Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick Late Post by Louise

Yes, it IS late, but when all you do is lay in different positions or sit in different positions, and sleep...sometimes you don't have to go to bed as early as you might think. I decided today that when I was awake, I would do something more than change positions on my bed, or sleep on my side or my back. Today I actually read almost a whole book--it was just a fun, easy read, but I was proud of myself for accomplishing that. I also made some phone calls--by the end I was sounding pretty raspy. That is probably because I, who have always thought I was this great water drinker, actually drink very few and very small sips of water. One of my great accomplishments of the past few days is to drink cranberry juice and fruit juice. That is a MAJOR accomplishment for me. (some days my progress is pathetically small!) I also did an interesting type of exercise today. One of the things I had to give up doing this last week was working out with my "personal trainer" at the cancer gym. (at least that's what I call that whole regime!:)) So I took my pole (feeding pole)into the front entranceway, and manuervered that pole back and forth along the entranceway--THAT was my exercise! I am anxious these days for a change of scenery--ANYTHING differnt. So last night I took my pole (It is like attached to me!), and went out on our trampoline and just laid there. Being able to look at the sky and the palm trees was just super refreshing to me.'s simple pleasures!

Good news--I have only 5 more days of radiation and one more day of chemo. I have decided that I am battling the cancer enemy, and if I must sacrifice my hair, it will all be worth it. However, we still aren't sure what is happening with my hair. They say it comes out in clumps, and I just am not sure of the definition of clumps. It is thinning and hair comes out. We haven't quite gotten to the "I'm going to shave everything off" stage yet.

One more of even better news. Kelsey made chocolate chip cookies tonight, and I got to taste some cookie dough...without the chips! Talk about heaven. :) Well, on that happy note, have a great Friday...and I need your powerful thoughts and prayers coming this way this weekend. I want to feel well enough to enjoy General Conference with my family. :)I LOVE General Conference, and the chance to listen to our Church leaders. Love to all, Louise

Quick Late Post

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Make someone Happy

It is Wednesday afternoon, and I need to write before I get too tired to write. Today you would have thought that I didn't know how to use this feeding tube. A friend stopped by, and while we were talking, I realized that I didn't have my feeding tube attached to the pump at all. It was just filling up the top plug...and not giving me any nourishment at all. That's the way to fill up without getting full at all! Another time I went to pour some formula into the bag, not realizing that the top was closed on the bag--I wasn't pouring it into the bag at all, just into the top. Sometimes it seems like all the chemo, radiation and tumors have gone directly to my brain! You'd think I would know what I was doing by now.

Because I am using this kangaroo pump (a continuous pump), I am getting more hydrated. I've even enjoyed fruit punch and cranberry juice in the last couple of days-LOVE getting some more flavors into my body!

I had an experience in the chemo waiting room today. About a million years ago, our family watched the King Family Show. Do any of you remember that? They were a big family (I think they were Mormon), and they had a variety show...and did a lot of singing and performing. The original 4 sisters used to sing a song, "Make Someone Happy," and the words went something like this--"Make some one happy, make just one someone happy--then you'll be happy too." I always grew, dreaming of singing some time (never happened), but I loved that show. Today when we came to the waiting room, it was pretty full. There was an 88-year-old woman in there, named Betty, who just couldn't stop crying. She was with her daughter and husband...and she was obviously very upset about her diagnosis. Her daughter kept apologizing for her, but my friend, who brought me, and I got her to talk to us...and by the end of our time in there, she seemed to be feeling a lot better. It was fun to be part of brightening someone's day a "make someone happy...and you will be happy too." Love to all of you, who make me or someone else happy. You are blessing lives in your very own little way.(and remember--the little things really ARE the big things!) Love always, Louise

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Night

Sometimes I hit the publish post button a little too quick--obviously that happened with the Monday News post...since it has absolutely NO Monday news. It has been a better day...except for the fact that I washed my hair, and lost so much hair, that it looks like permanent hair loss is going to happen. My daughters, Katie and Kelsey both mourned with me--as much as I knew it was a possibility, I kept hoping that it wouldn't happen. It's not totally FOR SURE, but it's looking not good for a full head of hair. It's Halloween time, however, and so the possibility of wigs is pretty endless. Maybe we should take advantage of that. :)I know hair is just hair...but STILL...
I did better today. I am on anti-nausea medicine round the clock. I am still on my continuous pump, I got hydrated today...and I spent the afternoon and the evening in the family room, so I felt a little more a part of things.That is about all from here. It was fun to hear the responses about the wonderful gift our Primary children gave to me yesterday as a remembrance of their program. :) Happpy Tuesday to you all!!

Monday's News

My mom the super hero.

I don't think you all may know this but, MY mom is a super hero.
Through out her employment as my mother she has shown me that she possessed talents. And if you know anything about the rowdy bunch of children she had to raise oh man did she need them.

Her first talent is that of unwavering faith.
I have always admired my mothers dedication to church. She has stayed strong in the church even when it was hard. She has been one of my best examples for what a being a woman of Christ means, I know that she will be blessed for her faith. I know we as a family are able to be as strong as we are because she have raised us to rely on the Lord and to rely on each other. It is really a testimony to my mother that we have all been so close and handled this situation as well as we have. My testimony personally has grown so much from this experience. I have watched you mom as you have battled this cancer with faith (and chemo). You truly have angels around you, and you deserve it

Her next talent is her smile.
My mothers smile shines through her soul. And thanks to a loving husband who put her in braces, her smile shines as bright as she is. :) I kid mom! Growing up I could always hear my moms laugh from across the room, throughout a building, and even across the street! It is truly one of a kind. She always finds something to smile about and that is even true in this hard time. Cancer sucks. I think we can all agree, but my mother has been the most positive and happy patient the Virginia Piper Center(VPC) has ever seen. While I was home she was cracking jokes, lightening the mood, and making buddies with all the staff at the VPC. I am glad she has not lost her smile, i think she knows that cancer is what she has it is definitely not who she is!

My moms next power is her friends.
My mom makes friends where ever she goes. And I definitely did not always like that growing up. It meant we were always last to leave church, we were always stuck cleaning up after activities, it meant you should be prepared to stop for 15 minutes just about any where you go because mom will probably see someone she knows. But now I see that this should be viewed as a strength not a weakness. My mother is the best person I have ever met at keeping in touch. She writes letters, she writes updates, returns phone calls, and returns emails. And mom I want you to know that because you are such a good person and a good friend, that is why all these people are flocking to Arizona to be by your side. We all love you Mom. Every last one of your friends, whom you have been so diligent to and reliable for, is ready to help you and lift you up when you fall down. I am so thankful to those friends of her who have sent her E-mails, letters, made phone calls, made visits and even made dinners, or just kept her in your prayers. Your love and you sacrifice has been a great blessing to not only my mother, but to the whole family.

The final power is her love.
And if any of you are big harry potter fans you will know that love is the greatest power of all! It's what saves Harry from You Know Who.
Mom I know that your love for your family, for your friends, for your life, and for your Lord can save you from You Know What. Now I am going to take some liberties here with this quote from Dumbledore but here it is
"If there is one thing Cancer cannot understand, it is love. It doesn't realize that love as powerful as my mother has for others leaves its own mark."
Mom you have left a mark on my life, and the life of all those you touch, and cancer has only made this love stronger. I know you can make it, I know you can beat it! And just like Dumbledore you have an entire army of people fighting and cheering for you, just call us Louise's Army. I love you Mom.

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." -- Abraham Lincoln
Please know Mom, that our prayers are following you now. I hope they cling to you for the rest of your life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Night

Wow--I'm hoping that tomorrow is the beginning of a
new and improved" week! Today hasn't been too bad--it's just that all I do is sleep. I put Rip Van Winkle to shame! I have crazy, weird dreams to go along with that sleep. I guess my mom gave me the ability to sleep anywhere or when I need it, like now, I'm able to do it. :)

My favorite sacrament meeting of the whole year at church is when our Primary (children's organization) puts on the whole sacrament meeting. The kids give talks, recite scriptures, tell stories, and sing songs. It is just the best--there are always classically cute and funny moments--tender moments and moments when the Spirit of the Lord is so strong that you are moved to tears. That was today...and I wanted to go so badly. Finally I decided that I was just not well enough to do that, especially being on this special feeder. However, I have cried for the last few days, wanting to be there so badly. Well, I didn't go, but my family came home and told me all about it. But the greatest moment was when friends of mine who work in Primary came over with a DVD, featuring the kids singing the theme song for me...and then yelling at the end, "We love you, Sister Price!" I couldn't have been given a sweeter gift. I cried...and laughed. What a blessing to be among dear people who care so much, and who give such gifts of the heart. I am richly blessed. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Couple of crummy days

There is a reason I haven't written for 2 days. I have not felt well at all. It is Saturday morning, and even though Saturday is not usually a good day for me, I am hoping this will be better. On both Thursday and Friday I couldn't keep anything down. We started to get worried for what this could mean for the weekend. They have put me on a 24-hour drip to keep formula coming in at a very slow rate, and hopefully without nausea. We had a nutritionist from Home Health come out last night, and she showed us how to use this new "kangaroo pump." She also thought it was necessary to share almost her entire life story. :) I was able to make it through the night, and am hoping this is the beginning of "better things to come." Thanks to my sister, Laura, for her Thursday post. She knew I couldn't do it myself. I am actually feeling the way that most people feel all during chemo--so I'm trying to play the "glad game..." and count my blessings. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hangin' On

Hi. Its "Lo" again. I wanted to give a quick update tonight to ask you to pray for Louise. Today was her first real yucky day. She started vomiting early, and had a rough morning. The docs gave her some more medication and the nausea was mostly under control. Her counts were good, so they gave her both the radiation and the chemo treatments today. Wow, she's tough. But she was moving slowly and was not her usual social self today. Fortunately, Spence was close at hand along with her good friend Deb. In fact, I'm going to post a photo of Deb's creation to protect and hide Louise's "PIC" line. They call it the Cutie Cuff! Pretty cute. One more day this week and then she gets the weekend off.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

comment of the day...

I loved this comment of the day from a friend who was visiting. She said, "Louise, 4 years ago, you didn't look so good--you just didn't look like you were feeling well. But now you look like you really feel good!" I told her that I didn't quite know how to take that (but that I was going to share it on my blog), since it is kind of crazy to look well when you're in the middle of chemo. What is with that? It's like people who also say that I look well since I've lost weight. I'm wondering what they thought of me before--that I was some huge blimp, and that they were glad that I finally lost that weight that I needed to!! :) Anyway, those comments have struck me as funny. Maybe when people tell you that you look good, they were really thinking you looked TERRIBLE before! SIGH...

Since I have felt a few more effects this week, I guess I may officially have cancer now. People have accused me of pretending to have cancer, since I really have felt quite good. Now that I've felt more tired and a little crummier, I can qualify as having cancer. :) It has not been a bad week...except today I got so tired of sitting in one of the chemo easy chairs, while I got filled with more liquid. I was so glad to get out of that chair...that I didn't even mind walking in our Arizona heat. Tuesday is my only day this week when I didn't have to sit for hours in that chair. I bring things to entertain me--handwork, laptop, books, etc...but even then you get tired of just sitting there.

I had my visiting teachers from church come today. One is named Jenny Nielsen, and she has one of the very cutest baby boys you'll ever see, and she brings him to me so that I can have my baby therapy. There is nothing better than a cute little baby to bring a smile to your face. He is darling. I finally had to kick my daughter, Kelsey, out of the room, because he only had eyes for her...and that's not fair when he's supposed to be MY therapy.

Well, that's about it from here. I will try to take some more pictures and share some with you tomorrow. I know that for many of you when you see a bunch of writing there, you don't even look at it, unless there are pictures too. You are all the greatest--I couldn't have a better support team behind me. Keep it up! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick Update

Dear Friends, It is Tuesday night, and this has been a much better day. I attribute that to the TONS of water and saline solution that I got yesterday. I was able to work out and do radiation...and be awake for most of the day. I just FELT better, and I am grateful for that. When I think of all the people who have cancer and feel totally miserable, I am so grateful for the good health that generally I am enjoying. I had a visitor from a dear friend today who has been so concerned. I love my friends. I even ate a whole peach...and it tasted wonderful. My friend, Debbie Meany, who is here, even did my hair--all in all, it was a good day. I still occasionally have trouble swallowing things--but for the most part, things are going all right. AGAIN--thank you so much for your kind thoughts and thoughtful prayers.

From Laura

Hi. This is Louise's sister, Laura. I thought I'd write again now that we are well into this cancer journey with Louise. Each day I talk to her, I hear a strong woman with an amazing attitude. She is so funny, laughing her way through this experience. She's feisty. Fighting her way through each carnation drink, longing for pasta, cookie dough and more chips and bread. She's faithful. Prioritizing her prayers, visits to church and to the temple over everything else. She's a stud. Working out more consistently than ever before. All of this stalwart behavior might have us fooled. She's fighting for her life and it is a tiring sport. She has always loved to nap. Now, she needs to rest. In between treatments, tube feedings, workouts, and being a mom and a wife, she needs to take it slow.

So, let me make a few friendly suggestions for any of us who are eager (that's ALL of us!) to help Louise. Let's seek to be wise in our offer of help. What we want to do might not be what she needs. For example, if you want to see Louise, please call first and ask what would work for her schedule. It is best to visit when convenient for her. And, try to keep your visit short! Louise loves people, and she'll push on, but often needs to chill or nap. If you want to bring a meal, it is best to call her friend Candace Hazar, and schedule with her several days in advance. Candace’s phone number is 480-948-0555. Her email is Louise often has out of town visitors (family and friends) who are cooking meals. Some nights, Kelsey wants to cook dinner as a way to support her mom. Meals are great, but three on one night is tough for 3 people to consume (remember, Louise is not eating real food --boo hoo).

The good news is that each day we can do real tangible things for Louise: read and COMMENT on her blog, write her a card (she loves cute and funny cards), say a prayer, send a text. This might be enough. Louise is busy focusing on fighting this disease. Let's continue to do all we can to help.

Monday, September 20, 2010

OK--so here are some more pictures of my family. Keri is married to Brian, our son, and Logan is their sweet, cute baby. We are all BIG fans of his! :) Michael who is in this picture with me, is married to our Emily. They have been married for almost a year--he is wonderful and very good to me. I love my family!

Just a quick update--since you already heard from me today. I was at the chemo center till after 2:00, getting rehydrated. They actually put 3 liters of solution into me...and I have felt full ever since. I think that is a good thing--hopefully, it is going to help me feel more like myself again. Debbie and I had a good time together--working on my laptop, reading, and just talking. My family was a little worried since they couldn't get a hold of me for several hours. But I amd doing well...and hopefully tomorrow will feel up to working out again. See you tomorrow, Louise

Getting Hydrated On Monday

Hey everyone! I am changing up my routine this morning. Yes, it is Monday, and I did radiation and met with the radiation oncologist, but I didn't work out. When I met with Joyce, my nurse, I told her how light-headed and low-energy I had been this weekend...and she thought maybe I was just not getting hydrated enough. So, I'm back up in the chemo room, getting an IV to help me get hydrated. She really thought that could be my problem. I had a rougher weekend this weekend--I still am not having problems with nausea, although I do take some anti-nausea medicine, when I get feeling a little flu-like (just not feeling up to snuff). But when I was at church, I would find that I could only stand for a couple of minutes, then I would get light-headed. I thought it had to do with the chemo (and it still might), but the nurse felt like I needed more fluids in here I am. I have always been a big water drinker, but obviously I am not taking enough into my body. So I will probably be on an IV 3 times a week, to help me with that. I am grateful that someone had this idea--I think it will help me.

My friend, Debbie Meany, from California, came yesterday, and is with me for this whole week. She is reading in the chemo chair right next to mine (there is no one else in here for treatment) so we're going to just hang out here more this week. :) I loved being at Church, because I saw so many people that I love. However, I just have felt pretty wiped out this weekend. We're into week 5, and with some extra hydration, hopefully things will continue to go well. Love to you all, louise

Friday, September 17, 2010

Some more serious thoughts

I have a dear friend who also has cancer. She advised me to write and share some of my more personal thoughts--and so this is a more serious entry. These were feelings I wrote down last night and wanted to share with all of you. May you always know of my love and thanks for you.
I just want to share some feelings. First of all, during radiation today, right before I was to do it, I started coughing a lot. I got a tickle in my throat, and couldn’t stop. Joyce, the nurse, brought me some water, and she and the two radiation guys just kind of watched me, hoping I could settle down. I have to be super still when I am getting the radiation…so they can go precisely to where the tumor is. I usually close my eyes when I’m doing it, so that I can be as still as possible. I just didn’t know how I was going to do it today. I told the “zappers” that I would really try to make “mind rule over matter.” I laid there, and I could feel the prayers of others, especially my roommate, Suzy Jensen, who was out in the waiting room, help me be able to control that cough. I really felt like it was a “tender mercy” of the Lord—that He granted me, in a small but very important way, the ability to not cough. I feel like He answers prayers in very little, but tangible ways. I was so grateful I could get through that treatment. I didn’t have problems coughing for the rest of the day. I was really blessed.
I need to say that sometimes I feel so unworthy of the ways we are being blessed…and me in particular. I would never have thought that I could say that cancer is a blessing…but I have felt the real tangible blessing of people praying for me. I have felt extremely blessed with the support I have gotten. I feel like my tumor has shrunk (or at least I’m able to eat some things better than I could) because people are thinking about me and exercising faith in my behalf. I get calls and visits and wonderful cards and emails that strengthen and help me. I get constant validation from so many people—and they are being the Lord’s hands to me. It has been very sweet to have my roommate, Suzy Jensen, be here. She is so quick to help in every way—made meals, and cleaned my house…but best of all, she has been here to spend time with me and with my kids. She so genuinely cares about us. These are all gifts from my Heavenly Father…and I am so grateful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

4th Chemo Day

4th Chemo Day

Ok--so here are some pictures of me and my younger sister, Laura...and also with my daughters, Kelsey and Emily (Em is our blonde...and is married and lives in Utah.) In fact, check out the side bar--it had to be edited, because our first family picture didn't include Emily's wonderful husband, Michael, or the star of our family--our first grandson, Logan. So now you can check out all those pictures...and start to get to know our family.

Thursday is quite the day. I had to have my PICC line cleaned out at 8:00, radiation at 8:30, and then chemo at 9:00. We got home about 1:00 p.m. After having one of my very delicious instant breakfasts in the feeding tube, I took a 3-hour nap. I am so tired on these days..or at least I take incredibly long naps. However, then I feel great! I have so much energy, and feel fabulous. It's crazy! Suzy, my roommate, and Brady and I just had a great evening. We laughed a lot, watched some old Dick Van Dyke shows...and just were kind of acting off the wall. I feel wired--I think it's the steroids they give me. We think they're putting something else in those IVs besides chemo. I am like crazy woman. Spence comes to me at the end of my chemo session, and asked me if I had been filled with insecticides...and I told him that it was more like PESTacides! On Thursday mornings, he asks me if I'm ready to be poisoned. It is wonderful to have such a supportive, encouraging family. :)

On Thursday nights, I also have a hard time going to sleep...tonight I will take Ambian and see if that helps. The chemo lady also gave me a lower dose of steroids today--hopefully I won't get more nauseous, but maybe it will help me not be so wired. We even made banana bread for the radiation guys--they are really called Roxey and the Zappers! (Roxey is the only girl). One small problem--we left the sugar out--could be nasty bread, but we can't sample, since there are 3 loaves and 3 of them. We can't exactly slice one of the loaves--that would be so tacky!! SIGH...Well, that's about all you need ot know about my day. Love you all, Louise

I promised you wigs--today I need to get going for chemo, so this will just be a quick entry. I am hoping this picture will not be sideways... All right now you get another one, and the final one is of "yours truly." It may be reverse order when you show up on my blog. So these are two of my daughters, Kelsey and Emily, with a wig that my niece, SHelby Stroud sent to me. It is darker than I am used to--probably will color it, and make it look a little more like me. However, we had so much fun that night trying on wigs. You feel like you are playing dress-up...sort of. :)
I am doing chemo today--so it's a busy day. Sorry I didn't write last night--it was way too late of a night--had a very dear friend drop by for the evening. Have a good day--play the "glad game" and find something good to be thankful for today. Love you lots, Louise

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I love to see the Temple...

The children in our church sing a wonderful song about going to the temple...and how they look forward to going there...someday. It is one of my favorite songs, and it kept going through my head tonight as I WAS in the temple. It was such a peaceful and wonderful experience to be there--helped me feel peaceful and calm and thankful for the blessings I enjoy there. I went with Spence and my roommate, Suzy Jensen...and we all just had a really nice time. I know I promised you pictures of us in wigs...but this was more important to me tonight. ( I promise pictures will be coming)

We got to spend some time today with my sister-in-law, Chris, and her daughter, Melanie. When you are with them, you mostly just laugh...and it is totally delightful. We had the best time ever. They are both so crazy and fun. When I download my pictures, I'll post some, and you might even get a picture of how much fun we had-- however, some things just can't be captured in pictures. :)

One other thing we discovered today was when Melanie was looking at my 2010 journal. Yes, I am a journal keeper, and the very first entry of 2010 read like this. I just thought you might find it interesting, as we look back now on that time. It said, "I have a perpetual sore throat that doesn't always hurt, but does a lot of the time. I have had problems lately with swallowing. I still have this pain in my chest, which doesn't go away. Hopefully, I'm just over-reacting, and there is nothing wrong with me. They probably won't find anything wrong--it could just all be in my head!!" That was written on Jan. 1st, of this year. It is amazing to look back and read that. Anyway, those are just some random thoughts I have tonight. One trivia thing--we went for Mexican food after the temple, and I ate several chips and guacamole! That was totally awesome! Just to keep me humble, though, I got to come home and eat some more instant breakfast. Yum, yum! Have good days--love you, Louise

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Normal Monday

OK--this should be a quick post. It is late, and I am tired, but I have had a good day. I did radiation and worked out today.I'm not kidding-- I am working out more than I have in many years. See, maybe this really IS a good thing. :)

My BYU college roommate, Suzy Jensen, flew in today from California. She is such a sweetheart, and it is wonderful to have her here. We had some fun visitors tonight--Dave and Becky Allen, our cousins, and very close friends--Becky even sang for us (for any of you who know her, you know that is a real treat). It was just so good to visit with them. Also some of our friends from the stake, the Allred family, came over with all sorts of fun movies to watch and CDs to listen to. I am going to be entertained for the next 20 years!! They brought chocolate chip cookies--it is my goal to eat chocolate chip cookies again!! It was just a very nice evening.

I met with the radiologist oncologist today. Because my chest pain and back pain is almost completely gone, she is extremely pleased and said that was great! I am being blessed immensely. I just keep waiting for my hair to fall out--and almost wish it would, just so I wouldn't worry about it happening anymore. Tomorrow I'll post some REALLY cute wig pictures!! Have a good day tomorrow. Love you, Louise

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend News

I am going to go "back in time" not far to when my older sister, Kathy, came to visit. She was here about a week ago. Brady, our 13-year-old, is peeking between our heads. He is a fun kid--very typical 13-year-old, but has such a positive attitude. He is a "can do" kind of kid. OK--now I really know I don't get this blog thing very well--that first sentence was about the first picture...but now the second picture might be the first. WOW--this cancer thing IS getting to my brain. Anyway, the picture with me in the middle is with 2 of my kids, Brian and katie. Brian lives in Redding, CA (way northern California), and that cute boy on the side bar is his son, Logan. (we think he's about the cutest grandchild ever!). Katie goes to school in Logan, Utah, and is a junior. Logan is north of Salt Lake, for those of you not familiar with Utah. Anyway, if my pictures are far away from these explanations, I really can't help. My niece, Melanie, who set this up, is the only one clever enough to know just how to post things. When you leave it up to novices, you get what you pay for!!

It is Sunday night--and yes, I know it's too late to be posting something...but Spence needed the computer, and he's so good to let me use it 99% of the time, that I had to let him have his turn. Weekends are my most exhausted times. I feel better on Sunday afternoons, but I am pretty wiped out on Saturdays. I guess the effects of the chemo hit me that day...or maybe it's the total result of the radiation--whatever it is, I am pretty tired. I also don't feel like eating at all on the weekend--even the feeding tube makes me feel kind of full and bloated. That is not good when I get weighed on Monday, because if I have lost weight, I am in trouble. (WOW--what a concept--to be in trouble for LOSING weight) I just have no desire for anything--cookie dough doesn't even sound good (you know things are bad when I don't want cookie dough.:))

I went to all of Church today, and it was great. My daughter, KElsey, spoke in her Young Women's group, and did such a good job. I was very proud, and very thankful I could be there. I wanted to be there so much, and know that that was one of the Lord's "tender mercies" that I had enough energy to enjoy that.Kelsey is such a sweetheart, and is always so helpful and caring--what a blessing she is to me!

Spence's parents came over last night. They have been in California since my diagnosis. It was so nice to spend some time with them. They even brought in Chipotle for our family--I got to eat dark chocolate Ensure. Lucky me!! :) Anyway, that's about it for today--I will never be able to express or show how grateful I am for all of you, and for you love and good wishes and prayers. You are simply the BEST!! Have a good Monday--we're into round 4! Love you, Louise

Friday, September 10, 2010

Picture Labels

Just in case you don't know my family very well--I will explain who these pictures are of (in my last post). I tried to figure out how to edit the post, but then kept losing instead of screaming at the computer, and having my own fit...I just thought I would add a little note. (I am not technologically savvy!) The first picture is of me with my 3 girls--this is the weekend Emily came to surprise me. From left to right is Kelsey, then Emily and then Jodie. They are great girls, and I love them all. Katie is not with me, but she is quick to remind me that she is my favorite! :)

The one below, of course, is of me with Spence. He is the greatest, and I love him very much. I am super blessed to have a great family. Have a great day! Love you, Louise

3rd Round of CHemo--halfway through!

I was going to write in here last night, but it was so late, that I knew I would get all sorts of motherly reminders that I should be in bed instead! Let me tell you about my day of chemo. I came home and slept for 3 whole hours--totally out! But then it was like I was the energizer bunny--I had so much energy, felt great, and couldn't sleep last night. I was that wired a week ago--don't know what's in that stuff they give me, but wow, it really does something to me. At about 12:45, I took an Ambian to help me sleep, but it was pretty crazy.

Last night it was just the 4 of us home. We had the best time. We had pizza and salad (actually I watched THEM eat the pizza and salad--I think salad is now becoming my most-desired food...even over cookie dough. It looks so healthy and good, and no matter how hard we try it does NOT go through my feeding tube!) While we were cleaning up, Kelsey put on some music, and we were dancing around. I felt great! I thought that we need to do this more often--we always think we have something more important to do, but really we need to take more time just to celebrate each other and the good moments. Then last night the 4 of us watched "National Treasure 2" and had a great time. What a wonderful evening. So, maybe cancer makes you a little less concerned with what "has" to be done, so you can enjoy the "little things," which really are the BIG things. I love Kelsey and Brady--they are so good to me, and fun to have around...except when they are acting like normal teenagers (you can't be good all the time, can you?) I'm going to include some pictures--too bad we didn't take any last night, because we were really "rocking out."

I am done with radiation for another week--WOO HOO!! I seem to be doing better. I am able to swallow more things, and that is very encouraging. Keep the emails and comments coming--I just love them.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kelsey told me that she likes blogs that have pictures on here you get a picture of me when my hairdresser/sister did my hair. We had fun doing this, and I felt like she made me look good every day! felt so darn good!! Loved it!! Now I need to learn to do it myself--however, that may not be necessary since hair loss is a BIG possibility. I'm enjoying my hair for as long as I get to keep it. Have a great day! Love you, Louise

If You've got to Rise, You Might as Well SHINE!!

I love that saying--learned it at girls' camp years ago, and it is so true. Thanks to my sister for writing yesterday. Yes, it truly was my first pedicure, and it was fun to go with my sister and girls--the company was the best part. If you notice in the flip-flop picture, I have the very same sandals as my girls--original, huh?

Tonight I was in the mood to be a recluse. So when the doorbell rang, I was all ready to just hide for the evening. HOwever, it was our very fun neighbors, Chris and Tenley Oberhaus, who always make me laugh. So instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself because my sister left today, we sat around and laughed. They are way crazy and fun...and it was good to have them here. Chris told me that if I had been feeling all sorry for myself, he was going to leave in 90 at least they stayed longer than that. I must have passed the "pity" test!

It WAS hard to have my sister leave. We had so much fun she is such an organizer and helps me get things done. She is definitely a "do-er!" She would do my hair every day...and that was wonderful. I'll try to post a picture of how great she would make me look. She met much of my cancer "team" and got to hear from my radiologist oncologist today. That was a positive meeting. The doctor was VERY pleased that I wasn't having my check or back pain. It's been almost 10 days since I took any pain medication--and that is so encouraging. The doctor felt quite sure that there has to be some shrinkage with the tumor since I am not feeling that pain. WOOHOO--that is definitely something to celebrate!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I had the great privilege of joining Louise for a few days in her third week of treatment. Lucky me, I got a chance to play with Emily who had surprised her mom, Kelsey, Brady, Jodie, and Spence and they all had an extra day off for Labor Day. These pictures are from the nail salon for one of many of Louise's firsts: her first pedicure. I'm not sure she loved the massage chair, but she loved the scale removal from under the feet. How fun to be in on the trip with Emily and Kelsey!

Louise is amazing during this new adventure--her attitude is consistently upbeat, she laughs a ton, she sleeps a ton (no change there), and she's even eating a bit. Tonight, she thought the avocado was particularly yummy. And for the last two days she's downed 3 carnation drinks (1650 calories...oh ya!). So, I think she's doing great. I hate to leave tomorrow, but I WILL BE BACK....

Good Morning. I am going to do a quick post this morning...with probably "more to come" later on. :) I got yesterday (Labor Day) off of radiation--what a nice break! It was a busy day in spite of that. We had lots of visitors and some nice surprises. The saddest thing about the day was when Emily, my daughter, had to leave. I wish I could keep all my kids right around me--however, that sounds great in theory. We would all probably get to the point where that is not quite as "wonderful" as it sounds. I loved having Em here, and hopefully will see her again fairly soon. I am loving having my sister, Laura, here. She is lots of fun and very helpful. She has also decided that every day she is going to do my hair. We never know when it's going to fall out so she's going to take advantage of every opportunity. I looked way "bouffant" (Don't think that's how you spell it)yesterday. She is also helping me to get things organized on my computer. She's great! Well, it's back to radiation and the normal routine. I'll write more--we are trying to figure out how to post pictures, so we can make this blog a little more interesting. Love to all, Louise

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A special Fast

This has been a pretty humbling day for me. To think of so many people including me in their fasting and prayers today is just amazing. I know there is strength in fasting, but there is also strength in combining our faith and love.

Let me tell you about my experiences in Church. Today I left a little bit early and felt badly about that (I don't like to miss any of church), but I was feeling a little nauseated and very tired. When I got home, my sister, Laura, was here--what a wonderful thing. Emily brought me home so the 3 of us just talked for a while--it was so nice.

But back to Church--the first Sunday of each month is Fast Sunday for us. we fast for 2 meals, and we try to always fast for a purpose. We have a testimony meeting where different members of our congregations (ward) share their feelings about the Gospel and Jesus Christ and about the Church. My very close friend (for many years), Chad Cherrington, shared some very tender feelings about me...and about this trial and about some of the spiritual experiences he's had with us. It touched me so much, and I felt inspired to also bear my testimony. I really do know that our Father in Heaven loves each of us-and that His love is often shown through the love of others. Throughout this whole experience, I have felt deeply of His love and concern, because of the love and concern of so many people. We don't ask for trials or adversity, but we can really see the hand of the Lord, guiding and helping us through through His other children.i I wish I could express my feelings better, but I hope you all know how much I appreciate all that you do for me. Happy Labor Day to you all! Love, Louise

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Better Saturday

Well, I have had my first technical error on this blog. I wrote a post, thought I had published it, but it's gone. Today went well--so much better than last Saturday. I rested and took it easy, but didn't feel nauseous. That was wonderful! I had a hard time sleeping last night, just worrying that this Saturday would be like last Saturday--I wasted a lot of time worrying!

We had such a nice day, enjoying Emily being here. What a great blessing it is to have her here. Again, we want to thank all who are joining us in fasting, praying and sending good thoughts. All of it means so much, and you all will be blessed for the goodness of your hearts. Have a good Sunday. Much love always, Louise and Spence
It is Saturday night, and I need to go to bed...but I have had a much better Saturday than I did a week ago. Last Saturday I felt pretty yucky--today I have felt all right. I have taken it easy, but haven't felt nauseated. I am very thankful. We have enjoyed having Emily here--what a blessing to have her here! My sister, Kathy, left--but it was great to have her here.

I am sure that we will feel great love and support as people literally all over the world are fasting for me. What a power fasting is...and of course, faith. Thanks to all who are sending good thoughts and prayers our way. May you be blessed for your kindness and caring. Much love to all, Louise

Friday, September 3, 2010

TRULY Wonderful Surprises!

I love surprises...and today I got VERY surprised. We were home tonight, just watching a movie, when the doorbell rang. We had been "doorbell ditched." Someone wonderful, and we'll probably never know who, left us a darling "get well" balloon and a beautiful chocolate cake that said we love you. How fun was that! WE have no idea who did it, but we want to thank whoever it was that did such a thoughtful thing. The great thing about it is that we will suspect everyone now...and just be reminded again of how terrific you all are. :)

The next surprise happened almost at the same time. Kelsey, who had been shopping, drove up just as the doorbell ditchers pulled away. She turned off the car lights, and was just parked on the other side of our street. She came out of the car to make sure everything was all right. Actually, she came over to get us back into the house so she could make HER surprise--which was our daughter, EMily. She had actually been shopping...and gone to the airport! What a total shock for us--I have missed Emily so much, because I haven't seen her since we got this diagnosis. I feel like the luckiest person on earth tonight--and ever so grateful AGAIN for my incredible children. I am so thankful for family!! :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sunday fast for Louise

I wanted to write just a quick reminder to any of you who did not see my earlier post about the fast that we would like to have for Louise on Sunday, September 5th. We have great faith in our Savior's healing power. Fasting is a demonstration to him of our faith in him. With so many family and friends joining together in a unified fast on Sunday, I feel certain that he will recognize our need for his divine help. Those of you who cannot participate in the fast, please include Louise in your prayers. Louise and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and your help in this way.

Love, Spence

Amazing experience in Radiation

Even though I had my second round of chemo today, my really cool experience happened during my radiation treatment. My sister, Kathy, actually came in with the "cancer zapper guys," who administer the radiation, and watched their monitors as I was going through the treatment. She obviously wasn't in the same room with me as I did it, but she was next door. She watched them get me ready for the treatment, which entails positioning me just right to make sure that the radiation goes in just the right spot. As with most medical procedures, I have lost all sense of modesty, and didn't mind them all being in there with me as I got ready. As I laid on that table, all by myself, having the big machine position itself over me, I had the most overpowering feeling of love come over me. It was like a tangible feeling, almost like a blanket, just swept over me. I know that part of it was due to the fact that kathy was right there. That just touched me so much...but it was more than that. I don't know how many of you were thinking of me right then or praying for me, or just feeling love for me, but I cried for a good part of that treatment because that feeling was so real to me. I just felt SO MUCH love. I was overcome and incredibly grateful. I wish I could hug all of you like i hugged my sister, and that you could feel the overpowering emotion that I felt. AThank you for your tremendous love--I know you are all part of my healing process, and I felt that so deeply today.

The chemo went quicker. My blood looked good--they check each week before administering the chemo to make sure that your platelets are good, and that your white blood cell count are good. Otherwise,, they won't give you the chemo.Spence came and visited me while I was on the IV. Kathy made sure that everything was ready for me to start, and then she went shopping and out to lunch with Kelsey--a fun time for both of them. Kelsey picked me up, and then I took a very long and refreshing 2-hour nap when I got home. I have "eaten" dinner with my family, and now we girls are going to watch a movie. I feel well (no effects yet), but I mostly just feel so thankful for my wonderful experience during radiation. Much love to you all, Louise

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Midway Through Week 2

Today wasn't a real eventful day--it was not quite as fabulous as yesterday was, but such is life. Today my sister and I didn't get to have our synchronized naps, just because we had repair men here. So while the termite guys were drilling, my sister was able to sleep. We just didn't get much done today-- not much more than the radiation and the working out. The guy in the work-out room keeps me working on the treadmill and a few other machines. I am probably working out more now than I have in several years. The positive sides of cancer. I just got a cool book that helped my brother-in-law, Ron, get through his experience with cancer. It's called Love, Medicine and miracles...and I think it will be a good book--very positive. A friend told me today that cancer is the most PRIORITIZING disease of all. It helps you sort out what is really important, and all the silly things we get caught up in--getting caught up in the "thick of thin things." Anyway...just a quick update. Tomorrow is round 2 of chemo. Hopefully things will go well.