January 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Jace

Happy Birthday Jace! Today my son turned seventeen! He has been a joy to have in our family. He has always been my superhero. When He was two and three he used to run around the house with nothing on but his underwear and a batman cape saying, "watch me mom, watch me." When he was fifteen he made a batman design out of duct tape and stuck on his bare chest. He layed out on the trampoline to get tan lines in the shape of batman. Jace is always keeping us entertained with his latest creation. Whether it be a new song he made up on the drums or the piano. A new design sprayed painted on a t-shirt or a new hair style. I tell him he is going to be the next Dick Clark (he says who's that!) He likes to hold dance parties in our studio in the back yard. He decorates the studio with lights and a disco ball and has his friends DJ. For Christmas he held a "Wear your Ugly Christmas Sweater Dance" He has a dance for his birthday tomorrow night. I wish I were there! Happy Birthday Jace, I love You!

January 28, 2009

Counting the Days

I am just finishing day eight. Yesterday-day seven was a difficult one. I spent most of the day at the hospital. I had a lot of stomach pain. After a CT scan and blood work they found I had an infection. So I am now on powerful IV antibiotics which I can administer to myself every 6 hours. My platelet count was also really low. A normal person has 100,00. Mine was at 10,000. So I was given a platelet infusion and saline for dehydration. Needless to say I was extremely weak, and could not even walk. I made it through the day and woke up this morning feeling a little better. Hopefully that was the low point. When I went for an appointment this morning, I walked into the waiting room with my mom and there was Joe! He came up to spend the day with me. What a great surprise. I was at the hospital again for six hours getting two blood transfusions and saline IV. It was wonderful to have Joe there with me, holding my hand as I keep on climbing this mountain.

January 26, 2009

Battle Zone

I am in a battle right now. Every inch, every cell of my body is at war. On the outside my bones and muscles are extremely weak. On the inside every fiber of my body is tight and fighting. The enemy of my enemies-chemo is killing the cancer and the foods and proteins it feeds on. There are casualties as I deal with side effects. Which I have been able to control so far. I am at day six a critical point where the stem cells should start engrafting and bringing new life to this tired body. I try to stay focused and positive. Taking it one hour at time. My mantra is "I am Young, I am strong, I am healthy."

January 25, 2009

Sunday Blessings

On Friday afternoon, I was able to come and spend the weekend with Kris and give her parents some time off. We are go grateful to them and so blessed to have them take care of her at this critial time in her life. Kris is very tired and weak today from the treatments and stem cell transplant. She has asked me to write on her blog and update it for her. A normal persons white cell count is 14 or higher. Yesterday, Kris' was at .14 which means she basically has no immune system. This will continue for the next several days. By this comming Thusday or Friday her white cell count will begin to increase as the stem cells go into her bones and begin to produce white blood cells. This is a very critical and dangerous time for her. We need all off our friends and family to pray extra for Kris this week. Today, as we went to the Huntsman center we passed several homeless people. We discussed how each of us has unique challenges and trials in life. We do not have to look very far to realize our blessings. We have each other and our childern who we love and cherish very much. They are a great light right now in our lives. We also great family members who have supported us in so many ways. The support from our friends has also been overwhelming and awesome. Thanks to everyone who has touched our family by bringing a meal or providing a ride or an act of kindness to our family. Heavenly Father can answer prayers through His agents here on earth. So many of our friends and family have been his messengers and agents for our family. Thank you. Now Kris was well enough to correct me and help edit this entry so she still has some fight in her. This sabbath day we want everyone to know that we have a firm testimony of the gospel and of our Heavenly Fathers plan. We are blessed in so many ways. Love, Joe and Kris

January 23, 2009

Day Three

Just finished up day three after my transplant. I am now staying in a Hotel 5 miles from the hospital. So far so good, I am just really weak. My immunities are almost down to zero so infections are big concern right now. Joe came up to spend the weekend and take care of me. I have been looking forward to him coming all week!
Thursday afternoon my daughter Mallory came up and spent the night with my mom and I at the hotel. It was refreshing to hear all about her life and times in college. We got in our PJs and watched a movie then slept in in the morning. She helped us pack up and move back to Centerville. She is an amazing person and a great strength to me at this time

January 21, 2009


There they are 7 million of my stem cells.
Checking twice to make sure these stem cells belong to me.
Tuesday was a day of celebration. Our country was getting a new President. Many said it was a rebirth of our nation. And I was getting new stem cells to rebuild my body. As we watched the inauguration news on TV, I was hooked up to an IV. Several bags of Saline and my own stem cells were transfused back into my body. The process took several hours. After the stem cells are infused, the bloodstream carries them to the blood and marrow. The body's own chemical signals direct the stem cells to say there, where they start to produce new stem cells and blood cells. About a week after the transplant engraftment occurs. This is when the bone marrow makes new blood cells. Pretty amazing stuff. It is great to live in a time of such modern medicine and technology. I am told this next week will be one of the roughest as my body deals with the side effects of the chemo and begins to engraft the stem cells. I am already feeling pretty wiped out. But this was a day for celebration. As our new administration begins to rebuild our nation my body will be rebuilding too.
Celebrating the big Day.

January 18, 2009

Angels Among Us

It's Sunday and since I haven't gone to church for weeks now. It's time for my own devotional. It is hard at times to know what exactly to write on this blog or how deep and personal to get. This morning as I was praying about this, I was inspired to open up the Book of Mormon and read the first things my eyes turned to. I found the scripture 3 Nephi 7:18 It is talking about the unrest in the land, The Chief Judge is overthrown and Nephi begins to preach repentance to the people. "And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power, than they, for it were not possible that they could not disbelieve his words (now that's power!) for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily. (Wouldn't that be wonderful) As I read this scripture I realized that I have been administered to by angels. When I was able to go back to my home a couple of weeks ago, Joe quickly made preparations for my return. My neighbors cleaned the carpets-Thanks Giles! and my friends cleaned my house-Thanks Melissa and Lettie! Joe washed all the bedding and put an old quilt I rarely use anymore on the bed. A few days later I woke up feeling really ill. Joe gave me a blessing as I sat in bed. In the blessing I was told that there were many people here to help me. Some from this side of the veil and some who had already left this earth. He had the distinct impression that my Grandmother who died 20 years ago was there with me. It was a beautiful blessing and I strongly felt the love of my Heavenly Father. After the blessing I opened my eyes and looked down on my bed I was covered with the quilt that my Grandmother had made for me for our wedding. It is old and worn and rarely used but I felt my grandmother's love wrapped around me and her spirit with me the rest of the day. My dear sweet Grandmother Rosella Mallory Crook is one of my angels watching over me. I truly believe each one of us have angels in our lives. Maybe we don't always notice them, but they are there. In October General Conference Jeffery R. Holland gave a talk Called "The Ministering of Angels." He speaks of times throughout the beginning with Adam and Eve when God has sent angels to minister to people. "usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen they are always near." Elder Holland also said, "I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with--here, now, everyday. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind." I am so blessed to have angels watching over me. Some from beyond the veil and many right here. Providing meals for my family, cleaning my house, carpooling my kids, sharing the twelve days of Christmas, emailing me with encouragement, calling me, sending me cards, gifts, and picking up the slack at home. Thank you! My Angels. Love Kris

January 16, 2009

Ice, Ice, Baby

Well here I go again. Today was the first day of Chemo for this round. I went into the Hospital at 9:30am and finished three and half hours later. First they did labs-they always do labs! which means blood tests. Boy do I have a lot of blood! usually they take from 5-6 to 14-15 vials at a time! After that I was given an IV of Saline for an hour. After the first half hour the nurse brought me a big bucket of ice to keep packing in my mouth and then swallowing to keep the chemo from burning the linings of my mouth and throat. I had to do this for an hour and a half, also during the chemo, and then again for another round of saline. (I just kept thinking of that stupid rap song, Ice, Ice, Baby- the only words I can recognize from it.) Needless to say a fun time was had by all. So far this evening I have not had any side effects but I am sure they will come over the next two weeks. I will continue with high doses of heavy chemo both IV and oral over the next three days. On Tuesday I will receive my first stem cell transplant. Horray! This will also be given through an IV. On Monday my parents and I will be moving into a motel in Salt Lake to be closer to the Hospital. My body and immunities will continue to weaken next week and there is a great concern for getting infections. The Dr. has told us that 80% of the patients do end up in the hospital at this time. So we are keeping our fingers crossed and our prayers frequent.

January 12, 2009

"Shaking out my Shoes"

Sometimes when you climb mountains you have to take time out to sit down in the dirt and shake the rocks, pebbles, and sand out of your shoes. Sometimes while I am climbing this mountain I have to "shake out my shoes," with a box of kleenex by my side. This is a pretty steep mountain and there are times when I don't feel like taking another step. Sometimes this upward climb becomes more of a mental than a physical challenge. During those times my cousin Jill, who is a cancer survivor, gave me some great advice-"The twelve and a half minute rule." On bad days I can give myself twelve and a half minutes to cry and fall apart. When the times up, It's time to get back to living. To being a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a fighter. This rule comes in handy. Sometimes I can store up my minutes for several days, or cut my allotted time in half. Sometimes I can't take another step until I get that tiny irritating pebble out of my shoe. I know I am not climbing this mountain alone. I have many friends, and family cheering me on. I have my husband and my parents who not only cheer but occasionally help me "shake out my shoes" and offer a kleenex and a cold glass of water. And I have prayer and priesthood blessings which give me comfort and strength to keep climbing. Today I had two biopsies, when I got home I had to "shake out my shoes" and sit in the dirt for a while. Tomorrow it will be time to put back on my shoes and head up the mountain one step at a time.

January 08, 2009

The calm before the next storm.

I have been feeling pretty good the last few days. I think I finally have all the chemo out of my body. And it doesn't hurt that I am on steriods for four days twice a month. No they don't make me turn green or get huge muscles! but they do give me some energy. So I am at a fast shuffle now. I have more tests next week, then I see my Dr. Thursday and start the next round of Chemo on Friday. Time to start psyching myself up!

January 07, 2009

A Little Bit About A Big part Of My Life

Yesterday my preschool started back up after the holidays -without me. Actually I haven't taught since right after I was diagnosed at the end of October. I really miss it! And thought I would share a little about this big part of my life. I was advised by my Doctor that being around children and the germs that come with them would not be good for me and the chance of getting an infection would definitely set back my treatment. So I had some quick decisions to make and have found the Lord's hand helping me along the way. The next day after we found out I had Cancer was one of the hardest days of my life. We had planned and practiced with the preschoolers for a Halloween program for their parents. Somehow after much prayer and the help of my dear daughter-in-law and fellow teacher, Dani, we made it through the program. We did fine and the children did great. It is always fun to see them in their costumes and watch them "shine" for their parents. Over the weekend we consolidated the classrooms into one, and I was able to hire my Daughter Mallory and Dani's older sister Laci to take my place teaching. I am so proud of all of them. They did a great job jumping right in and children loved them. I continued to write the lesson plans the rest of fall and tried to be involved on the sidelines as much as possible. There is no way I could have continued to teach. My energy level was not up to three and four year olds! Because of changing college schedules for Laci, and Mallory they were no longer able to teach come January. I began praying to find someone who could help Dani so that we could continue to hold preschool. One day I received a card in the mail from a woman in my ward whom I barely knew. I always thought she seemed really on the ball, and a fun person to be around. She wrote a sweet note offering to help any time I needed a substitute for preschool. She had previously taught Kindergarten and had ran a preschool from her home. After talking to Nicole, I knew she was definitely an anwer to my prayers. She gladly accepted my offer to take over the preschool and I couldn't ask for a better fit to my program and a mentor for Dani as she hopes to be a Kindergarten teacher one day. I was a little sad to see preschool start back up without me. This has been my "baby" for the last fifteen years (not including the years I took off to have Trent and Spencer) I have taught several hundred children. I can honestly say I have loved every single one of them in their own way. Preschool is always a happy place where we can get excited about the simplest things. It has been a joy to watch the children grow, learn and discover new things, and see them progress throughout the year. The last few years I have started to get antsy every spring-thinking I should go get a fulltime job teaching in a public school, however after I sit down and look at all the advantages I have teaching preschool I always decide I have it too good to leave. I have only taught two and half days a week. I get to use my creative energies in creating fun lesson plans and activities that teach. I get to play on the computer looking for new ideas, I get to work with little people who love me and laugh when I call them "my little chickadees" and most importantly I get to be home when my children are home. So it's time to hand over my "baby" completely to someone else. I know they will be in good hands, and I know the Lord has a hand in orchestrating all of this. Joe and I have discussed many times as we look back over the past six months. We see the Lord's hand preparing things in our lives to make this challenge easier for our family. Large and small things that we would haven't even noticed until we were faced with this challenge. The Lord is there. If we really examine our lives. I know each of us can see His Hand helping us along the way and preparing us for not only challenges, but also blessings. Thanks for letting me share-Love, Kris

January 04, 2009

Hair today gone tomorrow

My hair started to fall out at the beginning of the week. I had had my hair cut short to prepare for this, but it was still pretty hard emotionally. It started coming out in large clumps so finally on New Year's day I shaved it off. I thought I was prepared for this-after everything else I have gone through, but I had a good cry and got out my hats, and scarves. I guess I am like the New Year's baby hopefully by the end of the year I will be like the New years old man minus the beard.

Fourteenth Year Cancerversary

              My husband and I at my 40th High School Reunion.                                                    Am I seriously that old?! ...