Daniel 3:17-18

Daniel 3:17-18 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pin Cushion

Tomorrow is my last LOVENOX® injection! I have had one a day since coming home from the hospital. According to their web site, "LOVENOX® helps reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT blood clots. LOVENOX® alters the blood's normal clotting process, so clots can't form as easily, and neither can a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism." In short, I get one shot a day to keep any possible blood clot caused by the surgery from getting into my lungs or heart and killing me. I think it's a fair trade. If the cancer or the chemo or the radiation or the surgery doesn't kill you, why let an incident blood clot take you down?

For the first three days Carla administered my shots. A nurse at the hospital coached her through the first one on our last morning before coming home. On day three I flinched when she stuck me, leaving the syringe dangling from my abdomen. Carla did recover and finish the injection, but that was it. She really doesn't like hurting me, and I had no desire to hurt myself, not even for curiosity's sake. Fortunately, we have a neighbor who is a nurse practitioner. Kim volunteered to come over each morning and give me my shots. She said she loved me and all, but she had no problem sticking me with a needle. Some friend. She's been sticking me ever since. Thanks, Kim. We love you, too!

The experience for me has been mixed. Some days I still flinch and some days I don't feel the poke at all. Most of the time the injection stings for a few minutes and occasionally it doesn't. In any case, I'm ready to be done. After 20 of 21 injections I feel like a pin cushion.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Memories from Christmases Past

Two of my cancer blogging friends have been posting memories from Christmases past. I figured I'd join in the fun. So Carole and Fiona, these are for you.

My father scanned these early photos for one of his projects. Here I am in my father's arms.

Christmas, 1963 (18 months old)

That's me on the train. And like your doll house, Carole, I actually remember this toy.

Christmas, 1964 (2 years old)

My little sister joined us the next year. We all made the paper chain hanging on the tree. I'm the one without the doll.

Christmas, 1965 (3 years old)

Somewhere along the line my parents started sending annual Christmas cards with family photos on them. This lasted for several years. Our neighbor would come over and take the picture.

Christmas, 1970 (8 years old)

Fiona, you posted a picture of your home almost buried in snow. I spent 13 years in this house and it only snowed twice. The first year it snowed we got sent home early from school so we could play in the snow before it melted. By that night it was gone. This is a picture of the second year it snowed. It took two days to melt. If we wanted to play in the snow we had to drive into the mountains two hours away.

Winter, 1972/1973

This is our annual Christmas card photo for 1973. We are standing in front of the same brick fire place as in the 1970 card. My father built this fireplace when he added the family room on to the back of our house.

Christmas, 1973 (11 years old)

I don't have any more digital pictures available until Christmas 2008. My wife and I took our children to Bryce Canyon in southern Utah that year where we bought our first digital camera. We spent three days there and had an absolute blast.

My girls—Rachel, Abby and Carla

Hiking on the trail down among the hoodoos (tall stone structures)

Nathan, Michael and Rachel having fun in the restaurant at Ruby's Inn

Michael, Rachel, Abby and Nathan relaxing after a full day outside.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus handing out candy canes

Abigail with Carla, Nathan, Andrew and Rachel behind her

I think my fondest memory from Christmases past is our stockings. My mom knit a matching set of Christmas stockings for the family back when I was still in grade school. Our name was knit across the top. As we married and moved out of the house she would knit one for our spouse and then for each new grandchild. Now Carla and our children enjoy the same memories. These are our family stockings just after Santa's visit last night. The darker green one on the far left is my original stocking from the 1960's. My mom has repaired a few moth holes over the years, but it is still holding up.

Christmas Eve, 2010

I had my daughter, Rachel, take this picture in front of our family Christmas tree to wrap up this post. I thought you'd like to put faces to names. Thanks, Carole and Fiona, for all the cyber support. Carla and I have enjoyed getting to know you. From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year!

Steve and Carla—Christmas, 2010

"God bless us, everyone!" ~Tiny Tim

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I have friends!

Most of you know I took a six week leave of absence from work to deal with surgery and recovery. Carla drove me in to the office last Friday afternoon to visit with my coworkers during their Christmas party. It was great seeing everybody after being gone for two weeks. What was my delight yesterday, then, when a cool Christmas floral arrangement was delivered to our home from my "friends at Applied Signal Technology". I have friends!

Thank you, friends at AST

I've been touched, actually, by the many, many people who have come out in support of me and my family during this cancer adventure. Childhood friends have reached me on Facebook. Family, friends, and even friends of family and friends have sent cards and well wishes. Neighbors have brought meals more times than I can count. I even have new cyber friends from cancer blogs.

Thank you, friends and family

In a world full of horrific headlines, it's humbling and heart warming to harvest the humane side of humanity. Truly, I have friends.

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” ~Bernard Meltzer

Saturday, December 18, 2010

NEWS FLASH: Cancer Kills Energizer Bunny

Cancer patient Steve Chamberlin of Stansbury Park, Utah, reports that rectal cancer has killed the Energizer Bunny. "Before my cancer diagnosis I used to just keep going, and going, and going," he quips, "but now, all I seem to do is just go to sleep—anywhere, anytime. Except at night, of course. Then I only attempt to go to sleep, even though I'm completely exhausted." Steve believes that Dr. Sklow accidentally removed his batteries along with his rectum during surgery on December 3, 2010. Admittedly, Steve's batteries were first depleted prior to surgery by six intense weeks of chemo and radiation therapy. But with two months off for recharging in anticipation of the surgery, all evidence pointed towards an increase in energy levels. Now, nothing. The Energizer Bunny is all but dead. Steve is currently in communication with Duracell, the CopperTop® people. More news to follow shortly.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Home, Sweet Home!

We made it. We are here. I am in my own living room as I write this! We actually got home about four hours ago. After unloading the car and unpacking my pain meds (OK, so I watched Carla and her mother do this), I promptly swallowed two more pills and went down for a nap—in my own clothes, in my own bed, in my own house! Does it show that I'm glad to be home?

Carla is overjoyed to be back on her home turf. She helped her mom a bit on arrival and then crawled into bed next to me for a nap of her own. That was nice. I have watched her sleep on a sofa bed across my room for a week. And the best part of our bit of sleep? No noise. Nothing remotely reminding of a busy hospital. Carla's mom, Joy, woke me at six for my next round of pills. So now we are back up and visiting with our children, catching up on their weeks adventures.

It's dark outside. If you should pass by our house the Christmas lights are on, adding our bit of cheer to the neighborhood. Inside is a happy family glad to have Mom and Dad home again.

There's No Place Like Home

Today is the big day. We have been cleared by Dr. Sklow to go home. He said last night, with complete satisfaction, that I looked too good to be in a hospital. Funny guy. What I am realizing this morning is that I want to go home now. We have accomplished everything this week we came here to do. It's time to move on.

There is more that can be shared about our stay here, especially the last two days. I know our posts tapered off sharply on Tuesday afternoon. I'll get to that as I recover from the comforts of my own home. For now I just feel tired, reflective, peaceful, and relieved. Mostly I feel immense gratitude for an amazing week filled with amazing success and amazing people—my sweet wife, Carla, being the first among them.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Five steps forward, two steps back

Sorry everyone about not having an entry for Tuesday, but it ended up being a very crazy day.
Steve has been doing so well that they decided to take out his epidural and IV pain medications yesterday and switch him over to oral medications. It was really nice for him to lose his shadow and be able to walk around without any lines or drips being attached to him. Then the pain kicked in.
Looking back, we can see how everything could have been handled a bit better and might have saved Steve several hours of intense pain.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pathology Results!

Great News!!!!
Steve's surgeon stopped by this evening to visit with Steve and do a post surgery follow up. When he came in he was also able to give us the results of the pathology that was done on Steve's rectum and the surrounding fat and lymph nodes that were removed.

Steve's tumor went down from a T3 to a T1 tumor and there were zero lymph nodes with cancer out of 18 that were removed. This is the best results that we could have hoped for. We are thrilled!
Steve will still have some follow up chemo just to make sure nothing is hanging around out there that they aren't aware of, but the chemo and radiation he had prior to surgery did everything they wanted it to do and did it extremely well.

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for all your fasting, faith, and prayers in behalf of Steve and our family. All of yours and our prayers have been answered. Don't forget to thank Heaven, too.

Grand Central Station

Whew... what a morning. It felt a bit like rush hour traffic and we were Grand Central Station . I guess Monday is when things kick back into gear after a nice quiet weekend. From first thing in the morning until about 12:30 pm Steve had a pretty much constant stream of visitors. The surgical team was the first to show up and they said he had done well enough yesterday that he could try some foods of his choice today. There followed after them, not necessarily in the order listed a:

dietician - she left Steve with a menu that looks like something you usually see at a restaurant. He calls in his order when he is ready to eat and about 15 minutes later it gets delivered to his room.

ostomy nurse - she came in to go over what you do for an ostomy and ended up talking Steve through the process of switching his out. The one he had was starting to pull away from his skin and you don't want that stuff to leak out. He was able to do most of it himself with only a very little bit of help from the nurse. She just checked the seals on it to make sure it was nice and tight when he was done.

pain team - they are leaving the epidural in for at least one more day while they see how his body handles real food and not just the soft stuff. If all goes well today with his food, they will remove the epidural tomorrow and then he will switch over to pills that you swallow for his pain control. Apparently that can be a bit of a rougher transition which is why they are waiting until after they get him back on solid food before they remove it.

social worker - she stopped by to see how Steve was handling being in the hospital and all the changes to his body from the surgery. She also wanted to know what kind of a support group he has and whether he needed anything beyond that. She let him know about some of the resources that are available to him if he feels he needs or wants them.

regular nurses - they have their routines they follow to track how he is doing. They also came back in and gave him a wash cloth bath while I ran to get some breakfast in me. (It was after 10:30 and I hadn't had a chance to eat.)

surgical teams tracking nurse - she tracks how Steve is doing through all his treatment and recovery. She was amazed that he was as far along as he was in his recovery. I guess if anything were to change she is the one who would let the appropriate people know.

visitors - My brother and his wife Carol stopped by to say hello and visit for a few minutes. It was a fun treat to see both of them. Two of Steve's friends also stopped in during their lunch hour. They left him a little sign to hang on the wall that says "If I Were Humble, I'd be Perfect". Steve got a good chuckle from that.

phone calls - My mother called about a few things at home and Steve's sister Lauri called just as Steve was heading down the hall for one of his walks. I stayed in the room and visited on the phone with her for a few minutes while he got his exercise in. We have to spread his walks through out the day and he hadn't had a moment to fit one in the whole morning.

After everyone had left, Steve ordered a lunch of macaroni and cheese, some grilled eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash with marinara and cheese, and a chocolate milk shake. He was able to eat almost all of it except the vegies. (Which he ate a little bit of and then had to stop.) They sent just the vegetables in on a dinner size plate and they could have been a meal by themselves. Now that things have slowed down, Steve is trying to take a bit of a nap so that he can get through the second half of the day.

Monday, Monday, So Good to Me

But first let's finish Sunday. Carla's mom brought all five children over in the early afternoon. Actually, Nathan said he drove them in, so that was nice of Grandma. It has been a great help with Nathan getting his license about the time I was diagnosed. Our three sons hadn't seen me yet. While my girls came in and got their hugs, the boys were staring at all of the tubes in me. I have an IV pole with two or three drips on it plus a black box hanging off of it with my epidural drip. Then there is the PCA morphine pump for pain control and an extra oxygen tank on the base of the pole for when I take my walks. So a tube to my back and a tube in my nose. I also still have my catheter in and a JP drain in my abdomen each with their own tubes sticking out of my gown. Overall it's pretty intimidating at first.

(Transition to Carla) Steve feels well enough to do his own blog at times, but with all the IV drips in him it makes typing rather difficult, so he has asked me to finish this entry.

The kids had a pretty fun visit. One of our close friends had sent a fun bag of Steve's favorite foods to the hospital on Saturday. Two of his favorite foods are graham crackers and marshmallows. With that list of ideas she threw in some hershey chocolate bars as well. After showing the kids his ostomy and staples, he went for a walk around the 5th floor. All of them together made quite a parade going down the hallway. When they reached the family kitchen we went in and the kids made some microwave smores while Steve sat in a chair and watched. They were just about finished when one of his devices started beeping. Steve left to walk back to his room with half the kids, while I stayed to clean things up in the kitchen. (Steve will be able to have his smores today. He has been switched to regular food as of this morning!) After the nurses took care of the bag that was causing the beep, Steve got back into bed so he could rest. That is kind of how things go for him currently. He gets up and is active and then he needs to rest and recover. By the end of the day he was able to do 2 1/2 laps around the fifth floor before it caught up to him. He is making steady progress.

While Steve rested up from his walk, I took the kids on a tour of the rest of the hospital. They have the worlds largest puzzle hanging on one of the walls on the second floor. It has 24,000 pieces in it and was built by Jon Huntsman's grandson. It is a cool puzzle and one our kids could appreciate it since we enjoy building puzzles ourselves. I showed them where Steve had his surgery and radiation treatments. It really is an amazing facility. When we returned back to the room the kids visited quietly for a little longer and then decided they better head home. It was a really foggy day outside and it makes driving a lot harder once it turns dark, because the headlights bounce off the fog.

The rest of the day was pretty straight forward, we didn't start having any surprises until the night shift came on. For some strange reason Steve's catheter leaked a couple of times during the night. We ended up doing 2 laps around the 5th floor at 3 in the morning while they switched his bedding. The nurse said there may have been a kink or a bubble in the line, because the catheter was still in place when we checked it. The great news of the morning is that Steve is now off oxygen, can order his own meal choices from the patient menu, and doesn't need to wear the leg pressure cuffs unless he is flat in bed. Slowly, but surely, he is getting back to a more normal existence.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Welcome, welcome Sabbath morning

Welcome, welcome Sabbath morning...
That is the first line in one of our church's hymns.

Steve made it through the night just great. His ileostomy is functioning perfectly. This means that his body is finally being able to get rid of all the air that was in his abdominal region from the surgery and he no longer feels like a balloon that is ready to pop. Instead his ostomy bag keeps having to be burped, because of the air that is being released. It makes some rather cute and funny sounding gurgling noises when it does it. (I'm not so sure that Steve agrees with my opinion on that point, since it is hard to miss when it happens.) The other piece of good news is that because his ostomy is working correctly he is allowed to start eating some real food. The kitchen sent up what I thought was a rather impressive first breakfast of creamy wheat cereal, two pieces of toast, jello, saltine crackers, herb tea, and apple juice. He managed to get a few bites in before we headed down the hall to church.

Yep, you read right. We got to go to a half hour church service just down at the end of our hall. It is nice that they have a small simple meditation room on our floor of the hospital. They offer a brief Sunday service for the patients and any family members who would like to attend. Steve woke up and decided that he wanted to get cleaned up and try to make it to church. So that is what we did. We gave him his first bath since surgery, using wash clothes, and got him into some fresh hospital clothes. He then walked his way down and set himself up with his shadow (a contraption on wheels that carry's his oxygen tank, drip lines, meds, etc.) at the back of the room. I was able to help out and play the music for the service. We then returned back to our room where he was able to finish eating the breakfast he had started. So far the food seems to be staying down just fine. He has eaten it slowly which probably is helping. He is making great progress, we have a lot to be thankful for.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Long Day

It is 8:30 pm and Steve is retiring for the night. He has had a very full day considering everything his body went through just yesterday. The first really good news is that we now have a room of our own. It ended up being rather fun, because about 15 minutes after Grandma arrived with our two daughters, they let us know that a room was available. So our daughters were able to see Steve in the room he was in for the first day and then help him move to his nicer private room. Steve's second walk was walking down the hall with his daughters while they helped shift our belongings to the new room. (He had done a shorter one a couple hours earlier.)
After the girls had left, Steve's friend Mark showed up to visit. This gave me a chance to go use the shower and get some dinner in me. Steve got his third walk in during Marks visit. This was his longest walk so far. It finally got things moving so that some of the gas that has been bloating his stomach could release. That has been about the only thing that has really made him uncomfortable so far. Anyway, between all his visitors, sitting up in a chair for most of the day, and his three walks, he is pretty worn out. Hopefully it will help him to have a good nights rest. I'm pretty beat myself. I think I'll join him. Good night everyone.

Sitting, Standing, Walking

Second day...
is off to a much better start. Last night was a little crazy here at the hospital. They didn't have as many patients leave as came in so we ended up in the observation room for the night. Fortunately they allowed me to sleep in a neighboring bed because the chairs in the room are not designed for any kind of sleep. ( I tried!) We ended up going through 5 rounds of different nurses because he wasn't assigned to a room.
First thing this morning we met his nurse, Cara, for the day shift and her aide Fanny. They will be over Steve's care from 7am - 7pm. They have already had him sitting up, standing up, and after a short rest they plan to have him try walking. They made a check list on the white board in the room we are in that they want to have completed by the end of the day. It reads:

Diet ice chips
Linen _
Bath _
Walk _ _ _
Chair _ _ _

Steve says it is nice to be doing something other than lie down. He was surprised at how much work it was to just stand up. With some of the moving around he has been doing, things are starting to shift in his bowels so he is feeling a little bit in that area, but nothing really painful. You have to love epidurals that work right.

From my perspective he is far more alert and has way more energy than he had yesterday. His personality and playfulness are back. I'm glad all that sleep yesterday seems to be paying off.

Noises in the Night

Steve here. I have slept most of the day and well into the night. Bishop Spilker stopped by to visit this afternoon. He works nearby. Then my neighbor Mark came in after work. I felt bad because I kept drifting off to sleep. Still, it was nice for the company. He visited with Carla for several hours.

I never did get my own room. I am the last one left in the holding area. So in a way I do have my own room. Various nurses have been in and out of my room doing all sorts of tasks—checking vitals, emptying my JP drain, clearing my ostomy bag, monitoring my epidural, bringing more ice chips.

The last nurse to come in had to swap out my foot pump. This pump inflates two pressure cuffs wrapped around my calves. They inflate randomly every few seconds to prevent blood clots from forming in my legs. Sometime during the night it started beeping each time it pumped. This constant beeping eventually woke up me and Carla. Now she is back to sleep and I am left wide awake.

I have enjoyed reading through Carla's posts. She's doing a great job keeping everyone up to date. Thank you all for your comments and encouragement. I feel amazingly well under the circumstances. Yay for the epidural! Soon I hope to start sitting up and walking a bit. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I'm finally with Steve. They brought him up to the 5th floor of the hospital just before 3 pm. He opened his eyes long enough to know that I'm here and then went right back to sleep. His nurse Kim has been in to check on him and should be stopping by about every 20 minutes. He also has a nurses aide named Angelina (now Zach) and she checks his vitals every 30 minutes. I think his body is thankful to finally crash. He didn't sleep well this last week with surgery on the horizon. The next 24 hours are his chance to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Steve doesn't have an assigned room yet. We are currently in an observation area until they get a room cleaned up for him. Fridays are a big turn over day here at the hospital. They get a whole new batch of patients coming in, but are sometimes a little behind where they would wish to be in checking other patients out.

The only thing he is allowed to have at the moment are some ice chips to keep his mouth from drying out. Apparently he suffered from some nausea while in the recovery room so they put something in his IV to help with that. One of the side affects is drowsiness. Sleep on dear zzzzz.

Out of surgery!!!!!!

Dr. Sklow just came out and gave me the great news! The surgery went extremely well. All that was left of the original tumor was a small scar! Steve has a temporary ileostomy on the right side. The surgeon had room to include a j-pouch which is a lot trickier to do on men. That should make life a lot easier for Steve when they go and reverse his ostomy in about 6 months. The surgeon said that Steve only lost 1 pint of blood during the whole procedure. He is now in the recovery room and I will hopefully get to see him in about an hour. Steve got everything he was hoping to hear from this surgery at this stage of the game. Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last Night

Yesterday was a crazy day for Steve. He went in to work in the morning so that he could wrap up a few things since he won't be back until next year. He returned home just in time to start swallowing some pills that make sure you have nothing inside your intestinal tract when you go in for surgery. By evening he had a whole lot of compassion for any baby that is suffering from a raw bottom. I don't think he will mind too much not having to use that particular part of his anatomy for a while.
At seven o'clock our Bishop stopped by with a couple of Steve's friends and gave Steve a priesthood blessing. We then spent the rest of the night with our children. Steve had wrapped a small surprise for each of our kids and we had placed them under the kids Christmas tree in the basement. After they had opened their gifts, Steve showed them an ostomy bag and explained how it works so that they wouldn't be surprised and could understand what is happening with their dad. We have tried to include the kids from the start in anyway we can. We want them to know that it is ok to ask questions and that they play a part in Steve's fight against cancer. After grossing out Nathan, our oldest who doesn't like anything medical, we moved on to Steve's haircut. Steve had wanted to get a haircut before going into surgery, but he couldn't find the time to pull it off. We have had something going on every night this past week. It has been all Steve can do to fit his work hours in and get home in time for the kids activities. Anyway, Steve still wanted that haircut and decided that he would let the kids cut it for him. We set him up on a stool with a sheet under it and the kids went to town with the buzzers. Mission accomplished, Steve won't have to worry at all about his hair until sometime next year. We then went back into the family room and Steve taught us how we could each make a friendship bracelet out of a string like piece of leather and a small rectangular shaped piece of abalone. We ended with a family prayer and our family cheer, Families Are Forever...
Last night was the kids last chance to see Steve before surgery. We had to leave for the hospital at 5:15 am in order to be there by 6. It wasn't going to work for them to say goodbye in the morning, especially since Steve is not a morning person. The kids have been so good through all of this craziness. I am so proud of them. Abigail has been sleeping with a special bear that holds a pink heart for the last few weeks. She wanted it to be full of love when she sent it with Steve to the hospital, since she can't be there all the time like she would like to be. Steve's gift to her was a small pink locks of love bear. The cool thing is the bear's assigned name is Abigail. We are hoping her new friend will help while she is missing her dad. It is even more meaningful to her cause she is currently growing her hair out so she can donate it to locks of love. Rachel managed to sneak in a quick hug just before we left this morning. She had a choir rehearsal early this morning and had to be up early to get to that anyway.

Hey the cell phone just rang with an update on the surgery. Steve is doing great so far. They just removed his rectum and are now moving on to putting him back together. They anticipate being done with the surgery in about 2 hours.

Thanks everyone for all your love, support, and prayers. It means so much to our family during this time. I'm going to go now and get some food in me while I can. The surgeon will come out and tell me how it went when it is all over. I'll update you when I find out more.

Guess where I am?

I'm relaxing in my hospital bed waiting to visit with the surgeon. I've had my vitals taken, my blood drawn, an EKG, and a good visit with the nurse. Carla is here with me, too. I actually had to sign three or four more forms. You'd think I was joining the Navy. Surgery starts in half an hour at 7:30. Oh, and the nurse just came back in and put a warm blanket around my shoulders because they said my body temperature was a bit low. So they are taking good care of me.

Hi again everyone. This is Carla. I guess I'll have to finish this post.
Steve was just taken out so he could get his epidural. I'm excited to know that he has this alternative for helping with his pain control.  It should mean that he won't need to be as heavily medicated which should help with his post surgery recovery. Apparently Huntsman has some of the best pain management teams around. They travel around the country and train medical personnel around the country. We are so fortunate to have such an incredible facility available to us and so close to home.

Steve's surgeon just stepped in to say a quick hello.  He is just waiting on them to finish with Steve's epidural and then he is ready to go.

They came in and took me back to where Steve was before wheeling him into surgery. He has been cracking jokes and keeping them laughing the whole time. Everyone is in good spirits including Steve. They are thinking they will be about 4 1/2 hours in surgery and then at least an hour in recovery. I won't see him until they take him up to his room, but will receive updates along the way. I'll keep you posted as they come up.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Hi... this is me Carla. I've been drafted to fill in as editor while Steve takes a nap in the surgery room. We are hoping when he wakes up we'll hear lots of good news.
You'll have to forgive me if I'm a little disjointed. I've been running around this week like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get everything settled at home so that I can spend the next 7 to 10 days in the hospital with Steve. Thank heavens for mothers that you never seem to out grow. Grandma will be holding down the fort with our five kids. I don't know how I'd do this without her. It is currently 10 pm and I'm still trying to pack my things. Maybe I can make some headway now that the kids have finally gone to bed. We will be leaving for the hospital at 5:15 am in the morning to check him in by 6. I'll fill you in on our activities from tonight while Steve is with the surgeon. Here's to a good nights sleep. I'm going to need it.

A few items of business...

before surgery in the morning.

1) My mother-in-law drove out this afternoon to stay the week with our children. Let's pray that all goes well on the home front.

2) My wife has agreed to keep this blog updated as an on-the-spot reporter during my surgery and the immediate aftermath. Let's give Carla a big warm welcome to Steve's Cancer Blog.

3) Leaving a comment on a post spreads good karma. If you scroll down to the bottom of each post the last line reads "Posted by Steve (or Carla) Chamberlin". On the same line is the comments link. Click on this link to post a comment.

After typing your comment in the comment box, choose who is commenting from the drop down list just below the box. If you choose Name from the list then enter your name. Anonymous comments are also accepted. Just choose Anonymous from the drop down list. In either case click on the Post Comment button to finish. You can also choose Anonymous and then type your name at the bottom of your comment so we know who you are.

4) We check into Huntsman Cancer Hospital tomorrow morning at 6 o'clock. Surgery starts at 8 o'clock. The surgeon expects a 3 1/2 hour procedure under normal circumstances. I should be out and ready for lunch by noon. Oh, wait. Lunch is now several days away. I've been on a clear liquid diet all day today. Tomorrow I'll switch to IV drip lines and ice chips. I can hardly wait.

Now, as a friend of mine said at work this week, "Let's nip this thing in the butt!"