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.