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Monday, October 31, 2011

Incredible Support

Carl has been going through a lot, obviously.  One thing I have not really gone into on this blog is the incredible amount of help and support we have received from many sources.

Our church family, friends, relatives, Carl's coworkers, and even complete strangers have helped our family in many ways throughout 2010 and 2011.

Carl and his Pricing Analyst Co-workers.
People have helped our family by watching our children, transporting our children,transporting Carl, praying for Carl and our family, bringing us meals, visiting Carl at home and in the hospital, giving us treats and gift cards, helping us with yard work and home repair, fixing our cars, and more.

I want to say a big Thank You for all the support. 

I remember a story about Saint Patrick - were one of the most powerful ways of saying Thank You was to say "Thanks be to God";
so I say "Thanks be to God" to all of you.

In September 2011, Carl's co-workers held a golf tournament fund raiser, which I blogged about here.  I never wrote about another large fund raiser picnic that Carl's co-workers organized and held on June 3, 2011, and so today I wanted to rectify that.  Both events had many things in common, but both days stand out as days of exceptionally nice weather;   "God Blessed" Days.
Chris, Carl and Scott, the Pricing Analysts
(Pricing Analyst is Carl's Job title)

It was very odd to be half of the focus of the fund raiser like the Arandell folk held.  I remember trying to gear up to not cry at the picnic.  I never thought that I might someday be the recipient of such goodwill, assistance, charity?  It was an unfamiliar situation.  I don't know if I was too unemotional, if I was shaky, if I seemed too party like.  Suddenly you are at the center of attention, where people are giving generously of their time and money and support.  The Arrandell event was even more emotional - many of the people there were strangers to me, but good friends of Carl.  I had heard stories about some of these people over the years.  I wanted to make a good impression, and convey gratitude, remember people's names, and not cry.   

Usually I take pictures at an event, happy to enjoy things from behind a camera lens.  It didn't seem right to snap a lot of photos at a fund raiser for our family, so I only took a handful of shots at the end of the picnic.
I'm going to tell my children Carl flies kites at work.
Here are Carl and his co-workers, flying kites.

Chris, Carl and Scott, the Pricing Analysts
This photo makes me laugh. It reminds me of taking pictures of my children.  People goofing off and only one person is looking at the camera.

The money raised at the fund raiser picnic really helped my family financially and with medical bills.  The money raised at the golf outing was raised for my children's college education.  For both fund raisers, I want to say, "Thank You, and Thanks be to God".

I want to say Thank You as well to the people who spent a ton of time organizing both events.  I don't have a photo of you - but I really want to say THANK YOU for all the effort both events required.  I have volunteered for many things over the years and know how a small project grows and doesn't always fit seamlessly into a schedule the way you hoped it would.  Thanks again, and Thank you to everyone who has been helping my family, in any way, big or small.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

End of September update

After the 17th dose of chemotherapy, (infusion Sept 7-8, 2011) Carl had a rough time regaining his equilibrium and energy.  He didn't go to work for nearly two weeks after the infusion.  This chemotherapy round was probably the hardest for Carl.  It does not help that Carl's left leg has become unable to bear weight.  Carl walks with a walker or crutches at all times now.

On Monday September 12, 2011, Carl's dad and mom came for a visit from Michigan.

Carl, Carl's dad Frank, and Carl's sister Heidi

We had a family pizza party and we took a group photo.

We also took a quick family photo, shown below.  Left to right, Miranda (12 years old), Anthony (15 years old), Nathan (13 years old) and Tom (17 years old).  Carl and I are in the front.

Later in the same week Carl's brother Greg came to town for a visit, on the way to visit Carl's Dad.  

On Monday, September 26, 2011, Carl started his 18th course of Chemotherapy with a 24 hour infusion of Trabectedin, (also called Yondelis).  Again, he stayed overnight at Froedtert to get this infusion, and came home Tuesday.  On Wednesday September 28, 2011 Carl got a Nuelasta shot.   

Carl was determined that this course would not knock him out like round 17 had, and he was able to recover better.  He actually felt like working, and building models, etc.

Carl got some interest in cooking back, here is his first attempt  at a French baguette.  Carl's hair does not seem to be falling out with the latest chemotherapy drugs. 

Carl Grisa
Carl making French Baguettes

In the back of the photo above you can see a odd gadget on the counter.  The photo at the left is a close up.  The item is Carl's favorite cooking gadget, the "Thermo-Pen".  It's probably his favorite cooking toy (of many).