On January 27, 2011 Eric Merkley was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. An aggressive cancer that we hope and the doctors to this point seem confident that is contained to one spot on his leg. Prognosis is good. Treatments and recovery will be long and painful.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ready to start another round of Methotrexarate

We are here ready to start another round of methotrexate at PMC. Before we came to the hospital we had an appointment with Fit well. They put his socket on his leg to begin the fitting. He was feeling very violated again, because they start with the socket really really high on his thigh. They will cut it back a little, but it is a start. He will probably be walking on his new leg next week. He may not be in a position to take his leg with him next week. But he will be walking on both legs again next Tuesday!!
As we were getting settled at the hospital Christine the Nurse practictoner came in and went through her list of questions about drugs, symptoms etc etc etc. She asked if there were any questions. So I had to pose the latest "Eric" question. Last week Eric called and asked me what his blood count was. I thought this was odd, because he was going into a party, so I assumed that maybe he did not feel comfortable going and needed an excuse. But I did not know what the blood results were at that point. Later I found out that he wanted to know if they were good enough to make out with a girl.... So I asked Christine what his ANC needed to be before he could consider "Making out" with a girl. I said that my guess was 7000 to 8000. Now keep in mind that a normal healthy persons ANC is 3000 to 5000. Christine said "well I don't think it can go that high..." I said that is okay we can do a blood work up on the girl and if it is not 7K to 8K then there will be no making out. Christine and the RN, Aubri was laughing pretty hard and suggested that maybe we keep a "Swab" handy then we can do a culture to make sure that she is healthy. Apparently it is the laugh of the day, because we have had a couple of nurses come in and put their 2 cents in. Jarid said that it doesn't matter what his ANC is, because it is about his "Game." Another nurse said that as long as he sanitizes his hands he should be okay... I think I will wait for Doctor Sprakers opinion. :) I will keep you updated on the new guidelines for "making out" according to Dr. Spraker.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

All is well

Eric, being the character that he is makes me laugh all the time.  If I try to be a "mom" and tell him what to do, he will point his leg at me.  I can't help but laugh.  I don't know what I am going to do, all control is out the door!  :)

How cute!  Eric received a box from Make a Wish with this cute hat in it.  His hair is really coming in good, I keep thinking that it will start to fall out again, because his last treatment was the type that made him lose his hair in first place.  But so far, it is still growing.  His eye lashes are coming in really good too... so he can "bat" his eyes like this..... (Name that movie)!  I know Tonya will know!

Todd and I ran up to the Grotto in Payson Canyon.  While Eric went to cheer on Our New Salem Beauty Queen, Rachel Fitzgerald (Rachel was the date he had to the Jazz game that he was going to put off chemo for, but ended up giving Rachel a rain check, because he was in so much pain.  Congratulations Rachel).  Anyway, I was shocked to see the amount of water. For those of you who have been at the grotto, the water fall is usually a trickle of water and you can walk into the cavern.   Not the case right now!  It was a fun night!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Congradulations Graduates

We had the opportunity to watch the graduation ceremony at Salem Hills High School.  Eric also had a fun time having his year book signed.  He even put a smiley face on sock at the end of his leg!  Eric was mentioned in 2 of the talks today along with a couple of other kids who have had a very difficult year and it was very humbling to hear of the concern and support for their fellow classmates. Good Luck Graduates!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Casting of Eric Leg

Today Eric has started the process to get his new leg!!  They put him in a cast from his hip down to the end of his leg.  They even made him wear these really cute Capri's.  :)    Once they casted his whole leg, they got the saw and scissors out and cut it off.  Scott showed the cast to us and said they will now make a mold of his leg and start to build his socket and leg.  He will have a hydraulic knee and his foot will be equipped with springs....  It was pretty fascinating what features his new leg will have and it will be interesting to see everything come together.  The goal is to have him on his leg in 3 weeks, but his knee/leg may need an additional week to heal.. 
A lot of people have asked me about his amputation, so to try to explain the best I can... He had a "through knee" amputation.  Which means that the whole bone (tibia and fibula) was taken.  They left the femur, patella and knee cap alone. 

The advantages to do that is with the femur being whole, it will be able to take more pressure/jolts to the bone.  He can kneel on the end of his "nub" as he calls his leg.  If they took his leg above the knee, they would have to reattach the muscles and tendons back on to the bone and he would not be able to kneel on the end of the blunt nub.  So physically if the leg works out for him, this will be the best possible scenario for Eric.  His prosthetic knee will actually be an inch lower than his right knee.  But that is no big deal.
I hope this all makes sense... But I am sure that as time goes and we learn more, we will pass it on to you!  Lucky you!  :)  There was a story about a young boy with Osteosarcoma that had his leg taken 5 days after Eric.  They reattached his foot to his femur, so now his heel is his knee and his foot will help to hold his prosthetic on.  We had heard of this procedure, and Dr Randal spoke of it, but Eric was not a candidate for this procedure, because of the nerve damage, which translate to damage to his ankle.  We are happy with how he is healing and most of all feeling.  He is doing so well!!  Not to mention pretty excited about his new leg!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mt Nebo Jr High

When I opened these pictures it touched my heart!!  As you can see they are wearing Eric's wrist bands!  What a tribute to Eric.  He was on the track team in Jr High and loved it.  He did the high jump and long jump... I think it had to do with those long legs.

What a trooper, once again.  I wanted to do a little shopping for my "new" guest room, formally known as Eric's room.  Eric must have been really bored, because he was willing to tag along with me on my shopping adventure.  My "quick" trip into Lowe's proved to be a little more than just buying blinds.  Since I did not get a shopping basket, I kept piling things on Eric.  He said "What am I, your new shopping basket?"  Hey if it fits.... :)  His wheel chair did come in handy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Very Grateful

This weekend I have been thinking about how grateful I/we are for all the amazing blessings that we have been given.  If you will allow me to a moment....
Yesterday, Eric and I had such a fun day.  He chauffeured me around as I ran errands, not only for the theater, but for our home.  This was the first time he has been behind the wheel in 5 months... Yes I Know I should have warned you all to be extra careful because there was another teenage driver back on the road.  But it was good to see him not only doing "normal" teenage things, but to be so strong physically.  The past couple of months it would have been unheard of for him to watch a movie late Friday night and have the energy to be out and about all day Saturday.  (He was a trooper and watched a chick flick with me and Todd)  So then Eric and I had to get an action flick in, so we watched Thor in 3D yesterday.  I have to admit that Thor is better in 3D than 2D.  Unless I was too tired to appreciate the 2D version when we first watched it.  We watched it the night we came home from the hospital, after surgery.
Today at church the speakers spoke about being grateful.  And I am truly grateful for so many things.  This ugly thing called Cancer has taught our family many things about life, family, friends and the love from total strangers.  People have been a little sceptical how Eric is really handling not only the cancer treatments, but also losing his leg.  Until they get around him.  They understand quickly that he truly is handling it well.  His attitude is to move forward.  Not feel sorry for himself.  He has an amazing life ahead of him, just as normal as any one around us.  The difference is that he has learned at an early age that Life is VERY fragile and he has felt so much love not only from his family and friends, but also an overwhelming love from our Heavenly Father. 
There are so many twists and turns in this cancer process that he could be so much worse, but we have been blessed to see the progression of healing, strength and health.  The compassion that we have felt for those who have struggled far worse things, breaks our hearts.  Eric has mentioned that he feels so sorry for those young kids that have to go through Chemotherapy, not understanding why they have to be so sick.  That at least he understands why, and he also understands where he is in this process and knows that there is an end.  Eric's "end" is not very far away. 
I am Truly, Truly grateful for all your prayers and concerns.  I have felt your strength at times when I did not know if I could find my own strength.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Still Here

Eric is still hanging in there.  His blood counts are starting to drop, but they are still at a decent level.  If we can make it through the weekend with no fevers, I will start to breathe a little easier.  He had a ball last night with a group of friends watching the Dallas Maverick's game.  He was a little disappointed that they lost, but will be cheering on the next game.

We took a trip to the high school to get a game plan into place for his schooling. We wanted to make sure that he will be able to finish next year out and graduate with his class.  I feel really good about what was discussed and because he has worked really hard  the previous years, he will be able to start school the 2nd term next year and still be able to graduate with his class.  He realized that his hard work in school in the past, is paying off by being able to take off 3 terms and still be okay with credits.  He has been the master of his destination with no pushing from me and he has made very smart decisions.  I have to admit that it has been easy for me, to allow him to take care of his business!

Since we have had the opportunity to be home for a week and hopefully for another week, we have had a couple of opportunities to get out.  We were able to make it to the Pirates movie and we did laugh at Captain Barbosa when he reveled a special compartment on his "peg" leg.  Eric started to laugh and said that we needed to talk to Fit Well about adding that feature.  You are going to have to see the movie to appreciate this... :) .  Only Eric would use Gatorade. 
I remembered a funny story the other day and wanted to share it... before I forget.  When Dr Randal was explaining our options to Surgery as to take the leg or to try to save it, he turned to Eric and asked if he had any questions.  Eric said "Yeah will I be able to wear shorts?"  Dr Randal had to take a double take, because I think he was surprised at this question.  Then replied "Yeah, in fact people are going to be drawn to your cool new leg."  That is all Eric needed to hear and he had no more questions. :)  gotta love him!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What a great Day!

This is a picture of Eric getting his stitches out.  All 39 of them. 
We had to go get a "Good Responder" prize.  So we stopped by the mall and Eric picked out some new shorts.  It has been forever since we have been shopping that it felt kind of different.  We still found our way to the 2 stores we needed to hit. :)

We went to our appointment with Fit well and learned a lot.  It was encouraging because he asked what Eric liked to do and what his goals were.  Eric told him he wanted to get back to playing basketball, and Scott said that there is no reason why he could not be on the court before the season starts again.  It will be tight in the timing, but we will do what we can.  Eric will need be at Fit Well every week.  But we are going to plan on being there right before Eric goes into PMC for treatments.  We can hit 2 birds with one stone.   Eric is now sporting a Sterling Silver "Nylon"  ... Well it is a compression sock, and it does have silver in it.... It better because I saw the cost of it!  OH MY!
He told us that Eric could possibly be walking on his new leg in 4 weeks!  Eric was pretty excited about that.  He also told Eric what exercises he could start doing to regain some of his strength, so when his leg gets here, he will be ahead of the game.  So Eric is up to the challenge and ready to get active again.

Can you say Good Responder?

Eric had his stitches taken out today and we received the greatest news yet!! He is a good responder, which means that 95% of the cancer is DEAD!! We were shooting for 92% but because Eric is competitive he had to beat the minimum. I can't begin to tell you what a relief that news is! He still will have 11 more treatments to go and will finish on Sept 9. Eric has been saying all along that he will be a good responder, because he has called all of his other scans. The 95% number kept ringing in my ears yesterday and today. Apparently he was ringing in Eric's too. Now because Eric is a psychic his next prediction is that Daryl and McKell will be having a boy! What an amazing day! He just had 39 stitches taken out of his leg, there are more under the skin though but will devolve on their own. Now we are off to meet with the prosthetic guys! Will update more soon! Thank you for your prayers it really paid off today!

Monday, May 16, 2011

No News is good news!

All is well here.  Eric is feeling better from his treatments.  I am expecting his blood counts to drop wednesday to probably saturday.  So we will be on Germ watch.  Tomorrow he gets his stitches out, so we will update you on that progress.  There is not a lot to report on.  Which is good.  We still have not heard if Eric is a good responder or poor responder, hopefully tomorrow.  I will post the information as soon as I have it!  Eric says he is a good responder, so that is good enough for me. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Heart of a Champion

This was the plaque that was presented to Eric and the t-shirts they were selling, while he was at PMC Thursday.  I love the "Fighting for five" slogan. 
I know there are a lot of people that are worried about us and want to do what they can to help.  But to put your minds at ease... My amazing husband, Todd, has been fortunate to have a really good insurance policy that covers Eric.  We have met the deductible and the insurance company covers the rest 100%, until our deductible is due again.  It breaks my heart when I hear of people having to go through this cancer process with little or no insurance.  It also makes me so proud of those very caring and giving people who want to help out in a difficult situation.  I admire you for all your generosity.  I hope that some day I will be able to "pay it forward".  Thank you!
Eric is doing okay.  He is a little nauseous, and is trying to stay still and rest until it passes.  He says that he still feels so much better this round then he has in the past.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Missing posts

I am not sure what has happened, but a couple of the posts have been deleted.  It must have happened when the "blogger" updated their site. 

We are home and doing well.  It felt good to get home last night and we were both wiped out.  I heard great reports on the SHHS softball game yesterday where Eric was honored and they dedicated the game to cancer awareness.  Eric was very honored that he was recognized in that fashion.  Central bank has given Eric a book about a man who had his leg amputated when he was a teenager and is now in his 50's.  I told Brian that I am actually excited to read it.  I am sure that Eric will want to read it first.  Thank you Central Bank.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What a difference

I am shocked at what a difference this treatment has been compared to the others. He is receiving the same drugs and the same strength. Yesterday he shocked not only me and his nurses, but also the doctor. He was awake and EATING!! He ate more yesterday than he has all of his treatments combined. I asked him the other day if it felt good to have the tumor gone and he said "I feel so much better." I asked "is it more mentally or physically?" He said it was physically, but I can't help but think that it also plays on him mentally. The Cisplatin is done for this round, now we are waiting for the doxirubican to finish dripping. They have increased the drip flow so he will be done with this treatment at 8:00pm and said that if he felt up to it that we could go home tonight! I am totally leaving it up to Eric.
Coach DeGraffenried called yesterday and asked if we could make it to the SHHS softball game today that has been dedicated to Eric. I can never express enough how humbling it is for all the support from everyone. If there is a picture taken today, could someone please email it to me? Thank you all! You guys are the inspiration! And Good luck SHHS softball team!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Well on our way

Eric was welcomed back with open arms yesterday. I have spoken of Irish a couple of a times and I had to get a face to the name. So when he came to say hello to Eric I got a picture for you. He is also seen in a picture from Jerem's link. If you have not had a chance to watch his story (I posted it around Easter) you need to see it. It is pretty inspirational. But the nurse sitting on Jerems bed with a long pony tail was Irish about 10 years ago. He is a great nurse, we sure have appreciated him.

Danee and her mom also came to visit. She is such a darling girl! We just love her. We had heard that she was frusterated with her port and when she came to say hi to Eric, we got the low down. They have to remove her port and she has to finish her treatments through a pick line. She is amazing, because she is finishing up a month long treatment of radiation with chemo in between. She is from Shelly Idaho and so it is not an easy event to live here at the Ronald McDonald house for a month away from her family. But she has such an amazing spirit and attitude about her. I know it makes me want to stop whining. Eric does not do any whining it is always me. She has 4 more treatments left then she gets to ring the bell here at PMC. We told her we want to come and celebrate with her!!

Eric started his chemo last night and should finish up tomorrow night around 8:00. They told me that they would send us home after that. So I will see how Eric is feeling tomorrow afternoon and if all is well, we will take off tomorrow night. He will stay on fluids for a couple of nights to keep him hydrated, but that is okay, if it keeps him feeling okay.

Thank you for all your comments and I love the stories about Eric. I do read them to him. Today I would read a comment and he would fall back into a sound asleep, with all the drugs they have him on, so I had to repeat the latest emails and comments to him a couple of times. All is well!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ready to go again

Can I just say that Eric makes me laugh. We were walking into the hospital's main entrance when he looks down and sees a tissue attached to the front of his shorts. He grabbed it and said "how embarrassing" I was laughing and there was this lady waiting to be picked up at the main entrance and she was laughing. So she saw it too. What I think is funny is that people try not to look at Eric's leg but sure want to.
While we were waiting for Dr. Randal a kid came into the waiting room, he was about 8 years old and had a broken arm, and he said really loud "oh man did you break your leg?" Eric said "Yeah something like that."
Eric got an A+ from Dr Randal and Dr Spraker on his leg, heart and hearing. So all is well and they are just prepping Eric for the Chemo. This time he will get the doxirubican and cisplatin. So it will drip for 48 hours and then we will be able to go home. I am thinking friday morning we will be heading home. Where we now have a handle on what to do for his neausa, we should be okay... I say that as if I am the one getting treatment, but I sure feel it with him.


I apologize to all those wonderful people who have been thoughtful and provided amazing gifts of love and support, but I failed to recognize.  These wonderful gifts of love are very comforting.  Right before surgery, Eric was presented with this blanket from the primary in our ward.  All of the kids signed the blanket and the primary leaders put a lot of work into it by sewing it together.  As you can see, he is very cozy with all that love.

Well we are packing up and heading up to PMC for all the appointments this morning, and possibly admitting Eric for the next round of treatments.  We will keep you posted on what we learn and how Eric is doing.  Love to all of you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Love those shots

Todd told Eric that if he wanted some of Todd's yummy dutch oven potato's, he was going to have to come upstairs and have dinner with us at the table.  He didn't have to ask twice.  :)  Eric did his butt scooting up the stairs to get to the potato's.  Daryl thought it was quite entertaining to watch Eric maneuver down the stairs, but hey if it works....
I have had to give Eric shots this past week in his arms.  His arms are getting pretty sore, so when I came to him and told him it was time for his shot again, he starting groaning... I was being a smart al-lick by saying that I could give it to him in the butt and he said okay, so he got his shot in a cushier part of his body instead of his arms that do not have a lot of fat on them.  :) Man what I do for him....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful moms who love their kids more than their kids can even begin to imagine.  I have watched many different moms through out my life and have learned so much from you.  I know that when this whole cancer process started, I could feel so much love for my son from all of you!  Thank you!  So I hope you all have a great and relaxing day!

Eric got a great present today also.  He has been wanting to move downstairs into Tonya's bedroom since she got married 1 1/2 years ago.  But I have hesitated because he would be so removed from us... and you know how those teenagers are!  As I was laying in bed this morning, it dawned on me that the bathroom situation upstairs was going to be very difficult for Eric.  So I told Eric that we can move his room downstairs.  Needless to say he was very happy... not that he gets to pretend that the basement is his "apartment".  He has been living downstairs since we started treatments, because it was convenient for him to move from the family room to his room or bathroom.  So today was a great day for all, well Todd gets to slave over dinner for all of us, he may not think of it as a great day but we love him anyways!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Student Council

Eric received a great wake up call. This morning the Salem Hills Student council came to visit Eric and brought a huge stack of posters with "Get well" messages and a couple of t shirts with signatures on it.
He really enjoyed visiting with his friends.  They had mentioned that Eric made the news again, so I am including the link to 2 newspaper articles that were written about him. (one is from January that I had not read before.)


Right after they left, I received a call from Dr Sprakers office, and if Eric's leg looks like it is healing well on Tuesday, he will start the next round of chemo that afternoon.  We will back on the germ watch.  I wanted to cry, I was thinking we had a few more days, but Eric said "Oh well, might as well get it over with."  We will just enjoy our few days home before going back to our home away from home.


We are home and adjusting well.  It felt so good to get home and unpack all our things from the hospital.  Have I ever mentioned that we have amazing friends and neighbors?  Well if I have forgotten to mention that we do have the best.  Harward's brought up some Cinnamon rolls from Shirley's bakery, which were amazing.  Then Bill and Marilyn Berry (who just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary) brought Eric a candy bar poster.
I don't know if you can read it, but it is very clever.  Eric had just fallen asleep when they came, so he felt bad he missed them, but got a chuckle out of the poster.
Eric actually surprised me last night because after his long nap, he wanted to go watch a movie, so off we went to watch one of the new movies.  He said that it felt really good to do something "normal".  Not to mention, he was able to see a lot of his co-workers and friends.  It is quite the process to get him out of the basement (his cave), but he did really well.  I can tell he is getting stronger and stronger.  Then once at the theater we just put him in his temporary wheel chair and we were set.  All is well!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

First step

Here are the pictures of Eric taking his first steps. In the back ground you can see a little boy with a red shirt. He was the one who was a little freaked out by "the guy with no leg". The little kid is a little blurry. We had fun telling the story and joking about it.

We are coming home today!! Yeah!! Eric's nurse, Dan, that has been taken care of him for the last couple of nights, is a character, he has rings almost all fingers, bracelets and ear rings. He also has a white goatee, kind of the hippy type. Great guy, but this morning he told Eric that he was going to give him an enema for a going away present. He figured since he has already been violated, that he might as well finish it. :) Eric did not think it was funny. Dan even got a couple of cute young nurses to come in with the enema kit. I was laughing so hard, my stomach was hurting. It is called payback for all the joking he has laid on me, actually the nurses also.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New first steps

Eric did it!! He took his first steps on crutches. While he was walking, he asked how far he had to go. The PT said to the light, which made me think of Grandpa Lew when he would quote "a bug's life" when the bug says "Don't look at the light" and  the bug that is transfixed on the light says "I can't help it, it's so beautiful." Well the light was a beautiful moment for Eric when he reached it. He came back to his room and took a couple hour nap, had a blueberry muffin and PT was here again to do stairs.
Eric climbed 4 stairs and back down, so he has passed off the stairs and is cleared to go home, but I asked Eric if he felt comfortable to go home and he asked if he could have one more day to get stronger, so we will head home in the morning. I thought for sure we would beat Todd home from San Diego, but he will be the winner. :).
I have pictures of Eric taking his first steps but will have to download them later. Eric also had his first moment when a little guy saw Eric walking on his crutches and said "Look mom he doesn't have a leg." His mom was embarrassed and tried to push him around the corner. Eric's comment was "I think I am scaring that little kid." Well we got the first comment out of the way. There is only one way to go from here...UPwards!!

Eric is de junked

Yesterday was a great day in the fact that all the tubes were taken out! His nurse kept calling it "de-Junking". Eric was pretty anxious about taking the epidural out and worried about where his pain will be. But he made the transition with no problem at all. We had a new Physical therapist yesterday and all she did was have him stand and sit twice then pivot to his chair. That was it. Today he is suppose to take a walk on his crutches and once he passes off the stair challenge, then he will be cleared to go home. We may not make it home until tomorrow.... we will see. The earliest is tonight late. Eric had a day full of huge "next steps". Once he accomplished them he was amazed that it was not as bad as he thought. :)
The day Eric told Dr Randal to take his leg, it was a light easy day full of jokes and laughter, I asked Dr Randal if it would be possible to remove the..... "smart Al lick" gene, gland. Dr Randal laughed and said he would see what he could do. Well yesterday when he came to check up on Eric, Eric was making all kinds of wise cracks. Dr Randal said "as you can tell I was unable to remove the "Smart Al-lick" gene, it was not in his ankle.... Dang it! Then he said with a smile, that Eric's charater traits will continue to get stronger, just because he has gone through what he has. I am in major trouble!! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Making Progress

Yesterday was an okay day, we both got a little annoyed with the physical therapist, because I don't think she really knew or cared what she needed to do (she was pretty young). She brought crutches into Eric the day after surgery that would fit a kid about 5 foot tall and wanted Eric to go for a walk. Well with the Epidural that has his whole lower half numb, that was not going to happen and it goes from there.... Our favorite, Danata from Italy is not here. Dang it! But we did survive.
This morning, Dr Price came and slipped off his cast, so we saw the stitches for the first time. Now I am usually a wimp when it comes to stuff like this, but I have been trying to get in the right frame of mind for this time, because I did not want to pass out. When Dr. Price did get the cast and bandages off, Eric asked me if I was going to be okay and told me to sit down. Dr Price got this panic look on his face and said "Yeah we don't need you passing out of us." So I am quite proud of myself and I did pretty good. His leg does look like it is healing. Dr Price also said that in surgery they don't even use the skin next to the tumor, they don't even want to see the tumor at all, until it is far away from Eric. We should have the pathology reports sometime next week. Dr Randal also came in and talked to Eric. The plan today is they are going to take the epidural out and switch him to oral pain meds. Eric took a pic of his leg so he could see it and send a pic to a few of his friends and Daryl. I don't want to freak anyone out, so I won't post it. :)

Tonya called yesterday and told me of a story where a girl lost her life to bone cancer because the docs did not know what they were looking at and when they figured it out, it was too late. I can not express my gratitude enough for the quick diagnose and referral to get on top of this deadly disease. It has taken many lives. My heart goes out to any family living with cancer.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another great night

We had another great/peaceful night. It feels really good to get some sleep! :) Last night was a night of great appreciation. Dr Karl Weenig, came by to say hi and to see how Eric is doing. We owe Eric's life to Dr Weenig. He is the sports doctor that was going to "fix" Eric's fractured fibia, but recognized immediately that it was not a fracture but a tumor. Then he call Dr Randal immediately to get an appointment with him. Dr Weenig has stayed in contact with us throughout this process and he even has a "Merk" t-shirt, thanks to Kathy Treanor. He gave me a card with the name of another prosthetic guys, if I wanted to gather more details or guidance on this process of choosing a new leg. Dr Weenig stayed and visited with us for about 45 min and told us how sick he was the day he had to give us the bad news. Eric told him that what he wants to do what it takes to get back into shape so he can play basketball again next year. Dr Weenig said that he wants to be there for that game!! If you ever need a sports doc, I highly recommend him!!!

Oh Yeah I have not mentioned that Eric was voted Prom Prince of Salem Hills High School!! He was joking about how much money he saved by not being able to go... But he would have loved to go, if he was able.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Turning point

Today has been a day of learning and turning point. Great day!
First off, the pain doc and Dr. Randal came to check up on Eric, and were both pleased that he is feeling so much better. Tomorrow they will start to back off his epidural meds and start him on oral pain meds. By Tuesday they are hoping to have the epidural taken out completely then it will be matter of controlling his pain through oral medication completely.
Dave, the guy who put his cast on his leg in the operating room, came to visit and starting talking to Eric about the process of getting him fitted for his new leg. It was fascinating and actually Eric taught him a few things, so Dave is going to look into this new information. He will be back tomorrow to do a few things with his cast. While Dave was here, the elders here at the hospital came and gave Eric the sacrament, which Dave partook with us. It was actually a cool experience. Then Dave told Eric how he is one courageous young man and he will have no limitations, unless Eric imposes them on himself. He gave a few examples, but it was just a special moment. Dave even said that in the operating room, he had this feeling that Eric was pretty special, he probably tells that to everyone. But still a proud moment :).

A very cool thing happened though, we got tired of waiting for physical therapy to show up and Eric said his bum was getting kinda sore, so I asked the nurse, Matt if we could move Eric up to the lazy boy and he said yes we can. So it was scary, because this is the first time his leg has been moved, but we did it. He is now in a chair. He did say that it felt so good to be out of the bed. That is when the picture was taken. It is literally a huge step for him, and his pain is still not bad!!!! So I bet he will be spending more time in the chair over the next couple of days. I expect that we should be home on Wednesday. Eric will probably be up to visitors tomorrow and Tuesday while here at the hospital. Please contact me or him before making the trek up to see if he is.

Peaceful night

Wohoo we had a very peaceful night with sleep! Eric has not had a spasm since yesterday morning. The pain doc spent an hour on Eric yesterday and stayed in close contact with the nurse throughout the day, so I think we found a comfortable combination of meds. Because of the spasm that hit in the morning and all the drugs they gave him to relieve him, he slept all day. Todd came by around 4:30 to say hi, so when it was time for dinner around 6:00 we slipped out to grab a bite to eat and brought back prime rib for Eric, so it was good to see him awake, comfortable and eating. I told him I would bring prime rib if he promised that he would not have an "April fool's" stomach ache. :).
Around 3:00, yesterday afternoon the nurse came and said they were moving us to a different room. He said because of all our frequent flyer miles, we got an upgrade... and boy he was not kidding. Our room is twice the size, with a couch and lazy boy. So Eric and I enjoyed a peaceful evening watching movies, then he slept really well. Today the prosthetic guy and physical therapist is suppose to be here to move and adjust his leg, which is probably going to cause some anxiety with both of us, but necessary. So wish us luck. At least he will be able to sit in the lazy boy in stead of a wheel chair. So thank heavens all is well so far.