The day before we were to arrive in Colorado, my mom was admitted to the hospital in order to undergo surgery to remove a tumor in her small intestine. She had been ill off and on for a few months, but they were never able to find the real reason for it until they finally did a cat scan and discovered the "grapefruit-size" tumor near the junction between her small intestine and colon. The day we arrived, she had just had three blood transfusions and they were pumping her full of fluids since she was so weak and dehydrated. The kids were excellent on our long flight out there and were very excited to see their grandma and grandpa. We only wish it could have been under better circumstances!
The first week we were there, we spent many hours in my mom's hospital room as she recovered from surgery. The bad news was that the biopsy revealed the tumor was cancerous so she will be undergoing some sort of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment in the next few weeks. The good news is that a pet scan revealed that the cancer had not spead to any other organ in her body which is wonderful!! She has recovered very well from her surgery since being home and we were glad that we were able to be there for her and my dad during this difficult time.
I love both of my parents so much, and I'm thankful that I was able to give just a little bit of service to them during this time. They have always been a source of support and strength for me throughout my life and I was happy to be able to repay that just a bit during the two weeks that I was there.
Part of my reason for going out West was to have a little "roommate-reunion" with some wonderful former BYU roommates at Women's Conference in Provo, UT. We had all arranged for child-care for these few days so we could enjoy some nice "girl-only" time. Unfortunately, my babysitter was supposed to have been my mom (not exactly the best way to recover from major surgery!) I had to cut this portion of my trip a bit short since I had to bring my kids along with me, but I am so glad that I was still able to see them. They are such great friends, the type of friends that it doesn't matter how long it's been since you last got together because you still talk and laugh like it was just yesterday. My stomach muscles got quite a workout from just the one night we were able to spend together and it was a great sprit-lifter for me, especially after the difficult week my family had just endured.
Friends Forever Then (2000)
Friends Forever Now (2010)
(Pictures "borrowed" from Rachel's blog....I love these girls!!)
My brother-in-law Lance even volunteered to watch the kids for me on Friday morning so that I could attend a couple of sessions of Women's Conference while I was there. I was hoping that he would have been able to take them to the park near his college apartment, but the snow we got that day kind of prevented that from happening (snow in April/May...yeah I guess that's Utah for you!!)
We headed back to Colorado on Friday afternoon and after a relatively uneventful trip, my parent's car that I had been driving sputtered to a complete stop about 90 miles west of Grand Junction on I-70. After waiting three hours on the side of the interstate for a tow truck to tow us back to GJ, we finally arrived at my parent's house about 10 p.m. that night. It turns out a rod had punctured a huge whole in the engine!! So Saturday was spent shopping for and buying a new car for my parents. Wow, the fun never seems to stop around me!!!
We spent the next few days relaxing a bit before heading back to Maryland on Tuesday. My mom was supposed to fly back out East with me, but she postponed that trip until the Fall. Despite all the craziness that was this trip, I really did enjoy myself. The kids continue to talk about grandma, grandpa, their aunt Tami and great-aunt Teresa and of course their dogs, Shadow, Murphy and Muffin. I'm happy that my kids had such a great time and I know these memories are invaluable to both them and my parents since we live so far away. Hopefully the next time we get together, it will be under better conditions!!