Saturday, September 29, 2007


I just thought I'd drop an update so I have something to read when i get on here again. I had my second chemo last wednesday and it was mostly a lot of waiting. There was much laughter with Jaymee and my mom there. Every other week is supposed to be hard and so this is the easier week. I'm tired and have some soreness, but other than that, I'm doing pretty darn good. I took mom to the airport today and that was sad for me. I'm happy that she will finally get a break but I will miss her so. Mel got here yesterday and she is awesome. This next week is gonna be fun. We're going wig shopping and the girls are going to cut my hair on wednesday, I think, so look forward to that video soon. I have to go add some pics to the "more pics of shelby's family" link... so hopefully they'll be there soon, too.

I'm sorry I haven't mentioned Jaymee more on here. That's not really fair. I'm a big jerk for not putting him in my thank yous. He has such a big load on his mind. He's looking/interviewing for a job right now and has a lot at work. He's got a wife who keeps him up all night, too. He has an offer here in St. louis and it's good but I'd love to have something out west to compare it to... we'll see. I think it would be really really hard to be an oncologist and know so much about this disease and then have it hit your home. I think he keeps a lot of info to himself and carries it around like a yucky rock so I won't worry. He's a good man and i love him too much.

That's about it. Thanks for all the cards and emails and love. I feel like hollywood but without all the annoying paparazzi and jail and stuff. I do get to shave my head, lose too much weight and take lots of drugs, though.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thank you! and you! and you!

I'm way overdue and sure i'll forget somebody. Please please forgive me! I just want to drop a note to thank everyone who has done and sent so much already. My kids think cancer is like christmas... and it is in a way... you get a big feeling in your chest. Your heart gets all tender.... people send you things that make you cry.... and you fill your body with all sorts of poison hoping to get rid of it come the new year... anyway, so here are some thanks:

I want to thank melanie for this blog, for helping to pay to get jaymee out to az so he could bring me to the hospital in st. louis, for my willow tree figures of the two sisters spooning in a gurney, for the journals for my daughters and tha card that sings,"i'll give a little biiit, i'll give a little biiiitt of my love to you..."

I have to thank Bazzill Basics Paper for giving me all this time off PAID and taking that biggest worry from my mind. THey are too generous and I WILL make it up to them. Too generous. Also, thanks for the big fruit flowers that my family didn't save for me at all.

Brittany sent me all the books on my shelfari wish list. As soon as i feel good enough to read, it's bye bye world!

In true christmas fashion, Lexi sent fun toys to all my kids (including jaymee) and magazines, candy, and a beautiful pink wig to me. SHe also sent me a willow tree figure of a girl standing in washingston wishing with all her big heart she could be here.

Tami sent me the biggest box of delicious. After the kids finally go to bed at night, it's old "office" epsodes and candy candy candy.

My Aunt Nicki who is at this very time over coming her own horrible cancer (in her tongue!!! much worse than mine!) sent me the world's softest blanket which i take everywhere i go. I took it to chemo yesterday, Ahhhh! So soft. She also sent me socks and chicken broth and lip balm, etc. It really made me cry.

I got another quilt yesterday from my sweet cousin Laura that I wouldn't take to chemo even though she wants me to. It is too beautiful. NOBODY TOUCH IT! It is a treasure. Thanks so much Laura.

Jeanette Stanley came to see me in the hospital and brought beautiful flowers. She also made the best chicken pot pie we had ever had. It is SO GOOD. Wish for a tragedy in your family so you can get a piece of that!

thank you benhams for the sweet willow tree figure "wished we still lived in o fallon". Those willow tree guys think of everything!

I've gotten delicious dinners from the Woodburys, the Macdonalds, the Cimas and many more that i don't know about because i was in the hospital. The Castillos, Hartsells, Cimas, Corbridges, Youngs, Bennions and many more have taken my kids and I am so grateful.

Finally, my mom is the first of the help parade to fly out here and take care of every little thing. I have a busy busy household. Mason is nuts and Preslie is one. Mom, who hates to fly, jumped on a plane and came over and took over everything so i can lay in bed all day. She plays with my kids and makes all the food and does all the laundry and pets all the cat. She hasn't asked for one minute to herself and has kept strong when having to deal with her favorite child having cancer. She hasn't had any good experiences with cancer and I know she has been scared and sad. She is such an awesome lady and I couldn't be more proud to be her daughter. I love her with all my heart.

I am truly sorry for the many people I have left out. I have cancer. (can i use that?) I have never felt so loved or blessed or taken care of in all my life. So many families get hit with something like this and they are overcome with worldy cares on top of the disease itself. What a huge miracle it is that I only have to worry about getting better and that all of my other cares are taken care of. I love you all and hope that Heavenly Father poors buckets of blessings on all of your heads!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sienna's Poem

Sienna (8) wrote this for me.

My mom is having cancer which makes me very sad
She doesn't get to play as much which makes me very mad
I said a prayer and I think it's going to be all right
I hope she'll make it through with all her mighty might.
Heavenly Father loves her very very much
She is still home sometimes for breakfast, dinner and lunch.
She still can give me hugs, just be careful with her heart
With all of us very busy I need to do my part
XOXOXO down here there's lots of love
XOXOXO there's lots of love above
Her favorite color is yellow, just like the shining sun
She sure has love down here. Look, she has a ton
I love her, we love her, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and also the Holy Ghost love her
She is still my friend even when she gets no hair.
When I'm really sad, I know she is always there
And now I finished my poem today and Mom if you read this don't worry you'll be okay.

Love, Sienna

Saturday, September 22, 2007

the tumors

There are actually three of them. One big and two little ones. Here's the images from my pet scan. The dark shadow under the tumor is my heart. it's supposed to be where my tumor is.

Friday, September 21, 2007

first chemo

SO what's the big deal? I took a long nap and ate some snacks and my friend Mami hung out with me for 8 hours and rubbed my feet and pulled funny things out of her cleavage all day. Ha ha ha. It hurts to laugh, by the way, and she hurt me much today. I'll post some pictures when i get a chance. Supposedly, the first treatment is really hard because a lot of people are allergic. So you start having a reaction and they stop the reaction and then give you more and then you react and your throat starts closing and they stop it and give you MORE... that sounds awful. Luckily, I wasn't allergic! So it was no problem. I feel really good. Better than i have in some time, in fact.

Oooh, Jaymee showed me my pet scan and let me tell you - I AM A TROOPER! I have not been milking this thing enough. My tumors are HUGE!!! It's awesome. I'll post the scan so you can all feel worse for me. Except that i'm getting better now, so i guess that ship has sailed. THey said the chemo i got today will start shrinking my tumor right away. I'll have that pressure off my heart in a day or two. Amazing. My heart is mushed into a tiny corner a few inches down from where it's supposed to be. INCHES? Travey wonders if my heart is in the right place... rightfully so. It's not. But it will be soon.

That's all I have for now. I'll post more stuff when I get time. Thanks for all your prayers and such. I love you all.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm leaving

(this is Melanie)
I am going on a trip to Lake Powell for the next 5 days so I hope that Shelby or Jaymee update everyone on how her first dose of treatment goes. I hope all goes well. We'll keep you in our prayers this weekend Shel. We love you!

(This is Melanie) I made this for a class of mine. I did a few others -they are on her family pictures link.

Thanks, Therese!

I just wanted to drop a note to thank my friend Therese Cofer for taking the pictures of us this week. She is very talented. She's moving to Japan in a couple weeks and will be missed. I feel like I can lose my hair and look like Voldemort (that's what camryn predicts i will look like) now that I have proof that I had hair once.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In answer to Nancy's questions

(This is Melanie)
They treat this type of cancer with a little stronger chemo than the other and it has some worse side effects - but the outcomes are still very hopeful with this type. (like 85-93%!! total cure) Because the cells are "aggressive" they respond better to chemo than do slower growing cells. So it's kind of funny - you don't want her to have an aggressive cancer that is growing quickly in her body, but at the same time it dies quicker when combated with the chemo so the outcome is very often total cure.
She starts the chemo this Friday and will continue with it every week for 12 weeks. She is at home now and will go in and get the chemo for 8 hours (yuck) on Friday and then come back home to deal with all the effects. It sounds like it gets worse the second week and the first week isn't as bad. (So they tell her - she actually has a date with Jaymee Friday night!)We'll see. My mom will be with her for this first weekend of treatment and next week and then I get there Friday the 28th and stay the next 10 days. I'll be there for the next two treatments. Hopefully it isn't too hard on her. That's the next specific thing we can pray for I think. Thanks for all of your love and concern. The Price family is the best.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Latest news

(This is Melanie)
Well, we found out today that it is not Hodgkin's lymphoma as we had hoped. It is actually a large B cell lymphoma sometimes called Diffuse Large B cell or primary Mediastinal large B cell lymphoma. It looks to be a slightly more aggressive cancer - but because of that it responds well to chemotherapy which targets rapidly changing cells. I don't know much more than that right now. I'll keep everyone posted as I know more.

Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
This is the most common of all the lymphomas, and by far the most common of the aggressive types of lymphoma. It comprises about 35% of all NHL cases in North America, and about 60% of all aggressive cases. The term diffuse refers to the fact that the cancer cells are spread around and not concentrated in one particular part of the node or in clusters within a part of the node. In other words the cancer cells don't clump together very well. This is the opposite behaviour of follicular lymphoma, which is an indolent variety.

This diffuse pattern of growth contributes to the aggressive behaviour of DLBC. These patients are more likely to experience "B" symptoms which includes fever, recurrent night sweats, fatigue or weight loss. However their aggressive natures is also what contributes to their high cure rate because chemotherapy is most effective at targeting rapidly dividing cells.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Family Fast

We are going to have a family fast for Shelby tomorrow(Sunday). We would like all who are able to participate. We love our family and friends and are so grateful for your support.

Paul Schrieber made this for Shel. Very funny.

sept 15

hi everyone. i am here hoping that i'll be able to leave this morning. This past week has FLOWN by. I can't believe i've been in the hospital for a week. WHat a strange week. 8 days ago i was working at a show in Arizona. I had sneaked... snook?... into jaymee's email and had seen that a radiation Oncology group here in st. louis wants to hire him. I was all stressed out - what should we do? they want to take us to dinner and i have nothing to wear! What side of the river would we live on? Can i really resist a big house? My hair is too stripey. These were my most important thoughts. Perhaps that is why the golden hammer bonked me on the head and said,"Hey shallow! take this!"

So i'm now a week later and all i can feel is gratitude. I've seen up close the love that has always been around me. My husband was a crumpled up dollar (to steal a phrase from sienna). My mom forgot herself and her fears and jumped on a plane and got here as fast as she could. I have every friend and family member praying and asking when they can come out to help me. my lawn has been mowed. my house has been cleaned. my kids have had a great week playing with their friends. My ward is all standing with their hand in the air saying, "pick me! ooh ooh! Let me do something!" It's overwhelming. I am so grateful.

I honestly haven't been scared or worried for even one second. And that's not because i'm so great as all you say. It has not been a decision i had to make. It's just the way I feel and i know it's from the Holy Ghost. Jeff gave me a great blessing and i told sienna about it and she has reassured everyone around her,"Mom is going to be fine. She got a blessing and is hogging the Holy Ghost". I feel like there is this huge blanket of peace all around and anyone who wants it just needs to crawl under and pull a portion of it up to their chin. It's big enough for everyone. That's why everyone who wants to - gets to feel this same peace i do. What a loving Heavenly Father to provide us with that.

Last night I was a little uncomfortable and I thought to myself,"This whole ordeal will make me better understand the trials my dad went through and it can make us closer." His was much much worse than mine, but i'm still grateful to get a taste so that i can better understand him and remember him. That's when it hit me. This is why the atonement took place. This is why our Savior took on not only our sins, but our illnesses and pains. So he can know what we are going through and it can make us much closer. It's something I have known all my life but never felt as strongly as I do now. I am truly humbled that someone as beautiful and perfect and important as my Savior would take the time to find out how i will feel going through this little hurdle so he can succor me. Mami told me this week that Jeffrey R. Holland said "succor" means "run to".

Thought from mom

If you would have told me a week ago that tonight I would be on my knees giving tearful thanks that my daughter had Hodgkins disease, I would have told you were crazy, but that is what it is and treatment should totally take care of her. She
never wavered in the least in her faith and is an example to us all.

Friday, September 14, 2007


(Sept. 11, 2007) (This is a letter Shelby sent out to our family) I thought I'd drop a note before the family rumor machine gets up to full speed and people get the wrong information. Over the past few weeks I have had some chest pains when i overexerted
myself. It wasn't so bad, but it started happening more and more
often. When i was in Arizona for Bazzill's weekend getaway thing, I
had a real bad night on Thursday and then when I got to melanie's
house on Saturday night it became unbearable. She took me to the ER
at about 2 am. (If you have to go to the ER, she's the one to have
take you.) It was fun. I told them that my heart felt too big for the
space it was in. They thought it might be a clot. I got a CT scan and an x ray. Melanie and I were spooning on my cot (it was very
cold) and laughing our heads off when a doctor came in and told us
it's time to get down to business. He said I have a mass in my chest
and fluid around my heart. That part wasn't as fun. They transferred
me to another hospital. They told me there that it was quite a large
mass - about 8cm across and that it was either a benign mass or one
of 2 cancers. Jaymee flew out and talked them into letting him take
me back to his hospital. We are here at the Siteman Cancer center -
barnes-jewish hospital in St. Louis. I had a biopsy today and the
preliminary results indicate that it is cancer, we're just not sure
what kind yet. It's either lymphoma or thymoma. We'll find out over
the next day or two.

So that's the real story. This has already been an amazing experience
and I see lots of ways this will be a good thing for me and for my
family. I am happy and feel so much peace. Jeff gave me a great
blessing and he said i'd have an extra abundance of the Holy Ghost
and he couldn't be more right. I have already felt my dad near and
feel blessed to have someone who knows what this is like cheering for
me on the other side, too. I am not scared. I know it'll be a
sometimes-yucky journey, but I'm not worried about it being anything
more than that. I'm not going to die from this. I am going to grow
closer to my Savior and to my family and come out a better person
when it's over. I'm going to read books and take naps and eat
whatever i want. I know it was no that I got to be with Melanie when this all happened . She is such an amazing person and
she has made this so much easier to deal with. My mom has been very
strong and positive and wonderful and is coming out to help - even on
a plane for more than two hours!

I love you all. Please keep my little family in your prayers.

(Sept. 12, 2007)( Shelby)
here's what i know right now:
it looks like i will be out of the hospital this weekend. hopefully they will tell me what it is this morning and we'll make a treatment plan. i am having a pet scan and a bone marrow biopsy today so we can see how advanced it is. Mom is coming on thursday. I'm not sure what her plan is as far as how long she is going to stay. It looks like i'll have about 12 weeks of chemo (yes, i'll be bald in 2 weeks! Oooh - i'm totally gointo be an eagle for halloween!) and then i'll have a couple week break and then start radiation for about 4-5 weeks. my radiation oncologist is really really really good-looking, so i'm almost looking forward to that part. He could please use your prayers, too. He's having a hard time. Turns out, he loves me very very much.

Chris Price - Sep 12, 2007
Is there just any way to tell you how much we love you and what a giant you are in all of our eyes? You are just the best and bless your heart for working so hard to make all of us feel better.

Shel7by Stroud - Sep 12, 2007
hey everybody. here's an update: tomorrow i have to go under anesthesia and get a better biopsy. that kinda stinks, but it's ok because i'll be sleepy. They did 2 bone marrow biopsies today and that was weird. i had some vercet and i would come out and see what was going on and one time i really thought the doctor was jumping on my back and it hurt like crazy so i went back under. when it was over it sounds like that's kind of what happened. i gpt a pet scan today and the cancer is in a three nodes but not anywhere else in my body.. which means it probably hasn't matasticized... however you spell that. I am still happy and fine. Jaymee had a blessing last night and he was much better today. thanks for your prayers. you guys are all so awesome.

(Sept. 14, 2007) (Shelby)
they are almost sure it is hodgkins. phew! thanks for your prayers. i think i'm finally getting hit with the tired stick and should sleep good tonight.