Saturday, November 24, 2007

Superman and his Trusty Sidekick "FuFu"!

This has been a week of ups and downs. To begin with, Dennis’ bili was up and his white cell count was down. We feared that they would have to suppress or discontinue for a while the chemo treatments ( in other words, he’d have to go from 5FU to 3FU…he’d be down a fufu)

However, the results of a repeat blood test showed that his bili was down and his white cell count was back up. Dr. Jones, who brought us the good news, was then subjected to a demonstration of synchronized euphoric squealing by the entire Ashton Clot. When she recovered her equilibrium, Dr. Jones caught the excitement, and while she did not actually do a 360 in mid-air, she smiled a very loud grin. You’d have thought the Utes had just scored the winning touchdown (which, of course, they didn’t) There was such joy in Whoville, that I suggested we crank up the chemo from 5FU to 10FU! Dennis was patiently silent and then explained that FU’s are not like RPM’s that can be revved up at will. I don’t know why people keep annoying me with facts.

Also this week we decided to take the grandkids to Huntsman Cancer Institute and let them observe why Ampa is a hero, and so qualified to wear his special Superman jammies. (courtesy of Willowcreek Pediatrics.) They waited while he went into a nearby phone booth and emerged in his nifty hospital gown and appeared in the window. Then we all went into the special chamber where his gown was removed, his chest hair parted to reveal his “tatts,” and the technicians lined up the radiation lines with exacting precision.

Dennis was surrounded by four darling grandchildren, the adult Clot, and the technicians. I did resist the urge to maniacally declare, “It’s alive! It’s alive!” It was one of Dennis’ proudest moments. And then they showed us how the radiation machine could rotate around Dennis’ torso, assaulting the mass from every possible angle. Of course, we had to leave during the actual procedure, but the kids were fascinated with the whole thing. When it was done, the tatts were hidden within the confines of a radical chest comb-over, and we all went home.

There is a lot of care necessary to protect a PICC line. The simple act of showering requires wrapping his entire upper right arm in hermetically sealed stretch and seal Saran Wrap. Dennis’ fufu bag must also be protected from moisture, so he encases everything in a Glad bag. His showers have become somewhat of a spectator sport, and I have invented all kinds to new parlor games in my mind.

Because we utilize Saran Wrap in such quantities, we buy in quantity. At the check-out stand, the checker, upon seeing the size of the Saran Wrap and aluminum foil said, “That must be some turkey!” Once again, I was seized by discretion and resisted the urge to say, “That’s no turkey. That’s my husband!” Two discretionary retentives don’t make up for a life-time of loose lips. But it helps.

I think that anyone who endures the experience of cancer qualifies as Superman. Dennis is no exception. He is able to leap tall gemcytobene bags in a single bound. He’s faster than speeding radiation. We even saw him arm-wrestle an older volunteer worker in the Infusion Room…and he dang near took her! And that’s why I say…rev up those FU’s to 10! He can do it!

We pray for and bless you all for being part of the Clot, for walking this rugged road with us, and for your overwhelming love. Because you do what you do, Dennis is able to do what only he can do…keep on keeping on. You are vital. You are loved.

The Clot.

P.S. Thank you for all the comments! They are so fun to read! (hint, hint :)


Anonymous said...

I appreciate your updates. The whole office checks every day. We miss you at work but know you are working hard at the most important job you can do. Lots of love, Kate O

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the is a little different to see Superman and his Fu Fu in a position only he would see a patient in! What a wonderful experience for the whole clot to see what is going is something that they will always treasure being at Ampa's side and offering their love and smiles like only children can. I hope the Chris' Concoction will be helpful to the sites behind the chest hair...who knows maybe I can market it for hair growth or something else with Dennis as the model???? Take care and what a treasure the two of you have in the love and support you share. Chris C

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. Ashton and Family

We have been patients of Dr. Ashton' since our Brandon was 2 and that was almost 16 years ago. At the time we had to change doctors because of insurance and were very pleased with the change, we never looked back and have been very satisfied with our care. We were sorry to hear that you have been not quite yourself (in fact, Brandon worried that it might be because of the time he kicked you in the crotch when he was 10 and you were trying to get a throat culture from him--he says he's real sorry about that and it was never about you.) We missed you when we came in today but were pleased with the care we received from Dr. Lynch--they are really holding down the fort and only positive thoughts abound. We are glad to be able to keep updated through this blogsite and we will be praying for you and your family. We pray you'll be back to Willowcreek soon we still have some growing up to do.

Love, Brandon, Kaylee, Jared, Lyndsee and their mom and dad, Mike and Kimberlee

Anonymous said...


Ashton Clot: Thanks for the wonderful, informative, and especially funny blog on Dennis's and your family's busy lives. We're so glad that things are going as well as expected, and we are praying for all of you daily and wishing you all comfort and peace! We love you all, the Hawkins Family