Monday, July 11, 2011

Making Memories

Our motto lately has been PLAY, PLAY, and PLAY some more!
Here we are PLAYING:
Emptying Grandma's sock drawer
Going for walks
Swimming in the Moab pool
Trying to get warm after swimming
Family dinners and fun
Ryan Shupe concert
More pool and Moab time
I love my family so much and am so grateful for all the fun memories we are making!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's not Goodbye, but See ya Later

So how do I even start? A month ago, on Mother's Day to be exact, my family and I decided to stop all chemo and any further treatments for my cancer. We are going to allow the disease to take it's course. This was an incredibly difficult decision for everyone, but the chemos seem to be causing more damage than good. My bone marrow has been saturated by cancerous cells and all chemo will do is prolong the process. I have spent the last 3 years fighting hard and giving my all, but the time has come to let go.
I have no fear of returning home and look forward to seeing the generations of friends and family I have on the other side, including my son Nathanael. I know that I will still have a part in my family's lives here on the earth and though I have cried buckets of tears and will miss my family immensely, I know this is God's will and that is my greatest desire to fulfill His will.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I was reading some of my journal entries from the past couple of months and wanted to share a few.

October 10, 2010

From Friday through Sunday the whole family (except Jacob, who had to work) went to Moab. We had a wonderful time. I went from baby to baby. It was heaven. One evening Shellie was demonstrating to the girls a new job she is starting selling Nu Skin products. Shellie had already done one skin treatment on me and I was telling my daughters how wonderful it was and showing them my softening wrinkles. Suddenly, Emily started laughing and when we asked her why she said, “Mom, you are going to look great in your casket!” Blunt, but she’s absolutely right. This whole thing is nuts. It’s really difficult contemplating how short my time might be.

Over the next month I am going to write letters to Nathan, Ty, Tess and Landon for their baptisms, priesthood ordinations, missions and marriage. I also want to write to each of my children. I don’t want to leave this earth without their absolute knowledge of where I stand with the Gospel and my Savior. I actually hope I can hand them their letters.

October 13, 2010:

I accidently happened on to a grieving website for MM. This is what I posted:

I am 53 and just learned last Thursday that my MM has returned. I have a wonderful husband, 5 children and 4 grandchildren. During the last 2 years, I have had two bone marrow transplants and multiple sessions of chemo - you all know the drill... I had really hoped that I would get more time. The most frustrating part is that 18 months of the two years I felt horrible. It is only the last 6 months that I have felt semi-normal again. But despite all of the negative, I have seen hundreds of miracles during this time. Family, friends, and neighbors have upheld me with their love and prayers. I have witnessed 2 new grand-babies born in the last 6 months. Because the permanent side effects have been so debilitating, I have decided not to do another transplant. I don't think my body could survive it. I am to start Velcade in a few days, and we will see how that goes. I know it is difficult, but we all have tunnel vision during this earth life. Heavenly Father sees the big picture, and loves us more than we can imagine. He knows what is best for us and our loved ones. Everything will work out for the best. We will be together again. I will miss my family on the other side as much as they miss me on this side. Think how much we have all learned through these experiences! Are we not more gentle, caring and loving people? If anyone needs help with their grieving, please don't hesitate to contact me.

October 20, 2010

Shellie’s exciting day finally came and our family, including some of our extended family who could make it on short notice, all met at the Mt. Tiimpanogos Temple to support her as she entered the Holy House of the Lord. I can’t even begin to describe the peace and feeling of eternity that you feel in the temple. It is as if you lay aside your mortal skin and surroundings and bask in a warm and loving realm.

December 7, 2010:

I have had a really rough month. Thanksgiving I was so sick that even though everyone was at my house, and we still cooked the turkey and trimmings, I was in bed most of the day. The side effects were such that the chemo (Velcade) was too toxic (poison being toxic?! duh!) so they changed chemo and this one has an obscure side effect (that of course I would get) that affects your blood pressure. I am so dizzy that if I stand up straight I black out. It also has dropped my white blood cell count so that I am in the critical zone. Sooo, I am still in bed! As much as I hate shopping, I would volunteer to stand in line somewhere rather than spend another day in bed!

There - you have heard my ornery wining, but now let me tell you the flip side; how blessed I am. My bedroom has a huge bay window where I can see outside all day. Sometimes Maya, my dog, sings to me. Until the last serious temperature drop, I had a handful of rosebuds still hanging on trying to bloom. It was heartwarming.

Kim bought me a copy of Greg Olson's "Jesus overlooking Jerusalem" and Brother Olson even wrote a message to me on the back. I put it in my bedroom where it reminds me of the wonderful experience we had seeing the holy land together. These last 2 years, Kim and I have become very close and many of the scars accumulated over a lifetime of marriage have dissolved. This June will be 35 years.

My youngest grand child doesn't just smile, but grins with his whole body every time you talk to him. He has taught me about true joy.

This year for Christmas, our family has decided to go on a family vacation in January and to use the money we would have spent on gifts to be able to do it. It is amazing how it has simplified the season, and my family is sooo excited for the trip; far more than they would be to get gifts.

Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ truly do love us. And I love them.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Cute Grandkids!

I just have to show off and brag.. I love these little guys so much!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another update

This is not the news I would like to be telling, but the cancer has returned. I have been getting tests done every three months and during the last 3, my IgA has gone from 7 to over 700 and the percent of plasma cells in my spinal fluid has gone from 2% to 20%. It appears to be growing pretty rapidly.
We all wanted more time, and believed that by doing two transplants we would at least buy 5 years, so obviously we are disappointed, but we also knew it was inevitable that it would rear it's ugly head again.
During the last 6 months, I have really felt great and I have been able to see Tessa and Landon come to earth. I have been able to spend some great quality time with Kim, my incredible children, and grandchildren. I don't believe in coincidence and know this was an answer to my prayers before starting in November 2008. Landon is only 7 weeks old, so it came back exactly after my request was granted. Of course now my request is to at least see Landon married. We always want more than is perhaps planned for us, don't we?
My precious daughter Shellie is in the process of preparing to go to the Temple. My greatest desire at this time is to stand in the Celestial Room with my eternal family Kim and our children Brett and Jessica, Emily, Brooke and Ryan, and Shellie. I would love to add Jacob to this list, but I know that day will come, and I will be there.
I would love to be a physical part of my family's lives as long as possible and because of such I will be starting chemo again to continue trying and fighting.

My family is the most important thing in the world to me and I am so grateful for my knowledge of our Heavenly Father's plan. I am also so grateful for the love, prayers, and faith of my family, friends, wardmembers, and people I don't even know.

D&C 29:6 "Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive."
As always, your continued love, support, faith, and prayers are welcomed and greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


In the last 30 days my white blood cell count (a reflection of my immune system) has gone up from 2.2 to 4.1. That is huge! That means that now I only have to wear my mask in very enclosed areas or around sickness. Also, I had my picc line removed, the last real physical evidence. And get this – I had a hair CUT last week.

Life is Great!

On May 8th it will be one year since my second transplant!! After the pulmonary emboli mess in January, I was taken off of all of the maintenance chemo drugs. Without those poisons in my body I have been getting stronger and healthier every day. Don’t misunderstand, I know that the chemo and transplants were necessary for my survival and they did their job, but I think I have had enough. Yesterday, I was at the clinic getting an I.V. to help strengthen my bones and a gentleman sitting next to me was doing the same thing. His second transplant was May 26th. He is on the maintenance protocol of two years of low dose chemo that I was on as well. He looked horrible – frail, weak, feels lousy all of the time… I was shocked at how much I have improved in the 2 ½ months since stopping the drugs. As soon as I was off of everything I began a serious supplement blitz to restore my empty system. When I was where he is, my doctor was highly opposed to supplementing because they believe it also feeds the cancer. It was absolute confirmation to me that I am on the right track. I have also been reading a book about nutrition and cancer and the author emphasized over and over that before beginning chemo or radiation to be prepared nutritionally through supplements and diet. After my Summer in Mexico of innocently doing just that, I was angry that by Fall I had gone from 12% cancer saturation to 80%. I thought that I had wasted my time, even though I had believed at the time that Heavenly Father had led me that direction. Now I realize that indeed He had, to prepare my physical body for what was coming. When I was diagnosed with this cancer I had never even heard of it. It’s amazing that since that diagnosis I am constantly hearing about people who have it and their experiences. Many, many are unable to even get through the first transplant and die. I believe I would have been one of them. I have had so many experiences in my life where understanding comes down the road and I realize again and again how much we are each loved by our Eternal Father. He is watching over us. That doesn’t mean that if I had died or do die that He doesn’t love me. It’s that big picture thing that we all get so hung up on. We are in His hands. Our only objective in this earthly experience is to be the best disciples we can possibly be.