Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Finishing of the Bucket List

I'm not quite sure where to start, but THANK YOU is probably as good a place as any. Thank you for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers. I can't possibly convey in words how truly blessed we are to be so loved. Thank you to amazing nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and volunteers who we love so dearly. These wonderful people have cared for us each day over the past two years and pulled us through good times and bad times. Each of you have become dear, dear friends who crossed the lines of professionalism a long time ago! We love each of you more than you'll ever know!

Thank you to friends, neighbors, church members who have swooped in to fill in all the neglected cracks at home. You have helped us maintain balance and routine and eased our burdens countless times.

So what has been going on?

After William returned from his Coloma field trip, he had his normal scans (on a Thurs) to check disease progression before starting a new round of chemo. He was physically exhausted, but we suspected this was from 3 fun and full days of hiking and panning for gold.
(remember to click to enlarge)

On Friday afternoon, we left to San Francisco on another Bucket List trip. We went to a Giant's baseball game that night and then spent Saturday exploring the ruins of Sutro Baths (where my great grandfather was baptized over 100 years ago), visiting Chinatown, riding the trolley, walking the wharf, and a trip to Alcatraz for the night tour. William was too tired the whole trip to do much more than enjoy the ride in his wheelchair. He napped often, but said he had fun.

 I suspected the need for blood and worried about his increasing labored breathing. After calling the doctor, we made a stop at the hospital on our way home to receive blood and platelet transfusions overnight. His breathing continued to be labored, but the doctors told us it was due to disease progression, but that discussion would happen on Monday. On Monday, at the scheduled clinic visit, we learned that the tumors were spreading and growing. Uncharacteristically, I haven't taken the time yet to dissect the scans, but basically everywhere he had tumors has more tumors and they have grown, new ones are in his abdomen, and most significantly, in and around his lungs. The tumors aren't responding to treatment. We were given our options and it didn't take long to go through them. We have chosen to discontinue chemotherapy.

A chest x-ray showed an alarming amount of fluid in and around his lungs and we were given less than an hour do decide whether to have chest tubes put into the lungs to drain the fluid or not. We went with the chest tubes. Over 2 liters of fluid drained that afternoon and have continued to drain since.

Over the next several days, we received many tender mercies and answered prayers as solutions evolved as to the course of his care. It would take too long to list, but it is very obvious to us that God's hand was directing the course of events. William was able to come home last Thursday with two chest tubes in place and connected to collection bags. A hospital bed is set up in our room and William is on oxygen 24 hrs/day.

William was able to attend William K.'s funeral on Saturday morning as planned. It was a sweet service and William and I watched a video of the two of them in the hospital dancing and throwing paper airplanes down the hallway. It brought back good memories and William said tenderly after watching it, "I will really miss William. I really liked him. He was a good friend." William returned to the hospital on Saturday afternoon and ended up spending the night getting multiple blood transfusions. Thank you to my dad who had his first hospital sleepover with William so Ryan and I could rest.

On Monday, the last of the Bucket List items was crossed off. He went back to San Francisco for more fun! Aerial fun! He flew over Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, California State Capitol, Raley Field, the Sacramento Temple, and our home! What an awesome gift. Thank you, Zack! You have a gift for touching the lives of children.

clockwise from top left: Raley Field, State Capitol and Tower Bridge, William's Hospital, Zack and William, our house, Sacramento Temple
We are very tired from the intense activities, decisions, and roller coaster of emotions. We are grateful to our families who have traveled to be with us and the love and support we feel from all of you. We are so proud of our hero, William. We love him dearly. His courage, determination, faith, endurance, patience, long-suffering, strength, example, and cheerfulness have made this journey inspiring.


  1. Love to you all!!! Thank you William for sharing with us your strength, faith and courage and your story. Lots of love, the Simonsens

  2. Thank you for sharing it! Thinking of you all and praying for you often. Love you!

  3. We love you and Ryan and the whole family! Hang in there and know that we are all on the same journey down the same road with the same Celestial Goal in mind. Thanks for sharing William's and your journey and pictures with us. You guys are great! Enjoy all of the family and these times will be Special Memories!Love to you all!
    Terri and Guy Wentzel

  4. This blog always lifts me up, even through tears, and reminds me what really matters is our family relationships. Thank you for sharing the journey, and thank you William for your smiles! I am praying for you by name every day.

  5. Erin's comments echo mu sentiments! The personal and authentic way you've shared this experience through documenting and commenting on extraordinary information and feelings has been amazing to read and think about, not to mention a stellar reminder of the perspective on life that I aim to focus on. Thank you for your faith and sharing the traits and qualities that William possesses and has cultivated are amazing and very special. I love you all and am grateful you've had grandparents and aunts and uncles close during the last 3 weeks!

  6. Your family and William have taught us how to face adversity with strength and courage. We love you and you're in our prayers.

  7. You have an amazing family, you are amazing parents. We think of you and are praying for you every day. Love you Julie!

  8. We love you guys and pray for you everyday. You have an amazing family and I can't help but notice how happy William looks in all his pictures. What a strong little man!!

  9. Thank you for sharing, Julie. Your family is an inspiration to us all. Blessing and prayers to your sweet fam.

  10. Love hugs and prayers from us to you. You are in my constant thoughts. Love you all dearly. XOXO

  11. I am praying for William and your family. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are both such an inspiration to me. I can't believe all that's going on in his body, and yet he looks so great and happy! I think he has been sanctified through this experience and just glows to me. Hugs and love!

  12. Julie, I pray for you and your family each night when I kneel down. I know that isn't much but I want you to know that you are thought of and loved. I can't imagine what this journey has been like and the impact that it has made on you and your children. It has impacted me and I'm sure many others. So glad your Dad has been able to be there. Blessings to you, William, and your entire family.

  13. Our prayers are with you and your family, Julie!
    ~Tiffany Garcia (Blake & Kayla too)

  14. Julie,
    We love you and Ryan and William and all your boys so much. You're in our thoughts and prayers all the time. Hugs to all of you!
    Love, Becca, Mike, and family

  15. Julie-Thank you so much for keeping us informed through this blog. We've laughed with you, we've cried with you and you will probably never know how much we have treasured getting to know William. We hope our own little William can grow up to be as strong and courageous as your William. Please know that your family is (and has been for a while) constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

  16. What a brave, fun, special boy. With brave,strong and amazing parents. You and Ryan and William are good examples to all of us. I'm so glad William has gotten to finish his bucket list. I love the smiles on his fac in all the pictures. We love you guys and think and pray for you often.
    Amy Bennion

  17. Julie, Ryan, and Boys, You have all showed us how to live life a little better. You are all heroes!!!!! Thank you, Julie, for keeping us in your circle, even though we are far away. The chronicling of this journey will continue to give many, many people a glimpse into an amazing, remarkable family!! Big Hugs to you ALL!
    The St. Louis Shumways

  18. THank you, Julie, for sharing this journey with us. You are an amazing family, and you are one amazing lady. And William is one amazing boy. I love you guys and I will keep praying for William and the rest of the Murdock family.

  19. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. It is inspiring. We admire your courage, faith and love. Our thoughts and prayers are with your sweet family.
    Cindy Stepan & family

  20. Hi Julie, you probably won't remember me, but my husband Andy was roommates with Ryan and we met at John's wedding when you were expecting William and I was expecting our 1st child, Drew. I just want to let you know how much we appreciate your sharing this experience with us. It has drawn our family together in prayer and helped us to remember how precious each moment is with those we love. It has been a reminder that families really can be together forever and that we each have a personal mission on this earth. William has touched so many lives for the better, as well as you and your family as you have shared your experiences and testimony. We pray you will have all the peace and comfort that you need through this difficult time.

  21. Dear Murdock Friends:
    No day is complete without morning prayers, checking your blog, noon time prayers, night time prayers. You are Always on my mind! Amazing bucket list - So happy, so sad.
    All will be well. Blessing to all.
    Forever Hugs and loves - The Westenskows -