Last Breaths

Last Breaths

It feels like I'm waking up from a nightmare - the last 14 + months. At the end of it all, I can't believe we lost Luke. How could this possibly be real? 10.5.14 - Luke ran a marathon. 10.5.15 - Luke is already gone.  10.10.14 - Luke got…

Obituary: Lukas Neraas

Obituary: Lukas Neraas

Lukas Peter Neraas lived large and fast over the course of 39 years. He loved life, exploring the natural world, mountain tops, friends, and family. Luke died at home, surrounded by family, on Saturday, September 26, 2015, after striving against an aggressive brain cancer -…

Services: Luke Neraas

Services: Luke Neraas

Lukas Neraas March 31, 1976 — September 26, 2015 There will be a celebration of Luke's life at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the Linn Canyon Ranch in Victor, Idaho. Saturday, October 24, 2015 Linn Canyon Ranch Schedule: 2:00 - 2:30 pm - Arrive, Park &…

What to say…

What to say…

Recovering from the stroke that Luke had right before surgery, meant moving to St. Mary's for rehabilitation therapy. It was just on there other side of Golden Gate Park. Therapy sessions were packed and Luke improved daily. From the parallel bars, to a walker, to a cane, to…

An Uncelebrated Anniversary, MRI, Surgery & Stroke

An Uncelebrated Anniversary, MRI, Surgery & Stroke

This whole thing is impossible. It's hard to believe this is happening at all. It's hard for people to know what to say to us and it's sometimes hard for us to know what to say in return. Luke's running motto, given his limited communication levels…

MRI = ?!#$

MRI = ?!#$

Mid-June we returned to the Bay Area for the much anticipated MRI - one month post chemo-infusion. Unfortunately the week preceding the trip did not bode well. In truth, Luke has not really felt up to par since the May 15th infusion. The infused chemo was contained within…

All in Month: An Update, More Photos & Adventures

All in Month: An Update, More Photos & Adventures

A week after we arrived home from the May 15th surgery, we returned to San Francisco for the 2 week infusion follow-up. There were no MRI's. Simply a meeting with the oncologist, a quick physical and a blood draw. It was a quick trip. We left on…

All in a Month: Maui, MRI, Surgery & More

All in a Month: Maui, MRI, Surgery & More

Maui was marvelous - sun, snorkeling, sea turtles, family and fun. [video width="1280" height="720" m4v="http://www.clairevitucci.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMGP0470.m4v"][/video] The end of the trip meant coming home the hard reality of the follow-up oncology appointment and wether or not the suspicious spot was another growing tumor... Since we were slated to spin…

Birthdays, PPP & an MRI…

Birthdays, PPP & an MRI…

Life has been busy. Luke's been back to work, on an annual yurt trip with his workmates, fishing, running, biking, skiing, racing - you name it. We had a good birthday weekend (the weekend between our b-days) in Montana with family and fun in mid-March.…

Lasting Love: Snowbowl

Lasting Love: Snowbowl

A decade ago, Luke and I lived in Missoula, MT for a decade - also home to Snowbowl. Not only did we first meet on her slopes, but during the winter months a good piece of our lives revolved around the pitches of this mountain. There's an undeniable, solid…

#LukeWouldGo – Hats & Camaraderie

#LukeWouldGo – Hats & Camaraderie

The week before this all started in mid-July, we were vacationing in Montana with family.  At some point we found ourselves in Butte browsing at Murdocks. Luke found a must-have carhartt, burgundy wool, fleece-lined hat with both a brim and ear flaps. Not seasonally appropriate, but it…

MRI = Good News!

MRI = Good News!

The impending January 27th MRI has come & gone - and the news is good! The initial tumor-free read was confirmed by UCSF late Wednesday evening. We are so gratefully relieved to have a reprieve. The weeks leading up to the recent MRI were shrouded in another severe…

It’s a new year.

It’s a new year.

Upon getting his stapes removed and making the 3 week mark of required rest, Luke immediately donned his favorite apparel - skis. He took EB out, either downhill or cross-country skiing, for 6 days straight. Granted, at nearly 4 years old, EB is not known for…

Recovery: 3 weeks

Recovery: 3 weeks

Luke moved out of the neuro-ICU in the early afternoon, the day following surgery - to nearly the exact same room he occupied during his previous stay at UCSF. The normalcy and now innate knowledge of how things go, of protocol, of where to find doctor's offices, pharmacies, admissions, the OR,…

Surgery: Round 2

Surgery: Round 2

It's hard to know where to start - sometimes feels like it's been years instead of four months since life took this crazy turn. There have been a lot of seemingly unnecessary obstacles we've had to overcome during the last few weeks. The first included a change-of-date…

Don’t Rock My Boat

Don’t Rock My Boat

Monday, November 3rd, brought Luke’s first follow-up MRI since the original resection. We opted to have it done semi-locally in Jackson, WY with a follow-up consult of the scan by UCSF. Despite the forewarnings about the aggressiveness of this horrible diagnosis (glioblastoma multiforme – GBM IV),…

Radiation – Part 2: Mohawk, Marathon & Moose!

Radiation – Part 2: Mohawk, Marathon & Moose!

Despite the adages to 'take it easy' during radiation, Luke continued to go as full steam as his body would allow and was unexpectedly up until 4:30 am on his last night of treatment - processing a moose. Luke moves about a thousand times faster than these updates;…

Radiation – Part 1: Ennis, Swan Valley & the South Fork

Radiation – Part 1: Ennis, Swan Valley & the South Fork

Luke’s just finished week three of radiation - the would be half-way point, but just like the 40 weeks of pregnancy that’s sold as 9 months, his 30 treatments/6 weeks is spilling into seven near-full weeks of weekdays. He’ll be done the 2nd week of…

Getting Lined Out

Getting Lined Out

We've been home for two weeks now. Between doctor appointments, we've resumed somewhat of a routine with my work and childcare, while Luke "rests". Rest for Luke includes 7:00 am Monday morning meetings at Lucey Electric to check in with the boys and catch up on…

Home!

Home!

We spent a few more days after Luke's release, lodged in a private house between the Mission and Castro districts. Dolores Park was a great, nearby park that provided good fun for the kids - Elsa and our one year old nephew, Renan. Luke was…

Released

Released

Early on Friday morning Luke was transferred out of the ICU. He was, by all accounts, the first patient to walk out completely unassisted and caring his own flowers. The nurse that watched him for his two nights in the ICU happily introduced Luke to…

The Next Day

The Next Day

Luke felt quite a bit better the next morning, except for the continual and heightening problem of exhaustion from lack of sleep and the hole in his head due to the recent 5.5 hour surgery. Nevertheless both the surgeons and nurses seemed pleased with his recovery. His speech…

Donations – Thank you!

Donations – Thank you!

We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support of all of you - emotional, physical, logistical & financial - you all have our backs and we can't thank you enough. It reminds me of our wedding - almost 6 years ago -  when our community joined us and promised…

Surgery

Surgery

Wednesday morning brought us closer yet to the next big step - surgery. I rested with Luke in his room and helped to channel all the love coming our way through the big window towards Luke while he calmly rested in a very focused way -…

Tuesday

Tuesday

Between 1 hour check-ups by the nurses, janitors, constant blood draws to measure his sodium levels (prevents seizures), and a 4:00 am high-definition, color MRI scan, Luke has gotten little sleep since checking into the hospital yesterday afternoon, but is in fine spirits. All the nurses…

UCSF

UCSF

Thanks to Siri, we successfully navigated to UCSF, where they readily took us in. Anna took Elsa to the nearby and amazing Golden Gate Park during our appointment. Dr. Berger saw us directly and agreed with the immediacy of the tumor at hand. Because of the location…

The Beginning

The Beginning

A week ago on Monday, July 21, a sudden, severe and worsening headache drove us to the Teton Valley Health Clinic mid-afternoon. Nearly dismissed as a migraine, a CAT scan was ordered to be certain. It was quickly followed by a MRI. These tests brought up the unbelievable news that there…