Watch my hair grow...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22--Happy Earth Day!

Our first week of chemo is finished (treatment-wise) and Amy's taking it like a champ. She feels tired and achy and is working hard to obey her doctors, but on the whole describes the treatments as "not so bad."

Dr Schull's outfit here in Idaho Falls is a chemo dream come true! If you must undergo it, what's better than 4 hours in a plush leather easy chair with your own tv, window, and permission to have endless treats and crosswords? It's a blessing to be able to do this outside of a hospital room.

We took this four generation photo just minutes before Amy left on Monday morning to get started.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13

We had a lovely Easter yesterday, including a surprise egg hunt set out by a mysterious Easter Bunny. Anthon, 9, and Hannah, 7, absolutely loved it! Thank you.

Today, Fritz put in a chest port for Amy (one of the procedures he specializes in luckily). He was able to make it a lot less scary than it would have been otherwise and the surgery was a total success. Now Amy has a total of two ports for targeted and general chemotherapy.

We are actually looking forward to Monday in a way. It will be nice to finally be "in" chemo instead of forever approaching it. Fritz has blessed Amy to be healed and so we view chemo as a means toward this end. Crummy, sure, but doable and worth it----definitely!

Also, thanks to those who have been sharing their survivor stories with us. We love to hear about other people who have kicked this. Amy certainly has noble company in her battle.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7

Dr Schull in Idaho Falls will be starting Amy's chemo on April 20th. She'll have 4 hours the first day, 2 the second and 2 the next Monday followed by a week off (as one complete three week cycle). We'll do this cycle 6 times consecutively. Dr Schull is confident that we'll see a cure at the completion of the chemo and agrees that Dr Zampolich's surgery was thorough and very well done. Amy is walking (she can even kneel and do stairs) and feeling pretty well, so we are positive about chemo coming up soon. Laurel plans to become a chemo nutritional expert and we're already seeing the benefits of papaya enzymes in healing from the surgery.

On the 20th, Amy will have a big dose of Benadryl right before the chemo, so she may sleep the whole 4 hours. She will be in a comfy easy chair with plenty of Elvis movies just in case she wakes up.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Whirlwind

Dear Friends and Family,

This blog will follow Amy's progress since her recent diagnosis of stage 3 ovarian cancer. We appreciate your continued prayers of healing on her behalf and we believe that Heavenly Father is holding our family in the hollow of His hand. Miracles are already becoming manifest.

In August, Amy's grown daughter Laurel and husband Adam moved to Idaho Falls to have their baby, Claire. Now Laurel is able to care for Amy's young children and to run daily household matters.

Fritz is an extremely talented physician and is making sure that Amy receives absolutely top of the line care. His priesthood blessings of healing make all the difference in our positive outlook.

All of Amy's children are stepping up to help with the family and we've experienced a deluge of love and support from our extended community.

Here's the story so far:

Beginning in January 2009, Amy felt more discomfort than usual with her cycles. In mid-March, she visited her OB/GYN to address the matter. The doctor found a fibroid and ordered an ultrasound to see if there were any more. The ultrasound showed a concerning mass above the uterus and Fritz performed a CT scan that same night to get the dimensions of the mass. What they found was a mass that had consumed the right ovary and was taking up much of the pelvic cavity. It needed to come out immediately, so Fritz contacted a gynecological oncologist in Salt Lake City to perform the surgery. Within a week, Amy had the tumor removed. It was malignant but had not metastasized (a tremendous miracle brought about by a community-wide fast). She must now undergo 18 weeks of chemotherapy through both a chest port and a pelvic cavity line. The prognosis is unusual for stage 3 ovarian cancer--she is expected to achieve remission after undergoing the chemo to clear up any microscopic remnants of the cancer. Later today, Amy will have her chemo consult and the schedule will be set for the doses throughout the summer.