Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Well, Saturday was the RILEY ROCKS CANCER FUNDRAISER and it was rock'n!!!!

It is now Tuesday and I haven't posted one thing about it ......
1: because I really want to post pics and I don't have them yet
2: because I have been trying to think of something so fantastic to say to everyone who helped and who came, but I feel like the words I come up with aren't good enough.

I still don't have any words to blow you away but I can't go one more day without saying something!

With tears that have not stopped since Saturday, for the support we have had.
In a lot of ways we are still numb that this actually happened..... FOR US!
Saturday was so AMAZING! We were not expecting that many people and I didn't know it would be that incredible! I knew it would be good because Angie was in charge and there are so many good good people out there, but we were blown away.

Here are most of the donation places and people we want to thank for donating stuff for the fundraiser:

 So many more donations came in after the banner was posted, so if you don't see your name, I'm sorry its not on here, but I have it written down.


Riley had a pretty ruff week but he was strong enough on Saturday to come to the event for a while. At first he was shy and didn't want to do anything but he eventually got into it! He had to go home and take a few breaks but he had a BALL!! He threw those marshmallows into that cow until his arm was tired!!  He had a snow cone, then had to be strolled right back over to the games!! He hadn't been out of the house for a week and had the BIGGEST smile on his face!!! We laid there that night and he told me all about it!!! The games, how many people were there, spider-man, cosmo, skyhawk, the princesses, and even some friends of his that came out to see him!!
I hope he will always remember this!

Of course it wore him right out, but nothing a lot of rest won't take care of!

I also want to thank everyone for being so considerate of Riley and not bombarding him. I was so impressed with every one's respect for him. Thank you for giving him his space but also being there and saying hi and letting him know you care!

I know the whole reason for a fundraiser is to "raise money"! But it was more then that. There was so much concern and love, people went above and beyond what they had to. I have so many stories that I will forever treasure, so many giving people that I will never forget, your name might slip my mind, but your face and what you did, WILL NOT.

There are so many people that helped make this happen, the ring leaders are: (in no particular order)
My mom, Angie P, Angie S, Lacei C, Cari H, Linda K, Jenn H, Ashley S, Lindi W, Chantelle H, Becky W, Heather F, Abbie T, Sarah W, Calie M, Katie A, Katie B, Pam B, Marie M, Kellye W, Vickie D, Lance and Crystal C, Denise and Mary J, ...... And ALL HUSBANDS AND FAMILY!!
Thank you also to Jared Triptow for putting the website together for us. I know it was more then you bargained for, but it was simply the best! Thanks to his wife also! 
(PLUS so many more that I will soon list!! You are not forgotten!)

There were days upon days that you all took out of your lives and family to help with this and I want to thank you for each and every hour.
I have AMAZING Friends and People in my life!

I can't explain the feeling I have today knowing we will be taken care of financially because of YOU.
My heart is at piece and I can finally breath for a little while, knowing I can sit by my sons side day after day and take care of him without having the stress of medical bills. He deserves that and I can now give it to him.

I hope you can feel how grateful we are and how much you have helped us. I'm trying to put the way my heart feels into words but I feel like I'm coming up short. Please just know we are forever grateful and will never forget this experience.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Monday July 8th: Chemo week 13 and scans

Today is the day that could change our course. It was what we were so anxious to do but also so scared at the same time. If the scans are good, then we can breath for another 3 months, if they are bad..... well, it's bad.
The ultrasound showed nothing alarming and the x-ray showed nothing but his STAPLES, which I didn't know he had, from the surgery!
As wonderful as this news is, I didn't feel the relief I thought I would. Maybe because we aren't in the clear.... heck, we won't be in the clear for years. I think a part of me can't let loose because if I do and the cancer comes back, I won't be able to deal with it. Anyways, how can I be happy about any of this while I'm watching my son still suffer???
I have many mixed emotions right now that I'm fighting with and it sends me from cries of anger to good cries all at the same time.
Riley getting the ultrasound! Watching his favorite movie Oscar!!
 Here is a picture of the ultrasound BEFORE we took the tumor out. The big mass on the left here, is the tumor, the smaller circle on the right bottom, next to that white thing is his other kidney. Crazy hun?! Your kidney should be the size of your fist.
Now, his intestines and other parts have filled in that gap where the tumor/kidney was. They said his good kidney has recognized that it has to do all the work, so it has become bigger in size to compensate. Which is really good!

We got his counts before they ordered chemo to make sure he is strong enough, his ANC is .8, with .75 being the cut off, he barely made it again. I think this is crazy after having a 2 week break that he is still this low. I now see how his body is getting slower at recovering.

Here are his counts:
WEEK:      1    2    3     4     5     6    7    8   9   10   11   12   13

  HGB:   14.1    12.9         ??      11.7      10.7    9.5   9.8   10.3   9.2   9.2   8.8   10.8   11.5                          (less then 8 is bad)   

  Hct:    41.8%    37.8%   35%  33.2    30.2   27.4    28.6   29.7   26.5   27.1   25.1   31.4   33.5                             (less then 24% is bad)   

  WBC:  10.5      4.7         3.6      4.2     2.3       1.9   6.3    3.7   3.9   2.8   1.9   2.6   2.85                                   (5.5 is a low normal)

  PLTS:   621      288        272    347   280      288   466   168    265   475  319  318  400                               (less then 30 is bad)    
ANC:   7.6       3.0          2.2     1.5    1.5          .6     2.4    2.3   2.2   .8  1.0   .6   .8                                  (less the 1 is bad, less then .5 is really bad)

Today he got Vincristine and Dactomycin. As well as a good dose of Zofran!
They did not keep him accessed to go home with fluids because "hopefully" his body has adjusted a little bit and he'll be able to tolerate it better.
Our new schedule for chemo is: EVERY 3rd Monday!!! Yay! 2 week breaks!!
So instead of smaller doses every week, we will get harder bigger doses every 3 weeks. I'm not sure which is better, Because it takes longer now to recover from the bigger doses.
His counts may not be high enough, so we can either have a home health nurse come out and take labs on Sunday or we can take a possible wasted trip to Primary's on Monday. Still not sure what to do!

TUESDAY July 9th:
He started throwing up Monday evening but went to bed around 10p.m. I put a dis-solvable Zofran in his mouth mid way through the night so he hopefully wouldn't wake up throwing up. It helped until about 8a.m. Since then though, he hasn't kept anything down and has thrown up about 8 times. He is so tired all he's done today is nap and throw up. He stays awake for about a half hour at a time, but just doesn't have the energy to even move.

This is when it's hard. To see him so sick like this tears my heart out.
My 7 year old knows how to help Riley when he's throwing up, if I happen to be in the other room for what ever reason. It's sad that this is normal for him. He's a GOOD GOOD Brother!

I'm trying to be grateful for the good times and know the bad times will pass but today it's to hard. A friend of mine said, "the hardest thing you'll ever do is sit and watch your child be sick and there's not a thing you can do about it." I AGREE.

4th of July week

This year for the 4th of July was quiet a bit different!
We didn't get to get all dressed up in 4th of July colors and go to the parade or any parks, have a family bbq or even do fireworks. It was a wonderful different 4th this year!

We got Riley's labs drawn on Tuesday and his ANC was down to .6 which is extremely low. So how did we celebrate you ask????......
At the Condo!! Swimming and resting!!!
Chris's work generously let us use their condo, it is pretty secluded so we could be away from a lot of people but still have fun!
We spent 3 days at the pool! This is the first time Riley has been swimming and he was ALL SMILES!!!
Of course we had to be crazy careful and not swim while a lot of other people were there and also not push Riley's limit's. So when he got tired or when we thought he needed to rest, we would go back and watch movies or take naps.

The night of the 4th we went night swimming and was able to see fireworks from the sky. It was really fun! The boys loved it! AND we were safe and away from everyone!

oh yeah!! This is the life!!
It's so fun to squirt mom!!

Riley can't eat fast food when his counts are this low but it was okay because all he wants is cereal and slush's anyway!! The FAVORITE this week is Liger's Blood from Maverick!!
We had our first family restaurant night in 3 months as take-out from Texas Roadhouse!!! While Riley eat Fruity Pebbles!!

The boys wanted so badly to go to the movie theater and see Despicable me 2, we attempted it one day, but it was so busy we had to just say no. You would have thought it was the end of the world, Riley was so sad. That whole day all he said was, "can we go to the movie now?"
So the next day, we got up and went to the earliest showing, I went in and talked to the theater, saw how many people were there and where they were sitting, which thankfully there wasn't a ton!!  And gave them the low down and that we needed the very back corner where no one was and please try not to seat people by us, and we were on our way!!!
Before we sat down, I brought my Lysol and sprayed everywhere, then I got out the Clorox wipes and wiped down the chairs..... YES we are a little crazy...... But it was now a sanitary environment and we could watch the show!! AND IT WAS GOOD!!!!
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Come Sunday when we left, Riley and I both started crying...... We didn't want to come home, we didn't want to come back to reality, we knew what this week would entail and we just didn't want to do it.
It was so nice to be gone and block CANCER out of our lives for just a couple of days. It was so fun while it lasted! Maybe if Riley gets feeling good again soon we can escape for another couple of days.... maybe!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Auction stuff...... anyone need braces or a gun safe? How about a weekend stay or a shopping gift card.........!!!

Riley Rocks Cancer Auction

Silent Auction 9:00am-11:00pm
Live Auction 11:30am

We will be accepting cash, checks and credit cards for auction items.
Silent Auction Items estimated value:
  • Baby Blankets ($20)
  • Sonic Car Wash Passes (5 at $22 each)  
  • Quilts ($30-$100)
  • Jewelry ($20)
  • Boondocks Gift Certificate ($100)
  • Heart-n-Soul Dance Gift Certificate ($50)
  • Utah Valley Magazine Subscriptions ($30 for 3 years) 
  • 2 Crossfit Gym Monthly Passes ($200)  
  • Gift Card Set ( donated by Allyson Anderson $12)
  • Wreath ($25)
  • Homemade Bread (once a month for 6 months) ($25)
  • Homemade Desserts (once a month for 1 year) ($40)
  • Doterra Essential Oils
  • 3 Davis Detailing($25)
  • 2Anytime Fitness 2 month membership ($100)
  • Circle V Meats gift certificate ($20)
  • Gracie Lou's ($25)/car seat covers ($20)
  • Dalton’s gift certificate ($20)
  • 2 Nest on Main gift Certificate ($10)
  • Kneaders gift basket ($30-40)
  • Wiggy Wash Passes 
  • Gary’s Meat package (18lbs $45)
  • Cupcake Chic Cupcakes ($25)
  • 1 full session Swedish massage ($75)
  • Women's cut and style with Ali at The Retreat Full service Salon ($25)
  • 2 little girl dresses donated ($30)
  • 2 Childs dance wear ($10)
  • Orange Peel gift cards 
  • 2 boxes .22 shells ($25)
  • UCCU Visa ($25)
  • Family farm day and BBQ ($50)
  • 2 Toes by Meg($20)
  • 25 punch pass at Spanish fork swimming pool ($100)
  • 4 Payson theater movie tickets ($28)
  • 4 44lb bags granulated Azomite ($100)
  • 3 hoodies from Kings Camo(Men's XL Women's L Kids M)($24)
Live Auction Items:
  • Red Rock Orthodontics Treatment (valued at $5,000)
  • Thomas Orthodontics Treatment (valued at $5,000)
  • Cascade Dental word (valued at 4,000)
  • Concrete/Bobcat work
  • Hynes Hotel night stay (valued at $150)
  • 2 Custom Cakes ($95)
  • Marly Roo Minky Blankets (valued at $150)
  • Saranoni Blankets (valued at $100)
  • Beating the Bully Painting and books by artist  Andrea Kirk (valued at 1,000) Frame size: 27”x33”
    All of us are familiar with the term, “Bully”. When one visualizes a bully, they usually picture a person who is mean and cruel, acting in an overbearing manner toward others who are smaller and weaker. But, not all bullies are people. Some bullies are silent, and unseen to the naked eye, and appear unexpectedly. If left alone, these bullies eventually grow stronger, weakening their victims day by day. This bully can target the strongest, healthiest individual, causing pain, suffering, and loss of strength.

    Unfortunately, Riley was targeted by one such bully. This bully is Cancer. He didn’t ask for this affliction, and neither did his family. Overcoming this bully requires specialized treatment over a lengthy period of time. He and his family have to sacrifice much to fight this battle.

    As members of this community, we have the amazing opportunity to pull together to help Riley overcome his bully within.

    This original oil painting has been donated in honor of Riley, to assist in helping, he and his family as they continue to battle this awful disease. It is entitled, “Beating the Bully Within”.

    Donated by artist: Andrea Kirk Oil on canvas, Solid Wood Frame: Courtesy of Provo Art and Frame, Original painting was used as one of the illustrations for the book, “Beating the Bully” Written by, the late: Michael J. McLelland and illustrated by: Andrea Cope Kirk, published by Cedar Fort Inc., 2007.
  • Living Will Estate Planning Package donated by Stephanie O'brian at  Fillmore Spencer Law Firm (valued at $1,300)
  • 2 Summer Passes @ Sundance ($24)
  • Seth Topham Wildlife  Photography 
  • Snow Bird package 
  • 2 Real tickets ($30 each)
  • 2 Night stay at the Zermott in Midway Ut. ($200)
  • Gun Safe donated by Liberty Safe 
  • Golf Club set from Gladstan golf course ($300)
  • 30 min Plane ride around Utah Valley and above Provo Temple ($175)
  • 1 year computer protection from Invisus service ($249)


*If you would like to donate items to the auction please email auction@rileyrockscancer. com. All items need to be collected by July 1st

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 12: No Chemo!! What did the doctor order??? Some good friends??

Today is week 12,  2nd week in a row with NO CHEMO!!! I could get used to this!! (ONE DAY!!)
It's a little bitter sweet today.... exactly 3 months ago we started this journey. WOW is what I'm thinking..... 3 months of this, yet ONLY 3 months have gone by.
I'm so happy we are 3 months down but so sad we haven't even reached half way yet. (ALMOST THOUGH)!
I'm not gonna lie, this is one of the toughest trials of my life. I've been to the darkest lows and the happiest highs all in 3 months. Sometimes, a lot of times, all in one day. I've been beyond the point of giving up and my sweet sweet husband has had to pick up my crying pieces and lift me back up again. Yet I've been on a mountain of pure blessings and miracles that I've never thought possible. I'm still being humbled and I know I'll be pushed even further but I have so many GOOD SOLID FRIENDS that are here at a seconds notice. And of course I have my MOM.
I got down right mad the other night when Riley was in the bathroom looking in the mirror and I said "what you looking at? That handsome boy in the mirror?" he got so mad and said "no, I hate myself, I don't want to be bald." I think at that moment I picked up the pieces of my heart off the bathroom floor. I laid by him that night until about 3:00 a.m. just watching him, so angry that my little boy looks like this and "hates" himself. How is this fair? And what as his mom can I do about it?

I went and had a nice visit with our stake president, Pres. Claire, he is so nice and loving, he just cares. He gave me some good advice and good things to remember and apply to my life. But most of all, he let me breathe. He let me know everything I am feeling is valid and okay and he lifted the darkness over me and let me JUST BREATHE.
The other night as Riley was going to bed he looked at the ceiling and said "mom, why are those things on the ceiling always in my room at night and there not anywhere else?" I said "what things?", he said "all those dots all around the room, can't you see them? They are everywhere." ... No baby, I can't but I know they are angels looking over you. We are not alone and that brings great comfort.

As for the other days of the week, Riley has felt so good, other then his feet and legs hurting off and on, but he is doing amazing! We even had his counts done last Monday and of course we were border line on his red blood cells, but once again his body fought hard and we didn't end up needing a transfusion!
Riley's still pretty tired and gets worn down quickly so he still spends a lot of time in the house. But last Thursday..... nothing was going to stop him from getting out and playing with B man AKA Boston!!! The Augers are back from Australia for a visit which are our BEST FRIENDS!!!

Ri actually wanted to go on a bike ride with them!! Even if it only lasted a couple of blocks!!

I think it's just what the doctor ordered!! They had a ball! It's been almost 9 months since they saw each other and they picked up right where they left off!! Hunter and Boston have been best friends since they were 2, no kidding!!
Playing in the mud like the good ol times!!
I even broke some rules and let Riley play in the sand box too...... of course with restrictions!!

Riley had a hard time when the kids first wanted to see him, he said he didn't want them to see him. He is so self conscious right now, but we eased into it and he's okay with it now!
There's Lillie!! They are 6 months apart and we have some good pics.... maybe to use at a future wedding?? :)
All the world was right for one more day..... SATURDAY!!
Riley and dad stayed home and Hunter and I had the best time out on the lake for some much needed time together AWAY from the house and feeling like normal for just a bit!!
We've been couped up LONG enough and we took full advantage of it!!!
Paxton, Jaren, Hunter and Boston!!!
Katie, Calie and me.... don't forget the styrofoam cup!!
Thank you Calie and Dave for such a fun fun day out!!! Love you guys!!!

We'll be back to our world soon enough, but for now, we're going to enjoy another week off and build some much needed blood cells to get ready for next week!!