Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Get ready, Get set...

What a week this is going to be! We are busy trying to get ready for our family trip to California. So much to do! We are a bit worried about our trip for a few reasons.
  • California is burning! Sea World and the San Diego Wild Animal Park are closed because of air quality and actual fires in the park! We are hoping that the winds will die down, the fires will be controlled and the air will clear up in the next few days!
  • Dad is having his surgery on Halloween day! Wouldn't you know that they would schedule it right during our vacation! If we weren't all pre-paid and a bit financially committed it would be easy to stay home. The doctors have told us they have never lost anyone on the table before and that he will be so doped up and out of it in ICU for a few days that he wouldn't know if we were there or not. I am still worried as we have heard that this surgery is horrible and the recovery every bit as bad! Mom says that his insides will be totally changed and reorganized.
  • Mom will be alone. This is a tough one. How can we leave her to deal with this alone.? I was even tempted to call Alli and tell her we will all chip in on a flight to get her home. Still might do that. (Forget the fact Alli has a life of her own) I have talked to Grandma and she said that she will be there for her. I hope Mom will even stay at Grandma's for a few days! We may have to do a few more things to make sure she is ok while we are gone.

We are excited for the trip and it will be a great time if we can get ready by Friday. Jonathan is especially excited to celebrate his birthday in California. I haven't had the heart to tell him most of that day will be spent in the car driving through deserts! He did have a nice Rollins party on Sunday and a Rencher party the week before. Grandma Carter even got his birthday card in the mail in time! Such a generous family we have.

I have been thinking a lot about how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family! I have in-laws whom I adore and are always willing to help me! I have extended family who are such a support and grandparents who are absolutely amazing. My siblings (both ROLLINS and RENCHER, IN-LAWS, OUT-LAWS, BLOOD, MUD-BLOOD etc.) are my best friends! I love each of them with all my heart. They make me laugh and share in any good cry, they are my support and my lifeline. They keep me humble and lift me up! My parents are my foundation. They are constant and steadfast. I love my family!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Good News, Bad News

So first the bad news. Dad has Esophageal Cancer. For the last few weeks he has had trouble swallowing. He went in for a surgery to have a stent put in and they found a growth. They took a biopsy and on Wenesday night we heard the news that it was malignant. Not a fun night for us. It is very interesting to me the different reactions that my siblings and I went through. Prayers, Tears, Laughter, Anger, Denial, Finding Information, Counseling mode, and Shock. We went through the weekend full of fear! The diagnosis and prognosis on the cancer internet sites was not good. It was horrible in fact.

Dad went into organization mode. He updated his will, wrote letters, planned his funeral and talked to everyone. His heart was soft and he was full of love for us all. It is amazing the spin that a lot of the LDS Conference talks took when we were thinking of all the "What Ifs?" Mitch and Andrew gave him a couple of wonderful blessings! What a great thing to have these worthy, soft hearted men in our lives. I am grateful for good brothers and brother-in -laws. All of them are a blessing in my life!

Now the Good News. He had his tests (CT and PET scans) on Monday, 8th and on Tuesday met with his "Team" for the prognosis. We found out that he is between a stage 1 and stage 2! Wow. We were fearing a 4, expecting a 3, and hoping for a 2! What great news. The surgeon is very confident that with surgery they can cure him! It doesn't look like it has spread although there are some signs of something on his pancreas and a lymph node. They will check that out when they do the surgery. He goes in for a EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound) today and then they will schedule the surgery. The surgery is horrible. It takes 7 hours and he will be hospitalized for almost 2 weeks for recovery. They are going to remove 2/3-3/4 of his esophagus and pull the stomach up high to meet the stub that is left. Not a pleasant sounding thing is it?

So after thinking we could be so close to losing Dad, it is nice to have him back with us! We hope and pray it will be a great while yet.

Viewmont High Class of 87 Rocks!

Well folks, I recently had the fantastic opportunity to go to my 20 year High School Reunion! What a fun thing that was. I went with my friend from the Viewmont High Years, Roxanne Rees Jackman. I RSVP'd that Dave was coming with me but having recently been to his own he told me " You will have a much better time if I don't go." Which was true. So I took Roxanne instead.

We had a great time! As soon as we walked in we saw Stacy McNellis and Jennifer Hoskins. I visited with Scott Wood, Jimmie Allen, Scott Hinerman, Mark Wenzel, Matt Eastman, Heather Bradford, Amy Coleman, Glenda Fountain, Kim Hurst, Angie Smith, Bill Crowther, and many others. We went away wishing that more old friends had come! It was especially nice that I already see some of my best friends from high school on a regular basis. I had several "easy" people where I could take a break from the "So, what have you done for the last 20 years?" and relax with people who already know the answers!

We found out that one of our graduating class is a Grandfather already and 1 of our class has 8 kids. Crazy! My cheeks hurt from smiling so much through the night! I came away feeling pretty good about the last 20 years.