Saturday, September 5, 2015

It takes GUTS!

It's been awhile since I've taken the time write in our blog.  This past year has been a whirlwind and we have just been trying to keep our head above water.  It seems as though I always think about updates as we are facing trials in our life.  I suppose it could be because writing is therapudic, it could also be because documenting life events, good or bad, is important.  I want to be able to look back one day and see how strong we have been and how far we have come, remember the times that our faith has been strengthened, and be able to remember these events with a fresh mind.  I will take the time to post about Becketts first 9 months of life soon, as those are very important, treasured days.  But for now,  I will begin with the current happenings, as I am mostly distracted by these thoughts.

At 24 years old I was having gastroentistinal issues.  I had some tests ran and I was diagnosed with gatroperisthis.  While this diagnosis covered a majority of my symptoms it did not cover all of them.  My specialist recommended a colonoscopy.  I was stubborn and adamant that I was NOT consenting to this procedure.  Drew (my boyfriend of 2 months, at the time) somehow convinced me that it was important and necessary.  As I walked into the hopstal the morning of the procedure, with my head hung low, I was still unsure.  I was embarrassed when I had to check-in, and I was even more embarrassed when it was time for the procedure.  When I woke up from the sedation I was so happy that was behind me (no pun intended) not even slightly concenred about the findings.  As the doctor came into my room, he pulled up a chair, and began to tell me that I had 80-100 polyps filling my colon.  There were so many that I would need a follow up colonoscopy to remove the remainder of them that he had to leave inside.  He started talking about cancer, and syndromes, and genetic testing, and regular colonocopies for the remaineder of my life.  I was so distracted by what he was saying that I did not realize the magnitude of what had just happened.  He, quite literally, had just SAVED MY LIFE. We later recieved pathology reports, and as expected, these polyps contained abnormal cells.  The cells had begun to change and while these polyps were not cancerous, they were quickly on their way to that.
Over the next 4 years I had my yearly colonoscopies.  My polyps grow at an extremely rapid rate and I have now had well over 100 polyps removed.  In my nieve mind I thought this yearly screening was sufficient in elimiating my risk of colon cancer.  I was doing what I needed to do.
August 26, 2015 I had an urgent colonoscopy due to some accute symptoms, and we received some unsettling news.  They removed 14 new polyps, not surprised, but the doctor informed us that my colon was filled with sessile serated polyps.  Flat polyps, atypicial cells, that cannot be removed due to the risk of perforation.  In a very untactful manner my doctor dropped the bomb that I needed my colon removed.  We were speechless.
This last week and a half we have met with surgeons and genetic counselors at Huntsman's Cancer institute.  I have consulted with 3 different specialists and all are in agreeance that I need a total colectomy.  They will remove my entire colon and rectum and by doing so will eliminate my risk of colorectal cancer entirely.  I have also met with the geneticist and discussed a few different genetic syndrome that I may have. (HPS, FAP, MUYTH) Depending on what the tests show, I have a follow up in 3 weeks,  and we will know what risks are involved for both myself and my children.

 Genetic testing = A LOT of info 

It's been a long week for Drew and I. We are working on processing all of the information and trying to come up with a plan.  I have felt a lot of emotions and I have so many questions running through my head.  Through all of this I keep reminding myself to be grateful; Grateful for time, because it is on my side.   Grateful for the upcoming surgeries and that they will ELIMINATE my risk for this specific cancer.  Grateful for genetic testing and the fact that I will know how to protect my children.  Grateful for my health insurance and comfort in knowing that I dont need to worry about the financial burdens and I can focus on my health.  Grateful for prayer, the holy ghost, and a loving Heavenly Father that understands and knows first hand the pain that I may feel.  Grateful for my Husband, a worthy priesthood holder, who will stand beside me and uplift me.  Grateful for family, friends, and neighbors who are willing to drop everything to serve me and my family when we are in need.  I could go on and on. I am blessed beyond measure.

So, for now, we wait and let the process happen.  Updates will come when we have them!

XoXo, H

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Max had never been to the ocean before and he was really looking forward to seeing and playing in it.  We went to Newport Beach and spent a few hours there before we headed home.  Max had been watching "Shark Week" prior to our vacation and he made Drew promise he would punch any shark in the eye that tried to get him.  

 We got there and he was jumping up and down in anticipation, waiting for us to haul all of our crap out of the car.  We finally found the camera and told him to go for it! He squealed the entire way down to the water and he could have cared less that the water was freezing.  He was in heaven.  

Hudson was less than entertained with the freezing water and the bright sun.  His favorite part was most definitely squishing his chubby toes in the sand.  

Please ignore my scrawny legs in this picture.  I'm just glad that he was offering my crotch some necessary coverage as dad captured this moment. 

It was my first time being at the beach and actually getting to play in the water.  I was equally as excited as Max was, and the two of us went on a sea shell hunt down the shoreline. 

Trying to get Max to hold still long enough for a picture was a chore.  He wanted to spend as much time in the water as possible and wanted to race the waves with Drew. 

I wish this picture was a bit more clear.  The look on his face was pure joy and that made the entire trip worth it.  

I'm not kidding when I say that Max would've been completely satisfied if we had skipped Disneyland and spent the entire time at the beach.  Just ask him what his favorite part of the vacation was, he will tell you THIS!

Poor Hudson spent most of his time hanging out in the shade of the umbrella with Dad.  

After our picnic, Max and I spent some time playing in the sand.  He didn't have the patience to build a sand castle but as any 5 year old would, he thought getting buried in the sand would be the coolest thing ever.  

Mr Max got caught getting the sand out of his crack...

 We did manage to get one family picture before we left.  Such a fun day at the beach and the perfect way to end our vacation.  We went back to Eldon's, showered and ate, then spent the entire night driving home with 2 exhausted children.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Military Ball

I had never been to a military ball, and Drew surprised me with tickets to this year's ball at Thanksgiving Point Barn.  Some of the wives that I got very close with throughout the deployment came with their hubbies, and we had a date night (no army brats)!!! 

We started our night with dinner at Olive Garden and we felt like we were headed to prom.  Especially when we got to dinner and there were legit prom goers there.  We got asked by several people what high school we attended.  Considering the men were in full uniform, I was shocked that people still asked.  

We did have several people come and shake our husbands hands and thank them for their service.  I think that is such a neat thing and I love when people are bold enough to make such a gesture.  




Us wives at the ball.  I wish I had a picture where we were all looking the same direction.  WAY TOO MUCH GOING ON IN THERE!

Me and my sexy soldier.  I absolutely love this man. 

Another attempt at a picture, too bad the lighting was so off.  

We ended up ditching the ball since none of us are dancers.  Class A's, dresses, and all, we ended up at a movie theater watching Iron Man 3.  So glad that I have these ladies and gents in our lives.  We missed the rest of you tonight!! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happiest Place on Earth

Before Drew left for Afghanistan he told Max that we'd take a family vacation when he got home.  When he said DISNEYLAND, neither Max or myself let him forget it. 

Our first family vacation!


The very first ride that we went on.  The look on Max's face is priceless.  

The Toy Story ride.

Hudson was able to ride on the majority of the rides as long as he was strapped to the front of me.  He was happy as a clam if he was facing forward, so forward it was!

Max spent a solid 10 minutes trying to get the sword out of the stone

Minnie's house

Max was most excited about meeting Minnie Mouse. 
Not sure why, maybe he thinks she's cute :)

 Our wait to see Mickey Mouse was the longest and Max was ready to move on by the time we got there.  Hence, the awesome face!

One of Drew's very best friends lives in LA.  They were kind enough to let us stay with them and he was our tour guide the entire trip.  His daughter Mia and Max were shy with one another at first, but they were best buds in no time.  

Eldon and Angie took Mia to Disneyland when she was about Hudson's age, and they took a picture with Mia in this same bucket on their trip.  

 5 months old! 

Pirates of the Caribbean

Watching the parade the coolest way possible

Hudson did amazing! I couldn't have hoped for anything more. 

Max got on stage at lunch and sang songs and did actions with the cowgirl.  He took it so seriously.  I have it on video, but I can't get the dang thing to upload.  

Mickey was a bit concerned about Drew riding his horse, but he figured out the only way to get him off of it was to take a quick photo! 


1 of the 2 rides we went on without any kids.  I felt weird without them!

Max really enjoyed the Pirates ride, I think we went on it 3 different times.  

I clearly cannot get enough of this sweet face. 


I loved this park.  I liked the old school vibe, the clothes that the characters were wearing, and Cars Land (especially at night). 

Angie was able to get off work the second day we spent in the park so she was able to spend the day there with us! 

My buddy and I.  This is how we rolled for 3 days and my shoulders were pretty tired at the end of it all.  He looks all sorts of uncomfortable with the fabric up in his face, but he didn't have the strongest abdominal muscles at this point and he wouldn't support himself if we folded that down more.  

Oh my heck, that stache was killing me. 


Max wanted to go on the Tower of Terror.  I tried explaining to him that it might be a scary ride for him, but that mommy would never take him on a ride that would put him in danger.  He was totally fine until we got on the ride...and then he panicked! As we are dropping he was clenching onto me and screaming at the top of his lungs, "I HATE THIS RIDE!" He cried for probably 20 minutes after the ride was over.  He is still traumatized by the experience.  

 This family vacation was our first opportunity to check out from the real world and simply enjoy each others company.  The last year was so difficult and took an emotional toll on us all.  We thought that it was completely necessary to reward ourselves with a fun vacation.  I love this man and I am so greatful for his selflessness and his determination to support his family from halfway around the world.  

 After 3 long days at the park (sun up to sun down), we told Disneyland goodbye.  
Until we meet again!