Thursday, July 1, 2010


I have so many thoughts racing through my mind lately. I think this post will be therapeutic for me. Lately my dads health is really beginning to scare me. There are days that I feel like an emotional basket case. His last visit to his oncologist was not too encouraging. His cancer levels have been creeping up the last little while, and the doctor told him that his pills and chemotherapy were no longer working. The doctor has now put him three different types of pills that have only been tested on animals. He only started taking the current medicine about 2 weeks ago. The list of side effects from the medicine makes me wonder if it is even worth taking them. The side effects include...internal bleeding, kidney failure, not to mention nausea, etc. He is also going in for regular blood transfusions. His ankles are always swollen and more often then not, he has no appetite.

While on vacation, my dad was sick for a day. It was torture seeing him with a fever all frail and fragile. I think I cried though 50% of sacrament meeting that day. I don't think that it helped that I was sitting behind him, and could see that he was struggling to just make it through that one hour meeting, with a fever and chills. It also didn't help that the opening song was "O My Father". My sisters and I sang that for my Grandpa D's funeral. The last verse is as follows...

When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

Good grief, even now, it is bringing tears to my eyes.

Monday my dad went to the doctor for blood work. They told him to stop taking his current medicine due to some results from the blood work. As of now, he is not taking ANY medicine until he hears from his oncologist in Utah. Not having him on anything is VERY unsettling to me.

Yesterday my mom and dad went to watch Brynn playing in a baseball game. My dad was sitting there watching the game and was suddenly sick. He walked behind some pine trees at the ball diamond, and started throwing up. This new medicine makes it come on quickly without much warning at all. Later that day I went over to my parents house to take my dad a chocolate shake (his FAVORITE). My mom informed me that he had just fallen in the backyard while doing yard work. His balance has not been good due to all the medicine. Thankfully, he did not hurt himself. Anyone who knows my dad, KNOWS that he is a work horse. Hearing little things like that...well they just start to push my panic button and the tears start to flow.

This morning my dad had to go have blood work done. Following the blood work, he and my mom went to a funeral for a lady in their ward. Right before the funeral he was once again sick. My mom said that he kept falling asleep in the funeral. After the funeral they went to the hospital for another blood transfusion. My mom said that sometimes this type of cancer can just start eating away at your bones. I simply cannot bear the thought of my dad suffering. Sometimes I envy my siblings that don't live around here...simply because ignorance is bliss.

I know that my time is limited with my dad. The crazy thing is, time could be limited with lots of people that I love. Time could be limited for me, for all I know. It really does start to put things in perspective. I don't know how people can get through hard times like this, without the knowledge of the gospel and forever families.

President Monson said,
"Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching come the changes.

This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."

I sure am learning that it doesn't matter how big your house is, what kind of car your drive, how much money you have in the bank, is all boils down to family and the gospel. I have my great parents to thank for that knowledge. I love my dad and hope that I have many more years with him. (My sweet mom too).


lindygirl said...

This is all too real for me right now. I am sorry that you are going through this. It is very difficult to watch your parents suffer and let your mind wander about what will happen and when.
I agree that I have no idea how people handle things like this without the knowledge that we are given. I know that there are times that ONLY the Savior can carry us and heal us. I am so thankful for a wonderful family and a loving Savior. I hope that you will be blessed and supported in this difficult time.
Lots of love,

Ashley and Cody said...

Heidi I'm sorry to hear the news about your dad. I can't imagine the time when I might have to go through this with my parents. I loved the quote at the end, and it really does put everything into perspective. Our good friends from dental school the Gallups, just told us their 3 year old has a bad form a cancer that has spread throughout his body. It really has made me wake up the last few days and realize how short life can be. I'm so thankful to have the gospel but it is still hard to see the ones we love suffer. Hang in there!!

Peterson Pack of Wild Dogs said...

Heidi, I was simply touched by your post with the sweetest picture that captures your dad in his early days. You have been through so much with your dad's health. You're right, sometimes ignorance is bliss, but your support is what your dad probably needs the very most right now. You are a strong person and no matter the outcome has the complete right attitude. You are an amazing example to him, your mother, your siblings but most importantly to your children. Hugs to you long distance from us all.

Tai said...

I am so sorry to hear that you are going through such a hard time right now. You are such an amazing person and I look up to you and your family so much. I also appreciate the perspective it gives me on lif but wish that you didn't have to suffer so I could gain a little perspective and love my kids and family a little more. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope you can find peace through this trying time in your life. you are one amazing person!! Love ya!

Erin said...


I'm so sorry! I love your parents, they have always been such great examples to everyone. How is your mom holding up? Probably like the rock she always is! I'm so glad your whole family was able to spend time in Florida together, you will cherish those memories forever. I don't know how anyone makes it through life without the knowledge of the gospel. You and your family are in our prayers.

Emily Andrus said...

Thanks for the update Heidi. That is so scary--no medicine at all. I love President Monson's words. Thanks for sharing that. I have been thinking about that sacrament meeting and the many impressions I felt throughout the week in Florida. We wish we could be closer especially now.

Curtis & Nichole said...

thanks for the update.....sometimes ignorance is bliss BUT you & other family members are extremely lucky to live SO close by. What a blessing to have the opportunity to be with him during these days. Take advantage for us who live far away !

Love ya