Tuesday, December 30, 2008

FINALLY SUNSHINE!!!

I can't even tell you how much difference my whole mood is when the sun is out! After what seems like weeks, we finally have a day with the sun shining, blue sky and just a few light clouds!! I have never been too particular about sunshine, but now that I am still not quite back to myself, sunshine makes a world of difference.
It's amazing how much comfort our crazy cat brings to all of us, especially me. Stella knows when I am upset and comes running into my room. I am not sure if she likes get the tissues that I use, or if she really is concerned about me, but I don't care. Of course I was ready to throw her out last night! Yesterday when we bought her cat food, we bought her a new toy. She loves it so much she kept bringing it in our bed and tried to play with it there. I think I will be hiding that thing tonight! I have to remember, she still is a kitten and she wants to play! OK, now I know I have lost it.... I have "blogged" about my dumb cat....lol.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, it has been a very difficult Christmas for our family, I am not going to try and hide that. We did have so many good people give us a lot of great gifts and many were dropped off at our doorstep, which really was a fun thing and cheered us up. Thanks so much for all those endearing gifts that let us know that you are thinking of us. We truly are so grateful for your tender and beautiful thoughts and gifts. And for whoever dropped off the Jars, it touched our family so deeply. Thank you for and may the Lord bless you all for your service and thoughtfulness.
OK... to liven things up a bit and to include Marcus this day, Melanie had the idea a while ago to build a snowman out by his headstone. So that is just what we did. Our boys, Brian and some of his kids came out and we built a Uof A snow man. The little boys built some forts and had snowball fights. It really turned into a fun activity even though it was raining. We felt Marcus' presence a lot the last few days and know he is near us. We are so blessed to have that.
I thought that this really captured his face. The 1/2 smile we really had to include because that was his pleasant smile. (you can see kids in the background playing... don't worry, no one is burried back there...lol) Brian gave up a University of Arizona hat for the occation. Thanks, I am sure we can get you another one! The next picture is Melanie, Brian, Aaron and John. Also not in the picture was Ruth, Lisa, and myself. We never thought that making a snowman would ever be so much fun until today. It is so different when we are doing it for someone, especially Marcus. The only thing is, that right after we left, the big blizzard started,
and we aren't sure what is left of our snow dude. We will have to head out there tomorrow and see what is still around. I sure hope he is still standing. He looked AWESOME!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I need a Donut pillow!

I have lived here 5 yrs almost and I still don't know how to walk on ice and snow! I went out to get the mail yesterday (I even put on my snow boots, so I wouldn't slip) and I wasn't paying much attention (reading CARDS!) and I stepped on the ice. I know it must have looked funny, because it was just like in the cartoons... my left foot slips so I catch myself with my right, it slips, I try to catch myself again with my left leg but to no avail... I was on my tailbone and my back... BAM! I hopped up so that if any of my neighbors saw me, they wouldn't call 911 and make a huge ordeal of it. Oh man, after sitting down for about an hour, I could feel the burn starting from my legs, through my hips and tailbone, my back and my arms (from where I tried to catch myself). This morning I am doing ok. Bending, sitting and lying down are a little painful, but I don't think I really hurt anything. I know my knee is kinda bothering me (the one I had surgery on 4 years ago after falling on ice) but I think it is OK. I can walk just fine. But we are getting more snow and the Temps aren't supposed to get up higher than 25 degrees for the next few weeks. OH I LOVE UTAH!
The boys are happy though. They LOVE the snow. Aaron is excited cause he wants to snowboard. Noah especially loves it, he and Jackson were out playing in it after dark last night, thanks to a rather large streetlamp right across the street. We have a little hill and the boys love to sled down it and try to snowboard down it as well.
Tomorrow is the High School's program of "Christmas Fantasy". It is a play-like concert and all the band members dress up in toy costumes. It is really cute. Aaron wants to wear Marcus' old band uniform and be a toy soldier. Not sure how that is going to work... but OK. That will be fun to go to and get in the holiday mood.... I HOPE.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Headstone Pictures

As you can see, I got a nice pretty day after the snow storm. The sky was so blue, I had to include it along with the jet trails. I thought it was great that I could hear them while I was there. It is amazing that he is around me in so many ways.
While I was there, I was trying to take a picture with my cell phone. Well, amazingly my memory was full...(imagine that! Jackson and Noah love to take pictures). So I sat there deleting all these crazy pictures that the little boys had taken. I did keep some cause they do make some funny faces. Anyway... Close to the end of the pictures I found a picture that I had totally forgotten that I had taken last summer. It is a picture of my 4 boys sitting on a gate a Lagoon, all wet from going on one of the wet rides. All of them smiling like they are having the time of their life, except Aaron, he got the wettest and was probably the coldest. But there was Marcus's cute smile staring at me while I stand at his grave. VERY surreal! I sat there and shed a few tears thinking he just wanted me to know he was there. I am so thankful for the little Tender Mercies I receive everyday. They get me through each day.
I also had to include the beautiful view from Marcus' graveside. It was such a beautiful day that I had to post it. This is why I love living here. Whether there is snow, rain or sun this Valley is so beautiful. I just love it. It is a very peaceful place to live and raise kids. Not to mention the people here are just remarkable. They have blessed me and my children. I honestly believe that it takes a community to raise a child, and this place sure does a great job!

I hope you like the stone, it is a dark green color, and when the sun first comes up over the mountains you can really see the beautiful green colors. I am sure he is happy with it.

(p.s. in the last picture, the headstone in the far right side is Clarissa Packer's)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Its Up.

I got a call from my friend (Kristin Packer, Clarissa's Mother) and asked me if I had been out to the cemetery today, which I hadn't because we had an inch of snow and still some coming down today. She told me that Marcus' Headstone was up. She had been out there to put something by Clarissa's headstone and she saw it. This was around 4:30 p.m. and the sun goes down around 5:30 WITHOUT clouds and we had a lot of them. So I ran out there and was able to see it a little, but not the full effect.
What a bittersweet moment. Kristin was right, it sure brings closure, but it makes things so real and permanent. Pretty strange to see his name in stone, with a birth date and that death date. Very surreal. When things dry out a little, and the sun is out, I will go and take pictures of it. It really is beautiful.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Plan Designs

Here are the plans for Marcus' Headstone. There are just a few adjustments to make but tomorrow we should be ordering it.
We couldn't decide on the scripture or the verse from Come, Come Ye Saints, so we put both.
The scripture is from Marcus' book of Mormon. He had this scripture marked with a highlighter and with a piece of paper, so I am sure it meant something to him. Marcus got a lot of strength from the Pioneers and the scriptures so this is what he would have wanted. Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When I get where I am going....Video

Here is a Song that John sent to me from work. He loves it and says it makes him think of Marcus. It is a beautiful song from Brad Paisley with Dolly Parton in the background.
I posted the words under the song.


Monday, November 24, 2008

When I get where I am going....

Here are the lyrics to the song that my dear sweet hubby sent to me.
Its a great song!

When I get where I'm going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.

I'm gonna land beside a lion,
and run my fingers through his mane.
Or I might find out what it's like
To ride a drop of rain

(Chorus:)
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.

I'm gonna walk with my grandaddy,
and he'll match me step for step,
and I'll tell him how I missed him,
every minute since he left.
Then I'll hug his neck.

(Chorus)

So much pain and so much darkness,
in this world we stumble through.
All these questions, I can't answer,
so much work to do.

But when I get where I'm going,
and I see my Maker's face.
I'll stand forever in the light,
of His amazing grace.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
Hallelujah!
I will love and have no fear.
When I get where I'm going.
Yeah when I get where I'm going.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On a good ...."NOTE"

As I write this, my cute little Aaron is in Salt Lake with the Band performing on national television (well, sort of) during 1/2 time of the professional Soccer team "REAL Salt Lake" soccer game. It is soooo cold! But I am sooooooooo proud of my Aaron. He is such a sweet, caring, talented, adorable young man. He has been my "little ray of sunshine" throughout all of this. He hates it when I say that, but he is. That smile just gives my heart a leap of joy.
He has had his way of dealing with things the last few weeks with headaches, migraines, tention, sinus infection, upset stomach and has missed a lot of school. Unfortunately he gets all that from me. I am the anxiety queen! He has had this since he was a baby. He was my colic baby, and if we left home at all he cried and cried. As a toddler he would throw up if people came to visit or if we traveled anywhere. I think he has vomited on every relative we know! (Sorry to embarass you Aaron, but thats what moms do!) He has been in the background of Marcus' trial, but has been the backbone of our family. He takes over when he has to and takes good care of his brothers. I remember when Marcus was diagnosed. We went home, told the boys, packed the 3 of them up and shipped them to a neighbors house. It broke my heart to leave Aaron, knowing he fully understood what was happening, but to kiss him goodbye to take Marcus to Salt Lake, I almost felt like I was choosing between my children. I will never forget what impact that must have had on him.
The Lord gave me Aaron, to lighten my up my load, to shine a light on my darkness, and to keep me laughing when I want to cry. I have been so blessed to have all my boys, but Aaron has been such a comfort in my life. I know the Lord loves me because of the children he sent me, what a blessing.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Services

Marcus' services were just beautiful. It was a gorgeous day and everything went perfectly.
This is what we saw as we exited the Services. The Marching Band was lined up so that the casket and the family walked through them. It was so moving to see and hear these beautiful children with tears running down their cheeks, some even sobbing. I wanted to hug them all. They meant so much to Marcus.
After that, we went out to the cemetery for the dedication of the grave and a short program there. John's brother Matt said a few words, then a few of the Band kids played a quintet of "Come, Come ye Saints" which was Marcus's favorite Hymn. After that, the Band slowly left marching to the beat of one drum as though they had just performed. Where afterwards they were dismissed. It was a heart-wrenching act for all of us, but such a tribute to Marcus. I know he was so pleased and honored to be respected in this way. They are such an amazing bunch of kids. I have never seen any kids like these anywhere else we have lived. They really are a family of their own. Thank you Mountain Crest Marching Band, you kids are the best. Thank you for being a part of Marcus.


The day of Marcus' passing, text messages began to fly to kids around the valley. Monday morning around 200 kids were dressed in their best dress to show respect for Marcus. They took a picture of all these kids in the Gym at school holding a sign that said "We (heart) Marcus". The executive council from the High School presented this picture to me after the grave-side services. I was deeply touched and moved to see tears in their eyes as well. What a wonderful place we live in. I am so impressed with this, especially with the horrible things going on in this world. It is definitely a sign that these children are being taught whats right.
Thank you to all of you who helped in anyway with the Funeral Services and the Family Dinner afterwards. It all was just amazing and so comforting to have so many be there to help us through all of this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marcus John Russell

Marcus John Russell passed away on October 26th, 2008 around 5:00am in his home. He fought to the end. He will be deeply missed by friends and family.

There will be a viewing on Wednesday, October 29 at Nelson Funeral Home 162 E. 400N. Logan, Utah from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Services will be on October 30, at the LDS Providence South Stake Center, (360 E. 450 N. Millville, Utah.) at 12:00 pm. with a viewing prior to the service from 10:30am to 11:30am.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers, support and love.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Update....

I always hate to post somber news, but I know there are a lot of people wondering how Marcus is doing. He really is deteriorating fast. We are pretty sure that he could "go" at anytime now. He is so week, unable to see or even speak much. His breathing is getting more and more erratic and his pulse is fast and unstable. He has been in more pain, so we are adjusting his meds to keep him more comfortable. He mostly sleeps, he doesn't eat and only has very few fluids since he can't swallow much. We are just praying that he goes quickly so he doesn't suffer.

Thanks to all those who are getting Marcus's name out there for good thoughts and prayers. Thanks for all the well wishes, comments and prayers you have left here and on his carepage. It is so wonderful to see how many love and care for us and especially Marcus.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sad, Sad, News....

I haven't posted in a while, but life has taken a sudden change. We did an MRI because Marcus was having swallowing issues. The Chemo hasn't been working and the tumors on his brain stem and the cerebellum have continued to grow at a rapid rate. We have gone over all the options at this time and have realized that we would just be extending his time, but it wouldn't be good time. He would be miserable with side-effects and even then, the treatments wouldn't work. This Beast is an awful one, and one that they just cannot control even when resecting it. Nothing will help... NOTHING. So, unfortunately we have decided to stop treatments and try to make him comfortable. He still wants to attend some things and I won't stop him. Whatever he wants to do, I will make sure I get him there.

He is deteriorating fast. His balance is so bad, it takes 2 of us to get him in and out of bed. We have put him on hospice, and got him a hospital bed. He is slurring more, but still has his sense of humor. His vision is so bad, all he sees in double vision. He has talked a little about going on his "Mission" to help others on the other side. He is on a lot of steroids so his face is swelling more and more, plus they give him other side effects like irritability and joint pain. But he doesn't complain much. He listens to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir a lot and quoted to me the words from "Come Come Ye Saints" last night. He is a pillar of strength to me and those around us. He is my Marcus, even in that swollen face, I see those eyes that stare right through to my soul.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Family Pictures




Well, being the SLACKER that I am... we hadn't had a family portrait done since before we moved to Utah. That was in 2003! So here is our crazy family!

Its been a while....

But I wanted to just update a few things going on here. Marcus finally had his 3rd dose of chemo on tuesday (Sept. 22) in clinic. His platelets were finally right where they needed to be (barely) to give it to him. We got there and had problems with his port (central line) and finally had to re-access it again. They finally got it started around 2:00 pm. They gave it to him slower and pre-medicated him pretty well. He did get the cramping, nausea, and some diarrhea. He wasn't near as bad as last time, but they still wanted to watch him overnight. We got home yesterday afternoon.

As far as the next dose, that is scheduled for Oct. 7th. But they will be doing it in-patient just to be able to watch him close and maybe even separate the dose over 2 days. =0/ Might as well, we end up staying anyway. Marcus is doing ok today, but still pretty sickly. I am sure it will take a few more days to get his strength back. The Dr.'s are going to try and wait to do a scan after the next dose of chemo. So sometime in October.

He still has double vision, dizziness, and no balance. I guess the best way to look at it is that he hasn't gotten worse. That means (hopefully) that the tumor has at least slowed down a little. We will find out after the next dose and see if it is doing its job.

Our family is struggling, but the community, family and friends have been such a blessing to us. I don't know how I could ever thank so many people, but the support is wonderful! We love and appreciate everyone.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Benefit Dinner for Marcus








We made it home on Monday Evening (8th of September) from the hospital. His sodium levels finally leveled out and is currently on sodium pills.

Tuesday, September 9th, some good friends of ours put together a Benefit dinner for Marcus. It was just unreal how many people showed up. We imagine that over 1,000 people were there. Macey's (a local grocery store) donated all the food and goods, flyers were printed up and delivered by Marcus's friends, Huge posters were posted in Macey's store, it was announced over the radio stations, and "Big Blue" (USU's mascot) showed up. It was very over-whelming to see so many people come to support Marcus and our family. Marcus did feel up to going and was swarmed by his friends and others who love him. It has made a world of difference to him. He has been smiling more and has boosted his spirits.

Thank you to all those who helped in anyway to put this together. Especially Holly and Cameron Wright, Brett Mathews and the Executive Council of Mountain Crest, the Mountain Crest Marching Band, Macey's Food and Drug, Ace Banner and Sign, Square One Printing and all those who spent time preparing the food, baking their delicious baked goods for the bake sale, and those who spent hours over the grill cooking the burgers and dogs. You all have given so much more than you realize.

Thanks to all those who came and supported us. What an amazing act of kindness and love. You have shown love in a way that has given us all hope and given Marcus a reason to fight harder than ever before.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Still here!

They still can't get his sodium stable enough to send him home. They did some other tests and his thyroid levels are off so an endocrinologist will be coming in today to check things out. His Brain Tumor specialist won't be in until tomorrow, so I imagine we will be here tomorrow as well. What he has is cranial salt wasting and for some reason his body is getting rid of more salt than what he should be. His vision is worse now than before and can't see much at all, so he has been wearing an eyepatch of some kind to help. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of it soon. It is getting realy old for him and all of us. He just wants to come home.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

At the "BIG HOUSE" again!

Yesterday, Marcus recieved his 2nd dose of Irinotecan and Avastin. Things did not go well at all. He started with diarreah, then the vomitting came on, then the horrible stomach cramps. He was acting a little more confused than normal yesterday anyway, but it got worse after that. They had to send for the medications and that seemed like forever before they were able to get it all under control. =0( Poor boy, didn't know where he was or what was going on. He kept apollogizing for the mess he made in the bathroom.
He is feeling a lot better today, just sleeping a lot, which is good. They had told us that we could go home, if his sodium levels came up with the sodium added to his iv fluids, but they didn't. So here we are again, for another night. I guess it is good we stayed because if they don't get those levels up, he is at a higher risk for seizures. They will be giving him higher doses of sodium in his fluids and will be checking his levels every 6 hours. (Thank goodness for centrl lines, he can sleep through those kind of blood draws!)
It is so very hard to keep positive and watch him go through all of this. His face is getting more and more swollen everyday because they still can't tapper the steriods off, he gets pretty confused, onery, and spacey. I have to remember that it isn't him that his acting that way, its all the crappy medicines, chemo and of course the "beast" that has taken over his brain. I keep on pushing forward, keeping faith (cause I have no other choice) that the Lord knows what is best for him and all of us.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

It's a GIRL at the Russells!!!


I know, that is hard to believe, but saturday we went to Petsmart and adopted a beautiful, 6-month old kitten. I knew she was for us the minute I saw her. She is the most outgoing cat I have ever known. She loves everyone, even strangers who come to visit, she has to climb up on them, smell them and cuddle with them.
We have FINALLY found a name for her... STELLA. (After the skunk on Over-the Hedge) She is very sassy and has taken over the house with ease. She never acted nervous when we brought her home and she purred for hours as she investigated her new home. I just know she was meant for us. The boys love her, and believe it or not, she loves them. When they leave for school, or go to bed she meows for them, and goes looking for her playmates.
I think she is what our family needs right now. She has brought some smiles to our faces, even Marcus's, which has been hard to do lately. We are so happy to have her!

Pictures of Hawaii!






I finally got around to uploading my pictures, so here's a few of the many pictures we took on our trip. ENJOY!




At the airport when we arrived!

Marcus in the ER... he was such a great sport!


At the USS Arizona Memorial


Aaron and Marcus at the Memorial. What cuties!




Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Make-A-Wish Trip!

We left sunday the 9th of August and arrived that night around 8:30 p.m. with someone giving us some beautiful leis. It was so nice to be there and smell the ocean and feel the air. Monday we woke up and Marcus didn't feel well, headaches, nausea and completely worn out. We figured once again that it was the medicine along with jet lag. So we let him sleep all day, that night he started vomiting by morning, he had double vision. Tuesday we spent the day at the ER in Honolulu. They did a CT scan at first and found something in the back of his head, so they did an MRI. Sure enough, they found another tumor. After calls, and emails of scans to the Dr.'s here in Utah, we were able to put him on some steroids.
Wednesday, he woke up feeling better and we were able to go spend a few hours at Pearl Harbor. He was able to go on the tour and do the USS Arizona Memorial, which is what he really wanted to do. By noon he was so tired, so we went back to the Hotel and crashed. That evening he went out to the beach for the first time since we arrived and played in the water with his brothers.
Thursday, he went on his Helicopter Tour with John and really enjoyed that, but didn't feel much like doing anything else. We did go out to have dinner with our friends the Sasaki's. It was good to see them and another part of the island. We haven't seen them since we moved from Flagstaff 4 1/2 years ago, so it was fun catching up. We also got to see the Temple, which was all lit up and beautiful, of course.
Friday, we all went to the zoo, but by the time we got to the gate, Marcus was feeling too sick. So I took him back to the hotel (just around the corner). The funniest thing was before we realized we were right by the Zoo, we woke up to the sound of monkeys!! We were on the 23rd floor and couldn't figure out why we were hearing monkeys on the beach, in the big city of Waikiki. Marcus and Aaron would stand out on our lanai and call back to them. He still wasn't up to going on the submarine ride, so John took the other boys and had a good time. We did go out to dinner that night and look at some of the nice shops around town.
Saturday he slept and rested while we went out and bought some souvenirs. That evening we flew out around 10:30 PM. The plane trip was uneventful, landed in LA OK and then got to Salt Lake around 10:25 am. We had just grabbed our luggage and we were waiting for John to bring the car around, when Marcus started complaining of a severe headache. It got worse and worse. So by 11:05 he was admitted into Primary Children's expecting surgery to relieve pressure from his "new tumor". They did another MRI to see if there was fluid building up in his brain, but this wasn't the case. The surgeon sat me down and showed me there was "tumor" growing everywhere!
Monday morning our Dr. took us down to look at the MRI's from the 29th of July and the one on the 17th to compare them. We sat with the radiologist while he showed us that within the 2.5 weeks all this new tumor had grown. Not only was it just a spot on the back of his head, but all through the center of his brain, down toward the brain stem, in his meninges (lining of the brain), and lots of different other little spots around his brain. Including right under the spot where they removed his other tumor. We sat with our Mouths wide open... I honestly thought they were going to tell us that there was nothing left they could do, but Dr. Bruggers told us that we could try this new chemo. It is called Avastin, and Irinotecan.
So while we were there, they put in a "port" and began his first treatment yesterday (thursday). After all that we were able to bring him home last night. He has some balance problems and some vision problems, so he is using a walker and wheelchair. He is determined to go back to school on monday, but we will see if that can happen. He is soooo tired from the chemo as well.

So here we are.... at a place we didn't expect to be in this quick, but we are hoping that this chemo can extend his life and give him somewhat good quality of life. Of course we will take a miracle, but we are so thankful for the little ones we have had so far. We will never take those little "tender mercies" (as Stacie so well put it) for granted.

Friday, August 01, 2008

We closed today!!!

We just closed on our house today!!!! We finally bought the house we have been living in for over 4 YEARS! Every year we would ask if we could buy it, but the landlords didn't want to sell it. But this year they offered it to us. SOOOOO........ we are officially HOME OWNERS now!! I can't believe that after all this time, I can tear down those awful gold drapes in our living room that look like they came from an ancient Egyptian tomb! YUCK!! PAINT, PAINT and PAINT!!! I am so tired of white walls!!! I can't wait to pick out some colors and start working on making this place look like ours! YIPEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whew!

What a day, we left around 6:30 this morning to get there in time for blood drawn and a iv put in before the MRI. It usually takes about 30 minutes for Marcus to have his MRI, but today it took longer, and Marcus said they did something different that they don't normally do. To me that indicated a red flag.... After going to get some breakfast and browsing some stores, we went back to clinic where it is ALWAYS a long wait. We sat and talked to Lynn who is the Brain Tumor coordinator/nurse practitioner. After waiting for about an hour, Lynn told us that the Dr.'s were down in Radiology discussing his films with the radiologist.... Another thing to make my stomach turn. They don't do that too often. FINALLY, Dr. Yaish came in and said that most of the scan looks good. There is one part on the scan that indicates that there is some swelling, or thickening but no enhancement which means it is not growing quickly. We are just going to have to watch it closely.
As far as his symptoms, I am pretty sure they are caused from stress and the medication he has been on. We are going to play around and see if taking his pill earlier at night will help him in the morning, plus he will be eating some crackers before he gets up (yeah, just like good ol morning sickness).
By the way, Dr. Bruggers is back!!!!! YAY! She came in and talked to us for a while. She went down to see the scans with Dr. Yaish so I feel so much better to have her back. She looked quite pale so I think she has been very sick, but no one knows exactly.... well, no one says anything. She kept saying the scans look "encouraging", so that is great. She is the one that I really like and I feel like I can trust. I hope she is able to come back full time and able to be around when we need her.
All I can say is.......... I am soooooooo tired of this roller coaster ride. It really is hard on us mentally and physically to go threw a day like today. I was expecting the worst, especially after all the waiting for Dr.'s and knowing they were looking at the scans downstairs, I was expecting him to say.... "its back". Dr. Bruggers said that if his symptoms get worse in the next few weeks that they will do another MRI then. She said, "after all.... we are dealing with a nasty, nasty tumor and we know it can do anything anytime." That also puts so much pressure on me, I should say us, but I am the one that makes the decisions as to what we let Marcus do. He has 3 more days of all day Marching band, it is hot and then I have to let him go to Snow College in Ephrim, Utah for 6 days? UUGGHHH.. I hate not knowing what to do, how can I NOT let him go? It is his last year in Band, if he doesn't go to Band camp, he is out of the band because that is where they learn the whole show. I HAVE to let him go!

Well, enough rambling.... we made it and he is OK!! WHEW! Hawaii HERE WE COME!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Update... Still waiting!

Well, friday I called first thing in the morning to the Oncologist's office and was only able to talk to a nurse practitioner. She said the office wasn't open until monday! I explained to her our situation and she went over Marcus's chart. She was really nice and kept telling me "I know you must be so worried". She suggested that they could move up his MRI to this next week, but other than that, it would be up to us if we thought he needed to be seen in the ER. In the ER they would only do a CT-scan that would pick up any fluid on/in his brain. An MRI they will be able to see things a lot clearer. Marcus is still feeling sick in the morning with some headache, but he hasn't vomited again. We decided to wait and go to clinic on tuesday for an MRI and to be able to see Dr.'s who know him. If he gets worse and starts vomiting, I will take him to the ER in a heartbeat.
For those who don't know why this is an urgent thing; headache and vomiting could be indications of some kind of pressure on the brain, or that there is some kind of fluid on the brain like water, or it could be some kind of blockage that is causing the spinal fluid to build up in the brain.
We are also looking at the possibility of this being a side effect to the seroquel that he started about 6 weeks ago. I really don't know a lot about medications, but it does say that it can cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness. I always thought that the side effects of meds would show up the first few weeks of starting it, but I could be wrong. I hope this is just a little hurdle that seems really big right now.
I will post hopefully tuesday night. His MRI will be at 9:00 AM.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hang ON..... Here we go again!

Please sit and wait for the lap bar to lock into place.....Please keep hands inside the car during the ride...CLANK, CLANK, CLANK....

Remember that feeling of going on that big ride, the big roller coaster and half of the ride was just climbing to the top? The anticipation, the knowing what you are going to experience, but yet not sure if you are ready for it. This is how I feel when things with Marcus start going ways that we aren't sure what is really going on. Of course it is not a good anticipation, but I get the same sick feeling in my stomach and almost like my body is getting ready for an adrenaline rush.

Well, here it goes. Last April Marcus had an MRI... stable. Just a few weeks later, he started having head aches and pains in the back of his head. They did a CT-scan to make sure that there were no broken blood vessels...came back stable. So we went to our Pediatrician and he figured it must be from stress. At this same time Marcus had been taking medication for his behavior issues, changing them here and there. About a month ago, I noticed that he was having a hard time keeping his balance when he got up in the morning. I figured it must be the medicine cause it does have the side effect of "dizziness". He has still had head aches on and off, but took meds and it goes away. Now it has been 2 weeks or so... more frequent headaches.... (must be stress from being section leader in the band). This week... waking up with heaches and nausea, 3 days in a row. I do not want to over-react, so I let him go down to Salt Lake for the day's of 47 parade where they spend the night. He calls me that night at 10:30, just vomited. Says he feels OK, goes to bed. First thing this morning... I call, Marcus says he feels fine.... takes a shower, calls me back. Mom, I feel sick/headache. He really doesn't tell me that his head hurts unless I ask him. But every time I do, he has one somewhere or just had one. I drive all the way down there to pick him up, call Primary Children's... none of the clinics are open cause it is a holiday. I talked to a nurse practitioner, tells me that it is not urgent, but to call first thing tomorrow morning. Came home... more headache, took meds, feels better. Tonight... around 10:00... I feel sick to my stomach again Mom. My heart stops when I hear him say that. Twenty minutes later he walks in and asks... Dad can you give me a blessing, I just don't want to be sick anymore and I am sure that will make it go away. Now I know he knows........ he is scared.
Two years ago today, I was taking Marcus in to the hospital for "dehydration" from the Parade, with headache, nausea, vomiting, and backache. Looking back I am sure it was from the "B" word along with some dehydration. The last 2 whole years, Marcus has never gotten sick... not even a cold or an infection while going through his treatments. (except shingles) Even with his blood counts so low, he never got sick. He NEVER vomited, not even while taking Chemo by mouth every night. He felt a little woosey, but never vomited. The last time he did was almost 2 years ago. Just a few days before his diagnosis.
I am praying for strength, courage and for whatever lies ahead of us tomorrow, please do the same.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I am an Aunt.... AGAIN!

Photobucket

Don't ask me how many times, but each time it is exciting. I love being the Aunt. Alice, my baby sister just had her 4th baby on July 10th. His name is Joseph Hyrum Vivaldo, 8lbs, 3 0z. What a cutie! I just wanna hold him sooooo bad! But, I can't....they live in Tucson, Az and I just cannot make it down there to see him anytime soon. I have been wanting to smell that baby so bad!!!! He has those cute little rolls that my babies, (except Noah) had. I feel the need to do some nibblin' so bad!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Cool Pool!


Well, we finally got some hot weather (95... close to 100!) So luckily most of the stores have their pools and things for 1/2 off. We went for a pool we can empty right after we use it, and big enough to get wet in. It is 2 1/2 ft deep and deep enough for little Noah and Jackson. Bailey, unfortunately she is way too tall for it. She is only 9 and pretty close to my height, so she has to kneel to get in it.... poor girl. They are good sports and love to get wet, no matter where or what kind it is.
Last summer the pools got really bad. There was a huge out break of crypto here in Utah. I know, pretty nasty.

But thats what happens when no one has their own pools and everyone goes to the public pools to swim. I have tried to keep my kids away from the public pools, there are just sooooo many people!
Yes, my boys do have "farmer tans". After all, we do live in the Farm Lands here and when it wasn't even warm enough to swim until June, then this is what you get. I am sure by the time July is over (we are supposed to hit 100 on the 4th) they will be brown little buggers, just like last year. Hey, they never wear shoes so their feet are tan at least!!


Here is Jackson using the goggles even though he won't go under water unless he accidentally falls in. Which is hilarious in itself because he will have this look of total FEAR on his face, then when he comes up acts like he was cool with that and that he meant to do it. Funny boy. I have never had a kid that tries to be so tough and invincible as Jackson does. I know he is the youngest of 4 boys, but he sure won't let anyone know he is hurt. He is the only one that stands up to Marcus, and that causes so much conflict.


This picture totally depicts Noah. So laid back and just along for the ride. He does have to put Jackson in his place here and there, but he takes Jackson with him almost everywhere he goes. No matter what friend he goes to play with he always asks if he can take Jackson with him. I just can't imagine what they would do with out each other. They seem lost when the other is gone. Kinda scary, but through these last couple of years, they have learned to depend on each other.
I enjoy them all so much!



Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from Camp.

Aaron and Marcus made it through the week and are so glad to be back in their own beds. Although I think Marcus would have liked to stay longer. I heard the food there was awesome, matresses, showers, the works... oh, and GIRLS! I heard that the nurses were "hot" and that Marcus looked forward to go to the infirmary to get his meds every night. Yeah, I don't think forgetting his pills was a problem! haha. He did say that camp was AWESOME and he has to go next year for sure! He came home singing camp songs, had some arts and crafts he had made, and told me about the pranks they and the girls did to each others cabins. Of course he had to tell me all about them over and over again. ( I find that when he is excited about something, he has a hard time focusing on how many times he repeats himself.) He admitted to me that while they were playing basketball that the ball bounced off the metal backboard and hit him in the head (in the part where his skull was cut), but said he felt nothing and that he felt fine. He said he did have one incident where he stormed off when they were playing some games, but a friend there made an effort to go over and calm him down. So, I guess he is OK. After a week of Marcus being gone, I was so used to the "stress-free" zone I was in. Marcus came home anxious to play with his younger brothers, to my surprise. That was great until today when they were playing Game Cube so great then... BAM... Marcus smacks Jackson for something dumb like not playing the game "right". (SIGH) Times like these, I just know he really is trying to be nice then he just snaps.

Aaron had a great time, even though he came home with cuts, scrapes, bruises from games, hikes, and just being Aaron. He has grown up so much! He is over an inch taller than me and I have had to buy MENS clothes for him now! EEEKKK!! He needs to get a job to pay for all of the stuff he wants, too bad he's the not the one who is 17. He came home pretty stinky, dirty, tired but worn out from FUN. He has really blossomed into a fine-looking boy, full of mischief, and of course, a great sense of humor. He has made so many friends, it is so great to see him so full of life. I love to watch him, he reminds me of myself at that age, a little. He is a little more outgoing, but I sure got silly and knew how to have a good time. I made sure it was a good time. Aaron has finally gotten to that point through all this crap he has had to deal with, and I am so happy for him. He is determined to have fun, no matter what and that is important.

Aaron leaves for New York (Chautauqua) on tuesday, and his birthday is on Saturday! I can't believe that I am not going to be with him to light fireworks with him on his B-day! He will be gone until the 15th, spending time with Grand-Pop and Ali. He is looking forward to some bonding with them and some good fishing! I am sure they will keep him pretty busy, I sure am jealous! I really hate to see him leave again, but he will have a great time, I am sure.


P.S. Kung-Fu Panda was Awesome! SKUDOOSH! The boys all loved it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Going to Camp!

Tomorrow, June 22nd, both Marcus and Aaron will be going to two different camps. They (ehem...I mean "I") have been packing their stuff and getting them ready to go off for a week. I am REALLY looking forward to this week, well... for their benefit. wink wink.
Aaron will be going to a BSA, Scout camp located in Idaho called Camp Bartlett. This is some serious camping where he has to hike taking everything in one backpack, including his bedroll and sleeping bag. This will be his last year going, so he and his friends are planning some little pranks to pull on the poor little "newbies". Don't worry, a little shaving cream goes a long way with teen boys.
Marcus is going to a wonderful camp for Teens with Cancer, called Camp Hobe. If you click on the link, there is a video you can view of what it is. It looks like an awesome place that helps kids connect and feel accepted. Aaron was also invited to this camp, but decided that this is his last year at Scout Camp, so he has to go. Next year they will both be able to go to Camp Hobe. They are able to go 2 camping seasons after their last treatment and up to age 19. I hope this is what Marcus needs to go on and try to let go of all the bad stuff he has been hanging on to.
So, this week should be fun for the 2 little boys and I. We have a few things planned like going to see Kung-Fu Panda, going on a little hike, and having our own "camp out" in the living room. It will be a new experience for me to have just 2 little ones around again. It will be a nice little break from the stresses of the TEENS. Especially since the whole "girl things" are starting! (sigh) I stand by my lifetime assessment of girls... girls are mean, manipulative, and just down right cruel! Especially when we are dealing with Marcus, who emotionally is 12 or 13, so that is who he attracts. Anyway, that is a WHOLE different story! So we start the summer fun of CAMP!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Marcus turned 17! Wow...I can't believe he and I both made it this far! Especially with that new "do" of his. He has been wanting to cut his hair so I took him on his birthday and this is what he comes home with! Thanks Jenni! Just what are cousins for anyway? JK... He wanted to get a rise out of me, but I told him it looked great and smiled! My teeth were clenched shut, but I smiled big! This is called a "Fo-hawk". I have no idea why, but all I know is that is resembles a mo-hawk just a lot smaller. If it makes him happy, then I am too! He is a Goofy-Goober, but thats what I have missed about him for the last 8 months or so. He hasn't been the silly goofball he used to be lately, and it has been so nice to see him smile a little more and play with his brothers. He still can't find the patience for Jackson yet, but that will come with time I am sure. Maybe by the time he leaves on a mission???? Who knows. Jackson is hard to deal with at times, especially if you aren't very tolerant of noise or confusion. That is just what comes with the Jaxman.
As for Marcus, he went to the Dr. last week and they added another medicine that seems to be helping the most. Best of all, it helps him SLEEP! (clapping). He has had a hard time staying asleep and this really seems to be the answer. At first he was groggy in the morning, but now that his body is getting used to it, he is doing a lot better. He has only had one incident where he threw some ice, but other than that, the last week has been better... (knocking on wood).


Ok... I HAVE to throw in a story about Jackson. Yesterday while John was trying to make Jackson get dressed for church, Jackson told John "I wish I had fur". John thought that was odd so he asked him why. Jackson then replied.."so I wouldn't have to get dressed, I could just wear my fur everywhere". We cracked up. Leave it to Jackson to come up with an alternative!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

FUN DAY!

Thursday was a great day because John got free, yes FREE passes for the entire family to go to Lagoon this weekend. Thursday was the only day that looked like it would be "less rain" than the rest of the week and we were right. The boys were so excited and so was I because we hadn't been to Lagoon in a few years. It also was the first time our whole family went to a Theme Park with NO STROLLER!!! WoW!!! That was so great not to have to lug everything around, and having to have someone "sit" with our stuff. But that also meant that I left everything at home... including MY CAMERA!!!! UUUUUGGGHHH! What was I thinking? I even had a clip on case that I could have strapped it on me during rides. (smacking myself on the forehead). So next time we will be a little more prepared!
This is a picture of the only roller coaster I was brave enough to get on, except for "puff" the kiddie roller coaster that I had to ride on with Jackson. (That is the only time I was so glad I didn't have the camera) This ride is called "the Bat". Yes, it is a ride similar to the batman, but not as long nor as fun, I hear. Noah loved it! He and Aaron rode that thing a lot. I liked it because it didn't go straight down going 60 miles an hour, it didn't go around and around, AND it didn't go upsidedown. That is my criteria for going on a ride, and if it has all 3, then I won't even look at it for fear I will "ralph" all over the place. I know I am old because 20 years ago, if one of my friends had just said the right words, like "I double-dog-dare-ya" I would have gone on every stinkin' spinning, dropping, swooping, looping, barf-inducing ride there. Yes, before the days of children, I was the one that had to prove that I was just as tough as the boys when it came to stuff like this, even though deep down inside I wanna to run and find the nearest place to crawl into. I remember as a kid (maybe age 9)my Dad putting me on those crazy rides (in MEXICO, no less) all by myself because I wanted to go on them so bad. My Mom had to walk away, I think. I am sure I was pretty sick after that, but I loved it. Thanks Dad! I guess thats why ridding the dirt bike was so relaxing to me later on!
This monster is THE WICKED! Marcus has wanted to ride that thing since we were driving to Salt Lake all the time and he was able to watch it go up. But because of his head still recovering from surgery, last summer he wasn't able to ride it. This year John promised him that he would go on it with him! Boy I think John learned his lesson! This ride propels/shoots you like a rocket up this 90 degree track and then, of course you come straight down (thanks to gravity)at the same 90 degree angle. John said he would be having nightmares of this thing for the rest of the week. He said when you start to drop, it seems like it just drops forever. Marcus said, and I quote.."I have never ever heard my Dad scream like a girl until now, he screamed all the way down and around the rest of the ride." Too bad I missed it, but you couldn't have "double-dog-dared" me enough to go on that thing! John even worked his way up to the wicked by riding the other pretty crazy rides first, but I still couldn't get him on the big Ferris wheel. GO FIGURE!
Since the trip to Arizona was supposed to be this weekend, I guess this sorta made up for it. Marcus wasn't able to fly aerobatics in a plane, but he was able to go on a few roller coasters with his brothers and his Dad. Aaron really hadn't been on any "real" roller coasters, but this year he sure enjoyed them. I think next time he will be ready to go on the wicked with Marcus. Well.... MAYBE... depends on who is with him. Peer pressure is an awful thing.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Jackson finishes Kindergarten!!

Here is a little brief synopsis of Jacksons year of Kindergarten. This picture is Jackson on his first day of school. What a smile. I can only imagine what is going through that head of his. I imagine he is planning his first escape. Little does "Miss Melanie" know who has just entered her doors.
He did think he could come and go as he pleased. He really liked going on little walks, or going to get water and to the restroom without letting anyone know. One day he went to school with pink-eye (yeah, I know... what a GREAT MOM). Miss Melanie sent him to the office to call me or John and let us know that we need to pick him up. After about 15 minutes Jackson comes back in and announces... "my pink eye is gone". Come to find out he just went on a little "walk about" and never made it to the Office.
This is Jackson on Valentines day. What a "playa"!! Not just one girl on the holiday of Love, but 2 tall girls... one blonde, one brunette.. gotta have have it all. The look on his face says it all.
I am just kidding. I love these little girls. Kali is the brunette and her family is awesome. I am glad Jackson can have both girl and boy friends. Just hope he doesn't get involved with girls too soon!!!! I don't want to think about that now!!! SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!
These last 2 pictures are of one of their last field trips to a local dairy. I just love the faces that Jackson has in these pictures. Especially the one with him on the bus. Too cute.














What a booger!!! I just love this age. How sad that he is in the first grade now...... (cough, cough) there, I am over it... YIPPPEEE he is in first grade!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Very Moving

Yes, I have been putting nothing but blah and sad things on my blog, but it has been a very sad and tough week.
Today was Clarissa's funeral, what a beautiful service. I was amazed at the strength of her family. Each of them spoke or participated somehow. They all spoke of her as determined as well as spiritual. The oldest girls, ages 16 and 13, gave tributes to their sister and I thought I was listening to adults. What love and adoration they had for her. The music was beautiful and the flowers were gorgeous. They had pictures of Clarissa everywhere and video of pictures of her growing up. Her metals and soccer trophies were displayed as well as her pictures playing. It was a difficult but yet healing to see her family so strong. Here is a poem that was printed on the back of the program that was written by Clarissa's 13-yr old sister.


I know that you've been asking
"Why did God do this to me?
I've been told that I'm his daughter
Who he loves so tenderly.
If that's the case
Why can't he just
Make it go away?
I know he can,
I've got the faith,
And yet, the tumor stays."

He is aware of all your suffering,
And he listens to your prayers.
It breaks his heart, as it breaks mine
When you think he doesn't care.
He's just sending his love-filled blessings
In a different sort of way.
He blesses you through others
Through the presents, and every time they pray.

So don't ever feel like he doesn't care
He just knows what is best
He wants to help;he knows you're strong,
And this is your life's test.

-Jocelyn Packer

Friday, May 23, 2008

A very sad, sad day.

This morning our neighbor, Clarissa Packer (age 11) passed away. She had a brain tumor, the same kind as Marcus, that was inoperable. She went quickly, which is a blessing for her, I guess. She was brave and such a trooper. She went out with her family everywhere and when she was given her wheel chair she mainly pushed it. She was just given her hospital bed this last Monday, that same day she wanted to go for a walk. So she and her mom pushed her wheelchair for over a mile! Tuesday she wanted to climb a tree, so her tiny little mom helped her up into a tree. (she has been blind for a few months)Yesterday she slept a lot, but was pretty coherent and was able to tell her family what she wanted to say and gave them things. She passed this morning. What a gift to be able to spend your last week doing the things she wanted and not having to sit in a bed for weeks like a vegetable. I know that she had been asking her mom if it was ok to pray to Heavenly Father that she could die quickly. Her prayers have been answered.

I just added this.... Here is the website with her obituary and photo. She was a beautiful girl. www.allenmortuaries.net

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Make a Wish canceled.

Well, as I told you before the airplane crash was a bad incident, but after talking it over we decided that he really isn't mentally able to go up in that plane. His behavior has been a little better, but we just don't know what will happen minute by minute. We thought he would be very upset about the fact that we canceled it, he took it rather well and decided that he really doesn't want to get himself in that position. I am sure it scared him because it was 2 experienced pilots went down and no one knows why yet. So now we don't know what he is going to do. We do need to go in June or it will be a long time before we can really go anywhere because of Marching Band. He is leaning toward the Pearl Harbor trip, which would be a great for everyone and a much more safe thing too. Unless he decides to go parasailing!!!! Of course we all are pushing for the Hawaii trip, but it is up to him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Breakdown.

I am afraid that we have more on our hands than we can handle. I always say the scariest day in my life was the day they told me Marcus had a brain tumor, well Monday tops it, well... pretty darn close.
Sunday things were not really great because Marcus had promised me that he would go to church with us, and when it came time to go, he wouldn't get out of bed. Well, when we got to church we talked to our Bishop. He decided to come over and give Marcus a blessing. Things after that were so great. Marcus was so much happier, until monday after his Therapy session. I had to go to the store to get a couple of things. He went to the toys and wanted all kinds of stuff, very expensive too. When I told him no, he put his earphones on and headed for the car. All the way home he kept gripping his fists more and more. By the time he got home he went in his room and slammed the door. Normal thing nowdays. I put on some of my musice and began to clean up dishes. I heard some banging around in there. I went and peeked at him and he was just sitting on his bed starring out the window. So I went back to doing dishes. I heard a couple more bangs in there and a crash. I waited a few minutes, then felt like I should go check on him. When I walked in, there was a book (my book) ripped to shreds, his picture of Jesus broken lying on the floor in its glass, his favorite Uof A basketball flattened and smashed. As I looked at him sitting on his bed starring out the window, he had a rather large pocket knife (that he uses fishing) stabbing the matress right next to his leg! I called his name and he didn't respond. I walked out slowly and called John (who was at soccer practice at the time) He then came running home. After I hung up with John, I went into his room and asked him where his knife was and he pitched it backward (while it was open).
Luckily, a person in our bishopric, is a psychotherapist. We are seeing his partner, but we couldn't get a hold of him, so John call him (who happened to be at the same soccer practice) so he came over. Talked to him for a few minutes and decided that he was O.K. to leave him at home.
The Dr. diagnosed him with Intermittent Explosive Behavior. Because of the hole in his brain where his personality is, his brain is trying to re-circuit his wiring and unfortunately the more he has these outbursts, the more ingrained it is. Which explains why its getting worse. Unfortunately the only way to get him calm enough to learn ways to re-circuit to a better place, is through medicine which he is refusing to take. So I am afraid that this is going to end up with some tough-love, and I will have to call the police next time he even gets close to that again. If it ends up in court then thats where we will end up. I will never go through that again! I was scared for him, Jackson and myself. I am tired of him controlling the whole house, and if he refuses to take the medicine then he will just have to explain it to a judge. I know that is a horrible thing to say, but I am sorry, I will NEVER let him do that to me or anyone else again. I have been considering threating to take away his Make a wish trip if he doesn't co-operate with us. I could understand if he was on meds and they weren't working, but this is in his hands and he is refusing help. I will just have to get tough with him. We can't do this anymore. Its not fair to the rest of the family, especially the boys. I thought the cancer was hard..... that is looking a little easier right now.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I am just sick!

I belong to a group (online) of mothers who had babies in Jan. of '02. We have known each other since pregnancy of our babies and we still remain friends (over 6 years). Well, one of those mothers lives in Peoria, Az. She knows about Marcus's Make-A-Wish where we will be going to Mesa, Az. for Marcus to fly in Aerobatic planes and learn to dog fight. I found a post from her upset because one of those planes crashed on May 9th killing both people on board. She wasn't sure when we were going to be there, so she thought it could have been us! She posted the article and it is the exact company that we are going to! I am just sick to my stomach...literally. I really don't know what is going to happen with our trip that is scheduled for June 5th, but I don't think we will be going!

Anyway, here is the article from the Arizona Repuplic:
(here is the link if you want to watch the video about it)
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/05/09/20080509planecrash050908-CR.html

A small aerobatic plane crashed about seven miles east of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, killing two people Friday afternoon as the crew of a medical helicopter watched.

Kore Redden, a spokeswoman with Rural/Metro Fire Department, said a crew aboard a LifeNet I helicopter saw the single-engine plane go down in the desert, then circled and landed to see if they could help.

She said the two people on board were already dead from massive trauma. A Mesa Police helicopter flew Queen Creek firefighters to the remote scene, where they confirmed the fatalities.
Redden said the victims, both men, were found 10 to 20 feet from the wreckage with one parachute deployed. Mike Minter with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said the two-seater plane nose-dived into the desert floor about five miles northeast of Ocotillo and Schnepf roads.

The Extra EA-300 single-engine, high-performance plane had left the airport at 12:43 p.m. They were returning to Mesa when the plane crashed at about 2:30 p.m. under unknown circumstances, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. There was no communication with air traffic controllers prior to the crash, he said.

Redden said the aircraft is owned by Fighter Combat International. The company's Web site said it is based at the Mesa airport and offers thrill rides ranging from $469 to $1,574. The Web site touts the service as "The Ultimate Guy Gift."

John Walkup of Chandler Air Service, a flight school company at Chandler Municipal Airport, said the company had carved out a niche selling specialty rides.

"That's all they do is take people up for rides and do special things," he said. "Those airplanes have the ability to do every maneuver known to God times ten."

Walkup said the Valley is a hotbed for aerobatics.

"The entire aerobatic community will be very upset," he said. "They have a job to do and they've been doing it well for quite a few years."

Brian Sexton, an airport spokesman, said the company has been a tenant since 2003.

Minter said the crash site had rough terrain accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles or helicopter.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Another Long Day.

Marcus got home from school and went to play basketball with his friends. He was gone over 2 hours and said he got along just fine, but he did trip and land hard on his side. He said he felt pretty dizzy so he came home. Life after that became a nightmare, snapping at everyone who walked into the living room, threatening kids and just being nasty. I let him on the computer to do an assignment for school, he got ticked off at Aaron for something stupid, so 10 minutes later he logged off the computer and decided he wasn't going to do his homework. Didn't like what we were having for dinner, didn't eat. It just got worse from there.
We are supposed to go on our Make-a-wish trip on June 5th, and no one is excited about it. It is so hard to be excited when the person getting the wish is being mean and nasty. I hope something happens before this trip.

We spoke to his Oncologist and she referred him to Neurology. I called to schedule an appointment and they won't see him because they don't deal with behavior issues. There is not a "pediatric neurospychologist" in the state of Utah. We are paying up the butt for Marcus to see these Dr.'s and they all just seem to be not sure of themselves. One had an idea to change behavior by rewarding for good behavior with kinda a "gambling" type of thing. He is never sure when he is going to hit the jackpot. But my husband and I can't find any reward that he wants.... money doesn't even motivate him! He has refused taking any medication and won't co-operate with any Dr. Nothing is his fault and has no remorse for anything hes done.
I just read an article about a girl from Arizona who suffered a concussion and had horrible personality change, and brain injury issues. She was diagnosed and had all kinds of help. HELLO??? Isn't there anyone who deals with that around here? Doesn't anyone in UTAH ever have head injuries and have treated them? I feel like the Dr.'s are just shrugging their shoulders, handing him a pill, or guessing on what they can do for him.
All I know is I can't live this way, my kids cannot live this way. My poor kids follow me around the house cause they dont' want to be left alone with him. I am just at my wits end and don't know where to go next. Each day he gets more and more stubborn, mean and hateful. Everything is about him and if it goes any other way, he takes it out on someone. I am afraid for the safety of my kids. What has to happen before there is really someone that can help him? If something happens, and he ends up in Juvee, he will be a helpless cause. He will soon be 17 and I am so scared of his future. I don't know if I am more scared of the cancer coming back or what will happen to him (or someone else ) if he doesn't get help.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Better day.

I am feeling better today. Marcus went to his Marching band "step off" meeting, which is for this upcoming year, and he is very excited about it. So he came home with a skip in his step. I am hoping this helps! Music is his "thing". ALSO.....
Yesterday, I started a new fitness/diet program that is just "in the making". Icon Health and Fitness here in town, (they build treadmills and other fitness equipment) are coming out with a new program for women. They haven't named it yet, but they are thinking about calling it P.i.n.K. I have the opportunity to try this program and give my input for them to see what things need to be changed etc. There is a group of us that are doing it together and we get to work with a Dietitian, and a personal trainer! Debbie is a 40-yr-old woman who is the world Olympic weight lifting champion. She is the one working with Icon to develop this program. So, as you might imagine, it is using the Olympic weight-lifting concepts and fundamentals. I am so excited because it is all strength training. I LOVE IT. I have been a firm believer in strength training, (of course I haven't done it in YEARS) but now I can actually get to do it.
One thing they encourage is telling people about my new program, that way it keeps me "accountable" as to what I am doing. So here I am, telling you about it. I actually started a new blog just for my program if you want to check it out, go for it.
www.mypinkexperience.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lost!

I haven't really updated on what else is happening in the real world here. The reason for that is because it hasn't been the best. Even though these past things (the Pilot for a day and the party) have been fun and exciting, things at home are still pretty rough and ragged. The 4th medication that we were going to give Marcus, I kinda had second thoughts about, but when we decided that it really wasn't an option and we should try it, he refused to take it. So...... he is refusing to take the medicine, and he hasn't had a lot of outbursts, but he still has hit Jackson a few times. Everything is a battle, from doing homework to even taking a shower. We are still meeting with the Psycologist, and trying some new behavior changing techniques. John has a very hard time with the new plan and is not sure if he can do it.
I miss my Marcus. I walked by his picture in the hallway today (pre-cancer) and just sat down and cried. I just long for his fun loving spirit and the love he had for his brothers. Don't get me wrong, there are times where he does try to have fun with his brothers, but they are afraid of him. In an instant, for some stupid noise or something annoying someone is doing, he is gone. How I miss him. I hate cancer, I hate what it does to kids and families. I hate that we will never have the real Marcus back. I just pray everyday that the Lord will find some way to comfort and give our family peace.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

My true color

Take this test!
You're blue — the most soothing shade of the spectrum. The color of a clear summer sky or a deep, reflective ocean, blue has traditionally symbolized trust, solitude, and loyalty. Most likely a thoughtful person who values spending some time on your own, you'd rather connect deeply with a few people than have a bunch of slight acquaintances. Luckily, making close friends isn't that hard, since people are naturally attracted to you — they're soothed by your calming presence. Cool and collected, you rarely overreact. Instead, you think things through before coming to a decision. That level-headed, thoughtful approach to life is patently blue — and patently you!