Monday, April 13, 2009


I am so sorry for keeping you all in the dark for so long but the last seven days have been really rough on me and have not felt able to blog. As you all may remember from my last entry I was going to Portland to have a pic line put in my arm to help battle the vasiculitis in my veins. Well that proved to be more than a walk in the park.

So here is the story:

On Friday the 3rd, after attempting to teach for the day Em and I headed to Portland to find out what was wrong with my arm. The doctors were worried that I might have had a blood clot and that could have led to a stroke. To make matters a little more serious, I have been having a lot of trouble with my blood pressure. Every time I have gone to the doctors in since discovering the tumors my blood pressure has been elevated and it has not been brought under control with medication. The doc's had already tried a regiment of steroids to address the arm problems and all that they did was to make me really sick. The trip down on Friday was quite nerve racking. I was very motion sick, my arm burned like it had been dipped in acid, and I was exhausted from not sleeping in several days. Once we got to Portland I was quickly admitted to see the doc and he had a couple tricks that seemed to help. The best thing that he did for me was a treatment of IV morphine. For the first time in days I was able to rest without pain and I slept. As for what happened after that I am not sure. It is a good thing that Em was with me because I was out of it. But the ride home was tough because at about The Dalles the Morphine wore off and my only option was some new pain medication that the doctor sent me home with. It wasn't nearly as effective.

I then had Saturday and Sunday to try to feel better but I was wiped out. The new pain medication put me in an awful state. At one point I think I may have gotten over medicated and my body was just going in and out of control. Between the pain killers, steroids, anti naussia medication, high blood pressure,and anti agitation meds I was sick. Sadly Saturday was RyLee's 4th Birthday Party and I was in bed for the whole time. I could not even get up long enough to be there for the singing of Happy Birthday. I have never felt so wiped out. I spent Sunday looking at pictures of the party and hearing about the adventures that RyLee had with her girl friends. It sounded wonderful! Princesses, dresses, jewelry, dancing, cupcakes, crafts, and lots of little girl giggles. I really am sad that I missed it. Emma Lee did an amazing job planning and putting on RyLee's BDay party. Especially while balancing my needs, work, Katelyn, and just everyday household stuff. AMAZING. I want to hire a maid to help Emma Lee out but what she really needs is a good vacation.

That brings us to Sunday night. My brother Joe and his wife Kelsey who live in Salem opened their house up to us to spend the night. So Em and I loaded up in our Toyota Highlander once again and took off for Salem. I was very very ill. I think we stopped 20 times between Pendleton and Salem. Every corner, curve, and bump in the road became my nemesis. It was nice to see both of them but I just sat in the arm chair mostly and went to bed. I was really appreciative that they had dinner made for us. Even though I did not feel like eating the food looked so good I sat down and ate a little. Then Monday morning we proceeded to the hospital to have my pic line put in. It went okay. The IV nurse had a little trouble getting it in the right place because of all of the problems in my chest with the thoracic surgery that I had in February, the location of the tumors, and the sensitivity I have been having. There was a point where I felt like a hair dryer was blowing on me and I had a lot of trouble breathing. The nurse had to back out the line and position it a little different way and then I was ok. I took almost four hours to place the pic line. By the time we got out of the hospital I was so tired and once again so drugged up that I felt like crap. We then started the long trip home.

I went to work on Tuesday. That was enough.

Then on Wednesday the day started okay but after teaching a couple of period I had a episode where I could not breath very well. It did not last very long but it required me to go to the Hospital in Walla Walla to see what was going on. The problem turned out to be that the pic line had moved on me in my chest and caused a reaction. But other than that episode the pic line seemed to be okay so Emma and I quickly headed back to Pendleton because Wednesday was RyLee's birthday and the family was coming over for presents and cake and ice cream to celebrate the actual day. I was so happy that I was able to be there for that. I was tired but I hide it as much as possible because I wanted RyLee's day to be about her and not my illness.

On Thursday I had to do something that I havn't had to do in years. One of the things that I have given up to conserve my energy and because many of my meds will not allow me to do is dive. So I called my father and asked him if he could come to my school and give me a ride home. It probably has been 15 years since I called my dad from school and asked for a ride home. I had to get home because RyLee's recital was that night at the Pendleton Convention Center. The plan was that I would watch Katelyn and we would be picked up later by Emma Lee's mom who would drive us to the recital. This made it easier but the recital was really long and the ballet group was the last to perform. RyLee was so beautiful and her performance was really well done.

Which brings us to Friday a chemo day. Well in order to get my chemo treatment my brother-in- law and father-in-law worked out a plan where my Brother-in-law would drive my father-in-law's new pickup down and back to Portland in one day to give Emma Lee and I a little break. It was so nice that Colin was able to do that. The day was long because it was my first treatment using the pic line and because of the problems that I had with the pic line my doctor wanted us to stay in the Portland area for a while to make sure that their would be no problem before we hit the road home to Pendleton. But all went okay. Was tired and more nauseated than I ever had been but okay.

Then it hit. This last weekend I have been so wiped out and nauseated. Easter Weekend :( I was able to get myself together enough to take my family to Easter Brunch at Wildhorse. The kids loved it. They got to eat all sorts of fun food and even had choclate covered rice crispy treats from a chocolate fountain. It was a lot of fun. After we got home I helped Emma get the kids down for naps and then I worked on resting too.

Now it is Monday and after having a real rough night I am at work. I have just taken a couple minutes to take the time to post this blog that I wrote mostly last night. I hope you are all are doing well. sorry for all of the errors and typos but not much time to proof read.


  1. Hello there sir. There is no text to this blog. Possibly the title is trying to send me a message to be patient until the blog appears. Perhaps?

  2. Don't worry about typos & errors silly man! You have much more important things to spend time on right now, like being a wonderful father, partner, and taking care of yourself.
    I got your text message, but I can't remember if I replied to it, and I accidently deleted my inbox and outbox on my phone, so I suppose I will never know for sure. I am home safe and feeling much better. We make quite the sickly pair don't we?

  3. Thinking of and praying for you, Chris. If you need anything (that I can mail...:D) let me know. I've got lots of good audio books I could send so you have something to listen to while you're wiped out...

  4.!!!??? Where was I??? That sounds like super fun!!! Its so inspiring how strong you are for your family as well as your students, I also love how you can even take some time to write about how you're doing. I'm praying for you and your family.