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, September 25, 2012

Family Pictures

The night before Eric's farewell we were able to have family pictures taken.  Here are a few of my favorites
What good looking kids!

Macklyn will be a thrill seeker, I am afraid, when she continues to grow.  :)  Daryl will be the reason for this, Sorry McKell.

This is the whole family... we have really grown!  I LOVE IT!  Families make this life so worthwhile.
In Eric's email this morning, he said he now has his travel plans for California and is so excited.

Eric also ran into our dear friends Mike and Bonnie (aka Tonya's In laws) and Bonnie could not help herself, she gave Eric a hug for her then had to give him another one for me, except my hug was longer.  :)   The funny thing is, you are not suppose to hug missionaries and Bonnie knows this.  Of course how can you refuse Bonnie?

While walking the halls of the MTC, he mentioned that he has been stopped and asked if he is Eric Merkley because they have read his story ... on this blog.  Some have asked him if he is the Elder with one leg.  How can you not laugh at this... I guess it could be worse, his notoriety could be due to something embarrassing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

So Much Excitement

I received a letter yesterday from Eric and then an email today.  All I can say is "Wow, he has grown up so much." 
Eric is so excited because they just got word that the complete translated Book of Mormon will be available by the end of this month.  He has been working with parts of the Book of Mormon that has been translated into Laotian, but is so excited to be able to have the complete book in his hands. 
Thursday he will also receive his travel plans for SACRAMENTO!!  It will be another indication that he is getting closer to spreading his wings in California.  I am so happy for him to be able to get out of the MTC.  With the training, lessons and teaching exercises, he is to the point where the best refining teacher will be "real life experience".  I can't wait to hear the many stories that will come from California.
A couple of weeks ago, Eric blew out his 3rd knee.  What is hard to believe is he sits in a classroom for hours on end and his knee sprung a leak again.  So he has been working with Hangers Prosthetic to not only fix his broken knee, but to find an easy solution for Eric while in California.  The good thing is there is a Hanger office in Sacramento.  So an extra knee has been ordered and he will be trained how to swap them out.  I know that this whole prosthetic leg situation has been a learning experience, but I wished that we started with Hangers from the beginning, instead of Fit Well, because Eric would not have been fitted with this particular knee to begin with.  This knee has been known to break down for no reason.  It is frustrating when you have a hydraulic portion of the knee break and start to leak oil all over your clothes... not pretty.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teaching in Lao

Eric only has 2 1/2 weeks left to go in the MTC. He is so ready to get out of the MTC.

I love Tuesdays and Thursday, because on Tuesday's I get an email.  On Thursday’s I get a letter with more details.  This week was fun to hear of an experience he had teaching a “Real” Lao person.  They taught the first lesson on Prayer. It went really well, a great teaching experience.  He received a note from Von about their experience.   I could tell by Eric's letter that this note was just the boost he needed to stay focused at the MTC and he cannot wait to head to Sacramento.

Apparently the Temple serves the best Waffles and Sausage.  He said that they were so amazing and when I go to the temple again, I needed to go early and have waffles, because I will be so blessed.  J  Poor guy the MTC food is really getting to him.

He has not gained weight, which he is proud of.  Of course if you do not eat junk food, how do you expect to?  He still will not eat sugar, because it tastes like tin to him.  Weird, I know!

I came across these pictures from our Jackson Hole trip.  Daryl and Eric have to compete in everything.  I thought they were still fun to see.. So here you go.

 Eric won!  HEE HEE

 This is Macklyn at church.  She has been naughty and spending a lot of time in the lobby.  :)  I just sent Eric a copy of these pictures because it knew it would make him laugh... I sure did.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

1 Year!

I cannot believe that it has been 1 year (well almost) since Eric finished his treatments.  One year ago he was so close to finishing the last treatments, when his body was just too exhausted to continue.  As frustrating as it was, it was necessary for his body to heal  in order to endure the final treatments.  Last year seems so far away, but yet it still seems like it was yesterday and is still a tender memory.  The strong feelings as we walked out of the hospital after finishing the last chemo treatment of wondering if it was enough to kill all those cancer cells floating in his body.  Well today as Eric went to PCMC for his last set of scans before heading to Sacramento helped to rest assure me that all was well.  It was a gift from heaven to hear this great news and even better was the news from Dr Spraker, as we spoke on the phone tonight of how impressed she was of Eric and how he had touched so many lives.  She said that she knew that I had to be proud of him.  That statement cannot even begin to touch the surface of how much I love this kid. 

I love hearing all the great stories of how much he has learned and grown while in the MTC.  I know that he is very anxious to get out into the “Real World” and begin to get to know the Lao people.  The 6 Laotian speaking missionaries in the mission field are all in Sacramento.  When Eric and the group of Elders who all have been working hard to learn the lao language will continue to work together in Sacramento.

He said that hard part of the MTC has been that he has greeted several groups of new missionaries and then have sent them off to their missions…. Only to stay behind.  But the next group that will be greeted by Eric and his group will have the opportunity to leave with them also.  They are truly looking forward to October 2. 

I love his letters and the stories he tells me, here are some more pictures that I was able to get my hands on. 

The boys were having fun with these glow sticks and this is the Lao word for Heart.

This means Love

This is the chair he sits in all day long studying.  I feel claustrophobic for him... But he has had such a great attitude.
And of course we have to show the name tag.  :) 

What a great day to know that he is now 1 year clean of any cancer, and ready to begin a new adventure.