Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's afternoon already

I have had a few phone calls saying I haven't blogged yet today... So glad many of you are reading this and keeping up with our lives.

We had an absolutely glorious day yesterday. We saw both of our boys, talked to Hannah, visited with lots of friends and family, went to a movie and had a wonderful dinner. We are so excited about the new foods we are trying. Mike is such a willing guinea pig! Last night's tilapia with a new found batter was delicious!

Today Mike went to the office for a few hours. I went to the farmer's market. Another amazing thing happened that was no coincidence! The first vendor I saw when I walked through the gate was a woman who is a friend and client of Mike's that I had not seen in a few years. She and her family are organic farmers in Carthage IN. We had a lengthy conversation about whole grains and organic vegies... She so kindly offered to send me her family recipes for their wonderful whole grain breads. She is going to provide me with many of the supplies I need to make bread that Mike will eat! (I am experimenting with different kinds of flour as we don't like total whole wheat.) I am also searching for some fattening recipes... The doctor does not want Mike to lose weight while he is going through treatments:)

We are off to Indy this afternoon to buy Mike some pants that aren't too baggy. He informed me that I will need to drive his car since it has only been driven 20 mph for the last few weeks. I know I won't make it go as fast as he thinks I should!

This morning we visited with some friends who moved to the Detroit area a couple of years ago. We had such a pleasant visit in our back yard. The day is beautiful. We are so grateful for little blessings each day.

The oncologist told us yesterday that Mike will be taking an oral chemo drug along with the radiation for 6 weeks. He will then have a 4 week reprieve and then will do a 6 month round of chemo lasting one week out of each month. Interestingly, we rented a beach house on the Outer Banks for our entire family the last week of July. The doctors think that will be a perfect time for Mike to get away for some rest and recuperation! We have looked forward to this trip for many months and are again so grateful for this blessing in our lives.

I know that prayers are answered so often by individuals like yourselves who bless us with support from day to day. I don't ever want to forget to express my gratitude to all of you!


  1. Mike it was great to see you and Nancy on yourwalk last night( Great to see Rudy too! )
    Keep up on the exercise I'd hate to see you get to be my size w/ the Andrew dale hair style!!!! OOOOOOOOOh I don't know if that would be a pretty sight! You looked great! "Success begins with a fellow's will,It's all in the state of Mind!" Big M

  2. I don't know if you are aware, but I had a recurrance of a breast type cancer in my pelvic lymph nodes in March 2008. It had been 9 years since my original diagnosis, radiation and chemotherapy. So I really do know how you feel. Hormone therapy alone was effective for over a year but I just started chemotherapy again 6 weeks ago. Don shaved my rapidly falling hair two weeks ago and now I have cute little silver hairs that are about 1/4 inch long. Apparently the grey hair is tougher than the brown. I have been greatly blessed by a wonderful doctor and staff at IU Medical Center and priesthood blessings that have sustained me both physically and spiritually. I am currently receiving a cocktail of three drugs, all of which have different actions. The Taxol is the one that makes me lose my hair and is somewhat toxic. Still my side effects have not been devastating. The Avastin retards blood flow and oxygen to the tumors and the study drug targets the part of the chromosome that sends the signal for the cell to age and die. They have thus far had excellent results in this study. I receive about a 6 hour infusion one day per week for 3 weeks and then am off a week. The premeds have a steroid in them and I can't sleep at all the night of treatment so I find myself doing all kinds of things that night. Usually, by 8am I can sleep. Spiritually I am greatly blessed. When the recurrence was first found I immediately felt a great sense of peace and closeness to the Lord. After doing far too much research on the internet, reading statistics and prognoses, I found myself becoming more fearful and doubtful. I spent one particularly restless and upsetting night. When I awoke the next morning though, my mind was filled with scripture. The most powerful one was from D&C 122:9 which said,
    "Thy days are known and thy years shall not be numbered less." I also had the image in my mind of Peter asking the Lord to allow him to walk to him on the water. When he started with faith he was successful but started to sink when he saw the wind boisterous. I realized that while learning about my condition was helpful, there was a time to stop reading and trust that only the Lord was in charge of my future, that I was an individual and not a statistic. (I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future!) I know that you all have great faith and will prevail. I am also following a much healthier eating, sleeping and exercising program now and would love to talk to you about what you are doing. Don and I would love to come visit. We'll give you a call and hope that we can find a day when Mike is up to it. Take care and keep the faith. Know that you are ever in our prayers and are on the temple prayer roll every two week when we work there. Love Jan Cruikshank 765-274-5122,

  3. Mike & Nancy,

    Thanks for introducing me to blogging, and for a spectacular view of your relationships with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Ron Vollmar and I viewed every posting by Nancy and Hannah and found it to be quite an inspirational experience. May you continue your courageous journey with continuous faith, love, and good will, and thanks for sharing so much.

    As an inexperienced blogger, I am having difficulty posting this--you may receive it twice--or not at all.

  4. Hi Nancy and Mike,
    Did I read correctly that Nancy had a birthday two days ago and Mike's is tomorrow? If so, Happy Birthday to both of you. Don't worry about aging. I am only 50 with 23 years experience. This year I just might be able to turn 51.
    Love ya,
    Bev Merrill

  5. I posted Happy Birthday's for both of you on Facebook, but after doing so, am thinking you don't have time to read the comments here and there, so I am posting it here. Nancy, hope you had a nice birthday, and Mike I hope you get to do something special and fun for yours. We have Ward Conference this morning so we for sure will be having fun. Wish you could come down for our Linger Longer!! Well, have a good day! Love ya. Joleen

  6. Happy Birthday Mike!! I hope you have a wonderful day and get to experience on of Nancy's wonderful meals made especially for you. Enjoy the beautiful day and always know how special you are to our family and how much you are loved.
    Happy Birthday!

  7. No new blog, so I can't put this on it. Hope you have a great birthday this nice sunny Sunday, Mike! Hope you have many, many more!
    Cindy, Jeff & Chelsea

  8. Ellis family,

    Andy told me of your desire to maintain Mike's weight during these treatments. We discussed a couple of ideas, but I just wanted you to know I'm happy to answer questions or make suggestions any time. I'm a Registered Dietitian by profession and while I am confident you will have access to a wonderful RD at BMH- just know I'm only a call or email away. Andy will be able to get a hold of me. (Trevor and I monopolize his time as often as we can- we love Andy). Blessings to you all- and praying for Mike!

    Hanna Kelley