Cari’s Blog #22

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Focus on Eric on Easter

Not sure where to start here. I had gotten the call on my phone confirming Eric’s leukemia jumped from .02% to a lot of chemo. We had three options.  So that being Friday we had to hear what his Doctor had to say.  We literally thought there was nothing we could do from here on out, and had a very relaxing nice weekend just chilling, and spending time together.  Well, we got there, and were given three options, enter a study, where you are randomly selected to get one new chemo, or one different chemo, you don’t know what you’re getting.  That was our most promising and first choice, the second option was to get this high dose chemo he is getting now, our third choice was to go to Texas for treatment for a phase 1 trial (The chance of him making it back from that, was 10% so that was a definite NO WAY!

And our last option was to go home and ride it out.  You could tell even his oncologist was in tears.  We tried for the trial here, but were denied because he had already had too many induction chemos, so we opted for the high dose chemo, and we checked in Monday Night.   Eric’s chemo is starting to take on some of the side effects.  He’s getting pretty tired, so we’re trying to get him as much rest as possible.   Our rule is “take it one day at a time.”  We both feel we can beat this, and we both have our motivations to keep fighting.  And I will be by his side physically holding him every opportunity I get, and when I’m not I will be a phone call away.   Eric is honestly the most amazing man ever, and just told our friends last night, and some people today he is NOT giving up the fight.

Last Night a group of friends from high school came over and played poker with him.  Made him smile.  I went out for dinner with my dad.  That made me smile.  I haven’t had one on one time with my dad since I was a little girl, and I’ve always been a daddy’s little girl. I get told I am so much like my father, that I get called, “Little Mick.” Yes. His name is Mick, and my maiden last name is Jaeger.  Making him Mick Jaeger.  I’d say that’s pretty cool.  I also got to help out a lady just like I did last time we were here, felt good to try to do something to “pay it forward” even though what I did was NOTHING compared to what you guys have done for us.  If I see a person needs help, I go straight into action.  Last yearish, there was a couple hit by a car going across the street.  All I saw was a group of people surrounding them just looking down.  I got out of my car, saw the old man bleeding from the head laying down.  I ran back to my car and grabbed a LIFE shirt, beause no one would let me use theirs (they were all male, I was not willing to take mine off) and wrapped it around his head, got him turned on his side so he didn’t choke on blood.  Now I would think it’s common sense to pull over and help, and not just stop and stare.  Last night, there was the sweetest 55 year old lady, that was just beside herself trying to figure out how to make room for her family to eat in the lounge while Eric was playing cards, so I helped the nurse move chairs and tables around, walked back with the girl, and sat and talked.  She was a very interesting lady, and I hope I get to talk to her again before we leave.  Her family was pretty cool too.  I helped them get their food down there, got them the extra stuff they needed, gave them the LIFE site, my email, and told her I’d be back to talk to her.  I’m trying to think of something small I can grab her from Walgreens or something to brighten her day tomorrow.  She was so sweet.  (got any ideas? Email  me at and let me know!)  When you’re on this unit, you just want to hug every single one of them.  And to be honest, If I knew I could, I really would!

Eric’s been building my dance studio a website (Dance Mom’s Stay tuned!!!!!)  with his brother, Mike, while I slept all day.  I can’t express how thankful I am for that!  I can honestly say I married into one of the coolest, most supportive families in the world.  There is not one person who wouldn’t stand up for another person if they needed it.  Eric and I both have families that fully back us on everything we do, and encourage us the whole way.  I can honestly say that family is the most important thing in the world to me.  Although I don’t see mine as much lately, (They live in Manty, we’re in Milwaukee, and my dad lives in Michigan during the week only coming home on the weekends) but I know that anyone of our family members, whether it be Mary, (Eric’s Mom) Brian, (Eric’s Dad), Karin, (My Mom), Mick, (My dad), Mike, Steve, Lindsey, (Eric’s Siblings), Christy and Dayna, (My siblings), and Megan (Mike’s Wife), Ashley, (Steve’s Wife), Dan, (Christy’s fiancé), or Adam (Dayna’s boyfriend) would be here in a heartbeat if needed.  Lindsey, bleached our whole house, and is being a rock star helping out,  Ashley, she will talk to me at 3 am to help me through a crisis, and Megan will answer any medical questions I have.  My sister Christy will send me cute Owen pics to make us smile, and We Skyped with Owen today and of course he tried to hug grab my face through the computer while saying “KIKI!!!!”  We also skyped Ash, Steve, and Ava.  Ava’s a funny girl!! She alays knows how to put a smile on Eric’s face. Our parents, they’ll come down to bring us food, do laundry, watch movies, and try to take our mind off things, and my sisters, are amazing at making us laugh.  And we have 4 amazing nieces and nephews that always make us smile!

As far as Eric,  they took the ommaya port out.  I was so upset.  I had this gut feeling that we shouldn’t put it in.  Eric and I kept telling them we had an uneasy feeling about it, and wondered about other options there were.  Truth is, there were other options but they finally got us to agree to it.  We signed through for it, and it was a fairly easy procedure.  Well, it was an even easier procedure for them to take it out last minute.  It got infected with a staph infection.  This totally blows.  It is in no way any doctor’s fault, it just sometimes happens.  They have him on a ton of antibiotics.  I was on the phone with Ashley from like 2am until 5am talking it over with her because I knew she was up.  I know hindsight is 20/20 but I can only watch my husband suffer so much.   I can’t handle knowing he’s so sick and there’s nothing I can do for him.  I wish there was, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but I can’t . Watching him get chemo to his brain was the most horrific thing in the word that I saw. So I guess I’m glad they won’t be doing THAT part anymore.  In fact while I was down and out all day with my migraine, he helped take care of ME even though I could have done it myself.  THAT’s the kind of man I married.  I swear if there’s a category in the Guiness book of World Record’s I need to sign him up for the best category of “best husband”

I honestly look up to and admire the way handles this with such grace.  He ALWAYS says please and thank you to the nurses, cleaning staff, chaplain, anyone who walks in here.  If any guy has a right to complain about anything, it’s him, and I don’t hear him complain about this, he just takes it, fights it, and keeps moving on through life.  It’s SOOOOOO inspiring.  You guys out there too are all so inspiring and what gives me the motivation to keep going.  Of course I wll never stop loving him, but the thought of “how the heck am I going to get through all of this” has plagued me recently, and knowing I have a world of support around me has totally helped.  I know the rest of the family takes comfort in it also.  There are people all over the world praying, sending positive thoughts, and little cards in the mail to our house to brighten our day.  I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to us!  I am one of those people who does “music therapy” meaning that I listen to the words of the song, and express my emotion through that song, or through a dance I teach my dancers.  There’s a couple that stick out in my head right now. 

Ben E. King- Stand By Me—Our First Dance Song

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, yeah

Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Martina McBride-  I’m gonna love you through it

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold onWhen you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

Kenny Rogers- The Gambler

“You gotta know when to hold ‘em, Know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run, you never count your money, when you’re sitting at the table, you’ll have time enough for counting, when the dealing’s done.”

Anyway, That’s I’ve always been a big advocate for the Gambler, and think that chorus pertains to a lot of different things.  It’s  time to hold him, not  fold him not time to walk away or run, and im not counting my money, im going with it right now.”   but all these songs have been stuck in my head the past couple days, and really, they all pertain to Eric.  It’s purely coincidental but these songs actually all came on in that order when I hit shuffle on my ipod on my way home to shower the other day.  I want you all to know that Eric flat out told me he’s going to fight this battle to the bitter end, and I have no doubt in my mind that if anyone can do it, It’s him.  He’s got so much to live for yet!  Eric is honestly the most inspiring person I’ve ever come across, and I am the luckiest girl in the world to be his wife J