Kim's journey

Kim was diagnosed last Thursday, September 16, 2010 with ovarian cancer. As Kim's Family, Friends, Neighbors and Fans - we have started this blog to help share information, updates, support, and love with each other during her next few months of surgery, treatment and healing. We will try to update it whenever we receive information. Please feel free to leave a comment expressing your support, love, and encouragement anytime - as that is how we will all grow and strengthen each other - especially Kim and her family. We love you Kim, and our faith, prayers, and total support and dedication are with you as you embark on this "Journey"!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Miracles

I just got a call from Dr. Prystas herself his morning with the good news that my CA-125 levels have gone from 641 to 282 after my third chemo treatment. The blood levels of the tumor marker are now less than one-tenth what they were when I began treatment. I am completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude for my loving Heavenly Father and Savior who are continually mindful of me and my family, and are blessing us and granting the deepest desires of our hearts. As I look forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior this week, I am so thankful to our Father in Heaven for the gift of His Son. My heart is full of gratitude to my Savior for His life, His obedience to the Father, and His perfect example for me. I am so grateful for His atonement. These past 3 months I have come to know on a little deeper level just a portion of what He suffered for me in the garden of Gesthemane and on the cross. How thankful I am that I have not had to do this alone--He has been with me always! How I wish that I could speak with the tongue of angels, and fully express my love and testimony for Him. I am also so very grateful for the faith and prayers of my family and friends. I know that He hears and answers prayers--we have been the witnesses of His miracles. Merry Christmas and all my love to you at this beautiful season!--Kim

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mid-December Update

I wish everyone could stop by my home and see the beautiful quilt up close--I'm grateful to Patti for posting the last message, but the picture just doesn't do it justice! Thank you, thank you to all you wonderful friends who took time out of your very busy schedules and made the quilt squares--every one of them is precious to me. I am also so thankful to Kelli, Patti, Michelle, Janae & Michelle for putting it all together. I was completely overwhelmed (actually I sobbed all day--it gave me a headache!) when it was presented to me. Love & hugs to each of you wonderful ladies!
Things are going well this week. I'm getting geared up to go in for my 4th chemo treatment on Friday. I've had quite a few people ask me what the chemo is like and how it affects me, so I'll try to explain how it's been for me the last 3 treatments. The side effects each time have been slightly different, with this last one being not quite as severe as the first two. For the first day and a half I just feel really "weird" in my brain & slightly nauseaus--no other way I can explain it--it's just weird! The nausea meds they give me in the IV seem to last for about 36 hours and then it really hits. At that point, I start taking some oral meds for it, but the nausea goes on and off for about 7-8 days. On the 2nd day, Shalin Bailey comes over and gives me a shot called "Neulasta". It stimulates my bone marrow to produce white & red blood cells to help protect me against infections. The shot doesn't hurt at all (Shalin's soooo good!), but for the next 2-3 days my bones ache. I quite frequently get migraines somewhere along the way with all this, but lucked out and didn't get any with my last treatment. Then usually around day 5 I begin to get some really nice stomach cramping & diarrhea (I debated about writing that--it's not very ladylike, but it's the gosh honest truth!) that last a couple of days and makes the nausea worse. All together it seems to be taking me about 7-8 days to start to feel halfway normal. After that, I start feeling better, but just get really tired during the day--by about 5:30pm I've pretty much had it.
Here's how we're coping with everything: Mom stays with us the week after I do chemo, and then I'm on my own for the next 2 weeks, and I try to do things as normally as possible. My cousin, Karen, has faithfully come each Monday to help do laundry, change bedding and generally tidy up the house after the weekend hurricane hits with the kids home, and run errands either for or with me. On Thursdays my friend, Sue, usually comes to help clean house, take me to run errands, & sometimes we get to sit around and watch British comedies and laugh. Each week Heidi is running errands for me, coming to give me foot massages, bringing healthy food to eat, mopping floors and doing whatever else needs to be done. And then, of course, the Relief Society and friends are bringing delicious meals in three times a week for us. On the weeks my Mom isn't here, I still try and do alot of my housework myself, not because I feel I have to, but because I actually like doing it (I know--weird!) and it helps me feel as if I'm somewhat normal and have some control over my life. Sometimes I feel funny when someone has brought a meal in the night before to us, and then I run into them the next day down at Costco. I'm sure it's my imagination, but I think they may be wondering why they brought dinner in when I'm feeling well enough to be out shopping. I am soooo thankful for all the help I'm receiving--it's because of my family & friends helping me with housework and dinners that I am able to have the strength and energy left to spend time with my husband & children and recover from the effects of my surgery & chemo. The help I'm receiving also allows me to spend time each day reading the scriptures, Conference talks and other good books that are nourishing me spiritually and helping me to cope with all that is happening.
My heart is overflowing with gratitude each and every day for all the wonderful disciples of Christ who are helping to carry my burdens "that they may be light". They truly are lighter because of your service, faith and prayers--thank you. Love always, Kim

Monday, December 6, 2010

Labor of Love

On Sunday we were able to present this quilt to Kim as a "Labor of Love" from her friends and neighbors in the Middlefork area.  The idea came about a few months ago as there were so many who wanted to help and we decided this would be a way that we could show our love and support for Kim during this time.  Material was chosen and squares were given out for the ladies to pick a thought or design that they thought would brighten Kim's day or make a connection of something that they shared in common with Kim.  We think the best part was that it was a complete surprise to Kim - and most of all she loves it. 
We want to especially thank:
Kelli Child for organizing, choosing the material and piecing the quilt
Michelle Bassett for making speciality blocks, and piecing the quilt 
JaNae Tanner for her experise in quilting the quilt
Michelle Tawzer for binding the quilt, and
Thanks again to ALL the women that made this come together so beautifully - it will bring
many hours of joy and love to Kim and her family!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update from Fern

Hallelujah...Dr. Prystas' office this afternoon and gave Kim the report on the CA125. We are soooo excited. It went from 1806 to 641 after the SECOND chemo treatment. Kim was hoping for at least 1/2 which would take it to 950 and hearing it went down 2/3 was so exciting. It's been an emotional afternoon. We know that your prayers are working in her behalf. Blessings have been poured in abundance. Thanks from me to all of you. I love you all. Fern

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29

I just got back a couple of hours ago from my 3rd chemo treatment and I'm not feeling quite as nauseous & "weird-brained" as I usually do immediately afterwards. Mom came yesterday before the roads got too bad with the snowstorm, and we headed down to S.L. this morning early. I woke up Sunday morning with a bit of a head cold, and was concerned about whether they were going to be able to actually do the chemo today, but the nurse, Kathy, said that by the time my white blood counts were real low, I'd probably be over my cold--so we went ahead and did it. I was also a little worried because I've had alot of abdominal pain and tenderness near the incision site since last Tuesday. Dr. Prystas did a thorough exam, and feels that I might have an infection going on in the tissue around the incision site and she's given me some antibiotics to try and clear it up. If I'm still having problems by Thursday, then we'll go in an have an ultrasound to figure out what's wrong--I think the antibiotics are going to take care of it.
Before today, I had a pretty good week and a half--the Christmas decorations are up (thanks to Vern and the kids) and most of my shopping is done (thanks to, so we are on our way to being able to enjoy the next month (except for the two weeks I'll be doing chemo!) We started playing the Christmas CD's and Jarett informed us that he's sick of Christmas music already because he's been practicing the last few weeks for Weber High's production of "White Christmas", so we have to listen to it on the sly when he's not in the room or at home. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Vern's cousin's house and then spent Saturday afternoon with my family decorating gingerbread houses and celebrating my Dad's 71st birthday. If my stomach hadn't been so tender it would have been a perfect week.
Dinner was just brought in again tonight, and we are so grateful for the meals we have received. Even when I've got strength to get up and about, I often don't have the appetite to eat, so it's difficult for me to try and make something to feed my family. Thank you, thank you to all who have brought in meals--we have been nourished both physically and spiritually by your kind service. In closing, I ran across this scripture that I feel really applies to me right now: "Whosever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions..." (Alma 36:3) We are doing our best to trust in God, and know that we are definitely being supported and sustained at this time by Him through all of you. Love always, Kim

Monday, November 22, 2010

Much to be Thankful For

Here's the update for the last week--I began to get my appetite back last Thursday, and have been working on "stocking up" calorie-wise for the next round of chemo on the 29th. As Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, I am very grateful that I'll be able to eat without feeling sick. I was also able to go see the new Harry Potter movie with the kids, Nana and some cousins--my first movie theatre experience in over 3 months-yahoo! I've also been able to do about 3 hours of Christmas shopping in the stores, but it's pretty exhausting so I think the rest of it will be done online. Kali comes home on Wednesday and we are going to spend the rest of the week getting the house decorated for Christmas. It will be good to have all the kids home together for a few days--I'm looking forward to it.

I've had a couple of people this last week ask me what the Dr.'s prognosis is for my treatment and I wasn't exactly sure what to say. I figured some others may be wondering, so here's what I'll tell you--none of the Dr.'s I've seen have really given me a prognosis. Cancer and cancer treatment is difficult to predict because there are so many variables. I was told by two of the Dr.'s that even though they have to "stage" the various cancers, they really hate doing it because the "stage" a particular cancer is at isn't really a predictor for how well that patient will ultimately do. There are Stage 3 and 4 ovarian cancer patients that respond very well to treatment, and then there are Stage 1 and 2 patients who don't respond well at all. Soooo...if you want to know, I have every hope that my body will respond well and that I will be here for many years to come. I'm not exactly sure what happens after I finish chemo--there may be some radiation treatment or not--I think it very likely that I'll have a mastectomy in the future, but I don't know when. It's a possibility that even after chemo the cancer may return and there may be a need for further surgery and/or chemo (I'll try not to get too attached to my hair when it comes in!) There is alot about this all that I don't know about. And for those of you who know me well, you know that I don't do very well flying by the seat of my pants--I'm a girl who usually has a plan. Not knowing what the plan is right now can kind of drive me crazy, but I am learning to trust in our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness and salvation. I am especially thankful at this season to know that His plan for us exists, and that we are His children and He loves us. I am grateful for my Savior and His Atonement. He, too, knows and understands me perfectly and has been with me every step of the way. I am so very grateful for my immediate family and extended family, and to know that we are not sent here on earth to work through everything alone--my family is everything to me, and I am thankful for the blessings the gospel provides that enable us to be together in the eternities. I thank you all for your love, prayers and for following the example of the Savior in providing such meaningful service to me and my family. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and know that I am especially thankful for you this year!--Love always, Kim

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 16

This is my first real day completely on my own--it's 11 am, I'm home alone, and I'm still in my jammies. I'm making a new rule for myself--only 1 week in jammies and then I have to put some real clothes on! The second chemo tx went pretty well--some of the side effects were the same as last time, but I think it was definitely easier to go in with more strength and health. Today I'm feeling a little more tired, but half-way normal. Mom is home for the next 2 weeks and will just be coming up to help as I need her. I've spent some time paying medical bills this last month and feel so grateful for the blessing of good medical insurance. I've been wondering how people without insurance handle all this--do they have to forgo needed treatments and medications? It makes me feel sad to think about it.
Dr. Prystas' office called yesterday to give me the good news that my CA-125 levels (CA-125 is a protein that is a type of tumor marker for cancer, especially ovarian cancer) dropped from 3255 to 1806 after my first chemo treatment. Each time I go in for chemo, they draw blood and check several things, this CA-125 being one of them. They will be monitoring this throughout my chemo treatments and afterwards. The nurses were really excited about the results of this test, as they show that the first chemo treatment was very effective in reducing the cancer cells. I felt so much better the third week after treatment, but it's really nice to see that the test results also show this improvement.
We have so been enjoying the lovely meals that are being brought in each week, but more than anything I enjoy the visits of such dear people--thank you, thank you for continuing to keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I could not do this without the continual love and support I am receiving from you and our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am feeling especially grateful for Vern this week--he carries alot of heavy burdens and seems to do so effortlessly. He is doing such a good job at keeping things "as normal as possible" for the kids and myself--how blessed I was to meet and fall in love with him 25 years ago!--Love always, Kim

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2nd Chemo Treatment

I'll try not to make this a lengthly epistle again--I probably shouldn't be writing at all since I am really feeling the effects of "chemo brain" at the moment. My chemo treatment was postponed from Monday to Tuesday since Dr. Prystas had to show up for jury duty that day. Mom came up Sunday night and is back to taking care of all of us. Dad is doing really well this week, and I am so grateful to him for making it so easy for her to come here and help--he not only lets her take care of us all--he genuinely wants her to be here and wishes he could be here too. What a blessing to have such great family! Julie came and brought lunch during my treatment yesterday, and the three of us visited while the chemicals were being pumped into me. My health has improved so much in the last 3 weeks, so we are very hopeful that the side effects from this one won't be as bad as before. It's difficult to describe what all the chemicals make you feel like. It's not terribly awful--but I don't feel great. I am amazed when I hear of these people who have a treatment and then go right back to work afterwards--wow! I just feel really out of it. I was glad Mom was driving home yesteday--I think I could have driven myself, but I don't think any of you would have wanted to be on the road with me! Anyway, physically I am getting along okay, and mentally/emotionally things are feeling better too. I've loved being able to get out and about a bit more this last week and seeing all my family, friends and valley neighbors has really lifted my spirits. There isn't a day goes by that I don't get a note, blog message, phone call, visit or other thoughtful act of service and that just makes my day! I know that "angels (are) round about (me) to bear me up." (D&C 84:88) I am so thankful for such good people in my life--how can anyone go through such a thing without such love & support? I am grateful that I've not had to experience that. Love always, Kim

Friday, November 5, 2010

I look like a Marine!

I've had a very good week--gaining strength and stamina and the eating is getting easier. The hair began falling out on Wednesday and my scalp became very tender. I tried styling my hair today after showering, but I couldn't do anything with it and the blow dryer kept blowing hair all over my bathroom. Everywhere I went I was shedding hair--yuck! My friend, Margaret, came to help me by mopping the bathroom floors and vacuuming and I couldn't stand the thought of having my floors all cleaned just to have to turn around tomorrow and have hair all over them again. So, when she was done working, we headed to town to the wig place to have Melanie shave the rest of it off. I cried a little bit while it was being shaved, but it's over and done. My head is all stubbly now and I look like a Marine, but at least I'll be able to eat without finding hair in my food. All the boys in my family tell me the wig looks great--but what else are they going to say at this point? I am wondering what it's going to be like when it all comes growing back in. Unfortunately, I think there will be alot of gray, but I'm hoping that at least it will come back in thick and curly instead of thin and straight. The chemo has done plenty of other things to my body--I think it ought to be able to at least do that for me too!
Heavenly Father has been more than merciful with me this week--I have felt pretty good and have been kept busy with good things all week long. My Dad is on the mend, and if all goes well, he will continue healing and Mom will be back with us when I have my next chemo treatment on Monday. I go to bed each night exhausted and thankful for the day and the many blessings I have been given--I have more than I deserve.--Love always, Kim

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gaining Strength

The last 5 days have been really good for me. The eating is coming along more easily now, and although I'm not often very hungry, food is actually starting to taste good to me when I eat. I've been moving around alot more and doing a few light household chores and it has felt wonderful! What used to feel like drudgery now makes me feel so good. I will try very hard to never complain about cleaning my house--I feel so grateful to be able to do a little bit of it! My cousin, Karen, came yesterday to help with laundry and then she took me downtown to go to Deseret Book, Debra Lyn's and then lunch at Rainbow Gardens. We were gone about 2 hours all in all, and I was so worn out that I actually slept for an entire 5 hour stretch last night before waking up--yahoo! Usually I can only sleep in 2-3 hours stretches before waking up--it felt so good!
Today, Heidi came and got me to go to the Ogden Temple--I haven't been for 6 weeks and I've missed it so much. I really needed to be there this week before starting another round of chemo. There is great peace and power that comes home with me after I've attended the temple, and I am so thankful that they are not going to start remodeling until after I've finished my chemo treatments--another "tender mercy" for me. On the way home, we stopped off at the Valley Market to get a few items and I so enjoyed seeing Terry, Gary and Teresa there. I've missed those folks there and so appreciate all the help they've given our family these last few weeks--what an asset they are to our little valley! I am feeling so grateful for the blessing of health and strength this week and the opportunity to do many of the "little" daily things that we so often take for granted. I'm especially grateful for the blessing of being able to see a few more of my dear friends. I want to give a big hug & kiss to every person I see, but am trying to be careful with my weakened immune system. It's important to me to stay on schedule with my chemo treatments, and I don't want to be catching any "bugs" that might be lurking around so please accept my "air hugs" and know that I can't wait until this is all over so I can give some real ones! The hair is still there, but I wake up every morning wondering if I have any left on my head--it is starting to thin a bit--we'll see what the rest of the week brings.
My Dad ended up in the hospital yesterday with pneumonia, but the Dr.'s were able to get right on it and he is expected to be able to return home this evening. We are so thankful for the miracles of medicine. There is so much talk about the healthcare problems in this country, but we have been the recipients of such good care and feel so grateful that we live in the United States.
I am feeling so blessed and hopeful this week--it's much easier to feel that way when the body is cooperating and I am feeling physically well. I keep reminding myself that I'm just at the beginning of this, and I know there are still difficult days to come--I pray that I will be able to hold on to these good feelings and memories when things get tough again. I ran across a quote in my reading that I love: "We do not experience trials just to see if we will make it through. Each of us experiences the refiner's fire for one reason--to come to know the Refiner." (Emily Freeman) I'm so grateful for my Savior's love and know that He has been with me through all of this. I hope that I won't waste any of this opportunity to come to truly know Him. Every day in our prayers we thank our Heavenly Father for the love and support you are all giving us--we feel it and it is helping to sustain us. Love always, Kim

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Update

Just a quick update--It's Friday evening and all is well. My mom went home on Wednesday morning, for what was supposed to be a week's break--it lasted for less than 24 hours. I woke up yesterday morning at 2 am with a fever, chills and body aches. I was so miserable that I called her at 8:30am bawling for her to come back. Seems I just happened to pick up some "bug" floating around, and fortunately, it seems to be the 24-hour kind. I'd just started taking a pretty strong antibiotic for something else on Wednesday, so that was just getting into my system and I've been doing well all day today. Mom went back home yesterday and took Braedon & Hunter to my sister's last night for a sleepover, so it's been fairly quiet around here today. Today I've felt halfway normal. I even washed a few (maybe 8!) dishes and actually walked out to my mailbox today and back--Wow! Now I'm really moving! The progress has seemed very slow to me--it's felt like 2 steps forward and 1 back--but today I've actually felt that I've made some progress. I'm looking forward to having one more week before my next chemo to gain more strength and get up and about a bit more. I ran across a quote in a book Wednesday that I've been pondering on. As members of the LDS Church, most of us are familiar with the saying, "Where much is given, much is required." But the quote I found says, "Where much is required, much is given." This has certainly resonated with me, as I've had a few "pity" parties the last month, and I've been unhappy with what has been "required" of me. But I cannot deny that though much has been required, much has been given to me and my family. Our Heavenly Father & Savior have certainly blessed our lives--especially these last few weeks. I ask myself frequently if I am learning what I'm supposed to be learning from this whole experience. I certainly hope that I will be more sensitive to the needs of others in the future. I think unless you've been in a similar situation, you cannot understand how each and every small thought and gesture of kindness, along with prayer, helps lift the spirits of those that are suffering. I love you all and so appreciate your prayers and compassion.--Love always, Kim

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Turning the Corner

Thank you so much for your prayers. I've spent the afternoon pondering again the hand of the Lord in my life. When things aren't going very well, it's difficult to see His blessings, but as prayers are answered and I begin to see progress and feel hope again, His hand is so evident that I wonder how I could ever have missed it!
I'm thinking I may have turned a corner this week--I've had two pretty good days in a row. The nausea has begun to wane and it's getting a little easier to eat--not easy yet, just easier. Today was the first time I've weighed myself that I didn't lose any weight overnight--hooray! For the first time in over 30 years, I'm trying to gain weight instead of lose it. Over the years, I've run into people who struggle to maintain weight or gain it, and I've thought to myself, "Oh, boo hoo--that's a problem I'd like to have for two weeks!" Now I have a greater appreciation for how difficult it is for them. Thank you again for your specific prayers on my behalf--I feel them being answered each day.
Today I actually put 'real' clothes on and went somewhere in the car--and it wasn't the Dr.'s office or hospital! Mom and I went downtown for about 2 1/2 hours to run a couple of errands and find me a wig. There's a little place called Robert's Wigs and the owner, Melanie, was just the best! Of course, I ended up getting the first wig she tried on me--I think she's got pretty good instincts. I put it on when Braedon and Hunter got home, and Braedon thought I'd got a haircut and dyed my hair--until he realized that the wig was actually longer than the hair I presently have! Anyway, it's kind of cute and I guess I may be needing it in about a week.
I love you all, and so appreciate the many cards, messages and acts of Christlike service--we have certainly been given much more than we have ever given. Love always, Kim

Friday, October 22, 2010

Prayers Answered

I am so grateful for the many prayers offered on my behalf this week--especially those asking for the chemo to work quickly on the fluids in my lungs so that I might not have to go back on oxygen. I know that our Father in Heaven is merciful, kind and quick to answer the prayers of the faithful. I feel as if I have been part of a miracle this week, as I have not had oxygen since I left the hospital on Monday. The rest of the chemo side effects are difficult to describe. It's not been horrifically awful, but this week has also not been easy, and if I had been unable to breathe everything would have been so much more difficult. Thank you for your faith and prayers on my behalf. Mom says she sees me getting a little stronger each day. It's hard for me to see that yet--I still feel that each day is a little bit of a roller coaster. I took a ride with Mom over to the Valley Market yesterday and had a couple of friends come out to the car to say "hello". It was wonderful to be out and see my friends. I can hardly wait until I'm able to get out and about more--hopefully, next week! Once we got home, though, I was so tired and nauseated and a little frustrated with my progress--I spent most of the rest of the day in bed. Each day seems to bring new challenges and blessings. I am so grateful for the blessings, and need to remember that they are coming because of the challenges--I know there must be "opposition in all things". I am so grateful for the Atonement of my Savior, and His kindness in blessing me through each of you--your thoughts, prayers, messages and acts of Christlike service. At the risk of being greedy, as you pray, would you specifically ask Heavenly Father to bless me that my appetite may return and that I would be able to eat more easily? This has been one of the most bizarre side effects of my surgery and chemo. Those of you who know me well, know how much I love to eat and this is becoming a very large challenge. I have lost 18 lbs. since I left the hospital (a large part of this has been fluid retention), but I cannot afford to lose any more weight if I am going to continue with chemo over the next 4 1/2 months. I love you and am grateful for the blessings being bestowed on me and my family.--Kim

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Each Day a Little Stronger

In talking with Kim this morning - she is so grateful for each of you and your prayers in her behalf.  She has been blessed since her chemo on Monday so that her breathing has been better and she has not had to have her oxygen at all this week.  She says that it is hard to describe exactly how the treatment has made her feel - but she said she is getting a little stronger each day. 
Knowing Kim as we do - we know that it is a little strange for her not to have an appetite - but her sweet mother, Fern, keeps the small meals and snacks close by for frequent nourishment.  Kim did say - that in the middle of the night - she was craving an egg salad sandwich - so that was on the menu today for sure.
Kim was even planning a little outing today - just to get out of the house.  Maybe just a trip around the Valley. 
Thanks to each of you for your support, and your loving comments on the blog.  Kim finds comfort and strength from all of the thoughtful notes of encouragement.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Faith and Prayers

Kim called on her way home from her first treatment.  She said everything went well with the chemotherapy.  While there she was struggling with her breathing and so they sent her to the hospital to be checked out.  They decided to draw fluid out of the left side of her chest cavity.  They took out 1350 cc's of fluid.  Normally they do not draw fluid from both sides at the same time - because there is a chance that the lungs can collapse, but after getting the doctors opinion - they decided to draw fluid out of the other side where she had previously drained just last Friday night - and they took out another 1000 cc's from that side. 
The doctor said that it could take up to a couple of weeks for the chemo to begin to help decrease the fluids. 

So tonight there is something that Kim has requested that we can all help with - and that is to exercise our faith and specific prayers in her behalf to ask that her body will begin to respond quickly to the treatments and that these fluids will cease and she will be able to be strengthened and calmed through our united faith and prayers.

1st Chemotherapy Treatment Today!

Today at 1:00 p.m. Kim began her first treatment of chemotherapy.  The fluid in her chest cavity seemed to be increasing again - making it harder to breath and so Sunday - early morning Kim returned to wearing her oxygen to make life a little easier.  With all of this happening her Oncologist thought that starting the Chemo would help begin diminishing the production of these fluids and so they decided to begin today instead of tomorrow.  Her treatments will be about every three weeks with a total of six treatments - lasting through February.  She will travel to Salt Lake to have them and each treatment takes three to four hours.
Hunter even loaded the conference talks on his mom's i-pod so she would have them to listen to during her treatments! 
Kim was able to sneek into Sacrament meeting yesterday just for a short while - and felt it a great blessing in her life to be there and feel the love and spirit of the ward.
I marvel at her strength, gratitude, and faith - as she faces this new step of her journey.  It remains to be seen - just exactly all the side-affects of the treatments - but we are praying that she can feel of our love and support for her and her amazing family every step of the way!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Roller Coaster Week

It has been quite a week--lots of ups and downs. One day I'm feeling like maybe I'm progressing a bit, the next I'm struggling. Wednesday we met with Dr. Elizabeth Prystas, the medical oncologist who will be handling all the chemo. Her office is near LDS Hospital and she was my sister's oncologist during her treatment for breast cancer. I just love Dr. Prystas and her staff! They are wonderful and I feel as if I will be in very capable and compassionate hands with them. They are still not sure whether we are dealing with just ovarian cancer that's spread or a separate breast & ovarian cancer, so the chemotherapy regimen she is recommending should address both issues. She expects a favorable outcome and reminded me that treating cancer isn't a science as much as it is an art form--they may change things a bit as they go along. She is recommending 6 treatments-once every 3 weeks and I tentatively scheduled to have my first treatment next Tuesday, October 19th if I am feeling well enough to begin. Later on Wednesday we visited with Dr. Leslie Ingersoll in Ogden, a radiation oncologist--she also treated me wonderfully. She isn't recommending any radiation at this point--we are going to wait and see how well the chemo works and use the radiation if and when we need it. Thursday found us back to Salt Lake to see the surgeon, Dr. Webb, and he gave a very favorable report on my healing. He is in agreement with Dr. Prystas' recommendations and has turned me over to her care. I feel so blessed to be able to work with such great physicians--they are all so different, and although they do this stuff day in and day out, they've all been so understanding in recognizing that this is all new and crazy/scary for me. As the nurse, Kathy, told me: "This isn't my first rodeo, but it is yours. We'll get you through this one day at a time!"
After the appointment on Thursday, I came to Mom and Dad's for a couple of days so Mom could do some bookwork at home and Vern and the boys could enjoy the UEA weekend without us. I've been on oxygen at night and part-time during the day since I visited the ER at McKay-Dee a week ago. If I did anything strenuous (ie.-move from my bed to the recliner!) I would be so out of breath that it would take nearly 5 minutes to catch my breath. Thursday night was awful!! I didn't sleep all night because I was struggling for breath all night even on the oxygen. I was so frustrated yesterday morning, thinking there was no way I was ever going to get well enough to start chemo! Finally I called Dr. Prystas' office yesterday afternoon and they had Mom run me up to LDS hospital in the afternoon to do an ultrasound and a "tap" of my right chest cavity. They removed 1900cc of fluid from just my right chest cavity (apparently there is quite a bit in my left one too, but they'll only do one side at a time)--that is just under 2 liters of fluid! I can't believe the difference it has made in my breathing and energy level! Wow! I've been told that once the chemo is started it will begin to take care of all these fluids that have been building up in my abdomen and chest--I'm beginning to wonder if I might be one of the few people who actually feels better after chemo than before--let's hope so! Looking back, it has been quite a week--full of many ups and downs. I am so grateful for the many prayers that have been offered on my behalf and the many acts of service our family has received. I feel as if I am being ministered to my angels each and every day. During the tough times, it's difficult to see things that way, but as my prayers have been heard and answered, I can see the "tender mercies" of the Lord in my life. I am so grateful for the "miracle" of modern medicine--these are wonderful doctors & researchers, but I do acknowledge the hand of our Heavenly Father in granting them His knowledge to bless and heal us. I truly feel blessed to live at such a time as this! Thank you for your love, support and prayers--they have truly sustained me. Love always, Kim

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kim is Amazing

I stopped by this morning for a quick visit with Kim and her sweet mom Fern!  I went there with the hope of brightening their day and sharing with them the love and support of the sisters in our ward, but as always the opposite happened and I came away feeling uplifted and blessed to be able to know and associate with these amazing women. Last Friday Kim felt a little anxious about not being able to breath easily and she headed to the hospital to just be checked.  While there she was taken care of by a very caring staff of doctors and nurses - a couple of which Kim new well from the Valley.  She is very grateful for the tender and attentive care that she received amidst a very "crazy" night in the Emergency Room.
They did send her home with oxygen and she is using that periodically throughout the day and night to ease her breathing.  The team of doctors met today to plan and chart her upcoming treatments.
Her mother, Fern is there and this morning fixed Kim crepes and she was able to eat a few of those.  Kim's color was great, she told me she is noticably stronger each day.  She has a few doctor appointments this week on Wednesday and Thursday, and is hoping for good reports about her healing.
Vern and Kim and their family appreciate so much all of the many caring ways that you are showing love for their family.  She is missing and craving her regular social schedule - but realizes that for now your prayers, cards, and blog posts are what she needs most - as getting her strength back is the most important thing - so that they can begin Chemotherapy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

First Follow-Up

I realize that I haven't been in communication much, and am so grateful to Patti and Heidi for updating this blog. This past week has been a tough one--physically and emotionally I am just spent and it takes every bit of energy to breath, eat, sleep and shower once a day. I'll even admit that I haven't flossed every day--just a few times! I have been reading the messages and cards that have been sent, and feel so overwhelmed by the love and support our family is receiving. The flowers, gifts, meals, rides for kids, housekeeping help and errands run have meant so much to us--I wish I could send a thank you note and hug personally to everyone. Please know of my love and gratitude for all you have done and are doing--you are truly serving as the Lord's hands in our lives. I am also so grateful to Vern who willingly goes to work each day and carries such a heavy load; and all my extended family--especially my angel mother. She says that she's doing what any mother would do for a child, but my sister and I know better.
I went to see Dr. Webb today to have the staples removed and things are progressing along slowly, but steadily. My body is still bloated with loads of fluids, which makes it difficult to move much and breath, but we are working on getting those drained off. The pathology reports appear to show that it is ovarian cancer in both the abdomen and the breast. The cells appear very similar in both places, and although they can't completely rule it out, Dr. Webb said it would be just "weird" if it was two separate cancers. I told him there were quite a few people who would probably agree that I was slighly "weird", but he assured me that everyone thinks they're different from everyone else! Anyway, the good news is that ovarian cancer typically responds better to chemotherapy than breast cancer does, so we are hopeful that they can find a "chemo cocktail" that is going to be just perfect at eradicating this! I get to be one of the topics of the day again next Monday among the cancer specialists in SLC and then we'll hopefully get a game plan going. Because of the extent of the surgery, we've been led to believe it will still be a few weeks before I'll be ready for that.
I am really missing all my friends and family, and I don't mean to "shoo" people away from calling or visiting, but I am still so weak and it's difficult for me to talk and visit much. I have a long road ahead of me, and will certainly need the calls and visits in the future. Thank you for your prayers--I still need them so much and they have been what has sustained me these past couple of weeks. Love always, Kim

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This afternoon around 3:00 p.m. Kim was released from the hospital and has returned home to her family.  The past six days have been filled with challenges and blessings.  Her goals now include getting an appetite back, resting, and building her strength and keeping healthy so that she can be ready for radiation and chemotherapy.  Her mother, Fern, is there and has assured us that at least for now she has the wash and house cleaning under control.  Meals are planned and scheduled to go in every other night, so if you are on our list and have not been called yet, you will be receiving a call and will have the chance to help with that.  There are also ladies helping with carpools for the kids at night - and Vern is keeping us posted on anything else that we can help with. 
For now - the family is asking that there be no visitors or phone calls.  Our efforts can still be put towards our thoughts, prayers, cards written, or comments on the blog to cheer and brighten Kim's days ahead.
Vern and Kim are so grateful for everyone and want to thank each of you for all that you are doing in behalf of their family - they feel loved and appreciate each of you!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Conference Saturday

Kim was up and walking the hall with Vern this morning! You know Kim, when given a task she's going to achieve it. Gaining strength, an appetite, and control of pain are the three things Kim is focusing on to be able to come home. Yesterday Kim experienced a small setback, but after having the fluid drained from her upper torso, she's bounced back and is looking forward to enjoying Conference today with Vern, Kali, and her mother, Fern. Last night she was also able to see Hunter and Braedon for a bit. Vern brought in a laptop and Kim read the blog entries and was strengthened through your love and support as well. Kim is still not ready for visitors but sends her love and appreciation for your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Getting Some Rest

Kim was able to get some much needed rest last night - even amidst the many nurses coming and going from her room.  It is reported that she will be up today and doing a little walking to start to get her strength back.  The results of the tests from the Pathology department are still a few days out.  These will determine the course that will be taken as far as treatment, whether the breast cancer and ovarian cancer's are the same type, and if another surgery will be scheduled at this time.
The immediate family is still requesting that there be no visitors, but they are so very grateful for everyone's prayers and thoughts - they know they are loved - and it is what's getting them through this time of recovery and healing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today's Update

Kim's mother, Fern Cloward, called this morning and said that Vern and Kim wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and support - as it made yesterday so much easier.  They felt strength from each of you during the long hours of surgery.  Kim spent a bit of a ruff night as she was not able to get settled or really get much sleep.  Kim's mother asked that we as friends, extended family, and all around fans - please not come to visit for the next couple of days - thus allowing Kim to get some much needed rest.  We love you Kim - and you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Surgery Day

It has been a big day.  The surgery began early this morning and was finished up around noon.  Kim is now resting in her room.  The surgery - which was on her ovarian cancer - went well.  There are still several unknowns.  The Doctors are going to be running tests on the cancer that was removed and it is still to be determined when and if she will need another operation.  For now - we are grateful that everything went so well today - and that Kim is doing well and is looking ahead now to chemo therapy and getting stronger!  She wants to thank each of you as she has felt of your love and prayers for her today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Surgery Tomorrow

It has seemed like a long time coming - but tomorrow is Kim's surgery!  Kim received a call this afternoon from the hospital and she is to be there by 5:30 a.m. tomorrow so that they can get her surgery underway!  We know that it will be a long day for all involved. . . .remember that we are praying for you, your family, and the doctors - that all will go well.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Update

Yesterday Kim received news from the results of the biobsy of her breast.  The tests determined that Kim also has breast cancer.  The doctors are not sure at this point whether it is the ovarian cancer that has spread to the breast - or breast cancer that has spread to her ovaries - or two completely different cancers.  Her doctor, Dr. Webb is meeting with a team of specialists on Monday to discuss and chart a course to take for the surgery.  As for now the surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, September 29th at the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Your prayers, love, and thoughts are what is keeping Kim strong, please keep them coming.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Many Thanks!

I am so completely overwhelmed by the love and support of so many people. As difficult as this time has been, I am truly feeling the love of my Heavenly Father with each and every new experience. I have to give extra hugs and kisses to Patti and Heidi--I think they might be even more exhausted from all of this than I am! Kelli Child was so dear to set this up--if you know me, you know there's no way on earth I could ever figure out this blog stuff on my own! Thank you, Kelli! I kind of hit a "speed bump" yesterday, but fortunately Vern and my mom were right there to pick me up and get me going again. Mom is here with me, and so of course, everything is fine as long as Mom is here. Her celestial crown is going to be so loaded with jewels she won't be able to even hold her head up! I had several earthly angels minister to me today--Julie, Corie and Dr. Green down at the Breast Care Center at Intermountain Medical Center. They really rolled out the red carpet for me! I could not have asked for more sensitive, kind and caring individuals to work with me today. They biopsied 5 areas in the breast & lymph nodes today and Dr. Webb should have the results by Friday for sure, and possibly by Thursday. Hopefully, this will be nothing of concern and we can try to proceed for surgery next week--Dr. Webb is working really hard to get me on the schedule earlier. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers! A dear friend gave me a card this week that said, "The task ahead of us is never as great as the 'power' behind us!" How true that is--I am certainly feeling His power and the power of your positive thoughts and prayers! Thank you so much!

Good, Good News!!

Kim's Mom - Fern Cloward left a message this morning that the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake just called and said that they could do the biopsy today - at 11:00 a.m. - so they are on their way to have that done!

Meeting the Cancer Specialist

Monday, September 21 - Kim had her first meeting with the doctor in Salt Lake City.  He had been sent all of her information from previous tests taken the last couple of weeks by the doctors here in Ogden.  Kim had developed a lump in her breast about 10 days ago and so the doctor decided that he wanted to get a biopsy of that first and determine what was going on there before he did surgery - so that they could take care of everything all at once.  As of last night Kim had gotten a hold of the Intermountain Medical Center - they will hopefully take a biopsy in the next couple of days and then if all goes well - the doctor will try to operate at the earliest next Tuesday, or at the latest on October 5th.  All of this was not exactly what Kim had in mind - as she was hoping for surgery sooner - but in true Kim style - she is going ahead and trusting that everything will fall into place and the doctor will be able to operate as soon as possible.