Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Look Where We Have Come From

Today is Wednesday March 7, 2012. A year ago today Monday March 7 , 2011 Clay was admitted to PCMC to start chemo and get his line put in. I remember the day so vividly. I was shaking as we drove from Grandmas to the hospital. I was scared, nervous, anxious and sad. I knew we were in a good place when the admitting nurse saw Clay was scared and gave him a stuffed animal from her desk. It was a beanie baby and it stayed on his bed the whole time of treatment. It was mostly used as a throwing toy to torture me or a nurse.
On Sunday I was sitting in church thinking. Thinking about all the kind thoughts words and prayers. The meals that were frozen in the freezer were so helpful and gave me a peace to know there was something the momless family could eat. the coaches and team parents who got Lily and Cole to the games, practices and cages on time, the leaders that got them to mutual and activity days. The moms who grabbed Lily and brushed her hair. The awesome neighbor who took Lily shopping for girly things while mom was gone becasue daddy is, well, a boy. The thanks are in the tens of thousands. The number one person to thank is our lord and savior Jesus Christ. He was by our side the whole time. He gave us peace, strength and faith. He made sure that my son came home with me. He was there to hold our hand and sometimes he carried Clay. He carried Clay when Clay was to weak to take care of himself. I am so grateful for our faith and all that has come with it. Clay was the one getting all the kind words and attention but there are two amazing kids who helped Tad to hold the house down. Both kids had to grow up fast and take care of the home and school work. Both did it well and I am grateful for them. I may want to strangle them every day but I think that is what I love the most.
Thank you to everyone for all you have done for us not only this last year but for the rest of our lives. I hope one day we can repay half of what has been given to us.

Okay so on to some amazing news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were notified a couple days ago that Clays Make A Wish was officially granted. We will be leaving at the end of April for a week. We are so lucky. We get to stay at Give Kids the World. Everyone should google this place, it is, well, there are no words to describe this place. I have been told that it will be remember more than Disney World. We can not wait. We are counting down the days to go, 51 days!!!!!

Loves, Tabby

Friday, February 17, 2012

One Year Clinic

Here we are. Sitting in Dr Paul's office. We are in Utah for our one year appointments. I know your thinking wait the one year is in March. Well there is alot of things that have to be done before the one year mark. I can vividly remember his appointments last year. There were a ton of them. I cant believe it has already been a year. This time last year I was getting everything together at work to leave, Clay was finishing up things in school to with draw. We were packing and making lists of what was needed in Utah. We were making living arrangements. What a difference a year makes. I was a wreck of emotions. These appts are happy and fun. We are laughing a joking. It is nice to know we are at the end of treatment. I do have that feeling of fear. I think it will always be there. The fear of relapse weighs heavy on my mind, but I think it always will. But that is the new life we live. I am happy with it. It is such blessing to think that he is making me crazy. It means that Clay is back to his normal self. Stubborn, hard headed, moody, happy, fun loving and outgoing. He is back in full force.

This last month has brought some change, not big change just change. Clay signed up for spring soccer with the Royals and he is ready to get back on the field. He has been practicing with the team getting his endurance and skills back. He also signed up for baseball with the little league. Last year they dedicated the season and honored him at opening ceremonies. He is excited to get a glove on his hand and cleats on his feet. I on the other hand am not sure how he is going to handle everything. This kid goes and goes and goes. I know I have my doughts (sp?) but he knows he can do it and do it all well. I think that is why Clay was the one chosen to get cancer. Because he can handle this. He can do it all. He is the Nike saying JUST DO IT.

We had a wee bit of an incident last week with Clay and Lily. First Lily hurt herself at church and cut her heal pretty bad. She required 11 stitches and next week we will know weather or not she will need a plastic surgeon. It may take some reconstructive surgery but only time will tell. Clay then 2 days later cut his finger at Mountain Man Rendezvous and required 5 stitches in his finger. Both will have the stitches out on Monday. Clay will be fine and have a little scare on his middle finger. Lily is going to take more time and like I said a plastic surgeon. Yeah to my kids. They are active and busy, that's what happens when you don't play video games all day and night. I love it and wouldn't want it any other way.

I need your help with prayers right now. I have the best pray ers. You guys helped to heal my Clay and I know you can help this little girl I'm going to tell you about. She is 2 and in Texas. She was just diagnosed with CML. It is the same thing as Clay. This little girl is the rarest of the rare. First off if any of you remember CML is found in older men, not children. Clay was unusual because he was a youth. This girl is unusual because she is sooo young (second youngest on record) and is a girl. She is just starting the fight. Her Mom is super nice and worried. Just like I was. This family can use your prayers right about now. I am praying that she has peace comfort and faith.

thanks everyone for all you have done for my family for the last year, you guys are the best. We love each and everyone of you.

Tab and Clay

Monday, January 16, 2012

No News is Good News

` Clay and his best buddy Gabe.
Lily and her friend Sophia.


Jake, Jacob and Cole at Clays birthday party.

Everyone at Clays birthday party.

Clays first day of school. December 2, 2011

Candlelighters Christmas party.

I cant believe it has been since October since I posted on Clays blog. I'm so sorry. Life has become normal again so we are a little boring I guess.

We, as in we I mean Clay. We hit some major milestones since I posted last.

I'm going to try and chronicle the last 3 months so I hope I don't ramble on.

November was filled with family. Tiff, Dave and the girls came here for Thanksgiving and we had a blast. The best part of November was the CLAY WENT BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!

Yep it is in all caps because it was freakn amazing. He was so excited to go back and be a kid again. He has had some struggles but nothing like I was expecting. The routine has been nice for him and he has been so much more social. He doesnt like homework but is pretty good about doing it. He hates math. I think the multiplication facts have fallen out of his head. I have noticed there is a little bit of "chemo brain" going on and he struggles retaining info. I hope that with time and patience that will go away and he will catch back up. I am looking into some tutoring this spring and through the summer to help catch up and fill in some holes that are missing from 5th grade. The school has been flexible and very kind to him. Its nice to have that bit of comfort when he goes to school. He and Cole walk to and from school almost everyday.

December brought kindness, service, secret Santa and parties.

We were blessed this year with a Secret 12 days of Christmas Santa. It ended up being Candlelighters. We love them and plan on sponsoring a family next year. It will be nice to pay back our Christmas of 2010. We also had our annual Candlelighters Christmas party complete with Santa, Miss Nevada and Build a Bear. We have made some great friends through Candlelighters and its nice to catch up with them from time to time.

Christmas was nice and relaxing at our house. We had no guests, family or friends over. The kids are all the age where there presents are more expensive so they get less of them. Shopping was even easier this year. A couple I pods and a Kindle and we were set. The boys also got parts to their cars and guns and Lil got girls stuff and a pair of super cute boots. It was nice to have our family together. Last year we were worried about making Christmas the best one because we were worried Clay wasn't going to be with us for another year. My oh My what a year can do to you. This year we were able to reflect on the last year and know that it has been a roller coaster but was well worth it.

We capped off the year with Cole going to the New Years Eve youth dance. We spent the night playing games and watching the ball drop. Cole came home a little after midnight.

We are now to January and I have been rambling. But we are almost done so just stick with me....

Clays birthday was this last weekend. He turned 12. Holy Cow. 12 is such a powerful age. As a boy in the LDS church you get the priesthood and can leave primary. I tried to hold it together on Sunday as they brought Clay to the stand and Brother Sampson expressed his love for Clay and the power he had over this cancer. He talked about how Clay can now move on and have a successful life and serve a mission. After Sacrament Tad was able to give him a blessing of the priesthood. Grandad and Grandma Nicki were able to come visit and help give Clay the priesthood, they only have 2 active boys in the church and they wanted to make to this birthday.

For Clays birthday party we went to the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey game. Thanks to Brad M for hooking us up with a suit and tickets. It was so much fun to get all the boys together and let them watch and hang out. Clay has a good group of mischievous friends. They are all so much alike. It is fun to see Clay in his element of friends. He is always so grumpy and moody at home, it was nice to actually see him laugh and have fun. His friends are all so happy to have him back and healthy.

I am so grateful that Clay made it to 12. There are times that I could kiss him foe being so sweet and loving and other times I could strangle his grumpy self. I think all of us moms feel the same way. He has had a rough year and deserves a little leeway.

He has been playing soccer again and I love to watch him go. His coach was impressed with his endurance and speed. His pe teacher says the same thing. I'm glad that chemo didn't effect his lungs and that he has been super healthy. He has been able to build up a pretty good immune system and can handle most anything now

Thank you to everyone for all your prayers and thoughts this last year and a half.

Love to all, Tab

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Fun

Tad and Dean dressed up

Cole is the ShuffleBot from LMFAO, Lil is Glow stick girl and Clay is a scary clown

Believe in Tomorrow group at the PBR

Flint the clown stopping by to say Hi.

That is called a scorpion.

They hit the motherload at the Candle lighters trick or treating.

The killer clown killing with cotton candy.

We had so much fun this Halloween season. It was full of fun and activities.

Our celebrations started on the Thursday before with a trick of treat festival with Candle lighters. the kids look forward to it every year. The candy haul is always overwhelming. This year WalMart donated 7 pallets of candy for the trick or treating. Cole's favorite part was the airbrush tattoo. there was a cute high school girl involved.

Next we were off to the PBR with Believe in Tomorrow. We had the most amazing time. We had a blast. We had great seats and met a super nice family whose daughter has cancer, she is 14. Cole's favorite part was the Rock Star girl. Clay and Lil loved the bulls and the riders. Thank you so much to Candle lighters for thinking of us for these very expensive and fun tickets and to Believe in Tomorrow for giving us this opportunity.

Saturday Lily had a couple games and then the parties begin. Cole had a party with friends and Lily had one too. Cole wanted to go as the ShuffleBot this year so we made his costume. Lily went as glow stick girl and Clay was a scary clown. We had so much fun at Lily's party with her softball team. Cole had fun too. Its hard to think I have a kid old enough to go to parties.

Monday was okay. Halloween this year was kind of weird. It was a little boring. The kids all went in different directions. I didn't see Lily for several hours. We also had a low count in kids walking around. We made it fun though. Clay hid in the bushes and jumped out at kids to scare them. That was the funnest part, watching him scare the crap out of high school kids trying to steal our candy. He would leave the bucket out and would hide then when they tried to take alot out of the bucket he would chase them away with his fake knife and clown mask. It was awesome, he also get out alot of built up aggression. I was able to look back at the year and see the difference from one year to the next. Last Halloween Clay had a hard time walking and only hit a couple houses and this year he had fun running around. Its been a great year.

All in all Halloween was fun. The kids all have too much candy and enjoyed themselves.

Love, Tab

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Normalcy is Good, Lily is Better

Go Champions!!

Do you see that hit. She hit the crap out of the ball on Saturday.

This is how we get it all in. We change at the fields to make it on time to cheer. I thought this picture was classic, a perfect mix of Lily. She is a girly girl and a tomboy.

The last couple of weeks have been mellow. That is a good thing. When I say mellow I mean Shurtleff mellow. Very little dr appointments, little meds and no illness. Clay is doing great and will continue to get better and better every day.

This post is all about Lily. She has us all over the place. She is in full swing of softball and her team is so amazing. They are such good girls and the parents are just as amazing. They had a win on Saturday and Lil helped, she went 3 for 3 at bat and had 5 RBIs. The team won 12-2. She is doing so well and is having fun in the process.

Lil also made the cheer team for the school. They have a football team the girls cheer for. She makes it to as many games as she can but they interfere with softball. its nice for Lily to do something girly.

We love Lil and are so proud of all the things she can do and still keep her grades up.

Love Tab

Monday, October 17, 2011

Prayers for Jacob

Clay and I met this amazing family in Utah when we were inpatient. The Watson's are so nice. They have a Jacob who was diagnosed with Leukemia and had a bone marrow transplant from the coolest little boy I have ever met, his 3 year old brother.

Anyway, Jacob has had some severe side effects from the Chemo. He has developed Pulmonary Fibrosis. He also has a collapsed lung. The docs at PCMC say this is a first for them. Not the collapsed lung but the Pulmonary Fibrosis. They are developing a plan of action but the family is devastated. This is what I feared with Clay, the chemo has so many horrible side effects. It kills me that the thing that can help our kids get better can also kill them with the side effects. We (Clay) is so blessed to have come away with very little side effects and very little issues. Knock on wood. Everyone go now and knock on the nearest piece of wood. K welcome back. haha. Back to the topic. We have been so fortunate to have the bestest prayers ever. We have groups all over the country who all pray to different Gods. I think that the love and support form our friends is what helped us get through the trauma and fear of cancer and bmt. You guys are all solid strong powerful people. I love you all so much. thanks for your prayers for my sweet, amazing, moody, grumpy stubborn outstanding boy.

So tonight and for a while our friend Jacob needs your love and support. Please pray for him and the whole Watson family.

Love to all,

Tabby and Clay

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shurtleffs in pictures

I have so many pictures to share I thought they could use their own posting....Here ya go!!!!

Clay loved swimming in St George. Notice the amount of hair. He is almost ready for a hair cut.

Lily drowning Cole. Isn't sibling rivalry the best?

Cole pitching for his fall team. He had fun this season.

The last trip to Utah we visited Heber City Railroad. Clay is saving the helpless girls from the train. An evil boy tied them up.

We could not keep Clay off the top of the fragile falling apart rail cars. Each and everyone he climbed to the top.

Lily had a photo shoot with a dear friend of mine. She has taken a bunch of pictures for our family. I recommend her to everyone. She is awesome!!!

Shes SAFE. First game of the season. She loves loves loves her team.

Aunt Dani ran the St George marathon last weekend. She is amazing and I look up to her. Thanks for giving us a reason to get away for the weekend.
Lily loves her Aunt Dani!!!

Clay is still being a dare devil. Sshh, don't tell his doctors.

Cole and Alex. Cousins are the greatest. We love Alex and are so proud of how much he has grown up in the last year or so.