Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Days+ 13,14,15

Here's our new family picture! My hair is ridiculous I'm aware, that is why I always wear it up. But my boys look precious :) Derek seems better everyday. But today (Day 15) was the final day of hair. Derek was taking a shower and he was pulling out a lot of hair but it still looked fine when it dried. But he wanted his hair to go on his terms. So my sister-in-law Caitlin came over and shaved his head. He looked like a skinhead with a shaved head and a long beard. I told him it would confuse people when they saw us together so he trimmed the beard greatly. Now he kind of looks like a cancer patient. Maybe people won't be so confused when we tell them he is getting a bone marrow transplant. We went shopping for hours today and he didn't seem tired. Its been really nice now that Derek is feeling so good. He says he feels normal. Camden got his vaccinations on Monday. Poor baby didn't know what was happening to him. He was fussy all day, I really don't think he felt well after getting those shots. He weighs almost 12 pounds! He is growing up so fast, its crazy. He smiles all the time now at us and is starting to giggle. All week I have just been working on organizing and updating everything for Primary. Its slowly coming together but there is a lot to do. Right now everything is great with us, we are just waiting for Derek to go into the hospital for his second transplant. What we are really waiting for is the news that Derek is cancer free. We can't wait for that news! We pray that it is coming soon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day +12

What a sabbath! All I can say is wow. I was recently called to be the secretary in the primary presidency which wouldn't be so dramatic but I have spent the last couple of days trying to get everything organized. Today I was a tad bit overwhelmed trying to figure out my new calling and taking care of Camden, but all in all it turned out okay. I don't think any of us know what we're doing really, primary is kind of a circus. I've never been to primary before so it was interesting to see how everything went. Its been fun experiencing all these different parts to the church. When I joined the church I went straight into the single's ward so that is all I have known. Derek went to church for sacrament and then left and then came back to get Camden and I. He is fooling everyone with all of his hair and his happy disposition. No one has any idea that he just went through a bone marrow transplant. Camden is spoiled and he comes to realize that more everyday. Its been a crazy day, time to relax in front of the tv for some NCIS.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Not much has been going on the past few days so I thought it pointless to post. Today (Day +11) Derek went to the hospital to get his blood tested to see how his white blood cells and red blood cell counts were. His stem cells have already engrafted in his body. On Thursday his counts were really really low which is where they should be. Today however they are super high. He is already recovering from the transplant. His platelet count was really low though so he got a transfusion of platelets. They also said he would lose his hair between Day 10 and Day 12. This is not the case. Yesterday we noticed his hair STOPPED falling out and now appears as if its growing. Bizarre. But that has been Derek through this whole thing. Derek is definately feeling better which is really nice. His appetiete is almost back to normal. Camden is doing great. Everytime I look at him he seems like he is getting bigger. He is trying to talk all the time, it is so cute. My boys are doing good and I couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day +6 and Day +7

Yesterday (Day+6) was not very exciting and I like that. I can't wait til our lives are totally boring, that must be great. We had family home evening and talked about the temple. We wish we could go but i'm not sure Derek could sit there through the whole session, he gets tired easily. I also attempted to make cookies, which was disastrous. Derek liked them though so he gets 3 dozen cookies all to himself. Last night we woke up to Camden making some weird noises. It sounded like he was getting ready to throw up so we got ready for explosive vomiting. Derek had him sitting on his lap and just when we thought he was getting ready to throw up we heard a horrible and terrifying noise coming from his diaper and a smell to match the noise. I went to change his diaper and more noises were coming from his diaper. So we just laid him on the changing table and let him finish. What I saw when I opened the diaper was terrifying. The moral of the story is that Derek and I find bodily gasses amusing and worthy to share with everyone. Today (Day+7) I took Derek to the hospital. He got fluids and got his blood tested. His white blood cell and red blood cell count have almost reached rock bottom which means that soon enough they will come back up and Derek can recover from this transplant. His platelets are real low which means on Thursday he will probably have to get a blood transfusion. We stopped at Food City to get some groceries since our kitchen is becoming bare. Derek was going to stay in the car but at the last minute he changed his mind which was a bad idea. By the time we left he couldn't stop throwing up. I feel terrible that I let him go in and walk around with me. He doesn't need to be around that many people anyways. When we went to pick up Camden from my mother-in-law's house our sweet baby smiled when he saw us which I think made Derek feel all better. The new season of NCIS starts tonight which I have been waiting for for like a month. Perhaps it is sad that I get so jazzed up about seeing a bunch of navy cops kicking butt and solving crimes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day +5

Today Derek has an appointment at the hospital. Its kind of weird to have an appointment on a Sunday but when your a transplant patient regular business days and hours do not apply. He just got his labs drawn which showed his red blood cell count and white blood cell count have dropped a lot but they are only going to drop more. He was in his regular playful self mood which is great and a welcome change to the super sick Derek. While we were at the hospital I noticed that in one of the rooms a few members of a family were coming out crying while a few more members of a family went in. I got a glimpse of the inside of the room. The patient was hooked up to a lot of different bags of liquids making their way to the patient. I thought maybe the family was scared seeing their loved one hooked up like that. What got me is that I recognized that kind of suffering. The kind of suffering where you have to watch the one you love suffer, which is not a pleasant or easy thing. Later I heard the doctor explain what was happening to the patient. All of his organs were failing. It has become an all too real reality the chance of losing Derek and though this transplant has brought us hope, it has also brought us fear. That family will lose their loved one but hopefully I will not have to lose mine. It has become more apparent as the days go on that Camden and I are not the only ones who need Derek to get better. We are not the only ones who are relying on him and his strength. And perhaps you may think it bitter of me to say, but I hope God remembers that.

Day +4

Saturday was a good day as you can see! Camden was being a fussy nugget but once he cuddled up next to his daddy he was fast asleep. I can't blame him. Derek was feeling a lot better. He kept all his food down. My friend Kristi made us a delicious dinner (which Derek ate 2 plates). Derek and Camden took a nice long nap, letting me get a few things done. Days like this are what make life so sweet.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day +3

Today Derek seems worse than usual. Since Tuesday he hasn't been able to keep any food down. He's on a few different nausea medications but im not sure they stayed in his system long enough to do any good. I took him to the hospital because I thought he was dehydrated. They gave him some fluids and some stronger nausea medications. It was definitely helping. While we were there he was joking and smiling which I haven't seen him do in awhile. It was nice. He finally doesn't smell like cream of corn! He smells like himself again which is awesome. I defintately know that Camden knows that something is going on. I really believe that Camden knows why he is here on Earth at this time. Derek says that when he is holding Camden and he is looking in his eyes its as if Camden is saying "Get better daddy, I need you". I really believe that that is true. Derek and I both recieved blessings today. Their affect is more evident than I realize. My inadequacies are great, but I am comforted that the Lord knows that we are doing the best we can. We appreciate that people love us and care about us a great deal. It makes us feel like we are not doing this alone.

Day +2

Today Derek slept most of the day. He can only get out of bed for about half an hour before he has to get back into bed. He can't hold down any food. His hearing is going as well. They said that was a side affect from the last chemo he did but its becoming more apparent now. Despite being terribly tired and weak he is so optimistic. He never complains and I would think he has a right to. I on the other hand am not quite so good. Sometimes I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Often times the Lord has to humble me in an already humbling situation. Derek is incredibly inspiring and I am grateful that he is my husband. Camden is use to a lot of attention from Derek but now Derek can not do much for or with Camden. Today I think Camden just had enough from me and was super fussy. I laid him down next to Derek so I could go make him and bottle and when I came back two minutes later he was fast asleep cuddled up next to his daddy. Sometimes mom just won't do and he needs his daddy. Maybe I could do this alone. It doesn't mean I want to.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day +1

Today Derek is definitely feeling the affects. He slept most of the day. I had to wake him up multiple times to make him drink water and take his medication. Since he was diagnosed and has had to stay home, he's been bothered by the fact that he can't work. Now with the transplant he can't even help out around the house and that really bothers him. I was taking out the trash and he said "Do you want me to do that?" Of course not. A trashcan is a breeding ground for bacteria, silly Derek. I think the hardest thing he has to deal with is not being able to help with the baby. I think Camden can tell that something is going on. He just likes being with mommy and daddy. This is just the beginning. It's only going to get worse from here. Derek and I always joke that after enduring everything we have in our first year of marriage, that getting divorced after this would just be silly, not that we would ever want to. As I look at Camden and his sweet face I realize more and more that I need Derek around. I'll do whatever I need to to get him better.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 0

Today Derek got his stem cells back. It is quite a process. His stem cells were frozen in multiple bags so today he got 6 bags of stem cells back. There was one person who would unfreeze the bags, another who would check the numbers and make sure Derek was getting his cells back, one nurse who was hooking up the bags to his iv, and another person logging everything. Once the cells are unfrozen the cells need to make it into Derek within a few minutes otherwise the cells may be damaged. With a couple of the bags the line would get clogged and they had to hurry and get them back into Derek. With the cells come a cream of corn smell. They said Derek's breath and urine would smell like cream of corn but his entire body smells like it to me. My whole house smells like it really strongly. While getting the cells they are still cold so they can give you a cough and they did give Derek a bad cough and started throwing up. He was too weak to hold his own barf bucket so I had to hold it for him. I told him that's love when someone holds your barf bucket for you! He was in a lot of pain. I have never seen Derek look so sick, its definitely hard. I can't imagine what he is going through. I have to take his temperature multiple times a day to make sure he isn't getting an infection, I have to monitor his medication, and force him to eat and drink. He is too sick to do much on his own. His special diet has started. We appreciate everyone's love and support but we now have to limit our visitors. If you are healthy enough and you do come over you will be asked to wash your hands as soon as you come in. From this point he is only going to get sicker before he gets better.

Day -1

On day -1 Derek got chemo. He has been through hours upon hours of chemo so this was really nothing different for him except that he got a bed to lay in while he got chemo! And they spoiled him and got him breakfast and lunch. He had to get 4 hours of hydration before he got chemo to make sure his kidneys would be okay while getting the chemo. This chemo is not the same chemo that he has been getting, he received high dose chemotherapy which is much stronger than what he is use to getting. The effects are going to be more evident later in the week. This chemo is suppose to knock out most of his cancer and then in a month he will get a second transplant to knock out the rest of it and hopefully cure him. As I have been doing research on Hodgkins Lymphoma transplant patients his chances for a cure are over 50% which is quite a high number. Lets keep praying that he will be cured, I think he had endured enough and deserves to be cancer free.

Derek's transplant overview

Hello everyone! I'm not much for blogging but I thought I better get it together. We have a lot of people who want to know how Derek is doing so I will be doing a daily blog on what he is doing and how he is doing. The day that he gets his stem cells back is called Day 0, any thing before is in the negative days and anything after is positive days. Its just a bit of transplant lingo to help you know where he is with the transplant. If you have any questions on what is going on then just let me know, its a bit confusing. This is an extremely stressful time and we appreciate everyone's love and support.