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.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

9 months and still clean

Eric's favorite toy to play with while waiting for Dr Spraker

This is the look of "Seriously MOM!!" when he realizes I am taking his picture.  LOL  See he is not always so sweet!  :)

With all the busy things to accomplish before his mission, we needed to bump up his 9 month check up by 2 weeks.... which is okay.  and the results came in as CLEAN!!!  YEA!!!  Of course we figured everything would look great.  Dr Spraker has been in contact with a Pediatric oncology hospital in Sacramento to order his check ups and be there if anything should arise in the next 2 years.  This hospital is part of the Oncology group that PCMC participates in, so they use the same protocol as Dr Spraker would.  We are just about set and ready to send off Elder Merkley ... and yes I have been having a hard time getting a grip, but....he will be a great missionary and I have to take a deep breath and send him off... in other words, I don't want to talk about it!  :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Prayers are needed

We have just heard some very devastating news today.  Eric’s Friend who stood by him throughout  last year, just lost his mom to cancer today, our thoughts and prayers go out to Quinn’s family.  As you hug your family tonight, please keep Quinn’s family in your prayers during this tough time.  And also keep the many friends who are still waging this battle against cancer in your thoughts and prayers also.

Eric and Quinn in Moab the first of this month.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Girls Camp

Eric had the oppurturnity to speak at girls camp last night.  He did an amazing job. He shared his experiences from last year and bore his testimory.  It was a huge "mom payday" to hear him say the things he said.  Even though there have been forces trying to keep Eric from going on his mission, I also believe that there have been legions of Angels watching over him and protecting him, not to mention a mom that has threaten to put him in a padded room.  I am excited for him and the many new lessons and experiences he will have on his mission to continue to refine him into the young man that Heavenly Father wants him to be.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jackson Hole Adventure

Eric has been looking forward to our big family vacation before he leaves on his mission.  We went to Jackson Hole Wyoming for the week for a fun time on the snake river rafting and hiking in the Tetons.  It was an adventure.... here are a few pictures with the stories...

Todd left in the bigger - blue boat with the girls and "the boys" were in the paddle boat, Daryl, Eric, Clint (Tonya's Husband) and Brandon (Todd's son)  I was instructed to take the truck and trailer to boat pick up dock....I knew it would take about 1 1/2 hour so after I shuffled all the cars around I waited and waited and waited by the dock.  I have to admit that panic started to set in when I realized that it was now 2 1/2 hours and no sign of them...

When I saw the boys, I was so relieved, until I started to hear what happened....  Tears started to come to my eyes, I am not going to lie!  Apparently when the boys were rafting, they went through some rapids and the water pushed the boat up against a rock cliff.  Eric was catapulted through the air and into the water.  The raft was overturned with Clint caught up in the rope underneath the raft.  He did have a pocket of air until he was able to break free from the rope.  All 4 boys were accounted for and the other boat was breathing a little easier.  Until Eric came up missing.  Eric was caught into an Eddie and could not move.  He was submersed and fighting to break away and breathe again.  Clint looked around and could not see Eric and noticed the orange color under the water and swam over and pulled him up out of the Eddie.  Clint was Eric's guardian angel today.  They were pretty shaken, but had no choice but to get back on the boat and finish the ride.  Eric had a video going during this ride and I have included links at the bottom of this blog to view.  I figured he was submerged about 20 seconds and the water is a toasty 52 degrees.

This is Eric happy happy happy to be on solid ground again. (He is the one laying on the hot cement and Daryl is the one with the white t-shirt) (Clint is still working with the boat) Daryl did run up and gave Macklyn a big kiss.

The next day we decided to stay on solid ground, so we hiked around Jenny Lake in the Grand Teton National Park.  It was amazingly beautiful
Eric's New friend
In front of Hidden falls.
So after Todd took another trip down the snake Saturday afternoon, Eric wanted to ride the last rapid before his mission.  He helped with the vehicle transportation during the first trip down the Snake.  He is checking the Video camera and was ready to set off again.
I knew that everyone was safe and sound on Todd's boat, because he has ran this river many times and for many years.
This is the boat coming into the rapid called "Lunch Counter"  they were pretty excited for the adventure at this point.

The boat had taken on a lot of water at this point
They were almost out of the hole
This is where things started to go wrong
I was screaming at this point and in shock!  The boat flipped over on this huge rapid.  When I saw Todd sailing through the air, I knew they were in major trouble.

This is were I quit taking pictures and started yelling at Daryl to go help them.  He took off running.  The funny part is, there is absolutely nothing he could do to help.  But he took off running.
This is the boat in calmer waters for a few minutes
The the other rafters came to help.  Todd, Tonya and Nikki (Todd's Daughter) was able to climb on top of the overturned boat.  Eric and Clint were picked up by a fellow rafter.  They made it to shore, right after Todd, Tonya and Nikki had to ride the next set of rapids on top of the over turned boat, with nothing to hold on to... did I mention the water is 52 degrees?
This is fearless very wet and very cold rafters.  Eric decided to finish the ride in front.

After I hugged them all, I grounded Eric from any adventurous activities and told Todd he was sleeping in the truck tonight, I did calm down.... kind of!  Eric is still grounded from adventurous activities, and I did not make Todd sleep in the truck.  :)  We had a great trip and we did laugh a lot.  These stories will live in our family for many years to come.  I am sure it will even get better with time.  But Eric is still grounded.  :)

Click on these links below to view the video Eric took while he was going into the water on the Snake.
When you see Eric struggling under water, you will see Clint in the orange vest saving his life.
Eric and crew flips the boat on the Snake

Eric talks about the near death experience

video of Todd flipping the boat on the rapid called Lunch Counter

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gun, Guns and more Guns

Eric was invited to come join a small group from Make a wish to  learn more about the different areas within the Sheriffs department, Swat, K-9 team, motorcycle officers etc.  to visit the shooting range and also the Park City Fire Department.... How can you turn down shooting a gun, right???
Sheriff Winder gave Eric his official "Deputy" identification.  Eric was pretty excited about this and ready to flash this ID to any officer who may pull him over....

We were shown how talented these dogs are.  This dog just found a pouch of drugs.

As we were learning about the different tools the SWAT teams uses, Eric was dressed in their protection gear.  Sheriff Winder was showing Eric the proper "Stare" to use when faced with a potential bad guy.

Ready to go

Eric was given the opportunity to shoot off this grenade launcher.  It had a foam rubber tip on the very large bullet.  They said it would feel like a fast baseball hitting you.

He was enjoying this way to much!

He tried to talk them into taking this bike for a spin, but for some reason they did not think it was a good idea.  Sheriff Winder said that he better watch Eric very close!

We made it up to the shooting range, in Parleys canyon, they started us off with a paint ball gun filled with baby powder.

As we made our way to the range, we came across this sign!!  I guess the rattle snakes are everywhere!  They need to frequently "relocate" these special friends.  Eric shared his "Snake story" and as he was telling Sheriff Winder about clubbing his new friend with the golf club, the sheriff explained that in the state of Utah Rattle Snakes are protected!   WHAT???  WHY????  OOPS, you know nothing!

Everyone was given the opportunity to shot the automatic gun.  Eric and Tim's Dad, Cory was able to shot the "Big Gun" (AR15) You could not wipe the smile off his face

I honestly did not plan of shooting this gun, (I had the smaller, nicer one) a MP5.  I have to admit that it was a lot of fun and when you pulled the trigger for the single shot, cool... 3 round shot... WOW... Fully automatic.. OH MY HEAVENS!  It was a good thing they helped to brace me, because you could not focus on one spot with it popping like crazy.  Lot of fun!  And it was confirmed that the bad guy is dead!

This is Eric's target, he went for the head and neck.

Tim had the opportunity to put out a few cones with the hose.  Park City Fire department was very generous and put on a demonstration in the mock fire and rescue.  I have a greater appreciation for these people and what they do to protect us.  This day was so much fun!  Thanks!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dare Devil Eric

Part of Eric's Make a Wish was a certificate to sky dive in Moab.  Well we were able to have a lot of fun this weekend. 
Eric and Todd getting ready to climb in the plane


If I had not seen the video I would have thought that he was getting sick to his stomach, but he is not, he is blowing a kiss!

Soft Landing...

Then we hiked to Delicate Arch in the evening.

Eric and Quinn admiring the view on the Jeep ride through the park on Saturday

Eric decided to do some rock climbing
Dave came out of the cave not expecting to see a leg :)

On Top of the World

This was at a look out over Dead horse point

 This was such a fun weekend.  Cherished memories.  The Daredevil in Eric is really coming out strong.  He does not want anything to hold him back.  I was asked on the jeep ride if it bothered me that he climbed up on top of those rocks, and there is no way I would try to set his limits.  This world sets to many limits on all of us.  Eric is the master of his destination and will set his limits..... the SKY!