Kim was diagnosed with AML Leukemia on July 22, 2009, just after she finished high school. She'd been feeling well, just showing a few bruises when she went to Primary Childrens Medical Center for a heart surgery to fix a relatively minor condition she's had since she was born. A blood test before the surgery showed that her blood had been completely taken over by the cancer. They admitted her that day and began treatment right away. She went through five long rounds of chemotherapy, doing relatively well, with the exception of one infection that led to a very scary stay in the Pediatric ICU. She spent almost all of that time in the hospital, with just a few breaks to go home. By the end of March 2010 she was allowed to go home for good- officially in remission! She was so excited to finally go to USU Fall semester, and got strait A's in all of her classes! Psychology, Humanities, Family Finance and ANATOMY. Not a week after finals, at a regular check up at PCMC, her blood tests showed that her cancer was back. And thus began round two- Kim's goal was to make it to a bone marrow transplant. We had found a donor, so all that was left was to get her in remission once more. After three rounds of chemotherapy, her body was no longer strong enough to keep fighting, no matter that her spirit was. She will always be with us. 7:48 pm, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Running Low

After a week of fighting c. difficle Kim's blood is slowly building back up but not fast enough so today she is getting more blood and platelets. Hopefully that will make her feel better and have a little more energy. We really appreciate the people who donate blood and plateletes. The nurses, techs, and doctors here at PC are amazing. Even those not assigned to Kim will come in to visit and say Hi and are positive and encouragingand they enjoy visiting with Kim. Yesterday she wrote letters to her missionaries and shared her testimony with PC branch via e-mailand crossed one more day off the calendar. Thanks so much for your love, faith and prayers in her behalf she has truly been blessed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kim's Weekend

This weekend, Kim's friend Melissa stayed at the Hospital with her (Friday and Saturday night.) It's so hard to leave her, but she they had a really fun time together despite Kim feeling pretty awful with her stomach bug. And I think this was the first Sunday that Mom and Dad have been able to go to church together for quite a while.
Though the C-Diff (see last post) stomach bug that Kim has officially takes two weeks to treat (that's how I know she will be in the hospital for at least that long) her stomach doesn't hurt nearly so much. She had extremely painful cramps that even morphine wouldn't clear up for her. All they could really do is give her things that made her sleepy, so she wouldn't have to be awake for it.
Also, this weekend she started to get a slightly runny nose, and the doctors have been worried she might have somehow picked up a virus. But, she tested negative for that, thank goodness! Maybe she's just developing an alergy for hospitals ;)
Overall, I think she is through the worst of the chemo effects now, and will hopefully only feel better over the next couple of weeks until she is able to come home again for a while. (Lets hope that the marrow test she'll have before she goes back for round three shows her cancer percent to be at zero through and through!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Update~ Sister Time!

Hey Everyone! I finally got to spend another day with Kim- and lucky me- we're even turning it into a sleepover! I came down after school today, and will drive back to Logan in the morning before my classes.

I got here to find out that Kim's chemo is finally starting to catch up with her. She's been feeling great this whole time, but just yesterday started feeling tired, sick to her stomach again, and her hair- the little bits that hadn't fallen out last time and were starting to grow back- pretty much bit the dust. The worst of it all though is that between the chemo that is killing a lot of cells, and the antibiotics that they are giving her because her ANC (Immunity) is down to zero, have wiped out most of the bacteria in her digestive system. As I'm sure most of you know, some bacteria is very imporant- both for digestion and for warding off "bad" bacteria that also lives in everybody's system. Because she doesn't have much of the good anymore, some of that bad bacteria is starting to run out of control. It causes a sickness called C-Diff. They are treating her for it already (it pretty much involves a special kind of antibiotic, special precautions regarding immunity) but if you would like to learn more, here is a great website with some easy to understand information:
Because Kim's remaining, short hairs have been falling out all over her pillow and such, she was patting at her head with bits of tape to help pick it up (and wishing for a lint roller!) For fun, I stuck a piece of tape to her head waxing-style (for those of you lucky ones who have never tried it- it pretty much consists of pressing down the sticky side in the direction the hair grows, and then supporting the skin while you rip the tape off in the opposite direction of the hair. Just in case you wanted to know.) Anyway, though it was only masking tape (basically the weakest there is) I was very shocked when I ripped it away and most all of the little hairs came away with it- there was an actual really bald spot in the place it had been. I was so worried I hurt her, but she said she didn't feel anything. (Dead roots.) She wanted me to do her whole head this way- and so I did. Just for fun I took some pictures, and I'll add them here:

Crazy, huh? Anyway, Kim is especially vulnerable right now, and really isn't feeling very well, but we're hoping that won't last long. She should be able to come home in about two more weeks. Until then, she's really glad to hear from you (you can still send emails through the PCMS link- look to the info on right of screen) and if she's feeling well, would love company. Please check with her/us first to be sure that she's up for it that day. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dad, dog and fun

Dad's perspective (Sunday 20Sep09)
I get to take my turn this weekend with Kim, I've actually been looking forward to this, I enjoy my time here with Kim. I got here Saturday afternoon as I was busy getting things done around the house, (computer maintenance, laundry, vacuuming, dishes, moping, yard work, etc. etc.) I didn’t want the house to look to bad when Julie got back.
Kim is continuing to do well, the only problem I can see is some pain with jaw and head aches. This round of chemo has been much less severe than the 1st round. Her ANC blood count is now zero, the chemo has done its job killing out her cells in the bone marrow, now back to the re-building faze. So her immunity is back to nothing and she is confined to her room. Kim and I watched a few videos Saturday evening. Sunday morning, I hiked for an hour on the Bonneville Lake Shore Line Trail, then took a short-cut coming back coming down the steep mountain slope and over the “U”. The “U” is made from a big slap of cement with embedded lights. Sunday I attended the sacrament service provided here at PCMC, and then the branch brought in the Sacrament and lesson to Kim. Kim and I have had a fun afternoon visiting and reminiscing about how good our lives have been. Kim got a special visit from a beautiful dog, a King Charles Cavalier. He was the most friendly-loving dog you could imagine. I want one now, what a beautiful dog. Thanks all for your food, love and prayers in our behalf. (Ward members have been bringing in food for Emily and I at home while Julie and Kim are at PCMC)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Last Day of Chemo!

Hey Everyone! This morning Kim had her last dose of chemo for this month/round. She only had 8 days of it this time, so it went a little faster. The great news is that she is still feeling really good. She hasn't got the rash, and though her taste is a little off, her appetite is okay and she isn't feeling sick. She's not feeling too tired, and she's even finding a few things to keep her occupied. (Though, she would still like to add this little tidbit: "Kim is losing her brain.
It is melting out her ears. So, when she comes back, just be sure to use small words...") Of course, the effects of chemo usually start to take place after she's through with the treatment. But it's nice that it hasn't happened yet.
Here is a picture of her taking some guitar lessons from the Music Therapist here at Primary Childrens. Kim's been developing her guitar skills over the past couple of years, and is planning to really get good over the next few months.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back in the ICS

Kim has been moved out of the Surgical unit and back to the ImmunoCompromised ward. She doesn't Need to be there yet, as her counts are actually higher than they've been since she was diagnosed. Her chemo hasn't started to kill cells yet (her ANC is over 900, for those of you who have been following.) But once they do start to go down again, this is where she will need to be. For those of you who may have been worried about seeing her because of her low immunity- now would be the time to go. She's mostly feeling bored having to be back in the hospital. But soon she'll be sick again... and so on.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bone Marrow Test Results

We finally heard back about her official Leukemia levels. We were really praying that they would be under 15% so she wouldn't need the marrow transplant. As it turns out, she's all the way down to 8%, and still zero showing in her blood. Yay!
In this next round of treatment, she's now trying to get down to 0% in and out. Then she'll just need a couple more months of treatment to ensure that she is really in recession- and it will be back to life as usual for Kim!
I know things have been working so well for her because of all of the support and prayers from all of you. Thank you!
Now, just to get through these next few months... Blue wristband anybody?

Ding Ding Ding! Back for Round Two

I am here at the hospital with Kim- I get to spend the night tonight, and mom will be back tomorrow night. The Surgical Unit isn't too bad, but we still miss being upstairs in the ICS. I'll put some pictures up of her current room.
She is going to be in this room for about a week- probably. Yesterday was her first day of ten days of chemo again, and she should still have high enough counts until they move her up there. (They aren't as picky down here with cleanliness and all- you don't have to be checked in, and her room isn't air-pressurized, etc.)
She is of course already twiddling her thumbs. I'm sort of torn between being that that she feels well enough to be bored- it might not be long before the drugs start making her sick again. Still, if any of you could drop by to visit, or want to send an email or something, she'd really appreciate the distraction. She is now in the Children's Surgical Unit (CSU) Room 3070. (By the way- a couple of you have asked me what Kim might like to keep her entertained... the best things I can still think of are an iTunes giftcard, stationary and maybe some snacks- she's still got her appetite.) Thanks!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Last Day at Home

Hey Everyone... Kim is counting down her last few hours here at home. She and mom will be driving down to Salt Lake at around 8 in the morning. (Dad and I will be coming down the next day.) We haven't heard back on her marrow test results yet- they'll probably let her know about it once she gets there.
Interestingly enough, the ImmunoCompromised Services Ward at PCMC, where she pretty much dwells, is "booked full" for this weekend, so they're going to have her down a floor on children's surgery for a couple of days. Hopefully a few will clear up in that time- they usually give the AMC patient's their pick of room, when they can (because they end up staying for so long. Most people are only in for a couple of days, week at the most.)
When she does move into her room in the ICS, she's decided that she wants a Beach/Luau/Pirate sort of decorating theme (we're probably going to do something different for each visit, just to keep things a little more interesting.) We'll let you know how that works out.
I won't lie... Kim is really kind of bummed about going back to the hospital. She knows she needs to get on with her treatment, but it's really hard for her to stay cooped up there. Also, the uncertainty about the next step in her treatment (and how well things have been working so far) really has all of us a little worried. But really, I know she will be just fine... Kim is amazing. :) And thank you all for helping her through this!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fun with Friends, Aug 28, Tony Grove

Test Results and Dates

We got Kim's bone marrow test back last week. It showed a 15% marrow content of possible leukemia cells. However, they were immature cells, and so her doctors put her plans on hold until they could do another marrow test. She would have gone back to the hospital last Friday. Now we are planning on this Friday. She is going down tomorrow for another marrow test.
The marrow test is very important because though her blood is showing no leukemia (which is great,) it could still be in the marrow- where blood is produced. This is the thing I keep talking about in regards to her "progress" and whether or not she will need a marrow transplant. Less than 5% and she won't at all, less than 15% they would only do it if she had a sibling match (which she doesn't) and over 15% is pretty bad- they will pull a donor from the national registry for her. (Once again, that is just how they work. If you are interested, please go to )
Her regular blood test from last week (the one we do from home and our nurse here sends to the hospital) showed Kim with some great results. Her ANC, or general immunity, was all the way up to 700. (She was usually around 200. Over 500 is great- not even officially immuno-compromised anymore, and they wanted her at about 750 before they would start chemo again.) She was really excited about that- it meant she got to go off of the antibiotic that we had to administer every 8 hours into her IV line. Now she's just on pills. Also, it wasn't so dangerous for her to see people.
However, this week's blood test, today, showed a pretty dramatic drop back to 400. We don't know if they will push her hospital admit date back again, or if they will just have her come in. A LOT will depend on tomorrow's marrow test.

I want to thank all of you once more for your thoughts and prayers. Things are still really hard for Kim, especially now in planning to go back to the hospital, and as she is starting to feel weaker (not getting transfusions, getting that shot of chemo last week, and general dropping counts and too-strenuous activity. Naughty girl.) So thank you all, for helping to take care of us.

I wanted to say a special thank you to Kim's and my student ward. They held a special fast for her this last Sunday. Though they didn't have long to know her before all of this took place in her life, they have been amazingly supportive. Thank you all so much!