Monday, May 23, 2011

And hospice begins...

On Friday, we began to feel better once we got home. I don't know how to explain this very well, but we believe our house is FULL of angels. The strong feeling here is calm, peaceful and comforting.

While Todd called Carly in St. Louis, Lee and I took Kelsey aside and told her the news. Both girls took it as well as can be expected and thankfully surrounded by loving family members. We left it up to Carly to decide if she wanted to come home early ( she is scheduled to come home tonight), but she felt she was in good, supportive hands with her extended family. She was able to have some late night, all night conversations, and prayerful, thoughtful discussions. She is comforted. Kelsey chose to forge ahead and went to be with her softball family for practice. Her coach let her teammates know of the situation by reading them the latest blog entry. Though emotional for all, she is comforted, too.

Saturday morning, Nick and I had a short conversation about hospice. He simply said, "well, chemo is just going to prolong things and make me sicker than I already am - how much time do I have?" I could not believe I was having this discussion with my son. I can think of a MILLION things to say, except "two weeks." We met with the hospice nurse for about 30 minutes and got everything in order, although we don't need any services yet. I'm still able to convince Nick to hit the showers on a fairly regular basis and his pain is still under control.

After Kelsey finished up practice, Lee offered to take her over to the Ogden Marathon, where Todd and his girlfriend, Leigh, were running the full marathon. Kelsey was able to surprise her dad a few blocks from the finish line and ran with him to finish, metal cleats and all. It was a very sweet and much needed emotional gift she gave him and very sweet of Lee to get her there.

Nick had a full house most of the day with friends coming to just hang out for awhile. I ordered pizza and sliced up some fresh watermelon (odd combo, I know) and he finally booted the last two friends out at 9:00 p.m. We had a few more visitors on Sunday and today. He had to bump up his meds today as his pain is starting to creep up and his tummy is getting a little fuller. He is eating a little and drinking a lot. He knows the status of both the basketball and hockey playoffs, which is good for me, because I can't remember anything. He even helped Kelsey solve the surface area of a cone for math a few days ago, too.

He is beginning to decline visitors and phone calls now, though, embracing his emotional and physical privacy. He is taking some time to write a few things down and we are able to have some open conversations about our feelings. We have so much more to say.

Please be sure to call first (801-554-5505) before coming over, as Nick may not feel up to receiving company. If you would like to send Nick a note, our physical addrress is: 2777 N. 2175 E., Layton, UT 84040; and my email address is:

Thank you, everyone, for the prayerful words of encouragement and love - the emails, texts, Facebook posts, cards and blog posts. The prayers are being answered, evidenced by the amazing Spirit that has surrounded our home and hearts.

With love,



Obsessedwithlife said...

Praying for you all, as always...

Amy aka Deuce said...

I had the pleasure to meet Nickname at First Descents in Moab this past April. His spirit lit up the room. I am so incredibly saddened to hear that his time on this earth is going to be so short. So not fair, cancer just sucks. As a mother, I can only imagine how intensely painful it must be to not be able to protect your child from cancer. Even though he is in physical pain, I can feel the intense love of his family surrounding him and holding him as his bright spirit continues to shine. Just know his team of Angels are ready to receive him when he is ready. What a sweet sweet soul he is. Blessed be.
Amy aka Deuce

Anonymous said...

Dearest Nick, Lori and all. It was so good to see you yesterday. And yes, I do believe your home is filled with angels. I left feeling much comforted and calmed. Thank you. My natural instinct is to want to spend as much time with you all as possible but I know that it's far more important for you to have your private time together. Always in my thoughts... forever in my heart. GM Jennie xx

Anonymous said...

Nick, many of us live long lives without making much difference. You have taught so many so much through your work of caring and sharing. Your support of programs for research and treatment will benefit many more. You're great! Congratulations! Also, you have been blessed with a wonderful family.
Let's go fly...

Ryan and Hetz said...

Hello Nick,

You have been such a delight to our family. We (all our siblings and parents) have looked up to you. You are one awesome cowboy:) I know you have made a big impact on Kory's life and are one of his closest friends. Thank you for that. You are in our thoughts and prayers. There is no doubt that what your mom said is true, I'm positive angels are filling your house. Love you-Heather (Kory and Karl's sister)

so said...

we love you.
we are thinking of you.
we only got to hang out a few days in moab but it was enough to feel your sunshine.
you changed our lives, you really did.
god bless and thank you for being nickname, you the only nickname in the world and we are so stoked that we got to hang out.
keep on shining
loves and peace
steve "el jefe from first descents film crew"

Anonymous said...

Lori, You've reached out to me and provided comfort numerous times over the past couple of years. You have such a strong, supportive, spiritual, courageous family.
May you all be wrapped in love and comfort. Love and Prayers, Amy Goodner

Raymond AARON said...

Dear Lee, Lori and Nick ...

I miss you. And, I am moved by the love and gratitude with which you and your family have faced this monster. You are a model and a shining light to so many. You are deeply missed at TLC. And, you will be welcomed back with as much love as you have poured out into the universe during this battle.

Much love,
Raymond Aaron, and Karyn

Caroline said...

Nickname, I am thinking about you and praying for you. You are so amazing, and so strong spirited and really just awesome all around. Thank you for being a part of my life, even if I've only met you briefly!! Keep kicking, Nick. Love, Fridge from FD

Anonymous said...

I am so sad to hear that Nick is now on hospice. I've been following his story for over a year now. My heart just aches with the difficult conversations you are forced to make, knowing what is ahead. Praying for more moments of peace, and continued pain control for Nick.

On a side note, I am impressed that he is still keeping up with sports! He must be a dedicated fan.

I wish I had the power to stop this from happening to your family. I hate cancer and that is a huge understatement. All I can offer is prayers and tears..

Karin (caringbridge: visit canadakarin)

Chris Ulvin said...

All of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
-2 Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)

Dear Nick,
You do reflect the glory of God. Thank you for loving me and so many others. My prayers will continue as you wait on the Lord. May the angels God sent to surround you and fill your house never leave. Amen.
Love, aunt Chris

Nate & Lauren Brower said...

Our family is praying for your comfort and peace at this difficult time. Nick you have always been so warm and kind to Nate and I. I wish we could talk Survivor. We pray God's loving arms will give you strength.

Anonymous said...

I have taped your picture to my glove for the Iron Horse Classic race this weekend. The entire family will have our Samurai Warrior shirts on. Your shirts are in the mail. We will give great honor to your fight!

The Bushido (Warrior Knight) or the Samurai had the greatest mental toughness of all warriors. May you have the mental power of the Samurai in this tough time. I love you brother (though I haven't met you in person). You are a great inspiration and encouragement to me. Larry G. Linne

Shannon Waller said...

Hi Lori,
My heart aches for all of you!

I'm so glad you're together at home, surrounded by friends, family, the comforts of home, and the angels.

My love and prayers are with you. Thank you both for sharing this journey - your courage, compassion, love, and grace are an inspiration to me.
With love,

Karma & Adam said...

You have fought so hard, Nick. I wish for you, your family and friends that fighting hard was enough. Cancer sucks. It takes so much away. But it also gives us a chance to get to the heart of what matters, and who we are. Wishing you great peace as you complete your journey. You have been an inspiration to so many - what a wonderful legacy.

Karma (past colleague of Lee's from Strategic Coach, and cancer survivor)

Anonymous said...

Dear Nick, you have such grace.

I wish I had a way to turn back the clock and make all of this go away. Instead, we reflect on the remarkable way in which you have dealt with matters far too serious for anyone to image.

I will remember your visit to Colorado around 1992 and the joy you provided your parents, family, and relatives around you. And more recently, I will always remember your amazing efforts to improve your situation and to help others who are also suffering.

In the end, this battle is incapable of explanation, but what makes you a remarkable person is the way you have handled the years with equanimity and hope for your cause and, more broadly, in the service of others. From young child to teacher, you have taught us much. God bless you.

With much love. You remain in our thoughts.

John Dunlap (Todd's cousin)