BJo are off to games tonight, so there is only one right now, and it is strange, but not bad. We will adjust! We always do! How well is what's debate-able.

We missed Terry's doctor appointment Monday, but will have it Wednesday instead. More to come...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Message From Michael

Michael sounds great and is doing well. He is having some awesome experiences as a missionary and a zone leader.
Their new years day brought an inch of snow and a party week. New Years celebration is done up big in Japan. (We got a surprise email on New Years Eve because p-days were all messed up due to the holidays.)
He spent an incredible day with Elder Tashiro, who is a memeber of the 3rd quorum of the 70. They talked and traveled and had some great experiences together. It was a day that the Lord had a hand in and it was good.
He loves the missionary couple that is there serving in the area. It is Elder and Sister Lowe from Othello/Basin City area. Elderly couples are always a blessing to the elders where ever they are. We are so grateful for those who serve the Lord and bless our lives.
Thanks to all of you, for all you do to make the world a better place!