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Showing posts from December, 2008

I'm goin' Home!

I'm packing my bags and preparing to go home today! I am so excited! I will be able to be at home for about a week and a half. I won't be worth two cents, but just being home will be wonderful. I am still going to have to be very careful around people and germs. I have sure appreciated the posts of encouragement I have received. They have helped so much. If you want to keep a post private please let me know and I will not publish it. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you. Thank you so much for all the outpouring of love and support. It's time to start gearing up for the next round. but I will be ready!

Collection Begins

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Today was an extremely long day!! I went to the hospital at 7am and got home at 6pm. After having labs done we waited about 2 hours for the results. During this time we wandered around the hospital and paced the floors. My joints and hips ached from the medications. I decided this whole ordeal felt like going into labor. I had labor pains and was waiting to deliver my own baby stem cells! The "magic numbers" came back and I was able to begin collection. They hooked me up to an apheresis machine with tubes going everywhere. The blood was taken out. The stem cells separated, then the blood put back in. Modern technology is amazing! It was not painful-just uncomfortable to have to sit there all day!! Hopefully this will only take a few days. I am waiting to hear back from the hospital with the actual count. I will keep you posted.

Yippee!!!

I am jumping for Joy right now! They were able to harvest 34.5 million stem cells. I needed 21 million. What I thought would take several days has only taken one!!! I will go back tomorrow for tests, and probably a transfusion but then I am off the hook-(or line) Yippee

Zero and Counting

It's Sunday evening. My family came up and spent the day with me. My parents have a big snow covered hill in their back yard. So I got to snuggle with Joe on the couch and watch the boys sled down the hill and try to outdo each other with their superior sledding, snowboarding, shovel, little red wagon, and snowball skills. I am learning how important white blood cells are and the effects of not having enough. The goal right now is to get my white blood cell count down to almost zero than as it moves back up to a certain point we will begin to Harvest the stem cells. Those immunities are pretty important and it is a strange feeling to feel my body weaken. Sometimes to the point where I can barely hold up a book to read, but this is temporary and I am told I will start to feel better. We are crossing our fingers that the stem cell collection can begin tomorrow. This will take several days so once again I am learning to be patient! I have a port or tubing in place r
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Merry Christmas

Christmas Eve is finally here, and I hope you are all enjoying every minute of it. My family came up and spent the day with me at my parents. It was wonderful!!! I feel rejuvenated and got to hug the stuffin' out of all of them. We enjoyed good food, good conversation and a few moments to reflect on the circumstances of this special Christmas. We are very humbled by the outpouring of love and service from so many kind and wonderful people in our lives. I would like to share a scripture from Alma 7:10-12 that has helped me more clearly understand this purpose for Christ' birth and life upon this earth. "10 And behold, he shall be a born of Mary, at b Jerusalem which is the c land of our forefathers, she being a d virgin , a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and e conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and a afflictions and b temptati

Frozen Corn and Modern Miracles

So here's the scoop. Yesterday-Monday was a good day. After getting the chemo out of my system for a couple days, I felt pretty good. Had some momentum and was able to even work on a project for Christmas. You could say I was able to put a" little hustle and bustle" into the holiday. Today was a different story. I went in to Hunstman at 8am to have a port placed on the side of my neck for stem cell harvest. Now Modern medicine is amazing and happy sedation drugs are definitely a miracle but after being at the hospital for seven hours I was done. I have found the greatest relief holding a bag of frozen corn on my neck for the past hour. Aw the simple pleasures of life! So my thoughts for the day are; bigger is not always better, drugs are not always the answer and sometimes frozen corn is more than a healthy vegetable! P.S. about 15 more hours til I get to see my family. They are coming up to my parents to spend Christmas Eve day. Beacause of the storm

Top of the Hill

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I made it over the first hurdle. I finished D-Pace today. No more backpack attached to me! I completed the first round of four days of 24 hr. chemo. I seemed to do pretty good. I am now preparing for the stem cell harvest. Tomorrow I will go in for a shot to entice the stem cells to "come out and play" in the blood stream and then over the next week my blood counts will be checked often to find when it is time to begin harvesting. Modern Medicine is such a miracle. I am so blessed to have access to all of this medical information. I have my own team of doctors, amazing nurses, pharmacists, physicians assistants, and my angel parents who are caring for me. This first phase is really just more of a "hill" then a mountain. As the days go by my immunities will continue to decrease, but I have to stay focused on just taking it one day at time. The biggest challenge right now is much more emotional. I was able to see some of my family today, but I won't get to see all

Onward and Upward

Here is my new favorite scripture for the day. I thought I would share with you. Proverbs 3:5-8 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. I am counting on this! Hug your loved ones and have a good day. Love Kris

The first day of school

I feel like I am starting medical school 101. Learning about all the procedures, medications, etc. Today was my first day of school. I have a new haircut (very short-we'll see how long it lasts) New clothes (comfortable sweats.) A new notebook (to keep track of all the paperwork.) A new water bottle (gotta keep drinking lots of water) Lots of new books (I love to read!) and a new backpack (filled with chemo and two pumps) and also the love of so many people helping me begin this journey especially my family and parents. Thank you so much, I truly feel your support! And most importantly the spirit of my Heavenly Father. I feel his love and presence many times throughout the day. Lets just say we keep the lines open. Now where are my hiking boots?

Getting something out of my chest

WARNING do not read this if you are squeamish or small literate children are present. I went in for another biopsy on Monday morning. The head doctor came in to do the procedure. I was all prepped with morphine and rolled over on the bed to begin when he said "no lie flat we are going to do it on your sternum." Yikes! needless to say I kept my eyes shut tight and did a lot of heavy breathing. He took two large vials full of bone marrow out- I peeked after it was done. Now I know what it means and feels like when someone says, "that sucked the life right out of me" It felt like an elephant sat on my chest the rest of the evening. The results of the test are being used for a clinical study-my donation to science since I don't plan on having my body plastisized and displayed for Body World!

I am thankful!

I haven't mentioned my family yet-It is still really emotional, however I just wanted to say that I am thankful for: Tyler, 22, my oldest son-for his strength and positive attitude His wife Dani, 21(almost) for her willingness to step up to the plate with preschool and just becoming part of this crazy family. Mallory, 19,-for taking care of so many of the things I can't. Santa couldn't do it without her this year! Jace, 17 (almost)-for being such a great teenager who is always keeping me entertained with his enthusiasm for life. Trent, 13-for making me happy with his quick wit and his talent for whistling around the house. Spencer 10-for his easygoing personality and his hundred hugs a day. and most importantly my husband Joe for his compassion and his unconditional love. Someday I will be able to write more about my family, but for now they are what keeps me going and helps me to realize what is really important can last forever.

That is a fact!

Did you know that Multiple Myeloma is most prevalent in older black men. Somewhere in here I've got soul and I didn't even know it!

Getting Something off my Chest

Okay well it's the middle of the night and I am wide awake. That is when I do my best and also my worst thinking. So until my wonder drugs kick in, I will get caught up on this blog. Monday I had the central line put in my chest. It was very strange. They only sedate you half way. So I couldn't feel anything put could hear the doctor and nurses talking. I was in the twilight zone! I have a big bandage covering half my chest that I have to keep on for a week. It is not supposed to get wet. Tuesday I had to figure out how to have a shower. I put a big patch of saran wrap over it and then had to figure out how to keep it on. Well the Kellys are known for their expertise with duct tape, so I grabbed the roll and taped myself up. Definitely a fashion statement! I now know I have missed my true calling in life as a fashion designer.

Let the Games Begin!

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Monday December 8th I begin preparations for chemo. I will be geting the central port put in my chest. This week I will be meeting with Doctors, taking an education class with Joe and my parents to know what to expect of all this, and having another biopsy-Yeah! I guess this means no more denial. I can't pretend this will all just go away. It is such a rollercoaster right now. I and my family are overwhelmed with the support and kindness, and concern others have shown us. We have seen the Lord's hand in our lives through the acts and prayers of many people in our lives. Thank you! One of the reason I like going to Hunstman is that they actually have a big sign above the clinic door that says Multiple Myeloma. The Dr. and staff are experts in this rare cancer and they do an excellent job taking care of me.

Mountain Climbing

The Last mountain I climbed was in Aug 2007. My daughter Mallory and I had the opportunity to go on a two week humanitarian expedition to Peru. We worked in a mountain village, and also did some sightseeing. The picture at the top of my blog is me standing in front of Waynu Picchu and Macchu Picchu. There are ancient ruins we got to walk through. We climbed to the top of that mountain. The whole way up we walked on an ancient path made of stones. At the top is a a lookout tower where the people could watch for enemies. The whole trip was amazing! My daughter and I made some wonderful memories.