Thursday, March 11, 2010

All is well...

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true, for the Lord God hath spoken it." Mosiah 2:41

I know Mike is in that blessed and happy state... Today marks 5 weeks since Mike's passing. It seems like it has been a life time already. My children and I are walking along the shore, waves of grief lapping around our ankles... Occasionally a huge wave comes along and nearly knocks us over...We dig our feet into the sand and steady ourselves. We try not to fall. We continue to walk forward with faith. We hope that soon, the little waves of grief will be the only ones we feel.

Our love for Mike has deepened. We have heard so many accounts of his life touching others. Many of the stories we are hearing for the first time. We are so very, very grateful for the many lives that have touched ours during this long journey. We have developed deeper appreciation for those who have supported us. We have made new friends. We have an amazing appreciation for those who cared for Mike and for each of us.

Mikes funeral and memorial services were fitting and deserving for such an amazing man. This leg of our journey has come to a close. We have begun a new journey now. We will continue to have meaning and purpose in our lives as we cherish the extraordinary memories we have of Mike, husband, father, son, and friend.

We find comfort in this verse:
"Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight: I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. 'All is well." Canon Henry Scott-Holland

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The New Beginning of the Journey

The journey of Mike's disease lasted just shy of 9 months. Mike was so courageous throughout the fight. He kept trying to get better...and get better he did. It has been an amazing time full of faith, love, laughter, pain, grief and support. I hope we have been gracious enough to let everyone who helped us know how deeply grateful we are for your time, talents and service. I have renewed friendships, deepened old friendships and gained such respect and appreciation for so many. Each time we were in need, whether it be emotionally, spiritually or physically, our Father in Heaven sent angels to our home. You, my friends, will receive great blessings because of your love and service.

On Wednesday we had an incredible service for Mike... Our immediate families attended. Each was able to express feelings from deep within their hearts. It was joyous, private and sacred. I know Mike is pleased.

Today we will celebrate his life with family, church and community. Mike will be given his due honor and respect. He deserves that as well.

Our hearts are full. We will continue to love, respect and honor Mike as our husband, father, son, brother and friend. We know he is "waiting for us, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner." All is well...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Services for Mike

We will have a private funeral and burial for Mike on Wednesday morning Feb. 10. There will be a Memorial service on Saturday Feb. 13 at 1:00 p.m. at our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Our family will be be pleased to meet and talk with everyone after the service. We hope you will all plan to attend...

Thanks to everyone who has helped us through this time. We are filled with humility when we consider your kindness.

Mike is the love of my life...He will be forever...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thank you

Today the world lost an amazing man. He left this world 9 months after our journey with cancer began. It took him 9 months to get here and 9 months to leave. We thank you for your continued support. All of your prayers over the last day have been answered. Dad is back to work again. What a miracle. Thank you for participating in this miracle with us.

Lots of love,
The Ellis Family
We've been asked over and over again over the last little while what people can do to help.

Physically and emotionally we are doing fine. We have wonderful friends who have given us and dad the love and care that we need over the last few months and continue to come and care for us during this final stretch. We feel the love and support of each of you as these amazing people do and say just the right things to bring us all comfort. We have been the recipients of some amazing meals this week and thank you for the love and care that you put into providing these for us. We have gained strength from a loving Heavenly Father who has brought us peace and calm during a time when we might be finding difficulty. We are being taken care of just the way we need to be, and we thank you for that. Your prayers are being answered in our peace.

Last evening we had a good discussion with a dear friend. He mentioned how nice it would be to start writing down some memories of dad. This is something that you can help us with. We would love for as many of you as are willing to write down some of the wonderful memories that you have of dad. Your words will provide comfort for us for years to come and a way for his grand kids and great grand kids to get to know him from a different perspective. Mail them to us, email them to us, leave messages on the blog, or just keep them until you see us. We know how much you have meant to dad and would like to remember dad in this way.

Thank you,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The day has been so very difficult for Mike. He is experiencing pain again today. We are trying to relieve the pain...It gets ahead of us so quickly. Please pray that Mike can be released from this condition soon. His suffering is almost more than we can stand. He has such a strong will...We have sat in his room today, comforted him and listened to music. The music brings peace to our souls. We are so anxious for the miracle of Mike moving into the next life to occur. We know there he can work and serve and join those who are looking forward to seeing him again. He is ready to start running again...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Mike is resting comfortably...We seem to have his pain under control. It is wonderful having Hannah here. Shared responsibility is always easier. Mike's brother has been visiting from out of town also. Mike's mind is so much clearer when he is awake. He still has a great sense of humor. He is aware that a friend brought some hostess "snowballs" to our house. I have a hard time letting him eat them, especially in bed. (I am not thinking they are the best nutritional choice) I don't like him to sleep with pink coconut crumbs. Yesterday he said to his brother, "do you think there is a chance in h-e-l-l that Nancy would let me have a snowball?" My reply..."not a snowball's chance!" He ate the snowball, crumbs and all.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our day has been very different and difficult. Mike woke up with an excrutiating headache. I called the hospice nurse and it was decided he needed to start taking a more effective pain medication. He is finally resting after many hours of pain. It is so difficult to watch him.

Hannah and I sat with Mike in his room and listened to the hymns...How soothing and comforting to listen to those sweet words.

Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer, Thou wilt bind the broken heart.
Let not sorrow overwhelm us; Dry the bitter tears that start.
Curb the winds and calm the billows; Bid the angry tempest cease.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, Grant us everlasting peace.

It is wonderful having our family here at this sacred time. We feel your love for us. Thank you for your continued prayers in our behalf. At this point we need this special time to ourselves. I will write on the blog as I can.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mike slept most of yesterday. This morning he is awake, alert and a bit more talkative. We are both calm and peaceful. I feel a tremendous load taken off my shoulders with the help of the hospice team. They are truly amazing. I think Mike and I both feel safer now. Thanks to all of you for your delightful comments on the previous post. I have read each of them to Mike. I told him I was so grateful that he has been so nice to people throughout his life so we could have some friends! This would be a lonely time without all of you...

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The past two weeks have been very challenging for us. Mike's condition has worsened. Our family made the decision to stop the current treatment. It is time for us to devote all of our energy to making Mike comfortable. We have "refocused our hope" as the nurse told me yesterday. Mike will continue to rest at home. We feel calm and peaceful with our decision. Thanks to all who are continuing to pray in our behalf.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Good Day

Mike responded to the new pain treatment very well. For the first time in many weeks, he said the headache was MUCH better!!!! We were happy that his blood tests were good and he is healthy for another round of chemo.

We enjoyed a wonderful meal last evening which was prepared by Rudy's "foster mother." It was so good to talk to her about Rudy and know he is extremely happy. (Maybe too happy :) Mike and I have listened endlessly to music that was sent from dear friends who are far, far away. They are the musicians on the CD and hearing their music helps us feel their love for us. We continue to have special angels spend the night with us and give us lots of TLC.

Today is indeed a good day...

This was sent to me by a friend..."Throughout scripture we encounter the need for us to remember that the Lord has His own timetable for unfolding things; it will not always accord with our schedules or our wants. When, in our extremities, we urgently call for a divine response, there may be instead a divine delay. This is not because God, at the moment, is inattentive or loves us less than perfectly. Rather, it is because we are being asked to endure more for the welfare of our souls. The blessed meek understand that God loves them even when they may not be able to explain the meaning of what is happening to them or around them."

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK day

Some minor changes in Mike's condition, but the chemo will go on next Monday as planned. The headaches have not improved. We will try a new plan. We hope and pray it makes Mike more comfortable. Have I mentioned lately that he is one incredible man. He just keeps taking it...

Friday, January 15, 2010

We continue along

i have felt fatigue and headCHE MOST of the DAY. WE ARE DOING WELL AFTER a nice visit with ou our stake president last night. i have napped and hope for more good rest tonight.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2 days later...

We are 48 hrs. out from Mike's chemo treatment. So far things are going well. Mike is experiencing extreme fatigue, but other than that (as if that is not enough) there haven't seemed to be side effects. His headaches have not subsided, but he has good pain medicine.

We, again, have had an amazing outpouring of support. How can we possibly thank each of you enough for all that you have done for us. I am having help each night and that is really helping me get through each day. There are truly lots of angels here on earth!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The start of new chemothrtapy

This morning I started a new chemotherapy treatment. It is administered by infusion with a new drug just approved last summer for the use of my kind of cancer. Initially it has had very positive results. We were actually at the cancer center for 4+ hours but hope in the future that it will only take about 3 hrs. Nancy says that I slept through most of the infusion. So far I haven't felt any side effects. I was given an anti nausea medication in conjunction with the infusion. We pray that there won't be any ill effects tonight.

Thank you for your continued faith, love & support.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend update

We have had quiet weekend... Yesterday the massage therapist visited our house again. Mike and I felt very relaxed after our massages. Mike slept very well last night. I have had help the last 2 nights and have also slept well. Sleep really does make all the difference!

Andy stayed with Mike this a.m. and I was able to go to church. It was nice to be there again. Two of the young men from our church brought the sacrament to Mike. We are so grateful for that. We had a couple of visitors and some nice phone calls.

We have anxiety about starting this new regimen, but tomorrow is our day and we will do it. Mike's headaches have not subsided much, so hopefully this treatment will make him more comfortable. We do worry about the side effects, but having weighed our options, this seems to be the best right now.

Your prayers in Mike's behalf will be so appreciated as he begins this new treatment.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Explanation of the treatment plan

We made another visit to the cancer center today for a "training" to get the new therapy started. Mike will have the first infusion on Monday. We were told to expect the treatment to last about 3 hours. Mike will first get antinausea medication and steroids through the IV and then the chemotherapy. We were told the side effects usually start on therapy day and can last a few days. Since hemorrhaging is a side effect, the doctor has decided to take Mike off of his blood thinner. This was a question I asked on Tuesday and after thinking about it, the doctor made the decision.

Mike's immunity will be compromised with the treatment, so we will again have to avoid crowds and sick people. The hand sanitizer will be available when you want to visit. The dosage of steroids was again increased and I think Mike's headaches may be a bit better today. We are hoping this continues as he has suffered greatly with them for the last week.

This morning, after a particularly rough night, a dear friend called from far away Peru. It was so wonderful to hear her voice and feel her calm spirit. I truly believe she was an angel sent to comfort me. We also were recipient of other angelic help today in the way of errands being run, snow being cleared and food being delivered. We appreciate all of our angel friends.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A tiring day...

Mike does have some new malignancy around the cavity where his first tumor was removed. Obviously the current chemo treatments are not working. A new chemo drug was approved July, 2009. We will try that course. Mike will get infusions once every 2 weeks. The doc said there aren't bad side effects like with most chemo. All we can do is hope for the best, whatever that might be. We think the doctors and staff at the cancer center are the best there are anywhere in the world. We will not be going elsewhere for any treatments. Right now this is cutting edge.

What a comfort it was to have all of our kids with us today when we visited the doctor. I absolutely love our children as adults. They are all amazing. Hannah stayed an extra night and will fly out early in the morning. She is with Ty and Kim tonight so she will be closer to the airport.

Thank all of you for your prayers in our behalf. We know a kind wise Heavenly Father is listening to each and every one of them. We are buoyed up by your faith.
The news isn't what we wanted to hear from the MRI... We don't know the full extent of what is happening but will have a visit with the doctor today to discuss our next course of action. Mike is sleeping much of the time with pain meds every 4 hours. All of our kids will go with us to the doctor today. They have been such support to us.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The doctor feels that an MRI will be the best approach to finding the cause of Mike's recent headaches. We will have that today and an appointment with the doctor tomorrow.

We have been through these so many times that now we feel that it is always best to know the facts. We feel peaceful and calm, knowing that our lives are in the hands of the Lord.

We so appreciate your prayers in our behalf. More later.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


After a headache which persisted for 3 days and imagining new tumor growth and lots and lots of anxiety, Nancy found a drug combination which made it go away after a morning nap. Nancy is the best caregiver ever. I am forever indebted to her.

Nancy here... I phoned the doctor this a.m. and she enlightened me as to what medications Mike could take. I didn't want anyone to think I am amazing with drugs :) Anyway, we are happy to report that Mike is feeling much, much better. We probably will proceed with another MRI at the first of the week. Persistent headaches are always alarming.