Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Best Visitor

Melanie was able to have the best visitor for her today. My dad and Kaden drove down this morning and spent the day. It really helped Melanie's spirits! Our sweet cousin, Julie also came and brought some of our favorite, yummy butterhorn rolls. Melanie was even able to eat one. My mom said that she has eaten more today. This is probably because her throat has been feeling a bit better the last few days. Yesterday when I was there, she hadn't received any pain medicine. A big step! Melanie also went for a walk tonight. I am so glad she was having a better day emotionally today.

Good things are happening medically as well. Today her neutrophils doubled. YEAH! We will continue to wait and watch them keep coming up. The bacteria she had in her central line earlier this week cleared! Melanie was very relieved that she won't have to have new central line put in.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers. We all continue to have faith that things are in the Lords hand. Melanie is very optimistic, as are we all!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Not For the Faint of Heart

These are the pictures that I took in Melanie's room during her bone marrow aspiration and biopsy.
The PA, Andrea, marked the spot with an X. She then scrubbed it with betadine and placed a sterile shield around it.

Next, she numbed her with lidocane using this HUGE needle. It took many pokes!

The next step was doing the aspiration. The instrument they used had a long cylinder which was introduced with a needle.

There were eight people all together in the room. This is half of them. The two student nurses, Mike and Stacy, the nurse, Shawna, the PA, Andrea (who is doing the procedure), and Tuu, the hematologist.

These are the smears from the aspiration (blood from the bone marrow). Tuu is so short, she barely reaches the table.

It took three tries to get any blood out. Each time she took out the needle and put it back into another place. If Melanie felt any pain, she did more numbing.
This is on the third try!

This is the most painful part. They take out a piece of bone. Andrea twisted, and twisted this instrument until she got what she wanted.

Andrea is placing the bone marrow on the slide for Tuu.

It's hard to believe she had to go through so much work to get this little specimen.
She made it through the ordeal!! Afterwards, the first thing on the agenda was to finally have ice, because she couldn't eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to the procedure. Notice her worry rock, faith rock and Diamondbacks "finish strong" dog tag.

Bishop Lancaster and his wife Joan gave Mel a visit today. She loves visitors!

Everyday this pigeon sits outside her window. It turns it's head towards the room when you talk through the window. If the window could open, we would give it a morsel to eat!

Today has been one of those emotional days. The kind when you cry at the drop of a hat! Mel's been in the hospital a total of 74 days, since November 13th. She is pretty sick of being sick, puking, being in pain, and laying around! She is really missing Kaden today, because he hasn't been able to come down since Valentine's. Dad and Kaden have both been a little sick. Hopefully things will start looking up a bit. We watched a little Mission Impossible today, which added some bang to our afternoon. She hasn't been up for walking today though. Her counts are still down, so we will just continue to wait over the next few days.
Hang in there, Melanie! You are loved so dearly, and things will start turning around...have faith.

(written by Angie and Peggy)

Friday, February 26, 2010

It Looks Promising

Yesterday, Mel's blood levels were low so she received two units of blood and two units of platelets. She was nauseated a lot and the doctors are looking into what is causing it. At around 2pm Mel had a bone marrow biopsy using conscious sedation. I guess it didn't put her out enough and Mel felt pain and remembers it...bummer. My mom said that they had 8 people in the room during the biopsy, a nurse, 2 student nurses, 3 physician's assistants, 1 lab tech and my mom. I guess at some point Mel began some dialogue about our last name and everyone was joking around about it...we got it so much growing up that it just rolls of the skin. I'm sure it helped to lighten the mood a bit.

Today, we found out the results of the biopsy. They found that Mel has less than 5% of cells in her bone marrow, some red cells and some white cells. The doctors said it looks promising, but they are going to watch her for a week and if the cells don't start building up then she will have another biopsy and a Chimerism test done; this test will tell the doctors how many cells are from the donor and how many are Mel's.

Here is something I learned about stem cells today from my mom. It may help all of us understand a little bit better. Stem cells are immature cells. The doctor compared them to a kindergartner (how appropriate for Mel). The cells have to decide what they want to be when they grow up and then they will start to produce those type of cells. Right now Melanie's bones aren't full of marrow like ours are. We are waiting for the stem cells to "grow up". When they do her bones will start filling up with marrow. I hope I understood that correctly...don't take it as gospel. :)

Mel's throat is starting to feel better...yay! She is still battling nausea. Mom said that she has nothing to throw up, so it is really uncomfortable. Her feet are swollen from all of the fluids that they are pumping into her. She is really tired and hasn't done much today...I don't blame her. On a positive note, Mel had .2 neutrophils. She has had .1 for the last few days and before that she was at 0. We'll take any kind of improvement!

Now stem cells, let's get busy!

My mom took some pictures of Mel's biopsy yesterday and they will be posted tomorrow. Angie will be visiting Mel tomorrow and she'll get the pictures.

We all love you Mel!! Hang in there!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Still Hopeful

Another day of hospital hum-drum. Melanie was able to make it down to the gift shop for a little jaunt. They forgot to bring the camera along though. Counts are still down, so Melanie is scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow. She has demanded the conscious sedation, and hopefully it will be a smooth and painless procedure. Dr. Ash came in today and explained things a bit more. Yes, technically it could take 28 days for ingraftment after transplant. Today is day 18 for Melanie. However, Dr. Petersen really feels strongly that they need to check things out and get moving on this. If the bone marrow biopsy shows that there are some new cells developing, we will continue to just wait for the counts to come up. If the biopsy shows that nothing is happening, they would call it failure to graft. In this case, Melanie would receive some more chemo, get the horse blood (as opposed to the rabbit she already got), and then they would give her some more donor cells. When they harvested the first time, they froze some for any future need. We are hoping for good things, but know that if the first cells didn't graft, there is still hope.

Dr. Ash told Melanie and my mom about another boy who had to have the second transplant. He just happened to be in the hospital today! He came and visited with Melanie. My mom said he was a very nice and offered to talk with her any time she wanted. It is so nice that people are willing to offer their advice, insight, and comfort!

Good Luck tomorrow, Melanie. You can get through this procedure once again, and no matter the outcome, you will prevail!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sanity Plea

When I talked with Melanie this afternoon, she was TIRED. She was trying to carry on a conversation, but was just not all there. I could tell she was frustrated! Her counts are still down. They gave her another Neupogen shot to try and get those cells going. If her neutrophils are not up at all tomorrow, they are going to do a bone marrow biopsy, tomorrow or Thursday, to see exactly what is going on with the cells. We are kind of getting mixed signals a little. One doctor is pretty concerned, but others are not as much. They did say it could take up to 4 weeks. Oh, how we hope and pray those cells start grafting and doing glorious things!

Melanie had a fever last night. They have determined that she has bacteria in two of her ports in her central line. I guess this is normal for patients who have no immune system. They are pretty sure it is Grampositive Cocci In Chains. They will test the cultures further to make sure they know how to treat it the best way. They say it can go away on it's own. They changed her antibiotics and added another one to the mix. Hopefully it will go away, because the alternative is to put in a new central line. No fun!!

So basically, Melanie is still waiting and fighting with everything she has. They did tell her she could walk down to the gift shop (with her mask). That will give her a nice little outing. When my mom asked Mel if there was anything else I needed to blog about, she said to just please continue with the prayers, particularly for her sanity.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Playing The Waiting Game

Mel continues to push through each day, she is a fighter! She received a blood transfusion yesterday and two platelet transfusions today. Our family has a new found appreciation for those who donate blood. Mel also received a shot of neupogen, which is the same medicine that her donor received to increase the production of stem cells. The Dr. said that we should start seeing somethings happen by way of better blood counts here any day. Mel has been having a lot of trouble sleeping at night due to the pain in her hands and feet, so they have increased her pain med. dosage in the hopes that it will help her get some sleep. Nausea continues to be a battle. Mel is still receiving her "moo juice". My mom told me what Mel has eaten today...she had...1 popsicle, 1 creamie, a small can of chicken noodle soup, 1/2 of a fruit cup and 1/8 c of mac and cheese. It's better than puking all day, but still not enough to keep her going.

Greg and Charise (brother, and sister in-law) came for a visit today. They just got back from a trip and hadn't seen Mel in a while. Other than that, it was a quiet day with them being her only visitors.

Please continue to pray for Mel as we play this waiting game. We have faith that we'll be reporting good levels here in the next few days.

Fundraiser alert:

Now I need to switch gears. I'm excited to announce a fundraiser that will take place on Sat. May 1st at the Hyde Park Civic Center. This will be a garage sale/bake sale/craft sale. I am going to need lots of help to put it all together. We are asking for donations of clothing, furniture, toys, tools...anything that you would normally haul to the D.I. If you would like to donate baked goods, or you are crafty and would like to donate items to sale that is perfect! The Civic Center has an upstairs and a downstairs. The plan is to have the garage sale portion downstairs and the baked goods and crafty things upstairs. I'm hoping that this gives people some time to go through their closets and garages. There will be more info as it gets closer. If you have questions or would like to help out, please call me...Cami @ 435-770-0432. Once I have some volunteers in place, we'll have a planning meeting. Thanks for all of the amazing fundraisers that have already taken place on Mel's has sure lightened the financial burden on Mel.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

11 Laps = A Marathon

Tonight, Melanie got a special visit from her niece Brooke. Brooke was so excited to see her aunt Melanie! She was looking forward to seeing her room and the hospital as well.

Brooke and I had been to the Olive Garden for dinner. Melanie sent me a text and gave me her and my mom's order. They were excited to eat some yummy food!

Melanie's throat is a bit better, but still quite painful, so eating is not easy. She couldn't get the bread stick down, but she was able to eat a little of the manicotti. Her feet continue to be sore and her hands started up a bit today as well. She is feeling pretty good though! She was in good spirits! The doctors say that her counts should start coming up any day now. The fact that her throat is feeling a little better is also a good sign of positive things going on inside!

Melanie got some more pictures hung up. One of my friends from my neighborhood sent these for her. My mom, Brooke, and I were sitting talking and all of a sudden we hear, "Oh, is he sexy." We look over and she is standing in front of her Tim McGraw wall. Thanks Kimber for the great eye candy!

Melanie also received a new blanket today. There is a patient here (Van Heder), and mom has become friends with his wife (Wendy). One of their nephews (Alex) did an Eagle project and brought some blankets to the patients on this floor. The nursing staff was distributing them for him. Kara (Mel's CNA) thought this blanket looked like it belonged to Melanie, so they brought it in for her. It was donated by the McReaken family.

Brooke got to pick out some gum and candy. A great new tradition for the nieces and nephews that are able to come and spend some time with aunt Melanie!

Melanie went on three walks today, which equalled 11 laps! My moms says this is like a marathon! It hurts her feet, but she keeps it up. She gets to pass by the nurses station on each lap. They are always cheering her on!

It was great to see her more awake and feeling a little better! Melanie is already planning her "Party of Life" celebration in May. It is going to be a great time!!

We love you, Melanie!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

3 and a half days are better than none.....

Well, Melanie has been doing so much better with her nausea. She hadn't thrown up for 3 and a half days..........hadn't being the key word. She got sick tonight.... bummer. she had to have a colonoscopy today. So we think it was from the medicine that they gave her for that. she has been having some bleeding that she was worried about. So they decided to do the colonosocpy today. They did not find anything unusual which was great news. It looks like it is just because her platelets are still low. So once they start going up, the bleeding should stop. Great news...

Melanie continues to eat what she can. Chicken noodle soup seems to be the best for her. And popsicles. :) Her throat is still really sore. Her feet are also becoming an issue again. She was up most of the night with pain. They upped her pain meds again today and upped her Gavatril. Gavatril is what they are hoping will help with her poor feet. They aren't burning like they were. Mel says it is like she hiked 5 miles in really bad shoes. Yikes!!! Hopefully that Gavatril will kick in and she can get some relief and some sleep tonight. Despite her foot pain, she continues to get up and walk at least twice a day. She is amazing! Great work Mel!

Taking a shower has proved to be pretty rough on her feet. The water makes them hurt. She says it is like they are cold from like being outside and then coming in and putting them in hot water. ouch! So below are a couple pictures of what she tried to relieve some of that pain. So she has chemo gloves (which are a bit bigger and longer) on her feet. And then she put hospital socks over that. It was a great idea. However, water did get in and fill up the gloves! So, one of the nurses had a good idea. They have these mesh things that keep gauze in place that you slide over your arm or leg. So we will cut one of those and see if that will help keep the water out.

Chemo gloves....look ridiculous on your feet! haha

Hospital socks.......much better.

As always, thanks to you all for your thoughts and prayers. Everyone's support is just so overwhelming and so thoughtful. Melanie is so thankful to have so many people love and care about her. So is our whole family.

I leave to go back home to Colorado tomorrow. It is hard to believe it is that time already. I have many feelings about it. It is so hard to be so far away. I am so thankful that I have been able to come out and be here for Melanie and to help my mom and to be with my family. I feel pretty lucky to come from such a great family. I want to thank Joanie as well for taking care of things in Colorado. Hopefully the cats won't be to ticked at me. haha I have been so lucky that my job has been so supportive and has allowed me to be where I have needed to be. I am sad to go but I know that she has so many family members & friends around her. she also has some great nurses and doctors. It is always hard to leave, but I know I will be back again sometime next month. I love you so much Melanie. I am just inspired everyday by your strength and perseverance. And you keep that wonderful smile throughout it all! You are amazing and I am so very proud of you! I love you. Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympic Spirit 2010

Hi! It's Peggy (MOM) here in room #812. I just spent an hour typing on this blog only to have it disappear! I am so sad. Here we go again . . .

Thanks to my daughters for keeping up the blog. We have been watching a lot of the Olympics. I've been amazed at the athletes' determination to do their best. The spirit of the Olympics is evident when watching the athletes compete. We have our own Olympics going on in our room. Melanie's competition is the big C-word event, CANCER. She is working for the gold. Today she was able to walk 4 laps in the morning and 2 laps tonight. The laps use to be limited to going down the hall to the brown tile, and then turning around and going back to the doors. Now we get to walk around the nurses station and elevators; no longer a short walk down the hall, but now a longer walk around a big circle. Lately, the walks result in feet that hurt. In fact, Melanie doesn't want to take a shower because doing so makes her feet and hands hurt. Like the Olympics some days are promising and some days are discouraging.

Melanie is still in nadir. 1 neutrophil is present, hematocrit (red cells) is 27.9, and platelets are 50,000. The doctors keep adjusting Melanie's platelet parameter, resulting in a several platelet transfusions each day. The doctors say she is doing as good as can be expected. My visiting-teaching partner, Barbara Mitchell, gave me this advice, "don't expect, just accept!" Thanks for the good advice Barbara.

George & Sandra Lusk came for a visit. Sandra is
Melanie's Relief Society President. Thanks for the nice visit.

It's 12:30 a.m. and time for bed. I want to leave you with these two scriptures:

D&C 98:1-3 - Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted: yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks; waiting patiently on the Lord for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament--the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted. Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good and to my name's glory, saith the Lord.

John 16:33 - These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Melanie is in what they call Nadir. This is when all of her levels are bottomed out and then things should start going up. (that is my understanding anyway) she actually had 1 neutrafil today. Doctor Ash said not to hang your hat on that because it will most likely not stay. Things could still be up and down for a little bit more....... But we get excited at everything we can these days.

Melanie continues to amaze us all. She is doing so good. She has taken 2 walks today and eaten more chicken soup. Her mouth and throat continue to hurt. However, it seems to be getting a bit better. She is ready for that to subside. She has been pretty tired today. Her blood was down to 21. So they gave her 2 units of blood & platelets this morning. You can always tell when her blood is low. She is pale and just very tired. She is getting more platelets tonight as well. The doctors seem very pleased with her progress. It is still day to day and will be for some time. But she seems to be in an upward swing.
Yeah Mel!!!!!

This was taken yesterday when our cousin Toni came to visit. As you can see, Melanie was a bit tired. :)

Aunt Eva visited today. It was good to see her. Nice smile! :)

Keep up the great work Melanie!! You are doing great!
I love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A good day

It was another good day. Mel was able to keep food down, although when I left her this evening to head back to Logan, she was starting to get nauseous. Her mouth and throat are still hurting. Thank goodness for the genius who invented pain medication...what a blessing!

Mel had a visit from our cousin Toni today. It was a so nice for Mel to see her! Thanks Toni! We will post of picture tomorrow, it is on Mel's camera at the moment. :)

Mel's room is really colorful and fun right now thanks to the cards and gifts that so many of you have sent. A HUGE thank you to all of you for your will never know how much it brightens Mel's day.

Mel was able to visit with her nephews Ethan and Eli Bodrero tonight. They were happy to see her finally and see what her room looks like and get a peek at her central line.

As always, Mel had treats for them. She always gives her nieces and nephews treats and gifts, one of the many reason they love Aunt Mel.

Everyday seems to be getting a little easier for now. We are all taking it a day, sometimes an hour at a time.

We love you Mel!!

Happy Valentine's Day

Today was a good day! At least a better day. Her throat and mouth are still sore, but she was able to keep food down. Our aunt Pam brought my mom and her some dinner. Melanie was able to keep the potatoes and gravy down. Earlier she had more chicken noodle soup (Jewish Penicillin as Dr. Ash calls it). That is a huge accomplishment. That alone is great, but she also made it around the walking circle twice. YEAH, MELANIE!!!!

Kaden was able to visit for a bit today again. He loves to snuggle and rest by his mom.

Besides the wall, Melanie was able to cover her door with cards from the primary from her ward.

She received such great presents and Valentine's decor. Her final present from the Relief Society 14 days of Valentine's was two memory foam pillows with pillow cases. Melanie LOVES pillows!

Mike and Stephanie were able to visit today. It had been awhile since they have been able to make it down. Melanie was glad to see them!

Cami was also able to stop in for a visit.

What a great Valentine's Day with fun visits and wonderful strides in recovery!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Yeah, for chicken soup!!

Last night proved to be another challenging night. Melanie's nausea just seems to be really bad at night the couple nights.... My mom actually called her brother Brett last night to come and give Melanie a blessing. Thanks so much Uncle Brett! That was so thoughtful of you. I know Melanie is so thankful as are we.... It gave Mel great comfort for her long night ahead. They decided to up the dosage of her pain medication. They are also upping her Adavan to every 4 hours instead of every 6 hours. This is good for the pain and some of the discomfort, however, it makes her more sleepy. Melanie doesn't really like that, but sometimes she just can't take the pain.... I feel so bad for her. She is amazing! They are going to try ZyprExa tonight. They are going to see if that will help her nausea tonight. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Melanie had one of her good friends Jenn Soto come to visit this morning. She brought Melanie a stuffed frog. So cute and SOFT!!! She was sleeping with it when I got to the hospital today. :) She also brought Kaden a gumball machine.

Thank you Jenn! :)

Kaden is down here for the weekend. That always makes Melanie's day to be able to give him a big hug. I love this picture. :)

This is mom's lovely kitchen that she has created for herself and all of us when we are here. Pretty big.... huh? haha

Melanie also had another visitor, Kerren & Bruce Coburn. Kerren is a colleague of Melanie's and a dear friend. She brought Melanie a couple gifts and also some valentines from her students.

This is a great picture!! I love all the smiles.. :)

Melanie decided she was going to try some chicken noodle soup this evening. She did pretty darn good. That is the 1st thing she has actually eaten in days. She is pretty sick of that too. She figured she has been getting acid reflux or something, so she decided that her stomach acid didn't have anything to do. she was hoping that this might help. She didn't actually get sick til much later..... so maybe her theory worked for awhile. Great job Melanie! Eating is still so painful for her, so this was huge!

This is tile that is in a sitting area outside Melanie's room. It seems pretty fitting and reminds us all just how courageous Melanie is. She is definitely saddled up and hanging on as best she can! She continues to amaze me every day! Her strength is an inspiration. She continues to fight even when she feels so sick and is tired of it all. All of your thoughts and prayers are such a comfort to her. Keep them coming. Thanks so much to you all!

Keep up the good fight Melanie! You are amazing!! I hope that you can have some relief tonight. Tomorrow is going to be a better day! Sweet dreams! I love you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day walk in the park.

I wish I could report lots of happy things about to day, but that is not to be. It was a really rough day. My mom used the words frustrating and discouraging as we talked about today. Mel continues to battle nausea and vomiting. She isn't able to keep food down and so she is still receiving the TPN. The doctors say that this is normal and part of the process. She should see her counts going up in about a week. Mel's blood is really low and she will most likely receive a transfusion tomorrow. Mel's throat and mouth are incredibly painful as she battles mucositis (isn't that a nasty word?) hurts just thinking about it. The doctors say that without the Kepivance, her mouth sores would be even worse, that is hard to imagine. Melanie is still receiving the medications that suppress her immune system and they make her feel yucky. Please continue to pray for Mel! She is experiencing so much right now. It seems that the treatment is making her sicker than the Leukemia ever did. We know that without this treatment Mel couldn't survive, but dang it, it's so hard to see her this sick.

My mom mentioned her opening her packages everyday form her ward R.S. These packages have given her something fun to look forward to each day. You guys are so thoughtful!

Hopefully there will be some good things to report on in the days ahead. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Walking Around on Day 5

Today was a little better for Melanie. Her throat and mouth continue to be very painful, but her feet and hands were feeling pretty good. They are more itchy now! She is still pretty nauseous, which doesn't help with the sore throat situation. She started getting some sores under tongue. They don't push her to eat right now, because it is so painful and she has the "moo juice". The mucositis is suppose to last until her counts start going back up. Hopefully that will be soon, but most likely in about a week.

They made a special accommodation today and let Austin come up with me for a quick visit (he was a healthy little boy). I was bringing Kim back and grabbing my mom. They switch off, so they each get a good night of sleep at least every other night.

Grandpa Perkes came to visit Melanie today. It was an emotional visit for both of them. Melanie was trying not to cry, because it hurts to do so. It just wasn't possible to hold it in at times. I know the visit was good for Melanie. She wasn't able to attend grandma's funeral, so this was kind of her closure and reality moment.

She even got up to walk grandpa out. This is the first time she has been up walking since her transplant. It was a monumental moment.

It felt like running a mile to her, but she made the loop! There were many tears as he left. Thank you grandpa for giving her the extra drive to get up. We love you!

Melanie received a package from Jim and Jara Vail. It was a Far Sides book, and another inspirational book. She also got a DSi game from Makiah and Jana Coburn. Melanie is having a great time with the DSi! Melanie's great aunt Ronda and her daughter Paula also sent her a Valentine's card. There are so many nice, thoughtful people out there. Thank you!

Today is day 5 after transplant. Engraftment usually takes 14-28 days. We are praying for the 14!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Pain Goes On

Today was another hard day for Melanie. She continues to have quite a lot of pain in her mouth and throat, her hands, and her feet. Poor girl! It is so hard to see her feeling so terrible. She looks like she spent a day at Bear Lake without any sunscreen. All this discomfort is from the radiation, the chemo, the Kepivance, and the Tacro (medicine for antirejection). Hopefully it will all go away as her new cells start to regenerate and become stronger.

Dr. Ash is one of Melanie's favorite doctors. She is an amazing person, who knows her stuff! She has a great way of explaining things and is very fun to talk to.

Melanie has received a lot of cards from the primary in her ward. She gets a few each day with the 14 days of Valentines. They really help to brighten her room!

The blessed pain meds! Melanie can push this little button every ten minutes, if needed. I asked her exactly how her feet felt, and she said it feels like they are burned. Not sunburned, but burned! OUCH!! No wonder she doesn't want to get up an walk around. She did make it for a shower today, which was a big deal.

Shi-thead is all full right now with lots of fun things! There is the "moo juice", Tacro, blood, sailene, pain meds, and potassium/magnesium. Just to name a few.

Hang in there, Melanie!! We love your pink, swollen little self!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A rough start to the week.

So first off we wanted to thank Suzanne Archibald for staying with Melanie while we went to Grandma Perkes funeral. It was so nice that she was able to do that. We all so appreciate it. We didn't get a picture of her but definitely wanted to thank her. Melanie said she took very good care of her. Her old bishop also came down to see her. Bishop Hallock. She was very appreciative to see him as well.

Happy Birthday Kaden!!! He is now 13, a teenager. Melanie was able to have a party for him when she was out of the hospital last month. Which was nice for her. Cami made him a cake and had a party tonight for him. Thanks Cami. They called here to the hospital when they were ready to sing happy birthday to him. So Melanie and I were able to sing with them on speaker phone. It was hard for her not to be there to celebrate....

Melanie has really had a rough start to the week. She has been very nauseated. Especially today. she has been throwing up a lot more than she has. I guess I am not her charm on that after all dang it! Her skin is red from the radiation as well. It looks like she has a sunburn. I think it kind of feels that way as well. They really struggled today finding something that would help with pain control and nausea. Her feet, hands, & ears are so swollen. It is just really painful. Her throat and mouth are so sore as well. This is from the Keptivance (not sure how to spell). She is now on a pump of phentynol. So she can just push a button when she needs to and not have to wait for the nurse. This also means that she has to have her oxygen monitored. So when she goes to the bathroom, I put it on my finger so that it doesn't just beep non stop til she gets back to it. That is the picture below.

As you can see from the picture above, she is back on TPN or "Moo juice" as Melanie likes to call it. Because her mouth and especially her throat are so sore, it really hurts to eat. So, she does what she can. She tries really hard to at least drink her Boost drink. She will also eat a creamy as well. She did find out that apple sauce is NOT so good. She is still doing her best to do what she can. The nurses were proud of her today for that. As were we. Great job Mel!!

Below you will see some pics of Mel's poor feet, hands, & ears. Not only are the swollen, but they just burn as well. The burning part is from the radiation. We just keep putting ice packs on her feet. That is the only thing that seems to relieve the burning.

These bad boys are a source of much pain right now... It really hurts to walk as well.

Poor swollen hands.

I don't think I have ever seen anyone's ears swollen. Looks painful...

So, first night with the oxygen monitoring.... Jeepers that thing is beeping up a storm. They finally got some oxygen for her.... Thank goodness. I hope that she can get some sleep.....

She is really fighting hard. I know she is just sick of being sick! I can't even imagine. She is trying to stay as positive as she can. Tomorrow is going to be a better day!!! We just know it!!! :)

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. I know that is helping her through this difficult and trying time in her life. We are so thankful for all our family and friends.

I love you Melanie!! I know tomorrow will be a better day! I am so proud of you!!