Sunday, July 25, 2021

 Dear Kids,

By now Allen has given all of you your food assignments for the reunion, and last time I talked with him he was working out the final plans for Saturday.  Minnetonka cave is definitely on the schedule, for those of you who want to go.  It’s about an hour’s drive from Bear Lake.  I’m definitely not going because there are 85 steps to climb, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it, just after my second chemo infusion (which goes this Tuesday to Thursday.) So while some of you are going to the cave, Dad and I will be hanging around the camp site, or maybe we’ll drive down to Laketown with anybody who wants to go look around.  I think I remember a park there, and a funky old-time store.  But that was a long time ago.  Back to the cave–you can plan on that, at least.  And as Allen said in his text to you all, it’s not feasible to do Bloomington Lake the same day, because that’s also an hour away.  And then there’s also the possibility of go-carts, but Allen said he’d kept trying to call them to make a reservation, or see when their open-time was, but he couldn’t get them.  Maybe it’s settled by now.  At least we’ll have a lot of fun, whatever we do.

We’ve really enjoyed having Sharon and the younger kids here, but now they’ve moved on to the Thacker reunion.  As you know, it’s been very hot and dry here.  But one of the nights during Sharon’s visit there was a small rainstorm.  She sat on the front porch just enjoying the MOISTURE! she said.  It felt like home to her.

I think I’ve talked to everybody about our plan to have an Ackerson family dinner the afternoon of Julie’s wedding.  It’s at the cabin at 3pm, and all the food will come from Costco, so nobody has to cook.  Of course we wish everybody could be with Julie and Spencer at their luncheon, but there are so dang many of us, plus Heather’s family, plus Spencer’s, on both sides, with an extra generation thrown in.  I understand totally.  We’ll be thinking of them.  I guess they’re getting pretty excited by now.

Jana McGettigan came to visit Wednesday morning, and she was here overnight.  I was having murderous cramps that day, and she’s always pretty tired because of a chemo pill she’s taking now, so we just watched movies and talked.  We’re both in the same boat.  Thursday, after my piano class in Heber, we drove around and she took pictures.  She wanted to find some ducks on a pond, so we drove over to Wasatch Mountain State Park.  She took lots of pictures of the two white ducks, but they acted pretty spoiled.  The brown ducks wanted to be in her pictures too, and came swimming over.  (Or they just wanted food.)  It was lots of fun.

Life is fun.  I love you all.  Mom

Sunday, July 18, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I wore my chemo pump from Tuesday to Thursday, and then Friday was my “bad” day, but it could have been worse.  Lots worse.  Thanks for all your prayers for me.  And the prayers of your kids.  (Donna heard Dallin pray “Bless Grandma Christy that she can breathe and that her toe will grow back.”) I’ll have three more rounds of chemo, one every two weeks, and then hopefully my tumors will have shrunk and I’ll be able to breathe better.  

Yesterday we drove to Mirror Lake with Sharon and her kids because Donna’s and Nora’s families were camping there.  We were only there for the afternoon and evening, but that included hiking around the lake, kayaking, tinfoil dinners, and lots of noise and mayhem.  In fact, when we were first driving around looking for the campsite, we finally saw a group of small boys swinging sticks, and we knew we were there.  But it was so much fun!  And what a gorgeous spot.  Thanks, Donna, for planning so far in advance.  You have to reserve those campsites on New Years Day.

And then, of course, Bear Lake is coming up.  I talked to Al a few days ago and he said he was working out the details, so you should get your food assignments pretty soon.  I think we’ll be doing our usual schedule: Friday at the lake, and then Saturday activities here and there around the area.  Dad and I will only be there Saturday, since I’ll be having chemo again that week.  

We’re enjoying having Sharon and Lucy and Conrad here for a few days.  On Friday Conrad went to the Heber airport with Dad to help John put his glider together and then launch it.  Conrad said it was awesome.  Friday night Sharon went to Food Town to get things for her tinfoil dinners and she ran into Nora!  Nora’s family was on the way to Mirror Lake then, and Nora was shopping for the same things.  Small world!

I hope you’re all lovin’ these long summer days.  Life is good!  Mom

Sunday, July 11, 2021

 Dear Kids,

Sharon’s here!  And all her kids, too.  Charlie and Matthew are out at the farm, and Sharon and Lucy and Conrad are at Nora’s house.  They’ll be here at our house tonight, for our usual Sunday get-together, and they need to pick up the mini van the Thackers left here for them. Oh, yeah, Seth isn’t here yet.  He’s coming later–in a couple of weeks, I think.

Speaking of Sunday get-togethers, Donna convinced me to cancel super Sunday for this month, since it’s just four days before our family reunion starts.  And of course Donna’s right.  So she and Bevan will be in charge of August’s super Sunday, on August 22.  And the family reunion is getting close–just 2 1/2 weeks away.  I’m sure Al will be getting the information out pretty soon.  Bear Lake, here we come!

I saw my oncologist, Dr. Lewis, on Thursday, and he went over all my recent tests with me, and we looked at my last scan.  Unlike I thought, radiation isn’t an option, since the biggest tumor is really close to my heart, and they don’t want to accidentally radiate that vital organ!  (Radiation isn’t an exact science.  It doesn’t always end up exactly where it’s supposed to.)  Anyway, he made a decision that surprised me.  I’m going to have chemo again.  Even though my tumors are growing slowly, it will probably shrink them, and I should be able to breathe better.  Of course I agreed.  Whatever!  I’m elated that I might feel better pretty soon.  The chemo starts Tuesday, and I’ll have infusions every other week for four rounds.  That means I’ll have it just before the family reunion, and my worst day is always Friday, but we should be able to drive up Saturday and spend most of the day with you guys.  Tom will bring Dad’s truck the first day, Thursday afternoon, with the firewood, mattresses, paper products, etc., so all that will be there for you.  I had already considered coming just one day anyway, because I’ve felt so wretched, so this will be no different for Dad and me. 

Paul has a new job!  (Again.  Go, Paul.)  He’s going to work for a company that made him an offer once before, when he took the job he’s just now quitting.  Hopefully he’ll be doing real engineering now, not report writing. Paul was really proactive, called them up and said he was looking again, and could he come work in their office for just one day and see how they liked him, and how he liked them.  Or something like that.  I’m glad he’s so on-the-ball.  We’re really happy for him.  

Dad has been putting together the new swingset at the cabin.  We go over there three or four mornings a week, before it gets hot, and he works on it for a couple of hours.  He said it’s like a giant erector set.  And the direction booklet really is the size of a telephone directory.  You have to do each step in exactly the right order, so we can’t have a big assembly party and work together and get it all done in one day.  Like demolishing the old one.  Now that was a fun project.

What a family!  I love you all.  Mom

Sunday, July 4, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I hope you’re all having a happy “real” 4th of July.  I know most of the fireworks were last night or are going to be tomorrow night, but at least we can all sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in church today.  At least I hope everybody sings it.  As for fireworks–we’re probably going to pass this year.  I usually buy ariels and we shoot them off at the church below Nora’s house, but Dad and I have been out and about so much this week that I haven’t been in the mood to go “over the hill” again.  I bought a small carton of ariels at Winco, but while I was thinking of shooting them off at home, I found a notice from Francis City.  All fireworks are banned, and if you violate the edict, you’re subject to a class B misdemeanor under Utah law, or by a term of imprisonment up to six months, or by both.  Nuff said.

We sure enjoyed super Sunday last week, at the park in Centerville, hosted by Allen.  He and Jen had been in Texas for a couple of days, and they left to come home that morning.  I’m glad their flight wasn’t cancelled!  Anyway, the party was lots of fun.  Our next official get-together will be July 25, hosted by Donna and Bevan.  At first Donna mentioned hosting it at the cabin, but then she re-considered and said maybe a park.  We’ll let you know when it gets closer.  

I’m still gasping for breath.  I had a stress test-echocardiogram on Monday, where they fastened all kinds of things on me and then put me on a treadmill to pump up my heart rate.  I was worried I couldn’t do it, but they were very easy on me.  Besides, since I never exercise, it was easy to get my heart rate up.  Then, when my heart was really pounding, they had me lie down on a table, and they ran their scanners around to look at every part of my heart.  It all looked pretty good, they said.  On Friday I saw my pulmonologist, and he said he’s finished looking at my lungs.  There’s nothing wrong that could be causing my breathing trouble, except for the cancer.  So now I go back to my oncologist, and he will probably send me to radiation.  At least I think that’s the plan.  Like I keep saying, I really appreciate your prayers.  I think the Lord is going to spare my life for a few more years.  

Lots of love, Mom