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, December 29, 2010

Catching up on the week

Once again, I have been neglecting my posting duties for the past few days. Things have been relatively quiet, and so I've been letting myself get lazy. For shame!

Kim is really doing quite well. She finished up her chemotherapy on Monday morning. She's been really tired, and made it until Tuesday without being too sick, but her eyes have been very painful (once of her chemo drugs, Ara-C, always does that to her) so she's been on a lot of pain meds and keeping in the dark most of this week. Yesterday she started throwing up, too, so now she's really being kept drowzy with the meds. But at least they can keep her from being too miserable- we're very happy about that!

This picture of Kim and Elliot was taken Sunday. He's one of our favorite therapy dogs, and his owner Joe has been really great to let him stay for long visits. They usually just come by on Thursdays, but they made a special trip to visit just a couple of their favorites on Sunday :)

Today we had our first meeting with the doctor who will be in charge of Kim's bone marrow transplant, Dr. Pulsipher. Although a lot of things will still just depend on what then find in the bone marrow donor system, (register at!) and how Kim is doing each step of the way, we learned a lot today. I'll tell you more about this in the next post- I wanted to get you up to date thus far.

Special Thanks to Dennis, Jennifer, Jocelyn and the kids for taking Cheddar- Kim's snake. She's so glad to know that he'll have a great home since she can no longer take care of him.

We love you all- thanks for sticking with us through everything.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Pictures!

Santa's got some presents to deliver!

Oops! Here's a peek at Kim's central line dressing (which she had to keep on for as long as the line is in her chest. It gets replaced about once a week.) But isn't she so beautiful? She doesn't look sick at all!

I just loved this wrapping job :)

Kim's favorite present was a flashlight from Dad- Finally, she's a real Nelson!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

First off, I just want to thank all of you for the wonderful thoughts and wishes you have been sending our way... and most especially, the prayers. This is one of only two times in my life I have so drastically been able to feel the prayers of others, and it's an incredible feeling; thank you!

Today was a wonderful day with Kim. For all that she's now had four days of intense Chemo pumping into her, she's doing really great- better than she has since she got here. It's all relative, of course- she took a lot of naps and spent most of the day in bed, but she wasn't in much pain, and she still hasn't thrown up yet.

So, today was Christmas. The highlight of our day was the fantastic phone call we had with our Missionary. It's the first time we've been able to talk with him since he found out about Kim's relapse. It's been so rough for him, but his testimony, and belief in Kim, have kept him strong. Although I know he was looking forward to coming home to a healthy sister, it is going to be neat for him to be able to participate in the whole hospital adventure that cancer is. Right now, were're starting bets as to who will be home first- Mike, or Kim!

After our call from him, we opened lots of wonderful presents. Not just the ones that Dad brought in his Santa pack from home, but also a whole bundle that wonderful people here at the hospital, and at the Ronald McDonald house have been sending our way. There are so many kind people here that help us to feel cheerful.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas. Thanks, and lots of love,


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas! (Almost!)

Kimhas been doing well again today. She's been very tired, but not in too much pain, and has been able to avoid the Putrid Pink Puking Pail as of yet (I just made that up- she usually uses those pink hospital buckets when she needs to be sick).

We learned a little more about the bone marrow transplant today. Apparently, even donors that are already in the registry take three months to process, and that's just too long for what Kim needs. (The testing and harvesting time frame). She needs to be starting her transplant within a month or so. However, there is another place that the bond marrow stem cells can be harvested from- the umbilical cord donation bank. It's really a very neat process that I will go into later. These cells can be defrosted and ready to go within that month she needs. Again, we should know next week what they find out.

Kim has two more days of chemo, and then the wait for all of her counts to drop. Until then- Christmas! Dad got here today with a bundle of presents from our tree at home, and tonight we played Sorry and read Christmas stories. Tomorrow we are looking forward to talking with Mike, who will be calling at 10:00.

I really will get a few pictures up soon. Thank you all again, as always.

Love, Emily

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dec 23- Update and Plans for the Future

Hi Everyone, I am finally writing again. Sorry I've been a little short the past day or two.

Kim is doing better today than she was yesterday. Her blood pressure is better now, as they have been giving her a ton of fluids. So they aren't considering sending her to PICU anymore. Thank goodness!

She has been on chemo for the past two days now. So far, it isn't bothering her too much. She's had a fever, and is still in a lot of pain from her bone marrow test and the placement of her new central line, but as I said, it's better today.

As you know, Kim is going to have to have a bone marrow transplant this time. It is very important that they do it as soon as possible, as when the cancer comes back like this a second time, it is always stronger. There is a chance that it could come back even stronger after this first round of chemo, so they are going to go strait into her transplant as soon as the medicine wipes out her leukemia. They are searching the database now for the best match for her. We should know more about results within another week or so.

For those of you who have been asking about being tested as a possible donor, it is true that they will probably find a match already in the system, before there would be time to get any of you processed. However, if you would like to join the registry, either to possibly be a donor for some other patient in the future, or just in case they are not able to find a match for Kim right away, you can visit the website to request a testing kit. It's usually $50-60 to register, but I've heard that at this time, they are waiving the processing fee, so it may be free. That would be great. When Mike and I were tested to see if we could be matches for Kim, it was on an individual basis, and we were not put into the registry. I am going to request a kit for myself. Though I can't be a donor for Kim, I maybe can be for someone else.

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and wishes. Kim really appreciates all the love that is being sent her way-

A special Thank You to the 42nd Young Single Adult ward! (Kim's and mine.) They sent over some really cute balloons. Which reminds me that I haven't been taking any pictures. Coming soon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dec 22

Just a quick note-

Kim got her central line placed yesterday, and is starting chemo today. She's doing okay, and managing to keep out of PICU- yay!

I'm just heading down now, so I'll post again with more details once I get there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dec 21

The latest from Kim:

Her blood pressure is very low, and the doctors are worried about her heart, especially as she has had trouble with it in the past. If it doesn't come up soon, they may be sending her down to the Intensive Care Unity (PICU).

For now, she's in room ICS 4418. Please no visitors just yet! We need to get her stable first.

If you're in Logan and want to drop something by the house for us to take down to her, please just try to have it here by Thursday morning. I think that's when dad will be heading down.

There is a link on the side bar if you would like the hospital to deliver a note to her.

Thanks everyone~ Emily

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Sequel

Dear Friends and Family,

As you have probably heard, Kim found out today that her cancer has returned. For now, I'm a bit numb, but right now I am thinking of all of you. I know how much you love Kim, and how hard this will be for you, just as it will be for us. Once again, I will try to do my best to keep you informed.

I would say, I'll start at the beginning, but it's really not a long story yet. This IS the beginning.

She had her bi-monthly check up today at PCMC. Blood tests showed that once again, her body is rampant with leukemia cells. She's been feeling a little under the weather lately- feverish, and bruising a bit. We were hoping it was just because her platelets were low. But then, that's what we had to hope, wasn't it?

She received the news around 4:00 pm today. They gave her a few transfusions, set a temporary line in her wrist, and told her that she could go home for a couple of hours to pack and tell her family. It was just Mom and Kim- Dad and I were at work today.

They drove strait home, knowing that if they called before hand, it would be too much of a struggle getting back. Dad was here when they arrived. They called me home from work.

They left just an hour ago, and once again will be checking into the ICS (Immuno-Compromised Services area)to begin treatment tonight. She is going to be having a lot of transfusions, as she is low in all of the good cells she needs.

Tomorrow she will have her bone marrow aspirate, the test where they draw cells from the marrow of her pelvis to see just how bad the cancer is. She will then have a Central/Broviach line placed again as soon as possible, and chemo treatments will begin.

Because this is her second time with cancer, she will be getting a bone marrow transplant. As you may remember, a sibling match would have been perfect, but neither Mike nor I are matches for her. She will have to be found a donor from the national registry. She should be getting her first transplant within a month or so, if a match can be found. You'll be hearing much more about this later.

For now, here is what I would ask from each of you:

1) Please pray for our family, especially for my brother Mike, who still has two and a half months left on his mission.

2) Please support Kim, but don't overwhelm her with visitors. It is so important that she doesn't get sick. It was one year ago exactly that an infection put her into the Intensive Care Unit and we almost lost her. They are also very strict about visitors at this time of year, and only allow two, for a short amount of time.

3) I need to find a home, either temporary or permanent, for her snake, and hopefully her cats. It is so hard to care for them.

Dad and I will be going down in a couple of days, and will be spending Christmas break in Salt Lake, between PCMC and the Ronald McDonald house. We don't know how long Kim will be there this first time, but it will most likely be quite a while.

Please understand that we are all very overwhelmed right now, and it may be a little while before we can handle a lot of communication or visits. We'll do our best, and I will keep you updated through this blog.

Thank you all for your love and support. We never could have done it without you last time, and we can't do it without you again this time.



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Latest Checkup

Dear friends, I just thought I would post a little something today. Kim is now to the point where she just goes in for monthly checkups at Primary Childrens. She went down yesterday, and had her blood checked, and also met with the surgeon who is planning to do her heart surgery.
Her blood results are still looking great, though platelets were just a little lower than they were last time. Also, they think they will be able to get her in for the surgery in July. This is good, because she still has the SVT attacks, and as she is really wanting to get back in shape, having a healthy heart will be great.
I just wanted to say thanks, to all of you again. We're celebrating Life now, with Kim... her birthday is Sunday, the 31st, and we know it's going to be very special.
Love you all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yesterday's Surgery

Just wanted to let you all know that Kim's operation yesterday went very well, and she is now officially no longer "part robot" as she liked to say. (Or, "powered like Iron Man": non-human devices coming out of her chest. Anyway...)
Her central line was removed, and all went well. The area is a little sore, but within a few days she will be able to take off the bandage, and in two weeks- hot tubs, here we come!

It's so wonderful that she is finally well enough to have come to this point. She still, of course, has quite a ways to go (we don't even know when we will be able to schedule the heart surgery, though we hope it will be soon) but it's so wonderful how much progress she has been making. It's a little strange to think that she really is finally over it all. Cancer free. Yay!

And, once again, if you want to come celebrate with us, the first event we're planning on is the Relay for Life at USU this Friday night. Come to the Nelson Field House around 6 pm, and stay as long as you like! (We'll be there all night!)

Thanks everyone! We love you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Test Results and Relay Rank

This is a picture of Kim, wearing one of our fun wigs and a dress that mom made and wore when she was first married to dad. She gave it to our aunt, Dianna, who also wore it quite a bit, and then passed it back to me when I was old enough to wear it.

We got the Bone Marrow Test results today: 100% clear! I knew she would be, but it's so wonderful to have it official! This was the last one she'll have to do (I think- for a long time, anyway,) and this means that she gets her IV line taken out on Tuesday! Hot Tub party, here we come! (And Kim says, "hastle-free shower, here I come! She's going to love not having to worry about keeping it from getting wet ever again!)

Also, great news about our Relay for Life team! We are currently ranked #5 of all the teams registered in fund raising! Isn't that amazing? For such a disorganized, last-minute (my fault) affair, all of YOU have come through so beautifully! I am so proud, and once again, touched by the love and care all of you have shown. I am especially grateful, because even though we are doing this in honor of Kim, it is going to benefit many others who will face the same trials that she has. They all need as much help as they can get.

So, once more, thank you all.

*We have to use a "special vocabulary" with Kim these days. In this picture, she's not wearing leggings, she's wearing "jeans". When she does yoga, she's really "working out" and going for a walk around the temple is "a hike." Just so you know. :) Don't worry, Kim- you'll be back to your rough, tough old self before you know it. Come on, you beat cancer! You can do anything!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Kidney Stone Fairy

(As told by Kim, typed by -Emily, with occasional comments from (Mom and Dad).)

Wait, did they know I had a kidney stone?
Did they know about Grandma's Funeral?
-Oh, nope...
Stop that!
-Okay, well, I'll tell them about that later. You just tell them about the Kidney Stone Fairy.
She came and saw me last night!
-They're going to need a few more details.
I had a kidney stone at my Grandma's funeral. Um. *Snicker* It was owie. It hurt. *sigh* *snickers again*
-They probably don't know about the fairy. Try that.
(Wow, this is really taking off, Kim)
Except for the BALD SPOTS.
(You guys are being Very Silly)
The fairy. Well, she comes when ever I have a kidney stone. She sneaks in my room when I am sleeping, and she leaves me a dollar! Yay, money!
(Don't forget the cats!)
-She's not quite as professional as the Tooth Fairy. Sometimes she is a bit late. But yes, how much money have you made so far, Kim?
Well, I should be up to about six bucks by now, but I think she's only managed to stop by for the last three.
-The first few were in the hospital. She gets lost in all those halls. Plus those mean old nurses took them before she could. Yeah, that's it.
Heh. It's very tragic. That money's going towards my college tuition! *sniff*
-Yes, well, I think that's enough for now. Thanks, Kimmy
Oh... you're welcome!
-Tell the nice folks 'bye, Kim.
Bye, Kim!

Bone Marrow Test

Yesterday Kim went to PCMC for her (knock on wood) very last bone marrow test. We should have the results in a couple of days, and since they are going to show that her blood is still clear (of course!) she will then be able to schedule the procedure to remove her central line. Yay! Just a couple more weeks and she'll practically be normal again! ("Normal" for Kim, that is. Heh.)

We'll let you know as soon as we get the results.

Coming soon: an update on the Relay for Life team. Thanks so much to all of you who have signed up or participated so far! It's going to be a great night.

Love, Emily

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Okay, we're home again. Kim has some new meds, anti-virals, and had some tests done. She has to go back for her visit and check up tomorrow, so we'll find out then if she has any infections going on.

On the drive home Kim was saying that it's sort of funny, but aside from Thanksgiving, she's been in the hospital for every holiday since she was diagnosed!

I hope all of you have had a chance to check out the Keep Running Kim Relay for Life Team webiste that I've set up. I really need people to register if they think they can come for even a little while, and any donations would be great. I'll will post a little more information soon. In the meantime, please check it out!

Team: Keep Running Kim
no special affiliation
*you do not have to pay money to register for the team. Just select the option that says your team captain has already set things up. Thanks guys!


Hi Everyone, I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter Day.

Just wanted to let you know that Kim hasn't been feeling well, and since she went off of her antibiotic a couple of days ago, she's been having problems with her bedsore healing. She doesn't have a fever, but mom called PCMC today, and they think she needs to come down right away to be checked. We're leaving now, and I'll let you know later how it goes. Probably they'll just put her back on an antibiotic for a while. Party plans are being delayed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Relay for Life: Team KIM!

Okay Everyone, BIG NEWS! I decided to go ahead and do it! I've created a team in honor of Kim for the upcoming Relay for Life through the American Cancer Society in our area.
It was a little late to be doing so. I was just planning on joining the committee team myself and running with them, but I've been thinking lately that I need to give all of you the opportunity to show up, and celebrate OUR victory together! (Don't worry, party plans are still in the making, but how could we pass this up as well?)

The event takes place April 23-24, from 5pm to 5am, at the Nelson Field House on USU Campus. There will be games, live entertainment, food, friends, family and more! It is open to the public, and t-shirts are available (though I think these need to be pre-ordered, and we might be a bit late for that. No promises.)

The night will start out with a special Survivors Lap. I have already registered Kim for this. If any of you know of other survivors who would like to participate, please let them know. I know it is going to be a very special thing.

The purpose of the whole event is to celebrate life, raise awareness and generate donations for the American Cancer Society... by keeping a runner (walker, jogger, etc) on the track throughout the whole 12 hour event. I am hoping to raise $200 as a team (though the website, if you follow the upcoming link, does say $1000, I’m setting my sights a little lower.) If any of you can make a donation, it is very easy to do so through the website, through our team name:


:) I thought you would like that. I considered calling it, "Kim Kept Running" or some such thing, but she still has a long way to go- the race isn't over yet!

Please pass this information along. I will gladly welcome as many team members as I can find. I don't know if I can make it the whole 12 hours on my own- once again, I need your help!

Here is the link:

Thank you all so much!

Love, Emily

Today's Update

Kim got results back from blood tests taken today (by Carol!) Her ANC is now at 600. Yay! She can start cutting back on antibiotics and can start thinking about getting out! However, her red blood cells and platelets are still low, so she is going up to Logan Regional for a transfusion in the morning. She will have another check up at PCMC on Monday.
She is still having some problems with cutting back on medication without freaking her body out. Fortunately today we figured out that one of her anti-nausea medications also works as an anti-anxiety. This manages to keep her calm, and she doesn't feel so sick. (Actually, it goes so far as to make her a little loopy! We've been having to keep an eye on her- she already stood up too fast once, and ran into the wall, and fell off of the couch, and hit her head on a table!)
I have one more piece of big news, which I am going to devote a whole new post to, so... here we go!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Dear Friends, thank you all for caring about Kim even as she is through the worst of it all! (Finally!)
Having Kim at home is so wonderful. It is interesting, though, to see her as she is now. She still has a lot of recovering to do, and is taking so, so much longer than she ever used to before. It's like this whole experience truly has taken her right to the brink of what her body could physically handle.
Her ANC is still just at 300. She isn't allowed to "leave the house" (go places, anyway- going outside is fine as long as it isn't Snowing!) until her ANC is at 500. She went to Logan regional hospital on Thursday to have a transfusion of platelets, as she has been very low. She is still very weak. On one of the two walks she's been on outside, she pulled a muscle in her leg and had to spend the rest of the day laying down. And, as you know, this is still just killing Kim- she wants to be out there working out and building her body back up again. It's hard for her to still be having to do so just by resting.
She went back to PCMC on Monday for a check-up. Aside from being slow, they think things are going well.
The biggest problem she is facing right now is in regards to medication. She has been on so many, that her body has become dependent on them. It's been very difficult trying to figure out the best way to get her off of them completely, even for her doctors. Today has been very difficult for her. And it is very frustrating, when she wants so badly to just throw everything out the window, to still have to be taking medicine, just because her body is used to it, and not necessarily because she needs it.
But, overall, things are amazingly better. I will try to get some pictures on soon- I know how much all of you care about her. Thank you!
Love, Emily

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Hey Everyone! Yesterday was a wonderful day: Kim was able to come home! Her blood counts were looking good enough to the doctors, so they decided she'd be alright to finish her recovery at home! She's already doing so much better now that her blood is 'beefing up'. Her bed sore and ankle wound are making leaps and bounds in their recovery, and she has more energy every day.
She's still on quite a few medications, including those through her central IV line. She won't be able to have that removed until after she goes in for her bone marrow test in a few weeks (once her blood counts are high enough.) As soon as they've double checked that her leukemia is still not coming back (which the doctors are sure it won't, just because she's done such a great job of beating it back up to this point) they'll remove the lines, and she'll be a free woman!
Until then, it's still the same old routine of being careful about germs, avoiding crowds and sick people, etc... but it's all so much better now that we've finally come to the end of it all.
I expect that we'll wait until we have the final bone marrow test results, and Kim is allowed a little more social freedom... and then you should all be expecting some wonderful party invitations!
Thank you all for everything! We did this together.
Love, Emily

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I HAVE 200 ANC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D !!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm super stoked! I get to come home soon!!!!!! Maybe Monday. SQUEAL!!! YES YES YES! :) Ok breathe Kim breathe. My ANC went from 0 to 200 today. It was a total shock. I just can't believe it. I'm almost done! So so so SOOOO close! WOW! Oh my goodness! My bed sore is looking so much better, maybe I won't need plastic surgery after all. It's made more progress the past few days than it has the past couple months. Amazing. I'll be out of here before I know it.
This weekend so far has been a real treat. Both my mom and dad have been staying down here with me since Em is in Zion's National Park with her Relief Society Presidency (which she is a part of). It's been a balst being together :). I just love my parents so much I want to squeal just thinking about it. Man I'm hyper.
I'm so ready for Spring, I can't wait to go hiking, biking, running, and soaking up sunshine. Happiness :). I also need to get a job. If any of you know of a job I could get please let me know.
You guys have been so great. Thanks for helping me get through this trial. *HUGS*!! I love you all!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hola amigos!

Things are getting better for me today. My bed sore hasn't been hurting as much and it has started to look better. My doctors are thinking my bed sore might need plastic surgery for it to heal properly. Yikes! It's still extremely painful when wound team changes the dressing on my bed sore. The wound nurse has to scrape and dig at it to try to get out the dead tissue that's preventing the sore from healing. The sore on my ankle hasn't changed at all for months. They also dig at that one too. An anesthesiologist has been coming to see me the past few days. Dilaudid had stopped working for me. He's trying to find new things that'll help take the pain away.

I was given an air mattress yesterday to try out on my bed to see if that would be more comfortable for my pokey bones. I'm still not sure if I like it or not.

Mom and I had a fun St. Patrick's day. We delivered festive cookies to the other patients here in the ICS and to the staff. From what I've heard, everyone loved them. Yay! One nurse told me that one of my cookies helped calm down a sad, crying toddler. That made me feel good :) I dressed up very festively.

Today I had fun on my walk. I found a cute little wheelchair. I also found out I fit in it. Hehe so I wheeled myself all around the unit.

Dad came down last Sunday and stayed with me till Wednesday morning. We had lots of fun :) going for walks, watching movies, playing games, talking in the middle of the night etc. I just love spending time with my dad :).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a note from Emily

I haven't been posting much lately, as Kim has been taking care of it herself every now and then. I know all of you like hearing from her, but I just felt like posting a quick hi as well.
I was able to go down this last weekend to see Kim and mom. I can't tell you how happy I am that she is doing so (relatively) well. Knock on wood. It's strange... knowing that in just a couple of weeks, she could be through all of this. Ever since she got so sick that last round, but finally started getting better, I almost haven't wanted to write here. It's like it's still too good to be true. I know it's thanks to all of you that she's been able to get to the point she is at now.
She's still having a rough time with some things, but continues to get better, bit by bit. I am really looking forward to the day she finally gets to come home... and I can shout the news from the rooftops. I'm sorry if any of you have felt like you are out of the loop recently. We love and appreciate you very much.
Keep praying for Kim, and in the back of your mind... start getting ready for a party. We'll be having one for sure when she's feeling up to it. :)
Love, Emily

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's still boring

Waiting waiting waiting. I'm almost out of here I just know it. My counts are still not coming up but hopefully they will soon. The past four nights I've thrown up. My doctors are wondering if maybe my stomach isn't digesting properly. I've stopped itching though so that's good.
Yesterday I reached a new low in my weight, 96 pounds. AY CARAMBA! I gained a little more today thank goodness. I haven't weighed this little since 6th grade I believe.
The wound team has tried a new approach to treating my sores. The bandages they put on them are like little wet pillows. I like to draw faces on the ones they put on my ankle.

It's starting to look nice outside, I can't wait to go out there :) spring is on it's way!
I'm starting to think of what to do when I'm released from this place. I want to take this CNA class at Bridgerland. It's starts on March 29th, registration is on the 15th. I don't know if I'll be able to get out of here in time to sign up :(
I've had Irish as a nurse the past few days, He's crazy :) very entertaining. The other day he stuck a rubber glove over his head. Don't ask me how he didn't suffocate. Oh what that man doesn't do to make the kids here laugh.

I wrote to a few missionaries the other day. To one of them I tried to draw a leprechaun face for him for St. Patrick's day.

Well that's about it :) enjoy the rising temperature!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's boring

Boring is very good though, that means nothing is going wrong like getting bad infections. My skin has been bothering me though, itching and hurting. Maybe it's my hair trying to grow back. Who knows. For pain the doctors finally started giving something that works. Oxycodon didn't work, neither did morphine. They're giving me dilaudid. Have you heard of it? They also give me anti itch medicine that doesn't work. Oh well, I hope my skin gets better soon.
I got a very cute balloon and adorable teddy bear from the McKlungs. Thank you so much, I love cuddling with that bear :D.
I love you all very much, thanks again!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kim is alive and well

At least she is working on being well. Yesterday we should have said that it was day twelve of round five because of the split in this chemo round. Horray the docotors have finally found something that helps Kim's pain and she is dealing with itchy skin and they have also found something that helps with that. Both are side affects of the antibiotics that she has been taking. Her blood pressure is doing great and it looks like the antibiotics have got the infection under control. We had a little excitement when we plugged in her heating pad and took out the power in her room. We thought we were in big trouble when we had to call the engineers to flip the breaker and turn it back on again. But they said that it happens and it was no big deal. Kim has been doing great and send you all her love.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 5 of Round 5

Hi everyone thanks again for your support, faith and prayers. The chemo has done its job and her blood has dropped like a rock and so has her immunity.
The doctors have found the infection in her blood, it is a different one than the one that sent her to PICU. She is responding well to the antibiotics. She is on five different ones right now. Her fevers are gone and her blood pressure is back to normal and although she is still really tired she is doing much much better. We had a very special surprise today. Brad Nelson and his wife, one of Kim's favorite teachers from Logan High, came to visit Kim today. Like our family their family is fighting cancer as well. Our love, support and prayers go out to them.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Yea No More Chemo

Yesterday was a very eventful one for Kim. She had to say a sad goodby to two friends Lauren and Noelle from the PC Branch. They have prayed for and with her loved and supported her and her family and given wonderful lessons. They have been there for Kim since the beginning of her treatment. She and her family will miss them. They were both released from their callings. That is another of the amazing blessings that have come from her journey - the friends that she has made.
She was also able to move out of her closet and back into ICS. Her nurses made her stay in the closet fun but it was good that she was able to move back. She was greeted by the always supportive nurses and techs. They dressed up and brought her gifts and sang her a song to celebrate her last day of chemo. We set up room 4414 back again in C pod. She decorated the walls until she was tired. Last night her temp went up and her blood pressure went down. We have had everyone in here doing everything they can to keep her out of PICU. She is very tired and so even though the chemo is over we aren't feeling well enough to celebrate quite yet. Thanks again for your love and support.

Friday, February 19, 2010

AH!!! I'm in a CLOSET!

So maybe it's a little bigger than a closet, but it's much much smaller than the normal rooms in the ICS. This is called a sedation room. There are four of them in their own little area. I'm only going to be in here for awhile, then I'll get a bigger room. The whole hospital is full, they're sticking kids in places they usually wouldn't. One kid had to be put in a room the physician on call uses to sleep in. Crazy.
It's kind of fun being here since it's a totally new thing. Two of the kids are babies, but the other one is a 21 year old boy. Mom and I wemt to visit with him and his dad. Apparently we're all getting together tomorrow for a movie haha. It's nice being able to talk to someone around my age who's going through similiar things.
I was pretty low on red blood cells and platelets when I came in, so I've recieved two bags of blood and a bag of platelets. I started my first dose of ARA-C. I believe I'm getting about 2000 mL of ARA-C total. My ANC went from 2200 to 100 in a week. That's fast.
When I'm done with this whole cancer thing I'm really going to miss the people here. They've been so so amazing. They make having to come here and have chemotherapy so much more bearable.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Home for a few days

Because the chemo doesn't usually start to make Kim sick for the first week or so (yesterday being an exception) and also because they space these last few big shot doses apart a few days, Kim is at home until Friday. Then she will go back for the last of her chemo- and to await the results. You know, the usual sickness, fevers, weakness, eye and skin irritation, hair loss, etc. Too bad, as she's progressed from the "kiwi" look to almost a "fuzzy little chick" style.
We just wanted to let you know that Kim is feeling a little better today, and though it is slow getting started, this is really IT- the final round, and the key to this whole big adventure we've been having. As she is still so weak, it's going to be more critical than ever that we try not to let her get sick. But regardless of how long this last round takes, once we finally get through it, we'll be through! And hopefully soon we'll be able to find out which Kim thinks is harder: cancer, or college. Hah ;)
Love you all, and thank you so much for helping us to get through this one last fight to the end. We need you!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

ARA-C Big Guns

Hi Everyone-

This is Julie. Kim is not feeling well today so it is my turn to take a crack at this blogging. For this last and final round of chemo they are doubling the amount of ARA-C and giving it to her in a shorter period of time. She has been very tired today and running a fever of an of as well. She has also been having trouble with her heart again which we did not expect. We are optimistic but watchful. She has had so many of her friends here at Primary Children stop in to offer encouragement in this her last battle with the red robot. We have also felt your love, faith and prayers in our behalf. The Spirit has been with us giving peace, comfort, strength and hope.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Here we go again

Hey everyone, it's Kim. Mom and I just got back to PCMC today to start the next and final round of chemotherapy. I should be starting the first dose any minute now. I'll be getting four doses of the lovely chemo ARA-C, fingers crossed for no rash! I'll also be getting a chemo shot. I have no idea how I'll react to that. But if all goes well I should be home on Sunday. I'll go back next Friday to finish the treatment and stay for count recovery.

So it's later. Mom and I have been watching the opening ceremony for the winter olympics. To my great surprise I just had another kidney stone. Holy cow. That might explain the bad pain I've had this week. That's what my nurse thinks. Well, at least that clears that up. No more excitement. Wow.

My great grandma (and I do mean great, she's awesome) was over in the University hospital for congestive heart failure, caused by a bad valve. Mom and I went over to see her before admitting me. I also got to see my grandma. It was good see them. I felt way bad to see my great grandma hooked up to those machines. She told me that if I could do it, then she could do it too. Go grandma!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quick Update

I'm sorry- at this rate, I am going to break all of you of the habit of keeping an eye on Kim, and we still need you for one more round!
We've been having a great time with Kim home. As I've said, she still doesn't have much energy, and has a lot of recovering still to do, but compared to where she was a month ago- a week ago- and even just a few days ago she is doing much better. It's such a wonderful miracle.
Kim got to stay at home an extra week, because although most of her blood counts have come back well, she still has very few platelets. We don't really know why this is. However, although they would like her to have more of them, they are going to start her on the FINAL ROUND of chemo on FRIDAY.
This round is going to be a little different from the first four. They will keep her at the hospital for about two days to administer the chemo, but then they will send her home for five days as to let the effects set in. Then she goes back to the hospital for a few more days of chemo, and the rest of the "ride as we know it."
She is, of course, a little nervous that she will have complications again this round. All of us are. But I am hoping that this will be as relatively smooth as the first few were, and she can consider all of this an event of the past.
As always, thank you all so much for your love and support. We couldn't do this without you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Time has flown by so quickly now that Kim is home. I am sorry I haven't been writing- I know many of you miss hearing how she is doing. In my enjoyment of Kim, I've forgotten to share!

We were finally able to have Christmas on Saturday. We went all 0ut- Christmas eve the night before, traditionally Christmas jammies, and lots of yummy Christmas food. It was great to finally be able to give each other the presents that we bought months ago, and to watch Kim open all of the loving gifts that so many of you picked out for her- thank you all!

I am going to post a few pictures from that day, and then start to give you a few updates as to what we've been up to in the week since (though it really hasn't been much- it's such a slow recovery process.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finally Kim has a chance to really get some rest. She never can get a full night's sleep at the hospital. She's still getting used to it, really.
I can't even tell you how amazing it is to have her home again. We just spent a little while tonight looking at some of the pictures we took of her while she was in PICU, and it was really just a very strange feeling... remembering everything we've been through these past two months. Kim is truly the most amazing young lady I have ever met.
I'm sorry I didn't write more sooner. I'm just enjoying soaking it all in. Also, I'm sorry I have to be a little mean about visitors, but you wouldn't believe how tired she is all the time. She has such a long way to go to catch up still. She has to spend most of her time laying down, and she still has a lot of medications to take through her home IV, but compared to where she was just a few weeks ago... she's improved immensely!
We've decided we are going to have Christmas on Saturday, with Christmas Eve on Friday evening. Although we're still missing Mike, it's so great to have our family mostly together for such a special season.
Kim is going to be in Salt Lake most of tomorrow, for checkups and such. She will probably be going back for her last round of chemo some time towards the end of next week.
Once again, I'm sorry I have to be mean about company, but she's really not up for it. She might be in a few more days- we will let you know. We do love you all so much, and appreciate everything you've done for us.
Christmas Eve in two days! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Finally, we might have found the reason for Kim's fevers. A MRI and then ultrasound have revealed an abcess under Kim's skin. It's not a big one, or one they could operate to remove, but with a specific target they think they can nab it with some specific antibiotics. They're going to get her started on those, and if her fevers improve (always those fevers!) they'll send Kim home, even on the exta drugs. (I think she's resorted to trying to be a pain, so they'll try to kick her out that much sooner. ;)
Anyway, thanks those of you who are still sticking here with Kim. I can't wait to have her home.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still no news. The doctors decided to do Kim's Bone Marrow Asperate (Test) yesterday, just in case the fevers, which she is still having, are being caused by leukemia cells growing again. Obviously, that would be horrible, and would completely change the how they will continue her treatment.
We are a little worried that they might just choose to start Kim on her last round of chemo without letting her come home for a break. We are still waiting for the results from the bone marrow, and several other tests they've taken the past two days, before they decide what they will do. We should know by Friay or Saturday.
In my mind, Kim is not really through everything she's dealt with this past round until they clear her to come home. I'm very glad she's been feeling better, but until they get these fevers figured out, she's not really through it yet.
Thanks everyone, for your love and continued support. She still needs it as much as ever... though she's really still too weak for company, just knowing you're there for her is helping to get her through the tough times of being stuck in the hospital. In another week, she'll have been there for two solid months.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hey everyone- I just wanted to let you know that Kim is still not home yet, and we still don't know when it will be. She had a pretty high fever yesterday, and we still don't know why. (For a little while, we thought there might be something wrong with the thermometer they were using on her! But they checked it against another, and still keep finding her toasty.)
As a testament to her still-weak state, yesterday she also had a moment of vertigo, and fell and smacked her head on the wall. She has a couple of nice goose-eggs, but nothing worse. (Knowing Kim, I'm really surprised they haven't found anything yet for as many times as they've scanned her head...)
As the weather is finally clearing up a bit in Cache Valley, I'm really hoping that she'll be able to come home ASAP! (A red burn day wouldn't have been very fun for her, especially because our house is mostly heated by a wood burning stove, which we can't use on those days.) So lets keep our fingers crossed... I know my 2010 calendar is somewhere in that pile of presents, and I'd really like to start using it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hi Everyone... Christmas still isn't here yet, but we're hoping it will be within the next week or so!
Today we found out that one of the things that has been giving Kim so much pain over this past month has been kidney stones. Her left side hurt her a lot around when she was in the intensive care unit, and they think that is when she started passing them. We didn't realize this until today, though, when she finally got the first (and rather large) one out of her system. We will know more tomorrow, but she is of course hoping that she has no more to pass. That was one benefit of being so drugged and sedated in the PICU- she missed a lot of the pain, or at least can't remember it well now... but I can remember how much it hurt her those first few days she was there. So of course, I'm hoping she's through it as well.
Her blood counts are quite high now, but her platelets are very low. I didn't know this, but fevers kill them like none other. She basically has none, and has to get transfusions every day.
Because her ANC is high enough, they do let her go wherever she likes in the hospital, if she wears a mask. She's made a few trips around, but, as always, can't do very much because it wears her out so quickly. She went down to the PICU yesterday to visit the doctors and nurses who took care of her. They really like to see patients who are doing better. Today she tried to go down to the quick sacrament meeting they have in the building, but got too tired and dizzy to make it.
Things are still very slow, and we don't know exactly when Kim might come home, or when they will start her on her next round of treatment, but she is still doing just a little bit better every day... and I can't tell you how happy it makes me :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

On the 34th Day of Christmas...

... my true love gave to me... some medicines into my IV... (I realized I miscounted on the last "days of Christmas" I posted- I forgot to add the original 12!)

Kim has not gone a whole day yet without spiking a fever. Today they put her back on all of the antibiotics tehy could think of, and sent her down for another CT scan. Everything is still coming back negative, so tomorrow they are going to try again taking her off of the antibiotics. Hopefully that last blast of them will have wiped out whatever was causing the fever (the worry is that it is still that infection lingering in her body somewhere.)

Kim is still tired and recovering, but she is well enough to be a little annoyed with the uncertainty of it all. She feels a little better every day, and her blood counts keep coming up. She wonders what her body is trying to do to her :)

Dad is going to spend this weekend with Kim, and mom will be coming home tonight. Dad has spent this week redoing our main bathroom (paint, caulk, etc) and hopefully mom and I will be able to do some more Christmas preparations... and HOPEFULLY Santa will decide to visit us within the next week or so! I'm still counting the days... up... til Christmas!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The 32nd Day of Christmas...

Christmas hasn't happened yet, but we're still counting up the days til it's here! It really may not be much longer now...
Kim is still at PCMC, but will likely be home in the next day or two. She's looking good, her doctors just want to make sure she doesn't have any more fevers, and keep an eye on her for a little bit longer.
I just wanted to remind all of you that she's still very weak, so even when she does come home, she'll probably just spend most of her time resting. So please, if you want to see her, just send her a text or email, or call my family, and let them know when you could come by, and Kim will let you know if she is feeling up to it. Also, as it is flu season and all, please keep in mind that she really, really still has to be careful, even if her counts are looking okay.
Sorry I have to nag- you have all been so wonderful and supportive, I just want what's best for Kim while she's at home. (Friends- please pass the word along to others who may not check the blog as often.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hey Everyone- Chrismas may not be too far away! Kim is still doing better, bit by bit, and this morning she was able to come off of the feeding tube, and one of her antibiotics. Her ANC has been at 400 since yesterday. They are going to keep an eye on her for a while more, and if she keeps looking good, and her ANC gets to at least 500, they might have her come home for the rest of her recovery. They're still not sure that they have the infection totally out of the way- so she's still on a lot of other antibiotics, but getting her off of vancomiacin was really good. She was mildly allergic to it, so she had to be premedicated with benadryl and tylenol before she could take it, and it runs for at least four hours- and she has to take it three times a day. This means a lot less time being hooked up to her IV pole, as most of her other meds only take a half hour or so.
Getting the NG/ Feeding tube out was probably the best thing for Kim. It was always kind of irritating to have going down her nose and throat. But it is going to be hard for her to keep up on the calories now. She has still been losing even more weight every day, so that's one of the things they are still closely watching. And she still has bedsores that are far from healing. But she's going to do her best, and I know she will be great.
Thank you so much for still keeping her in your thoughts and prayers. She still has such a long way to go, but it certainly does make me feel great seeing her do a little better every day.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just a little more evidence that this is going to be a looong and slow process for Kim: today her ANC went down again (back to 100) and this evening she had a fever for a while. But, they are hoping they can have her off the feeding tube on Monday, if she's very good until then and eats a lot, and doesn't throw it all back up. There is one more medication that they are hoping they can slowly get her off of- an antibiotic that is very time intensive, before they will consider sending her home. Once she does get home, they will probably have her stay a little longer than usual, to have a chance to build back some of her body before they bring her back for the last round of chemo. She's lost even more weight in just the past couple of days, but hopefully that is a trend that will soon be reversing.
She's still so tired all the time, and very weak. She jokes that the physical therapy she's doing isn't really helping- because she feels weaker every day rather than stronger, but she really is getting slightly better. It's just a much slower process than anything she's used to.
I told her today that since she's going to building her body up again from scratch, she could be anything she wanted to be: a ballerina, a cross country runner, a swimmer... but she said all she wants to do is sprint and lift weights! So I said it's a good thing that she already knows how to do that, and how to build up to it. The trick is just getting there.
Today we started thinking about the "track meet" we want to have when Kim gets better- this spring or early summer. A little like the Laps of Love we did in her honor in October, but this time as a tribute to all cancer patients and survivors- with maybe a few other small differences. Like maybe some short distance races? T-shirts? We'll let you know, and if any of you have any great ideas, let Us know!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kim's ANC is now at 200, and so far she still seems to be moving in a general upwards direction. She hasn't had a fever for a couple of days now, but she's still on the antibiotics, because we're not sure if she's completely rid of the infection yet.
She's been able to walk short distances in the hall without the walker/all on her own- yay! but it is definitely going to be a long process getting her strength back. She hasn't had much nausea the past day or two- thank goodness! She's still on the feeding tube, and still struggling with pain and bedsores, but she's feeling a little better every day, and we're grateful every day for her improvement!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hey, good news! Kim's ANC finally decided to start moving! She's up to 100 as of today. (If any of you are confused because I said her ANC was rising over a week ago, I'm sorry about that. It was just her white blood cells back then, but PICU didn't know qutie what I meant when I asked about her "counts".)
She was still really tired today, mostly because for all that she doesn't do much in the day, she has a very hard time sleeing at night. They are trying some new sleep medication on her tonight.
Overall, it's still very slow progress- but it is still progress, and we are so grateful for it. Thank you all, so much.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hi everyone! Sorry I neglected my posting for a few days. When Kim very first moved back to ICS, she was just starting her fever again, and I was worried she would start struggling again- so I sort of held my breath, and held off on posting for a little bit, and then things came up. No more procrastinating!
Though she is still feverish on and off, overall she is still progressing bit by bit. The past couple of days have been slower, of course. Right now she's just gradually trying to get some strength back. They still have her on the feeding tube, but she has been able to come almost all the way off of her oxygen. We're really just waiting for her counts so start to come up, and her fevers to go away.
She had a CT scan on Sunday, and we got the results back for that today. They scanned her whole body, but didn't see anything bad. No obvious infection, swelling, or trouble of any kind. I am hoping the fever is just a result of building white blood cells, but I guess we will see. Her ANC was still at zero, and white blood cells alone were at just 200. But she will come up.
Just so that all of you know... Kim really is getting better, and though she's still the same girl we know and love, she's still a long way away from being herself again. She's so tired and weak, so please don't expect too much of her for a while yet. Not even texts, though she might try now and then. I'm just hoping that she'll be able to recover well, and hopefully before too long. She still has one more round of chemo to go. But the progress she Has made has been incredible. I know that more people are praying for Kim than we even realize. And I thank you all, so much. I know it has made a world of difference. I will keep you updated,
Love, Emily

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year

Emily has been in Logan for a few days, so I’m going to take a crack at this blog thing. I’m sure it won’t be as entertaining as Emily’s. On New Year’s Day, Kim met a wonderful objective by graduating from the PICU to the ICS. She was released from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit about noon on New Year’s Day and brought up to a more familiar environment and friends. We are so incredibly thrilled in what this all means, SHE’S BACK! As they were wheeling her bed down the hallway of the ICS, the nurses yelled out hooray for Kim and congratulations and welcome back. They were all glad to see her back. What a great welcome from her friends at the ICS. That is so cool. Kim’s circle of friends and admirers’ continue to grow, even in this great trial in her life. I admire Kim so much in how she is handling this with such courage and positive attitude. She was determined from day-1 to have a positive attitude about all this; to help her, her parents and those who care for her. One bad thing happened on New Year’s Day though, her fevers returned and that got us all concerned, as that is how her dreaded bacteria infection started. Her temperature has been between 100 and 105 deg F. In the 3 days since, they have been testing her blood for any signs of bacteria or fungi, and all tests have come up negative, she is clear of that thank goodness. However, she still has pneumonia, weakness, tiredness and nausea and quite a bit of pain. She is still a very sick girl and her body is still fighting something, hence the fevers. We had hoped her blood counts would start climbing by now, but not so, her total white blood count has been hovering between 0 and 200, but her ANC is zero. Darn. I wonder if she doesn’t actually have some germ fighting white blood cells in production and they are going right to her lungs rather than hanging around in her blood flow. She has been getting a platelet transfusion every day and red-blood cells every few days. Julie has been kept busy caring for Kim’s every need and entertaining her with reading. Today (Sunday) the PT got her out of bed and had her walking down the hallway here at the ICS. The picture shows her resting in a wheel chair between laps. She enjoyed that but after a few laps, she was glad to get back in bed. I got to go to Sacrament Meeting here and the Elders brought the Sacrament to Kim and Julie and the sisters taught her a great lesson. I certainly do love the spirit here at the hospital and the great people working and serving here. I’ve also loved the volunteers serving at the Ronald McDonald House; all this, along with your faith and prayers has helped make this experience for all of us much more bearable. David