Thursday, November 6, 2014

Update and a letter to my family and friends

I've not posted for a long time.  It's been nearly 41/2 years since I was diagnosed with brain cancer.  I haven't had an active tumor for over 2 years and I have been off Chemo for 11/2 years. The chemo and the radition are still affecting my energy and will continue to affect me, probably for life.  I'm very weak but feel pretty good, just not able to do much physical activity. and Roma helps me a lot.
Shortly after my diagnoses I wrote a letter to be read at my funeral, thinking that I would die soon.  Some of the people I wrote the letter for have since died and I wanted to get my feelings and story out for all to read.
I have had a good life,  mostly due to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So I decided to publish that letter on my blog.  I hope that it doesn't offend anyone, but never the less, that's how I feel.
Here is the letter I wrote 4 years ago.

Funeral Talk

I am writing this talk on September 2, 2010. I can’t sleep as usual. It is 3:30 in the morning and I can’t get something off my mind. When I joined the Mormon Church in 1967 many of my family and friends wondered why. My dad and several others thought I did it for Roma. I did!!; and because it was teaching the truth. Because I joined the Mormon Church and married Roma I have had the most fantastic marriage any man could hope for. She is my eternal partner, my life, and my soul. All the success in life that I have enjoyed is due to her undying support and counsel. This talk is for the Peterson brothers, cousins, uncle’s, and whomever else may have made it down to this funeral that knew me as a young man.
I started dating Roma in High School. I was an active, participating Lutheran boy. I went out on a date as a favor to a friend who was dating one of her best friends. We liked each other and pretty much went steady from then on. I knew she was Mormon. Her dad was my Jr. High band teacher whom I was just a little scared of. He gave permission for her to go out with me because he thought I was a pretty good guy. 
When I saw how strong in the faith she was, I was bound and determined to show her the error of her ways. I was sure I could convince her that the Mormon Church was a hoax. I even took my Luther’s Small Catechism to school with me to show her the correct doctrines. 
She sucked me in. She would take me to family gatherings at her house or the church where I became very comfortable and things were talked about that touched my heart. I remember going to her Church one day and hearing a hymn (I Need Thee Every Hour) that rang true to my heart and is still one of my favorite hymns. I learned of a God that is a personal being who loves me and is the literal father of my spirit, and an Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins so that I might return to my Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost who is the comforter. Three distinct beings who love me and act in concert with each other, not the three distinct beings in one divine personage that I had always thought. The concept rang true to my heart, but I couldn’t accept the story that the church was founded by a boy prophet Joseph Smith. 
I began reading the Book of Mormon. It read like scripture; it felt like scripture, and although I wouldn’t acknowledge it I began to think it might be true.
At this time I counseled with my dad and he thought I was crazy. He said if I joined the Mormon Church I would not be welcome in his house. 
Well, I liked moms cooking and needed a place to crash, so I dropped the subject. By this time I knew I would shortly be going away to school. I determined to study the Mormon Church more there outside the influence of Roma and my Dad. That’s what I did. 
While in my first semester at the Air Force Academy I began to go to the LDS services. While there I invited the Mormon Missionaries to come visit me. Over a series of six weeks they taught me about the church. As I learned and studied the Church I became more and more convinced of the truthfulness, but I couldn’t come to any decision. I didn’t want to hurt my dad, but my heart said that the Mormon Church was true. After long and fervent prayer I received a confirmation that I should join the Church. I made the most difficult phone call of my life and told my dad I was joining the LDS Church. He took it very hard, but thank goodness didn’t kick me out of the family. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. The Lord did restore his Church in these latter days through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He does lead his Church through living prophets today. He loves us and succors us. He leads us beside the still waters and the turbulent waters too. He has blessed my life in time of trial and I have come out on the other side as a better man. I have an eternal family and l look forward to meeting them and you all on the other side for I know I will see you and those that have gone on before. This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Funeral Talk

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers in my behalf.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I'm not dead, just lazy.

It's  been too long since I last posted. I have had an interesting year healthwise. I haven't had a reaccurence of any tumors for over two years. The type of cancer I have (Glio Blastoma Multiform)  can manifest itself any time so I am a fortunate guy that it hasn't. At this point I have more problems with the cure. Long term, the whole brain radiation I received early on is having an effect on me. I suffer from the same symptoms as I had following sugery and it will get worse over time.
I'm not complaining. I have a really good quality of life. The Lord has really blessed my life.  I have the best wife in the world. I have great kids and their spouses and 19 of the best grandkids anyone ever had.
I have neighbors and church members who are truly guardian angels. They take such good care of us.
Most of all I count on my belief in Jesus Christ. He is the finisher  of my faith. I still count on all your prayers. I feel all of them. God bless you all.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Update and some things I have learned since getting cancer

I have had an interesting year so far.  About Christmas time I started feeling really lousy and was afraid that the cancer had come baek. The Doctor ordered an MRI , which was clear!  It shocked both Roma, I and the Doctor, he was sure the tumor was growing again. So he has changed up some of the medication I was on and added others to try and increase my energy.  I have felt a little stronger each week and I hope to have a great spring and summer.
I have been thinking a lot about my experiences with cancer.  I've said before I am glad that I have had this experience because its taught me a lot.  When I was first diagnosed with cancer Roma and I immediately dropped to our knees and prayed.  We immediately received peace and comfort and an assurance that everything would be alright.  The Lord didn't tell me I would be healed, but gave me the thought that we would be okay. We have!  That's the 1st lesson I learned. The Lord has a plan for us and we don't know what it is, but if we have faith in the Lord everything will turn out alright.
Another thing I have learned is there really are guardian angels about, from both sides of the veil.  We have received such an outpouring of love from our family, friends, neighbors, and our Church. We have learned that when someone is in the service of their fellow men they are truly in the service of their God. We have also felt the influences of people (family members) beyond the veil and have been given a lot of comfort from that. We have been truly blessed by Angels and the Comforter.
We have grown closer to our children and grandchildren through this trial. We have grown to rely on their advise and help more than ever. It's as if our situation changed. They council us rather than being counciled. We have been able to see much more of the grandkids,  due to the generosity of our family.  We count our children and their spouses as being great friends, and wise councilors. We love them all.
I have  especially grown closer to my sweet Roma.  As my capacity to care for myself has deminished her strength has carried me.  She has taken on much more of a role in handling fiances and yard work as well as doing her regular work.  She is my life.
Prayer truly is a powerful thing.  We feel the prayers that are offered in our behalf.  The prayers of the righteous surly are powerful.  And we appreciate all the prayers that have been offered and encourage you to continue to pray for us even now.
It will have been 3 years in June since I was diagnosed with cancer.  I can say with a sure voice that the Lord has blessed me and our family in so many ways.  We can hardly remember what our lives were like before June 3rd 2010, but I wouldn't trade my life for anyone elses.  I feel so blessed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Clean MRI, Clean EEG Off chemo

I have had an interesting summer and fall. I have had three MRIs this year thinking my cancer was  progressing; they were all negative. I felt like each month I was getting weaker and weaker and was having severe tremors.. My oncologist referred me to a neurologist who did several tests. He increased my anti-seizure meds and my oncologist took me off chemotherapy (I had been on it much longer than anticipated and am tumor free so we thought I should cease therapy for the meantime). The tremors and weakness seem to be getting better so I am encouraged. I have a great quality of life thanks to all of you.
We have had a very blessed year. We thank you all for your prayers and your service. It's humbling to feel such love for us from so many people.  Our kids sure take care of us. Its like we have a role reversal. They take such good care of us and we so much appreciate their help.
Have a very Merry Christmas. We have learned a lot about Christ like living from all of you. We appreciate all of you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Long, lost Post! Summer of Fun!

It has been a long time since I posted, and I'm sorry!  It's been an eventful summer and I have meant to post many times but I have always had an excuse.  But not now.  Since April we have had lots of company, that was welcome!  First Amy and her kids came up for a week or so, then Emily and her kids came for about 3 weeks with Matt for the final 5 days, then David and his family came and stayed for 10 days on their way across country to his new assignment at the Pentagon.
Health wise, I have been doing very well.  We had a little scare early in July, but the MRI was clear.  I just think my body is rebelling against all the chemo and other drugs that I have to take.  Last month I had a great time health wise and was able to do some things I haven't done lately.  Roma has been busy working, and taking care of me.  She is a rock and I couldn't do it without her.  We have another grandchild due in December!  Nate and Shelly are having a girl. That will make our 19th.  It's surprising what we started 41 yrs. ago.  We are sure pleased with the result.  
Hopefully my health will allow us to have many more adventures in the Fall and Winter.  
Thanks for all your prayers and friendship.  I am humbled by the outpouring of love for us. We pray you for all too and love you. Sorry about the randomness of the pictures, I haven't figured out how to easily get them in order!  Enjoy!

My sweatshirt from Italy, compliments of Tom and Kris
Heidi and Molly in their BYU duds compliments of Roma

Heidi's 1st birthday

Shae and Brooke in their pool!

Riley and Ella having fun!

Shae, the swimmer!

Owen, Molly and Tyson at Thursday's Hero BBQ

The whole gang!

The Dave Pete. family at Kennecott Copper mine
Miles and Ella watching a video with Grandpa
The St George Randalls
Heidi and Daddy Dave
Kristine and Tommy! 
Nate and Shelly helping Dad and Mom
Ethan, our oldest grandson
Amy and Aaron
Ella and Owen having fun!
Crazy Miles and Isaac!
Pyper and Riley at our family's 2nd annual run for Juan (Paul)
Cooper-a gold medal winner
Jane and Ella playing with Grandma in the kitchen
Owen and Lydia at the park!
Tyson and Owen, 2 silly cousins!
What a colorful kid our Noah is!
Nate's family
Brooke, Pyper, and Ella washing off their color!  Ella's eyes still have some work to be done.
4th of July cookies, compliments of Emily!

Emily with the kids in Randall's pool!
Thursday's Hero Paul
Dallin's Baptism with brother Abe.
Dallin and proud Mom!
Jodi and Dave!
Tommy's family!
Nate pushing Lydia and Jane
Brooke the winner!!!!!

Roma and Amy

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Updates and some pictures

I had some very good news last week. I went up to the VA hospital for my semiannual check up. They scheduled a MRI and it came out clean. That is good news. When I was first diagnosed they said the average life expectancy is 18 months to 2 years. In June I will reach 2 years since my first surgery. With a clean MRI I expect I will have longer to live.
I have overcome my case of shingles. The only casualty was my granddaughter who got chicken pox and a few week of extreme fatigue for me.
It's spring and we are glad of it. Thanks to my family I have got a lot done in the yard. We took the pond out, transplanted a bunch of plants, and generally cleaned up the yard. Thank you kids.
We have the best family and friends in the world. Thank you and may the Lord bless you.

3 generations
Amy and Riley 
Shae and Aaron 
Pyper and Cooper
Noah and Brooke
Proud Grandpa (there are 16 more of them)
Shelly and Lydia
Nate and Owen
Easter Egg hunt at BYU