Sunday, May 31, 2009

A few party posts

This blog is great... We can post pictures of our grandkids so all of you can see how cute they are. Mike had a great day, but was extremely tired this evening. Tomorrow is a new day... We welcome it.


Mike turns 55 today! I thought I would take a picture of Mike in his new birthday outfit (not suit!) We went shopping yesterday and found some great new clothes for Mike at the Hamilton Crossing shopping area. It was nice to get away for the afternoon and spend time driving on such a beautiful day.

I don't know, but I am thinking we are being blessed with beautiful days so Mike can sit outside and relax and rejuvinate. If some of you think you are responsible, that's ok too:) Mike is taking a nap right now and enjoying Rudy's company outside.

We had a great experience at church this morning... One of our missionaries spoke on the topic of overcoming trials in our lives. One of our favorite people provided some breath taking music. And another of our dear friends spoke on increasing our faith. We feel the messages were especially for us.

We recognize the need for each of us to serve one another as we go throughout trials in our lives. We hope that soon, Mike and I will be back into a position where we can help lighten your loads and help carry your burdens. I am reminded of the verse in Matthew... "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." We feel right now as you serve us you are truly serving the Savior... Your lives will be blessed because of it. Thank you...

Now,on with the birthday celebration today!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's afternoon already

I have had a few phone calls saying I haven't blogged yet today... So glad many of you are reading this and keeping up with our lives.

We had an absolutely glorious day yesterday. We saw both of our boys, talked to Hannah, visited with lots of friends and family, went to a movie and had a wonderful dinner. We are so excited about the new foods we are trying. Mike is such a willing guinea pig! Last night's tilapia with a new found batter was delicious!

Today Mike went to the office for a few hours. I went to the farmer's market. Another amazing thing happened that was no coincidence! The first vendor I saw when I walked through the gate was a woman who is a friend and client of Mike's that I had not seen in a few years. She and her family are organic farmers in Carthage IN. We had a lengthy conversation about whole grains and organic vegies... She so kindly offered to send me her family recipes for their wonderful whole grain breads. She is going to provide me with many of the supplies I need to make bread that Mike will eat! (I am experimenting with different kinds of flour as we don't like total whole wheat.) I am also searching for some fattening recipes... The doctor does not want Mike to lose weight while he is going through treatments:)

We are off to Indy this afternoon to buy Mike some pants that aren't too baggy. He informed me that I will need to drive his car since it has only been driven 20 mph for the last few weeks. I know I won't make it go as fast as he thinks I should!

This morning we visited with some friends who moved to the Detroit area a couple of years ago. We had such a pleasant visit in our back yard. The day is beautiful. We are so grateful for little blessings each day.

The oncologist told us yesterday that Mike will be taking an oral chemo drug along with the radiation for 6 weeks. He will then have a 4 week reprieve and then will do a 6 month round of chemo lasting one week out of each month. Interestingly, we rented a beach house on the Outer Banks for our entire family the last week of July. The doctors think that will be a perfect time for Mike to get away for some rest and recuperation! We have looked forward to this trip for many months and are again so grateful for this blessing in our lives.

I know that prayers are answered so often by individuals like yourselves who bless us with support from day to day. I don't ever want to forget to express my gratitude to all of you!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Another great doctor!

The medical oncologist visit went so very well this morning. Mike is doing well, is strong, and is really having no residual effects from the surgery. He is still having some steroidal difficulties, but we were assured that as the dosage tapers off, so will these mood swings.

Our doctor is very young, on top of current treatments and assures us that everything wil be in place when the treatments start next week. Mike will be taking an oral chemo drug that has very little side effect. The doc said there could be a bit of nausea, but gave us an Rx for anti nausea medication that he says will take care of that side effect.

Again, we are so very grateful for competent doctors and a state of the art treatment center.

This is going to be a wonderful day... Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. Remember Mike's b-day is Sunday :) Love to you all.

No age advancement until next year!

Good morning friends and family... May has always been a busy month for us with many family birthdays, mother's day, graduations, etc. May 2009 will no doubt go down in history as one of the busiest months we have ever had. I think it only makes sense that because of some of the traumas of the month, I should not have to get a year older today. So... I am officially staying the same age as last year. I will grow older next May :)

Mike is off this morning for a 7:15 MRI. We see the medical oncologist at 10:00. We sure hope treatments can start sometime next week. Mike wants to take me to a movie this afternoon. I am not sure there will be any office time today.

This morning I read:
"And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
And see that ye have faith, hope and charity then then ye will always abound in good works." Alma 7:23-34

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A day without appointments...

Mike and I are having breakfast with some friends this morning. That sounds so normal to me! I am driving to Indy later with a friend. Mike is going to work a tiny bit, and then taking some power naps.

Last night we increased our walking to more than a mile. The organic food switch is working very well. We have found some things that Mike really likes. I haven't found a substitute Ding Dongs yet, but I am still looking :)

We are hoping for a great day... You do the same.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

All kinds of people

Mike went this morning to be fitted for his radiation mask. He will have to explain the process... I could only go so far to hear instructions and then I had to go to the waiting room. It only took about 15 minutes. Now the radiation and chemo have to be figured out and the technician said it would then be 7 to 10 days before the treatments actually start. It is funny the new things one becomes anxious about... We are anxious to get the treatments started.

The center is full of all kinds of people, old and young, big and little, bald and hairy, rich and poor. We feel like we fit in with everyone. We are striving to be cheerful as we encounter others. It is obvious that cancer can strike anyone at anytime. We are grateful for optimism. That seems to abound at the center!

We saw a couple of people we know at the cancer center this morning. Again it was so nice to see familiar faces. I honestly don't think Mike can go anywhere without seeing someone he knows. If he doesn't know a person, he can somehow make a connection with someone he does know.

Mike will go to a client meeting this afternoon with Andy and then he has an event this evening where his business will receive an award for Historic Preservation. He is so surprised and pleased about this. He told the fellow who informed him about the award that he hoped it wasn't a "sympathy vote!" I am sure GEA is worthy of the award.

We are facing another beautiful day... I just looked up and saw a book on our shelf that is entitled "14,000 Things to be Happy About." I'll not list 14,000 things, but today I will share one - I am happy that each of you are in our lives!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A New Adventure Awaits

We met this morning with the radiology oncologist. He is wonderful; kind, gentle and very concerned about Mike individually. He answered all of our questions and we feel 100% confident we are pursuing the right course of treatment. Mike will go through what they call a simulation tomorrow morning. He will have a mask made to fit his face/head that will be used to radiate just the area where the tumor was and the margins surrounding. He will be taking chemotherapy along with the radiation therapy. We understand the risks, as well as the side effects. The doc explained with brain radiation, the patient will feel fatigued. Nutrition is important as well as physical activity.

We were so impressed with the new cancer center at Ball Hospital. It is beautiful, calming and so well staffed with lovely people. We recognize that we will have the opportunity to make many new friends. I am anxious to accompany Mike for his treatments so I can get to know the folks who will be waiting with me :)

Mike plans to go to the office this afternoon after having a great night's sleep. We continue to love seeing the mail carrier... She always has so many nice cards and thoughts for us. Thanks for remembering us as you continue with your busy lives. We know you will be blessed for your kindness.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Glorious Day...

Today Mike and I became "organic." We had so much fun shopping for food and being together. We ended our shopping excursion with a stop at Tyler and Kim's for some great hamburgers. Poppy held Maggie for a bit and read some books to Will. We had so much fun watching the kids play. Mike drifted off to sleep on the way home saying what a great time he had with the grandkids. I don't think we could be any more richly blessed than we are right now. Our family is amazing. If we loved them anymore I think we would pop! We hope your day was great as well.

Memorial Day

Mike felt like we needed to do something today rather than sit at home and do nothing. It is important that we have a plan each day. After reading the book that the oncologist suggested, we are heading for the Whole Food store and Trader Joe's today to find some new food for Mike and maybe me :) We are trying to stay away from refined sugar and white flour. We are on the hunt for good fish, free range chicken and eggs, bulk almonds, hazlenuts and pecans and some fruit. Hannah bought the cook book that was suggested and is in her test kitchen trying out recipes. Luckily Allen will eat anything, so they will try it and decide whether or not it is something they think Mike will eat...This could be a challenge. We are going to visit with Will, Maggie and their parents. Tyler says he will grill his "famous" burgers. Should be a great day. I am hoping most of the Indy 500 traffic is gone! Don't worry, I WILL BE DRIVING!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma

Today we celebrate my mother's 82nd birthday. How fortunate we are to have her in our lives. She is a pillar of strength and faith. This journey we are on is made so much easier because of her great love and guiding influence in all of our lives. We are so thankful for her this day.

Mike slept so much better last night - nearly 5 hours. He was up and ready to go to church this morning. I thought we might only be able to be there for the first hour, but of course we were there for all of the meetings. It was so joyous for Mike and I to see some of our friends who have blessed us with so much service.

Mike is again enjoying sleeping on the patio with the sound of flowing water. We were able to get our fountain up and running yesterday. Our back yard is so beautiful with the new tree growth, the beautiful flowers and the green, green grass. I believe that this is a time for us to enjoy many of God's creations and understand the "awakening" of nature.

The phone just rang and our dear, dear, friend and leader, Elder Marlin K. Jensen was on the other end of the phone. Seems Nan, who is in Illinois at the Mormon Historical Society meetings talked to him and told him about Mike's illness. Elder Jensen has always been one of our favorite people on earth. He was such a strength and support to Mike when Mike lead our stake. His words of encouragement and hope gave both of us a little extra comfort today. He told us that Mike's name would be placed in the Salt Lake Temple on Thursday when the First Presidency and the Apostles meet. We are so humbled by this kind, kind gesture. Again, we know of God's great love for us. We know there is a plan and this struggle is part of it. Through our continued faith and prayers this too will pass.

Hannah made an interesting point a few days ago when she said: In the scriptures it says ..."and it came to pass," not "and it came to stay."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And he's off...

Mike was up and running today. He did the Wii fit this morning - the whole yoga routine then he slept. He drove to the office and was there about 2 hours and then he slept. He ran to the pharmacy to fill his prescription then off to see his friend who is going through a similar ordeal and then he slept. He was so grateful to see his friend and talk to her and hear how she is reacting to treatments. She told him she is really dealing with fatigue. He told me he thinks he will realize in the coming weeks what his limitations will be. Help me hold him to it dear friends!

We felt kind of like we were experiencing our new "normal" today. What a great thing.

Just want to end with: Rick, thanks for helping and loving Andy. TWW, keep the humor alive. Barb and Cindy, thanks for your daily comments. J&B, keep doing your normal stuff. Don't EVER stay home because you think you should be doing something for us. We LOVE your comments. J.n.d. thanks so much for lunch today. I told you I wouldn't send you anymore thank you notes, so read this! Regina, the scriptures today were PERFECT, thanks. B&K, thanks for eating with us last night. Beck and Dan, thanks for the yard mowings. Seems we have a new friend who wants to do it for a while... You are off the hook. M and A, thanks for daily reassurance. OK... I have to quit naming names. I am not including everyone. Thanks to all for your continued faith and prayers in our behalf. We are doing great. Have a wonderful day tomorrow... BTW it is my mom's birthday!

Good Morning!

I woke up this morning to a happy smile. Mike slept from 10 to 2 a.m. That is progress. He is showered and back to bed for a bit. He plans to drive to the office today and spend an hour. We also are planning on getting our fountain up and running in the back yard. Having goals each day has helped us so much. We plan on having a great holiday week end. Mike put the flag out bright and early this morning in celebration of Memorial Day.

Thanks to our dog walker yesterday... She came at the perfect time. That seems to be happening so often. Coincidence?... I think not! We had a great visit with some dear friends who are heading off to Peru for 3 years to serve a mission for our church. It was so great visiting with them. We love them and wish them God speed.

We hope all of you will have a great week end.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week end update...

We just returned from the neurosurgeon's office. Mike had his staples removed and his incision is looking great. Mike was ready this morning with lots of questions. We are grateful that the doctor worked us in this morning...They told us our appointment wasn't actually until this afternoon. Someone got the time wrong... I will take the blame for that. The doc says Mike can go back to work on Tuesday for a couple of hours a day. Will everyone out there PLEASE help me make Mike stick to that schedule??? Also the doc says Mike can drive to and from the office. We are starting to decrease the steroids again today and he will be off of the anti seizure med in the next couple of weeks. HOPEFULLY we will get the old Mike back (you know the one who just talks a little bit, but still loves his friends and family...:)

Mike and I had a bit of a struggle this morning when he woke me up at 6:30 to TELL me he was going to go his Rotary meeting. I said absolutely not, he said absolutely yes... Most of you know that when I say no, I mean no! Well this morning, Mike won. I drove him to Rotary and gave him one half hour. I waited outside and he was very obedient in coming to the car at the appointed time. We visited his office and went to the bank. He was too tired to talk to the teller at the window about what I will doing with the money in my checking account. He is now sleeping peacefully on the patio. Thanks for you love and support. We meet with the radiology oncologist on Tuesday. I have to check the time... Mike may get us there too early. Have a great Memorial Day week end. For those of you driving... BE CAREFUL.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Doing laps around the hood

I got up this morning and Mike was feeling really well. The first thing he told me was that he had had a "Miralax dump" on the kitchen floor in the night... I felt so bad for him, but he laughed and laughed when he told me that thinking he was opening the large white Tylenol bottle, he actually had opened the bottle of Miralax and dumped powder into his hand and thus onto the floor! We think Rudy may have licked up some of the residue...No further comment needed :/ Do you believe that after brain surgery just one week ago we walked around the block this morning and again this evening?? Mike again had some nice visits today and got some more flowers and lots of cards. He is sooooo bored and wants so badly to have something to do. This is the hard part. We visit the doctor for staple removal tomorrow morning and then Mike is actually hoping to get some blood work done so it will take up some time. We then hope to go to the office for a minute and then to the bank. It was a wonderful day...We hope to have many, many more like this one!

Oh There's Sunshine...

We woke up today with a renewed zest for life! Sorry my posts in the evening are often more solemn... Mornings are always best for us. Thought you might like to see some pictures of Mike enjoying the sun for a short time yesterday... Also enjoy a picture of Mike's favorite little people (I'm not including Tyler in that description :) Hope everyone is enjoying the weather today... We are going to get outside and walk a bit.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Spirit tells me that I can

Tonight I am thinking of one of our children's songs from church...

I know my Father lives
and loves me too.
The Spirit whispers this to me
and tells me it is true,
and tells me it is true.

He sent me here to earth.
By faith to live His plan,
The Spirit whispers this to me
and tells me that I can,
and tells me that I can.

Today seemed like an exceptionally long day. Hannah left, Tyler turned 30 with lemon bars at our house tonight, Mike's mom and brother got home and we visited with them, and we had some great visits with some dear friends. We so appreciated Joe and Eleanor Scherrer walking over as well as Jim Gooden stopping by. Mike had a great talk with Jim and I think he needed to do that to feel at ease with some work issues.

Sometimes I feel like I am living in a daze with all that has happened in the last 2 weeks. But, I am strong and I am ready to fight. We are scared but are trying to exchange fear with faith.

I know in our pre earth life we told our Father in Heaven that we would accept this challenge in our lives. We will do it. He knew we would need help... You are our angels who are helping. We are so humbled by it all. We love you.

Visiting Hours

I know that many of you would love to come and visit dad. We are still limiting visitors for now, but our good friends down the street, the Dales, came up with a solution to let all of you know when are good times to visit. They have made us a beautiful wreath to hang on the front porch. If the wreath is up we would love to see you. When we take it down, dad is resting and we would love for you to come back some other time. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and continued friendship.


Celebrate Good Times...

Today we are going to celebrate. It is Tyler's birthday today and his family is coming tonight for some cake and ice cream. Our grandbabies will be here for a short time and we know Mike will be thrilled. We have to keep Mike rested today so he can enjoy tonight. We celebrate Tyler's remarkable life and rough journey...most of you know his story.

Hannah goes home today (which we are not celebrating) and are pleased that she can get back to her life in Albuquerque. We have loved having her here. She has been such a comfort and support. I have loved talking to her late into the night. We celebrate her kindness and goodness.

Andy has done some amazing things at the office in Mike's absence. Mike is so very pleased with the great work his boy is doing. He gives me a report every morning of what Andy needs to do... He has not been disappointed yet! We celebrate Andy's keen intellect, and incredible support to our family.

We celebrate another beginning to this day. We see the oncologist on Tuesday of next week. We know the doctors are researching and finding the best possible treatment for Mike. We are so grateful for their diligence...

Mike has called many already this morning, has listened to the book the doctor recommended and has realized that he may have to stop eating refined sugars, etc. in order to get better. We are celebrating the money we may save by not buying so many ding dongs!!!!

We hope all of you will find something to celebrate today!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Field trips, phone calls, etc...

What an amazingly good day we had today. Even though Mike was up most of the night, he took some great naps today. He has had some pretty bad eye strain type headaches and today with ice and minor pain meds we got that under control. After a shower, Mike wanted to walk outside for a bit. We walked around our entire yard and admired the great work that our dear friends did yesterday. Ty came in the early afternoon and Mike decided he wanted to go see some of his friends at Life Stream. The little field trip left him tired but happy. He continues to make phone calls and LOVES receiving them. Feel free to call him on his cell phone and he will talk your ear off. I did ban him from the computer today due to the eye strain. His time there will be limited tomorrow as well. He really is enjoying this blog and loves to read the comments.

We feel so much gratitude and humility for all of your support. We KNOW that there is great power in prayer. We are going to continue to love our lives together being positive and happy.

"There is no remedy for love, but to love more..." Henry David Thoreau

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

With all of the concern that dad had about his new hair cut I couldn't help but feel for others who have to part with their hair for a similar diagnosis. My hair grows insainly fast and is super thick. Through the years I've donated my hair to "Locks of Love" multiple times and really felt like now would be a fitting time to do so again. I can't imagine being a little girl and having to go through loosing hair. I'm sure that there is someone out there who could use a nice blond curly wig.

Enough about me. I leave tomorrow evening, and having been the assistant nurse for the last few days I have some instructions for whom ever might be taking my place.
1. Mom will need to get away every day, someone will need to come hang out with dad.
2. Dad needs to be kept in check with the time he spends on the phone and computer.
3. Quick trips to Walgreens are seemingly always needed.
4. Dad loves visitors but we need to limit the amount people and time.
5. Mom has become a little OCD so clean up after yourself.
6. Answer the house phone after one ring.
7. Keep the dog quiet.

I'm sure that I'll have some parting thoughts tomorrow, but for now... Thanks for everything.

No sleep for Mike...

Mike and I went to bed at the same time last night... I was so very tired and fell right to sleep. Mike got up a couple of hours later and was up all night. He had a mission report that he felt like he HAD to get done. This morning when I got up, Mike was ready to go back to bed. He is now sleeping soundly. This morning would not be a good time for phone calls. Thanks to all.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The close of another day... awaiting dawn

Today was surely a busy Monday... much different than either Mike or I usually have. We are working hard on being patient. This morning we made a chart...

May 18, 2009

Goals for the day:
1. Take off bandage
2. Shower
3. Call to secure our Friday appointment with Dr. Phookan (staple removal)
4. Call Sharon the nurse at Dr. Adrian's office (I think Mike has a little crush on her)
5. Make sure Jane Hughes is being taken care of (another of our friends with a brain tumor)
6. Remember to be thankful for all of our blessings. (and there are so many)

We have check marks by all of the above... We had another amazing outpouring of service today. Some church members came and trimmed, weeded, raked and worked hard on our yard. It looks beautiful. We are so grateful.

As you can see by our goals, we are taking baby steps right now. Tomorrow we hope to lengthen our stride a bit.

Dr. Adrian told us that the oncologist wants us to read the book ANTI CANCER: A NEW WAY OF LIFE. Hannah downloaded it onto my Kindle. She has already read much of it. I will try to read tomorrow. So far she says it is wonderful and very informative. We again, are grateful to be having guidance from good doctors.

Somehow mornings are always easier for us. Pray with me that Mike will sleep well tonight. Love to all...

The unveiling....

The cap is off. The gauze is off. Mike's head is scrubbed. (Boy those doctors leave a mess.) He wanted his head to be smooth like Andrew Dale's... He has a little stubble. He looks great. I think it made him tired. Lots of cards today and again Mike is making lots of phone calls. This morning, since he didn't have his computer and he ALWAYS checks his bank accounts every morning, he called the bank to get balances, etc. We had another good laugh when we heard Mike telling the person on the other end that he needed to talk to a VP... The VP was in a meeting, but nicely came to the phone. Mike explained to him that "Nancy has to get her nails done today and I want to make sure she has enough money in her account to get that done." So... the nails are done and I had plenty of money to pay for it. I don't think Mike has EVER cared whether or not I get my nails done! We're grateful for another beautiful day.

The unveiling....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another good day

Amazing friends are an essential part of this process. We feel so blessed with all of the outpouring of service we have received. Today my parents and sisters came by and we were able to pull food out of our fridge and have a feast. Mike is eating so well (ravenously to be exact... steroids will do that to you.) Thanks to everyone for food... Do all of you know our friend Bonnie Farrell? Well, she happens to make the best cookies in the world. Mike was so delighted with those today :) Hannah has spoiled us with some of her good cooking. I don't know where she learned to cook so well, but oh my! The boys were both here this evening and Mike seems to be loving having the whole family together. He lies on the couch and listens to everything that is said... even things we don't want him to hear!

Right now Mike is laying on Hannah's lap and talking about all of the board meetings he is going to miss this week. He thinks the boards can't run without him. As hard as it will be... we WILL keep him home and quiet.

Mike confirmed with our neighbor that he could mow our grass for a few weeks, but today Dan Reno showed up with a lawn mower and did the job. As he was mowing the neighbor called and said he was on his way. Mike did tell Dan that "Mormon grass" shouldn't be mowed on the Sabbath :)

Again, we are grateful beyond words for your love and support. We know many fasted today in our behalf and we have felt the outpouring of the Spirit from that humbling experience.

Mike lives to read the comments on this blog so KEEP THEM COMING.

"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." Mosiah 2:17

Onward, Ever Onward

Mom and I went to church for the first hour this morning, while Andy stayed with dad. As we stood and sang one of dad's favorite hymns I realized how fitting it is. Those who share our faith often think of the hymn "Called to Serve" as the missionary anthem, but forever more I will think of it as dad's anthem. Now more than ever I recognize how much dad cares about each of his friends. He is constantly focused on being a testimony of the existience of God.

Called to serve Him, heav’nly King of glory,
Chosen e’er to witness for his name,
Far and wide we tell the Father’s story,
Far and wide his love proclaim.

Called to know the richness of his blessing—
Sons and daughters, children of a King—
Glad of heart, his holy name confessing,
Praises unto him we bring.

Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;
Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.
God our strength will be; press forward ever,
Called to serve our King.

This morning dad's over easy eggs got over cooked because he was praying for a family he read about in the news whose little boy died in an Albuquerque park. His heart is so big. As you pray for him make sure that you are also praying for others who might be suffering at this time... that is what would make him the happiest. Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shock value

Mike decided tonight that he was going to church tomorrow. I mean he REALLY had his mind made up. I mean, there was going to be no talking him out of it. I finally left the table and dear daughter Hannah had to get FIRM. She had to remind him of doctor's orders... His words..."We love to shock people, wouldn't they be shocked if I walked into church with this bonnet on my head???" I said, "I will do the shocking tomorrow... Maybe I will wear a red hat to church!" I don't know how Hannah finally convinced Mike... I walked the dog. He was sure he would be staying home tomorrow when I returned from the walk. Trust me, it will only be Hannah and I at church tomorrow and we may have on red hats. :)

For now the only shock value from the Ellis home will be the red hats and the late night or early morning phone calls some of you may get from Mike. We can't seem to get his cell phone away from him. Have a good laugh with him if he calls. There will be plenty of time to shock you in person, but for now, we want to be the only ones to see the bonnet.

Mike is home!!

Mike didn't call quite as early this morning...He waited until 6:30. Now how many of us get up at 6:30 on Saturday morning?? I just know there is going to be a night really soon when I can sleep all night... I am looking so forward to that.

The early call was so we could bring Mike his "junk mail" and his phone charger. I know before we got there he had called as many people as he could remember numbers... Count yourselves lucky that Mike's phone wasn't charged and he couldn't get your number.

Dr. Phookan saw Mike took his bandage off, and gave us a look at Mike's clean shaven head. Amazingly, as scared as Mike was to get his little wisps of hair cut off, he looks quite handsome. His head is beautifully round, no bumbs and I think it may be kind of shiny... just like beautiful body builder types. The bandage went back on before Mike got a peak, but we can take that off on Monday. Mike wasn't even aware when the doc took the drain out...

The pain meds really knock Mike out and the doc thought he needed one after the rebandaging, etc. He got a flower from a friend/client in California and before we knew it Mike was calling his friend Jack on the phone to thank him for the flower. Hannah and I started laughing so hard at some of the things Mike said on the phone that Hannah got choked... He said something about getting off weed... YIKES!!! If Mike calls any of you and asks inappropriate questions, please understand :)

We just got Mike home and settled and he is sleeping. He didn't want to go to bed, but rather wanted to sleep on his leather sofa... Rudy is at his side.

Dr. Phookan has asked that for a few days we keep Mike quiet and really limit visitors. Since we are home, either Hannah, Mike or I will write.

We are experiencing miracles every day and we know it is because of all of our collective faith.

"...but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about His great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." Alma 37: 6-7

We love you all... Nancy and family.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Busy day for Mike...

Mike made a move to a new floor, got his catheter out (none to soon for him,) ate three good hospital meals, walked around the nurses station and had a few visitors. He is exhausted tonight. He is talking lots and lots and lots and lots... The doc says that is to be expected. We need to be patient while he tells us all he wants to say :) He had a high light when Joe, his business partner, came by and they talked about the office for a few minutes. Mike often falls asleep while he is in midsentence, but seems to be able to wake up and carry on where he left off. The naps are for just a few minutes. He was able to read all of the comments on the blog today and was so thrilled to hear from each of you. He also got a handful of cards from his Rotary friends and was so excited to read each of them. After a few beautiful bouquets arrived he said... "Tell my friends to please give the money they are spending on flowers to those in the community who need assistance." He then named agencies who could use money... We are grateful for another day with progress.

Mike's new bonnet...

We found Mike is amazing spirits this morning. He is so concerned about everyone else and how they are doing that I don't think he has had time to think about his own condition. He was moved from ICU this morning and is now on the neuro floor. He is up and about, and DESPERATELY wanting to use his computer and phone. He read the paper and was so dang happy to see what was going on in Funcie. The Doctor was very pleased with the CT scan that was taken this morning, confirming that all of the tumor was removed.

"...for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88

Each of you is an angel. Thanks for bearing us up!

Look forward to a picture of Mike in his bonnet :)

The 2:30 phone call

As I am sure many of you know when you have spent all day in such anxious anticipation as we did yesterday, sleep usually comes quite easily when you finally lay your head on a pillow. Seeing Mike after surgery was so difficult because he was in such excrutiating pain. After several hours of being with him and watching the doctors and nurses administer pain medicine to no relief, Hannah and I were finally able to rub his back and lull him to sleep. (Don't think it was our magic touch, it was the pain medicines finally kicking in.) We decided to come home so we, too could get some much needed sleep. I put the phone number of the ICU on my bedside table and was going to try to get some sleep until the very early morning. Much to my surprise at 2:30 the phone rang... It was Mike. Obviously the pain medication had finally kicked in. Mike sounded as high as a kite, but he sure wasn't feeling the kind of pain he had earlier experienced. He was so talkative, and I had been in such a deep sleep that I questioned him over and over as to who it was I was talking to! He wanted to make sure I was getting some sleep, that I would stay in bed until I woke up and then, he wanted me to sleep even more. He talked on and on and on and I think the nurse may have finally given him the sign that he needed to get off the phone so I could actually go back to sleep. Hannah and I obviously had a good chuckle to hear Mike so dang talkative and funny at 2:30 in the morning... Mike would NEVER call someone in the middle of the night. This may be the new Mike! Obviously I am awake now and hoping that in the next hour or so I will feel sleepy enough to go back to bed. Another small miracle...the pain is controlled now. I am thinking of giving Mike one of your phone numbers so he can "chat" with you tomorrow night :)

We certainly didn't get the news we had hoped for yesterday...We are gearing up for radiation and chemo and are hoping beyond hope that the cancer that may still exist in Mike's body will be killed. Yesterday the news seemed bleak... The dawning of a new day makes everything seem a little easier. We feel your prayers and support. The fight is just beginning... but with God all things are possible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sleeping Peacefully

We just left the hospital. Dad is sleeping and we took the chance to come home and get some rest ourselves. It was a long day, but the surgery went well. They got all of the tumor that they could see, but he will still need to go through treatments. We are far from finished with this challange, and still need your prayers. We are waiting to hear what the pathology report says before we know what is next on our journey. Thank you so much for all of your support. Things will be brighter in the morning.

We feel strong

Hannah arrived at 6p without her bag, but luckily we found it on the porch this morning. She will now have the necessary equipment to look as beautiful as ever this morning as we send Mike off to surgery. Our mission president, President Corey gave Mike a beautiful blessing last night. Both Mike and I slept well. Mike was up at 5a doing yoga on the Wii fit. I think this is his 170th consecutive day of exercising with the Wii. He went to the office to clean off his desk and will return by 9:00.

We feel strong and full of faith as we begin this day. We will update you as soon as we get some word. Thanks again for your faith and prayers.

"And he shall go forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people ...and he will take upom him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." Alma 7:11-12

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lots to do

The morning is going quickly. Mike and I both have lots of lose ends to tie up today. I am ticking things off my list and pray that Mike is doing the same. I was just thinking that not only does our family need an interest in your positive thoughts and prayers, but could you all think about Mike's business partner, Joe, who is no doubt a bit overwhelmed right now? I feel badly that I am only thinking of our family right now... I sure wish I could help Joe run the business for a time, but I think he will be better off with just Andy's help :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Faith in our doctor

Mike had an extremely anxious morning before the doctor's appointment. I got an e-mail from my cousin yesterday who, among other things, told me that knowledge is power. She said we would have an intuitive feeling about choosing the right doctor. The neurosurgeon that we visited this morning is indeed the right man to do this surgery. Mike will have surgery on Thursday morning at 11:30. The tumor is situated in the best possible place in his brain for surgery. It is in his right temporal lobe just inside his skull. Because of its position, the doctor assured us that there would be no residual effects. Because it is a stage 3 cancer, Mike will need to have all 3 stages of treatment, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The doc said the surgery will last about 3 hours, that Mike will be in intensive care overnight, and that his hospital stay should last about 3 or 4 days. An oncologist will meet with us in the hospital to set up Mike's treatment after his recovery from surgery. Mike was quick to ask the doctor when he would be able to return to work... We will be very cautious to make sure Mike has sufficient healing before his return, however, you all know Mike and know that his work is his passion and he will be back before long.

Hannah is flying in tomorrow and we all feel good about that. Tyler went with us to the doctor's visit and took copious notes. Dear Andy is working diligently trying to finish a project at the office... I think he worked all night. I don't know what Mike would do without him right now. We are again so gratful for amazing children who are strengthening us so much.

We feel encouraged with today's results. Thanks again for all of your loving thoughts and prayers. Let us all press on!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Our Journey Begins

Our lives changed on Friday when we were told that Mike has a brain tumor. We have been distraught, prayerful, peaceful, and confused. We don't have much news yet other than the tumor is in Mike's right temporal lobe. He has experienced severe headaches for about 3 weeks and has had some episodes of dizziness. Tomorrow morning we meet with the neurosurgeon to have a consult and possibly a biopsy. We don't know for sure if the biopsy will be tomorrow or if it will be scheduled for another day this week. We have great faith and know that even though this experiece will be difficult, it will be meaningful in some way.

We hope to use this blog as a way to keep many of you informed. We already appreciate the amazing outpouring of love, service and prayers in our behalf. Your notes are such a comfort. Now on with the journey...