Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hospice comes to mend the fears

Rhonda has decided to not undergo anymore chemotherapy. With less than a 10% chance of slowing or shrinking the cancer she has met with the hospice caregivers and feels very cared for under their watchful eye.

The Birthday Gift

Rhondas birthday gift in March was not only visits from friends but a pot of gold to take a trip to a happy place. Julie and LaRhonda flew Rhonda to Southern California on April 16 to go see Mickey and all his friends. On Friday they wheeled a chair through the spring break masses and had a ball on rides while they ate their way through the Magic Kingdom. On Saturday we all went to stroll along Santa Monica Blvd and the beach after I flew in from Seattle. We had a great visit at our cousin Carols house where Rhonda played on a 4 wheeler! Monday it was just the three of us in a California heat wave at Disney but without the spring breakers. We also enjoyed lunch with Lois McMillan and Ronny McMillan before heading back home. An unforgettable whirlwind of fun-memories of a lifetime. See photos below

A Trip to Disneyland

Rhonda visits Disneyland and plays hard for a few days

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009

Well, it is my turn to update the blog. I sure appreciated what Michelle has said in the last update.
I writing from the computer at the Huntsman Center, I have been here for almost a week so the doctors can control the severe pain I have been having of which they call cancer pain. They also know I have a date with Mickey Mouse and need to leave by Thursday. They mention Mickey everytime they come in to see me know which is kind of fun.
The day I went into the hospital Julie took me to the emergency room because of my back pain, chest pain and shortness of breath. They sent me for a chest xray and a ct scan and found some extra fluid in my left lung and thought it might be pneumonia, they also told me that my tumor was growing in the left lung. I turned to Julie, started crying and she just held me. I know this is all part of the cancer game but I just don't think I am ready to play yet. I find myself in denial with alot of it. I know the inevitable is going to happen so I am now do the best I can to start preparing myself which seems to bring me more peace.
For my birthday, Julie gave me a big surprise part and boy was it a surprise. I had no clue she was setting this up. It was alot of fun and and alot of people of which some I haven't seen for along time. My sister is so good to me and takes very good care of me. She has never once led me to believe that I am a burden to her, that is my own thinking and I have got to stop.
Over Conference weekend, my friend Mary K set up a reunion of all my friends from sunbeam, junior high, high school and mutual classes. WOW, what a great time. They came as far as Austin, TX, Colorado Springs, CO, Spokane, WA, and various places in California. We had a great time visiting, eating and catchin up. Picutres will be posted soon by Mary K.
I need to get back to my hospital room for some more test. Please send me emails in response to any postings because it is easier to answer back.
Take care and know that I love everyone of you and appreciate your love, prayers and support.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I was just thinking about Rhonda as she sits in the hospital with an abscess in her lung. I know she worries about the pain and fear of her disease and what will happen next. The fear in her life has truly changed how she has 'lived' over the past few months. This is Michelle, her sister, writing to you all today. Julie and I discussed the idea of me adding to the blog and talking about the progress of Rhondas disease and personal struggles in our family. We agreed that it was important for us to say something versus nothing. I hope to speak thoughtfully on Rhondas behalf because I certainly don't want to offend or add any more stress to her situation.

Rhonda actually cam to see our family a few weeks ago and was very ill when she came. It was a week after her 4th chemo round and she didn't seem to be perking up like she had the first few times after a week or so. She ended up in the hospital for over a week to stop the consistant bleeding she had every day that she was here. It seemed that her nose would run and bleed only to barely clot until she blew her nose to start the process over again. The cancer doctor in our town treated her for a week noting that all white blood cells were gone and she was extremely weak from her chemo treatments. He was surprised that she was out of town and not being monitored more closely. Her doctors in Utah did not know of the problems before she left and wanted her to go and have 'a good time'. Well my mother and Rhonda stayed an extra week but the energy level was too far gone to show her past my family room and to hang out with the family and newest grandchild. It was at least nice to have someone new to look at in someplace different to sit for a little while. I do know it felt better to get back to her regular comfort spots and Julies care and watchful eye. Julie picked up the two at the airport on thursday and almost went straight to the ER with Rhonda after another bought of nose bleeds. they did make it home and then a quick preparation of Mom over the weekend to prepare for her new knee on Monday. Surgery went well-really well! Mom stayed in a recovery center and had excellent help during her PT and received the second knee just over a week ago. Unfortunately she can see that this knee is much more painful and so different than the first surgery-but thats done now too. Plenty of time to heal and get back on her feet to come.

I will post more often on Rhondas progress so that you may all see and know of her condition. I will ask that you be patient as you have been because we are not sure how to help Rhonda through this difficult time as well. We spent time talking about her fears while she was here in WA. She doesn't feel like she can talk to people about what is going on. Letters, phone calls and good wishes can't seem to fade away the anxiety or depression. We are finding it hard to motivate in any way so we ask her if she wants us to leave her alone and stop bugging her to get up to do things-she says 'No, don't stop'. So Larhonda and Julie are planning a trip to disneyland next week for a last hurrah. Many friends came from near and far over conference weekend to share good memories and friendships and an overnight stay at a cousins house was a nice getaway as well this month. I think she is in the hospital for the next few days to get her spark plugs(pain patch) changed and an oil job(new blood). We try to bring a smile wherever we can:)

Her doctors continue to say she is doin 'fine' and 'go out and do what you feel you can'. I will pass on messages of hope and concern as I check the blog each day and report back to her. Thank you for all of your love, concern and support. Friends and Family--It really is what matters in the end

Thursday, February 5, 2009

4th Treatment 2 ti Go

I know it has been awhile since my last update and again I apologize. I am sittting in the inffusion chair receiving my 4th treatment out of six and this one is taking me 8 hours because they are having to give 2 units of blood because my hematocrit is very low which causes me to be very week and tired which gives me no energy to want to do anything including typing on a computer and reading. Hopefully that will al change now. I had my appointment with my oncologist today and he said everything is looking great and that I even have some cancer cells that are shrinking after my catscan 3 days ago. So all and all I am doing pretty good.

Mom and I are going to Washington State to visit Michelle on the 12th. I am so excited to get out and away, cabin fever has hit me strong. Mom and I are staying for about 8 days. When we get back mom is facing 2 knee replacements. She will have one done and then 2-3 weeks later she will have the other done. My hat goes off to Julie, she has been and still is a wonderfule caretaker and has not complained one bit about the care for me, her family and now she will be taking care of mom. Lukilly we have some ward members that are begging to help out with service to our famuly. We have been very blessed and prayers have been answered. I want to thank all of you for your prayers and comments. Please continue to be patient with as I continue to get better with responding to you. I love all of you very much. Rhonda