Friday, October 31, 2008

Closing in on the End

I think I can finally see an end to the stem cell harvest!! I am so excited. As of today I had just over 14 million cells collected and I hope to of had a good day today. If my luck continues tomorrow may be my last day but if not, for sure Sunday. I have an appointment with Dr. Tricot on Monday afternoon and then I will get to come home. I can hardly wait.

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

8 million and counting

I got 3 million stem cells yesterday and just finished more today. I'm not sure how many today, but as long as it's over 1 million they will keep on pulling. I feel really good and continue to feel of your love and prayers. Thanks so much for all your comments and thoughts.

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.

Take Care

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Two shots a day!

I am laughing at myself as I just read my past few posts. Did I mention that I am getting two shots a day!! Seriously, I HATE SHOTS! I think that might be obvious because of how many times I mentioned it in my posts. Sorry.

Finally pullin stem cells

I guess I'm not the ideal stem cell giver, but at least I finally got started on Saturday with the process of harvesting stem cells. I have pulled stem cells on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today, Tuesday. Saturday and Sunday I got just over 1 million and Monday I got over 2 million. So before today I had a total of just about 5 million stem cells. The goal would be 20 million. I am getting 2 shots a day to help push the stem cells out into my blood. Jeff also gave me a blessing yesterday so I know things will start to move along and even if it takes me all week we will get the needed stem cells. The guy next to me got 13 million in one day! I'm really happy for him because it is a little hard to hook up to the machine each day and sit for 4-5 hours while the machine pulls out the cells. He is older and it really wore him out so hopefully he won't have to do it too many days.

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

Still waiting

We are at the Huntsman Center this morning waiting for lab results to see if today will be the day that I get to start pulling stem cells. Jeff came up last night and will spend the weekend with me and that is always nice to have him close by.

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

October 23, 2008

Sorry I haven't been able to keep up with the blog. I don't have access to the internet, so I can only get on occassionally.

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

Friday, October 17, 2008

My first week of treatment is over!! I don't know how things could have gone any better than they did, a testimony that Heavenly Father is watching over us and is answering the prayers being offered in our behalf. Thank you all. I can't explain the gratitude I feel each hour of each day for the wonderful friends, family, ward members, doctors and staff that are watching over our family. We continue to pray for each of you as well in the challenges that you are experiencing with life and hope that you will feel the same love and peace that we feel from an all knowing Heavenly Father.

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

A small hiccup

I went to my Dr.'s appointment on Friday only to find out it had been canceled because they thought I would not be able to keep the appointment because I was having a procedure done on my back, soooooo.... I won't be seeing the Dr. until Thursday and therefore starting my chemo on Thursday. I look at it as a blessing because I did have the back procedure (kyphoplasty) done on Friday and this gives me a few days to heal up before starting the treatments.

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

The calm before the storm

This is my final week of waiting and preparing. We will start the Chemo treatments on Monday, October 6, 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.