Feed your FAITH and your fears will starve .

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chemo: Day 5

Trent: It was great to see the kids today. It was a huge plus waking up and knowing that my kids were coming. It made a huge difference for me. I loved having them come to the hospital and get to be with them and love them. That was definitely a high point. The afternoon was a low point. But then we decided we had to win every day so we made it a winning day.
This is what keeps me going...always looking at my family and knowing I have to beat this for them.

Holly: My take on today-I almost thought that it was another win for cancer. I might have said so much to Trent too. But he turned it around. He had a rough day with the vomiting and pain but he was not going to let it get to him. We had fun with the kids around lunchtime. We brought lunch and games for them so they didn't just sit around and look at Trent. I had prepared them beforehand as to what he looked like with the tubes and such and they all did great. Mallory even snuck up to Trent and laid her head on his and said, "We got this beat, Dad." Oh what a sweet girl she is! It was so good to have all the family together. We had a ton of fun until Jonathan needed a nap and that was the cue to leave.

After I had dropped off the kids I came back to the hospital and coaxed Trent outside in the wheelchair. He could only handle it for about two minutes and then we headed back inside to rest. Hopefully next time it will be long enough to make it worth all the manuvering with the wheelchair, the IV pole, the elevators, and the doors! Seriously I think they could work out a better system!

Dinner time was good. Trent was so sick of hospital food he asked for a Subway sandwich instead. So I ran across the street and got one for him. He downed some jello-which he promptly threw up, then downed the whole sandwich and a bowl of fruit. We were happy about that. He is down a few pounds since he came in but his weight has been all over the place. He started out by going up about ten pounds-mostly fluids they were pumping in, then back to the original weight, and now down a few. Besides the five day shawdow he is looking okay.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. The difference is tangible. We are going to beat this and all the love and encouragement is going to make the difference!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chemo: Day 4

Another one in the W column! Today was another good day overall. The doctor came to see Trent about 9:00 am and we decided it was best to lower the dose by 25% today and see how that goes. So around 11:00 they started the chemo again. Trent did really well up until about 6:00 when he had a rough bout with nausea and a bit of vomiting. I think the smell of his dinner did him in. So we are going with cold foods for awhile.

The Mathisons came today and brought some church music. We put it in right after they left and it made such a difference! Later Eric and Bro. Roper brought us the sacrament. I am so grateful to have that experience today. It was just like any other day but having the sacrament made it Sunday.

We called the kids and talked to all of them. How we miss them! We cried like babies when we heard their sweet little voices. Trent hadn't wanted them to see him all sick and with tubes everywhere but after that phone call it didn't matter. I am going to pick them up tomorrow and bring them up to the hospital for a while. We just need to be together. Rasmussens are strong (as Mallory would say) but we need each other too!

This evening Trent was feeling good enough to play a little Farkle and it felt really good to put my mind to something besides cancer crap. I was surprised at how hard Trent was shaking the dice! It was fun but I totally kicked his tail. That's okay cause today Trent kicked up on cancer pretty good today.

Trent-2, Cancer-1

Day three kicked our bums. Friday night Trent started getting really agitated. He ended up having an anxiety attack and needing medication to go to sleep. By morning I hoped he would be better. The first thing he said to me was, "That was quite a panic at the disco last night, huh?" Uh...sign number one that Saturday was going to be rough. He didn't get a lot of sleep so he ended up napping almost all day. The times that we was awake were not pleasant. He was really confused and kept quizzing himself on the dates of all of our birthdays and how old all the kids were. 95% of the time he was wrong. He even said that he needed to live to give Mallory the priestood. What?! Cancer and apostacy? More than I can handle. :)

I had alerted all the nurses and doctors to his condition and told them I was concerned with his mental state. We agreed to watch it and see what happened. By lunch it was worse. He couldn't hold the fork at all and kept knocking everything over. He couldn't control his body or bodily functions and was more incoherent than ever. Trevor and Eric Mathison came up and gave him a blessing which helped him sleep for the afternoon.

By dinner time his mind was gone. He repeated everything five or six times, couldn't remember what month it was and was just all over the map. Again, I told the nurses who talked to the doctors and decided to quit chemo early for the day. At about 9:00 I called Trevor to come back to the hospital. Trent was crying and saying that he didn't want to die, then the next sentence was him begging Heavenly Father to take him. At this point I smacked him hard on the shoulder. It woke him up a little and he tried to be more coherent. It was pretty scary for a while. His hands and arms were shaking unvoluntarily and with his blabbering it was pretty intense. He kept saying, "You promised Holly, you promised I would be fine and you don't break your promises!" I held it together pretty good but then had to look away and fight the tears. I did promise him he would be fine. I know he will. I received answers to my prayers confirming this. It is just going to be a long hard road to get there.

Finally he started to come around about 12:00am. Trevor stayed with us until about 1:00am. I am really grateful for that. They are supposed to start chemo again this morning after the doctor checks him out. So here we go again. We decided that it doesn't matter the score in the end just so long as Trent is ahead. So keep the prayers going up for us...we need it so badly!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chemo: Day 2

Another 24 hours down and still no real adverse side effects. Trent has been a little more tired today but no nausea. His appetite has decreased some and he was not nearly so peppy as yesterday. For a while he was actually kind of irritated(ing)-which is really unlike him. We got two walks in. Our "walks" are really just two laps around the floor-probably about 1/2 city block and that was as much as he could do before being too dizzy. I stepped out for a few hours today to see Zach in a program at school and of course that was when all the doctors decided to drop in. So there was a lot of good information shared which Trent cannot remember at all! So I will have to try to catch up on all of that tomorrow. We also had a good long talk with an oncology nurse/educator today. She was very helpful and taught us a lot about what to expect and what to be watching for. Kind of scary-but our reality.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chemo: Day 1

So far, so good. Chemo was finally started this morning at 1:30 a.m. We are now about 20 hours in and doing well. Trent slept really well last night-although he kept the room soooooo cold that I was a popcicle all night long! He woke up really energized and feeling good. All day he was doing great and we are so grateful for that!

This afternoon we had a few visitors and that helped Trent a ton! It is nice to have so much great support. By late afternoon he starting getting nauseated and has struggled a little since then. His face is starting to get a little puffy as he is being pumped with so many fluids and he is drinking like there is no tomorrow. Besides being a bit anemic everything is checking out really good right now.

Emotions are still up and down but we just try to hang on to the ups and not let the downs go too low. We will see how tomorrow goes but as for day one...I think we kicked it in the can!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The First Step

Today was perhaps one of the biggest events of our lives. We have had a lot of anxiety because of the unknown. Yet we feel great comfort in knowing that we are being well taken care of and we have a support system that is second to none. In a conversation between Boyd K . Packer and Harold B. Lee Elder Packer stated that it would be nice to know the end from the beginning. President Lee taught that was the trial of our faith and we have to be courageous and trust the Lord and step out into the dark. That is what today feels like. Our first step into the dark. Holly keeps reminding me that I am not stepping into the dark alone. She is going to be right there beside me every step of the way. I also know that I have many family and friends who are stepping out there with me. And most importantly I have the Lord. It is in Him that I am putting all of my trust and faith right now.

Right now we are about 30 minutes away from hanging the Chemo bag. This is really it. I have been being prepped all day with meds and fluids. When we first arrived there was some confusion as to what regiment we would be following. That was followed by us having to make a very difficult decision between three very good treatment plans. We decided on the most aggressive option. We might as well kick it in the can right from the start!

We are very grateful to have Trevor and Heidy and their boys staying with our kids. It is such a comfort to have family near. We understand the sacrifice they made to be with us right now and we are so thankful for that! We continue to be overcome by the outpouring of love and support. We have truly seen how the Lord answers prayers and meets our needs through others.

Monday we got an awesome package from Marc and Trina and their family. It was fun to have a break from the "cancer game" and play with the kids.

Rasmussens are 'STRONG'

Thanks for the shirt Nate!

Like all my bracelets? I haven't worn this many bracelets since 1985!

Chemo here we come!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Power of Prayer

Trent's name is in many temples right now. One of the newest is Salt Lake. His name was put on the prayer roll by Elder Sitati of the Seventy who knows my dad. We were thrilled at this because it was put in Thursday morning-when the prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve go through a session there. We were so grateful to my dad for taking that step to get that done for us and so blessed to have the prophet pray for us specifically.

That morning I was in the waiting room trying to get immunizations for Jonathan. And I was just overcome with emotion for no reason. I was trying to hold it together but not doing a very good job of it. After I left I thought that was probably about the time the prophet and the Quorum of the Twelve would have been at the temple. We certainly feel all those prayers going up for us and are so grateful for them. I have been amazingly calm this week-mostly. :)

Thursday night we were just falling into bed completely exhausted when Zach came down to tell us the Jarom had thrown up all over and needed help. Without going into all the nitty gritty I will just say- I usually would not have been so calm about it all. Now we are on day two and children two and three of the Barfscapades and I have yet to loose my cool about it. Those angels are working overtime on me!

Then this morning my boss showed up again-with another four boxes of food and supplies for us! His Bible group is amazing! They even had little toys for all the kids. I just can't believe the generosity of strangers! We continue to be blessed beyond belief by strangers and loved ones alike. We are so lucky to be surrounded by all these amazing people. It makes us see how much we can improve and inspires us to be better.

We have just started a fast for Trent. We really need to see immediate results from the first cycle of Chemo which we will start on Wednesday. If not, this is going to get pretty ugly. Who am I kidding-it's already ugly. But our spirits are high and Trent has done much better the last three days. He has not even used his walker! The pain is more under control and now that he has a sleepaid he has been able to get some good rest. Hopefully he won't get the barfs from the kids before Wednesday! Thank you all for your prayers and fasting!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today was spent on the couch and in the hospital, nothing terribly exciting but yet one more moment to savor before the ugly stuff, (Chemo) starts. I'm ready, I guess. There's an uneasiness about the reports we're getting from the Oncologists because of what we're up against, notwithstanding the news is more complicated with each passing day but I'm still encouraged. I was resting with Mallory earlier. She was propping my head up with hers and I was whispering to Heavenly Father about helping me get through the pain. It's amazing how something so indescribably small can bring you to tears. I've never before had an experience quite as jarring as this. Every time I asked for support her reply was that Heavenly Father was already helping. No matter how much I winced at the problem she repeated over and over again that He was. I'm so thankful for her calming demeanor and assurance that help was already there. I needed that reminder because I'm too weak and the mere fact that someone else was certain that I would be cared for in this, my darkest hour was humbling and quite profound. she must get that from her Mom, because Holly has said from the onset of this diagnosis that she was confident the outcome would be okay, not easy, not the quick fix but okay. Holly is my rock!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's Truly Important

I wanted to thank everyone for their kindness. I'm nervous about what lies ahead because of the unknown but surprisingly, I am willing to turn it over to our Heavenly Father. I absolutely know that after I've done everything I can, HE will pick up the slack. It seems huge at the moment but very fixable. On Sunday I was told of a conversation that happened between Boyd K. Packer and the prophet, Harold B. Lee about stepping into the darkness and trusting the Lord that we would be lead through those most difficult times in ours lives. It would be nice to know the end in some measure, especially when faced with our own mortality and that's where my faith will be stretched to the limits. I strongly do believe that in the end it will be okay but it's getting to that point with the chemo and surgery that has me somewhat anxious. I don't need to see the finish line but would certainly like to see the darkness swept away to some degree. I desperately want to thank my awesome family, friends, neighbors and even complete strangers who have stopped their busy lives to pray for and support me and my family. This is ugly and I find great solace in knowing that I have surrounded myself with such wonderful people. I will be indebted forever.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Overall a Pretty Good Day

The Can-Man and the wife.

Today was good overall. We went to church this morning. That was quite the ordeal. We were about two minutes late because it takes so much longer to get anywhere. Most of our family and guests were sitting on the first two rows. Trent was so uncomfortable and emotional about having everyone see him with a walker and not able to get around. My little brother Ben was so cool about it. He was like, "Trent, I will sit out here with you. You don't have to go in there." I really appreciated that. Trent actually made it through sacrament and Sunday School but had to leave before Priesthood. He was so glad so many people came to him and told him they were praying for him. Our former home teacher made such a simple and sincere gesture. My dad told me about it after church. He was pretty emotional as he recounted it. He said that the home teacher came up to Trent not knowing for sure what to say or do but simply asked, "Can I walk with you?" We have seen this from so many people! A seemingly small gesture that speaks volumes as to their concern and generosity.

It was a very teary church block for me today. Hearing our names in every prayer choked me up every time. Our ward is so great! They are so willing to help in any way they can. It really makes me resolve to be better, more compassionate, more willing to do the same for anyone. I spoke with the Bishop for a bit and it really helped to have that time with him.

Even people we don't know are bringing things to us. This afternoon my boss arrived unexpectedly with people from his Bible group and four boxes of food and basic supplies for us. They just plopped it all on the table and left almost as fast as they had come. I was dumbfounded! I had never seen these people in my life and they were so willing to give to us. It is truly amazing the kind of people we share this life with.

The afternoon was pretty good for Trent. The pain seemed mostly under control. He was able to recieve a father's blessing and give a blessing to Mallory too. The other kids opted to get theirs at a later date. I also got a father's blessing and that has seemed to help subside some of my anger at the whole situation. We had some good time to talk about everything and how to make our family stronger through this trial. And, of course, with my Mom around...we ate like kings all day! Overall a pretty good day!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dad-Are you there?

You may remember the talk given by Elder Hammond a couple of conferences ago. Well we experienced something similar at about 3:30am Friday morning. We had been waiting for our parents to come from Utah and Idaho. They finally walked in the door at about 3:30 and Trent sat up in bed and called for his dad just as I imagine he had done as a child. His dad swept him up in his arms as Trent sobbed and told him how scared he was.

After just a couple hours of sleep-Doug, my dad, Trent, and I got up to go to Omaha for another appointment with Dr. Silva. He needed to check out the incision after all the bleeding we had the day before. He said it was fine and we could expect a little more bleeding. The incision is so ugly! He had to take out quite a large chunk of skin and tumor to get enough for pathology. The material used for the stitches is so big! Dr. Silva said it was like fishline. Uh---more like SHARK line! It has really been causing Trent so much pain. He can't get comfortable and can hardly move. He is now using a walker regularly and spending most of his time in bed. I can't believe how much he has changed in just one week.

Friday was a great day for me. I was super positive and mostly dry-eyed. It was great to have family here. Ben and Michelle came up too and it is nice to have the kids engaged in something other than watching Dad be sick.

Trent had a different kind of day. He was pretty emotional and mostly in pain. Today has been the same. I think I am cycling through the grief process. I feel so mad at Trent-of all people! I guess I am mad at the whole situation. I still feel like I will just wake up and he will be better-like he has just had the flu or something. Then I think the whole thing is just too dramatic to be real. But then I see how Trent moves-or doesn't move and it hits me all over again. My husband has cancer. Yuck. I hate that!

Today has been a flurry of activity with everyone picking a job and jumping in. It is overwhelming and I feel like I have no control of the situation. I know it is for the best but I like it more when I plan out the day and carry out the plan. I guess those days are over for a while.

We continue to be so blessed by all those around us. Our neighbors have taken over the yardwork, ward members are bringing in meals, people are sending cards and well wishes. It is so humbling to be on this end of it! I know I have many lessons to learn from this and that we will be better people because of it. I just hope we can learn our lessons really fast!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Emotional Rollercoaster

After the biopsy yesterday. Trent had quite a time coming out of the anesthesia. The surgery took longer than usual because of the nature of the sarcoma. It took about three hours---three of the longest hours of my life. After the doctor came and briefed me on the surgery it took another hour and half before they let me see him. He looked awful but was trying to put on a good face.

This is the port they put in to administer the chemotherapy when he starts treatment. Still getting used to saying that.

After being extremely nervous and very teary all afternoon when I finally saw Trent everything seemed better. Even through his spell of vomiting-which I caught with the bedpan-it was just great to be with him. All evening we were super positive and upbeat. We fell into bed after picking up all the kids and I was out. Trent had a rough night trying to get comfortable. Then today happened. The emotional rollercoaster.

It was up and down for both of us all day but mostly we were crying tears of gratitude. We have so many great people praying for us and looking for ways to help. We counted today and know of at least six temples that have Trent's name in them right now. It is overwhelming. Today our ward fasted for us too so that probably accounts for most of the tears. We could feel it and it makes a difference. As I ran out to get the girls from school I found an envelope on our car. An anonymous gift that made me bawl-again!

When I got back from driving the girls home I immediately loaded Trent up to rush him to the surgeon here in Lincoln. He was bleeding pretty bad from his incision and we couldn't get it to stop. We finally got him wrapped up and taken care of. But it spooked him pretty bad. So now we have to head over to Omaha first thing in the morning to have him checked out again by the surgical oncologist to make sure everything is okay.

Dinner was brought in by an awesome family in our ward. We shed some tears together and exchanged words of comfort. We are so blessed to have such great friends!

The rest of the night was spent getting ready for my parents and Trent's dad to come. I have never been so happy for company in all my life! Well, yes I have...I guess I really mean that I have never been so relieved to have company. The kids are really excited to see them too. I know that it means a lot to Trent to have them come and we are grateful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


We made arrangements once again for all the kids to be somewhere today. We left the house bright and early with Mallory and Jonathan headed for Omaha for the biopsy. We dropped them off at Melinda's-(thanks for the lunch Melinda!)

We were both feeling pretty good and were very anxious for more answers. Check out Trent playing it cool while he was waiting.

Before he went in for surgery the nurses were explaining everything that would be happening. She mentioned a port-a-cath. I didn't know what that was so I asked. She told me it was for the chemo. WHAT???!!! We were not expecting chemo! She fell all over herself trying to say it might just be a precautionary thing. She quickly got Dr. Silva to explain things a little more. However, we knew something was up and it wasn't good. Trent was anxious and I kept telling him not to assume anything but to wait for the doctor to explain. After what seemed an eternity Dr. Silva arrived.

Apparently he found cancer in Trent's lungs also. A couple of spots on each lung. So as far as I know right now, Trent will start chemo next week. Immediately following surgery we will meet with the medical oncologist, Dr. Kissinger, who will map out a treatment plan.

Truthfully Trent was a little shaken up and I was doing my best to cover my panic. I am not sure how well I did. I kept assuring Trent he would be fine and we would move forward with fury and faith to beat this. Right now I am sitting in the waiting room shaking like a leaf trying to type this. Strangely, everytime I am in the same room with Dr. Silva I feel totally calm. The whole time he was explaining about the CT results I was completely dry eyed and taking in as much information as I could. I let a couple of tears slip as I kissed Trent goodbye and told him I loved him.

CT Scan

Friday morning, May 7, 2010 was an early one for Trent. He got up just after 5 am to get to Omaha for a 7 am CT scan of his chest/abdomen/pelvis. He drove himself...BIG mistake. I stayed home to get the kids to school and we both figured Trent would be fine to drive himself over and back. Apparently we were very wrong. Trent had a really bad bout with the pain once he got there and then on the way back it was horrible. Lesson learned. I will now be driving Miss Daisy-I mean, Trent-to and from every appointment.

After feeling really good about Dr. Silva, Thursday was really very positive overall. But Friday was a different story. It is an emotional rollercoaster. One minute we are feeling very confident, and the next we are shaking with fear. We can definitely feel the prayers of our friends and family. Otherwise, I am not sure how we could hang on.

We expected to get results of the CT scan on Monday. It was a very long weekend with no news. Sunday evening the Rasmussen Family started a fast for Trent along with a few friends. Right around 4:00 Trent got a really overwhelming sense of peace and calm. We assume that was about the time everyone started fasting. We are so grateful for such a great support system. We have had many calls with well wishes. So many people-many not of our faith-have testified to us of the power of prayer and assured us we are in theirs. Hopefully, with so many prayers going up Heavenly Father will answer them just how we want! :)

Monday, May 10, 2010


So on Wednesday morning we dropped off kids to our wonderful neighbors, the Butters. We headed up to St. Elizabeth's hospital to meet with Dr. Hung. We were so nervous. We hardly said a word to each other. We got right in and Lisa, Dr. Hung's nurse started all the usual questions. Finally Trent just blurted out, "So how bad is it?" Lisa just stared at him and got a little teary and said, "Um...I'm going to let the doctor talk to you about that."

We both knew it was bad. Trent got a little emotional and asked, "But it's fixable, right?" Lisa paused and said, "It all depends on your attitude."

Well, by then we were both in tears. I had my chair scooted right over to the bed and we just grabbed for each other. I don't think the shock has worn off yet.

The doctor came in and explained that Trent has Sarcoma, a soft tissue cancer and that we needed to see an oncologist right away. He told us he thought there was a hematoma and tumor. We would later find out that it is just one huge tumor. He briefly went over the MRI results with us and what the next step would be. Before we left the office we had an appointment for the next day with Dr. Silva in Omaha at UNMC. We left crying and holding on to each other for dear life. On our way out we passed a man in our ward, Dr. Jex, a heart surgeon. He stopped us as asked what we were doing there. It was then that I first uttered the horrible phrase, "Trent has cancer." It was shocking to hear myself say it and I hated the way it sounded. Dr. Jex asked to see the MRI results which I held in my hand. He looked over it briefly and offered his apologies and assistance in any way he could.

We made it to the car and started making phone calls. Shock was the initial reaction from everyone. Through our tears we explained what little details we had and accepted words of encouragement and apology.

We stopped off at SCC to talk to my boss who was teaching a class. He was stunned and saddened and told me to take all the time I needed. He has been so good to us. If it were not for him we would not have this insurance which, luckily does not look at pre-existing conditions.

We shed so many tears that day I was sure I could never cry again. But guess what? Turns out, I can. We told the kids later that night. No one really reacted except Zach. He cried and hid himself in a blanket. Megan came to me later and admitted she was stressed out. Of course the younger ones really have no idea what cancer is. The just know that Dad has a "broken hip".

We called our Bishop over to administer to Trent and myself. He blessed Trent that he would be made whole. While he was at our house we were both pretty calm. And suprisingly that night we both slept pretty well.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

As the World Turns-Up Side Down!

It all started last December. Trent bumped his hip on the corner of the wall in our house. He was playing nerf wars with the boys. He didn't think much of it until a couple of weeks later. He noticed his hip was sore and couldn't remember why. We finally figured it out and I wondered if he had chipped the bone in his hip or cracked it. By February I had decided it was bursitis and he just needed a cortisone shot and it would all be better. He went to the Health Center at UNL and saw Dr. Garrett who told him it was a hematoma and that it would get better by itself after several months.

A couple of weeks later it was getting worse so he went back to Dr. Garrett. He sent him to a surgeon because it would need to be surgically removed. So Trent went to see Dr. Benjamin Hung. He agreed that it was a hematoma and proceeded to remove 120 cc of blood to relieve some of the pressure until surgery was possible. We were waiting for insurance because the university insurance was insufficient because Trent was done with classes and was only working on his thesis. Trent was told to call when he had insurance and they would schedule a surgery.

We shopped around a little bit for insurance and found that most would not cover it because it was a pre-existing condition. During this time I had told my boss, Craig Larabee, about the bump on Trent's hip. He encouraged me to bump up my hours to 32/week so I could qualify for benefits. So in April I did this and would be eligible for benefits May 1.

Meanwhile Dr. Garrett had called to check up on Trent. He suggested that Trent have an MRI and blood test before he had any surgery. We thought that was pretty good advice.

So on Monday, May 3, Trent scheduled an MRI for Tuesday May 4. After the MRI he was supposed to go the next day to look at it and schedule surgery. Well, upon returning home he received a call from the nurse, Lisa, who said he should come the next day and bring me for support. That sent off all kinds of alarms! Trent called me at work and told me this. I literally felt my stomach drop to the floor. He was emotional and it was all I could do to keep it together.

That night was the longest of both of our lives. I think we probably got one hour of sleep between the two of us. We let our parents know about the MRI and told them we would call with any news.