Monday, December 28, 2009

Thank You

Today was another day of chemo treatment, I was also able to see my Oncologist and get an update on my progress. My hemoglobin is down and that is not as good as they expected, if it continues to go down I will get a blood won't I know the Lord will see me through. NO WORRIES. Everything else seems to be going as well as can be expected. Did I mention that I absolutely love Dr Northfelt? I can see why he is an Oncologist, he is loving caring and compassionate, when he left he gave me a hug and said " I Love You" with tears in my heart and and eyes I say " I Love you too" it's amazing how your heart can be opened up to strangers and the Lord allows you to feel just a glimpse of the UN-conditional love he feels for each of us, for others especially those who are caring for you and have your best interest at heart. He hugged Tamy and whispered in her ear the same, and how grateful he was for her to be there with me. I got the pleasure of having my husband take me this morning to the Mayo and stay through the chemo treatment, it was the 1st for him since he has work meetings on Monday mornings, but today it was cancelled, probably a tender mercy for us, because I told him I did not want to go, I was having some major anxiety, knowing how sick I was last time. This morning I cried a river saying I don't want to do this over and over to myself as I got ready, Eric was his happy self saying "you can do this" encouraging me think positive and nothing was going to keep him from taking me (I think he was afraid I would ditch out) ha ha . I always have a prayer in my head constantly asking the Lord to help me have a better attitude, and every time he does, I don't always heed the promptings and I am ALWAYS sorry, HE really does know what is best for us, but we sometimes are stubborn and think we know more....someday I will GET IT.
Yesterday I felt good enough to go to Our Church meeting, it felt so good to take the bread and water (what is called our Sacrament) it is our way of renewing all the promises and covenants we have made with the Lord, sometimes we take for granted the Sacrament, yesterday I listened closely to the prayer and closed my eyes to concentrate on the life of our Savior and all he sacrificed for us. A good friend of ours was sitting up on the stand and our eyes met, he winked at me with a smile and a tear in his eye, after church he came up to me and said "You look beautiful today" It meant a lot to me, I sat there with no hair feeling very vulnerable knowing many eyes were on me, all of them care and are concerned for me, maybe not knowing how to express their love, but that is what matters I have many people who pray for me and love me, and I KNOW it is sincere. So tonight I thank Rich Larsen and his dear wife Teri who not only are going through there own trials and pain (they lost a grand daughter about a year and a half ago to a drowning accident) they always find a way to show love and compassion to me in their own quiet ways. Well Teri maybe not so quiet...ha ha I love her tremendously for who she is and know she has a tender heart that she does not allow others to always see, I have had the pleasure of seeing it, and feeling it. Thank You

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Heaven Saw In Me

So many people have asked me about my parents and childhood, WOW any of you who know me really well know that is a subject I try to steer away from. Not because of any other reason but that I do not have a ton of good memories growing up and I don't like to dwell on it. I have decided because of my posterity I will try to explain the best I can the situation, as it stands today. I would first like to say that I prayed long and hard about whether I should post much about this, and the answers came very strong a couple of weeks ago so what I write is coming from the spirit and will take me awhile to communicate in writing as I do not want to hurt anyone involved. With that being said this is my life, and I am hoping from this post, because the spirit was strong telling me to do it that I will helping someone.
I was born in Phoenix, when I was in 2ND grade I told me teacher I was born behind the pancake house, puzzled about that answer she asked my mother and was told that she always told me that because I was born in the Baptist Hospital in Phoenix and there was a International House of Pancakes behind the hospital. My mom was very young when she married my father, they were high school sweethearts. It was during the 1960's and there were a lot of drugs, my father tried them all, my mother was very naive, she was happy just to be a mother and did not know much of what he was doing (as far as the drugs) One night while she was at work he was either very drunk or high and he hit me, my mom came home to a baby in tears holding my right ear, there was blood so she took me to the hospital, I had a broken eardrum. She had 3 daughters Sonya was about 5, I was 3 and Kristin was only 6 months when she left him that night. I am sure it must of been a hard thing to walk away and I am not sure where she went. My fathers mom (grandma Belshe) had 9 children and he was the oldest son, they introduced my mom to the gospel and because of them she was baptized into the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a teenager. Her testimony grew over the years and I was grateful for her example as mother and that she took us to church so that we could decide for ourselves if we wanted to join also, I was baptized at age 10.
Over the years I did not see my father much, I remember the last time I saw him he came to my grandma Belshe's to see us I think I was about 7, he had big hands and I remember thinking I had never seen anyone as large as he was, I felt safe around him and loved that he called me bonbon I think the family called me that because of my white head of hair. When we left my Grandmas house that day I did not see him again until I think I was 18 or 19. He made some bad choices and was sent to Prison, but I was never told where he was so as a child I felt abandoned by him. When I became a teenager I simply was angry at him and did not want to know anything about him, I was mad that he was not there to protect me from what was happening to me.
Mom married a Baptist minister when I was really young, they had a son together his name was Lance, my dad adopted my sisters and I and we took on his last name Heath. I felt like we did not have a choice, my loyalty was now to him since he was my mothers husband and I just wanted her to be happy. Over the years he was always respectful and kind to my mom, but to the children he was controlling and not a nice person to be around. Far beyond just not being a nice person he abused us, physically, emotionally, and sexually. Without going into any details in my teenage years I became extremely bitter and angry at the world. I decided when I was about 14 that I knew I was sent hear to earth as a child of great worth, pure and holy, and that I would do all that I could do to see what Heaven saw in me, I began to read the book of Mormon, and kneeling by my bed every night I would ask Heavenly Father to help me understand my worth, help me find some truth in my life. After many months of begging and pleading with the Lord, just when I was at the end of my strength and hope ,he magnified to me in a very spiritual way that for one the book of Mormon was true, 2ND that I was being tested and that if I was able to anchor myself to the truth and be obedient HE would get me out , I knew he understood every tear that fell from my eyes that night and It was that very moment that I knew HE Lives and Loves me, without a doubt in my mind I continued on choosing the right, knowing that because my father was making bad choices in his life, Heavenly Father was full aware of me and that HE would bless me someday. (by the way I had mentioned at the beginning my stepfather was a minister, he later took the missionary lessons and was baptized in the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints) I continued to serve in every calling I was offered, I attended church every week and lived what I believed to be true, I was an example to my friends by never drinking, trying drugs and kept myself morally clean. I knew if I continued to follow this path that Heavenly Father and his angels looked down on me and knew the truth, they understood more of who I was than I did, continuing on this path every promise God had given me would come true, I knew it I believed it. The abuse did not go away, but all I knew is that I was pure and holy, and I looked forward to those promises coming true.
When I was 18 I met Eric, he was my hero, a man who had lived in a home with love and respect. I fell in love with the love that was in their home, his mom and dad loved me. His mother was the most beautiful woman I had ever met, inside and out, she knew the truth about the gospel, her eyes were open and she knew who she was as a woman, she knew she was of Divine nature, oh how I missed her when she passed away of breast cancer.
Eric and I were sealed in the Temple and before we knew it we had 3 small children, one day my mom and dad were visiting in our home and he disciplined Blake really harshly, it hit me hard and I asked him to step away I told him that Eric and I had a different way of taking care of things, I remember him being really upset with me, and it was at that moment I needed to tell Eric about my life growing up. One night, after a long day at work Eric came home and layed down on the floor, Kayla jumped on his back and began to rub his back, I immediately went into a rage calling him a child abuser and that I wanted him to go to the bishop right away, of coarse he said "yes I agree we need to see the bishop but not because I've done anything wrong, you need to see him" To make a long story shorter I did go in and see my bishop and explained my abuse as a child over the next year week after week I would go in and talk to the bishop and week after week he tried to get me to confront my father, but I knew if would hurt my mom so much and I was not ready for that. Finally we did, and it was a disaster he did not admit to any of it, and my mother did not believe me. It was devastating, I was constantly in tears feeling like I did something wrong, still continuing to be abused over and over again just by the mere fact that I felt because I had opened up Pandora's box I was the reason for the break up of the family. We tried so hard to ask them to get help but it was never an option for them. All I could do was not let the voices of the world bring me down, I had to rise up above this, there were times I felt like the Lord had betrayed me, why didn't he keep his promises? The Ultimate betrayal came when my mom did not believe me, I went back to church leaders and begged them for help, they too confronted my dad in hopes he would admit to what he had done, I'm sure hoping like I was that this could be fixed and the family could be whole again. This went on for a period of years, still no admittance I could not allow my children to be subject to the possibility of abuse, I wanted this cycle to stop with me. My mom refused to have a relationship with my sisters and I if we would not have one with her husband. These years in my life were the hardest years of our marriage, Eric was supportive and loving but still I felt like there was something I did wrong, something more I could be doing. Over the years my mom would send birthday cards to my kids, and I always told them they could call her and tell her thank you or send her a letter to thank her, but like most kids their loyalty was to me and they chose not to. One day a letter came from my mom that was disturbing and hurtful to me, and a part of the letter said that if I had truly forgiven him that I would be able to accept my father back into my life like nothing had ever happened. I took the letter to my church leader President Lesueur, he asked us to pray and fast and he would do the same, then we reported back to him in a few days. When I walked into his office the 2nd time he took me in his arms and with tears in his eyes he told me that he believed me, he believed all I had told him, he gave me a blessing, I walked away from that blessing knowing I had done all I can do to help my family be whole, I knew it was not up to me anymore. Peace came over me like I had never felt in my life.
I was finally seeing what Heaven sees in me, I was finally starting to understand that part of the Father lives in me, that if I continued to live on the path I was living all of those blessings HE promised me would be mine. I know I am a woman of great worth, with a divine nature, pure and holy being blessed everyday with a wonderful family, they absolutely know the truth of my life.
Almost two years ago my dad died, I went to hospital to be with my mom, all my kids came with me not knowing what to expect none of them had seen or talked to my mom or dad in over 18 years in fact my parents had never seen Haleigh , I admit I did not know what to expect I only knew what my Heavenly Father expected of me and that was to try, to try and help my mother who was in need and that maybe, just maybe this would be the time to work out a life time of mis-understanding and be able to do as the Savior has asked us to do FORGIVE. I had forgiven my dad years ago and was so happy that just 6 months before he died I had sent him an email to let him know I had forgiven him and hoped he was happy. My mom could still not get passed all the hurt she has felt over the years and was not ready to move forward, all I know is that I was not willing to go backwards. Although we have not spoken since the day after the hospital visit, I know I did the right thing and the Lord was with me guiding me as to what to say and how to act. 5 weeks later my birth father died and I spoke at his funeral.
Now I look at all this and I see the Lord has kept HIS promise to me, I promised to follow in Gods way as a young teenager, and HE promised to get me safe from the pain I was in , there was a time in my life that I strayed a little, at the time I did not understand my worth in his eyes, now I know without a shadow of a doubt HE looks down on me and still stands to those promises as long as I keep mine, be worthy, kind, and obedient I will continue to be blessed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Best Gift Of All

Woke up this morning ready for a good day, it's Christmas Day and the anticipation of being able to talk to Elder Williams is undeniably overwhelming. Checked all the phones in the house 2 well maybe 3 or 4 times just to make sure they worked, in fact Eric bought a new home phone this week just for the occasion ha ha I guess he might be just a little excited too. After all the phones were checked and double checked by me then Eric woke up and did the same routine I did, nothing is stopping us from talking to Blake today. I made HOT CHOCOLATE, a butter braid (thank you Haleigh for reminding me to set it out last night) We ate a little, but honestly we just wanted the phone to ring, it's like waiting and watching your garden to grow, we each had a phone next to us staring at it. Finally just like clock work, the phone rang on the exact time he said he would call 10:00 am, all three of us answered at the same time and when his voice came on I cried, unable to speak, Eric took over and talked to him for a bit, Haleigh, Jeremy and Kayla took turns talking to him, we even took off Reckers diaper knowing he would cry on cue when so Blake could hear from him also. Finally composed as I could be I spoke to Blake, he sounded so good and had a lot of fun explaining everything he is doing he lives in a very small village with no running water, they take a bucket shower a couple times a week from water that the Reverend of another church fills and gives to them, they also have no electricity so most of the lessons they teach are either during the day or they teach by candle light. I remember reading one of his letters saying "this is exactly what I wanted my mission to be like" WOW if I knew if would of been that easy to tame him I would of sent him to a small village on an Island in the middle of nowhere along time ago ha ha ...... note to anyone with struggling teenagers.
Blake sounded so happy, finally he sounded like he belonged, like he was more certain than anything else in the world that the Mission in the Dominican Republic was custom made for him. For a mom sending a child off to teach the gospel is the very most rewarding gift you can be given, however it is the hardest thing I have ever done I miss him so much but know he is being blessed, he is becoming a man, fully aware of what he has left behind here in Gilbert Arizona yet still willing to give up 2 years of his life, knowing that the Savior gave his life for him, he knows it is the least he can do to show his love and dedication to the Lord. When he gets home it will be an awesome reunion and he will look back at these two years with fondness and remember them as the best 2 years of his life.
So tonight as Eric and I sit in a quiet home just the two of us, we are so grateful once again for our wonderful family and for the 1st phone call from the DR. It was so dang hard to hang up knowing I will not get to hear his voice again until Mothers Day, but I am trying to be strong, I broke down a couple of times while talking to him but hurried to get it together. Life is once again good in the Williams home and we all found out today that the best gift of all came for us over the phone in a simple conversation today with Elder Williams...... (3 months down, 21 left to go but only one more Thanksgiving and one more Christmas)

Thursday, December 24, 2009


On this day before Christmas 2009, I am overwhelmed with life and how quickly it has changed for us this year. Kaitlyn met Brian, got engaged and married, Blake decided a mission for the church is what he wanted to do he left us in September for 2 years, and we became 1st time grandparents. What a JOY it is to have all these Tender Mercies in my life.
Along with all these tender mercies I have felt the fear of being told
"You have stage 3-C breast cancer" The range of emotions I have dealt with so far this year are extreme happiness, uncontrollable tears of pain, heart wrenching sadness, complete doubt in myself, I have at times felt ugly and unaccepted in my own skin, self conscious having no hair has been one of the hardest emotions I have had to ever deal with in my life. I have never been so raw with emotions, to share them with all to read has been liberating and healing for me. The comments you have left for me are undeniably what gets me through to the next round, I could never go on without the support and love of family and friends.
The power of prayer in my life?'s indescribable, I have always been a spiritual person, someone who believes in the power of prayer, but never in my life have I felt the hand of the Lord directly in MONYA'S world, HE is with me constantly, I want to be a better person, I understand what is important and for me right now it is FAMILY I need them in my life, I want them surrounding me, laughing with me, crying with me and helping me to look for the good in life around me, the power of FAMILY LOVE is unconditional, just the way the Lord inteded family life to be.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I know God Lives

Today as I held my new grandson Recker, I wondered how people could ever doubt that there is a God, when my daughter and I watched it rain and hail, again I wondered how is it that some people can not see the Lord's hand in the beauty of the earth, why do some people believe and some people not that there really is a God? Have the people who don't believe never felt the spirit touch them or ever seen a child take their first breath of life?
Today I felt good, not hippity dippity good, but really good so Kayla left Recker with Haleigh and we decided to get some things done. It rained most of the time we were out and it was beautiful, I love the winters in Arizona.
For me, there is no way I can ever deny the hand of the Lord in my life leading me, guiding me, walking beside me, encouraging me with the beauty I see all around me, that he lives, that he has not abandoned me. Today as I walked from COSTCO to my car I let the rain hit my face, it was a private moment that brought me to tears. I imagined the rain were the tears from Heaven letting me know, HE knows my pain and letting me know I can endure this, I can do anything with HIM on my side. I bear testimony tonight that when we allow the Lord to take our hand and guide us through our trials, instead of trying to find solutions on our own that we think might be better, life is easier, HE will help us, it's his promise as a FATHER. I know there is a God, I know he had a SON who died for all of us, HE felt the pain I am feeling and that you are feeling, I know just as I hurt when my kids hurt Heavenly Father hurts when we hurt, he wants to take away the pain, he has the power to take it away, but what would we learn if he did? This life is all about learning to be the best we can be, learning to endure to the end, and in the end if we have done all we can do to keep our promises to the Lord, to be a good person, share with others, keep the commandments and convenants we have made, then the Lord is bound by his word to also keep his promises he has made with all of his children to give us eternal life and live with him again. This is what I know to be true, I believe it with all my heart and it is part of what fuels me to be a better person today than I was yesterday, somedays are easier than others, but I repent say I'm sorry and try again the next day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Do I have the strength to endure?

This has been such a rough week for me. I am definitely being tested. Tonight when Eric got home from work I told him I need to get out, so we went for a ride, I am feeling weak and depressed. I don't want to feel this way, but this last round of chemo really knocked me out, physically, mentally and spiritually. I can't sleep because I am so nauseated, I think because of my sleep deprivation my body is mentally shutting down, so I do what I know will help, I pray for strength, when that strength does not come I start to doubt myself.
Today is one week since I had my chemo treatment and I usually am feeling pretty good, but today I am still sick, I have lost over 10 pounds and I have no energy. I know I have 2 doctor appointments this week and it makes me sick to my stomach to think about going, if I have to think about chemo next Monday I am going to scream, I literally do not want to go. I think about it everyday, how do I get out of it? Do I have the strength to endure this?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I lost 5 pounds today

I am on day 3 after my 3rd round of chemo and very concerned. This morning around 2:30 am I woke up very sick, I immedietly weighed myself as I knew I was not going to get through this quickly. By 5 pm I have lost over 5 pounds, I called my Oncologist and they too are concerned but told me to drink some gatorade and see if I can hold it down for 24 hours, if not I will be admitted into Mayo Hospital for some IV infusion to get me hydrated. WOW I thought it would get easier as I went along, knowing what I am facing everyweek I have gotten alot of anxiety but usually around Saturday I start to get excited knowing I will be feeling much better by Monday of the following week. I feel so weak today, it is difficult for me to do anything but lay in my bed, any time I get up....I get sick. I know this is just part of the process and I am going to be able to endure it fine, but it is a little concerning, most of the time I lose around 3 pounds for the entire week, so 5 pounds in one day worries me. I pray tonight for some fluids to stay down, the last thing I want to do is go to the hospital, and again I thank Heavenly Father everyday for my blessings. Today I am grateful for Sister Ruthanne VanWagoner who brought over some Powerade, and to Anita Sheffield for bringing a wonderful dinner to my husband and daughter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3rd round of Chemo

Tina was my nurse today
3rd round of chemo
Today has been an overwhelming day, I got home from the delivery of my 1st grandchild around 1:30 took my meds and could not fall asleep until after 3:30 I think the last time I looked at the clock it was 3:36 am. I was up at 7:36 am took a shower and again was frustrated with what to wear. I have no hair so it should take me like 15 minutes including a shower to get ready (you would think) but sometimes I sit in my closet and just cry because I get dressed and realize I have no hats or scarves that will match over an hour later I come out with something, today I did not have time for that so I was even more frustrated and crying, I needed to leave by 8 am for my third round of chemo. I made it to my chemo appointment about 20 minutes late today, but no worries they are so relaxed and it all worked out. During my chemo treatment we started up a conversation with the folks sitting in the chemo suite next to me, they were an older couple. The wife came over and asked me what type of VILLAIN I had and commented about how young I am and that she will be praying for me, her husband has lung VILLAIN. It was a great distraction to talk to them they are from Casa Grande and have lived on their ranch for over 60 years, Tamy knew alot of the same people they knew.
Tonight I am nauseated and my breasts are still aching, I had my expansion 2 days later in the week last week and I am still feeling the pain from it, again having a hard time sleeping tonight. It's hard for me to complain the Lord has been so good to us blessing us with a Son on a Mission, a daughter married to the love of her life, and another daughter and totally awesome son in law, and to top it off a new grandson. Whew...I think I have experienced just about every emotion from one extreme to the next the last few months. I pray constantly for strength and help from the Lord to build me up and help me to endure. I feel the spirit so close to me most of the time, I get very emotional when I think about the hand of the Lord in our lives as I continually am fighting literally for my life. I have never worked so hard to have the spirit with me, sometimes I think the adversary wants me to listen to him, wants me to complain, be unhappy with my life and ask WHY ME? Those are the times I know I need to get on my knees once again and thank the Lord for my life, for my family and friends who continually are wanting to help, I feel bad when people ask and there is nothing they can do, this is a fight only I can endure and I am the one who has to reach up and ask for help from the Lord when no-one else can emotionally or spiritually help. In Deuteronomy 4:30 I read "When thou art in tribulation, turn to the Lord thy God...." and in John 16:33 "In the world ye shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer..." and John 16:20 "Your sorrow shall be turned to joy...." and my favorite of all of them -Romans 5:3 "We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulations worketh patience"
I looked up a bunch of scriptures about tribulations in our lives, we all have them, some seem harder than others, but I do not believe that, I think we need to OWN our trials no matter what they are, finances, health, lost of a loved one, a child who has gone astray, a spouse who may not believe in the same things we believe in, a woman who cannot have her own child, divorce, abuse, addiction, I can go on and on, the point is when we OWN it we learn from it, and when we learn from it we become a stronger person. There is no time frame for what and when we learn, we are on the Lords time frame, we are sent to earth to learn and when we become unaware of HIS constant love for us, that is a tragedy because I know he looks down on each of us and cries along with us, we cannot comprehend HIS love for us, it is un-conditional much like the Love we feel for our own children, and don't we cry when we see them in pain? So tonight, as I listen to the spirit telling me to ask for help from the Lord for sleep, I know the Lord is looking down on MONYA and saying "I am so sorry for your pain, and I will lighten your burden when I can"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Recker Jay Roussel Arrives

After pushing for a solid 3 1/2 hours he's finally here. The most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life is the birth of a child, it's a miracle from Heaven. I helped Kayla and Jeremy push and push, Kayla was the strongest girl she deserves to sleep for 42 hours, that is the same amount of time she was in the hospital waiting for her sweet baby to arrive. When he decided to make his entrance into the world Haleigh and I were standing right behind the doctor witnessing the entire birth, it was amazing to watch and of course I cried, he's finally here and we love him. Welcome to the Family Recker.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

36 hours and no baby

Kayla was induced at 5:00 am Saturday December 12th, and now it is Sunday December 13th and still no baby. After spending most of the day with her yesterday, they gave her 4 rounds of gel which is 16 hours and she was still only dilated to a 1 and 1/2.
Finally about midnight last night they came in and started her IV with a round of pittosn, (not sure of the spelling) I cannot sleep, the hospital is only about a mile and a half from my house but everytime I go home I feel like I need to be at the hospital. At 6 o'clock this morning her doctor came in (who by the way delivered my babies) broke her water and ordered her to have an epidural, still only dilated to 2, (and I think they were being generous as not to discourage her) She took the epidural like a champ, I think she had heard so many bad things about how large the needle is that she was really nervous, but she did so good and after said "that wasn't bad at all" I told her "the length of the needle does not change the pain, it is the same pain no matter how long the needle is, and it's better than being in pain for the next few hours" little did I know the doctor came in and checked her around 10 am Sunday and that I should stay home and get some sleep, she will not deliver for another 10-12 hours. I took his advice, my breasts are throbbing and aching from my expansion on Wednesday and I have not taken any meds since Friday night, I am done with expansions I cannot handle this pain anymore, I will tell Doctor Kreymerman next week when I see him....I AM DONE.
I finally fell asleep around 12:30 and woke up panicked around 3:30, called Jeremy he said she is dialated to 3 now and still only 60% efaced. I just heard from Jeremy it is 6:00 and she is dialated to 5 finally, and 80% efaced. I am going to head back down to the hospital in an hour and stay for the duration, I hope she will have the baby before I need to leave for the Mayo at 8:00 am tomorrow, I have chemo at 9:00 am.
I feel so badly for Kayla the only reason Dr. Lepetich induced her was because she wanted me to be there for the birth and since I have chemo tomorrow I will be sick all week and could miss the delivery. I think when you induce a child when they are not ready to leave Heavenly Father it is harder on the mommy's body. Kayla has been so awesome during her labor, she is stronger than she thinks she is, and Jeremy is so sweet and soft with her, they are both going to be wonderful parents.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kayla is being Induced

Today is my daughter Kayla's due date. I went with her to her doctors appointment. Dr. Lepetich told her he would induce her sometime either Friday or Saturday, he was so nice to do this for her, I have chemo on Monday and knew I would be so sick next week, I feel like I keep getting these little Tender Mercies and I am so overwhelmed with emotions sometimes I just cry. Needless to say Eric and I are so excited to become 1st time grandparents. I can't help but think my wonderful father-in-law Ray Williams who passed away a year ago is with Recker right now sharing some last minute advice and love with him.
She is going to be induced on Saturday December 12th at 5:00 am, whoa a little early morning but I should be holding a new baby in my arms on Sunday, and on Monday when I go to my chemo treatment I can close my eyes and remember the moment he was born, the moment I first held him in my arms, this beautiful miracle will help get through next week.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Attitude is Everything

Tonight I was busy getting a package ready to send off tomorrow to my missionary son Blake. Because of the chemo being so often I only have a couple of days to shop and get things done, today I was gone from 11:30 am until 10:00 pm, that is a super long day for me. When I took off my head wrap my head was aching. The loss of hair is weird, it makes your head hurt, Eric rubs it for me and it seems to help.
I noticed by my front door was an envelope that had my name on it. I opened it and this is what it was.....a poem from another VILLAIN survivor, it made me actually laugh outloud.


There once was a woman who
woke up one morning, looked in
the mirror, and noticed she had
only three hairs on her head.
"Well", she said "I think I'll
braid my hair today."
So she did.
And she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked
in the mirror, and saw that she
had only two hairs on her head.
"Hmm" she said "I think I'll part
my hair down the middle today."
So she did
and she had a Grand Day.

The next day she woke up, looked
in the mirror, and noticed that
she had only one hair on her head,
"Well" she said "Today I'm
going to wear my hair
in a pony tail."
And so she did
And she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up
looked in the mirror, and
noticed that there wasn't a
single hair on her head.
"Yeah" she exclaimed
"I don't have to fix my hair today"

Ok do you love it? This is my life, and the life of every VILLAIN patient I have met. I have said it before and I will hold to it and say it again, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING... every doctor I see tells me there are woman who have a lower stage VILLAIN than I do who die because they give up, I will not give up, this is a battle, not fun, not short, not glorious but a war I will fight and win, because I have the Lord on my side and I know I can do it. Thank you Vicki for taking the time to bring this to my home and give me some comic relief on a night when I needed it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

This is the face of CANCER

After 6 days of carrying around a bag to collect my hair in, I decided today was the day I needed to get rid of the annoying stuff, it was constantly falling in my face, food, sofa, bed and floor. I made the call to my sweet Sister Sonya and asked her if she would shave it short enough to not give me a rash on the head. Sonya, got out the clippers set it on 4 got as much off as possible, as she listened to me cry, then put the setting on 3 and off came the rest. If you ever wanted to see what a VILLAIN patients head looked like I guess you could get on google and search it, but this is real, its me being very vulnerable. I have to keep it covered though because it is so cold outside, what a blessing to have cold weather right now I am loving it.
Once I got myself composed Haleigh put a scarf over my head wrapped it up cute and off we went to President Woolsey's for Haleigh to receive her Patriarchal Blessing. I seriously love this man and his wife. Both Blake and Kaitlyn also received their blessings from him. It was an incredible experience to be there once again with one of my children who made the choice to get this blessing. After the blessing we walked out with Brother and Sister Woolsey and he stopped and said to me "I had a very strong feeling after Haleigh's blessing that I should give you a blessing" with tears in my eyes I looked at him and agreed, we went back in the room and he offered the most beautiful blessing upon my head, I will always be eternally grateful for people in my life who are not only wonderful people to be around, but people who listen to the spirit and know when to act upon it. I will never forget the blessing he gave to me and how it made me feel, spiritual experiences in our lives are what help us to get through the muck, when I can remember how it felt to be spiritually overcome with love from Heavenly Father it helps me just to survive somedays. So my advice to myself as well as others is to never forget who you are, where you came from and where you ultimately want to be in your life and the life hearafter...don't ever forget those who bless your life with goodness, don't ever forget who died for you so that you can live and love the ones around you.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Home is Where Love Starts

This is a month of JOY and HAPPINESS, I Want to show LOVE to my family and loved ones by thanking you. I found this by Mother Theresa and loved it:

It is easy to love the people far away.
It is not always easy to love those close to us.
It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve
hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain
of someone unloved in our own home.
Bring love into your home, for this is where
our love for each other must start.

This Christmas Season I know of my limitations, I know I will not be able to do the running and hustle of the Season, I am grateful for that. My thoughts and feelings are different than ever before as I approach the season of JOY and LOVE. I have a nephew who is being released from Prison tomorrow, my thoughts are with him as he is plunged into this world where no-one seems to notice the pains of others. After 3 years of incarceration he has endured more than we know, our hearts are open to him we love him and now more than ever we intend to enjoy the season of LOVE as a family united with a different cause in mind. Welcome Home Ronny!!! We Love You !!!
I hope the journey I have been taking will always remind me at this AND ALL Holiday Seasons to come, of the Love My Heavenly Father is showering upon my family. I have seen compassion and strength within the walls of my own home, I have seen friends learn to love until it hurts, and for some that is is hard as they have kept it bottled up for so long, and most important to me I have felt the arms of the Lord wrapped around me as I beg and plead for knowledge, forgiveness and warmth.


As most of you know I use this blog as a journal, and I forgot something from the other day when I went to see the Oncologist, (well Margot the PA) I hope I get to see Dr Northfelt soon, I am not fond of Margot, she needs to work on her bedside manners! From what I understand my white blood counts were really high which is due to the Neulasta shot I am receiving on the day after Chemo Treatments, this is good except it intensifies my bone and joint pain more. Another bit of information I received was that I now have Lymphedema in my right arm and will have to wear a compression sleeve, I was really hoping this would not happen, I think the sleeve will be so hot in the summer months. Interesting also since I was just talking to a friend of mine Colette Cole who also suffers from Lymphedema in her leg, we had quite a conversation about it and the next week I find out I have it. Oh well I will deal with it and it could be worse.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

3rd and 4th day of Hair Loss

It's been a rough week of treatments, but Eric and I decided awhile ago, we would spend some time together and go away for a couple of days. I knew the ride down to our home in Mexico would be tough but I did it and I survived. Knowing that our grand baby is due next week, we decided this would be the best time for us to go and pay the bills, walk the beach or do nothing but spend it in the condo. I started out a little anxious about the whole idea, but knew if I had my own nurse on board (Tamy Schuern) we would get through it OK, and we did. I can't say it was adventurous, like we are so used to doing in Mexico, but I can say it was relaxing and I was able to deal with the hair loss away from my home. Tom and Eric went golfing and allowed me to chill in the condo, sleep, get sick or whatever I needed to do, and I had Tamy beside me if I needed her. I loved that when I needed my private time I could go in my room shut the door and do "my thing" cry, get sick, sleep, or whatever was absolutley needed for me to get through the day. This was good therapy for me, I am not dealing well with the hair loss, I feel a lump in my throat constantly. On the way home I layed on Tamy's lap while she rubbed my head and massaged my temples, it put me to sleep, although I was feeling really bad, I think she had handfuls of hair to add to our collection. It's never ending, the hair just continues to fall out.
I feel weak and vulnurable this week, much more than I did during my last treatment.
When Eric and I pray together it's more meaningful and loving than I remember, the Lord is watching over us and blessing us, but the fear is still with me.
3rd day of hair loss

4th day of hair loss

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Significant Hair Loss

OK so I have had many people ask me about hair loss these are the questions and the answers, but the answers may not be the same for every VILLAIN patient, these are only what I have experienced.
1. Q: how long after chemo does it take for the hair to start falling out
A: I was told my my doctor after about 10 days I should start seeing it fall out, up to 3 weeks
2. Q: does All the hair on your body fall out:
A: Well for me I am not a hairy person I only shave my legs and underarms about once a month, I have not seen any hair loss in those areas yet but not sure if I would even notice...the pubic area falls out first and Like I said I am not hairy, but lets just say if I was a person who actively was getting Brazilian waxes, it would not longer be needed TMI for you? sorry...I always warn people this is for my journaling and stress relief sorry if I offend. Those hairy guys on the beach offend know the ones with hair from the front to their back? They need to WAX
3. Q: when does it grow back? and will it grow back the same as before chemo?
A:for some people it will start to grow back even before chemo
treatments are done, (more than likely not)but since I am not there yet it is hard to answer that question. Everyone is different so all I know is what I have been told about it growing back, it could come back a different color, thicker, curlier or the's all a mystery, maybe something to look forward to huh?
I am blogging about my hair loss from day one until it is all gone, I know to some people this is strange, but yesterday was my 1st day of significant hair loss and I saved it all, well as much as I could in a baggie. I want to look back and remember appreciate and love what I have for the rest of my life. In the beginning of the day when I and Tamy were driving to MAYO I ran my fingers through my hair and about 10-15pieces came out, by the time we were on our way home 20-30 and by that night handfuls were falling out. I decided to take a hot bath and get all my crying out, so I did I sobbed hoping no-one in the house would here me. (good chance of that since only Eric and Haleigh are home) So basically I have gone through all the emotions crying, sobbing, angry, mad, sad and now just annoyed by the hair, I walk around everyday now with a baggie scooping it all into the bag so I can record it at the end of the day. I am having a hard time uploading the 1st day so its starting today the 2nd day.
backside of the head 2nd day
top side of the head 2nd day
2nd day
2nd day of hair loss

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Strangers Who Become Our Friends

The day after expansions, I literally want to slap someone...namely Dr PK. Good thing I am not seeing him for another 2 weeks. My breasts hurt so bad, this last expansion was the most we have ever tried and I am paying for it now. I told Haleigh today it feels like it did right after I had my surgery, they (boobs) ache and I cannot get any relief, when I cough they ache, when I breath they ache, when I move on the sofa they ache, I can't turn over in the bed because they are constantly reminding me of the VILLAIN. Last night I took 2 vicodine, 2 muscle relaxers and a Atavan before I headed off to bed around 1am. I could not sleep, I got up came down stairs took a warm bath, listened to some music and tried to get my mind in the right place. However, nothing I did worked, my mind wondered and raced, you would think with that much pain meds in my body I would be knocked out. I got on the internet and did some research, looked on FB to see if anyone was out there, by now it was about 3:30am not one of my friends was awake WHAT???? Around 4:30 I went into Blakes room and quietly snuck under the covers hoping if I was really soft and quiet it would dumb is that? I listened to his clock tick tock, tick tock staring at the ceiling of darkness until Eric came in the room around 8am. Then I got up and was totally awake and ready for my you think I will sleep tonight? I hope so, if not I just might be calling someone, one of you, at the wee early morning hours, just for a little chat....
Ok so the highlight of my day today was from a woman I have never met or seen before in my life. Saturday I headed over to Dillard's to pick up some Origins Grapefruit Bath Wash and body Souffle, the sales lady talked me into trying this bath soothing stuff for aromatherapy, but Saturday night I was throwing up from the smell of it (I think because of chemo) they also gave me the wrong package and I did not get any of what I went to Dillard's for in the 1st place, today I went back to exchange it. I was explaining to the sales lady about how sick it made me, she was so surprised, she says everyone loves it. When I explained also to her that I have the VILLAIN inside me and I am going through chemo therapy, she smiled and said "I'm sorry this happened to you, let me see what we can do to exchange anything you want" So we rectified it all and when she was done ringing me up and finishing the exchange she looked me in the eye and said "what is your name?" I told her Monya she said "I am going to pray for you" I could feel this sincerity in her voice and in her beautiful latino face, something was different about this lady, I could feel it.
She had on a necklace, a picture of a young boy and I asked her who it was, she said
"this is my son, he died 2 months ago" I asked her how she said "He was diagnosed with the VILLAIN one year ago, it attacked his legs first, his bout with chemo was successfull for the 1st few months, then he became immuned to all they tried and he died at age 11" my eyes were full of tears and we shared a hug, she said "when I say I will pray for you, I will, I pray the Lord to take away your pain and I ask you to please come visit me again"
So today I complain about not sleeping, about my aches and it seems to not be as important anymore, life could always be worse, I could NOT have my life. I hope everyone I know will read this and find something in their life to be grateful for, just for today be happy about something, look forward in life with optimism, knowing that you are loved and appreciated by ME!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


This morning I went to see Dr. PK (Peter Kreymerman) I am realizing what a special blessing my doctors are in my life. Every doctor I have been referred to has been a tender mercy in my life.
My neighbor Pam Jerome found out about my VILLAIN and emailed me about a friend of hers who lives in Indiana who recently found out about her VILLAIN, she asked if it would be OK for Sandi to contact me. We have been corresponding through email and when I told her about DR. PK she made an appointment at MAYO and flew out to see Dr. PK last week. I told Dr. PK today that I deserve some referral money from him, he agreed.... and said he would see what he can do. BTW, Sandi is scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks ...... at the MAYO.....with Dr.PK....good luck to her she is in the best of hands.
I do love to see Doctor Pk we have a fun banter going every time I go, yet he is serious when I need him to be. I think I am ALMOST crossing a line of STALKER PATIENT He asked me today if my hair was a wig? "WHAT??? Are you kidding me right now?" was my reply. He just laughs at me, should I be worried? Do most doctors laugh with their patients? Not any that I've ever had...and notice I said laugh WITH
One of the things I love the most about MAYO is the POPCORN at the Phoenix campus. When I was in the hospital Eric had popcorn everyday. I introduced Tamy to the POPCORN...she loves it and so do I, its our treat after expansions with PK. We really loaded up today, I wanted to give Eric a treat when he got home so I brought some home to him. My life is full of wonderful tender mercies, is it ok that POPCORN from Mayo is one of them?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another dreaded day in my Journey

Haleigh, Kayla, Sonya, Jenny, Kara and Tamy taking the picture

I knew this day was coming but truly have been filing it away, hoping to never have to look at it. Not only did I look at it today I faced it head on.
The fear of losing my hair has been lingering in my mind and I am always able to push it away with the distraction of Kaitlyn's wedding. Over the past month or so my sweet husband has been trying to tactfully bring it up and discuss it, but I have not been open to that discussion, pretty much cutting him off at the knees when he brings it up. My good friend and hairdresser Kara Ellingson brought it up to me, and we made the appointment for yesterday November 20th at 3:00 pm.
All week I have been extremely sick and not thinking about my hair. The side effects of chemo therapy have hit me like a brick, however, I also know that the chemo is what is going to save me.
I had my support system with me, my sister Sonya, daughters Kayla and Haleigh, and friends Jenny Ruttinger and Tamy Scheurn, I wished that Kaitlyn, (on her Kris (sister in Louisiana) and Mysti Brown (good friend out of town) could of been with me also, they were with me in spirit I'm sure.
My body is so weak and I hope my spirit will not give out on me during this process. I want to kneel and pray before I leave the house but I am so angry right now, cutting my hair is not my choice, once again the VILLAIN is in control. I am feeling very vulnerable, the prayer that is my heart is starting to bubble up to the tears in my eyes. Hoping and wanting this to go away, but we drive closer and closer to our destination, my heart is beating a million miles a minute. Jenny is talking to me and I am trying to keep up with the conversation, I love her so much and don't want to be rude, it sounds strange but I'm thinking about my Aunt Pam making chocolate and coconut pies for Thanksgiving, Sonya told me yesterday that she has Grandma Belshe's recipe and likes to make about a distraction, I enjoyed that one for a few minutes. We are on Gilbert Road, crossing Brown as I tell Jenny to turn left on Gary and Kara's house is the 1st on the left. Funny I have been getting my hair cut by Kara for about 13 years this was the 1st time I ever resented coming to see her.
We all walked into the salon and I sat in the chair feeling like I was going to the electric chair. I love Kara, she started to talk to me about some options and I began to cry, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes also and I felt so bad, I don't want to make anyone cry, I think it was too late they were all crying. I wanted to grab them all and say "sorry, I'm so sorry you are enduring this with me, please help me make this decision" the options were:
1. cut it short and have fun with a different style for a week or two (and maybe the transition will be easier when it all falls out)
2. Shave it off, start wearing a scarf or wig, the transition is obvious
I decided along time ago I wanted to keep my hair and try and sew it on Velcro strips, my thought is that maybe I can Velcro some of my own pieces of hair into some hats or beanies.
My mind is so swamped right now it's hard for me to make the decision, so WE as a group made the decision to cut it short and enjoy it for a couple of weeks.
As Kara pigtailed it and prepared me for the dramatic cut, I stared at myself in her mirror wondering how I got here, how did this happen? When did I lose control of so much of my own decisions? (back to that later)
The 1st cut through the pigtail echoed loud in my ear, I will never, ever forget that sound of the hair being cut. My crying became louder and louder with every cut of the scissors, the 2nd one was just as bad and now it's done, Tamy is holding my hair in her hands, carefully placing it in a plastic bag as not to lose one piece.
Kara faces my chair away from the mirror and begins to cut and shape it into a masterpiece only she could of accomplished. Thank You!
On my drive home I wonder "what will Eric think?" I noticed I had about 15 missed calls from him, when I got home he hugged me and told me I was beautiful, he told me everything I needed to hear and then more.
I have had a day now to get a grip, I am so thankful for my sisters who build me up when I need an extra boost I love them so much, our lives have been full of trial and testing but through it all we have each other, I am forever grateful to good friends who see only the good in others, and who I am honored to be with and count among Eternal Friends. My daughters are my strength, and will never know how much a mother loves until they have their own children someday....soon for Kayla. My son who builds my testimony everyday as I pray for him and ask he Lord to bless and watch over him. Lastly I love my husband who is MY ROCK, he gives me much more than I ever give to him and he knows what I am thinking before I think it.(kind of scary for him I'm sure)
I want to go back to something I was feeling yesterday. I realize that being sad, mad, depressed, upset and all the emotions that come with dealing in trials is normal, however, I think that Satan wants us to feel vulnerable, he wants us to feel like we are not in control of our own destiny or life. I was studying recently and realized how Satan wants us to run and hide when things go wrong, he wants us to hide ourselves and bring others down with us, kind of like misery loves company when we allow ourselves to be in his power it seems we become unhappy and controlled. I am so happy that I know the good from the evil and I am able to pull myself out when I feel the weight of the world coming down on me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fighting the VILLAIN

OK so lots of people are asking about the chemo treatments and how they went for me, I am sorry I cannot get back to all of you personally, but I just took some meds so for a few minutes I can give you an update. BEWARE:if you don't want to hear the truth do not read this. I am using this blog as a journal and I apologize if I offend anyone.
Chemo was actually not too bad, I had some distractions if you read my last blog I imagined a battle between the chemo and the VILLAIN. The actual chemo med is bright red and comes out of my body the same bright red. I was told not to let anyone use the same bathroom as me, because it is so toxic, I need to flush twice. Monday night I felt very tired and weak, and urinated red, I never knew pee could look so pretty !!! OK, sorry but that is they only funny thing about this.
Tuesday, I went in for a neulasta shot, this shot is to keep the white blood cells growing. When a person goes through chemo it takes all your cells and kills them including the good ones that you need. So the "day after shot" helps to replace them. They told me that my bones and muscles may ache, but that some people do not experience it at all, I knew when I left the MAYO that I would be the one who would not feel the pain of the bones and muscles...again I am referring back to my hard cardio workouts.....WRONG...this morning I woke up with aches and pains that I never have felt before. Every muscle in my body hurts, I take the meds and it goes away but then I sleep. Since there are only 3 bathrooms in the house, I get my private one (Blake's) I spent a lot of time in the private bathroom today. I do not want to eat anything, Tamy came over today and brought me a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie, but it tasted like metal or something, so then for lunch she gave me some rice with veggies and chicken so I can get some protein that was good. However, did not last in my system, everything is coming out, purging from top to bottom. I spent the entire day on the sofa sleeping from the meds, or puking and having diarrhea. I love Tamy Scheurn. She just layed on the sofa with me, blogging in her online blog journal and watching me sleep. When I woke up the last time, Kayla and Jeremy were here and Tamy was gone. She informed them about my meds and told Kayla to get me some pasta for dinner. I ate a few bites and so far so good.
I am ticked off at all the times I heard from people that chemo would be a breeze, it is different for everyone, I am not one of the lucky ones it looks like.
However, I know this is the beginning of the end, I am going to get through this, I am going to fully heal and I am going to never take my life or anyone in it again. I have the highest respect and love for those who have gone through this before, and for the people who are the caregivers of VILLAIN patients. I don't think people realize how hard it is on them, my family has to watch and listen to me sick and cannot do a thing about it, I love you all so much, and I am sorry you are experiencing pain in your life also as you watch this VILLAIN fight with me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

1st Day of Chemo

The bright pink snuggie Tamy bought for me to keep me warm during chemo

Blogging as the POISON enters my veins

Port Accessed

This is Heather My Nurse, cutie patootie nice girl

This is Tamy my chemo buddy today...I love this girl
Today is Monday November 16th, I woke up feeling OK not quite awake and ready for today. When Tamy arrived to pick me up, I started to get anxiety, the tears would not stop as my husband hugged me and reassured me that I was going to be OK. For some reason those words "you will be OK" are not helping me today. I am so mad, throwing everything in purse as hard as I can, I kept saying over and over "I don't want to go, I just don't want to do this" tears rolling down my face, "I am serious I don't want to go today" With every hesitant step I take towards the car I feel my body, heart and mind fighting me. Tamy says a prayer when we get in the car, it helps me to feel some bit of relief.
We are introduced to our chemo suite, where we will be sitting for the day. Heather is my nurse, she comes in to access my port, "take a deep breath when I count to 3"
"1,2,3" the needle goes in and the port is now accessed. Yes, there was some slight pain but nothing more than a needle stick. Now comes the meds, Heather explains each chemo medicine that they will be using today. The 1st med that goes into the IV is bright red and very toxic, I can feel it's warm poison spread throughout my body. I am imagining the men I love in my life entering the PORT and together searching for the VILLAIN to kill. Eric enters first he is cautious and reserved as he makes sure the coast is clear, he then motions for Blake, Jeremy and Brian to enter and together they fight the battle of their lives, knowing its going to be a long day and the war will not be won for months. Today I start the beginning of a long journey towards winning the battle, it's hard and I hate every step of it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Magical Reception

Thank You, Thank You is all I can say to all the people who graciously gave of their time to help out with Kaitlyn's wedding reception. I wanted this night to be perfect for Kaitlyn and Brian, I wanted Brian's family to come in to town and enjoy their time before, during and after their son's wedding. Eric and I love the Wright family, they are wonderful people who we will be life long friends with, (especially since we will be sharing grand kids someday) I have always told my girls that I hope they will marry someone as wonderful as their father, and so far Kayla has married Jeremy Roussell who we absolutely love, he brings joy and laughter not only to Kayla but to the rest of our family. Kaitlyn is now married to Brian Wright, he is equally as wonderful as Jeremy. He sees the good in people, he works hard and is totally in love with Kaitlyn. I am grateful to the Wrights for raising such a respectful and loving son, getting to know his parents I can see that he took so many traits and talents from both Dee Dee and Shane. (his parents) I spent so much time before my 1st surgery getting the wedding pulled together, there was not much to do until this last week and it was a great distraction for me, another one of those tender mercies the Lord placed in my life to bless me and help me to deal with what is happening in my life. Kaitlyn loved her reception, she wanted to have NO line and to be able to dance and eat some of the food, so when I saw they were being overwhelmed with people, I went and took them over to the food table and told them to sit down and eat, they did and they loved it. Next I wanted them to dance, and dance they did, they told me this morning it was the best "party of 2009" I am so happy they had a good time. One of my goals of last night was to not think about the VILLAIN, although there were a few people who asked about it, I tried really hard to divert the conversation, I was pleased with the distraction and I thought I did really well. I am grateful for the beautiful night we enjoyed, but it's kind of like Christmas, you work so hard for a magical day and it's over in an instant. Brian said over and over again that the backyard looked "magical" and he was right it was magical and we loved it and will have the memory of it for a long, long time.