Monday, May 30, 2011

Jeffrey Morrow Obituary

Jeff's Obituary.

Jeffrey R. Morrow
January 20, 1956 ~ May 25, 2011

Jeffrey Robert Morrow. 55. passed away at his Salt Lake City home, May 25, 2011, after a valiant 2 year battle with brain cancer. Born January 20, 1956 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Charlotte and Robert E. Morrow. Attended Highland High School, BYU, and received a BS in Finance from the University of Utah. Jeff was a devoted member of the LDS Church and served a mission in Rochester NY. He married Terri Gunn Morrow, whom he loved and honored his entire life, on September 1, 1977 in the Salt Lake Temple.

Jeff attended Northwestern University and received an MBA. He worked for the FSLIC, Dean Witter and Coldwell Banker. His real passion was working alongside his wife to help people find the perfect home to raise their families. Jeff was active in Rotary and local politics.

Jeff served in various LDS Church capacities as a bishop, High Council Member, and Mission President of the NYNY South Mission from 2003-2006. He stressed to his missionaries the importance of making and keeping covenants which he did throughout his mortal life.

Jeff loved people and never forgot a name. He will always be remembered for his enthusiasm and love for life. He is survived by his parents, Charlotte and Robert Morrow, loving wife; Terri, children; Russell Morrow and Jessica Gardner (John), and his adoring grandchildren; Jayne and Reagan Morrow, and Elizabeth, Thomas, and Ryan Gardner. He is also survived by brothers; Gregg (Sue), Dave (Francine), Dan (Amy), Rob, Sisters; Lynn Somol, Joy (Gordon) Buddell, Jan (Frank) Barney, and many nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be held in his honor Tuesday, May 31 from 6-8 pm at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South. A funeral will be held the following day, Wednesday, June 1, at 11:00 am with a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 am at the Monument Park Stake Center. 1320 South Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake, in lieu of flowers, please donate to the LDS General Missionary Fund. On-line condolences

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You made it Dad!!

We wanted to let you all know of Jeff's passing Wednesday (May 25).  He was followed by hospice for less than a week and passed away at home with my mom and I by his side.  I can tell you that his last few hours I watched my mother and father together and have no question they are sure they will be together again.  What a sweet reuinion that will be someday. We will miss him more than we can imagine but are so relieved his suffering is over.  The Lord blessed him to go quickly.  We are doing fine and are greatful for all the condolences.  I will post the obituary here but it will be in the paper Sunday and Tuesday.  The viewing is planned for Tuesday night (Larkin Sunset Lawn) from 6-8pm and the funeral is Wednesday at 11am (viewing from 9:30-10:30).  Jeff will be remembered as a true and valiant servant of the Lord and by me as the worlds best Dad! Our hearts are full of sorrow but also of love for being blessed with such a wonderful man in our lives!   Love, Jessica

Monday, May 9, 2011

jeff's update!

This is an entry from Jeff's daughter Jessica.  My parents asked that I update his status on here while they are busy with more important health care needs.  Jeff had a brain tumor return in December and has since been battling the treatments to minimize its growth.  At this time he is in good spirits as he always is.  His positive outlook and endless energy have been keeping him going.  He has had several complications recently that have needed hospital stays but he is now comfortably at home being taken very good care of by my great mom. We would love to see many of you but due to his low platelet levels and weakened immune system he is very susceptible to catching germs.  Phone calls are also hard because he is having a hard time verbally communicating his thoughts but he can understand when being talked to.  We encourage all of you to leave messages on this blog and I will be certain to read them all to him daily.  As well as any hand written letters.  But, most importantly would be your prayers with him and my mom as they are dealing with this battle.  I can only tell you that watching my parents go through this trial has shown me how much they love each other and how much they rely on the gospel in their lives! I am very proud to be their daughter because of  the strength they have both shown through this difficult time.  I will update more frequently and I will see if I can post pictures soon!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Senior Citizen This Week

This Thursday, I will reach the grand old age of 55 (actual senior citizen by many companies).  For example, we can order off the Senior Citizen menu at Denny's and we qualify for the seniors drink at many Wendy's.  The reason I mention this, is I was quite concerned I would never see this birthdate!  I do feel pretty well except some annoying aging characteristics - maybe it is just cancer symptoms such as weak joints, fatigue, failing eyesight, high blood pressure, and short term memory challenges - either way I am going to count them as signs of aging now that I am officially a Senior Citizen.

We visited the Huntsman Cancer Institute this past week four times (from 7:00 am to 10:30 pm)  and have found it to be an incredibly well appointed medical facility for those with cancer.  We met a couple that is just a few years younger than we.  They come here from Delaware every six months as their physician moved here from there.   Here are the new physicians assigned to work through my case.  On the left is Dr. Adam Cohen and on the right is Dr. Howard Colman.  Dr. Colman is the lead physician but he has assigned Dr. Cohen to help bring in the new patients from IMC.  It is amazing to see how detailed his recollection was of the IMC files - not a beat seemed to be missed in the transition.
   Besides the competency level, we are surprised at the quality of the furnishings of Huntsman Cancer Institute.  This picture was taken from the 6th floor cafe, The Pointe.  You might notice the unobstructed view of downtown SLC in the background.  It is really quite impressive.  From the first picture, you will notice some serious construction to double the size of the hospital.  The first half has 50 hospital beds, the lab testing area, 5 clinics, an IV infusion area, a testing area with X-Ray, MRI, CAT Scan, other imaging testing, a surgery area and a pharmacy.  The new addition will double the size of the hospital beds to 100 and add more attractive IV infusion area and a nicer laboratory testing area.  Go up there sometime, you will be amazed at the quality of the contribution from the Huntsmans to our community.  Just go to the front door and there will be some young men ready to valet your vehicle for free.
Each waiting area has a picture puzzle to attract the attention of the patients and those waiting for them.  Interestingly, we have been doing some Eric Dowdle puzzles at our home to keep our minds active.  We have done the New York, Las Vegas and Bear Lake puzzles as we have enjoyed each area.  Here is our New York City puzzle - besides Manhattan, Brooklyn is connected by the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan and then by the Verrazano Bridge at the top of the map to Staten Island. 

We still need to get the 500 piece puzzles of Washington DC, Chicago, SLC and something from Los Angeles to get all of the places that have importance to us.  We intend to frame each puzzle and enjoy them in our home - just as there is a 32,000 piece puzzle framed up at Huntsman.  The puzzle was given to one of the grandson's of Jon Huntsman as a joke that he would never get it completed.  It took him 6 months to get it ready for framing and hanging on the third floor.  I will try to get a picture of it later.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pickles - (Sweet and Sour)

Each morning, I read the cartoons and do the crossword puzzle from the newspaper. It seems to keep me happy and keeps my mind thinking. One of the cartoons that I enjoy the most is Pickles. It brings the crazy things in life down to a few animated panels. Many of the strips remind us of our own family.  I can't quite figure out how to make these cartoons larger.  If you know how, please contact me right away - I am not very techy.  

The first cartoon, reminds me of my grandson, Thomas Gardner trying to figure out what is on my mind (1/2 mind these days).  The second cartoon, reveals the clue of the religious affiliation of this cartoon family.  See if you can intelligently guess --- clue:  look at the picture on the wall, it is the depiction of a modern LDS temple.  

Well, as life goes on in the Pickles cartoon, likewise it goes in the Morrow household.  I went to both physicians recently and just had an MRI day before yesterday, Thursday Dec. 9, 2010.  The MRI showed what the doctor described as a "probable recurrence" of the tumor.  My physician thought it appeared to be troubling and something we need to watch carefully.  Unfortunately, that physician, Dr. Ali Choucair, has received a rather prestigious position (can't share where yet but soon).  We have been extremely fortunate to have him as a physician along with the other physicians on the team.  I will miss his excellent care and in particularly his friendship as well.  I will be fine but the good news is that a new Neuro-oncologist has joined the staff of Huntsman Cancer Center.  His name is Dr. Tom Colman and we already have an appointment with him on the 28th.  I will try to get a photo for the next blog spot posting.  

In the meantime, I am grateful this holiday time of the year for the blessings I've received.  We are planning to share the following pictures of our parents with our siblings this holiday season. The first picture is of Jeff's mother, Charlotte Morrow.  The second picture is of Jeff's father, Robert Morrow.  The third picture is of Terri's parents, Ray and Elda Rae Gunn.  Terri and I wish you all a Merry Christmas.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Assume the Position"

Well we are still at it! Chemo nearly daily and Avastin every other week. In my last post, I mentioned about Dr. Samuelson administering the Avastin. We are pleased that it seems to be working. The MRI in September indicated no return of the 2nd tumor that was spotted in the spring MRI. We get another MRI in December. It appears from the results that the combination of these two treatments is working to actually reverse the symptoms. The September MRI did not show any further spot --- that's right --- gone! How fortunate we feel to stay ahead of this crazy challenge. Many friends and family members are quite confused and think that since the last spot that was found several months ago has since disappeared that means I shouldn't need continued treatments. Likewise, I have also wondered how long this will continue. When I have asked Dr. Choucair and Dr. Samuelson, I receive similar responses from both of them. That response is basically, "I hope for a good long time" or "until it doesn't work any longer." That sounds like a long journey is still ahead. So I continue to enjoy cartoons that seem rather applicable. This cartoon is from the paper this week. Terri and I have laughed all week about how similar this seems to reality --- indeed it is "Close to Home".

In reality, the nurses that hook me up to my IV every other week, are wonderful, caring and competent. They do however have a system that is quite similar to this picture. Autumn and Jan do a great job caring for the old guy. We have a fun phrase that we begin with everytime we get together --- Autumn will say, "OK, Jeff, great to see you - now Assume the Position." That phrase means its time for my I.V. once again and they need to access my port. Amazingly, the little package of Avastin is incredibly expensive and the Temodar is also very expensive. While we have insurance premiums and deductibles, without the medical insurance our financial resources would have been exhausted long ago. We are grateful for all the concern, prayers and wonderful service we have received from so many of you since this challenge began. We intend to conquer this challenge successfully.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Two Is Better Than One!! And Three is Better Than Two!!

Since our last published post, we have learned two important math principles. The first principle is that Two is Better Than
. We previously reported that a little suspicious spot, this time on the right side had appeared in an MRI. It was decided a regimen of two types of Chemo to fight it right away would be best - First I would continue taking the Temodar under Dr. Choucair's direction. Second a new kind of Chemo called Avastin administered intravenously by Dr. Samuelson would be added to the Temodar. Clinical trials without reported results were just concluding so this would be experimental still. A follow up MRI has shown no evidence of the tumor!!! When I asked about the disappearance, Dr. Choucair just pointed heavenward. This routine is substantially more rigorous than the previous routine. The Avastin is administered every other week but the Temodar is taken every evening for two weeks off one week and taken again every day for two weeks - and so forth. So our own clinical trials have revealed that Two is Better Than One. With the good news. We have felt it best to include two appropriate comics to keep this report light.
The Second Principle - Three is Better Than Two manifested itself in the birth of Ryan Jeffrey Gardner on May 18, 2010! He was 8 lbs 12 oz. at birth. It is wonderful to have John and Jessica live so close. While we love their two other children Lizzy and Thomas - Little Ryan is a wonderful addition to the family. Hence - Three is Better Than Two. We refer to Tommy as Tuffy and Lizzy surprised us with, "Now we can call Ryan - Ruffy." We enjoyed celebrating her 4th birthday on Sunday. She is having a "Princess Tea - Party" for her birthday with 7 little friends on Saturday. We love little Jayne and Reagan just like we love Lizzy, Tuffy and Ryan but we miss them as they live in the Baltimore area. So enjoy these pictures of our latest addition

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tied - Overtime Now!

Tied - Overtime Now!

Well the news was going so good, almost unbelievably so - yet some setbacks must be expected. After the latest MRI last week, a small spot was noticed by Dr. Choucair, this time on the right side. He felt it wise to meet with Dr. Scott J. Samuelson to explore the possibility of enhancing the Temador chemotherapy with Avastin a new chemotherapy drug that just completed trials and available only through Dr. Samuelson. Dr. Samuelson met with us and we decided on a delivery method of the intravenous (IV) session every other week along with Temador every day for two weeks then take one week off and then start it again. The method for delivering the IV and all the associated lab work necessitated the insertion of a tube into the jugular vein and reception station all lying just underneath the skin on the chest - the whole contraption is referred to as a Port. The procedure was completed today at the LDS hospital. The patient care was superb. It did leave me sore today but I suspect it will be a wonderful aid to my care. Each couple of weeks I have blood tests and an MRI every two to three months. Sometimes those veins have been very difficult to access - The lab tests as well as the Avastin will all now be accessed through the new Port. A set-back perhaps but we are still looking positive at our progress and plan to remain healthy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

7th Inning and "Clobbering the Odds"

This picture may not tell you the whole story, but it means a ton to me. Pictured here are 5 of the 10 professionals that work together as a team to offer Multidisciplinary Neuro Oncology Cancer Care at Intermountain Medical Center in Utah. Three of these were assigned as the team to work on my cancer treatment. Dr. Ali K. Choucair, MD (seated) is my Neuro Oncologist; Dr. Mark V. Reichman, MD (Center Left) was my Neuro Surgeon; and Dr. John W. Thomson, MD (Center Right) was my Neuro Radiation Physician. After the surgery - radiation and chemotherapy, treatments have consisted of one week in four of continued chemotherapy (doses quite a bit higher than the original treatments with the radiation). Six treatments have been been administered with MRIs after each of three treatments to determine how effective the treatment plan is working. We spent most of the day at IMC completing bloodwork, and MRI and meeting with Dr. Choucair. It was quite frustrating to have the bloodwork require two good pricks and some fishing around to find the vein and then the MRI staff couldn't get into a vein either until the sixth try and then success! But, that was worthwhile to reveal that the treatments are still very effective. Dr. Choucair seemed pleased with the lab results and the MRI results. After I made the comment, "Well I guess we are beating the odds.", he responded, "Are you kidding? You are doing great. I just can't believe how well you are doing. You are clobbering the odds." So that is what you would have heard if you were a fly on the wall of that treatment room. We still have several more treatments in the months to come and then if we still have a clean bill of health there will be continued MRIs periodically to watch for any changes that might need to be addressed. The chemotherapy treatments are administered orally so that is more convenient than going to the hospital for IV administration. Also, the side effects seem a bit less to me than others I have met in this process (some fatigue, rashes, headaches and digestive disruption - loopiness and thinking ability a bit mixed up too). It was a pleasure to participate in a market research group of patients with the same diagnosis recently. It was of concern to me to observe very difficult side effects of the others with similar diagnosis. Interestingly, it seems each three to six months, new treatments become available to keep the latest medical technology fighting this difficult disease. We understand some patients are being treated in ways that were not available to us just a few months ago. What started as a challenging day ended up quite encouraging. Such advances keep us hopeful that we will beat this thing yet. It isn't over until it is over and we expect some setbacks along the way but this is good news. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers ---- along with a wonderful medical team, your support has been critical in keeping us optimistic.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thumbs Up Still - Mission Reunion

The standard routine continues --- chemo one week every four and an MRI every three months.  As long as the health remains strong, the routine continues.  Last week the latest MRI --- still showed no reoccurrence of the tumor.  So chemo continues to keep it that way.  We had a very special evening last Friday - the NYNY South Mission held its annual mission reunion in the Salt Lake Stake Center.  We joined with President and Sister Steve Bennion and had a respectable turnout.  We really enjoyed visiting with the wonderful missionaries.  So many have started little families and those cute babies caught our affection.
One missionary, Elder Lopes, gave us a Y baseball hat to balance the U hat we had in the blog earlier which we received from our daughter and her husband.  
We were able to visit our son and his family in Maryland two weeks ago.  They seem to be doing very well.  Jayne just celebrated her 7th birthday.  Russ is a successful dentist and we celebrated his birthday as well.  Feel free to leave us a comment but we haven't figured out how to respond to your kind comments.