Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Long Overdue Update!

Sorry! Yes, Mykensie is still alive and, for the most part, well. It has been a very busy last few weeks with all of the holidays and she has had several visitors.

Mykle and Kannon flew out from Kansas to be with her for her treatment the day before Thanksgiving and then stayed a week later as well. It was so nice to have some sister bonding. Mom and Dad also drove down from Oregon for the Thanksgiving holiday. We feasted and enjoyed one anothers company!

Mykensie at her treatment. As you can see, her hair is still holding on strong! The Dr. adamantly told her all of it would be gone by day 14...well roughly 2 months later it's still there! It is thinning a bit, and they said she would eventually loose all of it, but I guess she is one of the very few lucky ones who gets to enjoy it a while longer. She looks stunning, wouldn't you say?
Dad and Kenz after her treatment. She is still all smiles!
Mykle and Mykensie. You can see her bandage over her port site on her chest. They pump all sorts of colorful chemicals and IV's into the site. The whole process takes about 1.5-2 hours each treatment.
After her treatment we feasted at Tucano's Brazilian Restaurant, which Mykensie loves since they have some of the foods she enjoyed while studying in Brazil.

We had a low-key Thanksgiving since Mykensie had her treatment right before. She reacted well again, which is so good. She slept a lot of the weekend, but we did manage to take short walk outside for some fresh air to This is the Place Park in SLC, UT.

For Mykensie's December 10th treatment, she was accompanied by Felice. Felice is the mother of Mykensie's best friend Lindsay, who passed away 3 years ago over Christmas. Felice flew in from Oregon and stayed the week, pampering Kenz. She had a great time and is so grateful for all of the love and support pouring in from family and friends.

Mykensie also made it through finals and her fall semester at BYU! She was fearful of suffering grades as she approached finals week, as she hasn't been able to devote as much time to her studys as she would have liked. Miraculously, she got an A in her Physiology class even though she had fallen behind on over 300 pages of text book reading. She sped read through the information the day before the test, said a prayer and faced the beast...and conquered! She is so amazing and smart.

She has decided she wants to stay next semester at BYU and not take one off. Since the reaction to her treatments (beside her very first one) have been bearable, she is going to take a light class load. She was supposed to graduate this next semester, but it looks as if it will be pushed back to summer. She really has been so blessed to be able to juggle school and work and to keep her health between each treatment as to not get off schedule. Thank you for all of the prayers, thoughts, and concern through her battle!

More pictures and post are to come- I promise to keep better updates!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Second Round

Kenz was supossed to have her second round of chemo on the 5th of November, but it got postponed to last Thursday the 12th. In between scheduled treatments, she came down with a nasty virus causing her to lose 11lbs and become dehydtrated, which made her unfit to recieve treatment. They gave her time to heal and she was able to go in on Thursday. Thankfully, she is feeling much better.
Mykensie had a nice surprise when her best friend from Oregon drove all the way to Utah to visit with her for the weekend. I think it was just what she needed!

Mykensie and Megan
Trying on one of her new wigs! Though, she hasn't quite lost her hair yet.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

The New Do

It looks fabulous!

Mykensie decided to cut her hair in preparation for losing it. She donated 20 inches of her beautiful hair to Locks of Love.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bone Marrow Results

Good news! No traces in her bone marrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tender Mercy

So I started getting tired today at about 2:30. I felt like I was never going to make it through the day (I work till 5:30) let alone the next six months. But work started to get a little quieter and then my cell phone rang, and it was Michael, the BYU student who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma a couple of years ago.

The last time I talked with him, I hadn't been officially diagnosed. He just asked if I knew yet and I told him that I had started chemo and was now "in" the process. He said that my number kept on popping up on his phone and he didn't even have my name down but he knew that I was the one who talked with him before. Anyway, that phone call was seriously the nicest gift from heaven. I was just starting to feel like I couldn't make it, then I got a phone call from someone who says says, "You can do it." I can do it. It's 5:20 right now and I'm feeling a little more lively. I took my Zofran and two advil and I'm ready for the walk home, a nap, eat a little, study a little, and then an amazing day tomorrow.

A Rough Weekend

Mykensie felt good, almost energized, on Friday.

Saturday- she started out just feeling weird- no other way to pin point or describe it; she just felt off. Then it really hit Saturday night. Mom spent the night with her and was by her side. A little friend called "Dramamine" helped to put a drowsy spell over her body so she could get at least some sleep. The night was spent rotating between hot and cold spells, frequent trips to the bathroom, nauseous spells, and an achy body from head to toe. Luckily, no throwing up, even though she probably wanted to. The Dr's say they don't want vomiting to happen.

Sunday morning was better. She gathered up enough energy to go to sacrament meeting at church. I talked to her briefly to ask how she felt, she replied, "I'm good," but I could hear in her warn out scratchy voice it must have been a long night. Poor thing.

I was cranky and ornery all weekend from a small bug going around. I had to catch myself wallowing in my "discomfort," when I knew Mykensie had it much worse and probably never even complained once. She's always been like that- a very cheerful spirit.

Thankfully, Mykensie was able to make it to class today. Mom started the trek back to Oregon to make it back to work. I know she hates leaving Mykensie. Mykensie left mom with the parting words,"next time you see me I won't have any hair." I cried when I heard this. You'll still be beautiful without that curly hair Kenz!

Cody and Camie volunteered for the next chemo duty, November 5th. We are sure glad family can be there to help her out.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Chemo Treatment

Today Mykensie received her first Chemo treatment. She has said she is ready to just get things started. The last few weeks have been physically and emotionally exhausting, full of long appointments, tests, and sitting in waiting rooms all while juggling school and work (I think she will quit her job...or at least hope she will).

She will receive a treatment every 2 weeks and will always be on a Thursday. According to the Dr.'s the actual administration of the Chemo is a pretty easy and painless process (she has her port already in and will stay in until her therapy is complete). The nasty part usually hits on day 2-4 (hopefully the bad part hits during the weekend so she has time to rest). After the weekend we will see how she is feeling and how she reacts to the treatments.

Before today's appointment, Dr said she would only need 4 cycles (4 months) of chemo and no radiation.

Unfortunately, she got upped to 6 cycles (6 months, 12 treatments), plus will need radiation afterward. Also, the Dr. wants to do a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow to see if the cancer has spread into the bone (we do NOT want that to be the case) because her cancer is in the "bulky mass" category.

The verdict on what stage of cancer she has is still out. The Dr said after the bone marrow biopsy comes back, then he will tell her what stage she is in.

Diagnosis- Hodgekins Lymphoma

Most of you have heard about Mykensie's unfortunate recent health news, she has Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of cancer.

The good news: It is a very curable cancer! We are thankful Dr.'s have caught the cancer and we know what is wrong with her. We know Mykensie is a very strong woman and will be able to get through this, especially with lots of faith and prayer and support!

"As many as 95 percent of people with stage I or stage II Hodgkin's lymphoma survive for five years or more with proper treatment. The five-year survival rate for those with widespread Hodgkin's lymphoma is about 60 to 70 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. But those numbers are based on people treated before 1990, so the outcome may be even more promising for people with more recent diagnosis and treatment."

She has noticed bumps in her neck for about the past year. Three weeks ago she discovered more lumps appeared on the other side of her neck, so she made a Dr.'s appointment. The Dr. immediately scheduled a CAT scan for that afternoon. After the CAT scan was read, a biopsy was scheduled, which resulted in a meeting with the Oncologist.

She is staying in Utah for her treatment. They have a great cancer center (Huntsman Cancer Center), and has so far received excellent care from doctors.

The goal is to finish out this semester at BYU so she doesn't have to re-take any courses and can keep her scholarship. Then she can deffer next semester and also have all summer to recover. After this semester, she will have one more semester to finish and then she will graduate with her BS in Linguistics with a minor in Russian.

Mom is currently in Utah helping out with all of her appointments and there for her support.