Written History of Bert N. Whitney

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The day after they got to Orem Dad scouted around and found a house to buy.  It will be easier for Dad to finish moving while we get to help take care of Mom.  She has visited a specialist in Salt Lake who may be able to help.

Mom and Dad and the family observing their decision-making and moves in the last month have been impressed with the way things have worked to their good.  Examples are the way the numbness in her legs occurred at the right time for the doctor to pick it up and determine what was wrong, the way Dad met Cal Nay at a gas station on the way home from Orem at the right time to ask him to help him move, and finding exactly the right house to buy in the one day he spent there, Mom’s speedy hospital and doctor’s office diagnosis, all done with as little pain and trauma as possible.

Mom noticed a definite improvement in how she felt last fast Sunday.   Thanks to everyone for their prayers and fasting and their faith in her behalf.  Dad and McKay were inspired to give Mom a blessing last week and ask for the Lord’s help in her behalf.  Dad asked that the doctor would be able to find the problem and help her and he called upon the faith of all those who have love and concern for her.  [author Jill Price]

June 1981 Glimpses

June is birthday month in the Bert Whitney family.  Dad celebrated his birthday by playing a challenging game called “Moving.” We aren’t sure yet what Annalee did for her birthday, but Mom went to the hospital for surgery that day to make sure it was remembered.  She will have a scar to show Annalee when she gets home.  Clark called Mom in the hospital on the 17th and Mom exclaimed, “Oh, I’m so glad you called.  There was something I wanted to tell you, but I can’t quite remember what it was now.” Clark replied, “Try Happy Birthday.”

The doctors finally (again) found out why Mom’s hip has been so painful in the past few months.  Perhaps it is the arthritis, perhaps it is the cancer in the bone, perhaps it is the degenerated disc putting pressure on a nerve, but the main problem is a fracture!  Yes, X-rays show her hip is broken and will probably require surgery to repair it properly since it has been broken for along time.

Since Mom is unable to sit or walk because of the bad hip, Dad made a stretcher to transport her to and from her treatments.  He eyeballed the width so it would go easily down the hall, but apparently had his eyes crossed and it ended up being too wide!  No Problem. They simply lift her out the window!

Clark reports that he often thought Dad was heartless, but now realizes he is bloodless.  He tried to give blood replacements after Mom’s operation, but after puncturing both arms, they gave up.  They assured him he would still get credit for a pint because he was willing.   He should have got credit for two pints, one from each arm!  [author Jill Price]

THE PASSING OF MY WIFE

August 1981

To the many friends of Anne Whitney,

The eternal nature of human relationships takes much of the sting out of what otherwise could be a very grim announcement that Anne passed away August 2.  She valued her friends very much and would want us to notify you of her passing.

Many of you know she had been called upon to bear much pain during the past five years at the merciless hand of rheumatoid arthritis.  Her condition worsened this past spring so we took her to a specialist in Salt Lake on June 15th.  He discovered she had stage IV cancer of the bone and liver in addition to her other problems.  One tumor was on her spinal column and was strangling her spinal cord. She underwent emergency surgery that very day to relieve that pressure, and spent ten days in LDS Hospital recovering.

We all had great hope for the eradication of the cancer through radiation and chemotherapy which was started as soon as she was released from the hospital.  We had subsequently rented a house in Orem where she spent about a month in bed during her treatments. Her spirits were good and she was relatively free from pain during that time.  During an x-ray mapping to prepare for radiation to her right hip, it was discovered her hip was broken and the bone was displaced.  This was a condition that was unknown to Anne and had not been previously diagnosed by the many doctors and their elaborate scanning and x-ray equipment.

Since the break was apparently several months old, we were told she must have a total hip replacement, but it could not be done until her blood count had recovered from the poisons of the chemotherapy treatment.  The time finally arrived and the surgery was scheduled for Thursday, July 23rd.  But this was not to be–we had to take her to the hospital Tuesday (Utah Valley Hospital in Provo) because of severe abdominal pains.  It was discovered she had developed a massive infection in her abdominal cavity and emergency surgery was again performed (to save her life) near midnight of the same day.

Extensive peritonitis was discovered due to a perforated colon (apparently unrelated to her other problems) and even though every antibiotic know to man was pumped into her for the next 11 days, she was never able to fight off the infection.  She quietly slipped from this life at 2:00 a.m. on August 2, a Sunday morning.

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