Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 12

I know it's been a few days with no update but there's not too much going on here. Right now we are just kind of playing the waiting game. We are just waiting for Clint to get some neutraphils so we can blow this popsicle stand! He is still at 0 neutraphils (which is totally expected at this point) but his platelets have come up nicely on their own, they are at 62,000 today. The docs say that it's great they are coming up but it sometimes makes the neutraphils take a little longer to come up. He is still having a lot of diarrhea but they still don't know what's causing it. They still take samples everyday to check for infection but so far they are all negative. But hopefully for Clint's sake I hope it lets up soon. Other than that he is feeling pretty good!

My mom brought all the boys up to see us today! It was so great to see them! Clint hadn't seen them for over a week and he was really missing them. They had a lot of fun and all want to come back tomorrow (until I remind them that they get to go visit cousins tomorrow and then they all said 'Oh yeah, well I want to come the next day then'. Cute little farts:) I miss them so much and can't wait to get home so we can see them everyday!!!

The days are getting to be pretty boring here. Which is good because it means Clint doesn't need a lot from the nurses (that's their favorite saying 'we like bored'), but it's bad because it makes the days seem sooo long! So if any of you are in the area and want to stop by for a visit, feel free! We'd love to see you (as long as you're super healthy and haven't been around anyone who's been sick)! So hopefully we'll see some of you soon (hint, hint;)

**Clint said today that he's shooting to be out of here in 8 days, so we'll see how close he is! Any guesses from the peanut gallery out there?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 9

Well today is day 9. As long as the days seem here the weeks actually seem to go by fairly quickly (Clint might disagree with that statement). Clint is actually doing pretty well. His throat is a lot better, it is still pretty uncomfortable to swallow, but he can do it without being in a ton of pain. He was actually able to eat a popsicle yesterday! It was the first thing he'd eaten in a week. Unfortunately everything tastes really bad. He tried a bite of a few different things today but they all taste so bad that he ends up spitting most of them out.
He has had some pretty bad diarrhea the last few days (sorry if that's tmi). They had to turn some of his fluids up a little because he was losing so much, and he didn't have any going in because he hasn't been drinking anything. They don't know for sure what is causing the diarrhea, all the tests they've sent have come back negative for any kind of bug, so that's good news. We are actually hoping it's a sign of a mild case of GVHD(graft vs host disease) but the doctors say we'll just have to wait and watch for a while to know for sure.
Other than that his biggest issue is that he just can't get comfortable. His entire body is pretty achy so it makes it really hard to sleep. I don't think he sleeps hardly at all at night, and he's just kind of in & out during the day. But hopefully the achiness is just his counts coming back. Positive thinking, right :)
In really good news.....They were getting new recliners in some of the rooms and we jokingly (sort of) asked them to deliver one to our room. Well they all really love Clint so even though our room was not on the list of ones that were supposed to receive one we got a recliner! Clint is really loving having a comfy place to sit outside of his hospital bed. I love it because it reminds me of being at home. I love this man!
Oh yeah, the man I love with his remote and recliner. It's a good day!

Also we finally got out for 2 walks today! One 30 minute one and one 20 minute one. They finished the construction up here so we can walk in a circle now, woohoo! It's definitely nice to change it up a little.
Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers in our behalf. We can feel them and they really do make a huge difference. Please keep them coming. Thank You!

Rodeo Time

It's Lehi Roundup time again. My dad had gotten us all tickets for the rodeo on Thursday (thanks dad), so off we went. Every year I convince myself that the rodeo is fun and we have to go because it's tradition, but I'm not gonna lie...the rodeo is really boring! It's dusty & hot, it smells like you know what, and it's really long! Luckily the boys had plenty of treats (courtesy of Grandma Cathy :)
They actually had a really good time, especially when it was time for the motorcycles. I think next year we might just forget the rodeo and go to a motocross event instead!
Here are my awesome self taken pics of us at the rodeo...
Here is Noah enjoying one of the many treats grandma brought. I'm pretty sure he put the entire fruit by the foot in his mouth at the same time!
Here is Nik & Nate with grandma (it was really sunny when we first got there but luckily we were in the shade for most of the time)
Thanks mom & dad! We had a really fun night!!! It was just really great to get to spend some time with my boys doing something that was fun for them. I really miss spending time with them everyday.

Unfortunately...early the next morning Noah woke up pretty sick. He had really bad stomach pains and a lot of diarrhea and then he started throwing up :( It was no fun at all! I felt so bad for him, poor guy. I was really glad that I had decided to stay home after the rodeo that night (really Clint said I'd better not drive back up to the hospital that late) so I was able to take care of my baby for a few hours.
Here is my sad little guy
Luckily by this morning he was good as new and so far it hasn't traveled to the other boys yet (still have my fingers crossed that it won't).
Here they are with Tyson & Stockton cheering on the runners of the 5K early this morning!They also got to go to the parade this morning! They had so much fun and told us they got tons of candy. A big thanks to my mom & dad for a weekend full of fun for my boys! I love you!

Chris is home!

My littlest brother Chris just got home from his mission! He served in the Alaska Anchorage mission and he loved it! He had such a great experience and I think he's a little sad that it's over. But it is really nice to have him home!
Here is Chris, just being Chris...
After we picked him up from the airport all the adults went to the Salt Lake Temple and did a session. It was really nice (even though it was pretty emotional for me being there without Clint). After the temple everyone came to the hospital to see Clint. It was a tight fit, I think there were 15 of us in his little room. But Chris, along with my dad, grandpa, Trevor, Jake, Matt & Clint's friend Kevin, gave Clint a beautiful blessing. It was a really nice morning.
Here is Chris with Clint
Again, Chris just being Chris....I don't know if he really changed all that much :)
Welcome Home Chris!!! We love you and are very proud of you! And it's really good to have you home!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Come and enjoy some golf

As many of you know Clint's friends had planned a golf tournament for him that was supposed to happen on June 12. Well the weather just did not want to cooperate and the tournament got postponed. It will now take place on Saturday July 31. So if any of you out there like to golf, or know anyone who does, please help us spread the word. For more information click here or click on the link on my sidebar. And hopefully we'll see you on the golf course...and who knows, maybe we can even break Clint out of this place in time to come too (in a mask and gloves of course) :)
Thanks for all your support. I know I've said it before but we are definitely two of the luckiest people in the world!

Fathers Day.....just a little late

I know I'm a little late with this post, but I just want all the dads in my life to know how grateful I am for them.
I am so lucky to have the best dad in the entire world. He is amazing. He can do anything. He has taught me so much, and most of the things he has taught me have just been learned from watching him live his life. He is such a great example to me everyday! I love you dad, more than I could every say!
I have also been blessed to have an amazing father-in-law. He will do anything for anyone. He has always been there for us, and does not hesitate to drop everything if there is anything we need. I love you Dennis!
I also have the best grandpa ever! He is so much fun to be around, I especially love the way he and Clint banter back and forth when they're together, it just makes me smile! I love you Grandpa Ron!
And then of course, the best daddy of all time.....
I don't know how our boys got so lucky to be surrounded by such strong, amazing men but they sure did! Clint is the best husband and father anyone could ask for! I love him with all my heart and can't wait for the day when he can wrestle with the boys again. You can just see the admiration and love in our boys' eyes when they look at him. They miss him so much!
They all came up to the hospital on Sunday to spend the day with Clint and they loved it. They all made him cards (thanks mom) that were super cute! It turned out to be a really good day for Clint, which he needed since he'd had a rough couple of days.
Here are all his fathers day cards!
I also hope that all of my brothers, brother-in-laws, uncles, etc. had a great fathers day too!

In leukemia news....Clint's hands and feet started hurting him on Saturday. They were just really itchy and burning (a side effect of the kepevance, chemo, radiation, etc). It made it very painful to walk, so it's been hard to get him out of bed. Luckily, they are starting to feel a little better. I got him out for a 30 minute walk around the halls yesterday, and we're shooting for two 30 minute walks today! (Although I did tell him about an hour ago we were going for a walk as soon as I got ready and he fell asleep while I was in the bathroom and has been sleeping ever since. I think he's just trying to get out of the walk :)
His throat is still very painful. He hasn't been able to swallow anything since Friday. About once a day he tries to swallow some water but so far he hasn't gotten any down. He says it feels like he is trying to swallow pieces of glass :(
All the doctors and nurses have told us that this is the roughest time, so we will just keep pushing through. They said we should start watching for signs of GVHD (graft vs host disease) around day 7 or 8 (we are on day 5) so we will keep our eyes out for that. I've actually read that it can be a good thing for him to get a mild case of GVHD so I guess maybe we'll hope for that???
For now we are just taking it a day at a time. He is such a fighter! Love that man!

***Chris comes home tomorrow!!! His plane gets in about 8am and then he wants to head straight to the temple. It'll be so great to see him, and so great to go to the temple! I'm sure I'll have pics tomorrow...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stupid throat sores

Clint has been in quite a bit of pain today. They had to switch over all his pills to IV meds because he can't swallow at all. He even has to spit his saliva/mucus out into a cup or tissue because it is just too painful to swallow at all. They put him on full IV nutrition which has made his blood sugar go up so they had to start giving him insulin shots. They also put him on a pain pump, which seemed like a great idea, but it doesn't seem to help his pain much :( and instead it makes him pretty nauseous. He has thrown up quite a few times which just makes his throat hurt that much worse. It just seems like a vicious cycle...throat hurts, need pain meds, get pain meds, but they make you nauseous, which makes you puke, which makes your throat hurt worse, so you need more pain meds, etc. etc. etc. I don't like it! And I'm pretty sure Clint likes it even less!
The worst part of this for me is that he can't talk. Well he can, but it hurts pretty bad, so he doesn't talk much at all. Luckily Grandma & Grandpa Jepperson brought Nik & Nate up to visit for a bit today (thank you), and Darren stopped by, or it would've been an extremely quiet day. I am just praying that his throat starts to feel better soon. The docs have said that as soon as his counts start to come up his throat should clear up quickly. So any extra prayers for quick (but healthy) counts would be appreciated!
Before I end this post I just want to give a huge thanks to a few friends.....Emily, thanks for coming up every week to go to dinner with me! It means so much and gives me a much needed break from reality :) Shanalee, thanks for lunch today. It was so great to see you, let's do it again soon! And Travis, Kevin, & Bryce, you have done so much for us. I know I speak for Clint too when I say that we will be forever grateful for your friendship! I also want to thank everyone who has sent messages, emails, etc. It is so nice to know how much we are loved. We are truly blessed!
Good Night

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Stem Cells In

The transplant is complete!!! Clint handled it really well, no reactions or anything crazy, so that's good.
It all happened really fast. This morning they told us that it would probably happen around 5 or 6 but they'd let us know as it got closer. I guess they send them over to the U of U to get processed (or something). Well about 5:45 our nurse, Shelley, came in and said they just called and would be here around 6. But within about 2 minutes of telling us this, they showed up!
Here they are filling out all the paperwork. The cooler on the floor is what the cells were delivered in.
Doing more paperwork. I'm pretty sure Shelley was having a contraction during this picture. We were getting pretty worried that she was going to have her baby in our room! She was contracting the entire time! After the transplant it was shift change and we heard she called her husband to come take her to the hospital (she was delivering at IMC) because she was pretty sure she was in labor! I told her I knew Clint was her favorite patient but she really didn't need to have her baby's birthday be the same as his new birthday :) But we wish Shelley all the luck in the world, we'll miss her here!
Hanging the life saving stem cells!
Here's a close up of the stem cells, they really look like tomato soup! It only took about 15 minutes to put all of them in. It was really pretty anti-climactic!
So we were planning on having the boys come up and having cake and stuff but Nate was coughing the other day and I don't want to take any chances of Clint catching something :( So it was just Clint and I. But I did get him a giant cupcake with a big 0 candle because today is day 0! We also skyped the boys afterward and they sang happy birthday to him, it was pretty cute!
I wanted to get a picture with Clint and the stem cells together
Here is Clint with Shelley. She's definitely been one of our favorites!
In other news...they did have to put Clint on TPN today (IV nutrition). His throat is just so sore that he can barely swallow. They think he is developing sores in his throat from the radiation, at least they hope it's that and he's not getting sick from something else. But it is making it almost impossible for him to eat anything at all. He is in quite a bit of pain from it also. Plus he is having some pretty severe heartburn/acid reflux that's killing him. I'm hoping tonight he'll let them give him some pain meds so he can maybe get some sleep. I don't think he's slept much at all the last 3 nights.
But the nausea did go away so that's a positive. It is definitely a blessing that he is not puking with the way his throat is hurting him.
He is so strong, I am just amazed at his strength everyday! I have still never heard him utter a complaint since this whole thing started. I just wish there was something I could do for him. I feel so helpless. I love him so much!
I just want to give a quick shout out to a few people. First to Darren, thanks again for giving Clint these life saving cells of yours, you're the best. And to Denise, thanks for all your love and support, and for lunch today, you're so sweet. And to my mom & dad, I could not get through this without you guys. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have the two of you for parents and I love you more than words can say. Thanks for taking such great care of our boys, please give them an extra squeeze for me, I miss them so much! And last but definitely not least to a loving Father in Heaven who is always there for me.
Goodnight all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stem Cells Out

So today was Darren's big day! He did awesome. It was a pretty long process for him. He had to be here at 7:30 and was here until about 2:00. And he has to do it all over again tomorrow. It sounds like they need to get a few more cells. It does sound like it causes a bit of pain, the dr's say it's because they are drawing out more calcium and stuff then your body can replenish right away. Hopefully his pain will go away tonight so he can get a good night sleep!
We were able to walk down and hang out with him for a little bit. Luckily Denise thought to have me take a picture of the two of them. The bag with red stuff hanging in the back are the all important stem cells!
And I just want to say thanks to Denise for going down to lunch with me today. Clint hasn't been able to tolerate the smell of food very well the last few days, so I've been eating lunch & dinner by myself, and it was so nice to have someone to talk to over lunch today! Maybe we can do it again tomorrow :)

Clint had an okay day today. He still doesn't feel great. He wasn't able to eat anything today (other than a couple popsicles, some juice, and a few bites of applesauce). The docs said that they'd let it slide today but if he doesn't start getting some calories in him soon they'll have to put him on TPN (total parenteral nutrition) which is basically just all his nutrition through his central line. But TPN can bring it's own issues so we are gonna try to stay away from it if possible.
So tomorrow is transplant day. I really can't believe it's here already. When we first found out we had to do a transplant it seemed like it'd be forever till we got to this point. But it all seemed to come together and now here we are. I'm not gonna lie, I am a little nervous about tomorrow. But I am also really excited! We really feel good that Darren's cells will do the trick and we can kick this leukemia to the curb!
Well I think we're gonna call it a night. Clint hasn't slept much the last couple of nights, and I've been staying up too late. So good night to you all. Oh and if you would, send your thoughts and prayers our way tomorrow, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Clint had a pretty rough night/morning today :( He hadn't been able to sleep hardly at all and then around 4 am he just started puking & puking! It lasted until about 11 and he's been doing alright since then. He has no appetite at all and so he has barely eaten anything today. He is finally sleeping right now, which is good because he was exhausted, but now I'm worried he won't sleep good again tonight. But hopefully he will be able to get a good night sleep and have a much better day tomorrow. We have actually been really lucky that he has felt good this long. Most people get super sick on radiation and chemo but he has just taken it like a champ.
So Clint was feeling pretty crappy but then we had a special visitor that made everything a little bit better!
Noah loves to climb up in the bed with Clint! I think it's so cute.
Here they are making faces at each other
and then they were laughing so hard
I love, love, love this picture!!!
Here is one of the nurses, John, who came to hang Clints last bag of chemo!
and here he is getting unhooked from chemo :) Hopefully that was the last bag EVER!
Clint made me take this picture last night. He asked for some carrots with his dinner, and oh boy did they ever deliver...this plate was pretty big and they filled the whole thing up with carrots! I don't know of anyone that would want to eat that many carrots in one sitting, especially someone on chemo & radiation! It was pretty funny (at least it was for us)
Well tomorrow is our rest day and then the big transplant day on Thursday! They will refer to Thursday as day 0 and will count up from there. So they say it is pretty much like he has a new birthday (or another birthday because he said he's not giving up his original one :) I told the boys that we could get a cake and come sing to dad on Thursday, so they are pretty excited about that!
Please keep Clint's brother Darren in your prayers, he comes in to do the stem cell donation tomorrow. Hopefully it will go well and they will get all the cells they need, and he can have a quick, easy recovery!
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, we feel so blessed everyday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Toady was Clint's last day of radiation! Woohoo! He handled it like a champ. After that first day we were able to keep on top of the nausea medicine and he's been feeling pretty good. When you finish with all your chemo you get to ring the "CELEBRATE" bell! He was pretty mad because there was no one down there to hear him ring it (he was the only one getting radiation today, so it was just me, him, & the 2 radiation therapists) But I was still able to get some cute pics of him ringing the bell!

We've had quite a few people asking where the radiation comes from. Well here is the other end of the room. The machine is about 20 feet away from him.
These 6 days of radiation actually went by way faster than I thought they would, even for Clint. As we were talking about that today, we decided that maybe it is because we kind of knew what to expect coming in this time. Last time it was so scary and stressful. This time we were a little more prepared.
Clint has chemo tomorrow and Tuesday, then he'll have a rest day on Wednesday, and then the big day on Thursday! I can't believe it's only 4 days until transplant!
Darren came to the hospital today and started his neupogen shots (a drug that causes the bone marrow to make and release stem cells into the blood). He will receive the shot the next 2 days and then come in on Wednesday to donate the stem cells. They are hoping that they'll be able to get all the stem cells they need in one day, if not they'll bring Darren back in on Thursday to get some more. Again we are so blessed that Darren is so willing to do this for Clint, and even more blessed that he was a perfect sibling match.

As I'm typing this it still seems so weird to be talking about all of these things. It's almost like we're in a dream (or nightmare) and it isn't really happening. I keep thinking how wonderful it would be to close my eyes and when I open them we are home. At our house, just me, Clint and the boys. Just hanging out like we used to do. Being able to just go for a jeep ride whenever we want to, or go to the dinosaur museum, or cabellas. Or throwing some clothes and swimsuits in the car and heading to Park City (or deer canyon as the boys call it?) for the weekend. I know, sorry for the woe is me. I'll stop now!
On a positive note, I really do enjoy spending all this time with Clint. I have always tried to get him to go for walks with me and now he has too :) I am so lucky to be married to this man. He is amazingly strong and has such a great attitude about everything. I love him so much! I am also lucky that I married into such a great family. I know I've said it a million times but we could not survive this thing without our families. We love you all!

Please keep Clint in your thoughts and prayers, this week especially, it's a very big week for us!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Moving Back In

The last 13 days flew by so fast! It was so nice to have Clint home for a little while. We had such a great time hanging out with family and friends. And he even got to go golfing a few times! More than anything we loved being able to just hang out with our boys (although I am pretty surprised, and happy, that they didn't get Clint sick). The boys miss their dad so much and it was so nice for them to have him at home. Just being able to put them to bed at night was so nice! We are so lucky that we have such amazing kids!

So yesterday was the big day.....we moved back into the hospital. We got here about 9:30 am and they took him down for his first radiation treatment at 11:00. We have decided that radiation is a lot worse than chemo! He felt okay for a little while but as the day went on he started getting more and more nauseous. He wasn't able to keep anything down last night, but he was able to eat breakfast and a little lunch without any puking today so that's good. He is just glad that he only has 4 days of radiation left.
I got some pictures today of him all ready to get his radiation. It is such a crazy setup! I don't know who came up with this, but I guess they know what they're doing.He's so happy to be there!
They have crutch things under your arms and a bicycle seat to sit on just in case you get really tired during the treatment.
Pretty crazy huh? It just better be doing it's job!!!

Hopefully things will go as planned and Clint's body will cooperate and we can get rid of this leukemia! Just an FYI we are in East 812 now, it's right next door to where we were before but it's a bigger room with a better view! (can't complain about that) If you want to come visit I'm sure Clint would love it, just make sure you're SUPER healthy. And you might want to call ahead just to make sure he's feeling alright.

I want to thank everyone again for all you are doing for us! The power of prayer is definitely real and we have felt so much comfort from all the prayers coming our way!

On a side note...Chris will be home 2 weeks from today! Yeah! Mom did you make the boys do the 14 day dance today? :) Love you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Life is like a box of chocolates......

You never know what you're gonna get. And this morning we got one of the really crappy ones.
We had to be at the hospital this morning to get a bunch of tests done, just pre-transplant stuff (blood draw, chest x-ray, bone marrow biopsy, etc.) Well they had just finished his biopsy when the doctor came in and said she had some bad news (never a good sign). It turns out Clint is not in remission :( In fact he has so many leukemia cells that they could tell just from his blood draw that he wasn't in remission. They have decided to just keep on the schedule we have in place for his transplant, since that is pretty much our only option for cure since the chemo didn't work. It does mean that instead of using Darren's actual bone marrow for the transplant we will be having a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. This means Darren will be given medicine for a few days that will make the stem cells come out into the bloodstream and then through a central venous catheter they use a process called apheresis to filter his blood. They seperate the stem cells out and then return the blood into Darren and give the stem cells to Clint.
The reason we were hoping to go with the bone marrow transplant is because it only has a 1 in 3 chance of getting graft vs host disease, and with the stem cells it's a 2 in 3 chance of getting graft vs host disease. But I guess we just aren't meant to take the easy road to recovery! But we will get there! We have a family conference on Friday so we should find out more details about what his not being in remission means for the long term, but we are just going to fight this stupid disease with everything we have! Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, he needs them more than ever right now!

So we needed to end the day with a "good chocolate"! Luckily we had a BBQ planned with some of Clint's friends, which was really fun! Thanks Kevin, Janette, Bryce & Allison we love you guys! Then we came home and had a little 4th of July party. We had been promising the boys we could do sparklers before Clint went back to the hospital (since he will be in there for July 4 & 24) so we came home and played with sparklers and lit some flowers. The boys loved it! It's so fun to see them so happy!
Here they all are enjoying their sparklers!!!

Of course Clint and I had to enjoy a sparkler too!
So just remember that even though you might get some 'crappy chocolates' along the way there are always some amazing ones in there too!!! And our box has got to have some amazing ones left in it because we've had quite a few crappy ones lately!