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"!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just Enjoying the Wait

Once again, the other day I spoke with someone who told me they wished I would post more often on the blog--and I honestly don't know what to write most days. Right now my life is incredibly boring. I am back to cooking for my family, cleaning my house & doing laundry, trying to grow hair and eyelashes, organizing photos and closets, and driving kids to and from activities. Can I say that I am absolutely loving life right now?
Vern and I met with the surgeon again today to find out a little bit more detail about the surgery next week. I've had a weird ache in my left arm for the past couple of weeks, and they're going to scan it on Wednesday, just to put my mind at ease; but honestly, I ache everywhere most days. I am trying to stay active because if I sit or lay for too long I'm like an 80- year old trying to get moving again. I am getting a little anxious about the surgery, but have been assured that it probably won't be as bad as my last one was. I am just trying to enjoy every day that I feel good and am able to be somewhat "normal" again (although I'm not sure if I've ever been completely normal!).
I was quite emotional all day yesterday--I don't know why I bothered putting any make-up on my 17 eyelashes because I had it all cried off within an hour. It was just that Easter day was a wonderful opportunity for me to read about and ponder on the priceless gift of the Atonement and Resurrection of the Savior. This Easter was more meaningful for me than I can remember. I'm sure it's because of all that my family and I have experienced these past 7 months. I have been so thankful that I have not had to suffer through this alone. I know that my Savior knows exactly what I am going through, and how best to comfort and help me, because He went through it--and so much more--in the garden of Gethsemane. The love that He has for me is at times almost incomprehensible, but I know that it is real. I am thankful also for His Resurrection. It gives me hope during my darkest hours that this life is not all there is--that our relationships are eternal, and our bodies will one day be gloriously reunited with our spirits. I know that none of this would be possible without His love & His perfect sacrifice--I would be utterly & completely lost without Him.
I wish I were more articulate and could better express my thoughts, love & gratitude to all who have fasted and prayed for me, and have given service to my family and me. Please know how grateful I am for you, how much I love you, and that I know our Heavenly Father sees all these wonderful things and will bless you for them.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back Home

We got home from our trip Tuesday morning around 2am, and I've been trying all week to catch up. It was a fabulous trip! We took the red-eye to Orlando on April 1st and then met up with Vern's sister, Rosie, and her family later that afternoon. My sister, Julie, and her family arrived in the early morning hours on Sunday. There were 20 of us altogether--with 13 kids--and we rented a house for the first 6 nights of our trip. We spent each day either playing in Universal Studios or the Wet'nWild water park. The weather was around 90 degrees each day, and the parks were crowded, but we had a great time! The majority of us were most excited to spend time in "Harry Potter World" at Universal Studios, and we spent quite alot of time there wandering the street & shops, drinking butterbeer and riding the rides. If you're a Harry Potter fan, you'll feel like you've just been transported to Hogsmeade & Hogwarts--Jarett & Braedon especially loved it! Then, we went to Port Canaveral and got on a little 3-night cruise to the Bahamas. That was the perfect way to end the trip. I was pretty exhausted by that time, and it was good to have the opportunity to just relax on the ship and let the kids just go. The boys loved having the freedom to come and go, and eat whenever and whatever they wanted without having me nagging at them. I think they ate at least 6 ice cream cones a day and countless pieces of pizza (even in their beds at midnight!) We have all marveled at how good the kids were! They rarely got enough sleep, and as my brother-in-law, Jeff, put it: "Trying to get this many people any place is like trying to herd cats!", but they all got along the entire trip! They never fought with each other, got whiny, or hurt each other's feelings at any time. This trip was just what my family and I needed at this time, and we are so grateful to Nana, the Leishman's and the Hatch's for making it all work and giving us such a wonderful time!

On Tuesday, I had to go into McKay-Dee for a chest x-ray to check the fluid in my chest cavity and have blood taken for the CA-125 test. I was so surprised to hear from Dr. Prystas' office on Wednesday that my levels had gone from 91 to 79. Since they had only been able to give me the one chemo medication on that last treatment instead of the two I normally received, I was not expecting it to go down at all. In fact, I was kind of worried that it might have even gone up--I was so relieved to hear that the chemo was still working. While I have loved not feeling sick the last couple of weeks, and am feeling my strength coming back and some hair growing back in (holy cow--there is so much gray!), I can see that I might have kind of a hard time when the Dr.'s finally tell me we're done with treatments. As long as they're giving you the drugs, you feel like you're actively doing something to kill the cancer cells. I think the waiting is going to be hard. I'm already kind of nervous that I'm four weeks out from my last treatment. My surgery is scheduled for May 4th, and in the back of my mind is this fear that somehow the cancer cells are going to get active and do something crazy while we're waiting for my body to heal. This is where I really get to exercise my faith in the fact that Heavenly Father definitely does have a plan and a purpose in all this for me. I am not in control--He is. And I know that He has something better in store for me than I would ever choose for myself. I certainly would never have chosen to have cancer and go through what I'm going through, but each day I see blessings that I would have missed out on without this experience. I keep telling myself--it's all about perspective! Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. Love, Kim

Friday, April 1, 2011

Flying Out Tonight

Well, it's been 6 months now since my diagnosis and surgery. Tonight we are flying out to Orlando to take a family vacation that had been planned for October and had to be rescheduled because of my illness. I have been in tears for much of this morning--not tears of sadness--tears of joy. For much of the first couple of months, there were so many days where I could never imagine that I would even still be here this spring. I was so ill and weak that I couldn't imagine ever feeling well again, let alone being able to take a trip like this with my family. I feel absolutely blessed!!! It is a blessing to be alive each day--it's a blessing to have physical strength and energy--and it's a blessing to have a peaceful heart. I am thankful to each and every one of you who have exercised your faith, and have directed your prayers on behalf of my recovery, and have given of your sweet service to me and my family. I wish I could take all of you with me! Know that I will be thinking of you each day, and expressing gratitude to our Lord for your influence in my life. This time in my life would not be possible without Him, and without you. Thank you, thank you. All my love--Kim