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The Week from Hell

This was a long week for Jordon.  He got his chemo a week ago on Wednesday.  It was five hours long and took a toll on him like nothing I have ever seen.  He just slept and slept, did a quick thing with CBC, and slept some more.  He couldn’t physically get out of bed or off the sofa.  He stumbled, he fell, he was week and for the first time, he was scared.  The other night after finally getting the dog into a place where they were both comfortable, I asked him what he thinking.  He replied, “I am wondering if this is what dying feels like.”  I just held him.

Part of the problem is that the steroids they were giving him were weakening his immune system so they took him off them.  The reality is that he needed them to allow him to function.  Now they are gone.  What one doctor told him is that with cancer, you fix one problem, you create another.

It’s the first time I have questioned Jordon’s ability to fight through the chemo and fight the cancer.   Last weekend we drove to Spiritwood and took the scenic route through the THickwood Hills and Rabbit Lake on the way home.  The drive to Spiritwood, plus the worship service with Lakeland Community Church and the drive home left Jordon in excruciating pain and just physically and mentally exhausted.    On one hand Jordon wants to see people on the other hand, he is pushing himself really, really hard and paying a horrible price.

So tonight he made it half way through the first half of the University of Saskatchewan football game, a game he had been looking forward to for weeks and said, “I need to go home.”  On the way to the car, he started to vomit and could barely walk by the time I got him into the car.  He had thrown up several times on himself last week and was humiliated by it each time.  He keeps saying, “I can’t accept this as the new normal.”

Tomorrow we are getting up early and going to Edmonton.  It will possibly be our last family trip.  Jordon is going to drive to Lloydminster and then Mark and I will take over.  We are seeing his father for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in West Edmonton Mall and then watching the Edmonton Eskimos play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers compliments of Lloyd.  Then on Sunday we will spend some time in the Mall.  Jordon is going to pace himself with coffee shop and chair visits but I think the end result will be a nap at the hotel.  Mark wants to see Kingsmen and Oliver wants to see the Ninjago movie.  I am assuming Jordon will nap then.  After a trip to MEC and Ikea, then it will be back home on Monday.

Imitation Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits Recipe

When Jordon and I were in college, we used to love going to Red Lobster for their lunch special of all you can eat cheddar biscuits, soup, and salad.  This recipe does a good job of replicating the biscuits

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces grated yellow cheddar cheese (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

For the garlic butter:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Lightly mist a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Make the biscuits: Pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the shortening and pulse until combined. Add the butter; pulse 4 or 5 times, or until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Add the cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times. Pour in the milk and pulse just until the mixture is moistened and forms a shaggy dough. Turn out onto a clean surface and gently knead until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough.
  3. Drop the dough onto the baking sheet in scant 1/4-cup portions, 2 inches apart, and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the garlic butter: Melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Brush the biscuits with the garlic butter and serve warm.

Life Around Here

  • Jordon got some good news that his body is responding to chemotherapy and his body is fighting the cancer.  Most importantly his liver is regenerating and fighting the cancer.  We were told the news yesterday and today he had a marathon chemotherapy treatment that took five hours plus the 46 hours of treatment he gets from the toxic baby bottle.  He’s tired but happy with the news.  His diagnosis is still terminal but some of these small victories are huge.
  • He is still really weak.  Tonight he fell while going up our front steps and had to call for help.  Part of the reason was he was talking with his Aunt Bev and didn’t want to drop his phone but the main reason is that he is really, really weak still and it is going to be a long journey to get back to normal.
  • We are married 20 years this year and were planning to go to Banff for our anniversary.  Today we found out Jordon’s chemotherapy falls on our vacation so we are going a week early.  A little better weather (hopefully) will make for some nicer short hikes and times out in Banff and Lake Louise.  We may even go into Kootenay National Park and check out Radium Hot Springs.

  • Jordon spoke at the Saskatoon Terry Fox Run last Sunday.  Here is a photo of him moments before he spoke.  We had a nice time and he and some family and friends plan to do the walk next year.  What blows me mind is that Terry Fox averaged 42 km a day and then got up and did it the next day.
  • Jordon Cooper at the 2017 Terry Fox Run in Saskatoon

  • What struck me about Jordon’s talking to the event is that he knew he was too weak to do it but did it anyways.  His balance is still really bad from the lack of leg muscles but he committed to it anyways.  If it is important, he will be there and then figure out how to do it after he says yes.  He has been really tough through all of this.
  • We went out to City Perks to celebrate Jordon’s good news with our friends Janice and Hilary.  They have this random Twitter DM thread that has been going on forever and it is just stream of consciousness really but they have been two amazing friends not only to Jordon but to me.  There has been a lot of good friends and we appreciate all of you.
  • Finally, Jordon had a five hour chemo session today and thanks to all of you who sent in random stuff on Twitter.  It makes the session a lot shorter and funnier.  We appreciate it a lot.

The Cooper Family History

I found this history of Jordon’s grandparents.  I thought I would save it here since if the server goes down, I’ll have a copy for the boys.The Cooper Family History

Here is the text

Cooper, George & Minerva (Grenerud)

I was born February 7th, 1900, the fourth son of Christopher and Ada Cooper.  I started school at Keelerville with Wray Wylie as the teacher.  After three years I attended school in the village of Keeler.  On leaving school, I worked for several farmers in the district and helped my dad who was the in the draying business as well as farming.

I enlisted into the army in 1939, and, later transferring to the R.C.A.F.  I spent time in Brandon, St. Thomas, Ont. and in Dauphin, Manitoba.  It was was while stationed in Dauphin that I became ill and spend nine months in Deere Lodge in WInnipeg before being given a medical discharge.

On returning to Keeler, I operated a general store for several years.  I married Minerva Grenerud of Broderick, Saskatchewan in 1947.   Our first daughter Patsy was born in 1949.  She is married to Bob Prior and they live on Vancouver Island.  They have a son Jeff and daughter Michelle.  In 1952 Lloyd was born.  He married, was divorced, and has three children by this marriage.  Jordon, Jolene, and Lee.  He now lives in Edson, Alberta and has a daughter Dani Lee.

In 1961 our youngest daughter Beverly was born.  She is married to Roy Sztym and has a son Scott.  They live in Red Deer.

I rented and farmed land from 1951 to 1979.  I also operated a garage in my last years in Keeler.  We took over the post office from W.F. Fowle and operated it until we moved to Red Deer in 1980.   I was a village councilor following the death of C. Stuart and was the town secretary-treasurer for 19 years.

During our time in Keeler I tried we always tried to keep an active part in our community and served on various boards while we lived there.


This one is Jordon’s great grandparents. Christopher and Ada.  Of course Jordon calls Minerva and George “grandma and grandpa” while his aunts refer to Christopher and Ada as “grandma and grandpa”.  It’s a tad bit confusing.

The Cooper Family History

The Cooper’s are hilarious story tellers, both accurate and ficticious. The stories of Tip (the dog) are amazing and worth a book all by itself. I don’t care of any of them are true (there are some great true stories but the stories of Tip the Dog as a powerful local politician who was brought down by scandal aren’t the most believable).  They are hilarious though.  If you want to see the Christopher and Ada family homestead, Jordon posted some photos here.

The weekend

  • The Huskies Store in Circle Centre Mall is closing out and moving to Preston Crossing.  The end result is that we picked up a sweatshirt for Oliver and some shorts for myself for almost nothing.
  • We worked out some weekend trips for the this summer.  I think we are going to camp at Fort Carlton Provincial Park and then a weekend up at Prince Albert National Park this summer.  Mark and Oliver plan to go camping at Pike Lake Provincial Park this summer as well.
  • We don’t have a lot of plans made for Easter.  I am working Good Friday.  After work that day we will go to Draggin’s Rod and Custom Car Show.  It gets us later at night but the crowds aren’t so bad then.  We’ll go and grab some “rink burgers” at Prairieland Park for dinner.  I know it isn’t a rink anymore but it used to be.  The spirit of the rinkburger lives on.

Draggin's Rod and Custom Car Show in Saskatoon

  • Oliver is sicker than anything this weekend.  He never gets an ear infection but he has one this time.

Day trip to Waskesiu

Realizing we are running out of summer weekends, we decided to head to Waskesiu today.  Mark had to work so we took Oliver and spent the day wandering around the town.Oliver at Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkDowntown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkThis is just after Oliver splashed me and I ran him down in the water.  In his attempt to get away, he fell in and got himself soaked.Downtown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National ParkJust a friendly arm wrestling match as we check out some of Parks Canada famed red chairs.Downtown Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park

We did a bit of shopping.  Got some ice cream and then headed up the Narrows Road to check out the Marina and the Narrows Campground which I had never gone in.  We picked out a couple of good spots for when we go up there for Thanksgiving and camp for the long weekend as a family.