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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Honored by Representative Jason Chaffetz

There is so much going on in Eric’s life right now, but today was a shining star.  During Eric’s US Government class with Mr/Coach Griffin, Eric was honored by receiving a Congressional Record presented by US Representative Jason Chaffetz. 
Rep Chaffetz was explaining why he was at the High School today.  He then read the Congressional Record that he presented to the US House of Representatives in Washington DC on January 17, 2012.
He is a very down to Earth guy.  Mr Chaffetz knew that Eric had recieved his mission call and congradulated him on his call.

 Mr. Griffin asked Eric if he would like to give a speech. Eric kept it short and sweet and thanked everyone for their support during his struggle last year. 

This is the document presented to the House of Representatives in Washington DC

 It was very humbling for Eric to receive this honor, Mr Chaffetz then handed Eric his business card and told him that if he needed anything to call him, and especially when he gets home from his mission.

Once again, we are very humbled by the attention given.  I was proud of Eric at his attitude last year and the changes it made in him.  It is just an honor to be a part of the many recognitions he has received.  More important is the honor to still have Eric here with us, healthy and strong!  Please keep those still fighting this ugly thing called cancer in your prayers.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Missionary Bike???

Eric received his welcome packet from the Sacramento Mission President today and there was a section on obtaining bikes....There was also a disclaimer that if you are a sister missionary or a Asian speaking missionary, you can skip this portion of the information packet.  McKell missed the part of "Asian SPEAKING" and only heard Asian missionary and wondered why they were discriminating against the Asian missionaries.  :)  Well as you can imagine our family was teasing Eric about not being able to ride a bike, so he had to prove that he could ride a bike!
With the help of Big Brother, Daryl found a clamp in the garage and clamped Eric's foot onto the pedal

The first attempt was pretty shaky... but he was determined.  It did not help that with Todd and Daryl teasing him, he was not willing to allow a silly bike ride defeat him.  I have to admit that there are a couple of pictures that are not allowed on this blog....  We do need to keep it uplifting... Don't Ask!

I thought he was doing pretty dang good!

He is pretty proud of himself.  Then he had to have Daryl come and unscrew him from the bike!  We had a great laugh and Eric proved that he could be a bike riding missionary.


Here are some pictures of a great night at Prom.
Big Brother helping dress Eric

Everyone gathered at the theater until the Limo arrived


The Limo had arrived

What a gorgeous group of kids, I don't say that with disrespect, but to me they are kids.... young adults?

They were patient with me as we took pictures

This one is actually one of my favorites


Sami and Eric

They said they had so much fun!  It is hard to believe that my "Baby" will be out of school in 1 month and this is the last of the school dances!  But they do look beautiful!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby crunches

Macklyn is so funny, she has been doing stomach crunches for a couple of months.  Eric said that she is getting ready for the bikini season.

(click link below to view video)
baby crunches

Isn't she just the cutest?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Broken Foot

This is what Eric's foot looks like without the "foot" on

It is hard to see, but the spring has several layers to it which have seperated.

So we fixed it the best way we know how.... Duct Tape!  Well until the replacement is here

Then the hard part was to put the foot back on.  It is a tight fit for a reason

Almost done.  I thought you may be interested what his foot looks like.  You have seen the leg, but the foot is always covered with a sock and shoe, so there you go.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

6 Months Clean!

Today was a very full day.  We started at Primaries Children Hospital at 9:00 for all the scans.

1.       CT – chest x-ray – Clear!

2.       X-ray of his lower leg – still not there, hasn’t grown back yet, … but all is good!

3.       Lab work – All his blood counts are great and have almost returned back to normal (apparently it can take up to a year for his blood counts to settle down in the “Normal” range.)  His ANC is 2000, still not high enough to kiss Sami, (Sorry Sami).

4.       Bone Scan
This is Eric getting his bone scan.  The screen at the top shows his skeleton as the machine works it way down his body.  His kidneys and bladder are lite up bright with all the radioactive dye trying to leave his body.

  First off, the technician got Eric’s hopes way up by telling him that his growth platelets were still open…the scan had only gone from the top of his head to his collar bone.  So Eric got really excited that he could possibly grow taller and his shoulders would grow broader…. As the scan continued down his body, it was very clear that the platelets are closed.  This information did not surprise me, but disappointed Eric.  OH Well!

5.  Next stop was Dr Sprakers Office, She is just a crack up.  She is so full of life and excited for Eric and his mission call.  So we mapped out a game plan.  She is going to find a Pediatric Oncology hospital in Sacramento and get in contact with a doctor there to work with, as Eric continues with his regular checkups and scans.   We thought Dr Spraker was our last appointment, but she had talked to Dr Randall this morning and he said he wanted to see Eric too.

6.  Off we went to Dr Randalls office.  It was good to see him and we could not help but come out of the hospital so happy, fearless and so loved.  I know that sounds weird to say that we are loved by these wonderful people that saved Eric’s life, but we truly feel so happy and loved by them and we certainly share that feeling with them.  We were truly blessed to have these wonderful doctors and nurses caring for Eric.

7.  Last stop in SLC was Hanger Prosthetic.  Eric’s foot had been making some funny noises, so they tore apart his foot and he had shredded his foot.  They have never seen this on this particular foot until it is about 10 years old…. This foot is only 3 months old.  So he has gone through 2 knees and 1 foot!  Phil laughed and told him to do his worse and Eric took that to heart!  Well now Phil is doing his homework to line Eric up with a prosthetic company in Sacramento to take care of him and also get a game plan in place before he flies out to CA and after. 

To say that today has been a very productive day not to mention we love hearing that he is still CANCER FREE would be an understatement!  All is well at our home!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Eric gets his answer to Prom

First off, Eric LOVES YooHoo!  So knowing this Sami filled this huge tote full of YooHoo and asked if I would help her answer Eric to Prom.  I knew that where she was out of town with her family, he would not expect to get an answer this week.  Well... he does not realize how good I am at keeping a secret. 
The problem is he has either been at work or close by me.  So today, Eric was working and I was hoping to keep him busy while I set this up.  I was in front of the theater, on the phone and I look out the window and there is Eric looking into the car.  I thought the surprise was blown.  After I got off the phone, I was making casual conversation with Eric and realized that he did not pay attention to the back seat and was oblivious to what was going on. 
While he was in the office, I hauled the very heavy tote upstairs to the projection booth and with some help from Jessica, set this up.  I also closed the door a little so when he walked toward the booth, he would not see the display.  He opened the door and was shocked!  I had already left the theater and got the phone call from him!  He was in Heaven with all the YooHoo, not to mention he is set for Prom!  I told Eric I was going to break open all the packages and stack them and he said he was very relieved that I did not.  :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Such Excitement

Eric has been floating on air this past week as he shares with friends and family about his mission call.  He has been doing research about the Laotian language and ready for the challenge. 
On March 30, Eric and I had the opportunity to speak at a morning side for the Salem Hills Seminary.  Eric did a great job.  He is a natural as he spoke in front of a couple hundred close friends.  He told them about how his prayers were answered during the many ups and downs on his journey last year and how it prepared him to want to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.
Other things going on in Eric's life?... well he asked Sammi to Prom which will be on April 28, we had a great visit with Uncle Dave and Aunt Teresa the past 2 weekends.  Eric spent Easter Sunday with Daryl and McKell and McKell's family in Marysvale, he past off his last packet needed to make up missing credits from last year and if he is not working, he is golfing.  Tough Life!

We have scheduled his mission farewell for July 15th.  So please mark your calendars and come join us.  Our sacrament meeting starts at 11:00 am at the chapel located on 259 E Alpine Dr Elk Ridge Utah.