Wednesday, June 29, 2011


G. Lowell Wright 1948 ~ 2011 Gordon Lowell Wright, our beloved husband, father, patriarch, friend and brother, passed away on June 27, 2011 after a year-and-a-half battle with appendicealcarcinoma. Lowell was born November 29, 1948 to Gordon L. and Melva Thorup Wright, coming into this world with his best friend and twin brother, Layne. At BYU he met his next best friend and sweetheart, Elaine Tenney, and they were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. They were blessed with six wonderful children, and Lowell left this world surrounded by his family, who lovingly cared for him throughout his illness. They were all strengthened by your many prayers and loving service in their behalf. Lowell was an Eagle Scout, Sterling Scholar in music from Jordan High, missionary in the Brazil North Mission, Sergeant in the Air National Guard, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in Russian from the U of U. He was also honored with scouting's Silver Beaver award. Lowell devotedly served the Lord throughout his life in many church callings, including Bishop, Scoutmaster, Mission President and Stake Patriarch. Lowell was passionate about the temple, music, sports, trains, antiques, gardening and food, but his greatest loves were the gospel of Jesus Christ and his family. In 1997 Lowell realized one of the great desires of his heart when he was called as a Mission President to open the Russia Moscow South Mission, serving with his wife and two youngest children. He loved his missionaries and the people of Russia dearly. Lowell is survived by his wife, Elaine; children: Ann Marie Hendrickson (Chad), Catherine Taylor (Eric), Jeffrey, Timothy (Lora), Erin, Christopher (Danielle), 13 grandchildren and 10 siblings. Lowell was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jeffrey. Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in the Taylorsville 23rd Ward chapel, 4932 S. 3200 W. You can visit with the family on Wednesday, June 29 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 4760 S. State St., and one hour prior to services at the church. Interment will be in the Taylorsville Cemetery. Until we meet Lowell again in that day when the Lord shall wipe away all tears and former things are passed away. Any LDS pins, ribbons or medals? J We love you Dad Online condolences: 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Lowell consented to try chemotherapy one more time – for his family, even though he was ready to go on to the next phase of his “eternal life”.  This latest round of chemotherapy made him extremely ill, unable to eat or drink anything and having to deal with vomiting and diarrhea.  After a week of pure misery he decided to discontinue the chemotherapy and just let nature take its course.  His cancer doctor told us Lowell had one to two weeks left, then signed him up for Hospice assistance.  The Hospice nurse wasn’t as pessimistic about Lowell’s chances as the cancer doctor, so we are hoping family will have some additional quality time with him.  Lowell has always been physically strong, so we are hoping for the best, as long as he isn’t suffering.
Shortly after Lowell was diagnosed with cancer last year our second daughter, Catherine, wrote the following poem about faith.  We hope this will help those of you who may struggle with loss – or your faith.  She said:
“l was headed to the temple and thinking about my faith.  I felt that I had faith that my Father could be healed and live a healthy life.  I also felt that I had faith to accept the will of the Lord and let my  Dad go, knowing we would see one another again – and perhaps it was his time to go home.  While I was pondering these things, I remembered a talk given in General Conference called "But if not".  It talked about the faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, and how they were sure that the Lord could save them – but if He didn't, they still would believe in [Him] and obey Him.
I couldn't get the phrase out of my head!
Pretty soon, I had begun writing a poem in my head about their experience.  Eventually it blossomed into something that became more than just a poem about them, but a poem for anyone who faces uncertainty with faith.”
Courage my brethren, courage to stand  
United in faith our valiant band             
True to our Father, true to our King        
Our God forever Thy praises we sing     
Thou wilt protect in our hour of need     
But if not, we are free.  But if not, we are free    

Facing the fire, facing the foe
We regard no threatening voice even though
Our lives they revile, our pains, deride;
The God whom we serve will ever provide
Deliverance from the mean and depraved
But if not, we are saved.  But if not, we are saved.

Into the furnace, into the flame
Our last breath to Thee; Praise to Thy name.
But lo! What is this? Where is the pain?
We feel no burning, our lives yet remain!
Then in the midst of the fire we are shown
We were not left alone, we were not left alone.

Faith in deliverance, faith to endure
For what lies ahead you cannot be sure
Trust in My wisdom, trust in My care
I am thy God and will always be there.
Whether the furnace consumes or is stayed
In Me thou art saved, in Me thou art saved.

--Catherine Wright Taylor

We are grateful for the time we have had with Lowell, for our faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, and in eternal life.  This is all in God’s hands and He is aware of our wants, needs, and desires.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Latest Update

Lowell has gone downhill a lot in the last month. He has lost a huge amount of weight, as he hasn’t been able to eat hardly at all. We found out is due to a partial blockage in his small intestine. They believe the blockage is due to the cancer tumors growing and pushing against his intestines, so they started Lowell on chemotherapy again today. The bad news is that the doctor isn’t sure Lowell is strong enough right now to withstand chemotherapy, but we have run out of options. Also, the chemotherapy will take a couple of weeks to start working, so Lowell will have to try and fight through this. He spent most of the last week in the hospital with IV fluids while they debated surgery, but since they believe it is cancer-related they won’t operate. We are hoping for the best. If you would like additional information our oldest daughter has been documenting a lot of this on her blog. Her blog is:

Thank you for your continued prayers and love.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Almost a Year Later

Some of you will understand why keeping up with this blog has been … difficult. It just seems way down on the list of things to deal with. In some ways we just don’t care about it. We marshal our resources and try to keep our heads above water dealing with the day to day. Writing info for a blog takes time, energy, and is a constant reminder of your situation. Elaine likens cancer to a box on the top shelf of a closet. You know it is there and you can’t throw it away, but you try to ignore it until you have to take it down off the shelf and deal with what’s inside – then put it away again. So please bear with our infrequent postings.

Lowell finished chemo at the end of August 2010 and did fairly well with it all (all things considered) – except for the lasting neuropathy from one of the chemo drugs. We were told that most patient’s neuropathy gets better when they stop chemo, but it is now March 31, 2011 and Lowell still suffers from it. That is the bad news. The good news is that Lowell has been off of chemotherapy for seven months now and his scans haven’t shown any real tumor growth, although we know abdominal scans aren’t perfect. But just in the last two months his CEA tests (blood tests that measure protein growth associated with gastrointestinal tumors) have more than doubled. We just read online that CEA tests may be artificially elevated from arthritis inflammation and ulcers, so we are hoping that is the reason for the sudden increase, since Lowell does suffer from arthritis. Even with that growth his doctor feels Lowell doesn’t need to start chemo again for at least another month or two. They will continue to check his blood every month, but even a month or two longer without chemo is great news.

Lowell has been experiencing some pain in his stomach, which has been of some concern. We don’t know if it is related to the cancer or something else altogether (like gastritis or ulcers, etc.). It is hard to know what to think, so we are taking it day to day and paying close attention to what foods seem to cause him more pain – or which make him feel better. When you take as much medication as he has to take, it makes sense that the stomach wouldn’t be happy with all of it.

The doctor who first saw something wrong with Lowell last January and ordered the scan that showed an enlarged appendix, saw Lowell again this January. When the doctor walked into the room he broke out in a big smile. He told us that he had been afraid to see how Lowell would look after a year, but when he saw Lowell he was optimistic and thought he looked great. He said, “You don’t realize how much better you look than the patients I usually see with this aggressive cancer.” Lowell does look great and you wouldn’t really know to look at him that he is suffering with this terrible disease.

We are mindful of the many prayers in Lowell’s behalf - and we know they help. Praying for grandpa has become such a part of our grandchildren’s daily prayers that when our little three-year-old granddaughter was recently asked to give a prayer in Primary Sunday School, she included her grandpa in the prayer. We know that this is in the Lord’s hands and He can heal Lowell - or not. We have faith in Jesus Christ and in His love for us. He knows our situation and needs and we trust in Him. Thank you for your continued faith and prayers in Lowell’s behalf. We can’t thank you enough.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chemo Round 5

Sorry, we know we are really behind on updating Lowell’s blog.

The doctors have been working hard to try and stabilize Lowell’s blood. One week it is too thin and the next too thick. We had to go back to the shots in the stomach for a couple of days, but he is doing pretty well now with just the Coumadin pills.

Chemo is an ugly thing - you just feel lousy most of the time. Lowell starts to eat something that sounds good, then can’t bear to eat it after just a bite or two. It is quite frustrating. The chemo tends to produce a lot of mucous in the mouth and throat and nothing tastes good.
The best thing about this treatment is that Lowell was able to get permission to delay Chemo Round 6 by a week. Our oldest son would be flying in from Virginia and our family had planned a vacation at Capitol Reef National Park. It was a wonderful experience and the scenery was spectacular. Lowell was able to do the easier hikes with the family and helped hold baby Noah now and then. Just to be on the safe side Lowell avoided the swimming pool and hot tub, since his immune system isn’t what it once was -but the kids and the grandkids absolutely loved it!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chemo Round 4

We know this posting is REALLY late, things have just been crazy.

When Lowell went in for his fourth chemo treatment it was a week after he developed blood clots in his neck and shoulder. During that week Elaine gave him Lovenox shots in his stomach (morning and evening) and Lowell would also take a Coumadin pill at night. As a result his blood thinned too much, so they told him to cut back on the Coumadin (to a half-pill every other day) and discontinue the Lovenox shots.

Because of the bad state of Lowell’s hands (skin deteriorating and splitting) the doctor wanted to hold off on the chemo treatment until the following week, but Lowell asked if they cut the dosage slightly instead, could they go ahead with the chemo treatment as scheduled? (He wants this over with as soon as possible.) The doctor agreed to Lowell’s suggestion, then told him to get some Udder Balm and use that on his hands to see if it would work better than the lotion he had been using. (It does!) He found the Udder Balm lotion at an IFA (Intermountain Farmer’s Association) store.

The chemo is also affecting Lowell’s vision somewhat. He needs to wear a little stronger reading glasses now to see fine print, but his distance vision is a little clearer. Go figure! Chemo also helps you look at all the little things you normally take for granted. Lowell really savors a cold drink of water now when he can tolerate it towards the end of the treatment cycle.

As to chemo appetite - Lowell said, “This must be like what women experience during pregnancy. One day you feel like nothing but fresh fruit; the next day you crave something completely different.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A New Challenge

Elaine arrived home at 9:00 last night to find Lowell standing in the kitchen wiping off the countertop – and his right arm was swollen and dark-colored.

“Lowell, your arm is swollen and red!”

“I know.”

“How long has it been that way?”

“Most of the day.”

“Have you called the doctor?”


“Why not?”

“Well, my fingers were swollen the other day – this could just be part of that same problem…”

No, I don’t think so...

So Elaine called the after-hours help line. When the doctor called us back he told Lowell to go to the emergency room immediately, as it sounded like Lowell had a blood clot.

We arrived at the emergency room about 10:00 p.m. – and left there about 2:10 a.m. In between times: 
  • Various techs and nurses took Lowell’s information (seven times) 
  • Lowell paid for the visit from his hospital bed (the nurse took our credit card and did it right there online) 
  • Lively discussions took place regarding blood clots, ports and other issues
  • The doctor came in twice; once to take Lowell’s information and check his arm, subsequently ordering blood work, an x-ray and an ultrasound – and another time to verify that yes, there were blood clots in his neck/port area and talked about treatments and what-ifs
  • The x-ray tech (and machine) and the ultrasound tech (and machine) arrived at the same time. (X-ray tech went first)
  • The ultrasound seriously looked like something out of a science fiction movie – lots of undulating terrain and crevices
  • The tech and nurse watched Elaine give the blood thinner (Lovenox) injection in Lowell’s abdomen (he will need these twice a day for awhile)

Lowell will get two shots a day (in his abdomen) of the Lovenox for the next few days, plus he will have to take a Coumadin pill every day for the next six months. The doctor told Lowell to stop playing hockey and other contact sports :) but he could go about his normal activities.