Thursday, April 29, 2010


Mass herbicide was committed near two rural residences outside of Paso Robles early last week. One witness reported odd activity around the Richards home late Monday afternoon by a large group of people described as "unusual and cultist". The group is reported to have consisted of as many as twelve men and women as well as two small children according to one source. The group is said to be responsible for the massacre of literally hundreds of thousands of innocent plants that resided around the homes of the Richards family and one Edith Crosby.
Here three of the culprits can be seen. Identified from left to right as Matt Purkiss, Larry Griffith, and Ken Smith.

Several photos were taken by horrified onlookers and some of the individuals that have committed this heinous act of violence against the plants have been positively identified, however none have been apprehended by local law enforcement. One officer has come forward with a few more details but has wished to remain anonymous. He/She said: "While the severity of this act can not be denied we do receive many such reports of violence against plants around this time every year and cannot release any information pertaining to whom we have or have not apprehended including the repeat offenders. While it may come as a shock to many of you that such acts could be committed with such regularity even in your own neighborhood that fact remains that it does happen."
(Margaret Purkiss) "oh the horror!"

Shocking indeed. Even more shocking perhaps is the response given by the Richards family when asked what they would say if they ever had the chance to confront those herbicidal maniacs that had struck just outside their home. They said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Identified Culprits: WANTED
(Top: Dale, Christine, Floyd, Ben, Matt, Margaret, Darrell, Larry, Kathy, Ken, Kevin)
(Bottom: Karla, Trevin & Olivia)
Darrell, on the scene Reporter

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Good Checkup

Hi everyone, and thank you for checking up on us.  Dale & I made the trek up to San Francisco yesterday for my belated checkup with Dr. Wolf.  After the usual blood draws, we were able to have a very relaxed visit with the good Dr.  As a short recap, my cancer already was in complete remission from my chemo treatments before my stem cell transplant on Feb. 28th (which really surprised them due to the extent and aggressive nature of the cancer). IF they blood work shows any cancer present, or the enzymes suggest that it could be happening again, then I'll have to do some more big chemo treatments before they put me on "maintenance".  BUT, they don't think that there is or will be a problem with that, so we will likely be able to start the "maintenance" in about a month.  Due to my slower recovery from the stem cell transplant, they want me to be stronger before I start the revlimid (rev-le-mid) maintenance drug.  This is a low dose chemo pill that is taken once a day.  I'll likely be on it for about 2 years.  They start out with a real low dose, 10mg, then work up to a 25mg daily dose.  Starting lower then working up helps to reduce the side effects as the body adjusts to it, which in turn allows me to be more functional.  The Dr, also took me off of  the blood pressure medication, so 1 less pill to take.  Also, my red blood count was low, so I will be going in to get a blood transfusion from my local oncologist in the next day or two, but all in all I am feeling OK.  The Dr. thinks it's a side effect from one of my medications, Dapsome,, so he had me stop that for now as well.  We go back in a month for another check-up.  So, the great news is that I likely am done with the big chemo stuff.and that I'll be able to resume my more abnormal life again soon.  Yipee.  Thank you all for your continued love and support.  We still need it.  And who knows, I might even see you around soon someday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wouldn't Ya Know It

As Dale said in her post, thank you again to all of those who came up the hill to attack the overgrowth.  Home teachers and friends (our home teacher's are also our friends!) really did an amazing amount of work.  Special thanks to Darrell, Larry and Ken for the extra hours they put in.  That's the good news.

As soon as I get some of my immune system back, I GO AND CATCH A COLD.  I know.  You've gotta be kidding me, right?  It started to get me Wednesday, and is in full bloom today.  I just hope that I can get over it by Sunday so I can go to church, WITHOUT MAKING EVERYONE ELSE SICK.  How's that for a turn of events and a wouldn't ya know it moment.

Otherwise, I am getting a little better every day.  Thanks to those who still write and send "get well" cards (and enclose a Lolo's certificate. You know who you are).  They really lift my spirit and aid in the "get well" process.  I feel very blessed to have so many friends who haven't tired of this whole "get well" process.  It ain't over yet, but we are getting closer to an end every day.  We'll check in again after our Tuesday visit to San Francisco and my wonderful doctors and care givers.  We thank our Heavenly Father for all of you every day in our prayers, and hope that you feel the blessings of your great service and love.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How many ways are there to say 'Thank you'?

Hillary left for Utah yesterday with the camera and expertise to get photos on to the blog, so I apologize for no photos for a week unless she has time while she is away.  When we came home from UCSF we were greeted by weeds as high as 'an elephant's eye' and about as wide everywhere!  The kids and I have been digging, whacking, mowing, and raking ever since.  On Monday evening a group of our friends from church came and attacked what was left.  It's amazing what a group of people can do in a short time all armed with whacking machines!  Thank you so much to all who came to help!  We have the most wonderful friends!  We have received help in so many ways for so long now.  We are truly grateful.  Hillary took pictures, they will be posted as soon as she is able.

Kevin continues to feel better.  His progress is still in baby steps but it is progress and we are all grateful.  Without getting too graphic, the 'icky' stuff has stopped and he is able to eat about twice as much as before, which still isn't much but we're getting there.  His appetite is returning with some of his energy.  He was able to attend Church for the first time on Sunday and that made him so happy.  He didn't last the whole three hours as expected but he will work up to that.  We are scheduled for a check up in San Francisco next Tuesday.  We are interested in what they will plan for the future.  There was talk of one or two additional rounds of regular chemo as well as two years of a maintenance chemo which should be tolerable.  We will have to wait and see.  Until then, thank you all again and again for your prayers, your service and support.  We couldn't have come this far without you!  We love you and just can't thank you enough!  Dale

Friday, April 16, 2010


Hey everyone, it's me again.  First and foremost, thank you to all of you who still are remembering me in your prayers and thoughts, and those that are still helping us financially.  I cry every night as I remember you in my prayers.  My heart is so full of gratitude and love for you.  You have changed my life forever for the better, and I will NEVER forget your kindness, love and true charity.  Thank you.
Hillary's off with a friend from the Ward to help her with her 4 yr. old twins and 2 month old TRIPLETTS!  Dale's at Costco and catching up on errands.  They left me here with the laptop, so here I go.  Hillary's flying off to Utah the middle of next week and is busy getting everything ready at home and work, so I'm going to update the blog myself.
We had a long visit with my local oncologist/hematologist, Dr. Bonis, on Wednesday.  From the latest blood tests the results were encouraging.  He said that all of my numbers were really good and that my immune system has recovered and is in place and working.  That means visitors are now welcome and that I am no longer under house arrest and actually can go out in public, somewhat, cautiously.  Hooray.
You know how your car makes a noise, until you take it in to the mechanic?  Well, that has kinda been the same thing with my GI tract.  I'd had problems with it for the last 6 weeks.  Then we go to the Doctor on Weds, who orders a bunch of tests.  We go to the lab to get all the stuff, and miracle of miracles (again), no problem since.  I've been on a very restrictive diet to keep from having problems, until last night.  Last night Dale bbq'd steak, made roasted potatoes and yams and fresh green beans.  I HAD SOME OF EVERYTHING AND HAVE NOT HAD ANY REPERCUSSIONS, yet.  I'm waiting, but it's the next afternoon.  Normally, like last Sunday where Dale made sweet and sour chicken and rice and I had 1 tiny bite, it came back to haunt me within a couple of hours.  We may have turned a BIG corner.  It happened overnight, so I'm guessing that between your and our prayers, and the healing power of the Saviour, if I play it right and don't try anything too stupid, I just might have this behind (no pun intended, ok maybe a little pun intended) me.  I think this would be the last and biggest hurdle in my recovery from my bone marrow/stem cell replant and huge last chemotherapy.  We'll keep you posted.
Thank you all again for all that you've done to encourage and support me over the last nearly 8 months.  I love you all.  Don't forget to email me at the chemoslobber@gmail site.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Steps

We are happily still at home.  Kevin is making progress.  His platelet counts have been coming up continually to the point that we no longer have to go in every other day for a blood draw.  I think this is quite remarkable.  When we left UCSF they told us it was normal for patients to still need platelets for a week or two and Kevin has not needed any!

On the down side he is still battling the side effect of his February 28th chemo.  He was told to expect nausea for as long a two to three months!  Par for the course.  He wasn't expecting to be plagued by diarrhea this long.  That is why we postponed our check up at UCSF.   They must not be too concerned as they have not called me back to re-schedule.  We see Dr. Bonis here on Wednesday with a fresh set of labs to go over.
I think Kevin is getting a teeny tiny bit better each day or so.  He probably doesn't see the progress as readily as we do as he is the one suffering from it, but we do.  Today he is feeling tired and resting from a bad night.  He matches the weather, which is gloomy and rainy.

I owe many thank yous.  I've been so busy since we returned home with chores and such I have put off writing my thank you notes .  I apologize and hope to get on it today.  My heart is full of gratitude to all of you who are helping us so much and in so many ways. You are always on my mind.  Thinking of you all uplifts my spirits and reminds me of the goodness still in the world.  Why can't we turn on the news and hear about all the acts of kindness performed each and every day?  Until I can personally thank you, thank you!
Love, Dale

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Check Up Yet

We decided not to go to our check up appointment at UCSF Tuesday because Kevin wasn't up to the trip.  The Doctors know about Kevin's residual side affects and are contemplating what they want to do next or how to stop the problems. We will let you know when we hear back but for now we are sitting tight waiting it out crossing our fingers that we don't have to go back to Twin Cities anytime soon.

He has to go into town every other day to have a blood test to see if he need a blood transfusion or platelets. Thankfully since we've been home he hasn't needed either cause the numbers are looking good. Now if we could just get ride of these pesky side effects...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Holding My Own

Although I may not look like I'm doing better, I have medical proof that I am.  When they sent me home from UCSF I met with my wonderful local oncologist/hematologist, Dr. Wm. Bonis, who set me up with Mon, Weds, Fri blood tests to primarily monitor my platelets, which is a measure of recovery.  In my last post I think I mentioned that the platelets, then digestive system were the last things to recover after the stem cell replant.  On the morning of my release from UCSF hospital, they gave me a platelet infusion to boost my numbers.  On Mon and Weds the blood tests have shown that my platelets have been holding their own, and it appears that they are even increasing on their own.  Therefore, I have not needed to go in for platelet infusions, as the Drs had suspected and planned.  Now, if only I could get my digestive tract to come along...

Happy birthday to my mom today.  Love you mom.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.  We still need them.  We have to return to UCSF on Tues for tests.
With much love and appreciation.  Kevin