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, November 18, 2012

New chemo...again

Well, it's been an eventful couple of weeks.  Last Saturday, Kali got back from Mexico safely, & had a great trip serving with the AEM people.  The next day, Jarett spoke in our Sacrament meeting & we served dinner to about 100 people afterwards at our house--thank you everyone for coming, & especially for those who helped!  It was just a great day!  On Wednesday, we dropped him off at the MTC in Provo & things have been fairly quiet ever since.  The "drop-off" went much better than I expected--it might have been that I was just worn right out with my emotions from the previous week.  We took him to his favorite restaurant, J Dawg's, for one last hot dog before he left, & there were so many other missionaries with their families there that it was almost a party atmosphere.  Some people standing in line behind us were from San Bernardino, CA & told me great things about the places he'll be going & the people he'll be serving.  Then we pulled up to the curb at the MTC & the excitement & Spirit there are just palpable!  How could any parent not feel good about leaving their child in such a place?  I thought I would sob all the way to Salt Lake, but didn't even shed a tear after we left--it was then that I realized that the blessings of having a missionary had already begun!
On our way home, we stopped in Salt Lake for my chemo appointment...I figured if I was going to be sobbing, I might as well just go hog wild & have a chemo treatment to boot!  My CA-125 numbers have continued to climb the past couple of weeks, so there was no way of staying on the Doxil and hoping it would work.  I'm now doing a new drug...Topotecan (makes me think of Toucan Sam--Fruit Loops!).  It's not as easy to take as the Doxil, & I felt a little rough for a couple of days, but we'll do it.  I'm just hoping that it will work at killing the cancer cells & keeping those pesky CA-125 numbers down.  We're not sure what the schedule is going to be like with this drug.  Because I've been doing some type of chemo almost non-stop for the past 2 years, my bone marrow production is suppressed & that's going to make it a little bit more of a challenge with the schedule & dosing.  I'm taking this week off of chemo, heading to Vancouver, WA with the family to visit relatives for Thanksgiving, & then having another treatment on the 26th when I get back.
At this time of year, I am just so thankful to still be here with my family & friends, & hope that I will still be able to be an influence for good in their lives.  I am thankful for Vern & each of our darling kids.  Although I miss Jarett, I'm thankful that he is where he is, doing what I've always dreamed he would want to do.  I am thankful for dear parents, who in their 70's, continue to make great sacrifices for me & my siblings.  I am thankful for the love & support of my sister & brothers and their great families, and the wonderful family that I had the privilege of marrying into.  I am thankful for loyal friends, who continue to support me with their service and good examples.  I am especially thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ & am so thankful for His Atonement.  I am thankful that He, and my Father in Heaven, know & love me intimately, completely & perfectly...& that our lives have purpose & meaning.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Love always, Kim

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Time is Speeding

Wow!  It has been almost 2 months since I last posted--sorry.  Life has just been speeding by so quickly with both good things & also some not quite as good.  I did another chemo treatment with the Doxil on October 8th--the day before my baby boy, Braedon, turned 12--yea!  The side effects haven't been too awful, as I was able to enjoy his celebration (which always seems to stretch into several days now--how come?)  He received the Aaronic Priesthood that following Sunday, & the whole ward is excited because now we have a total of 3 deacons--whoo hoo!  Then the next week, Mom took all of the Cloward girls on a trip to New York City for 4 fabulous days.  It was my first trip ever to that city, & we had a really great time.  I had never had much of a desire to see NYC, but I must say that I was duly impressed--it is an amazing place!  I didn't feel real great for most of the trip, but was able to do all the running around (& we did LOTS of that!) & really did enjoy myself.  I am so glad that we went when we did, instead of this past week with Hurricane Sandy--it was the trip of a lifetime--thanks so much for the wonderful memories, Mom!    
That same week, Vern took all the boys to San Francisco for the ADA meetings & met up with his brother-in-law & the boys' cousins from Virginia.  They also had a great time, & the best part about it all was that I was able to come home to a house that wasn't trashed--bonus!  Now that everyone is home, we are getting ready to see Kali off to Mexico for an 8-day humanitarian aid trip, & Jarett will be leaving for the MTC on November 14th.  We've been busy getting him ready to go, but I don't think it's really sunk in yet for me that I'll be saying goodbye to him for 2 years.  That's going to be a tough one.  I'm sure he'll be glad to leave me, though--it's rough being away from home on your own for a year & then coming back to find your mom reminding you to brush your teeth, make your bed, go to bed, etc.....  What will I do with all my time once he's gone again?
On the other side of things, the lump in my right chest reappeared about 7-8 weeks ago, & my CA-125 went up from 43 to 69 at my last test.  I had some more CT scans last week & everything appears just as it did on my last ones 6 months ago--so that's good news--at least I've been holding steady for the past 6 months!  We're a little unsure what to do at this point with this information.  I might go in after Jarett leaves, to have the lump removed & biopsied to see if they can get any more info on whether it's looking more like breast cancer or ovarian cancer.  We didn't remove it 6 months ago when it appreared, because it's not really going to change the outcome of everything, & will probably just grow back.  And then, after my first treatment of the Doxil it shrunk back down again.  Dr. Prystas would like to see if we can get a little more mileage out of the Doxil before we have to switch chemo treatments (again!), so we're going to try to do the blood tests next week & see if it will help if I have the Doxil more frequently than 5 weeks.  In the meantime, I am feeling pretty well--I just get really "pooped out" by the day's end & have a few burns on my feet & toes.
My second cousin, Nicole Rasmussen, was on Channel 2 News last night.  She is an amazing woman & is such an inspiration to me & so many others.  She has had health challenges since she was in her teens, & lost her eyesight shortly after she was married from a severe brain infection that nearly took her life.  She has gone on to have 3 children & is doing a "top-notch" job of raising them.  The story on the news last night focused on how she cooks fabulous & easy meals for her family, but also shared so much more on how she is overcoming her challenges.  I'm not sure I know how to create links on this blog, but you can go to to link up to her blog.  I love, love, love hearing & reading about others who are dealing with pretty big challenges in such a positive way.  There is so much to be grateful for in life, & so much to hope for because our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us!  Love always, Kim