Thursday, May 29, 2014

Happy 50th Birthday to my youngest son - Garen

Garen Van Staley was born on May 29, 1964 around 8 AM at the Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Larry and I were all most ready to move into our new home, in Grantsville, Utah.  Larry was painting the inside of the house, and we were having a friend Dee Hubrich put the flooring in.  I had been watching Dee lay the floor and was packing Bret around as he hadn't leaned to walk yet.  I swear that is what caused me to go into labor, packing Bret around.  I went to bed that night and was dreaming about the new flooring in our home.  I was rolling around in pain all over that new floor.  Then suddenly I woke up and sure enough I was in labor.  I started to cry as it was almost a month earlier than I was supposed to have Garen.  I guess I wasn't emotionally ready for the pain I was going to go through.  I remember Larry telling me that I should be happy to get it over with. Even though Garen came early, he still weighed over 8 lbs.  So it is good I had him early.

When I went into labor it was the bearing down pain, so we had to rush and get me to the hospital.  Larry called our neighbor and had their daughter come over to stay with Sherry and Bret.  This was around 3AM in the morning.  I had Bret and Sherry around 8 PM so this was different.  We raced to Salt Lake City around a 45 minute drive.  My doctor was waiting for me as he knew that I delivered fast. When Garen was born, Dr. Latteier said "It's a boy and he looks just like his Dad."  That was because Garen had a receding hair line.  I thought all of our kids looked like their Dad.

I know Garen is an unusual name and this is how we picked that name.  Larry and I had some very special friends in Grantsville.  They were our neighbors and we ended up doing a lot of things together. Their names were Sharon and Gary.  A lot of times when we would say their names, for some reason we would run the names together.  Like Sharon and Garen.  So we decided to name Garen after them.  Larry always wanted to give the kids a name that couldn't be turned into a nickname. Larry, Garen's oldest son named his first son Garen.

Garen was my baby, and I spoiled him rotten.  Larry warned me about spoiling him, but I loved to rock my babies, and I couldn't stand to let them cry.  Garen had a bad temper and when he didn't get his way, he would throw his head back and scream.  One time we were visiting his Grandma and Grandpa Staley, and Garen had a screaming fit and threw his head back and hit me in the chin. It really hurt me and I picked him up and shook him a little and said, "I can't stand you, you little brat."  Well Grandma didn't like this and when we got home, I found out that Grandma had called Larry and told him about the incident.  I was under a lot of stress having had three children really close together, moving twice and the last move from Grantsville to Las Vegas, leaving behind my best friend Sharon. After Larry and I talked about it he understood.  Also the reason we were in Salt Lake was to go to our old doctors as we were all sick.  We found out later we had picked up a bug from raw milk.

Garen  had a tough time being picked on by his siblings and as they would be playing in another room, I would hear him screaming.  I would run into the room, and the screaming had stopped abruptly.  He would look pale and limp, it scared me.  Finally one day I caught him as he passed out.  He would hold his breath and pass out for a second or two. It scared me, but I learned to run him to the sink and sprinkle some water on his face and it would stop him.  To this day, he still has a bad temper.

Not sure how old I think around 6
When Garen was around three, he was out in our backyard with Sherry and Bret.  I had the spirit tell me that I had better go out side and check on him.  I went out just in time to see Garen get burned with a piece of plastic.  We used to burn our garbage and for some reason Garen had a fascination with fire that went on for several years. Garen had stepped on a piece of plastic that had fallen on the ground.  He burned his foot pretty bad.  Larry and I took Garen for a ride after taking care of the burn in hopes it would calm him down.  Then we came home and laid him on the couch.  Sherry and Bret were so concerned for him and were so cute in trying to take care of him. Larry was a volunteer firefighter and one year Garen started the field on fire across the street from where we lived.  A little embarrassing for Larry. Years later after Larry had died, Garen and a friend about burned our rental home down.  I often wonder if he is still fascinated with a camp fire?
Bret's Baptism Day 

A Christmas present Trampoline
Bret and Garen Christmas late 70's

I think this was Garen's first date to a Prom

Some huge fish caught on an over night fishing trip.Bret, Garen, and Frank


Mom, Pops, Bret, Garen, and Renee


Garen raised a lamb for the fair. Joder was his name and Garen got too attached to him and cried when he had to auction Joder off


I had to post the pictures of Frankie as he was a part of our family.  Frankie was our neighbor and was at our home for every occassion.  I would place an extra plate on the table at dinner time because I knew he would be there to eat with us. He was a lot younger than Bret and Garen, but never the less he was their friend.  Frankie ended up with cancer in his Senior year of high school, and was able to beat it.  He was able to get married, but unfortunately the cancer came back and he passed away.  This was a sad time for all of us.  We loved him as one of our own. Click on the image and they will show in a larger size.

Garen's 18th Birthday Cake
Wedding Day 
Grandpa with Garen, Larry, and Cortney at a Grandpa Staley Reunion

The Garen Staley Family at our Condo

This was one of the few times we spent all together at our Condo in Elk Meadows.  We had a lot of fun playing in the snow, and playing games.  I remember splitting my sides with laughter when we were playing a game. I think Cortney said something that just hit the funny button. They are all grown up now and have kids of their own.

Sherry, Mom, Bret and Garen  Staley family reunion
I don't know why but one thing that I remember about Garen is about him protecting me.  We were riding bikes in Overton one afternoon, and all of a sudden this crazy man came running out of a trailer park and started chasing me. It really scared me and I stated pumping that bike as fast as I could.  Garen went after the man and and that made him stop and he ran back into the trailer park.  Garen was my Hero that day.

One of the hardest times in our lives is when I married Frank and we moved to Oklahoma.  We were all homesick for our home and friends in Overton.  We would go to the Wichita Wild Life Refuge park not to far from our home, and we prayed our hearts out that something would happen so that we could move back to Overton.  Long story short, Frank had the spirit tell him on a trip to Oklahoma City, that we should move back to Overton.  We hadn't unpacked all the boxes from our move, and you should have seen how fast we packed up the house and was ready to leave.

I never dreamed that my relationship with Garen and his family would fall apart, but for the past eight or nine years that is exactly what has happened.  My heart has been broken as I have missed out on so much in my grand kids lives.  Marriages, great grand kids being born and not being able to see them.  They think I don't like them, but that is so far from the truth.  The truth is that I do not want to cause problems within their family, and that I love them very much.  Just wish there was a redo button to push.  Garen, you will probably never see this, but I want to wish you a very Happy 50th Birthday. You and Natalie have raised a wonderful bunch of kids.  I will love you forever........MOM

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sleep Study

Thanks to a very good friend who saw a post of mine on facebook about my exhaustion.  She got in touch with me and told me she was claustrophobic too, but since she had an open heart surgery the doctor told her she needed to have the sleep study done as it was important to her heart health.  So any way she did go through the sleep study and now uses a CPAP and she told me how much better she feels now.  She brought over her mask to show me how it just went over the nostrils.  So I decided right then and there that I would schedule an appointment with my doctor who had done my sleep study several years ago.

I had to wait several weeks to get in, and had the breast cancer scare just before the appointment.  So my nerves were in hyper mode.  I spent last Thursday and Friday night at the sleep clinic.  The first night was awful, probably the most sleepless night I have had in a long time.  I worried about having to do the study over again.  So did the Tech who took care of me that night.  She came in one time and said "Donna what can I do to help you sleep?"  I told her to go and get a baseball bat.  She said "Sorry I don't have one handy."  I had left my pillow at the clinic and so the next day I stopped by and was glad I had as the lab guy was there and heard me.  He came out of his office and had me come into his room to view the results.  I had one area that he was able to get enough data to meet Medicare standards.

The second night was much better as I came prepared to sleep.  I came with a bag of goodies, lavender oil, Advil Sleeping aide, and I had the Tech bring in a noisy fan.  I had told her the room was too hot for me the night before, so she put me in the coolest room they had.  She had me try several masks and I picked out the one that my friend has.  I ended up sleeping through the whole night with the mask on.  I did really feel different that morning, more alert and rested.  Even though I went back to the hotel that Frank and I were staying in and crawled back in bed with him as it was still early morning.  I went to sleep for a few more hours, happy that the sleep study was over.

So now I am waiting for my CPAP machine and mask.  One company had already made arrangements to come to my home on Monday, but after checking my insurance, she called and told me that maybe I should check another company to see if they were a Medicare provider.  So now I am in the waiting game again.  I hope to hear from them on Monday.  I really want to get started with the machine and see if it will make a big difference in my fatigue.  The funny thing is that I called my insurance and lady I talked to said that it was going to be 15% in or out of network.  So I am thinking I should have just kept my Monday appointment with the first company.  So goes life......the waiting game goes on.

UPDATE - May 22
Unfortunately, the CPAP didn't work our for me.  I ended up having an allergic reaction to it.  I was up to six hours a night and was just feeling like I was more energetic when the sneezing and running nose started.  When I say runny nose, I mean a nose that was running like a water hose.  My nose got so sore, I couldn't touch it.  I tried several times using the CPAP trying remedies that I found on the Internet, and from my doctor. Nothing worked!!! The last time lasted longer than usual.  I was told by several people that maybe I have an allergy to latex.  Who knows what the cause is, I just know I can't do it again.  I do know others have had the same problem.  So any way my CPAP was picked up today by Lincare.  Good by to allergies caused by it, and hello to exhaustion.....Can't win for losing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Results are In


Image-Guided Biopsy
I had my biopsy on Monday January 27.  I was a nervous wreck from the day I was told I needed a biopsy until I finally got the results.  Anyway it was quite an experience, and I was glad the doctor had given me a brochure with a picture of the table I would be laying on and also explaining the procedure.  My friend had also gone through this and she told me it was more uncomfortable than anything.

My doctor had found another area of concern so I was going to have two areas biopsied.  I have never had my boob pinched and poked, so much in my life.  Once they put some numbing medicine in the area of the biopsy, the biopsy wasn't so bad.  I could feel the pressure and the poke of the needle, and it was not too painful.  It was just the idea of what they were doing that got to my nerves.

The first biopsy went fast, and I would have been done in 45 minutes, but then the probing and squishing of the boob began again.  The area of concern was in a very difficult area and they had a hard time positioning the breast in order to get a good x-ray.  Finally, after another hour of this, they decided it was a barnacle.  So I was on that table for two hours.  The table is hard, and they have you move up and down until they get you in the right position.  I had to have my head turned to the right the whole time, so I ended up with a stiff neck and shoulder.  The x-ray tech felt bad for me and before they did a regular mammogram, she actually massaged my neck for a few minutes.  I was grateful for this little moment of relief.  Also I was relieved that they didn't have to biopsy another area.

My cousin Penny, had come to the hospital and was waiting with Frank in the waiting room.  I was glad he had company, as he wasn't expecting me to be that long, and I think he would have started worrying.  I had the tech go out an tell Frank there was going to be another procedure done and would be longer. I was shaking, and pale when I went into the waiting room.  I needed to eat and the experience was nerve wracking.

Frank treated Penny and I to a nice Red Lobster dinner afterwards, and then we headed home as I was exhausted and just wanted to go home and rest.  Then the wait began, I was told that as soon as the doctor had the results, they would call me with them.  Also the x-ray tech said my doctor should have the results by Thursday.  So when Friday came and no results, I was a basket case, and decided that I wouldn't get them until Monday at my appointment with the doctor.  

We went to Vegas on Friday afternoon so I could get my nails done, and on Saturday Sherry and I went to a Green Valley High School play, Mary Poppins.  My great granddaughter was in a little part of it with a bunch of other kids so that is why we went, but I have to admit it was a wonderful experience.  The play was awesome and I couldn't believe all the stage props they had.  Mary Poppins flew across the stage, up the chimney, etc.  It was really long though, about two hours with an intermission, but it did keep my mind off from things.

After we got back to Sherry's condo, we decided we had to eat.  I had turned on my phone, but hadn't checked it as we were talking and congratulating the players outside the auditorium.  So while we were eating, I checked my phone and my doctor had called twice and left me a voice mail that there was NO CANCER!!!! but to call him back on his cell

I was so impressed with the fact that my doctor was calling me on a Saturday, and then giving me his cell number to call him back.  How many doctors would have just had me wait until my appointment on Monday?  I felt the weight lift off from me and finally, I could take that deep breath and  breathe again. I didn't realize how exhausted I was until I woke up Sunday Morning at 10:00 AM.  Needless to say Frank & I didn't go to church.  He was exhausted as much as me, so we stayed home and rested. 

When I went to St. George to see my doctor for the lab results, he went over everything that was in the report.  I have what is called Calcification which is pepper looking flakes that show up in the mammogram.  There are different kinds, and the pepper flake looking kind is bad as it means there is or are cancer cells forming in the breast.  I will have to go back in six months and have another mammogram on the left breast.  So  all I can do is hope and pray that everything will be okay then.  I feel like someone was watching over me, as everything just seemed to fall into place and I was taken care of a lot faster than most. So I thank my Heavenly Father for the blessing of not having cancer.  I am grateful for family and friends that were praying for me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breast Cancer Scare

I was supposed to get a mammogram in October, but for some reason I kept putting it off.  There just seemed to be too much going on.  I decided to do it right after Christmas. I finally made me an appointment on January 15th. I had my Mammogram, and Frank and I went to Vegas the next day so I could get my monthly manicure and pedicure and my relaxing massage with Sherry.  When I got home I had a voice mail from the x-ray technician and she told me there was abnormality in my left breast, and that I needed to call my doctor for the results.  Of course it was on a Friday, and my doctor doesn't work on Fridays.  I left a message, and then called them back on Monday.  Once again I had to leave a message, and I know my anxiety came through in my voice and message I left.

I have the best OBGYN  doctor.  I couldn't believe it when he called a little later on.  I know it was in between his patients.  He called instead of one of having one of his staff members call.  He said "Donna did those Mesa View people scare you?"  He explained a little of what is going on, that I have microcalicifications in my left breast and that I would need a biopsy.  He asked if I wanted to go to Vegas, or St. George.  I chose St. George as we have a new doctor over there and have decided that is where we want to go for our medical needs.

I told Frank what I could, and then said "now I have to go and cry."  Frank came in to find me cleaning our bathroom as that is what I do when under stress, clean!!!!  He hugged me and said "you do know that everything will be okay?"  The hug felt good and made me feel better.  I shook myself  into the reality of I should just wait and see type of thing.

Later that day, my wonderful doctor's staff called me and they had set me up with a doctor in St. George.  Everything was falling into place quickly.  She told me I had an appointment for Wednesday the 15th. I no sooner got off from the phone when one of  the surgeon's staff called me to tell me they didn't take my insurance which was a total shock as no doctor's office, etc has refused my insurance.  I told her this, and she told me to call my insurance company and ask them.  It turned out that all the doctor has to do is treat it as Medicare, as I have a Medicare Advantage plan. So any way the lady that called me said I could come the next day which was a Friday.  The doctor usually doesn't work on Fridays, but she thought he would see me.  The next step was getting my x-rays from the Mesa View Hospital.  It was late in the day like around 3:PM.  So I called the hospital and was told the office stays open until 5:30.  We rushed over to Mesquite only to see a sign on the door stating they x-ray office closed at 3:30. It was almost 4:00. I rang the bell and a nice young girl came out and I told her my situation.  She said they would make the copies for me right then.  Wow! I couldn't believe how things were just falling into place.  Someone was watching over me.

So the next day, we headed to St. George for my appointment.  I really liked the doctor as soon as he started to explain things.  I won't go into great detail at this point, only to say that he took the x-rays to his radiologist and they found another area of concern.  So I was glad that they found it and both areas will be biopsied.  The doctor checked me out, and gave Frank and I a little brochure that explained my type of concern, and how the biopsy works. He told Frank and I that if I did have this type of breast cancer, it is 100% curable. That made us both feel better. The last step was to set up the biopsy which will be next Monday the 27th as I have to quit any blood thinners that I am taking which is baby aspirin and fish oil. I do have to admit I am still having anxiety going on, but I am sure this is normal for most people when the word cancer comes into place.

I have to tell of an experience I had a month or two ago.  I haven't been feeling well at all, and have noticed I get very pale at times.  I was in bed one night and had just finished saying my prayers when this electrical shock went through my body, and a voice inside me said "there is something wrong in your body."  So I wasn't surprised when I got the bad report on my mammogram.  Now the wait begins for the biopsy report.  I was told they would call me as soon as they get the report.  I am trying to think positive about all of this, after all the doctor said that if I do have cancer it is curable.

I just had a close friend go through a breast cancer trial, and they were able to get it all through surgery.  She had follow up radiation and is still being checked to make sure they got it all.  We were talking the other day when I called her to tell her about my scare.  She said that she felt her kids are grown, and has no responsibilities, and if it was meant to be her time to go, it would be okay.  I agreed with her as I feel the same way.  I am so exhausted all the time, I fight myself to keep up with things.  I am not contributing any thing of value to life or my church.  Even my genealogy has suffered as I just don't feel like doing it any more.
I know that I am suffering from depression because of the way I feel.  Exhaustion is my companion.  I am going to my sleep doctor next month and going to try the CPAC as my new doctor thinks my Sleep Apnea is causing my exhaustion. I will continue this story after I get my biopsy.

Christmas 2013

Sherry 
 Christmas Eve dinner and sing along carols.  We do this every year as long as I am able.
Jimmy, Renee, and Bret

Jimmy and Renee

Frank and me

Merritt, Laura, Rozlynn, and Sierra

Our outdoor decorations Frank went all out this year

Poor Merritt slept through the whole evening.  He had been out in the hills and got his car stuck and had to walk all the way back to the freeway.  A long distance.  Some people pulled over and saw that he wasn't doing so well.  Long story short Merritt ended up in the Mesquite Hospital and was given and IV as he was dehydrated.  He was able to get his car out of the mess a couple of days later with the help of a friend.

We had a fun time with our gift game.  Everyone kept their gifts.  We didn't sing the whole song book as usual.  Laura and Sierra were sick with the bug that was and is going around.  We all agreed that we missed our old songs, The Disney sing along carols that I had for years. It was on a tape that was so worn out, I finally retired it.  I will have to see if I can find another one on line. 

Christmas Day was low key as Sierra ended up getting really sick, and we didn't want to go over for Christmas dinner and catch the bug.  I wasn't feeling very good either.  So I cooked my share of the dinner, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  Bret came over with a portion of what they had cooked the main meal of turkey, gravy, etc.  So we ate at our own homes.  Christmas Eve was my celebration as it is every year, and it was fun.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

 My posts aren't in the right order, but I wanted to post the Thanksgiving weekend photos.  My brother Allen and his wife Joyce drove down from Salt Lake City to spend Thanksgiving with us.  I was so happy that Joyce felt like traveling this year. My cousins Lorri and Josh drove from St. George to be with us too.  Bret, Laura and Sierra came and also my daughter Sherry.  After dinner Allen, Sherry, Lorri, and Bret gathered in my little living room.  Allen played the piano and the rest sang.  They had to hunt for songs that they knew in an old 80's song book.  My neighbors across the street could hear the music, and I am sure they were wondering what kind of party was going on at the old folks home. The pictures are a little fuzzy, but worth a thousand words.  They had so much fun, and it was fun to watch them.  I should have taken more pictures.  Frank and Josh were in the family room, and every now and then Josh would join in with them singing from a distance.  He had knee surgery a few days before, and was such a good sport to make the trip from St. George with his Mom.  It was so much fun to have them with us.  My special cousins from St. George.
 The piano is over 100 years old and was bought for me.  My Dad told me I had to learn the clarinet, before he would get me a piano.I hated that old silver thing, and felt like I had to blow my brains out to play it.  I wanted a nice Licorice (black) one.  I was a Jr. in high school when the piano was finally purchased.  So instead of me learning on it, Allen learned to play.  He taught himself.  He plays by ear, and can read music too. He also composes music. He is so talented and I am jealous as I have always wanted to play the piano.  The only time the old piano gets played is when Allen comes to visit.  I started to take lessons as an adult after a surgery I had.  I was told it was really good for the nerves.  I had been busy with kids, church responsibilities, etc. So I had taken some time off to heal.  I was just really learning to play a few songs, and enjoying practicing everyday.  I took lessons from the same teacher my girls took from.  She told me that it was too bad that I hadn't taken lessons when I was younger as I would have done well.  Then I had to go back to my busy schedule and couldn't keep up with the lessons, or maybe just didn't make time for me.  Now I can't remember anything and old Arther lets me know that my hands won't cooperate.
Another cute one of the family

 We were tired of turkey and went to Mesquite to Los Lupies for Mexican food the night before Allen and Joyce left.  We had fun eating, and visiting.
My sweet granddaughter Sierra, Bret and Laura.  We are waiting for our dinner.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  It is all about having family around, and I am looking forward to getting together on Christmas Eve for another fun family evening.



Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Decorations - Memories

There are some special Christmas decorations that I put up every year that have special memories attached to them.
 This one reminds me of our Elk Meadows Condo. I bought the showman with skis for the condo.  It was fun having a Christmas tree and decorating the condo.  We loved to ski back in the day when we could, and we loved taking walks at night with snow glittering in the snow drifts.  It was fun to have a fire going, and watching the snow flakes fall in the light of a lamp post in front of our condo.  We miss our condo days, but there is a time and place for everything and our time at Elk Meadows came to an end because of aging and approaching retirement.


I made these Elves when I used to take care of my grandsons Shiloh and Shannon.  I wanted the house to look festive for them.  Now Shiloh and Shannon are grown young men and I miss those days of playing ball, putting the tent up, going to the park and many other fun times together.  I tell them that I was the one who taught them how to play base ball. One day when Mark, their Father, came to get them, I told Shiloh  "lets show your Dad how good you can hit the ball."  I had bought a plastic bat and ball and we played out in the front yard all the time.  So dummy me thought that since it was a plastic ball and bat no harm could be done, and well I wanted Dad to see how good Shiloh could hit the ball.  He hit it so hard that it hit a big vase with flowers that was by my front door.  Yep! smash went the ball right into the vase and broke it.


When Larry was still alive and we were a very young couple, I bought my first Christmas scene. It consisted of little cardboard, glitter covered houses. I put that scene up for many years. Then when Frank and I were married, he bought me a little porcelain set.  I added things to it for several years.  I loved to make my little snow village scene for a long time, but now I just don't have the energy to do it.  So last year will more than likely be the last year for the scenes.  The above picture was taken last year and the Christmas scene was very small compared to other years.

Larry and I loved Christmas and we always had an all blue light flocked tree.  He did all the work, putting the lights on first and then covering each one with tin foil, and then would flock it covering all the light cords.  I will never forget the year that Bret was watching Larry put the lights on our tree on the Patio.  Bret was talking to his Dad the whole time it took Larry to put the lights on the tree. Larry would nod his head and say things back to Bret.  That would be our last Christmas together.



Every year when I put this cute decoration up, I think of my dear friends Kay and Allen Lewis. Allen was our Bishop for several years. He was one of the influences of Bret going on a mission.  He died of a heart attack while attending General Conference in Salt Lake City.  Such a shock.  He was loved by all who knew him.  Kay has remarried and is now serving her third mission with her husband. Kay gave me this decoration a long time ago.


 The snow man and lady remind me of my good friend Kathy. We used to go shopping together all the time, and we spent a lot of time together in our younger days of raising kids.  One year a long time ago, when shopping at Christmas time, we saw the kits to make these cute snow people and decided we had to have them. We had a fun afternoon making these decorations together. Kathy got me through some real tough times, and I will always consider her a special friend. We had so many fun times together, going to basketball games, shopping, serving in primary, and later on both being Primary Presidents in different wards. We were always on the phone or at each other's homes.

My grand kids Merritt and Sierra gave this cute little tree to me.  There are little cards on the tree and each one has a special message to me from one or the other. When I put this little tree up, it is so much fun to read the messages and smile. I have many fond memories of time spent with them.  Sierra helped me decorate my home a couple of years.  I almost called her to come and help me this year.

The below Santa Claus is also a decoration that I bought for our Elk Meadows Condo, but the real memories of this one are the two stuffed characters Kermit, and whoops can't think of the other's name. A long time ago I was taking care of my grandsons Larry, Cortney, and Riley at their home in Kingman, Arizona.  I took them to McDonald's and bought them the kids meals.  These little stuffed characters were in the meal as it was Christmas time.  Cortney and Larry both gave me their gifts.  I am pretty sure they felt they were too old for them.  I remember so may fun times with them.  I miss them a lot. Wish I could go back in time and play with them again, and can't help but wish they were in my life now, so I could play with my great grand kids.  Oh how I wish things were different.