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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Gratitude

Well, six months ago I certainly didn't know how this Memorial Day weekend would look.  Would Craig be healthy? Would Craig be home? Would we be up for entertaining? 

Yes. The answers are, "Yes!" Thank you, God!!

I am elated to say, we were blessed with another fun-filled weekend, topped with our annual Memorial Day  party! We had 55 people show up and join us in celebration....and we remember each and every guest, along with each conversation, thanks to our sober-free lifestyle..8 weekends and going strong!!! Hehe! We also enjoyed many side dishes laden with Craig-approved ingredients! Yummy! 

Many friends and family members commented on how great Craig looked. His color,  skin, and  weight loss were all noticeably improved since people last saw him. He took his second administration of his BX protocol almost 2 weeks ago and has faired pretty well since! He has some new aches in his hips which we hope and believe is the cancer breaking off his bones and leaving his body! Yippee!

This journey has certainly brought positive changes for me, as well. I'm running races (not from the cops), feeling better than ever and getting creative in the kitchen..that room that's been sitting idle in our home for a long time. My two recent favs: sugar-free, flour-free oatmeal-raison cookies and sugar-free (agave substitute) strawberry soft-served ice cream. DELICIOUS, if I don't say so myself!!


Memorial Day is a day to remember with gratitude  all those who served and died for our freedom. As I reflect over the past 6 months, I am not only grateful for our freedoms, but also grateful for our lives in general. Craig never served in the armed forces, but he is still a hero to me. He has fought hard for his life with dignity, pride and optimism. I am quite proud of my hero!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ain't No Stopping Us Now

(This picture was taken last weekend after Craig and the boys mulched all Saturday!)


Craig recieved his blood test results this week and they showed great progress! YAHOOEEY!!!!

For those of you with medical and or cancer experience, here are his numbers:
*PSA -This is down to 3.85 from 2000 in November.
        
          (yes the decimal is placed correctly).
*SED-This is down to 8 from 20 last month. This is a cancer marker indicating disease by the proteins in the red blood cells.   A normal SED reading for him would be 1-10.   He is right on!
*LDH -This blood test is performed to detect and determine the extent of tissue disease or damage to the brain, kidney, muscles, liver, and lungs due to bone fractures and/or cancers. Craig's has decreased from 236 to 203. The ideal or normal range is 105 to 133 so we are moving in the right direction!!! YAHOOEY!

None-the-less, Craig will undergo his 2nd treatment next week.  He will again be on oxygen for 72+ hours and we hope for yet another great experience with this dose.

Next weekend Craig plans on travelling  with Jessica to Wisconsin where she will work at a camp all summer. We are grateful that he has this great opportunity to help her get there.

Thank you again, for all of your thoughts, prayers and kindness throughout this journey. Craig and I have  always traveled well together and enjoyed our trips. I believe we are traveling well through this journey, as well, and making the best of the experience!

Gotta Believe!!!

They Come In All Sizes

This, my friends, is from my hero, Craig:



Well its been 7 weeks since, as Kasey calls it, the "Journey" began. The diet has been interesting to say the least. Learning to plan your travels with the location of the nearest bathroom always in mind has become the norm. I truly don't believe that we evolved with incisors not to eat meat. But, to my vegetarian friends out, there I can say I tried it for 5 weeks and the best thing of that time was the small steak I had at the end of the period. Don't get me wrong I enjoy vegetables just not all the time.

To my dear friend Dave Walton, who so eloquently gave me a plan to fall back on should I be having bad days, I say, "many thanks." All that time you've spent in the wilderness has given you a great perspective. Oh, and yes I did alert all my favorite distilleries as to cut their production for the coming year. Although after having my journey mans card in partying for 40 years I made sure I had a great team in place to take up the slack during my hiatus.

On the whole, considering what I had growing up and down my spine, I feel pretty darn good. Yeah, there's still a lot of aches and pains but as I get up on these wonderful Spring mornings we've had of late my thoughts turn to a spirit of thankfulness. I believe in this new protocol I've embarked on, and it seems to be working. Kasey has taken it upon herself to educate all of the team on cancer marker numbers, although I shake my head when friends at coffee hour at church on Sunday congratulate me on a good PSA number.

Now, to the "They come in all sizes" statement. Several years ago in a Christmas letter I spoke of my childhood hero, my Uncle Joe, He was bigger than life in that young mans eyes, 6 foot 6 inches tall, played for the OSU Buckeyes and walked with a quiet assurance and a very giving heart. I have been blessed with a lot of giving people in my life and now I want to acknowledge my littlest Hero. She's barely 5 foot tall might weigh 100 lbs on a good day but has one of the most wonderful hearts I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. I was lucky enough to marry this lady and thank God every day for meeting her. She's my traveling companion and is on this journey with me and I am very grateful. She, too, has learned how to locate the closest restroom.
Thank you Honey.

To the greatest support group on earth. As always, Thank you.
I love you all.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Inspired Children Inspire Me!


I was deeply moved to tears today when I received  a stack of letters in the mail from a class of third graders.... taught by a former student! Recently,  Brittany Cook,  purchased both of my books, BELIEVE & LOVE, and shared them with her 3rd grade class. The students then wrote me heart-felt, genuine letters filled with  appreciation, empathy and kindness.   Most importantly, their letters showed they understood the books' messages!!! 

Their response was overwhelming. 
They got it! They were living it! The books enriched their lives!

Thank you, Brittany, for making my day and affirming that these books can and will help children of ALL ages learn the valuable lessons of resiliency!! Read for yourself! I only posted a few, though they were ALL beautiful and appreciated! 



Sunday, May 5, 2013

WE CAN DO THIS!


What a great few weeks Craig and I have had! We are truly blessed and enjoying life to the fullest! Craig is exercising,  taking two mile walks, doing yard work and getting out daily! 

We just completed week 5 of the protocol. Craig was excited to reintroduce red meat and chicken to his diet, though he has to ration his servings. Two weeks ago he submitted his blood work to the Delta Institute and they told him to hold off taking his next dosage as the first dose was doing a good job! He submitted his next blood work on Friday (5/3). So,  we will hopefully find out later this week when he takes his next dose. He feels good and looks great. His back gives him some pain when he overdoes it, but overall, he is in good shape. 

Thanks to the Seitz boys and Forrest, the mulching, flowers and garden are complete (weeks ahead of schedule) and the pool opens Friday. We are ready to embrace a fun-filled summer and still planning on having our annual holiday parties! Six months ago I didn't think I would be writing any of that, but thanks to all of your love, support and prayers, Craig is back on his feet and playing with his friends! Same sandbox, different toys, I guess:)

Last weekend we endured the tests of all tests: we went out with Diane & Kurt Soderstrom. For those of you who know them, and know us, the combo has always been, well, quite "fun," to say the least. This being said, adventuring out with them last Saturday evening was quite a risk for us  as we were on week 4 of no alcohol. But,we did it!!!! Diane and I went to the "Salon Saloon" (my name for the salon at Crocker that has a full bar in it) while Craig and Kurt went to Happy Hour. Both Craig and I enjoyed our filtered water, not only there, but also at dinner and in the hot tub with them. WE DID IT! We maintained sobriety the entire night with H2O only!! Yahooey!! I nicknamed the Soderstroms, "SOBERstroms" just for kicks and giggles, of course! 

So, don't be scared! You, too, can enjoy a fun-filled night with the sober-somewhat-vegan-not-quite-gluten-free Kellems! We're a real hoot to be with...really:) Just give us a call and we can go out and play with you, too!!!

Have a wonderful week!