Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have had such a fun Christmas. All the kids were home except Colton and Megan. It was nice to have a three year old in the house again for Christmas. It just makes everything so much more exciting.
The YM and YW in our ward made a video of a few incidents in my life and brought it over for us to enjoy. Our ward really has some great acting talent. It was so much fun to watch and we all had a good laugh. The Bishop was especially impresive. Thanks to all who put so much time and effort into the making of the film!!
My cousin Chrisann sent me a copy of a talk "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar, that I read this past week and it has really inspired me. He quoted Elder Maxwell who said, "There would have been no Atonement except for the character of Christ." Elder Bednar then went on to talk about character and what the definition of character is. A couple of things he said that impressed and motivated me were, "Character is revealed in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering, in the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus, character is demonstrated by looking and reaching outward when the natural and instinctive response is to be self-absorbed and turn inward."
Christ was a perfect example of such character. These thoughts have motivated me to try to improve my character and become more like Christ. It becomes so easy when you are in the middle of a crisis to only think of yourself. Life is so much better when you think of others and forget yourself.
Here is wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Thanks again and again for the many kind thoughts and acts of service that have been done for us in the past and over the Christmas Holiday. We love you all.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The past two weeks have been probably the hardest two weeks of my life, I really just want to think of it as a bad dream. I didn't prepare myself for what I experienced, but I don't know if you really could prepare for something like that. I decided I would focus on the positive of it all, and want to share just a few of those positives with you. 1. I met some really great, fun, caring people here on the BMT unit and Iwill always have a soft spot in my heart for their kindness and superior care. 2. I came to appreciate so much more the level of suffering that the Savior did in the garden of Gethsemene. At times when I thought I couldn't bare the burden, I thought of him and knew that he understood my pain and I felt his love and understanding. 3. I continued to be uplifted by the prayers I knew were being said in my behalf. 4. I experienced first hand again as I have so many times already, the tremendous power of the Priesthood. I am so thankful for a good husband that holds the priesthood and is able to call upon that great power at any moment to bless my life. 5. I have loved watching my children pull together to take care of one another and the needs at home. I know they are closer to one another now than they have been at any time in their life.
I could continue on and on and I have come to understand that with any trial there is always a positive if we look to find it. Now, with that being said, I am soooooo glad to be where I am and have the past two weeks behind me.
I look forward to returning home, being with my family, seeing my new grandbaby and getting a good laugh from my other grandson. I think there is nothing better than grandbabies. A few weeks ago Lucas ( my oldest grandson) wanted me to take him to Cabela's. I was loading him in the car and he said Grandma Owens, lets go to Chuckie Cheese it's more fun. I said "Lucas, I can't take you to Chuckie Cheese, I don't even know how to get there." He said, "Grandma Owens, you just follow the road!" Needless to say we followed the road and sure enough we found Chuckie Cheese!
Have a great Holiday. I love you all. Many Thanks!!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Carolyn wants to record the miracles that are happening to her as she goes
through this treatment. There have been many, but here are a couple of
significant miracles that have happened in the last two weeks. It's a
miracle that she is still with us after her body went into septic shock on
Thanksgiving day. It's also a miracle that she is recovering so quickly
after all she has been through (that's the word her Doctor used!). Although
she is still weak and tired, we're extremely grateful she is doing so well.
Today they are trying to get her blood pressure stabilized and her fever to
quit spiking. If she does good today, she may get released from the hospital
tomorrow. If her fever continues to spike, they may remove her port to see
if that is causing some infection. The tests show that the bacterial
infection in her blood is gone. After she is released from the hospital, she
will need to stay in Salt Lake for a few more days until she gets cleared by
her Doctor to go home to Alpine.
As a family we are grateful to all of you who have shown your love and
support to Carolyn and her family. We feel your prayers and know the Lord is
blessing Carolyn because of your faith. Thank you so much. Words can't
express the gratitude we feel for all you have done to help Carolyn get
through this challenge. Carolyn is a tough old bird and we know she will get
through this treatment and will be able to bless the lives of others for
many years to come.
Posted by Becca Dodds
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Shea has been with me today. Jeff just got here to spend the night and tomorrow. Jeff and I are excited to welcome our new grandson into the world tomorrow. Carter Mark(?) Owens will have his turn on earth starting tomorrow, November 24. We are so excited, I have butterflies just typing about it. I love my grandbabies!
I hope everyone enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday. I love Thanksgiving, getting together with family and eating good food. Playing games, shooting skeet, Turkey Tournament, all good times.
Have a fun week together family. I love you.
Here's a birthday shout out to Rachael Hubert and Makelle Brown. Hope you had a great B-day!
I have a picture of all you darling beehives sitting on my nightstand. I see your smiles when I climb into bed at night and your smiles when I get up in the morning. Your all beautiful. Thank you.
I came across this quote today and I loved it.
"When we really believe in Jesus Christ-meaning that He will overrule for our good and that He knows who we are--that kind of faith naturally creates a feeling of hope and optimism."
I am filled with hope and optimism. I know Christ knows me and is aware of me. I am healing and gaining strength each day. Life is so good.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I have my sister, Becca, staying with me. Everyone needs a Becca in their lives. She cooks, cleans, follows up on all my medical needs, and carries on a pretty good conversation. I have such a great family. Thanks to you all!
I am looking forward to a new grandson this month. Cherise, our daughter in law, would like to see him born on November 24. His Grandfather Owens however, would like to see him born on his birthday, December 3. The original due date was Dec. 6, and has been moved up to November 29. I guess he will come when he is ready.
My middle son, Shea, returned from SVU yesterday and I love having him back in the State. Jeff flew out to Virginia on Friday and watched Shea play his final football game on Saturday. They then loaded up the car and left early Sunday morning, driving 30 straight hours and meeting me at the Bone Marrow Clinic just as I finished my first treatment. What troopers!
I continue to see miracles happen each day. I know I am being blessed by all of your prayers. I also pray for all of you wonderful people that have been so generous and kind to our family. Thanks a bunch, and God bless.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I met with Dr. Tricot yesterday, got the port removed from my neck and some lab work done. I now have 2 weeks at home and it looks like we may be able to start phase two on the 17th of November.
It is so great to be home. I really missed Kristen and Jeff and it is nice to wake up in my own bed with new sheets and a new spread. Thank you to all who contributed.
Colton and Megan have been staying here and holding down the fort. I really appreciate them.
Life is good.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy Halloween to everyone. It seems like it will be good weather for all the little ones going trick or treating.
It has been fun to have Yvonne here with me this week. Thanks to her family for the sacrifice. Thanks to everyone. I love the comments and notes I receive from all of you. It helps me to keep up with things at home and it is very humbling to know that you all keep up with my situation. Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Carol and Paul. I wanted to give you a call, but couldn't figure out the whole time zone thing. It's great to hear about your mission. We pray for you also and know you will have success in your missionary efforts because you are such wonderful people. Thank you for your support in our trial. We love you and miss you.
I am looking forward to being home next week. Hope to see all of you and do a little catching up.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Yvonne Gottfredson is here this week "babysitting" me. Thanks so much Yvonne. I feel great. I got some notes from the ladies in our ward and enjoyed reading them all. Thank you. My family tells me of some act of kindness that someone has done every day for them. My eyes feel with tears when I think of each of you and the love that you show for us. I don't know how to express my gratitude but I hope you all can feel our prayers for you and all that you are doing for us.
I hope to be home on Monday or Tuesday. I can't wait! I really miss home. I have enjoyed reading the conference talks this week. I love Elder Wirthlin's talk and I try to remember his mother's words...come what may and love it. I am loving many aspects of this experience. I am a better person and more aware of many things than I was before. I hope I can remember everything that I am feeling and learning and hope to improve in my ability to serve and love those around me. I have learned so much from all of you. Thank you.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I am now recieving two shots a day to help push the stem cells from my bone marrow into my blood stream. I hate shots!! I feel really good. I am able to go out a little more now as long as I keep my mask on. Not much else to report.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My treatment plan is right on course. My immune system bottomed out this week and has started to climb again. I am waiting for a cd34 count to get to a certain point before they can start pulling the stem cells from my blood. I was in hopes that today would be the day, but they just let me know they are sending me back to the apartment for another day. Hopefully tomorrow. If the counts aren't up tomorrow, we go to a "hard to mobilize" phase where they will give me another shot to boost the stem cell production. Actually I will recieve 2 shots a day for the following 3 days until they are able to collect the needed stem cells. They assure me if I go to the "hard to mobilize" phase, that I haven't failed, that this is just part of the process, so I am staying positive and seeing lots of good in what is happening.
The difficult part now is being patient. My sister Becca is staying with me and I know the days must be long for her. We did go for a drive yesterday to Farmington Bay and enjoyed seeing the ducks and fowls there at the Bay. We took an outing to Trolley Square, didn't stay long, but it was nice to look around for a minute.
It's fun to keep up on the news from the ward. Thanks to all for the food, cards, calls, and notes you send reminding us daily of our blessings and of our good fortune. Someday I hope to return some of the kindness we have experienced through each of you.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Starting today, they expect my counts to start to drop and my immune system to bottom out, so I have begun wearing a mask when I leave the house. I have to be really cautious about germs. They did give me the weekend off, so I don't have to go back until Monday morning at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday they will put a second port in my neck and hopefully on Wednesday or Thursday they will begin to pull the stem cells. It is an amazing process.
We are meeting a lot of new people and each of them has had different challenges along the way with their care. We are learning so much and trying to be completely obedient to the Dr.'s orders, knowing that if we do our part we can expect success.
The hardest part of this so far for me has been not being around all of you. I miss my friends, my neighbors, my young women, going to church, and all the social aspects of my life. I miss especially my kids.
Hope life is treating all of you well. God Bless.
Monday, October 6, 2008
My back feels great. It just continues to amaze me what awesome things they can do to help strengthen an aging body.
I loved listening to conference this weekend. My testimony was strengthened and I felt reassured of my Heavenly Father's love and concern not only for me but for all of us. What a great blessing to have Prophets and Apostles on the earth to direct and encourage and strengthen our lives. I can't wait to get a copy of all the talks and read them again!
Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and continued support you give to our family.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
So many people have served us this week and I am so appreciative of each of them. I have the greatest ward, friends and family. The primary kids in our ward made cards for me and I am saving them for just the right moment when I am in a place that I need to feel comfort. I know those cards are going to be just the right thing for me to read and I am so excited to read them. I love the primary children.
My good friends, Syd Haglund and Susan Rogers helped me yesterday to get some things together to work on while I am in SLC. They are helping me with a quilt for my new grandson who will be joining us in December. Thanks to both of them. They are great friends.
Yesterday I got a "port" installed in my chest. This is a device that the chemo treatments will be administered in. Tomorrow (Friday) I will go to the back doctor and have a cement substance shot into my vertebra and hopefully that will take care of the back pain I am having. Medical Science is so amazing!!
I also see Dr. Tricot on Friday.
Our family is looking forward to attending the morning session of General Conference together. My oldest son Nathan has been here this week and it has been so nice to visit with him and enjoy his company.
I have had a nice week and I think I am ready for the fight. I still remain with such a peaceful, positive feeling that we are going to beat this cancer. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are aware of my personal situation and they have a plan. I pray for courage and strength and the faith I need to endure these trials. I know each of you have your own personal trials, some of them far bigger trials than what I face and I also know that Heavenly Father knows of your situation and he has a plan for you too.
We all need to "keep the faith" and have joy while we travel through this life. I have personally learned that it is possible to be happy in whatever situation we encounter if we just trust the Lord completely.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I loved Dr. Tricot. He is from Belgium, has a nice accent, very kind and knows how to put people at ease. He is leaving for a few weeks to go visit his mother and family in Belgium, so while he is gone we will be seeing another Dr. but still feel very confident with everything. We feel so great about being at the Huntsman Center. The staff is amazing and we left the Dr.'s office again feeling so peaceful and full of hope.
Thanks again to all of you for your kind acts of service. Because of this experience, our lives have been changed for the better.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
We all continue to feel great peace. We have been lifted by so many of you, our family, friends and ward members. Jeff's BYU student ward members have shown so much love and compassion. We feel so loved.
We know that we are just beginning the up hill battle. I think we will get started this week and it will be a long climb. There will be spots along the trail that will be easier than others and some really tough steep spots too. I know when we get to those spots, our burdens will be lifted and we will see over and over the hand of the Lord in our trek.
There is a quote from Elder Maxwell, that has hung on our fridge for the past year. It says, "Daily hope is vital, since the "Winter Quarters" of our lives are not immediately adjacent to our promised land. An arduous trek still awaits, but hope spurs weary disciples on. Those with true hope often see their personal circumstances shaken, like kaleidoscopes, again and again. Yet with the 'eye of faith,' they still see divine pattern and purpose."
Our personal circumstances are being shaken again, but we do have great hope, we have complete faith, and already have been able to see divine purpose in this experience. We are grateful for this opportunity to learn and to grow. We have seen miracles, and know we will continue to see miracles. It's not an easy trek, but we have great examples to draw strength from. And, just as the saints loaded their wagons years ago to rescue the saints stranded at winter quarters, Jeff and I have seen all of you load your wagons and come to our rescue. Thanks to you all, and my God bless you with the sweet peace that he has blessed our family with.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Tomorrow night I will go to the HCI to have an MRI and then on Thursday morning they will run a series of tests on my blood, marrow, heart etc. because they like to have their own test results before they begin treating patients.
I have an appointment with Dr. Tricot on Monday September 15, and I am hoping to get a better feel for what we are facing. Dr. Tricot has had good success with treating this type of cancer and seems to lean toward stem cell transplant for fighting the cancer. If any of you are interested you can go to his website at www.fightmyeloma.org. and read about all the good things that are happening with myeloma.
I appreciate all the wonderful notes, phone calls, food, and words of love and compassion for our family over the past few weeks. Also all the prayers and fasting that have been offered in our behalf. We truly feel your love and support.
We are optimisitc. We have every reason to be hopeful. Our testimonies are strong and we believe in the great healing power of the priesthood. With that being said, we completely trust in our Heavenly Father and we know he has a plan for our family.
Thank you all so much. Our burden has been lightened because of each of you.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I contacted the Huntsman Cancer Institute today and did an initial visit over the phone with the "new patient" account personal, Debbie. It appears it will take a few weeks to get set up and in to the Dr. there, but I am feeling like it is the best place for me to be getting my care. They have a Dr. Tricot, (Like the material), that is apparently the best Dr. in the country for treating myeloma. He just recently moved his practice to the HCI, I'm sure he did it for me! I am excited to get aquainted with him and his staff and get going on my treatment.
Today I am feeling a bit anxious. I think things are starting to settle in my brain and I just want to be done! I have never been a very patient person.
All of your prayers continue to sustain us. Thank you.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Last night Conrad Gottfredson (our stake president and my cousin) along with my Bishop Darren Hartvigsen came over to the house and gave me a beautiful blessing, rebuking the cancer in my body, and at the same time submitting to the Lord's will. So....if it is the Lord's will that I will be healed, I will be healed. "It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man." Psalms 118 8-9. I am very optimistic that I will spend a few more years here with my family. The journey will be hard but we will all learn and grow and be better because of what we experience.
At 10:00 am today I will begin my first IV Chemotherapy treatment (Velcade). Along with that I have a oral Chemotherapy drug (Decadron) I will be taking as well. The third drug I am taking is called Revlimid. The schedule will be over the next 21 days. I will do the IV treatment on day 1, 4, 8, and 11. The drug therapy on day 1, 8, and 15. The Revlimid I take every day for the next 14 days. At that point I'm not sure what happens.
Jeff and I are considering moving my care up to the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. Dr. Mower will be back in town on Monday and we will discuss that option with him.
Dr. Mower, the Doctor that I credit with finally making the diagnosis, told me that if there was ever a good time to have Multiple Myeloma, it is now. He said they are making great progress with the treatment and are finding great success.
I know this is going to be one of our toughest adventures yet. I know I will have hard days, and I will need every prayer that I can get. I look forward to the lessons we will all be taught, but especially to the lessons I will personally learn and the relationship I will enjoy with my Heavenly Father and his son.
I will keep you all posted.