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"!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Going Slightly Stir Crazy

Things have been a little rough this week. It took about 9 days to get over all the effects from this last chemo treatment--and I was really looking forward to getting up and out and enjoying the next 12 days before my 6th treatment. Unfortunately, I haven't gone anywhere (unless you count driving the car in my jammies to the end of the road and the valley schools for my kids) because I came down with either some type of cold/flu bug and/or an infection in my incision site--I'm not sure if it's one or both. I have been fevering, chilling and having body aches on and off since last Wednesday. I started an antibiotic on Thursday afternoon, and the redness and swelling on my incision has been slowly decreasing, but I've pretty much stayed at home and laid around all week long. This has been kind of a common occurence with each chemo treatment, and Dr. Prystas is not sure why it's occuring, but this has been by far the worst it's gotten. I am so hoping that I'll turn the corner today and have one good week to go before my next treatment--I am tired of being sick. I am very grateful for the lovely ladies who have brought meals in this week. They each brought fabulous "comfort" food--just what you want when you're not feeling well--and I especially needed it this week! I am also thankful for my darling friends, Sue, Jeni and Corrina. By yesterday, I had hit my low of the week--tired of being cooped up in the house, wanting to feel better and get out, but not feeling well enough to do so. They came over about 6:30 last night, dressed in their jammies, with dinner, treats and some "chick flicks" to watch together--I had a great time! I also received phone calls several times each day from my parents, siblings and cousin checking in on me and breaking the monotony of the day. I've been doing so well during my nearly "two weeks off" after each treatment, that this kind of threw me for a loop. I'm continually reminded that we have to have "opposition in all things"--if we don't experience sickness, then we can never fully appreciate how good it is to feel well and have our bodies function properly. We don't always appreciate the good days until we have some that aren't quite as good. Things had been going so well lately, that I was bound to have a little setback at some point--I'm sure there will be more to come. I am continually grateful for a testimony of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ and Their plan for me, and for the blessings of a wonderful family and friends. Love always, Kim

Thursday, January 13, 2011

5th Chemo Treatment Update

This will be short today--I'm still feeling the effects of the chemo tx on Monday, but want to share my good news. The CA-125 levels went from 282 down to 150 after the 4th treatment. It's not quite as large a jump as the past 3 treatments, but the numbers are getting lower and this was almost a 50% drop again. Mom and I asked Dr. Prystas about how many more treatments I might be receiving, and although she wouldn't commit to an actual number, it looks as if it will be more than the 6 originally planned and that's just a-okay with me. She said that as long as my numbers kept going down, and my body was handling the toxicity well (which it seems to be doing) then she would hate to stop too soon. Because my case is so unusual (with there being a tumor in the breast also) it's difficult for them to predict what's going to happen--plus the fact that everyone responds to treatment differently.
On Monday, I felt again an overwhelming sense of gratitude for Dr. Prystas and her staff--I have so much confidence in her and her abilities. We pray daily that she, and the other physicians treating me, will be guided and directed in the treatment they are providing for me, and I feel a sense of peace that all is going according to plan. What a blessing it is to have such good medical care! I think that because we are so used to having the advantages of good medical treatment, that we take it for granted and don't realize that miracles are performed daily by the good people in the medical field. I do believe that along with their hard work and diligence, our Heavenly Father inspires and blesses them with the knowledge to use the resources He has given us on this earth, and the knowledge of the human body which He has created, to heal our bodies and minds. My prayer is that all of His children could have the same advantages which I have in receiving these miracles. I guess that is part of the the work He has given us--to figure out how to share His blessings with all our brothers and sisters throughout the world. I hope that I can be an instrument in His hands in doing this. Love always, Kim

Friday, January 7, 2011

January Update

Just a quick note today--my brother, Paul, said that when too much time goes by without my posting, then some people get worried that I'm not doing very well. I am doing well--and looking forward to my 5th chemo treatment on Monday. Vern and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary yesterday. We went to a darling Bed & Breakfast in Logan last night, had a wonderful dinner, and then just relaxed and slept in while Kali came down to stay with the boys and get them off to school this morning. My Mom and Kali helped Vern pick out a mother's ring that he gave me last night with all my kid's birthstones--it is beautiful and just exactly what I would have chosen myself! Later this afternoon, we were able to go to the Ogden Temple with a group from our ward and perform sealings. This was the first time in over 4 months that we've been able to do this, and it was really special for me to be able to listen to those wonderful promises and remember that they apply to our marriage. I am especially grateful these past few months to be married to Vern--he has been so kind and good to me--this challenge has helped me to see him in a different light and has made our marriage stronger. I am thankful for Priesthood power, and the blessing of being sealed together as a family for eternity. Love always, Kim

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's a New Year

I've had a couple of people tell me this week that they wanted me to update the blog more regularly. My answer to them was that I wasn't sure what to write about--the only news was that I'm feeling pretty good and I'm happy! The side effects from the last chemo treatment weren't too awful. By Christmas Day, I was over the worst stuff and was able to really enjoy the day with my family. We spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with the Hansen's, and then spent the next day at home with just our family. Nana, Grandpa, and Uncle Matt and his friend, Stacie, visited for a little bit, but we all stayed in our jammies and just enjoyed our time with each other. I was just so happy to still be here this Christmas, and to feel well enough to enjoy it. I've started taking all the decorations down earlier than I normally do, but I've needed the help of the kids before they start back to school this Monday.

Waking up on the morning of this new year, the sun is shining and this valley is beautiful!! I've been reflecting on how much I love living here--it's not just about the beauties of nature that we enjoy so much. I really think the reason why I love it so much here is because of the beauty in the hearts of the people surrounding me. Twenty-three years ago, Vern was finishing up dental school and we were trying to figure out where we wanted to practice and live for the rest of our lives. Vern was kind of thinking somewhere in southern California or Nevada, where there was more of an opportunity to make a better living--Utah was (and still is!) full of dentists--there were better opportunities elsewhere. Having grown up being close to all four of my grandparents, and four of my great-grandparents, I was pretty adamant about trying to be as close to our families as possible. When the opportunity arose to purchase a practice in Huntsville, halfway between both of our families in S.L. and Brigham City, we jumped at it. I think this has been one of the very best decisions we've made in our married life! It was quite a struggle financially for about the first 7 years, but as I think especially about the last 3 1/2 months, I realize what a "tender mercy" it has been to live here. We are blessed to have close relationships with our parents and siblings, and the relationships we've developed with our friends and neighbors in this valley are a treasure. A friend remarked to me the other day how blessed I've been, because not many people in this life get to know and feel how very loved they are--too often these feelings and sentiments aren't expressed until an individual is gone. I have felt that love in abundance and do feel so blessed!

My next chemo treatment is scheduled for January 10th--this will be my fifth treatment. My body has been responding so well, and hopefully I will only have to have the six treatments originally planned. After that, they will have to do some imaging to determine how much the tumor in my breast has shrunk and if they can then do surgery to remove it. I think I am one of the few women who is hoping for, and looking forward to, a mastectomy. I'm not sure what this new year has in store for me and my family, but I do know that our Heavenly Father and the Savior continue to love us and are very aware of our needs--They constantly inspire the wonderful acts of love and service which we daily receive. Happy New Year to all!
Love always, Kim