Meal Train Plus for

Aljets Family

Updates

One year later...

Posted Apr 21, 2021 by Brieonna Aljets

We found out Codie had cancer on April 16, 2020 - a day that will never leave my mind. I remember every. little. detail. I recently got rid of the shirt I had on that day. Call me crazy, but I never wore it again so why keep it? Between April 16 and April 21 I didn't sleep, barely ate and had more thoughts run through my mind than I can ever put into words. On April 21, 2020...exactly 1 year ago, we met with the Dr's at Anschutz in Denver. After all of the dreaded days of pain leading up to that day we walked out of that office with a plan and honestly a huge weight was lifted. I think we actually gave each other a high-five! A plan that wouldn't go exactly as laid out, but that's ok. It actually turned out for the better. Codie was such a badass and battled every step like a true warrior. I know to this day that he stayed so strong and took on everything with such a positive attitude because of Cullem and I. Today, as much as I do feel fear most days...I am beyond grateful that one year later we are onto brighter days. We will forever have MRI's, blood work, labs, exams, etc but those are nothing compared to the other options. Cancer has changed our lives forever, it's a club that I wouldn't want anyone to have to be a member of. Codie and I work hard to look at what happened as bittersweet. It has readjusted some things in our lives, good and bad, but I work very hard to find the good. Some days I think, what the hell, I had other plans for last year, not THAT. But then I think about all of the things that came out of our journey - we met new people, we were shown support (from people like you) that you can't explain until it happens to you, Codie and I grew in our marriage, Cullem learned skills that we didn't want him to discover so early but are confident it will make him a better man, experienced some new things and made lifestyle changes for the better. Ok, ok...I may have gone down a rabbit hole. Writing things down helps me find clarity and direction. I know that Codie, Cullem and I have a tremendous amount of joyous years ahead of us, that was just a bump in the road. A bump that I pray never appears in our paths again. We are hopeful and confident that we are on the path to health. Again, your donations truly helped us stay in our new home that Codie had just finished building before the diagnosis, ensuring Codie had the nutrition and high quality foods he needed, and ultimately made us feel so loved. Please know if you or someone you know is going through this journey and needs someone to talk to that "gets it," share my information with them. Cancer can feel very lonely, as much as you are supported by so many, ultimately because of the wanting someone who understands. We will never be able to repay everyone that prayed for us, sent good vibes, delivered a meal, brought groceries, watched Cullem, gave us a hug, called to check-in, embraced us from afar (damn Covid), donated in some fashion to our cause, and loved on us. Have a wonderful week, and remember that it's ok to take a break from it all and take care of you!!

Aljets Family
 Share

Long Overdue

Posted Oct 7, 2020 by Brieonna Aljets

Life has gotten in the way of an update...better late than never, right? I would imagine most of you know what is happening in our little world, but for those of you that don't I owe you an update. The last I posted was 5 days before Codie's major surgery to remove his primary tumor, liver mets, and lymph nodes. The surgery lasted around 9 hours and it was a really long day. I'm so thankful for my best friend, Jesse, that made the trek to Denver with us to keep after Cullem and assist me with staying sane all day :) Codie conquered the surgery and only stayed in the hospital for 3 days when they said to plan for 7. I knew he would, he can't stand to sit still! In addition to Jesse - my sister, Maggie, and my niece flew into Denver after Jesse left. I can't thank them both enough for the support and entertainment for Cullem while I went back and forth to the hospital. Codie received a call only 4 days after his surgery and the surgeon said "we got it all" you can declare "cancer free!!!" at this time. We cried of course and Cullem was so confused; why would we cry if daddy's cancer is gone?! Valid point from a 4.5 year old. We'll go back for scans in about a month to reconfirm what we heard; keep your fingers crossed and prayers coming. We still can't believe this journey has been short (for what most endure) but also has seemed like an eternity. Long days, doctors appts, long trips in the car, really tough conversations, hard days, and stress have engulfed us. All at the same time while a positive attitude, perseverance, laughter, adventure, friends, family, faith, good vibes and most importantly love kept us going and outweighed the worst days! Codie healed up like a champ from the first surgery; so much that his ostomy was reversed last week and his chemo port removed!! We are grateful to be on the uphill but also know we still have many more scans, follow ups, etc to endure. Again, with everyone's support we know we'll continue to a path of brighter, more stress free days. Please also know our medical bills have started rolling in and even with great insurance your donations can never be repaid or the appreciation known. Have a wonderful fall! More updates to come as the healing continues...

Aljets Family
 Share

The next step

Posted Jul 22, 2020 by Brieonna Aljets

I apologize it's been a while... We've been busy with a trip back to IL and then Denver for radiation. Time seems to be flying by, while some days standing still. We head to Denver again on Sunday for Codie's major surgery on Monday. The surgery will take most of the day but we're positive after talking to the surgeons and I'm confident he'll be strong and heal quickly. The suspense of knowing this could be the last major hurdle of this journey is (I'm at a loss for words honestly). I can't wait to hear the words "cancer free!" I know we still have a long road of recovery, regaining normalcy, Codie going back to work, etc. This surgery will result in a colostomy bag therefore once he heals he will have a reversal operation. Thank goodness that's an option! Our lives have changed forever and we hope to encourage and help other families dealing with cancer in the future. Thanks again for all of your support and positive thoughts. Please think of Codie on Monday and send up a prayer. I will write another update as soon as I have the free time after his surgery. Sending love and light to all of you :)

Aljets Family
 Share

Embracing uncertainty

Posted Jun 19, 2020 by Brieonna Aljets

Most of you probably see Codie's updates on Facebook, however I wanted to post a quick note here as well. He was supposed to start his 3rd round of chemo yesterday but they held off. The last few weeks have been pretty bad and he's been really sick. He's lost 50 pounds in 2 months and he could not eat, let alone stand up for more than a few minutes. It's so hard to see someone you love so ill and I pray none of you ever have to endure this type of uncertainty and heartbreak in your life. But let's fact it, life isn't that easy right? And we'll only come out stronger on the other side of all this to help others treading the same waters. I'm reading a book right now and they talk about embracing uncertainty because it's not realistic to have everything go according to plan; so let's just say I'm working on it :) Through some blood work yesterday it was determined his body was too toxic from the chemo to continue for now. We will head to Denver this coming week to figure out our next steps and see what things are looking like. It's all been hard and emotional but we're doing our best to take it day by day and enjoy one another. We thank you again for your support and prayers. I wish I had better news to share but we're hopeful this week will bring some answers and the next update will be more upbeat. Have a wonderful weekend, sending hugs to all of you!

 Share

Checking in

Posted Jun 2, 2020 by Brieonna Aljets

Hi all, Just a quick update... Codie started his second round of chemo this past Thursday and it has definitely hit him harder. I can tell it's really discouraging to him how poor he feels. He's been spending most of his days sleeping or relaxing outside. I know this isn't the most uplifting update but it's real and I just wanted you all to know how much your support means to us. We are looking forward to brighter days ahead and in the meantime are learning new things, stopping to take in the little moments and enjoying one another. I am finding more and more things that Codie enjoys eating on his new diet which is encouraging! On another note, stay well and I'm sending love and light to everyone during these times, as the world seems to be in a dark place. "We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose finite HOPE." - Martin Luther King Hope has been a recurring word during all of this for me. It occurred to me when I was unpacking boxes and came across something my late Grandma had given me; she meant so much to me and always had the right words to say. She was the most kind and genuine woman in my life. My dad passed along a quote from Grandma (his mom) one day when I was sitting outside the hospital waiting for Codie and I know she's up above praying and guiding us to health. Lots of love to all of you :)

 Share

Meals

Posted May 26, 2020 by Brieonna Aljets

Hi all, I am planning to start utilizing the calendar for meal delivery and potentially other errands as we see fit. With that said, all of you receiving this update have already donated monetarily and we DO NOT want you to also add delivering meals to your plate. I just want to keep everything in one place for ease. Here are some recipes below that suit our diet restrictions and along the lines of what Codie does like in all of this change. Please do not feel obligated to use these, they are here for assistance, not to be a pain. Note: Codie does not like tomatoes (chunky), sweet potatoes, or olives. :) We must stay very low carb, with minimal dairy (no milk) and meat in moderation. High fat is OK; sort of Keto diet without all the meat and cheese. Codie has been digging soups as well since he is experiencing cold sensitivity. --Random "carbs" needed that we cannot purchase off the shelf: - https://www.gnom-gnom.com/gluten-free-paleo-keto-bread/ - https://nutritionrefined.com/almond-flour-tortillas/ - https://www.lowcarbmaven.com/low-carb-hamburger-buns/ - https://beautyandthefoodie.com/keto-pull-apart-clover-rolls/ - https://www.savorytooth.com/bagels/? --Breakfast item easy to freeze: - https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipes/a51528/cauliflower-breakfast-muffins-recipe/ --Meal Recipes: - https://thatlowcarblife.com/low-carb-taco-soup/ - https://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/chicken-enchilada-cauliflower-casserole-low-carb-and-grain-free/ (Please cut down on the amount of cheese called for) - https://mouthwateringmotivation.com/2018/02/09/keto-lasagna-with-noodles/amp/ (Please use organic ground turkey instead of ground beef) - https://www.wholesomeyum.com/recipes/low-carb-chili-in-crock-pot-or-instant-pot-paleo-gluten-free/ (Please use organic ground turkey instead of ground beef) *Please note we are using organic/all-natural ingredients where possible along with high-grade/pastured meats and dairy (in small portions). **I want you to know I understand some of the ingredients are expensive and not something you may have in your pantry. We will be reimbursing for meals cooked as we don't want you to be hindered with ingredients. Or reach out to me as I have most of the ingredients :) Any time I can spend with the boys instead of in the kitchen is so worth it for us! Again, we can't thank you all enough for your generosity and prayers! Codie will begin his second round of chemo this Thursday and his first round went well. He felt good, was active, and still makes me laugh. :) Without his strength and positivity in all of this I would not be doing as well as I am. During hard times in life we have to find the silver linings; Codie, Cullem and I are doing just that. Thanks to all of YOU!!!

Aljets Family
 Share

Hello All

Posted May 17, 2020 by Maggie Wesley

I’m hoping you all had a great weekend and are looking forward to a bit of normalcy in the next couple weeks, as life starts to get up and running slowly & safely. Brie and I were chatting this weekend about how things are going for Codie adjusting to their new diet, restrictions, and such. In short, it kind of sucks :) Because we’re human right? We like what we like! Codie probably misses beer and bacon the most :) ...both delicious! And he may be frustrated at times feeling like he’s not sure what to eat. But in Brie’s words, “in all seriousness, with all of the donations, I’ve been able to buy high-grade food and nutritious ingredients to try low carb recipes that have quality protein and minimal dairy products. And he’s finding things here and there that he really likes.” I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel amazing. ALL OF YOU made that luxury possible. Not to mention, you’ve relieved them of some financial stress in other areas as well. Amazing. I remain in awe of the progress we’ve made with this donation site. It was intended to be so small and has just really blown up, so much so that I changed the goal 15-fold. I’m going to press on & ask you to share the link listed here ( https://mealtrain.com/544g7w ) on your social media sites, if you are comfortable in doing so. If you are comfortable, encourage others to give a nominal amount to this family if their budget allows, to make small strides in a big way. As I’ve written before, I do believe that we, as humans, are driven to help others. I would just love to hit that second and final goal! And I know that as we each reach out as individuals, those we touch multiplies exponentially. Once again, THANK YOU for giving, and for your hopes and prayers. I hope you don’t ever get tired of hearing it, because I’ll never get tired of saying it. Codie continues on his oral chemo treatment, and they will travel again in about 10 days for his next iv chemo treatment. He’s feeling ok so far, thank God, and has even completed some home projects recently. This is NOT a surprise to those of you that know him well. You can’t stop that guy! Keep on kicking this sh*t to the curb Codie, we love you! Take care of yourselves & your tribe, -Maggie

Aljets Family
 Share

Speechless...

Posted May 8, 2020 by Brieonna Aljets

I'm sure for some of you, it has been the same feeling... What do I say? Sometimes finding the right words to say can be tough. Like my sister mentioned in her post yesterday, the right words are often hard to find because we're left speechless. We feel like what we say can never amount to how we feel deep inside. This is how Codie and I are feeling with all of the donations from you. And I don't mean all monetary donations - some of you have also watched Cullem, dropped a gift for Cullem, brought dinner and groceries, lent us a vehicle, offered an emotional pillar, etc. Our communities (near and far) are a phenomenal testament to human kind and that people are in fact good. Two of our local non-profits, Tough Enough to Wear Pink and Living Journey's are beyond what we could ask for. They are providing us a vehicle for transportation, will help with some lodging when we have to stay in Denver for extended periods, professional counseling, meal delivery...this list goes on. With all of the love our stress levels are decreased and we can focus on the family and wellness. Your donations will never go unnoticed and I've been brought to tears more than I can count. We have already talked about how great it will feel to give back when we move on from this and can support other families. Lastly, Codie's first chemo treatment was yesterday. He fared like the strong, confident man he is and kept his head up. He's currently outside sanding and staining a refurbished kitchen table for us. For all of you that know him, he doesn't slow down much and that's what I love about him. But he can also rest knowing we're going to be taken care of thanks to YOU! He will continue chemo pills for the next 2 weeks and I will keep you updated on his progress. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend and hug your loved ones! One more thing... We so much appreciate those of you that have reached out about providing meals. With the COVID lurking around, we are being super cautious as I'm sure you can understand. Currently we are all set for the month of May (amazing!) and will update the calendar in the future as-needed. Again, thank you!

 Share

To all of you—

Posted May 7, 2020 by Maggie Wesley

There are no words. I feel like I’m just repeating myself, but I am beyond the ability to describe how thankful (what a small word for such a mighty feeling) I am to all of you... Thankful for your giving, for your praying, for your caring, about Codie and his tribe. I need a word that describes.... intense gratitude mixed with both humility & pride, and a lot of ‘I never expected this!’ I believe in God. I am not a religious person as one would say, but while thinking on what has occurred today, I was reminded of a favorite scripture. I know well of it’s theme but had to look it up to get its words & address right. Ephesians 3:20 NLT- “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” That’s a really good start to how I’m feeling. These donations are helping with groceries, food delivery, gas, bills, new house costs, medical bills, & supplementing missed pay. Shoutout to the friends and family that have sent money and meals to their house, which aren’t even represented here. We are all banding together to relieve a bit of Codie & Brie’s stress. So, THANK YOU to all of you for making that possible. Today, literally right now, while Codie sits and gets his first chemo treatment, this site has surpassed the $10,000 donation mark. Crazy right?! This is what has left me at a loss for words. The initial intent here was to do great things with small gestures, and it has multiplied so quickly, beyond what I imagined. I have been encouraged to increase the stated goal, in order to keep inspiring others to join us and achieve even more for Codie, Brie, & Cullem. $10,000?!!! ... I could scream WOOOHOOOOO but cry at the same time. Today though, I’m celebrating this enormous contribution made possible by all of you, so WOOOHOOOOOOOOOO! THANK YOU EVERYONE! With love to your families too, Maggie

Aljets Family
 Share

Gratitude

Posted May 2, 2020 by Brieonna Aljets

Just a few weeks before we learned of Codie’s diagnosis, I started a gratitude journal. Every morning (or evening) I would encourage myself to write down 3-5 things I’m grateful for. These ranged from small to large happenings and brought a smile to my face. When we learned of his diagnosis I took a solid week off as I couldn’t muster up anything to write down. Since then I have motivated myself to continue and it has been eye opening. Perspective is everything and now I find more things I’m grateful for than ever before. Let me start by saying this page has been overwhelming and I feel such gratitude. The love and support our little family feels is beyond what we can describe. Our community (near and far) is phenomenal and something we’ll never forget! Codie had his port for chemo installed yesterday and it was a stone cold reality check. But I know that we have all of you backing us, praying for us, sending us positive energy and love. We’re forever grateful! *This photo was taken off our back porch (of the home Codie has busted his rear over the last year building for us) just a few days after we learned the news.*

Aljets Family
 Share

Wow

Posted Apr 30, 2020 by Maggie Wesley

Codie & Brie are overwhelmed with gratitude. If only there were more words than THANK YOU. The response so far has been amazing, which just further proves that they are loved by so many, and also that people are beautifully good to one another. I’m excited to see where this goes, to maximize what we can do for them in this small but mighty way. You are all so very appreciated. -Maggie

 Share