Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Everything's Going Good

Ginny just reminded me that we probably ought to get another post up to let you know what's going on with Mom.  She had Chemo on Tuesday of last week.  They only gave her 2 out of the 3 Chemos they used the first time.  The 3rd Chemo must have been too evasive the first time around, because she is still working on growing her white blood cells up from that.  It seems understandable though, that they wouldn't give another Chemo to you again if your body wasn't prepared for it, so that's just what happened.  She ended up just having the 2 this last time. 

The same thing happened this time around as well as far as the sickness goes--she feels quite well for the first few days and then gets sick on Saturdays.  She has spent a bulk of the time at Ginny's house in Salt Lake--and I think that's been good for her.  She has commented a bunch that it's been helpful to her to have someone help her be happy each day.  I know the family really appreciates all that she, Cort, and the family are doing to support her.

They went back up to Huntsman earlier today to get her blood count again and it's looking better--so that's great news.  She will likely have her next Chemo on Tuesday, June 1st. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Race for the Cure -- Salt Lake City 2010

I was so excited this year to participate in the "Race for the Cure." I sadly never participated when Sue (Bentley's wife) was going through her treatments. They have been doing this race for several years now and how fun for them to participate this year as a 5 year survivor.

Several weeks ago my running partner Megan asked me if I wanted to run the race with her and another friend, Shannon. I agreed and thought this year would be perfect to run on behalf of my mom. Megan said she would think of a team name and that we were going to get t-shirts printed up with the names of the people whom we were running for. "Sure", I thought. "No problem. This will be great." Well, one morning Megan called me and told me that they had decided on our team name. She said we were going to have pink camouflage t-shirts that read "Stop the War in My Raq". Yes you read right! At first I didn't get it but then thought it was hilarious. I told my mom and Sue just to make sure that they wouldn't be embarrassed to have their name on a t-shirt like that. They as well loved it. So, yesterday Megan, Shannon and I ventured downtown to participate in the race. It was so much fun! It was tender looking at these thousands of people gathered in one great cause. You could feel the hope and courage just beaming from everyone. Of course it made it extra fun that people came up to us and asked to take our picture or told us that we had the best t-shirts there. It was also a bonus that we made it on channel 4 and channel 13 news as well.

What a memorable experience and special day that it was. I hope that I'm always able to participate until we find a cure!

 Little ol' me in my pink camo

They accidentally put survivor instead of fighter for our Mom--but that's okay because she'll be a survivor next year and I can wear the t-shirt again.  Sue is our sister-in-law and Susan is my Mother-in-Law who passed away from Breast Cancer 18 years ago. 

Shannon, Me, and Megan

What a Gift

Meet Wendy.  She is our cousin.  She is a wonderful wife, mother and friend.  And she loves MOMS.  Her Mom especially who has suffered from MS her whole life, and my Mom too--now with Breast Cancer.  Keep reading...
 She, her husband Will, and darling children, Annie and Cal live in North Carolina. 

 Just two weeks ago, she and her family were in a terrible accident.  Please read this excerpt off her blog:

"Sunday evening we were on our way to the Patterson's in High Point for a BBQ. We were on a wide country road that had little roads intercepting it along the way. We had the right of way until we came to another little intersection and Will missed the stop sign. I didn't see it either, but I noticed the other road didn't have one. So I asked Will "Are you sure..?", looked to my right and saw a minivan maybe 10 feet away going just as fast as we were going, 40mph. For a split second I thought 'we're done'. That's all I really remember. And of course my mind replays that instance about a thousand times a day. I vaguely remember Will picking me up to take me aside to give me a Priesthood blessing. Annie screamed, terrified to see me so unresponsive, and then Will and another man I didn't know put there hands on my head and I was out again. The next time I woke up I was in the ER at Forsyth Medical Center. That's what I remember."

Will and her two beautiful children made it through okay--remarkably!  And after waking up in the hospital on the stretcher with her husband Will by her side, the results from the tests came back about Wendy.

"No broken ribs just bruised ones; no internal bleeding just a concussion."

" Last of all (and most noticable) are the lacerations on my face from the impact of the airbag. I'll gladly take some face injuries over injured kids or worse."

When I read on her blog she had survived such an experience, I thought, "Oh there's no way she'll run "The Race for the Cure" 5K in North Carolina the next weekend like she'd told me.

You can imagine my surprise when I opened an email from her this last week, with THESE pictures on them. 

{An excerpt from her email}

"So, yes, last week was somewhat of a different week for us post car-total and in the middle of finals while healing, but thanks to such great help from the in-laws that came to town (and of course good pain killers) I felt up to running Race for the Cure on Saturday. I promised Will I would be smart and so I I didn't try to make a certain time or anything, but kept a good pace and ran the 5K. By the end I was somewhat dizzy from my concussion but I held onto Will for a little bit and got some food and was feeling good again. In total I raised just under $100 ,which I felt good about considering it was a 5K and that I decided to run just two weeks before the race. I was actually thinking of your mom and my mom a lot while I ran. I was running with some dizziness and pain on my side and back due to my bruised ribs from our car accident. I couldn't help but just admire these women who deal with day to day pain and uncertainty and yet push through with faith, patience, smiles, and love. It was actually quite humbling. My pain and weakness was so extremely mild compared to what these women feel. How I hope I can always be grateful for the strength I've been given and use it for good purposes.

Please tell your mom I'm so proud of her for fighting the fight and for doing it with such a great love for our God. How I love her.
It was great to see so many others there, so supportive of the cause to fight Breast Cancer and increase awareness. I can't tell you how much I recommend participating in one! Experiences like this really help me feel like I'm helping, even if in the smallest way."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chemo #2 a NO-GO {Silly Platelets}

SO--Mom was all ready to be given her second round of Chemotherapy today, but when she got there and they measured her blood levels, her platelet count was too low. So instead of doing that today, she got to spend the whole day getting another blood transfusion. Lucky her.

After talking to the specialists, it sounds like this happens occasionally for some people and is not something to be too concerned about.

And though this throws the chemo schedule off a bit, she's in pretty good spirits and is grateful for a bonus week before she has to go another round in the ring.

#2 Chemo Treatment is rescheduled for Tuesday, May 11th. Thanks for the prayers and support. We'll need them again next week as well. In the meantime, pray for her platelet levels to rise!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror,
and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said.
“I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw that she
had only two hairs on her head.“Hmm,” she said.
“I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So she did and had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that
she had only one hair on her head.“Well she said.
“Today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yeah!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sent by my Mom's sister {Aunt Gloria} at a most needed time
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

{posted by Ginny}

Last Tuesday marked two weeks after Mom's first treatment. Mom and I said to each other that day, that maybe should wouldn’t lose her hair because it seemed like it would have started to happen before now. Well…we both spoke too soon because that night she called me down stairs to her room in our home and sitting there, on the arm of the chair, was a little clump of hair. We both just looked at it…kind of shocked I think. Tears gathered in our eyes and then we commented how it looked like a little birds nest. We have talked about this openly several times in our family but I guess nothing really prepares you for it. I was so proud of mom. She was so brave but I knew inside she was thinking “Oh my...it’s really happening.”

But no matter how hard you prepare you just don’t know how you will feel until it starts to happen. Mom’s hair continued to fall out the rest of the week--but we had a plan. You see there is some sort of satisfaction you have when you choose to take control of something that is completely out of your control. So, on Saturday morning Mom chose to shave her head. Our friend Megan (a family friend and fantastic hair stylist) came to my home to help out. We set up a regular beauty parlor in the bathroom and threw a gown around mom. We stood there discussing what size buzzer to use and then the conversation switched to how we should go about doing the cut. You would think just taking it all off would be the goal but, oh no, the grandkids got involved and before you knew it we had styled (or buzzed if you prefer) moms hair into a “poodle-doo”, a “rockin mohawk” and finally a typical “summer buzz”. We laughed and took pictures along the way. The grandkids were just dying that Grammie was going for this. Will yelled out at one point, “Grammie you look like a rock-star” and started to play his air guitar. Mom loved it. It was a great relief in the end to realize that she has a very cute shaped head. It actually ended up being a fun memory rather than such a sad one and I’m so glad that she wanted it to be this way.

After we cleaned up the mess, we headed out to a local wig and head cover store (still of course avoiding the “Wigwam” place from a few weeks ago). Mom walked right in, sat down and said she wanted to invest in some head coverings. She was willing to try anything on and wanted colors that would match with different clothing. We tried on turbans, hats and scarves mostly. She looked adorable in most things but knew right off if it was something that just would work. Sadly, the wide brimmed Kentucky Derby style hat I wanted her to buy did not win out. But she did fall in love with another sweet very functionable hat that looks super cute on her. So in the end, we walked away with kind of a sampling of everything. That way she can try different styles out and see what she feels the most comfortable in. We then went and had her wig styled and trimmed that we purchased a few weeks ago and then took her “wig” out to lunch. It ended up being such a fun day although we were absolutely exhausted in the end.

So about now, we know that everyone is curious as to what our Mom looks like without hair. First things first, she looks absolutely beautiful. When most of her grandkids were gathered on Sunday, no one seemed to be bothered or afraid--and this was such a relief to her. We took pictures along the way for family memories but with Mom's permission she has decided that she would let us post a few of them on her blog. So many of you are on this journey with her and she wants you to know that she is o.k. There were a few tender moments as to the reality of this whole thing, but she is doing fabulously--and you will see again, below, how she continues to teach through all of this. We love you, Mom! She goes in for her second treatment of Chemo tomorrow. Thank you everyone for all the letters of love and concern and care. It has meant the world.

The shaving begins...

Mom's Rockin' Mohawk

The complete--BEAUTIFUL buzz

How you will see our Mom the next several months. You look gorgeous, Mom!
We are SO proud of you.