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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back for Round 4

Tonight is once again Kim's last night at home for a while. She's going back to Primary Children's in the morning. It's always a little bit of a bummer, but she has high hopes that this will be a short round. She's doing the same cycle of treatment that she did in round 3: five days of chemo and then recovery. She usually does better on a repeat like this. So, hopefully, she'll be back home to enjoy the holidays before we know it!
Right now mom and Kim are packing. They're taking down some nice Christmas decorations to put up in her room.
I know it's hard to be away from home for Kim, and this time of year it's especially rough. If I could ask all of you for a favor, it would just be to keep her in your thoughts and prayers as always, and any emails, texts, cards or presents for her would be really great. Hearing from you is the best way to keep her distracted and encouraged.
Thank you all, so much again- I hope you have a great holiday season!

The Thanksgiving Weekend

Saturday we went to Wyoming to visit Mom's family for our annual Thanksgiving get-together. It was a really special day, because almost all of the family was able to come. We were only missing Jeff, Val, and Alissa (and they came up the night before- but had to work on saturday- their other kids were there,) Mike, who is on his mission, and Scott. Vii, Annette and their two kids Jackson and India came over from Georgia, and everyone else made it as well. It's always so much fun to spend time with our family.
This year, grandma made ALL of us hats and scarves. With seven children, their spouses, and 21 grandchildren... that's 35 sets! She's been working on them since this summer, and I have to say, they were a huge success! She is so amazing- a great example to all of her family.
Everyone was so glad that Kim was able to be there. They all care so much about her, and I know we owe much of her success to them. Thank you all, so much!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas!

We put our Christmas decorations up a little earlier than usual this year- last weekend. Kim wanted a chance to help put them up, and enjoy them before she goes back to the hospital for round 4 (Monday.) After decorating the tree, (when I told Kim that her head matches the bulbs now!) we snuggled together for a movie. We're so lucky to have a great home and family. I hope all of you enjoy the holidays this year!


Thanksgiving was a really wonderful day for us this year. Because Kim's counts have gotten so high, she was able to go to our dad's family's Thanksgiving at our Aunt Diana and Uncle Larry's house in Deweyville. We had a great time with family, and got to spend a while giving attention to their two horses- Gaston and Jemima.

We are thankful that Kim's treatments are going so well, that she was able to be home with us for Thanksgiving, that she's feeling so great, that we have such wonderful friends and family who support us, and for all of the many other blessings that we have in our lives. Thank you all for being a part of it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kim's Testimony while in PCMC

The Primary President at the PCMC Branch asked Kim if she would write her testimony for for her to share with the Branch. They were impressed with her testimony and shared it with the Stake President and others. Here it is:

My diagnoses of leukemia came as a complete shock. I came to Primary Children's for a heart surgery. I have SVT (supraventricle tachycardia) and a hole in my heart I was going to have fixed. Both I could live with, but because I want to remain an active person, it was a better option to get the operations.

The day before, I came down with a high fever. When I arrived at the hospital, one of my doctors was worried I was coming down with the flu and postponed my surgery. While I had been waiting for his decision, I told a nurse how the past few months I was getting bruises really easy and how when I'd do something as simple as walking up a flight of stairs, I'd get a throbbing headache. I thought that was because of my heart, but my doctor said he'd never heard of that. After a blood test, I was sent up to the oncology clinic where they told me I had leukemia. A few days later they found out I had AML, the more aggressive type of leukemia. I learned my treatment would also be more aggressive, I'd have to remain in the hospital for a month, only to go home for a little amount of time before going back for another month.

This was the last thing I thought I'd be doing right after I graduated from high school. I had to put off going to college, quit my job and leave my home. I've tried to be as positive as I could, I know things could be much worse than they are now. One thing I was sad about was that I wouldn't be able to go to church for a long time.

But I received an awesome surprise. Two men brought the sacrament to me one Sunday. I was able to participate in that ordinance, something I didn't think I was going to be able to do for a long time. What a service these men are willing to do for me. Even though I am stuck in the hospital, I can still partake of the sacrament and be forgiven of my sins. I was filled with joy. Soon after I started receiving lessons on Sunday from two sisters as well. It brings the spirit into my room. It feels so wonderful. The things I learn I try to apply to my life.

The members who come touch my life, they're such good examples to me. So loving and kind. They're willing to sacrifice their time for people like me. Though it may seem like a little thing to them to give one girl a lesson or the sacrament, it's really big and important to me. It makes my stay at the hospital that much easier.

I know, with all my heart, that this is the true church. I will not and can not deny that. The Gospel brings so many blessings to my family and I. Even in this horrible situation I can still be so happy, so full of joy. I know I'm not alone. There is someone who knows exactly what I'm going through, someone I can always talk to anytime, who loves me so much, who knows I can do this. My Savior, Jesus Christ. As it says in John 14:18, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." I'm not alone, what a comfort to be able to know this! I can do this, even though it gets harder and harder. I can do it. And I'll do it joyfully. I'll press forward, through thick and thin. This trial was given to me to test my weaknesses, to make me stronger. The Lord will help me, I'm not alone, His spirit is with me. I feel at peace. I'm am so grateful for this Gospel, I can't imagine facing any trial without it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Books, Blood Counts and Hospital Dates

Hello, my name is Kimberly Nelson. But I think Kimberly is too long, so I just like Kim. Plus, don't you dare call me Kimberly with that "you've got mail" accent, or I will but you in the stomach with my head. So there you go.

Kim has been reading a lot of Junie B. Jones books. They suit her increasinly short attention span well. If you don't know what those are, I would highly recommend reading them- great fun for all ages. Unfortunately, they do tend to make you talk a little weird for a few days after you've read one of them- just so you know.

We heard back from the hospital today as to Kim's latest blood counts- good news! She's all the way up to 600 on her ANC. This means she's out of the danger zone, and gets to cut back on her anti-biotics. She's feeling pretty good. She has a check-up appointment tomorrow, and will go in Monday to have her bone marrow tested. She gets to be home for the family Thanksgiving dinners, and then the doctors have her tentatively scheduled to go back to the hospital on December 1st for round 4. We're really hoping that she'll get through her chemo and recovery quickly this next time, and be home for as much of the Christmas season as possible!

Kim had a rough time in round three, but she's bounced back amazingly well. Once again, we know this is largely in part because of her strong spirit, and the love and prayers of all of you. Thank you, as always.

Much love,
The Nelsons

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Home again! For a while :)

Great news for Kim! The doctors decided that her counts were looking good enough that she could come home for a while! This is great... because we thought they'd be keeping her longer (what with it being flu season, in addition to some of the complications she's been having.) So, she came home on Sunday afternoon.
She's in great spirits- amazing, after everything she's been going through! I'll have to get an updated picture of her up here so you can see how she's doing.
She'll have a doctor's appointment some time this week at PCMC, and will probably go down next week for her bone marrow test, and then will probably be back at the hospital the week after Thanksgiving- but of course, it could be the week after that if she's not doing well, or even earlier than that if she's Really not doing well! (They want her to recover enough to start round 4 of chemo- so they'll leave her here longer if she's slow to recover. Of course, if she ends up getting sick or something, she'll have to go back...)
We're excited for Thanksgiving, and hoping she'll be able to stay here with us. We'll probably be putting up our Christmas decorations this weekend as well- because Kim loves getting to help with that, and who knows how long she'll get to enjoy it here this year?
Thanks everyone~ we love you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No News is Good News?

Hi Everyone- sorry you haven't been hearing much from us lately! I'm stuck in Logan slaving away over my last month of school, and Kim is still at PCMC with mom. Not much has changed in the ... wow, has it been a week and a half already? ... since I last wrote.
Dad went down this last weekend to stay with Kim, and a couple of friends have been to see her, but when she's not feeling very sick and tired (which is most of the time) she's pretty bored out of her mind! This is getting to be a pretty hard part in her treatment. Things are going well on the large scale, but it's still a long road to get there, and this round has turned out to be the roughest one yet.
Her counts are being slow to come up, which isn't good for her hopes of coming home- as it is flu season and the doctors aren't likely to let her out until they are nice and high. She's still getting transfusions now and then, and has had some nausea off and on even as late as now. It seems like little problems keep cropping up- infections, nausea, rashes, etc- but the biggest problem this time have been hemeroids that have been hurting her.
Despite all of this, Kim is still amazingly enthusiastic, and is doing her best to cope with it all. Thank you all who have been staying in touch- helping to keep her distracted! Hopefully she won't have to stay too much longer before she gets a break at home, but we'll keep you posted until then.
Thanks everyone!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween at the Hospital :)

Last night Kim and I had some fun with some wigs that I brought down for the weekend... I was pretty impressed with how they turned out! We lost a few pictures in the transfer process- we had three wigs that both of us tried on. But here are some fun pics that can clue you in to a few of the good times :) (We managed to have a great time even though Saturday evening brought on a bought of nausea and she threw up three times as we were playing around... such is life!)
I hope all of you had a great Halloween!

Kim the Vampiress

Ahhh! Don't eat me! (Kim and Me, a bit blurry but in our costumes)

I love Kim's emo look... cute, but kind of disturbing :)

Snack time!


My Halloween look