Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Surprise Secret Garden!

So, I told Clint that people were coming over today to celebrate my 32nd birthday (which is tomorrow), but we would be hanging out outside to minimize the amount of germs he would be exposed to.  He didn't guess his surprise, even with all the bark, sand, flagstone, and plants being hauled in. was too easy!

But not the work....that wasn't easy.  Boy was it rewarding though, and what a transformation!  We had a dedicated crew show up just after ten, and most stayed until it was finished around six.  A big thank you and shout out to:  Dick, Lasse, Cameron, Michele, Michael, Trudee, Amanda, Shane, and Grandpa!!!!!!!!! (Grandpa kept Clint distracted in the house).

I want to give a special THANK YOU to Uncle Mike and Aunt Linda in Colorado for purchasing our beauty bark!  It really made the garden look great.

Another special THANK YOU to my friend Matt, who beautifully made the wooden posts surrounding the Boulevard (pom-pom) tree!!  They turned out GREAT!

Also, THANK YOU to Jack, our neighbor, who lent us many tools we needed for the job, as well as him taking ALL day Thursday to help haul in beauty bark, stones, sand, and all the flagstone... that was quite a task, and very appreciated!

Enjoy the progression of pictures:



And we have one very happy and thoroughly blessed Clint.  Thank you for making this special Japanese garden for Clint to relax and recover in!!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Clint came home!

This morning when I went into Felicity's room to get her up, she stood straight up in her crib and said excitedly, "Dad??"  I asked her if she wanted to go get Daddy today and she vigorously nodded yes!  And all day she's been saying "Dad! Dad!"  So precious!  I think she misses Daddy.

The plan this morning was to drive up with my mom and Felicity to see Clint.  We knew there was a good possibility he would get discharged today.  Clint called from the hospital right before we started driving to Seattle and said "I'm ready to get picked up!"  Praise God, we did not hit any traffic going up (or back).

Felicity is super excited to see Daddy!

Felicity was VERY happy to see Daddy at the hospital, and Daddy was very happy to see his baby girl!

Daddy giving Felicity kisses


We got home at about 2 p.m.  Clint was running a 100.7 F temp, but it went down to 99 F in just a couple hours, and he was able to get some good rest in before settling in to watch some Dr. Who (thank you Roy -from work- for letting us borrow all the seasons!)

Max was happy to see Clint too!

I will post how he's doing as often as I can.  Also, we have a surprise planned for Clint on Saturday...we have a crew coming over to bless Clint with something.  I will take pictures and tell you all about it!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Visited Clint today

My dear friend Amanda drove up with me to see Clint today.  He looks great!  I was super surprised when the doctor told me they had considered releasing him today, but it's most likely they will discharge him tomorrow (...yikes, gotta get the house cleaned tonight!!!)

Clint was in good spirits today, he was lucid, able to remember everything and follow conversations normally.  I think he was happy to have company.  He got a chance to chat with his dad in NY for a few minutes on the phone.

Clint had his lovely head wrap removed at 2:00 p.m., and has some nice stitches...I'll have to count them when we get home.  He had 50 last time.

Dr. Lee, his surgeon, came in while we were there and showed us the before/after MRI images.  He was able to remove 70% of the affected areas, but the 30% left in there is right against his speech/motor center, and it would be devastating to risk touching any of those areas (he wouldn't be able to walk or talk).

We won't know our course of treatment until the pathology comes back, but if the remaining mass is just necrosis, Dr. Lee says we will leave it alone (no chemo).  If it IS a tumor, Dr. Lee is hesitant for Clint to start a regimen of chemotherapy and would prefer him to consult with a radiologist about something called Gamma knife radiosurgery (a very targeted and fine-tuned form of radiation...very different from the last kind of radiation he had and is no longer eligible for).  The surgeon is very pleased with how Clint is doing.  So am I!

God is GOOD.  All the time.

Mom, Felicity, and I are going up to see Clint first thing in the morning, and hopefully if they are discharging him tomorrow, they will send him home when we get there.

More updates soon.


ICU visit

I went to see Clint after he was transferred to the ICU (they call it the CCU - critical care unit) late yesterday afternoon.  I took Grandpa with me, as Clint had really wanted to see him before the surgery, but wasn't able to (Grandpa was stuck in traffic).  Clint was really sleepy, dozing in and out, but doing great.  Grandpa prayed over Clint, and I left some family pictures for Clint to see when he was more coherent.  Clint was a bit nauseated (can you blame him?), so I fed him some ice chips and let him know that he did great in surgery.  I asked him if the doctor told him anything, and he got a worried look on his poor tired face, and I just said, "Clint, it's all good news."  He looked so relieved and went back to sleep.

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday when talking with the surgeon - he mentioned that oligodendra tumors are notorious for causing seizures, which totally makes sense because Clint started having major seizure activity on May 10th. I am confident the surgeon is correct about the diagnosis.

My precious friend Amanda is going to go with me to visit him later today.  I will get some pictures and post again this evening.

And the news I know you all want to hear....I won at cribbage!  Mwahahaha!

Here's the cribbage board reflecting my win (black pegs)

Auntie Laurie admitting cribbage defeat!
Ok, will be back on here later.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Clint's wonderful surgeon, Dr. Lee, came down to the waiting room and let us know that Clint is now awake, coherent, and talking.  Yay!

Dr. Lee letting me know Clint is awake

I just have to say that God is so good to us.  He has always been faithful to us, and I am thanking Him every moment for all He's done, from guiding the surgeon's hands to allowing Clint to wake and function normally.

On a side note, I am no longer allowed to shuffle cards for Cribbage.  After the first surgeon visit, I was shuffling the cards, and my family asked me if I was ok.  I said, "yes!" -  and at that very moment, I lost control of the cards and exploded them all over the table.  (I am winning though!)

More updates to come after visiting Clint in ICU.


Clint is out of surgery

My friend Rosie went down to the chapel to pray for Clint, and she felt the Lord saying that Clint was going to be fine, he was going to come through.  She felt the Lord's peace wash over her.

I was paged at 1:15 and was told that Clint was coming out of surgery right then.  (That was quick, only two hours of surgery!)  They were putting in his stitches (as well as a new titanium plate and hardware), and had not woken him up yet.  The surgeon came into the meeting room at 1:17 p.m. and let us know that the surgery went well, PRAISE GOD!  Clint did beautifully, and it went as smooth as it could possibly go.

So, the tissue sample will take about about a week to come back from pathology, so we won't know exactly what we're dealing with for a short while.  HOWEVER, the surgeon did find that most tissue he removed was necrosis (which is what we wanted to hear).  There was tumor removal also.  The surgeon did say that it did NOT look like a glioblastoma, though.  It looked like an oligodendra, which is the other type of tumor he had before - the good news about the oligodendra is that it's NOT aggressive, and survival rates with this kind are MUCH MUCH longer!!  We won't know for sure, but he sees this stuff all the time - it's a pretty good bet he's right, and I'm praying he is.

So, now they're in the process of waking him up and he'll be in recovery for an hour before moving him to the ICU (intensive care unit), where we'll be able to visit him.  I can't wait!!!

I will send more updates, keep checking back.


Surgery update

Clint's surgery started at 11:13 a.m.

We received an update that a piece of the brain tissue they removed was sent down to pathology, and they are continuing to operate and remove the mass.  I am fairly confident we will find out the pathology results (glioblastoma vs. radiation necrosis) today.

Top Row (left to right): Vic, Amanda, Grandma, Grandpa, Dad, Alisa
Bottom Row: (left to right): Me, Rosie, Laurie

Until then, we've got a game of Cribbage going and we're chowing down on cafeteria food (Virginia Mason cafeteria actually has terrific food).

Falafel salad and healthy fries!  (bwahaha)
One of the doctors from the operating room just called my phone, Clint is doing great, responding well, the surgery is still underway and going beautifully, praise GOD!  That call was at 12:53 p.m.

Keep checking back, I will post more update.


Surgery Day! June 23, 2014

Today's the day.  We started our car ride with a prayer and acknowledgment that God is our Great Physician and our Healer and HE is in control.  We thanked God ahead of time that His hand will be on Clint's surgery and recovery.  We serve a GOOD God.

Daddy and Felicity on June 22, 2014

Our friends Vic and Rosie were kind enough to drive us up to Seattle.  We checked in on floor 6 at Virginia Mason in the surgery department.

Vic, Rosie, and Clint right after check-in

We didn't have to wait long before the nurse brought us back to his prep room, where he donned a lovely turquoise backless gown, compression knee high socks, and hospital beret.  Clint looks great, and his attitude is amazing!

Clint sporting his new hospital wardrobe

His surgeon came in for a quick hi (he's really a great surgeon), the anesthesiologist got his IV in, and they wheeled him to the back to prep for surgery around 9:45 a.m.  He was taken into the operating room at 9:53 a.m.

Clint before surgery

So, now my family and friends are spending quality time with me in the waiting room.  His surgery is anticipated to last 4 hours, and I will be getting intermittent updates, which I will post on here, so check back for updates!

Thank you for all your prayers and support, we so appreciate each of you.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Surgery on Monday

For anyone who is interested in Monday's surgery schedule, Clint will be checking in at Virginia Mason in Seattle at 9 a.m.  I will post real-time updates as we get them at the hospital.  Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes, we are most grateful to have such a supportive team of family and friends!

Much love

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014, Round 2


It's been over a year since posting, sorry about that!  What can I say, life gets busy when you're raising a baby!  Felicity is doing great, she's almost 18 months now, and she's the happiest kid I know!  She's running, trying to jump, getting into everything, saying new words everyday...pure delight.

Well, Clint had his six month MRI checkup back in April. It unfortunately showed a tiny blip, which grew into a much bigger mass within two months (5.8 cm across).  We were bracing ourselves for the worst when we met with Clint's surgeon two days ago.  Then HOPE broke through.

Clint's surgeon told us that while the mass we were seeing could be another Glioblastoma, it seems much more likely that we are seeing radation necrosis, which is TREATABLE!  (Talk about being given a breath of air).  The reason his surgeon thinks this could be the case is because the changes on the MRI only ocurr on existing tissue that had been targeted with radiation 3 1/2 years ago, and not any new masses appearing.

Either way, treatment is the same.  Clint goes in for surgery on June 23, and will start Avastin chemotherapy afterwards.  We won't know which scenario we are looking at until the surgeon gets in there, but please be praying with us that this IS the necrosis!!

I have to say, when we first found out there were new changes on the MRI, I kept asking God to tell me something...anything.  At first I kept opening to various passages in the Bible, and they all related to the same topic "Jesus is Coming!"...I did not do that on purpose, but I couldn't help smiling and saying, "God, are you trying to tell me something??"  I began sensing that I needed to hold onto his original promise from November 2010 when we first heard about his initial tumor.  He said to me, "Do not worry.  I will take care of this.  I will get you through this."  So, we are continuing to claim God's promise to us.  He is FAITHFUL and unchanging, and His promises never change.  We are moving forward bravely and with joy (because I have learned over the last few years that the joy of the Lord is truly our strength!).

Clint's attitude still remains positively amazing, and he is ready for round two.

Please keep us in your prayers.  I will post updates as they come.

Much love

March 20, 2013

First and very importantly, Clint is doing great! He has another MRI next month, I will post those results when they come in. As always, we are believing for another clean image, and we praise Jesus for His healing hand on Clint's precious life.

Time is going by way too fast! Felicity grows so quickly - at almost 3 months old, she's already in some 6 month clothing, yikes! She's in a really fun stage right now where she smiles whenever she sees us, and I love it. Instead of crying in the middle of the night when she's ready for a feed, she grunts and waits for me to wake up, and when I get up to see her, she cracks huge smiles, starts giggling, and kicks her legs and waves her arms about. It's the most adorable thing, and I look forward to her midnight meals. Here are more fun pictures:

Clint's Mom visiting from NY early February

Grandma and Baby bonding

Naptime with Daddy

Nose to nose with Mommy
(her head is shiny from oil to help with her dry skin.)

5 Generations
From left to right:
Grandma Carrie, Great Grandma Sherrie (holding Felicity),
Mom (me), and Great Great Grandma Lois

As always, more to come, and we appreciate your support in following Clint's story and all the amazing things God is doing in our lives, I hope they encourage and inspire you!
Much love,