Sunday, November 10, 2013


What an interesting couple of months.  I hope you're not in a hurry, cuz if you are you might as well go on to pinterest or something, or break it into smaller more manageable bites.  I know I'm hard to swallow.

Many of you will already know that my dear mother-in-law, Edith Mae Crosby passed away on September 1st as she neared her 93rd birthday.  Long story short she finally decided to go, on her own.  She stopped all food, water and medications on Tues. and she was gone early Sunday morning.  By a wonderful twist of fate her granddaughter, Amberly Watson, delivered her 3rd child, Beckett REID Watson (the middle name is ALWAYS capitalized because he was kind of named for Darrell and ME), that same afternoon.  In order to allow Amberly and Beckett REID to attend, we scheduled the funeral service for September 20th. It was a wonderful service and I'm sure Grammy really enjoyed it.  It was wonderful to have all of the Crosby clan to visit with. Thank you for being there, always. Thanks to the men's chorus. Grammy LOVED men's choruses.

 So, the Weds. night before the funeral I had a small pink spot just below my left knee.  Dale & I guessed that it was a spider bite so I took a couple benedryls and put some cortisone cream on it.  Worked a long Thurs. then met with all the family for a night before dinner.  This is what it looked like by late Thurs night. Hillary suggested that she take me to the ER (it's already 10:30) but I was afraid they'd keep me there too long and it would make me too wiped out for the funeral.  Woke up with a burning fever at 3.  By 3:30 I'm shivering from the fever so I decide to get up, get ready, grab all of my clothes for the funeral and a shower at the gym.  No need to ruin everyone's morning, so I texted Dale that I was going to the ER at 4:45 and headed down the road.
Long story longer, Cellulitis.  I had a staff infection that was spreading very quickly.  After an early morning talk with my poor oncologist Dr. Malone, the ER Doc, Dr. Hale started pumping me with 3 different antibiotics through my port.  Here's the good part.

He was telling me how serious my condition was due to my being "seriously immune deficient". I said, "Well, you can do whatever you want as long as you unhook everything at 8."  He just shook his head when I told him that it was my mother-in-laws' funeral and that I had to be at the gym to shower by 8:30 so that I could be at the church at 9 to reherse the men's chorus, which I was leading, then I had to talk, then dedicate the grave after the service. I promised to be back after, and I did around 1.  They resumed up the antibiotic infusions and admitted me. This picture is from Sunday.  It had spread down my leg, then around the leg.  It was very painful, especially to the touch.  Dr. Hale said it will take 6 months to fully recover.  Still hurts, but is alot better.  Has alot of great, funny experiences in the hospital.  Made new friends.  Made myself at home.  Again.

3 days later we traveled down to Orange County for the funeral of a long time friend, Mark Farish.  Throat cancer.  He was 60.  It was a wonderful service and a great tribute. See you soon Mark.

Then off to Utah for a visit with my mom, family, freinds and my 40th missionary reunion.  Many of those at Family Camp watched my transformation from skinny to ... stout.  Here are a couple missionary pictures:
For those who think that I'm just a goof-off, I posed for this picture to prove you wrong. Love the wallpaper.
Had just a wonderful time at the reunion and saw really quite a lot of the "ol' missionary gang".  I believe we had a better turnout than the 30th reunion.  We had lost several of our friends too and that was very sad.  Our mission President, Hans Wilhelm Kelling spoke.  My great Zone Leader in Muenchen (Munich) Bouncin' Bob (Robert) Condie also spoke as the recently released mission president of our old mission to share all of the updates and growth.  Scheduled from 6-9, people were there by 5 and we left around 10:30.                                                                                     

The Elder to my right in this photo is none other than Robert Critchfield.  I'm not sure where he found the wigs in the Stuttgart Stake center. We were setting up chairs with many missionaries for a Stake Conference at which a young Elder Monson would be visiting. After setting up the chairs, and removal of the wigs, a group of the missionaries were standing in front of the building when the Stake President came out and asked if one of us could translate for Elder Monson during some priesthood interviews. The Pres. had gotten a professional translator for the meetings, but forgot to get one for the meetings before.  So guess who got to do it?  Sometime, if you're really bored and have absolutely NOTHING else to do, and if you were interested to hear about the experience I'll share.  I was kind of waiting until I wrote my "tell all" book and exposee on President Monson, but have since had second thoughts.  He could make me a Bishop again.  So I had a great time, revisiting with great people.  Bob's living in Phoenix and is a dentist. Decent golfer too.

While in Utah we (Dale Darrell & I) also were pleased to attend my nephew Cory's (Brian's oldest son) sealing in the Draper temple.  Congratulations to Cory and Courtney.  We love you and wish you the best.
We also visited some family, friends and church historical sites.  great fun.  Thanks Ken and Debbie for meeting us in SLC, and Carrie Connelly for letting us stop by on a very busy day!  Love you guys.

The Tues. night after we got back, some good friends from our Long Beach days came for a visit of the central coast from Tacoma Washington.  Butch and his buddy Kyle rode their motorcycles from Tacoma to SLC, then to Monterey, then back to Tacoma.  Butch's wife, Chelli, didn't.  She and Kyle's wife and 2 daughters flew to SLC for Conference, then to San Jose for our fun and frolic.  So on Weds. Dale and I, Butch and Chelli hit Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel.  We had a great time. I'll share a few pictures...

This is at Monterey Bay looking towards Pacific Grove.  Butch is the one on the left.  He's a counselor (don't remember which) in their Stake Presidency,again.  Butch and Chelli were very generous in their support of us during my "down time".  It was wonderful to be able to repay them a little for all of their kindness and love.
The famous "Lone Cypress" tree on the 17 mile Drive through Pebble Beach.  To me it looks more like the other cypress trees along the shore are making this one "walk the plank".  It was a beautiful day. We drove by the golf courses as part of the drive.  I've been able to play just 1.  The cheap one. No pictures 'cuz of you know who. We truly are very fortunate to be able to live in such a beautiful place. Picked up a couple real estate flyers.  Are you ready for this.  a 2 acre lot was around 2 million.  Homes in "residential" type areas around 4 mil.  One place was 17 mil.  People live there! Last picture is at the lovely Carmel Mission .
Now on Thurs. we had even more fun as we met with Kyle and his family in Cambria for a special trip to Hearst Castle.  Some of you who have followed this blog will remember the King Family with the twins and triplett boys.  There father, Brett, is a State Parks Ranger with Artos, his bomb sniffing dog, at the Castle.  When we have company, and that company is willing and flexible enough to come when Brett is working, he arranges his schedule to give us an "anywhere you'd like to go" personal tour.  If you don't believe me, ask Rich and Joyce Olson. Brett's wife Betsy had breast cancer surgery 2 weeks before, but had help at home so Brett was able to give them a truly "once in a lifetime" tour, including swims in both the Neptune pool (which we've done) and the Roman pool (which even we haven't done). It was chilly water, but a great experience.  For them.  Thank you Brett for your making this all happen for our friends.  And thank you Betsy for letting Brett and Artos come out and play for the day so that our friends could have this experience.  Below is a picture of Brett and the twins, Cameron and Carolyn, during their visit with me while I was in the hospital with my Cellulitis.  Cameron & Carolyn are great in soccer, and Cam is my golf buddy. They turned 8 on the day of their mother's surgery, Sept. 26th so their baptism has been postponed to Nov. 23rd.  We're so excited for them.  They have been such a great addition to our family.  we love you all.
It's almost over.  I warned you!  3 semi-quiet weeks later I'm heading back up to UCSF to see Dr Wolf on Halloween.  Then a wonderful stay with the dearest and hospitable people, Joan and Dan Murphy. Then a day of fun and frolic at the Pain Management Center for 4 more radio frequency ablations on the herniated disks at L4-5, and L5-S1.  Both sides.

First, the cancer checkup was good and I've gotten all of the tests back (they email them to me).  My numbers are up, but not to the point where I have to go back on the daily maintenance chemo. I'm still doing so amazingly well overall and Dr. Wolf just shakes his head and mutters, "You are a special study".  Most patients, who have myelomas, have to go back on it about 4-6 months after getting off of the maintenance chemo.  I have 2 myeloma friends who didn't have it anywhere near as bad as I did, but had to go back on it after about 6 months.  In just 3 days i will have been off of the maintenance chemo for 18 months!  Unheard of?  Miraculous!  This next Fri. I get my quarterly chemo infusion to try and build back up my bones, but that only affects me for a few days every 3 months.  I truly lead a charmed and unbelievable blessed life.  OK, heading for the stretch run now... but first just a couple of pictures of my exploration of more of Golden Gate Park, just outside UCSF.  If you haven't been, it really is quite amazing.  It's a HUGE park in the town with many lakes, miles of walking paths, and fascinating things to see.  Bison.  Yep.  They have them.

Fri. Nov. 1st was my second ablation procedure.  Those of you who wish to go back to a Feb. '12 post will see more, but I'd like to give you an update on the personnel as well as the procedure.  Dr. Melanie Henry, who supervised the last ablation, couldn't do it 'cuz she only works a couple days a week to care for her family.  Dr. Naidu, her Fellow (specialized training) is now a real Dr. but was unavailable so I was assigned (she drew the short straw) to Dr. Pham. She and Dr. Henry went to med school, did their fellowships, and now work together.  She has a fascinating story about her family escaping from Vietnam when it fell to the Communists.  Her father was an officer and pilot in the Vietnamese Air Force and he commandeered a DC-3 troop transport and flew 12 members of his extended family, and many others,  to safety in Thailand just at the last minute.  Dr. Pham was 11 months old when it happened. I was 19.  I know.  I'm old.  There's a lot more to the story and it's a wonderful story. Here's a picture of Dr. Pham in front of the X-ray screens that they use to locate the offending nerves.  Looks like she has Micky ears?  I meant that.  The dark spot in the pictures is my L4 vertebra with the kyphoplasty (cement) in it.  The other 2 are T12 & L1 above it.  The speculation is that the weight of the kyphoplasty may have caused the herniated disks below it. Oh well
Next is Nurse Kelly.  Some of you may recognize her from the pictures of the procedure done in Feb. '12.  She's been doing this for several years and seems to be very competent, but almost bored by it.  Or it could be because she has to look at old guy hineys.  Eewe.  Anyway, due to the pre-procedure shots  2ish months before each procedure, we've become pretty good friends I think.  She wouldn't give me her number tho.
Now this next one was funny.  This is Michelle.  She and I first talked before the shots.  She's a former ER nurse who thought she'd had enough of the trauma and drama.  She did confide in me, however, that this department really doesn't enough drama for her.  She's thinking... Anyway, the funniest part was when I asked her to pose for the picture and you see what she did.  She was surprised that I surmised, without really any hesitation at all, that she must have been a cheerleader in school. "How'd you know?" Really?
Now this dashing young (and eligible) man is none other than the soon to be famous Dr. Eli Lynch.  Though he claimed a "bad hair day", he still was somehow able to get his mind straight to poke the hell out of me!  He is Dr. Pham's Fellow.  He also did the "test" shots on me a couple of months ago.  Thanks Doc. That's Nurse Kelly getting her hand in there trying to get Dr. Lynch to smile for the picture.  It worked.  They are all wearing their lead lined aprons.  I got NOTHING.  I'll probably get radiation cancer next...
So now you've gotten the update that covers what's been going on in my life for the past couple of months.  It's a good report as far as I'm concerned.  Never dull. Always blessed.  Thank you for your continued love and support.  Please feel free to call too if you feel so inclined.  And a visit would be nice too, if you like.

1 comment:

  1. ...just so you'd know that someone read this most recent epilogue, Nancy and I wanted to say "Hi," and thanks for the update. She said some nice things about you too, that you'll just have to wonder about.

    See you in L.A.