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
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"!