Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lots of joy!

Today was an awesome day! Ian came home from his two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on January 7th. He spoke in church today and shared with us how he learned to recognize and follow the Spirit. He shared how his understanding of the gospel grew as he studied. And how when he learned of my cancer just as he was beginning his mission he studied harder and learned for himself the plan of salvation and spoke of the peace he felt when he understood it. His testimony is firm. I can't include everything he said here but it has brought me great joy to see his growth, and to know that he knows.

On the evening of the 7th, after picking up Ian, I wasn't feeling well. I went to lay down and when I woke up a couple hours later, I had a fever. I'm supposed to call into my doctor any time I have a fever. I haven't had a fever in a long time. But I know that because they only seem to happen at night, it means a trip to the ER. Sure enough we found ourselves in the ER. I was so afraid that I was neutropenic and that I would be admitted and our trip to Atlanta on the 9th would have to be postponed. But as sure as everybody seemed to be that I was neutropenic and would be admitted, it turned out not to be the case. They determined that I had picked up some kind of virus and would be fine to travel. Yay! So by the end of the next day I was feeling back to myself again and we were anxiously packing to go and see our new grandson!

Our trip was awesome! We stayed with my son-in-law's parents who are also friends of ours. They were very gracious for putting us up and putting up with us for over a week. It was nice to see them and catch up. I had all of my children together in one place and seeing my grandson was amazing. He is adorable and already you can see some if his personality.  It was incredible watching my daughter be a mother and seeing how my sons adored their nephew. We were exited to see Eddie's brother and his wife an their daughter. They flew down for a day to see everyone. It was nice catching up with them. Between Valerie and I we couldn't go out and do as much as we would have liked but the boys did a few fun things like going shooting and visiting the aquarium and playing basketball together. My favorite was going to story corps. It is free and their mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. What an awesome idea! You get to go into a room, record your story and they preserve it and you get a copy! We originally were going to go in and have my husband record his 9/11 experience but at the last minute we decided that I would go in with my three sons and we would talk about this cancer experience and how it has affected each of us. What a special time that was. I enjoyed that conversation and the time spent with them so much. It was the right conversation to have.

So, now I'm back home ready to settle into a routine again but feeling so blessed with life's greatest blessings. A grandson. A son who has come home a man, ready to do what the Lord wants him to do. A daughter who has become a mother and her husband who is good and patient and helpful. A son who is serving his country and has such high ambitions and goals for his life. And another son who is preparing to go out on a mission and serve. I am grateful for all these things and more. It's a wonderful life!

Now back to January 6th and the ct scan results. There are two things they look at when making a determination on how treatment will go. The first is the tumor markers and the second is the ct scan. The scan is more heavily relied on than the tumor markers. This scan showed that right now things are stable meaning things are not growing  (they're not shrinking either) but the tumor markers have gone up. This chemo has been a hard one on me. He reduced the chemo a couple of rounds ago and I have done better. But he's thinking that the reduction is what has caused the numbers to go up. So he is going to increase the chemo back to 100% but take out the 5FU part of the chemo which is what is in the pump that I bring home for two days. The thought of not coming home with a pump makes me want to jump for joy and may be the only reason I agreed to go back up to 100%. We'll see how this goes. Hanging on till my next scan in a couple of months.


  1. Thanks for sharing these beautiful miracles-- it brought me to tears. You have an incredible family and I am so incredibly happy that you had that time together! I love you! Also, I felt terrible we didn't make it to your party earlier this month. We had all intentions of coming but Wes was slammed with some business deadlines that lead him into the wee hours of the morning. I so wished we could have come!

  2. Isn't it amazing to see what kind of adults your children grow into? Also the joy of a grandchild...I just wish you and I could live a lot closer to them. I'm so glad you got to visit.

  3. I know what you mean about having a new grandson and about having a sweet young man return from a mission a well seasoned person. I read this post with a great deal of understanding for all that you are experiencing...except the cancer. Life is so full and so amazing. I thank you for your sweet words of faith and determination. We love and pray for you daily! Give your family a hug from us. All our love... Karrie and Family

    1. Thanks, Karrie. I have thought of you guys and of our paralleling experiences. Congratulations on your new grandson! And I know you're loving having your son home as much as I am mine. Hugs to you too!

  4. Hey Dawna!
    I just wanted to know that I borrowed your book from Rhonda (the Diet Coke version-as the other one is too special to her) and finished reading it. What an amazing, powerful, and inspiring book!! I was actually at the gym when I was reading part of it and remember looking up at the T.V. at some morning show with a bunch of celebrities and felt the stark contrast between the woman of God that you are, reaching your true potential, and the women of the world, on the screen, talking about the inconsequential and blinded by the pull of the world. It made me feel so grateful for your righteous strong example! It inspired me to turn to Heavenly Father and my Savior in the trials and weaknesses that I face. In short, I want to be more like you!--A converted, true, and stalwart woman of the Lord! Kissy Salad and hope today is a good one!
    PS I can see the mark you've made and example you've given to the Young Women...from the little things from cleaning out the closet and finding useful and beautiful pouches to envelop the material gifted to incoming Beehives and from the comments of love and admiration from the girls. You shine bright!