Feed your FAITH and your fears will starve .

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Praying for a Miracle

Today's test results were less than wonderful. Trent was not feeling so good today and had quite a time in the MRI. He actually threw up in the middle of it. We met with Dr. Jones, a surgical oncologist, who said that Trent's chance of making it through this was slim. EXCUSE ME?! That was harsh to hear but we both swallowed it like we had heard it before even though no one had said it quite like that. He said that because of the obvious infection in the biopsy site that surgery was needed immediately. Unfortunately the chemotherapy has not done anything to the cancer and the spots on the lungs have grown. If they tried to do more chemo now it would kill Trent because of the infection. So surgery is scheduled for Friday. Dr. Jones believes he will have to remove the entire adducter muscle to erradicate all the cancer in the hip. This will leave Trent dependent on the use of a walker or cane the rest of his life. That is a tough pill to swallow. They will put in a wound vac and do another surgery two weeks later to remove any remaining cancer and close the wound. Then when Trent is healed from that surgery they will start a new regimen of chemotherapy to attack the spots in the lungs.

Surprisingly Trent has been pretty calm about this. I, on the other hand, keep thinking of all the things that will change. It was pretty emotional at the hospital and I cried all the way from SLC to Brigham and buckets beyond that. I admit. I am scared. I am apprehensive about our future and what life will be. But ultimately, life is a lot more important than mobility. Trent gave me a blessing that I would be strong enough to handle all that will come our way and be a strength to others. I immediately felt calmed and at peace.

I was trying to think things through and be positive. I closed my eyes and rested for about one minute when the thought came to me as clear as day. "Thy faith hath made thee whole." What "whole" is I am not sure. However it is plain to me that I must continue to have faith. Then this evening for scripture study I read 3 Nephi 17. This is when Christ has come to visit the Nephites in America and before he leaves he invites them to bring him their sick and afflicted and he heals them. I know that through Christ we can be healed too. I guess through all of this we are learning to rely more fully on Christ and realize that we are in the Lord's hands. While it is scary and unknown, I would rather be in the hands of the Lord than not. He will do what is best for us. I am just hoping and praying that He and I are on the same page!

Trent and I will be fasting on Friday for a successful surgery, sparing as much of the muscle as possible, and a chemotherapy regimen that will erradicate the spots on the lungs. In short, we are fasting and praying for a miracle. If you would join us in our fast we would be grateful.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Small Victories

Remember the juice bar escopade from yesterday? Well, disaster has been averted! I was able to go and get 15 bags of juice bars today. That should last him for a while. I found them in the freezer at the store and told the kids to load up every bag they had. That might have been a little excessive but I am not going to be unprepared again!

Trent was not doing so good this morning. I called Katie, the Huntsman nurse, and told her what was going on. She immediately ordered a bunch of prescriptions for him and suggested a CT scan in addition to the MRI tomorrow. She and I both were a little worried that he was not going to be able to make it down there for the appointments. But after I got off the phone with her my dad came home for lunch and Trent asked for a blessing from him. He reaffirmed the blessings that had previously been given and then blessed him that he would be able to eat and keep the food down and that he WOULD have the strength to travel to SLC and have the scans done tomorrow. After the blessing he counseled Trent that he needs to stop worrying about everything else and concentrate on healing. AMEN TO THAT!!! I have been telling him that for a long time but I understand it is really hard to do.

So I loaded him up with fluids and meds and left him to sleep for a while. When I came back he was asking for Dominoes Pizza for dinner! Hallelujah! Of course, I ran out and got it and he was able to enjoy it-once! After dinner he even sat up and watched a movie with the kids while Mom and I tied his quilt. By the time Dad came home Trent was looking much better and feeling better too. Right now he is happily eating one of his MANY juice bars and looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we will get SOME good news. It doesn't have to be awesome, but some indication that there is improvement would be great. We are really hoping to hear that the cancer is shrinking in both the hip and lungs and that there is no involvement with the bones. That would last us for quite a while. Please send up the prayers for something positive tomorrow!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Sick Day

Trent had a terrible night. He got up to get a drink and didn't wake me. He ended up falling down because he was so dizzy. He was up several times, in pain, to use the bathroom, etc. Then this morning he told me that he had awful dreams again. He is really struggling mentally with that. Sleep is not restful, it is stressful and that doesn't help him recover at all.

Once we were up we did pretty good to get Trent ready and up for breakfast by about 9:30. Home health came and we opted to keep the port accessed for now so I could continue to give more fluids. He slept a bunch today. By this evening he was able to get up for dinner and hang out for a bit. We found a walker in the storage room (why my mom had a walker I will never know-but good thing she did!) so we put the traditional tennis balls on the legs and Trent was off! He did one lap around the kitchen with Jarom following-to make sure he didn't fall-and then he was done. His mouth is still so sore and he is barely able to eat. I ran to the store to get some more juice pops, these are about the only thing that takes the chemo taste out and relieves some of the soreness. Unfortunately there were all out of juice pops. When I told Trent he was devastated. I brought substitutes but they were not up to par. Thank goodness I got a raincheck so I can go tomorrow and get a whole bunch.

The kids are starting to wonder about this whole situation. At dinner today I was sitting by Jarom. He kept leaning over asking me questions about Trent like: "Can he laugh?", "Does he still have teeth?", "Can he understand me?" It was kind of sobering, especially when Trent told me that Mallory had asked him earlier today how long he was going to be her dad. He said she was pretty teary and scared. My heart broke! We have had several talks with the kids and been very positive about the whole thing. But really, that was when he still looked like Trent and acted like Trent. Now he looks totally different, doesn't act the same, and probably is kind of scary to the kids. We really need to sit them down and explain to them that it is going to get uglier before it gets better. I can't imagine the other questions that must be running through their minds. Just another way that cancer is affecting our family. But we are going to make it. Trent is going to be Mally's daddy for a long, long time. Practically eternity!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rough Weekend

Haven't posted in a few days. It has been a rough weekend for us. Trent has been very sick. Since the IV was brought in on Thursday I have given him at least four or five bags of fluid trying to get him stable enough to stand without falling. He has not been able to eat and what little he does eat comes up not too long after. His mouth is swollen and covered in sores. So anything that goes in has to go through a straw because he can't even open his mouth enough to get a spoon in.

His mind is not all there and I really only see the real Trent for about 90 seconds a day. That is tough because the patient I am dealing with is not at all like Trent. He has been mean and ornery and such a complainer. Nothing is good enough or done just right. When he asks for something I run out to get it and by the time I give it too him there is something wrong with it. It is exhausting, not to mention maddening. I keep trying to remind myself that it is the chemo that makes him that way but I lost it. I blew up at him and told him I couldn't do it anymore. He was too demanding and I couldn't do anything right. He kept hashing the same things over and over. I told him I was going to ship him off to Idaho and let them take care of him for a while. I think that scared him, the thought of me not being there, because he apologized and said he would be better. Of course I apologized too but am having a hard time feeling it. I am probably way too honest on this blog and now everyone knows what a monster I am. But it is not all rosy! Cancer is hard, REALLY HARD! It is nice to think I might be able to get away from it all for a minute but that is unrealistic. Cancer is there everywhere I turn. It doesn't matter if I ran off to pamper myself or to get groceries or whatever. The bottom line is, cancer is our reality and there is no escaping it. So we do our best to just make through each day. Some days "making it through" is not being dead at the end of it. If we wake up another day I guess we won the day before right?

Had a nice visit from my sis and her family this weekend. It was fun to see them. Her husband beat cancer almost twenty years ago. I think it is hard for him to see Trent go through it too. Probably brings back a bunch of really ugly memories. Trent's dad also came down with his niece. That was good for Trent. It wore him out though. He slept a lot today. He tried to get out of bed to visit for a while but it really only lasted a few minutes.

Trent's dad reported there was a good turnout for the benefit at the Cocoa Bean this past weekend. We are grateful for everyone's support and hard work to make it a success. We both apologize that we couldn't be more involved or even enjoy the day and success. Maybe we can think about that tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tender Mercies

Today was the first lab draw since chemo. Trent was supposed to go to the BCCH to have it done so we got up and started getting ready. We were planning to leave around 10:00am. By 12:30 we had barely been able to get him upstairs. He wanted to shower but everything was spinning every time he stood up. I helped him to the bathroom where I could see I was losing him. I told him to hurry and lay down on the floor before he fell. He was so lightheaded! I hurried and showered him and practically carried him back to the couch. I had no idea how I was going to get him to the lab. Right then our home health care nurse called. She said she had just talked to Katie, our nurse at the Huntsman, who had put in orders for home health care to come draw labs. I was amazed! Heavenly Father is really watching out for us and guiding us through each day.

Yesterday I had to order some wound care supplies from our local DME. I called all over town to find the things i needed and couldn't find them anywhere. So I forked out a bunch of cash to get them here by this morning. Unfortunately they did not participate with our insurance so I had to pay for it myself. Then I went to pick it up this morning and found that the lady had ordered exactly what I told her not to! I was so mad! I had to really concentrate on not being mean to her. So I took my $40 tube of antimicrobial (the only thing she got right) and left. I wasn't sure what to do and where I would be able to find the supplies. I went home and almost immediately got a phone call from IHC DME asking if there was anything they needed to send me. WOW! Twice in one day! I was shocked! I asked if I could get the supplies I needed and lo and behold, I could. They even got our insurance to pay for it all--and they DELIVERED TO MY DOOR!! I don't know what we are doing to deserve these blessings but I will take them.

Unfortunately Trent took a turn for the worse and I had to call and get an IV for him. Home health brought us a bunch of fluids to start pumping through him. Luckily all of that can be done at home. Katie, our nurse, called again and said that Trent's counts were low enough that he needed more antibiotics. Luckily I already had them from when he was hospitalized in Nebraska. We are going to do all that we can to keep him out of the hospital until round three. He hates being tied to that darn IV pole but it is only temporary!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quick Note

Just a quick note, I have had some people asking about donating at Zion's Bank. The name of the account is Trent and Holly Rasmussen Fund. If they cannot find it under that name ask them to look under Trevor Rasmussen. There was some confusion when the account was opened and all of our names are on the account. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Day of the Yucks

Trent is still nauseous and feeling yucky. He goes from laying in bed to sitting on the couch and back to bed again. Ironically, that makes him very tired. But his spirits are good and hopefully he will get some good rest tonight. I have him fully medicated so maybe he will have a little more energy tomorrow.

We have finally found the magic potion that helps make everything better for Trent. Orange juice. We thought for a while that cranberry juice was the ticket but of course that has already run its course. So for the moment oj makes the medicine go down, the medicine go down! Hopefully it will keep the food down too!

Today was pretty tough for me. I am absolutely overloaded and started taking it out on the kids. That of course just made me feel worse so I took it out on Trent. Can you see where I am going with this? Long story short, mom is mean to everyone, eats her humble pie, and has to apologize to the whole family. I hate that kind of day. Thankfully it is over and I get to try again tomorrow.

I got a call from the nurse today. The MRI is scheduled for next Wednesday immediately followed by an appointment with the surgical oncologist. Yeah for that! The wound is looking pretty good on the outside but every day I find new tunneling and I am not sure if that is good or bad. I think that generally in wound care tunneling is bad but because it is a tumor it may be a sign that the cancer is dying. I think I choose to believe that because it makes me feel better. :)

Mom is doing a great job of keeping the kids busy. Zach is the chicken man, Jarom tends the burro, Megan is redesigning the barn, Mallory is tending the strawberries and getting the mail, and Jonathan is everyone's shadow. They all seem to be doing great. Today they irrigated the garden and the orchard and just for fun built a big slip and slide with the irrigation water. I am glad for all the chores and activities to keep them busy.

We are one day closer to remission. That's what I think about everynight before I close my eyes. One day closer. I just can't think about all the ugly days we have to go through to get to the other end. It is so weird for me to watch my husband deteriorate the way he is. He has lost a lot of weight, speaks in a sickly voice, and hunches over when he walks. I really never thought he would look like that until we were old and gray. He has always been my protector, my brute strength, and always conscious of my safety. He still tries to do that but it feels so weird letting him hold the door for me when I am afraid he won't make it through behind me! I just have to remind myself that it is only temporary. However long "temporary" is.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Today was the beginning of the yuck. Trent was nauseated throwing up all day. He tried to rest but keeps having bad dreams that he won't even tell me. I can only assume what they are about. It feels like we are starting the slippery slide down on the mucky chemo trail. It will probably be a few days before things get better.

The MRI didn't happen today and we are not sure when it will. I need to talk to the nurse tomorrow to find out what needs to happen next. Home health came today to give the Nulasta shot to boost the red blood cell production. They are leaving Trent on the list to possibly come draw labs if/when he is neutropenic. That will be good. Hope we don't have to have them come but if we do at least they are ready.

Emotionally Trent is spent and my brain is mush. Better just go to bed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Round TWO Goes to the Rasmussens!

So far the score is Rasmussen-2, Cancer-0! We just finished the second round of chemo and Trent is doing pretty good! Last night just as we were about to nod off to sleep Zach poked his head around the curtain in our room. What a surprise! He was having some guy time with Josh who lives in Salt Lake and they stopped in to see us. That kid is always popping up just when we are missing our kids so much! It was really fun to have him there.

Trent is doing ten times better this round than last. Funny thing is he gained five pounds while he was in the hospital. The food was awesome and he kept it all down. He has had a little nausea but mostly has just been tired. Tired of urinating that is! He gets up several times a night and is woken up several times by nurses, beeping IV's, lab people, and housekeeping. He is really looking forward to some good old R&R in a nice comfy bed. Admittedly, I am looking forward to that too. Those hospital couches are NOT that great. I am considering taking an air mattress next time! The MRI did not happen today because it was Sunday and nobody was there to do it. Since it wasn't an emergency they didn't want to call anyone to come in. Understandable, so we will go back tomorrow to have it done.

When we got home the kids had made a Father's Day banner for Trent and they were all so excited to see him. It was a really sweet little homecoming for him. For Trent it was a great way to end the day/week, just being home with family.

So all in all we enjoyed our first stay at the Huntsman. We found it interesting that the floor we stayed on was called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Fourth Floor and the room was the Marion D. Hanks room. Cool huh!

I have to admit, I don't really like seeing that name on a hospital room door. I was walking down the hall when we first got there looking at all the names and imagining the lives that cancer was disrupting and then I found our room. It made it more real to see that. I guess I still haven't wrapped my brain around this whole situation and little things seem to prick at me and remind me this is really happening to us.

We did have to laugh at this though. We told the nurse that Trent had an allergy to EMLA, which we found out in the ER in Nebraska. And this is what we got:

Oh well, at least he'll be protected if anyone names ELMA comes around!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Round Two Day Four

Day four has almost ended and it was only slightly dramatic. We had some ups and downs but it ended calm. This morning during rounds the doc asked what he could do for us. Trent looked right at me and I saw the cue. So I said, "Trent is very concerned about his leg." The doc immediately said, "Let's do an MRI." That was music to our ears! He said that was a valid concern (Trent has been really worried that an infection might spread to the bone causing him to lose his leg.). I really appreciated that he didn't dance around it but realized that Trent needed the peace of mind. So I can only think this will be good. We get the MRI and find that all is well and Trent is put at peace or we get the MRI and find that there is infection or cancer in the bone and can act on it right away rather than wait until the regularly scheduled MRI in another month or so. Either way that is good for us. The MRI will happen either tomorrow after he is unhooked from everything or first thing Monday morning.

Shortly after that Trent had a really nasty turn with gas. Unfortunately that is another side effect of chemo. And it hurts. Bad. Really Bad. Several hours, positions, and drugs later, he finally was able to sleep for a little while. During that bout I even heard a CNA say that she couldn't get vitals on him because he was too ornery! Too funny. When I told Trent that he denied the whole thing. He probably was a little out of it too. One thing that really helped was to listen to Mormon Messages while he tried to get comfy. (Thanks for the idea Emily!) It worked wonders. One thing we have figured out, the more we can invite the spirit into our room the better Trent does. So we like to listen to good music and read the scriptures and pray, A LOT!!!

We finally got outside today. We took a few laps out on the terrace while Trent quizzed himself on all of the plantings and planned out what our next backyard would be like. That felt good. Really good. Then we got a call from Megan who is finally here from Nebraska. We have missed her and it is nice to have everyone together again. We are looking forward to seeing them all tomorrow!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Round Two Day Three

Today started off pretty good. Trent had a little nausea but they are doing well to keep that at bay. There was some screaming going on this morning but that was only because of the soccer game on TV. Pretty funny! All the nurses kept coming in saying they heard him screaming only to be told the score of the game!

This afternoon started to get a little shaky. We had some more wound care specialists look at his hip and they have started putting silver inside the wound too. They put it on the outside yesterday and the skin looked so much better today! I am hopeful that putting it inside will make a difference as quickly. I will have to be caring for the wound and it is getting more involved every day. After they saw the wound Trent got quite anxious about losing his leg. The nurse said, "All we can do is hope." Uh....not exactly what he wanted to hear and that sort of set him off on the worry trail. So I did my best to calm him down and put the fears aside. Easier said than done! So we are heading to bed early with a nice little anxiety pill and hopefully tomorrow will be good!

An interesting thing happened yesterday. As we were making our lap around the floor I noticed a woman I thought was familiar. So on the next lap she stopped me and asked if I was Holly Frandsen. Turns out I went to school with her kids and I remembered her from growing up. Her daughter-in-law had just been admitted that day with acute leukemia. I thought about her all day and about 10 pm I got this feeling that I needed to go see her and take a music CD of primary music. (Love this CD, thanks Eric and Tanya!) I asked her nurse if I could go in and she offered to go with me so we didn't have to bother her twice. When I walked in the room I realized I knew her from high school too. I had played sports with her although she is a year younger than me. I didn't realize that she had married into the family that she did. We had a great little talk and I gave her the CD to borrow until we leave on Sunday. All I could do was offer her the same encouragement we have received from all of you and assure her we would be praying for her. I think it helps to talk to people who know what you are going through. Her parents were there with her and told me as much.

I have this plaque that says something like, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of that which we do not see." That saying has made a huge difference for me (Thanks Loren and Cindy!). I know it is true and it helps me every day to continue to have faith in the outcome of our trial and in the Savior. I know we are in the Lord's hands and there is no better place to be.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Round Two Day Two

Not too exciting today. A lot of rest and a little exercise. Trent actually made it around the floor one and a half times. Pretty good!

Last night was not great but only because we were woken up a million times by a VERY loud talking male nurse! Instead of quietly taking vitals he had to chat the whole time and was not that cool. Then this morning Nik, our other male nurse (who just happens to remind us both of our nephew, Jake) told us that the night nurse reminds him of Slyvester Stalone in Rocky. We laughed hard at that! Today seemed like constant beeping. They have put an IV in Trent's hand instead of using a " Y" at the port. So every time he bends his hand the machine beeps until a nurse stops it. SOOOOO ANNOYING!!!!

Trent has been feeling pretty good up until a couple of hours ago. He has had just a touch of nausea but has been fully medicated so hopefully it won't get worse. He is having some trouble with the biopsy site still. Today the wound care team assessed it and have started using silver as an antimicrobial for it. It should be interesting to see how it works. Also found out today that I will have to give Trent his Nulasta shot after he leaves the hospital. So I asked the nurse to give me some pointers. She ordered an orange from the cafeteria to show me just how to stab but it came down in slices. Oh well, it can't be that hard. Just stab and step out of the way of the swinging fists right?!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tender Moments

Last night was a tough one for Trent. He was really anxious about today and just feeling a little out of sorts. Jonathan (21 months old) had already been sent to bed but was still awake. Trent went in and laid in Jonathan's bed with him. He said that in the dark he could see those sparkly eyes and funny little smile. Jonathan didn't squirm or try to get up but just smiled at Trent and patted his shoulder for a while. He must have known exactly what Trent needed because that really calmed Trent down. I know that is a moment Trent will remember for a long time.

We got up bright and early this morning to start Round Two, Day 1 of Chemo. So far, so good. The chemo will be slightly different than last time, with the addition of a new drug and the delivery is different also. We should be done on Sunday or Monday. We are really hoping the changes will help him handle it a little better.

One of the doctors came in today and said something that has really helped Trent. All he said was that his prognosis was "promising". That's it! That's all he said but it is more than we have heard from anyone to this point. It has really made an impact on Trent and he grabbed onto that like glue. As much as I tell him how certain I am of the outcome I guess it really helps to hear it from your doctor too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thank You

A benefit is being held for our family. We are so grateful and humbled by everyone who is working so diligently to help our family. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
(To view these flyers a little better click on them and then zoom.)

Round Two

I am really anxious to go tomorrow. I am happy to be in Utah and thrilled to be at the Huntsman Cancer Center. I know that we are in good hands and we are going to beat this. As we begin the second round I am so ready to get this cancer thing done. I know that it will be later rather than sooner but I am anxious to get going. As long as the result is good in the end I can suffer through all this stuff now. I feel as though I have no control over anything anymore and that can be unsettling. However, I know that this is in the Lord's hands and I have to go with that. I am so grateful for all of your prayers. I truly know there is power in prayer as I have felt it sustain me and my family over the past six weeks. Please continue to pray for me and all who are struggling in any way. It DOES make a difference!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Huntsman Cancer Institute

Today was our big day. We left at 8:00am to arrive at the Huntsman by 9:30. We were met by our case manager who escorted us to Clinic C where we were to meet our doctors and nurses for the next six months. We were told that the treatment Trent recieved in Nebraska was good and they were going to carry on with something similar. They are going to add a new drug to the chemotherapy. Great, except that this drug has a tendency to cause heart damage. So they sent Trent to McKay Dee Hospital to get an echo cardiogram to measure how strong his heart is so they know how hard and how far they can push this drug. They expect Trent to do two or maybe three more cycles of chemotherapy and then have another CT scan to assess the progress. Then they will do surgery followed by radiation or chemotherapy or both. I anticipate that will take until about November.

So Trent is scheduled to begin round two on Wednesday. He is not super strong yet so they will most likely start him immediately on antibiotics to prevent infection in his hip. They will also give him blood at the same time as the chemo because his hemoglobin has not rebounded like it should.

Trent tried to be a tough guy and walk all through the hospital so by the time we left he was exhausted. I had to lay down the law...wheelchairs from here on out. Surprisingly he did not refuse. As soon as we got home he was out for about three hours. He got up for about 30 minutes and was out for a couple more hours. I guess it was a pretty big day for him. Tomorrow will be spent preparing for the week long hospital stay and beefing up on the protein as much as we can. Thank goodness my mom is practically a nutritionist!

We feel like today was pretty positive and we are glad to be receiving care at the Huntsman. Thank you all for all your love and support. Team Trent is going to win!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Week of Changes

This past week was a whirlwind. I didn't get to spend a lot of time with Trent in the hospital because I was home packing trying to get everything ready to leave for Utah on Thursday. Trent ended up receiving more blood to try and help his body recover. He also had some difficulty with the infection in his hip. They told us it was staph. It had started to stink and look terrible. But later they told us they thought the stink was necrotic tissue from the cancer being killed. So I guess that was good news. The wound has started tunneling. It was explained that there may be an infection inside that just doesn't have enough room to flush out the wound so it tunnels inside kind of like erosion. So we have started treating the wound with an antibiotic that we soak the gauze in and then pack real tight inside the wound. The last couple of days it has seemed that I can't pack it as far in so I hope that is a good sign too.

Tuesday morning I got a call from my mom who was super worried about putting Trent on a commercial flight home. She had arranged for her cousin Kevin Bloxham to fly us home on his personal plane. Doug helped work out the final details and we switched around the original tickets to get Megan home after Girls Camp. It worked out great. That same morning a small army of Relief Society Sisters came over to help pack and clean. They are absolutely amazing. We really have a great ward and are very sad to leave them.

Wednesday Melinda and Sister Hahne came over to clean carpets with me. I still had a lot to do with packing my bedroom and they were awesome. That night I met with my boss for dinner. I gave him a Book of Mormon and explained that he had done so much for us that the least we could do was share something that we value so greatly. I know he knows I am sincere in my gift and I truly feel indebted to him.

Right after that I went up to Trent's room to find Sparkley our neighbor there visiting. She is so awesome! She treated me to a new do and it made a huge difference for me. I felt guilty taking the time to do that but I also enjoyed the time not thinking about cancer.

When I got home the Elders Quorum and Trent's family already had 90% of the loading finished. Trent's Uncle Joe and Richard came along with his dad, brother Travis, nephew Justin, and BFF Nate. When I drove up I just started to bawl. We are sooooo grateful for all the help that they gave! To drive across country just to work a whole bunch and turn around again was quite a sacrifice. Nate had a bunch of shirts made up for "Team Trent". They are so cool! We are going to make a bunch more so we can have a huge team for Trent.

Thursday I took Travis and Nate and headed up to Trent's room. I was expecting to have to get him all ready to go but when we walked in Trent was already showered and packed up waiting on the sofa! Typical Trent! It was a sweet site to watch him greet his brother and friend and I snapped a couple of pics.
Nate, Travis, and Trent

Sylvia and Becky-awesome nurses!
Becky was Trent's favorite nurse. She was amazing.

We headed off to the airport to wait for the flight. I learned that morning that my dad and brother were going to be on the flight to pick us up. So when Zach got off the plane we were both very surprised! It was a great flight-minus a lot of turbulence and a lot of breathing into the barf bag for me! Someone asked how it was seeing the Wasatch Mountains as we flew over. What? I didn't see that-my head was inbetween my knees! Zach and Dad did great while Trent and I shared the barf bag. Not great. But we are very grateful to Kevin for flying us-he was great!
Kevin (the pilot), Trent, and Zach
Me and Dad-before the turbulence!
Zach and Trent just hanging out.
Oh how nice it was to see Zach step off that plane!

Friday we had some trouble getting his labs done but when we did the were looking better! The tech said that from the numbers it looks like he will be able to stick to the 21 day cycle for chemotherapy which means he should start Wednesday. Friday was also haircut day. I thought it would be harder than it was for me. The thing that bothers me is that the bald head makes it real. Now everybody knows he is a cancer patient. I was surprised how much it affected Trent but he was a great sport.


Trent's brothers Trevor and Troy, and sister Tracy, and nephew Jaden met us in Brigham to unload the trucks. It was pouring outside but we all had a great time filling up the storage bay. Right when they arrived Trent had a terrible bout with nausea right in front of them which was somewhat sobering for everyone. We are so glad they came. It really means a lot to us and especially Trent to have the support of his family.
Justin, Travis, Tracy, Trent, Doug, Trevor, Jaden, and Troy (in front)
Richard and Joe hamming it up as usual! Those two crack me up!
Only part of "Team Trent". Thanks you guys!

Saturday all my brothers and their wives came over for a good long day of soccer. Nate came down to watch the game with Trent and was really great even when he sat alone while Trent had to lay back down a few times. It takes a lot out of him to be up for too long.

Today Trent attempted church but barely made it through the sacrament. We then had to make our exit with a bawling Jonathan on my hip and a very sick and weak Trent on my arm. We promplty took them both home and put them to bed. I could just feel all the eyes on us though we were not making eye contact. How dramatic. blah.

I finally listened to all of my voicemails and found one from the Huntsman Cancer Institute saying that they are expecting us tomorrow and Trent's case will be discussed at their weekly staff meeting in the morning. We are so excited to be here and to learn what they have in store for us. So keep the prayers coming, tomorrow is a big day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Minor Setback

Last night about 10:30 I checked Trent's temperature. It was about 100.4. We had been told that anything above 100.5 we needed to head to the ER. So I uncovered him and let him sit for about 15 or 20 minutes then took his temp again. 102.3! I quickly called the on call PA and got Trent's bag ready. Of course we were off to the ER. We had to drag poor Megan with us. Trent was feeling fine but just had a fever. We knew he would be admitted for IV antibiotics but were hoping it wouldn't last too long. We waited forever in the ER. We were the only ones there and got right in but it took so long to get him up to a room. He had a chest xray to rule out pneumonia and they saw the biggest cancer nodule on the xray but none of the others. I am not putting a whole lot of stock in that until we see a CT scan next to the original scan.

Poor Megan was soooo cold! Plus since Trent is neutropenic we all had to wear masks so he didn't have too. Finally at 4:00 am they got a room and we got him settled. We were so tired! Megan and I came home so Trent could get some rest. We jumped up first thing---okay not really first thing, more like as soon as we could drag ourselves out of bed, to start packing again. I went up to see Trent in the afternoon and he was not looking so good. They had started him on the antibiotics and also two more units of blood. I had to inform the nurse that he had thrush in his throat and then ask the doctor to treat it. I had waited so long to ask a bunch of questions to the doctor but he kind of brushed me off which completely ticked me off. I am getting more and more anxious to get to the Huntsman. This sounds so dumb I know, but the doctors only want to talk to Trent. He is not always with it enough to give them the right answers and I find myself having to tell them a different story than he does. Of course they look at me like I need to be quiet until Trent confirms that they should be asking me not him. AARRGGHH!

His fever almost seemed like it was breaking and then this evening it spiked again. They think it is an infection in the open incision but can't be sure until the culture is back. So at this point it looks like he might be home on Wednesday but there is a good chance it will be Thursday. Just in time to hop on a plane to Utah. Could it be any more difficult?! Yikes! I didn't really say that because with our track record I am sure we could find a way to make it more difficult. We haven't done so good so far.

Trent is really having a hard time the last few days. This morning the nurse called and asked me if I thought he should be on a mild anti-depressant. Uh...YES! I thought they would never ask! It is such an emotional rollercoaster everyday and lately it seems as though the hills are getting harder and harder to climb. Maybe next week he will start to feel a little better and enjoy a couple of days before round two of chemo starts. He really needs a break.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fast Sunday

I am exhausted. You know that feeling you have when you cry so much that it wears you out but makes you feel so good? That's what today is all about. Our ward fasted for us again today. Trent stayed home from church because he is neutropenic. (That means that he does not have one neutrphil-part of a white blood cell-in his body. He is at absolute zero.) So Megan and I went to church alone. Bishop Hahne bore his testimony to start the meeting and talked of what it has been like seeing the service the whole ward has given to our family over the past month. That started me off bawling. I was waiting for a lull so I could go up but quickly realized I was going to have to jump in line! So I finally stood up-at exactly the same time as Tanya Mathison who was a couple rows behind me. So I turned around and walked back to her and put my arm around her and we walked up together-both bawling like babies. I bore my testimony that I know that the Lord puts people in our lives for a reason. Sometimes we may not know the reason right away, but He is always preparing a way for His children. We have seen that so many times already! I often wonder what this trial would be like if various people were not in our lives, or if they had not done a certain thing. I know the Lord knows me individually and knows my struggles. There have been way too many "coincidences" to deny that. After my testimony I read Trent's testimony that he had written:

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to add my testimony that our loving Heavenly Father is accutely aware of personal situations. Through the Atonement of the Savior, Jesus Christ, I have witnessed the miracles associated with the power of prayer, priesthood blessing, having our names placed in the temple, how fasting makes a tangible difference, ward families, a great bishop, Home teachers, Visiting teachers, the awesome Relief Society, good neighbors,most importantly our wonderful families, and surprisingly, even complete strangers.

Despite being in the darkest place imaginable, with a diagnosis like cancer, I express my appreciation to an amazing Heavenly Father for building a network where theis type of trial is met with resolve from good people. I truly know what it means to comfort those who stand in need of comfort, to pick up those who are broken and suffering. I have felt it daily. This life is wonderful and you all have helped me draw closer to my Savior than one could possibly imagine. Thank you for being great. May our Heavenly Father's choicest blessing accompany you every single day. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The whole meeting was amazing. It was one of those meetings where the spirit is so strong you just don't want it to end. Then in Relief Society Brother Poulsen gave a fabulous lesson on Missionary Work. (Yes-that is correct, Brother Poulsen taught in Relief Society.) It just reiterated to me how important it is every day to live the gospel no matter what is going on in our lives. The opportunities to share the gospel are everywhere.

After church, Brother Mathison and Brother Church brought Trent the sacrament. Bishop Hahne and Brother Bradley (our home teacher) stopped by. We had a nice visit and Brother church shared some of what he went through when he had cancer five years ago. I can't believe how the testimonies of others strengthens my own.

We have had just two short years here in the Yankee Hill Ward but we feel so close to them. I believe that comes through the opportunity to serve and be served. Brother Oxford bore his testimony about being with our families eternally and how that doesn't just mean a mom, a dad, and their kids. We are all working together to be together as children of God. We will greatly miss our wonderful ward family but hope to keep in touch!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another day in our saga

Day number two of chaos. Again, we went this morning to have labs done. Trent was low on fluid again so they checked his incision then hooked him up to an IV. However that was interrupted quickly when they found that the wound culture was growing bacteria. We were immediately sent to a wound care physician. He ended up opening the wound even more and letting it drain. He ended up pulling out an 18 inch long stitch that wasn't even holding anything. Not sure what to think about that.
He then turned to me and asked if I would be able to pack the wound. Uhhh...yes? I am not really sure I can stomach packing it twice a day. I can dress a wound as good as anyone but not so sure I want to stuff things into it!

We went back to the cancer center to finish the fluid drip and we all decided it was best to check Trent back into the hospital for a blood transfusion. His levels continue to drop because of the chemotherapy but are worsened because of the incision. So we grabbed lunch and then headed up to Saint Elizabeth's hospital.

All the while our kids were being whisked away by all of our ward members and friends for some play time. My cousing Melinda had showed up to help us pack not knowing that we had gone to the hospital. When she arrived she found ward members cleaning our house. How amazing are they?! Later my visiting teacher drove to Omaha to pick up my parents from the airport and lent them her car to come to Lincoln. Trent was so anxious for them to come!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The After Effects

Today was one of our toughest yet. We got the kids off to school today and took the little ones with us to the doctor. We thought we only needed lab work done and we would be out the door in five minutes. That is how dumb we are about cancer. The lab work really did only take five minutes but then the doctor wanted to see Trent and check out his biopsy site. It is getting infected and they decided to take out the stitches. They took out two tiny ones while he was still in the hospital to relieve a little pressure but it didn't quite do the trick. The other five stitches were HUGE! I referred to them earlier as being as thick as shark line. Sadly, that is not an understatement. They were having some trouble and I could see this was getting more involved than we had planned for. Pretty soon they were talking about morphine through the port and it all went downhill from there.

I took the kids outside and called a friend who came as fast as she could to take the kids for me--thanks a million times Michelle! I was so unprepared I didn't even have a diaper for Jonathan.

By the time I got back inside they had accessed Trent's port again for fluids because he almost passed out during the whole stitches ordeal. So, an hour and however many cc's later I thought we were good to go. But then I saw the wound...what follows is not for the faint of heart.

The incision had splayed wide open after the stitches were removed. It was draining infection and necrotic tissue-dead cancer. Of course they are not prepared to treat such wounds at a cancer center so I had to run to Walgreens to get more ABD pads and tape. These things I usually have with us but not when I think we are going to be "in and out"! So while I was gone they pumped him full of a bunch more fluids until he was coherent enough to go. He was feeling much better by then and even did a little jig for the nurses to prove it.

When we got home I started to tackle the list of things I intended to do today. Not so good. Trent was not doing so great anymore. I would just get him settled and then I would slip out to conquer the list. Let's just say it took over four hours to clean out the burb. We don't keep messy cars, I just got interrupted every five seconds by either Trent or the kids. By dinner time I was frazzled. Then Trent announced he was having chest pain. Are you kidding me?!

I quickly called the nurse who suggested it was esophageal and not cardiac. Because of all the drugs and nausea his GI tract is acting up. That made sense. So I was off to the store for Zantac and a bunch of juice. Trent can't take the meds with water and I need to get calories in him somehow.

By the time I came back Zach was feeling bad because I didn't have time to decorate for and throw a going away party for him. Zach is not a demanding kid so it broke my heart that I couldn't do that for him. He has made some good friends and just wants to have a last hurrah with them. I can certainly understand that but I just can't have a bunch of boys here to compromise Trent's immune system. Zach is so good natured. He didn't even say anything except that he understood. Then he quietly slipped out to the driveway to have a good cry. Oh how my heart broke!

All the stress of the day and the heartache for the kids caught up with me and I was losing it. Then dad called and caught the brunt of it. I was feeling better but so overwhelmed. And all of a sudden the relief society pres and the bishop's wife showed up to play with the kids for a minute, clean their rooms, and swoop out with all of my laundry. I am beginning to understand why it is called the "relief society"! Before they left the bishop was called to give us both blessings. He is an amazing man. Bishop Hahne told all the kids some funny stories of his childhood then gave us blessings. The feeling in the house instantly changed. He bore his testimony to the kids and left. It was so nice to just sit and absorb the spirit. So we topped it all off with a little ice cream and sent everyone to bed. In the end we salvaged the day. Even though cancer may have kicked our tails today our testimonies were strengthened and our hearts softened.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Round One goes to the Rasmussens

So we won the first round but it was a very ugly fight. We are battered and beaten down but nonetheless, victorious. Today was especially emotional. Trent is in the mad stage. He is mad that this happened to him at this time. We were supposed to be leaving Lincoln with a Master's degree in hand headed off to a new job and a new life. Instead, we are limping out struggling to keep our heads above water. Today it struck him like a ton of bricks and it was horrible. We cried and cried. We have a new cd from the Mathison's that helped so much. It is all primary songs that have been arranged with no lyrics. It is absolutely beautiful. I put on the cd for Trent and it changed the whole feeling in the room. It was suddenly calm, and peaceful. Still sad, but with a resolution to see this through for our family. No matter how awful it is.

We were released from the hospital around 2 pm. Trent really wanted to stop and get ribs for lunch-that's what you get for watching a week's worth of Food Network while eating hospital food. Yuck! I convinced him that a smoothie might be a better choice. I didn't want him to lose the ribs and then not ever want to eat them again. For him a smoothie was a better sacrifice. Which incidentally, he did lose. On the way home I stopped to get the bjillion drugs he needs. Thank goodness for insurance! Just one of the drugs cost $300! I picked up six prescriptions and only had to pay $22.00. Another blessing.

When we got home we were both exhausted. We each took a short nap before the kids came home. I think they were excited to see Trent but a little apprehensive too. Because of the effects of the drugs he stutters and speaks in a really sickly voice. I don't think they knew quite what to think about that.

We are happy to be home but it is turned upside down. Melinda started packing for us, (Thanks a ton...) so there are piles of boxes everywhere. It is going to be a whirlwind of events the next couple of weeks and I am not sure I am up for it. Possibly a good night's rest with no beeping IV's will change my attitude! :)

Thanks to all the wonderful nurses who cared for our every need for the last week. Amazing people.
My view for the past week. Watching time tick away is so boring.

Trent's view for the past week. It is a lovely ceiling isn't it?

Thought I turned the picture but don't really have the energy to fix it tonight. Anyway, it was a beautiful sight to see all those stupid bags finally empty. That meant freedom!

Trent's best friend for the last few days. The emisiss bag. I really don't know how to spell it but the function is the same. Luckily we got a few extra before discharge. If Trent doesn't use them all we have a special little girl in our family who always gets car sick. See Mallory? Dad, did bring you a treat after all!

This was our address for the first hospital stay. Fifth floor of Bryan LGH West. Such a sad place to be. There were several patients who sat in their rooms all day alone. How awful.

The final analysis...W(win). Way to go Trent. I'll be with you every step of the way! We are going to kick Cancer in the Tenders! (as shown below-nice artwork Trevor)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Tornado Around Us

Today was a tornado. Trent is really feeling the effects of the chemo. His whole body hurts. He is super tired. He can't keep anything down. The whole world spins in his head. He can't calm his thoughts. It is awful. He feels so bad that he is inconveniencing everyone. Typical Trent. Then the next minute he is irritated that the whole world hasn't stopped because he has cancer. Those drugs are really playing with his minds because that is NOT Trent.

He is getting sooooo tired of being in the hospital. So I jumped up early this morning and opened all the blinds to let in a bunch of sunshine. But pretty soon we got a severe thunderstorm warning and had to close them again. Then right about dinner time there were tornado warnings all over southeast Nebraska. We watched the progress on TV and I opened the blinds so we could see what was going on outside. It was eerie and green and so cool. Unfortunately that is just how Trent was feeling-minus the cool part. He took a turn for the worse and ended up having a really rough evening.

We did have a really neat experience this afternoon. I was feeling emotionally exhausted and Trent was too. We had a good cry together and expressed some fears, sadness, and the wish that everything would hurry up and fall into place. Then right in the middle of that we got a phone call from the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah. We finally have the ball rolling to get there so we can be closer to family. What a blessing that was! Our tears became those of happiness and relief and the knowledge that our Heavenly Father hears us and knows us so well!

Hopefully we will be going home tomorrow to our nice soft bed and no IV poles. It will be nice to have the kids with us for a couple of days before they head off to Utah. Then the next tornado will begin...getting Trent there too.