"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh and anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." Ether 12:4

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rolling from the heart of the house

Hello all!
Another day, another message from the Loser home. Things here are about the same, with the occasional addition of random big machines that suck stuff out from dad's stomach. For a long time, dad was having a handful of good days with a bad one thrown in. Lately, it's been a handful of bad days with a good one thrown in. It's all the same stuff, just more (like puking, tiredness, etc). In any case, it's a battle, and one we've been waiting for and expecting.

Dad is still enjoying moments when he gets to sit down and cuddle with Isaac. Those are some of the fun moments he looks forward to in the week. This weekend we are going camping to Washington Lake, one of our favorite family spots. We've had a lot of good times there with friends and family, including the campouts when Benj, Cam, & their cousin Cory camped out overnight on their own little island and were scared of the "bear" noises coming from dad's bucket (you'll have to ask him about it, and how to make them :). Lots of good memories. We thank you for them. We also hope to make some new and lasting memories while we're there this weekend!

Here's a note from dad:
We have had some good moments, in spite of it all. Rachel brought Isaac over on Tuesday after his nap. Isaac and I and our medical support team (you have probably seen our team in the Verizon telephone commercials), went out catching grasshoppers to feed to the frogs and lizards in the window well. We have a little video clip to post of this. He really loves all of the traditional "boy" diversions. Lest you think grandma and grandpa are totally spoiling this manchild, we also have some very tender footage from the recliner I will be sharing, too (in a while - we have to figure out how to get it onto the computer first).

In spite of all the pain and puking, dad looks forward to visitors - just give him a call!
We love you all and cannot say thank you enough for your help, love, and support.

Long days and pleasant nights,
The Losers

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday, August 14, Day 295, week 43, month 10 since diagnosis-
Hello loved ones. Time to interject a personal note. This experience is growing more demanding and difficult the longer it goes on. We have been amazingly blessed in a multitude of ways. I have been unmistakenly sustained, most recently throughout Benj and Jackie's wedding week. The goodbye as we sent the newlyweds off to Oklahoma was tearful and difficult, overshadowed by my recent terminal updates.
I, and I think the entire family, are struggling to digest the most recent cancer test results. Although the timing is anyones guess, we are thinking I probably have maybe a couple of months left now. We anticipate a family council on Sunday. I hope that we will collectively be able to reaccess our bucket list and have some new directions, goals, and activities to focus our efforts on. I have been feeling quite at loose ends. Combining the lack of direction/goals with my feeling of mailaise and fatigue (eight on the ten cale) have me in a pretty good funk at the moment. I am working at turning this feeling around! We will keep you posted on our progress . . .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weddings and Futures...

Wow! What an exciting time we've all had in the last few weeks. Sorry about the slow posts again - we have been a little busy getting things ready for Benj and Jackie's wedding and for all the things that come with it.

For those of you unable to make it to the gigantic luau/reception, it was amazing! The Fotu family blessed us all in unimaginable ways by providing traditional Tongan foods and entertainment, which made their reception one of the most fun events of the year! We loved every minute of it, and dad seemed to be filled with the buzz of energy and life our guests brought with them - the outpouring of love and excitement was palpable. Sorry if there weren't enough tables for everyone, but as I found, the grass was a good a seat as any. Back when we lived in West Valley, our family fell in love with the unselfish and honorable Polynesian cultures we found there. It is a blessing to have their great happiness and acceptance of Benj, who is the tall, skinny white boy who can't do the Haka (love you Benj, but it was still pretty funny to see you on the stage trying your hardest).

The temple wedding was spiritual and amazing and a dream come true for both
families. The wedding luncheon was fun and filled with music, laughter, and tears of joy and happiness. And the reception? The American Fork Amphitheater is amazing, and was filled with beautiful flowers, smiling people, good food, and fun dancing. For the first time I can recollect (in my "vast" knowledge of wedding receptions), people came and actually stayed. Thank you all for coming and/or supporting us in every capacity (Benj and Jackie are grateful for all of their generous gifts - it's funny how two young, poor people find such bliss in crockpots and bath towels). All in all, it was a wonderful day that we will treasure and remember, both for the blessings it brought our two families, as well as the chance to see all those we love gathered around us.

On a slightly different and dimmer note, dad went back to the doctor this week for a PET CT scan. He hasn't had one since February, and we were interested to see what it had to say about his cancer. It measures the "hypermetabolic activity level" in his body, which is to say that it shows us the places where the cancer is living, growing and thriving. We found a few places where it has actually faded, but mostly there are new growths, and in some places the cancer has almost doubled. It's on his kidneys, liver, abdominal wall, spine, pelvis, pancreas, and lower lung.

He's been very tired and nauseous for the last few weeks, and we have been feeling that the cancer is progressing faster since dad stopped the chemo. He's decided that they aren't going to seek any more chemotherapy, either. As always, we don't have a time frame for all of this. Sometimes cancer grows in a laid back fashion and seems to take holiday for a while, but sometimes it grows like a hungry and desperate beast. For us, it means that we are appreciating the good days that much more.

Benj and Jackie left for Oklahoma on Thursday, where they will be for the next year while Jackie finishes playing volleyball and her bachelors degree in Communications. Since the doctor visit results came before they left, Thursday was quite an emotional day for all involved. We love Benj and Jackie and are excited for them in their new life together! Please help us pray for them, as we pray for all those we love. Including you!

Friends and family, we are so grateful for the love and support you give us. We could not have made it thus far without your very real spiritual and physical strength. You keep us moving when we get stuck. You're like friend-laxatives, or maybe, Fraxatives :)

All our love,
The Losers

Post brought to you by, of course, Nichole

I think Grandpa George got the short end of the stick somewhere...