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!

Monday, February 9, 2009

We begin again

Today, Monday February 9, 2009 I begin the chemo for the second stem cell transplant. I saw the Dr. last week. After looking at the results from my bone marrow biopsy, he said he felt real confident that with this second transplant they could put me into a full remission. That was good news for our family. I have been extremely anxious about starting this second transplant. I guess it is like having a baby. You get to the end of the pregnancy and realize what is coming in order to get the baby here and you start to question why you thought it would be nice to have another child! Because I have some idea of what is ahead I get a little nervous. But, by spring I should be feeling really good and be healthier than I have been for a while. I don't have to move up to Salt Lake until the end of the week. Friday, February 13 (I guess I should wear garlic around my neck) they will infuse the stem cells and then they want me to be close to the Huntsman Center for the next 3 weeks. Fortunately, we will be staying in the same place we stayed the first time, very close to the HCI. We continue to feel optimistic about our circumstances and appreciate the support we receive from all of our family, friends and ward members. We hope and pray that all of you are finding joy in the journey you are on at this time in your lives. My testimony of Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ has increased. I look back on this experience with no regrets, only gratitude for what I have been able to learn. I will however, be glad when this is all over and life can get back to normal, whatever normal is!