Monday, May 3, 2010


This past week I found out a friend of ours from a previous ward we lived in was diagnosed with the same cancer I have, multiple myeloma. I went over to his home to visit with him, and as I left the house I began to reflect back to August of 2008, when I was first informed of my cancer.

As I recalled in my mind the different feelings and emotions I experienced, I was also reminded of the peace that filled our hearts and our home. Looking back now, it is so evident to see the Lord's hand in our journey. We were guided through a series of events to Dr. Tricot and his staff at the Huntsman Center. There was no question in our minds as to what treatment we were to do to battle this cancer.

We were overwhelmed with several problems, our insurance not wanting to pay for the treatment, being one of the biggest. We were told one of the medications I would need to be on would cost $5000.00 a month and our insurance would only pay half, leaving us a $2500.00 c0-pay for the medication each month. As we started to do the math, we figured we were looking at around $250,000 out of pocket to take care of our end of the treatment. I remember telling Jeff we would just have to do something else because I couldn't bear to put our family in that type of financial situation. Jeff just looked at me and said that all would be well, that the Lord would take care of us and if we spent the rest of our lives paying for the treatment that would be okay.

Another obstacle we faced at the time was that Jeff had just started a new business. We had very little cash flow and no steady income. Still, the peace we felt was incredible. At a time when it looked like our world was completely crumbling, we felt so peaceful. Our home was filled with angels from both sides of the veil. Our ward members went above and beyond to help our family and to lift the burden which was upon our back. The young men grew a garden and worked all summer long, then donated the proceeds from the garden to my cancer fund. Jeff's BYU 106th ward kept us constantly in their prayers. We had so many, many, beautiful acts of service performed for us, it was overwhelming.

Then the miracles began. I had to live in SLC for three weeks while I had the transplants. We were able to find a place to live, ten minutes away from the Huntsman, and the Landlords charged us nothing. Our hearts are filled with gratitude and will be forever filled with gratitude to those good people for that act of kindness. Although it took a few extra days, I was finally able to get the stems cells necessary for both transplants. In my mind, that was a miracle. The time I spent in the hospital, seeing the power of the Priesthood work for my good many times, miracles. The Lord led us to an attorney that battled with our insurance company who in turn agreed to pay for both transplants, miracle. My medication for what ever reason, (I still don't have an answer for it), only cost me $30.00 a month instead of $2500.00, miracle. Day in and day out, we experienced so many miracles. We saw and felt the Lord's hand in our lives over and over.

It has been so inspiring for me to look back and be able to recognize the blessings that have come to our family through this trial. Our faith has increased and we have learned to trust the Lord completely. We are better people because of this experience.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Windows of Heaven have opened

This pass week I feel like the windows of Heaven have opened and the blessings that have come into our lives are many. On Wednesday, March 25, we welcomed a new granddaughter, Hadlee, into our family. She is so beautiful. The miracle of a new baby is something that always causes me to stop and reflect upon the blessings of belonging to an eternal family. The instant I heard that first cry from Hadlee, I felt this love for her that I know will be eternal. It was amazing. Thursday, Nathan and his family arrived and we were able to bless their son Carter. My parents as well as several of my siblings and their children attended the blessing. Some of my cousins and nieces and nephews were there too. It was such a fun day. These are the things that make my heart happy. Family. I love my family.

Also, on Friday I met with Dr. Tricot, and asked how the cancer was doing and his response was that I am now in near complete remission. He said he expects me to be in complete remission in two to three months. What better news could I hope for! I will go to the Clinic on Tuesday and start my year long maintenance regimen which will include chemo at the clinic 4 times a month, oral chem every day and steroids two weeks a month. It will be interesting to see how my body reacts to this treatment. I'm guessing it will be hard because the steroids are hard for me to handle, but I suppose I can do anything for a year.

I am just so happy to see the miracle (and I truly believe it to be a miracle) of my body healing and I know it is because of the faith and prayers of all of you. I truly don't know how to express or make my feelings of gratitude known to you all. I told Jeff that this experience is similar to how I feel toward the Savior when I think of the atonement. He has done for me what I could never do for myself and there is no way for me to get even with him or pay him back for what he has done. Your prayers and acts of kindness in my behalf mean so much and are so appreciated. I am humbled.

Spring is upon us and I am looking forward to the next few months. I am excited to listen to conference this weekend and to have the opportunity to learn and to improve on things in my life that need to be addressed. Again, I am grateful for the experience I have had and the lessons I have learned along the way and hope that as things continue to progress I will have the faith and courage to face each day with complete faith in knowing that Heavenly Father is in control and knows what is best for our eternal family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I just want to update everyone on my recovery process. I am improving daily. I had an appointment last week to get some lab work done and an IV drip to strengthen my bones. The lab results were good. I don't see the Dr. again until the end of the month, at which time they will do a bone marrow biopsy. From the biopsy, I should know better how the cancer has responded to the treatments. I feel very encouraged and optimistic. The challenge for me now is to get my strength and energy level back. I need to be out walking every day and lifting a few weights here at home. The snow makes getting outside a bit of a challenge, but I'm sure it won't last.

I have started to go to the grocery store and a few other places without wearing my mask, which actually gives me some anxiety. I think when I wear the mask I feel some sense of security.

My hair has fallen out again. It had started to grow back, but about three weeks after the last dose of chemo, I lost it all again. Oh well, I suppose it will grow back again. I have enjoyed not having to shave my legs! Also, I can get ready to go someplace in about ten minutes tops. I can see why Jeff doesn't mind being bald. The one drawback is my head gets really cold, especially at night. I have to wear a hat to bed to keep my head warm.

Jeff and I are excited to get a new granddaughter here in the next few weeks. The due date is March 22, so anytime now. We will also get to see our grandsons the end of the month. Nathan is coming to Utah with his family for a wedding, so we have some fun things to look forward to.

We continue to see miracles in our lives daily. We have been so blessed by all of our ward members, by the BYU 106th ward members, and by our family members, and so many other good friends and acquaintances. The gratitude we feel cannot be easily expressed, but please know that not a day goes by that we don't express it to our Heavenly Father and we pray for all of you that have blessed our lives so abundantly.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wonder of Wonder Miracle of Miracle!!

Last night I had this horrible pain in my chest and ribs and back and pelvis and I just couldn't get any relief from the pain, so I had to call the after hours BMT clinic and they advised me what to do to control some of the pain. When I asked them what would be causing me so much pain, they said sometimes the nulasta shot which they give you to help boost the immune system will cause that pain. I went to the clinic this morning to do my labs and I told the girls if the pain I had last night was any indication of the "boost" my immuine system got I would probably be in the 10,000 mark on my white cells! The day before my white blood cell count was 0.63, which showed signs of improving, but I wasn't engraft. Well today when the labs came back, my white cell count was 8.31. Crazy! I am now engrafted, and will see the Dr. tomorrow and hopefully get the ok to return back home. My throat is feeling much better and I am so happy I didn't have to stay in the hospital! In my mind this good news is nothing short of a miracle because of the many many prayers that have been given in behalf of our family. We love you all. As a family we continue to pray for all of you in your individual circumstances and trials.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A +

Today is day +5, it starts the beginning of the "critical" days. I just got back from the clinic and I received and A+ on my report card. My labs all looked great. The PA was very optimistic about how everything is going and so I am excited to be this far along in the process and have such a positive report. My dear sister Becca, has been such a good caregiver, I give full credit to her for my good fortune. The rest of the week will include a daily trip to the clinic and the hope is to start to see the stems engraft by Monday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day +3

The stems cells were infused on Friday and we moved into the apartment the same day. I was especially tired on Friday, maybe because they put a few more million stems cells in than the last time, but everything seems to be going good. My white count has dropped a lot faster than it did before, so I seem to be feeling a bit more effect of the chemo early on. Today I will go to the clinic to have some lab work done and then as a new precaution, on Wednesday I will go to the clinic and receive a shot of an antibiotic to keep me from getting an infection. Thursday, I will get a shot that will help build my immune system and Friday my stem cells should start to engraft. I will try and keep you all posted. Love ya Lots!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The battle begins again

Yesterday I got my first regimen of Chemotherapy. It started with a dose of Carmustine given through an IV and it took about 2 hours. The carmustine is a mean Chemo. I had a little reaction to it, but it's all good now. Next they gave me a dose of Bortezomib, and finally another two hour drip of Gemcitabine. The amazing thing to me is today I feel really pretty good. I know it takes a few days for the Chemo to take its full effect and I am now in isolation here at home, not going any where and staying as far away from germs as I possibly can. I also get tomorrow off and then I will move up to Salt Lake on Thursday and recieve another dose of the same Chemo except instead of Carmustine, I get the ever dreaded Melphalan. Hopefully that will be the end of it for a while. I love you all!