Monday, April 28, 2008


Which one of these is not like the others?

Good Morning, Dear Ones,

I apologize if I sound like some kind of numbers warlord, but Dennis’ stats are very lovely. I am going to relay these numbers and also give some explanation as to what it all means. Of course, these explanations will be dumbed down because that is how they were presented to me. I do not, however, take offense to that. In fact, in order for me to fully misunderstand the lab results, the nurse has had to go from dumber to dumberer. I’m comfortable with that. (One can only be insulted if one is clear on the concept!)

So here goes:

Blood pressure: 92 over 59 This means he must stand up very slowly or he will lose consciousness, fall down, get a concussion, and need stitches.
Oxygen: 98 This means he is breathing
Pulse: There This means his heart is beating. This is just what we wanted.

OK. Here is the pretty stuff:
Wbc: (also known as white blood count) 545. TA DAA! Last lab it was 251. This is very good.
Crit: This is the measure of the concentration of red blood cells. (When one’s crit is down, it is easy to lose one’s concentration) This went from 26-30!
ANC: This is the measure of neutrofils. (I’m pretty sure this is the amount of neutros added to glycerin to get an explosion…a favorite device of terrorists, but don’t quote me.) Anyway it took a quantum leap…1.6 to 3.7!
Platelets: 296
And finally
His granulocytes % …NOT APPLICABLE. Again, we are delighted!

We are so thrilled because with these numbers, he qualified for the full dose of chemo…plus saline solution. Now, I defy anyone to have greater cause for celebration than that! And, of course, as an added bonus, his frenzied follicles are not fading entirely. He has sustained constant hair production in at least two of them. We are so proud. They are visually apparent, but do not require any expensive maintenance. In the current economy, this is a great money-saver. This is all good.

In keeping with our efforts to transition from patient to survivor, the Clot decided to repeat Thanksgiving. Now we didn’t exactly kill the fatted turkey, but we did cook a roast and some potatoes in our new oven. Did I mention that besides getting some new toilets, we also got a new stove? It was not actually because we needed it…this was a “transition”-induced purchase. But the unit was 20 years old, and the girls thought it would be a good idea if we joined the 21st Century. I personally didn’t see the big rush, but sometimes compliance is easier that being mocked. As the installer was removing the old stove in preparation to put in the new, he complimented me on how clean I had kept it. I just smiled modestly… and unabashedly praised my own housekeeping prowess. ( I was just glad I had remembered to remove the packaging and bubble wrap from the oven before he arrived.) Bless his innocent heart. He obviously labors under the male delusion that I cook therefore I am! Not so, Wolfgang Puck Breath! But I figure with candles scented to smell like sugar cookies, candy canes, apple pie, and “Sunday dinner,” meal preparation in addition could lead to sensory over-load! Nasty infirmity.

Ah, but I digress. The whole family was there, and the aroma emanating from our house was because a real meal was in progress. And, as you know, when the whole family is assembled, stuff happens. As I was checking on the grandkids at one point, I noticed that the lid on our toilet had been “anointed.” In my best non-accusatory voice, I asked what happened. Josh, our resident comedian, said, “I did it, Grandma. You know when you have to go so bad there isn’t time to put up the lid? Well, that happened to me. But I’ll clean it up.” I was so proud of him for owning it, that I said it would be a privilege to take care of “incident management.” I also told him that happens to me all the time, and not to worry about it. It occurred to me that our new “transition” toilet had just been christened, and being semi-devout observers of the Word of Wisdom (if you discount bubble gum and Diet Coke) we did not have a bottle of champagne readily available… so Josh simply improvised. We are very proud of our grandkids’ ingenuity. So our potties have been properly launched. (Memo to self: KEEP TOILET LIDS UP!)

As you can see from the picture, Dr. Kate O and her husband are preparing for the LOTOJA on their custom, screamin’ purple tandem. If that doesn’t inspire covetousness! But not all things “tandem” refer to bikes. As you can see from the picture, Dennis is still in tandem with his feeding tube “pushee thingee.” If that doesn’t inspire covetousness! Will he ever walk alone? If we are what we eat, he is “canned Dennis” and I am a wired wad of bubble gum! But in the finest romantic culinary tradition of “The Rubaiyat” of Omar Khayyam, (and a galactic lowering of poetic expectations)…a can of Jevity, a box of Goobers, and thou, beside me in the wilderness! (Be still, my beating heart!)

If I haven’t mentioned this lately, let me reiterate: I hate cancer. I can’t concoct expletives bad enough to call it. (And as a West High grad who is also a card-carrying Dorrity, that’s something!) It is a disease of deprivation. But in an odd way, it is also a condition that elicits courage and dignity in its wake…and none more valiant than Rich Lloyd and his family. We have all been inspired by the grace of their example.

Last Friday, one of the patients in the infusion room had his last chemo treatment. The staff gathered around his chair, sang a song of congratulations, and presented him with a blanket. He got a sitting ovation from the other infusees. Since it is difficult to ovate with one hand when one’s arm is hooked up to a chemo drip, all the “chemo-sabis” applauded as he was saluted by those also afflicted. It is a privilege to sit among “the bald and the beautiful.” Each victory is our victory.

Dennis weighs in at a formidable 120…and that is an official “hunka” in our book. We will continue to work on our transition skills. And we will never forget the gentle angels that continually remind us that we are loved.

We love you,
The Clot

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The future's so bright, he has to wear shades...

Greetings, Dear Ones,

In keeping with our policy of “Breaking News Airs Immediately,” I have a most joyous up-date to share. We had an appointment with Dr. Mulvihill on Friday, and we were really looking forward to it. At our previous visit with the Doctor, I had promised that the next time he saw Dennis, there would be vast improvement. Dennis has not only gained weight, but stamina and strength as well. He is borderline stud-muffin! His sense of humor is back, which saves my bacon concerning personal blog blab, and there is an over-all sense of well-being. I could hardly wait for Dr. Mulvihill to see I had made good on my promise.

It is my custom to take notes during the course of the appointment, because there is so much information dispensed that it exceeds my cranial capacity. When Dr. Mulvihill entered the room, he began enthusiastically informing us about Dennis’ over-all physical condition. He was anxious for Dennis to transition off the tube feedings, and promised that he will feel even better at the conclusion of the chemo treatments. He stressed that we continue the positive mental attitude, daily physical activity, and good diet. He did not want us to neglect the social aspect of meals. I had not thought of that, but I guess there is some validity to gathering the family around the old gruel pot.

But then he inserted something into the general interview that caught us both off guard. He said he wanted us to transition our thinking from cancer patient to cancer survivor. SURVIVOR! He said SURVIVOR! He continued with his reasoning for this, but Dennis and I just sat there looking bewildered. We looked like we had just been “tased.” I’m talkin’ “deer-in-the-headlights” stunned. It was a textbook case of “survivor confusion?” Is it possible that the idea of NED can so take one by surprise it becomes impossible to process the information? Even Dennis’ mouth was open. Oh, perhaps not the full-blown, molar-exposing, mouth gape like I was, but drop-jaw, nonetheless. For once, I was absolutely speechless! And I haven't stopped talking about it since. When I finally managed to get both my upper and lower lips in near enough proximity to form words, I asked him if he could walk me through that idea one more time…did he actually consider Dennis a survivor? He said unequivocally, “Yes.” He reiterated that Dennis was NED (no evidence of disease) there are no abnormal lymph nodes in the neck, his eyes are clear, and his tumor markers are 36. I wanted to ask a follow-up question to my follow-up question, but as luck would have it, all my faculties froze, and my allergies kicked in. My throat closed off, and every facial portal opened up. I oozed from all my orifices (orifi?) It was not pretty. Dennis was able to compose himself enough to inquire about going to Disneyland and returning to work this summer. Dr. Mulvihill thought both were excellent suggestions. I was about to ask about a Mediterranean cruise, but I was afraid that might be pushing it. And then Dr. Mulvihill left.

We lingered in the exam room hugging, before we were composed enough to emerge. We were scheduled for Friday infusion, and had to have labs drawn. However, Dennis’ vitals must have been affected by our visit with Dr. Mulvihill.

Blood pressure: 90 over 63 (!!!)

Temp.: 98.6

Oxygen: 94

Pulse: 92…after passionate kiss – 92 ½ (Memo to self: work on technique, girlfriend!)

Weight: 121 fully clothed.

Height: 5’8” – after good news…5’12

Color: pink…accentuated with designer gray

Smile: quite perceptible.

This is all good. However, the blood counts and his ANC were low enough that it was decided to postpone the chemo infusion until next week as they did not want to compromise his immune system.

So we drove home, speaking in word fragments and partial sentences. (we--, what the…hmmm, that sort of thing)

And then we worked on our transitioning skills. How do we think like a survivor? Dennis suggested we buy a toilet. For some reason, that seemed reasonable. Then I suggested we buy three. And for some reason, that too seemed reasonable. (Memo to selves: keep working on transition skills!)

When we arrived home, the Willow Creek angels arrived with home-made chicken soup and a bucket-load of candy. In our best effort to think in transition, we pounded down a theater-size box of “Goobers” without pausing for breath. We polished off those bad boys like it was an Olympic competition. And then we collapsed, exhausted and panting, into our recliners in a sugar stupor that surpasseth all understanding. Oh, the therapeutic value of the common Goober! (But we’ve got a ways to go on this transition thing.)

For so long now our lives have been measured by cycles of chemo, radiation, corrective procedures, major surgery, and doctors’ appointments. I am not sure how we will organize the propulsion of time when these treatments are concluded. By seasons? By events? By impulse? We have decided that we will be doing Thanksgiving again. I personally want to go outside, smell the flowers, inhale Spring, and schnuck up whole lilac bushes in a single sniff. Ah, but then I would have to account for the contents of my nostrils, and the humiliation factor made me think better of it.

So far, in our efforts to transition our thinking from patient to survivor, we have:

  1. Bought toilets.
  2. Stuffed Goobers.
  3. Inhaled blossoms

Now what? Any suggestions?

We haven’t taken off our armor…the battle isn’t over yet. Perhaps we never will…we’ve grown rather accustomed to it. We are a little dazed at the moment, but our hearts are very full. This has been a long voyage, and we have not reached our destination just yet. We have had turbulent seas and major storms. But you have bridged the troubled water with tenderness, mercies, endearments, and love. We are most grateful.

We love you all dearly,

The Clot

p.s. We are over half way to our $5,000 goal! The word "Survivor" is possible in large part to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Dr. OMara is training hard for the 206 mile race- Let's keep it going! For more info, or to donate, CLICK HERE

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Hello, Dear Ones,

In keeping with my tradition of breaking resolutions faster than I can make them, I am once again tardy but well-intentioned with my blogging. (Also, verbose. Reference Resolution 23.) But I was so glad Dennis felt well enough to contribute to the Clot blog, that I wanted his words to linger a little longer.

However, I do not want to delay relaying some good numbers, and in this current recessive economy, we can all use some positive digits. Dennis was scheduled to begin another round of three chemo infusions on Friday, April 11th. He had just had a week off in between cycles. In that interim, he added some formidable dimension to his contour…in other words, he gained some weight. But this weight is not just random bulk. These pounds are packed with power. I now know the source of his strength. (And trust me, it is not in the length of his hair.) They are giving him steroids along with his chemo and other fluids of unknown components. I am not sure exactly what it all means, and I doubt that Barry Bonds is lying awake fearing Dennis will usurp his homerun record, but no one is calling him “Mr. Cupcake” any more. I guess the performance enhancing drugs simply mean his performance will be enhanced, and he will keep on hitting the ball that’s pitched.

So here is a list of his latest statistics: (with a 4 point +/- margin of error)

ANC – is 1.6 This is up from last time, and means that he did not need a 20% reduction of gemcitobene allotment. He pounded down the full bag!

BLOOD PRESSURE – 103/64 Translation: barely conscious.

TEMP. – 96.3… and rising.

PULSE – 75…unless he has seen the latest revelations on the blog.

OXYGEN – 99 – I haven’t a clue if that is significant, but his lips are not blue, and that’s a good sign.

ALBUMIN – 3.4- 3.5 is considered normal. So he is just barely on the periphery of lunatic fringe nutritionally.

But here is the best number of all…his weight is 115…naked as a jay bird. He owns every registered ounce! I am so thrilled, I’m considering removing the drapes from the mirrors. In fact, I’ve already removed the drapes from all the windows so all who pass by can see his progress! (This is also known as “reverse voyeurism!”)

All these numbers make my head spin, so there is some degree of mental impairment as I go for my daily walks. But I also think there are some serious cosmic anomalies of late that have made my early morning forays into the unknown rather interesting. The birds are now beginning their activity before dawn, and their singing is a joyful sound. However, yesterday I was the target of an aerial assault by five hormonal feathered rottweilers flying under the mistaken assumption that I posed a threat to their nests. It was a little unsettling. I wasn’t sure if they intended to scare, warn, or to inflict injury. I felt like I was being held captive in a Hitchcock horror flick, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to call for help. I knew if I yelled “Robin! Robin!” the neighbors have me arrested for disturbing the peace…or flagrant stupidity. Actually, I was just glad they were birds, and that I hadn’t inadvertently walked into the another Hitchcockian nightmare…theNorman Bates Institute of Taxidermy. But then I had an even scarier thought. What if these birds had designs on my hair to help construct their nests? Then I would be forced to resort to a spirited defense. I paid good money for this platinum, and I do not part with it willingly. However, the birds passed up the opportunity to pilfer any strands. I guess they prefer to work with only natural fibers. Very wise. Only Dennis knows the hazards to living in a home with a surfeit of blond.

Dennis has been feeling well enough to get out and do some walking each day. And the other day we had our grandsons with us as we strolled. These two boys taught us some profound and unexpected lessons. I was asking Josh why he thought we loved him so much. After all, he is such a rascal. He answered with all the wisdom of a seven-year-old, “Cuz I make you laugh!” And he was right…I laughed. I remember his mother mastered the technique years ago, and it got her out of a whole lot of trouble. Still does! I also realized how enlightening humor can be. It provides a certain awakeness, a more acute consciousness …better than caffeine, and more healthy. Humor is born of the understanding that all is well. It does not mean that there is no tribulation. It does not extract pain or grief. It simply eases the burden…strengthens one’s shoulders. Humor is most definitely a coping technique, a lens through which things appear clearer and in more acute perspective.

Our other grandson, Carter, is also very funny. He is the family word-smith. He has boundless energy, and his favorite method of transportation is marathon running. We try not to stifle his exuberance, but when he began running down the hill to our house, I could see the sidewalk was steeper than his feet could handle. So I called to him, “Carter, slow down! You’re going too fast!” And he hollered back as he was trying to reduce his speed, “OK Gramma. I’ll slow down. I’ll only go ONE fast!” It took a moment before we caught the meaning of what he had said, but when we did, we burst out laughing. I loved it! So that’s where I’ve been making my mistake. I’ve been racing through the hours, sprinting through the days, going TWO fast in a frenzied rush to train for some kind of Olympic event. But then Fate stepped in, imposed some speeding restrictions, issued us a warning, and forced us to slow down… to one fast. This was a good thing. Especially now that it is April. Lilacs are about to bloom. Lilacs are only here for two weeks, and I don’t want to miss them. The days are longer now. The poet, Robert Burns was wrong in his “Pippa” poem. Morning’s not at 7. Sunrise is officially at 6:44 and sunset checks in at 8:09. That means there are over thirteen hours of light. Perhaps the most efficient means of fully utilizing that time is simply to slow down to one fast and laugh.

By the way, we are almost half-way to our fund-raising goal for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. (To check the stats and donate, click here). That is so exciting. I think of it as the lottery. Perhaps one of those dollars will be the exact dollar that funds the breakthrough that leads to the cure that removes this scourge from all future generations. The thought gives such hope. No one will celebrate louder than the Ashton Clot when that day arrives. And it will.

Our love to all,

The Clot

Thursday, April 10, 2008



I hesitate to interrupt Joan’s excellent writing of the Ashton Clot site, but there are occasions when I must defend myself after complete and unrestrained exposure in the blog. For me, it seems like a long time since the beginning of this journey, during which I have either been on radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery and surgical recovery, and then more chemotherapy…or all of the above. While at times I have felt human, mostly I have been under the influence of the therapy of the moment and blog vapors, and have only a fuzzy recollection, which, my wife assures me, is a good thing. I’m sure people who have talked to me during this process have wondered, “who is this guy”, or “maybe, after all, I don’t know this guy”. I apologize to those who have had such an experience, but I would agree that I’m not sure I knew this guy either.

Having said that, I am happy to report that I am beginning to feel human again, and I can see some of my old self (for better or worse) returning (except for the hair.) I realize now the far reaching effects this kind of therapy can have on a person, as I have begun to recover strength and some increased weight in the last few weeks. The thing I remember most during this time is the overwhelming support and expressions of love from so many family and friends (and fellow bloggers). I have been especially touched by the many ways people have offered their concern; from funny ‘knock-knock’ jokes from patients, to ‘prayer warriors’ in Texas who have never met me. During episodes when I was down, almost anesthetized by the process, your expressions of love and support through comments, prayers, positive thoughts, and other efforts have been deeply felt by me and my family. I will probably never understand the full benefit of everything you have done, but the effect of it all is that I have been granted a little more time. and terms like “cure” are still being bounced around among the doctors treating me. I can’t predict the future, but the present seems awfully nice, and I will work on making the most of it. With your help, I am hopeful about the process of recovery and achieving a bit of normalcy to my life. Thanks again for all you have done; I looked forward to seeing each of you as time goes by.

Love to all,


Dear Clotters,

Do not fear. I am not going to sing. Even I have a threshold for self abasement.

However, as you can tell, Dennis is feeling much stronger. His voice and his typing are far less garbled, and we don’t have to ask him to repeat himself as much. There were times when I couldn’t pick out any identifying words that would indicate the meaning of a sentence he had just uttered, and so I just said “OK, Dear.” I now realize that’s a “husband technique” that has been passed down through the generations since Adam. This experience has been very educational.

Dennis has endured so much these past few months, that I am glad he has “therapeutic amnesia.” (It gives a whole new meaning to the term, “Forget it!”) This has also been of great benefit in surviving our marriage! Last Tuesday his nose hose clogged up again. He flushed and flushed with all his might (which is not that much these days) but the syringe plunger would not budge. I suggested nitroglycerin and a plumber’s friend. (Can you say “eye roll?”) I assumed he dreaded another procedure at the hospital, and I was just getting ready to haul out the expletives, when there was a major attitude shift. In the finest tradition of “the nose hose is half full,” he told me he was experiencing some nostril erosion and was actually glad to alternate nasal passages. It was such a tender moment. Then he suggested that he drive up to the hospital, have the procedure done, and then drive home…by himself. (This time, I said “forget it!”) I knew one day he would emerge from that protective foggy stupor and discover I am expendable. But he didn’t expend me. We decided we could share a romantic get-away in the interventional radiology department while they were jamming the new pipe into his innards…just me, him, and the technicians. (Hey, after what we’ve been through, leave a tender moment alone!)

Dennis’ memory is actually more acute than I had thought at first. Recently, one of his partners, Sally Ormsby, stopped by for a visit, and the two of them got talking about the Whipple procedure Dr. Mulvihill had performed. You know, doc talk. I listened as Dennis casually described EXACTLY what had taken place during the operation. I hadn’t realized that he actually knew more details than I did (which didn’t require rocket science) It was like being in a gross anatomy class. Our surgeon must have accessed Map Quest to find the best route to the pancreas. I will not give a blow-by-blow account, but suffice it to say that…I didn’t know they could do that! I’m glad I didn’t know they could do that. I am sorry I know they did that! But bottom line, they put Humpty Dumpty (emphasis on “Dump”) together again. I am also glad I opted to major in English Literature…where I only had to dissect Shakespeare’s genius, not his organs!

By the way, I thought I would provide some clarification regarding the LOTOJA in September. Our nephew, Jesse, was considering attempting it, but wasn’t sure he was quite ready for such a sizable distance. But I just advised him to do what I’m going to do. Choose your method of transportation: biking, roller blading, water boarding…and go until you begin heavy breathing. Then attach yourself to the back of Dr. Kate O’s bike. I can tell you from personal experience, she will not let you fall behind. In fact, she will personally see that you reach the finish line…a victor! (So let's help her reach her $5,000 goal! Click here to participate! )

We have attempted multiple times to express our deep appreciation for all that has been done on our behalf. We are overwhelmed by it. Recently Dennis was sent some knock-knock jokes from some of his patients, and they had such healing power. Dennis laughed right out loud! I know there are times in life when we must go through the wilderness, but you have landscaped it with such lovely things. We will never be the same…and that is all good.

We love you all,

The Clot

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Dear Loved Ones,

My 23rd New Year’s Resolution (Can you believe a quarter of the year is already gone? Is there such a thing as “quarterly resolutions addendums?” Time passes fast when you’re having fun!) is to blog with greater frequency…and less verbiage. I have been rather remiss of late, but in my own defense, I have been watching Dennis up his mass. I’ve decided that putting on weight can be a beautiful thing…and yes, you can be too thin. But he is eating with increasing regularity and gusto…real food that must be chewed, swallowed, and digested, not just absorbed. And just as nature had intended, his weight has gone off the scale. (Well, that truth is a little varnished. Actually he weighed in at a whopping 114 yesterday…not buck naked. But “whopping” is in the eye of the beholder!) He has become visible from any angle, and it demands less and less mousse on his beard to make his face appear filled out. He no longer hides bubble gum balls in his mouth to look robust. These cheeks are the real thing!

I could hardly wait for our appointment on Friday with Dr. Jones. It was actually our “day off” from the gemcitabene infusion, but she wanted to do a general check-up to see how he’s doing. I was thrilled. In retrospect, I probably seemed like I was promoting my entry in “Best of Show.” I kept repeating, “Just look at him!” She patiently smiled and continued to listen to his heart and lungs. (Or maybe she was using her stethoscope to muffle my chatter…Dennis does that all the time! Hmmmm) I wanted her to see him from every angle. I was especially proud of his chest. He actually has one! And it has hair again! And that hair obscures the “tatts” that directed the rays that attacked the cells that shrank the tumor that Dr. Mulvihill resected that made us all so happy. (So much for diminished verbiage!) And then Dr. Jones said a word of indescribable beauty. She said “curative.” Cur-a-tive! And she said it twice: once in reference to the surgery and once in reference to the current protocol of chemo therapy. For the first time since entering the exam room, I was silent. (Whoa! Try to visualize that!) I could hardly wrap my mind around the concept. I was overwhelmed! (Dennis remained composed, as always. However, even his beard could not conceal his smile. But I could tell he was whelmed.) Fortunately, I was able to recover quickly, and in a moment of unmitigated exuberance, I nearly launched into a lusty rendition of “Happy Chubby to You,” (I guess “mitigated exuberance” is actually an oxymoron and smacks of insincerity) However, I stifled myself in order not to disturb patients in other exam rooms or cause Dennis any further chagrin. I guess I had come to the appointment anticipating a bunt, and ended up with a home run…a grand slam at that. Now I know the game is not over. We’re merely at the 7th inning stretch. But we are still IN the game, and that’s all that counts.

Dennis has made such progress that it is hard to imagine the joy of doing every-day, simple, routine things. For instance, circumstances have dictated that I assume some of the tasks that he has always done, and that I took for granted. They’re the “guy” things of life that must be seen to, but are not really fun. But it has provided a certain amount of personal empowerment. I can belly up to the bar and demand a six-pack of Valvoline…Stat! I can rotate the tires, change the filter, flush the system, and discuss the price of oil with any testosterone-charged Bubba in the joint…and cook breakfast at the same time! Fun as that is, it can get tiresome. Sometimes I just want to go back to our old way of doing things. And yesterday, we did. Yesterday, Dennis got the gas(petrol)…and I did not. Minor accomplishment…great victory. It does make us want to celebrate the small things…so we decided to go to Disneyland. Dennis has been wearing his “Goofy” hat (but then, all his hats are “goofy!”) and he has been singing M-I-C and reminiscing about long-ago crushes on Annette Funicello. (Perhaps best appreciated by those who grew up watching “Beach Blanket Bingo” and thinking navel exposure warranted parental censorship.)

There is so much to celebrate. So many small miracles and mercies that seem to defy logic. Besides his weight steadily increasing, his blood pressure is wonderful, and his oxygen level is 99. His temperature is slightly cool, but there is always a warming trend in the afternoon with a high around 98 (Winds, SSE) His albumin is increasing, and his ANC looks wonderful(1.4 up from 1.0) I do not fully understand any of this stuff, but I do understand that he is improving and getting healthier. His voice is less garbled and much easier to understand. No one could mistake his meaning when he says, “Don’t even THINK of blogging that!” (Of course, it’s one thing to “understand,” and another to “comply.”)

Now we know we are not out of the woods, but we’re on the edge of the forest, and we can see the clearing. You have all been such a part of that ever-increasing light. Because no one could stop the storm, you simply sheltered us, protected us, and gave us hope. Cancer is a dark thing…a modern plague that exceeds Biblical proportions. There is no one who will not be personally acquainted in some degree with this insidious disease. The Huntsman Cancer Institute is an inspired facility where hope and technique are readily available. Because of HCI, we were able to hear the most beautiful “C” word of all…”curative.” With this in mind, the “Willowcreek Clot” is sponsoring a fund-raiser for the Huntsman Cancer Center. Dr. Kathy O’Mara calls it “Fighting Cancer With Bikes and Brass Knuckles.” It is the LOTOJA (pronounced “segue”) LOTOJA is a bike ride/race of 206 miles from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming.

From Dr. Kathy O'Mara:
"Welcome to the Willowcreek Pediatrics LOTOJA fundraiser for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. For the unintiated, LOTOJA is a bike ride/race (depending on your accumen) of 206 miles from Logan, Ut to Jackson, WY. We are raising money in honor of our own Dr. Dennis Ashton who has been fighting a superhuman battle with pancreatic cancer since October '07. We are happy to say that he is currently beating the big C. The goal is a round $5,000 but more is better in this scenario."
We can't think of a better gift for Dennis! If you would like to support this great cause, please visit the website:

We will also post the website on the side of the blog.

Our love to you all,

The Clot