Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dr. Tricot

We went to the Huntsman Center to meet Dr. Tricot yesterday. It was a great visit. He spent nearly 2 hours with us, going over my past history and my new test results. He can't be sure because a few of the tests still need to come back, but his best guess is that I am in stage 3A of the cancer. He said 7 out of 8 myeloma patients have a benign type of myeloma which is a slower growing myeloma and 1 out of 8 have a very aggressive type of myeloma. Dr. Tricot felt like I probably have the more benign type because looking over my records he feels like I have had the cancer for at least 3 years. I asked him if that was a concern to be in the third stage and his answer was that he would rather treat the benign cancer in the third stage than the aggressive cancer in stage 2. So, he still seemed hopeful. He said we need to get the approval of my insurance company, which takes about 5-7 days, and then we will begin the treatment, which will be a double stem cell transplant. It is a four stage process, spanning over 6 months. I will need to be within 15 minutes of the hospital during each stage for about 2-3 weeks at a time. So one of our challenges will be to find an apartment or room to rent out during this time. Our good friend David Haglund's mother lives close by and has already called to offer a room in her home. She is 89 years old and darling. I was so touched by her phone call. I'm worried about how sick I might be, so I think to begin with I will try to isolate myself and then see how things go.

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

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Today I'm feeling a little anxious. I am looking forward to meeting with Dr. Tricot in the morning and getting a better understanding of what we are facing.

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

September 9, 2008

Just a quick update. Not really too much to report. Tomorrow is my final chemo treatment of this series. I have felt really good and have not had any ill effects from the chemo so far. I feel really blessed for that reason.

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

Our Happy Family

I love these people!!

First Chemo Treatment

On Friday August 29, I had my first Chemo treatment. It went really well. I am unable to take the oral Chemo because I have to make sure I"m no pregnant before they will give me the drug, so for now I am only getting the IV Chemo. I didn't feel any complications from the chemo and have felt great over the weekend. I go in today, September 2 for my second treatment and I am hoping for the same success.

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.