Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I finished radiation!
I walked out of the last radiation appt and felt the flood of tears.
It is over.
The huge bump in the road has ended....
Well sort of, I still have many test scans and doctors appointments in the future. I am just so Thankful no more radiation, chemo, and feeling sick everyday. The next 2 weeks I will still be dealing with the symptoms of radiation, extreme fatigue, nausea, upset stomach, diareah, achiness. It sounds bad, but it is really no big deal in light of everything. I am so thankful to be alive and looking forward to Christmas.
Jesus, family and friends have been with me all the way. I am overwhelmingly greatful!

Annie has become engaged to Josh Womack! We love him and hope this is the beginning of good news in the Johnson house. Still trying to work out the when and where, but it should be in slo county.

You know when you wake up every morning and realize you have to go to work>>>
I wake up and say I get to go to work today! I don't think I will ever complain again.
I like working. I have many different jobs/hobbies/interests and I truly like them all.
My favorite things:
Being anywhere with my husband or family
Teaching art
Teaching Sunday school
Painting murals
Going to church
watching Arika play volleyball (last kid in sports)
Helping friends and family with their lives-weddings/interior design/house colors
Being creative
Doing anything in art with any medium
sewing flannel quilts

I hope all of you can realize that all the things you do in life that make us sooooo busy......

You actually ENJOY!

May you Have the Peace of God that surpasses all understanding..
Philipians 4:7


Sunday, November 28, 2010


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Hope all of you had the same. I only had 20 for dinner, which may sound big to some, but that is sort of average. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year- all the family,friends and fun and none of the hassles of gifts. Allysa and Annie made it home so all the girls were here. The 4 of them disappeared for awhile and reappeared with scarves on covering their hair. It was hilarious! We took some great pictures you can view on Allysa's face book page.

I am so thankful this year-
My wonderful family
amazing friends
great church family
Increasing faith
spiritual growth in my family
I am forgiven
The lessons I have learned through cancer
My feet are improving
My brain is getting clearer-less fog
My liver is recovering
God is so good
I begin teaching tomorrow!

But most of all I am thankful that God isn't finished with me yet- I will have many more days here on this earth.

People say cancer changes you for life- it definitely does

Update on radiation: I was told I wouldn't feel any of the side effects for 2 or 3 weeks. Unfortunately, this was not true. I had a bad stomach ache after day 2. I am dealing with stomach problems and that dreaded diarrhea -yes I said it -YUK!

I have had 8 treatments-17 to go
But it doesn't even compare with chemo- i would much rather have 25 radiations than 1 more chemo!

Love to you all
give your family more hugs and make sure they know you love them. Life can change in just a moment...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Great Week!

I have had a great week. Monday I taught 2 classes to adorable Kindergarteners- I love that age. So great to do something "normal" that had nothing to do with cancer. I was completely exhausted afterwards and spent the next 8 hours on the couch- it was so worth it!

I also recieved the best news from my cat scan- no eveidence of cancer in my abdomen!
I hope to see those words repeated in the months and years to come "no evidence of cancer"
How simple a phrase that brings so much comfort- Praise the Lord!

Today Arika plays in her second round of cif volleyball, yipee!

The absolute best thing this week is that there is no chemo monday!

Love you all - Our God is an awesome God


Friday, November 5, 2010


Hi- I am done with chemo- hopefully forever! I keep praying that if the Lord wants me in heaven I would really appreciate it being quick. I know we all die some day. I just want to die quickly. This slow stuff is the pits. My Aunt and Uncle were killed years ago in there early 80's by a freak train accident. My Aunt died on impact and my Uncle died shortly afterwards. That sounds so great to me. Older,Together and most of all quick.
People often have that underlying fear that this or any cancer will kill the person afflicted. I truly believe that to be absent from this world, I will be in the presence of my Savior. So much better than this. It is just the process of dying that gets me. There were many times during chemo that I joked about wanting a gun, but, actually God only knows the timing for my homecoming(in heaven with Him). So here I am, still moving forward with the process of living.
I do believe for now God's plan is for me to be in this world.

Yesterday I got my tattoos for radiation. Yes tattoos! They are 3 small dots to line up the radiation correctly for the area they are trying to zap. I told my daughters they could now get a tattoo... as long as they weren't bigger than mine tee-hee! they are about the size of a pen dot.
Today I had a CT scan to complete the tests for setting up my procedure. It was pretty painful as they gave me junk to drink and told me not to eat or drink anything 4 hours before. When I got there I was informed they needed to start an IV- blah! I wasn't hydrated. I sort of panicked at first and tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt so sorry for the nurses dealing with a crying woman and they hadn't even started. After my initial panic attack, I began praying that they would be able to find a vein. 3 tries, and 3 nurses later they made it into a vein that had never been used before. ( good to remember so I can use that one again) I have had ct scans before without an IV, but this one was different. I begin radiation on Nov. 15Th for 25 daily treatments. Due to a break for thanksgiving, I should finish Dec. 22ND, Annie's birthday!
Just in time for Christmas. My surgery was June 20th, Allysa's birthday, and I will finish on Annie's. Funny huh? I won't forget those days.

I have been given the green light from my oncologist to begin teaching a few classes in the public schools- I am teaching 4 next week and can't wait! I really miss the kids. Watching Arika play volleyball in high school has been the highlight of my past few months. They are tied for first as League champs- next week CIF. I can't wait and I won't miss any of it. YIPPEE

Thank you Judy for sitting with me for 5 hours during my LAST chemo! You are the best.

Prayer requests: I have had a 2 week head cold, Yeast infection, thrush, nueropathy in my feet,
increased liver enzymes and a Low white blood cell count.
I sound like I am just miserable and falling apart, but honestly, knowing that chemo is over I am feeling pretty amazing!

Praising God

Monday, October 25, 2010


Hey everyone,

I talked to my mom and dad tonight. We are all so thankful that chemo is done! She still has a week of being sick but it is such a good feeling of knowing that she is done and God willing forever done. She currently has a cold and the prayer request that it doesn't get really bad because of the lack of white blood cells. She is sick and not feeling the greatest but I think knowing that she only has radiation left is making it easier to handle.

You all are great and such a blessing. It's hard being away but it is so nice to know that there are so many people back home looking out for my family and for the people everywhere who are praying.

A million thanks,

PS Mom you may feel fat and bald but you are the most beautiful bald lady I have ever seen and I am blessed to have you as a mom.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Last chemo monday 10/25

Good news my Liver enzymes are not worse. Bad news they still aren't great.
Doc believes they are OKAY for chemo on Monday.

Careful what you pray for- Now I am going to have chemo -blah!

I am just thankful I get to finish the chemo. Please pray that I will not have any life time effects or damage from the chemo.

I am on schedule to begin radiation on Nov. 8Th. I am hoping it won't be too tiring. I was told today that I may have trouble with my liver and white blood cell count during radiation. ugh

Well here we go again!

God is always good and knows what is best for his children. There are so many times that things looked so bleak and then there is a rainbow.

FYI- you know that part about skinny and bald- didn't happen- I have GAINED weight
A side effect of all the steroids-Fat and Bald, but humble...

Thank you all for praying
I love you all

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

tests are normal!

Well the good news is the tests are normal. No serious liver,kidney,aorta, stomach etc. problems.
At this point I will have a bunch of blood work next week and the doctor will make the final determination if I can have the last chemo treatment on the following monday. Thank you all for praying for me. I really began to struggle over the weekend with the what if's. Then I was reminded by a dear friend that our hope is in what the Lord has planned and not in tests and results. I know this to be true but in the midst of possible serious Liver damage my human nature got the best of me. I began to pray and trust that whatever the outcome I would have peace that it was God's will. I know in my heart that God only gives us what we can handle. I am just so grateful to have a God that loves me more than I even Love my children, husband, friends,and art. Hard to believe sometimes when those people are so precious to me.

Some of you envision me as laying on the couch near death, well that is not the case. Except for the week of chemo, I am somewhat productive. Today I painted kitchen cabinets and began sewing a quilt. I am spending my time trying to do things that don't take much concentration.
Although, the speed at which I get things done has been greatly diminished I am still accomplishing a few things each day. This is great for my mental health- I hate lying around.
Looking forward to the next 10 days!
Love you all

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday 10/10/10

Hi Everyone,
Thank you, thank you for all the prayers. Although I got sick on the first day of treatment, I began to feel better earlier. PTL! I would describe this session as a bad case of the flu but I wasn't looking for a shot gun. Due to my body's response to chemo my doc decreased the amount of chemo I received. I think that is why I didn't get as sick.

Thank you Dori, Diana, and Arika for visiting with me during chemo.

Please pray for Wednesday as they are going to run some tests on my liver. My liver enzymes have been increasingly elevated since chemo began.

As Allysa mentioned my feet, liver and brain are taking the brunt of my treatment besides the usual stomach problems. My Doc is concerned about long term effects from the chemo and is cautious about the last treatment. To increase the likelihood of curing this disease it is important I finish the treatment. I would appreciate prayer that I will be able to finish my last chemo on Monday October 25th. Part of me wishes I could skip the last treatment but I've come this far- I just want chemo over! If all things go as planned I should start to recover by the beginning of November from chemo.

FYI- radiation will begin 2 weeks after but everyone has told me it is not that bad.

The best part of this week is that Allysa has been here and I wasn't to sick to enjoy her company. She flew from Portland on Thursday and is returning to school today. She is such a great encouragement to me and has been an amazing servant around the house. I will really miss her. Greg has begun the dreaded "Diablo Outage" so it was perfect timing.

Thank you all for the wonderful meals, cards, flowers, e-mails, gifts and most of all for praying!

The end is in sight-Yippee!!!!!
Chemo has truly been and continues to be a season in my life where I am continually blessed

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5th treament

We have some specific prayer requests for all you to be praying for considering my mom. Yesterday she had her 5th treatment and the doctor is really concerned about her liver, her brain and her feet. Her body is just not responding well to all the chemo that she has had and they are afraid of the long term effects on her body it is going to have. So right now they are even considering not doing the 6th treatment, which would be her last and it would be nice for her to not have to go through this again but it leaves the fear of the cancer not being completely killed. She also is not doing good at all and I know that this is going to be a hard week.

I am thankfully able to go home on thursday through sunday, which will be nice for us all so hopefully I can post on here again for you all sometime this weekend. But please be praying specifically for my mom's brain, liver and her feet. They are going to be doing a sonogram of her liver before her next treatment to make sure everything is ok. Also they are going to have her come in the week before treatment to make sure her body is able to take the last one.

Thanks for all your prayers,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2/3 done!

New week 2/3 done I'm back! Starting to feel better over the weekend, slowly moving forward. Each time it gets a little harder. Harder to go recieve treatment, harder to recover. Please pray for my white blood cell count as it was the lowest thus far. Had to have daily injections, which aren't too bad it is just awful to go to the doctor everyday when you feel so sick.

I can't eat any fresh vegetable or fruit until it goes back up- yuk!
getting used to cooking everything.

I have to admit I enjoy the simple life no hustle but I really miss teaching art!
I have had a few chances to teach private lessons but I miss all the kids at school. Nothing like cancer making me realize I am not ready to retire!

I was able to watch Arika play volleyball last night and have lunch with a friend today.
Getting up and going more and more each day.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me...

I love you all

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mid-Chemo Week

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to let all you know that this treatment has been really rough on my mom. Instead of not being sick till wednesday, she was already feeling sick on monday. She felt a little better on tuesday but now that we are into her bad days she really isn't feeling well. Please be praying for her that she starts feeling a little better and for her body because the chemo is really starting to take a toll on everything. I'm not home I am just hearing this from my family and mom and I know they could use some extra prayer.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Chemo Day!

Well here I am again on chemo day! My 2 sisters Shirley and Betsy are here to take care of me and visit during chemo- I am looking forward to them distracting me. I am a little anxious (be anxious in nothing but by prayer and supplication make you requests to God phil 4:6) but trying to cast my burdens on Jesus. Please pray this week that my feet won't get any worse. I am suffering from neuropathy (nerve damage) from the chemo and it is making standing and walking more difficult. I am hoping it doesn't get worse.
Love you all

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

thankful for a new week

Woke up this morning and realized I am going to feel good for 2 weeks! Small things we take for granted in life. I am not very motivated to get things done around the house because it is so boring.....housework is boring. I would much rather be teaching art lessons or visiting with friends. The best thing about chemo week is I am too sick to do almost anything around the house. No cooking, laundry,or cleaning!

Thanks for all the notes and prayers-I feel so loved. There are so many amazing things that happen when you get really sick. I am in awe at how kind everyone has been to me.

The most common question every woman my age asks is what were your symptoms?

In Sept 2009 I began a watery discharge,no other symptoms. I looked up on the Internet to find out what it could be and there was nothing. I waited until December to go to the gynocologist.

In Dec a culture was done -negative. I also did a pap smear-negative.

In January, feeling like something wasn't right I went in again. The gyn0c0gist did a vaginal biopsy and pelvic exam-negative. I now know fallopian tube cancer has a watery discharge but it would of shown positive on the biopsy.

I had no other signs of menopause but the gyn doctor though it might be related.

At the end of March when I got my period, I began to have spotting in between periods. I waited 2 periods. Even though this can be a sign of menopause, I still felt something was wrong. I waited 2 periods and made another appointment at the end of May.

At Mays appointment the gyn ordered an ultrasound "just to be sure". It indicated a mass in my pelvic. Which more commonly is begnign.

This was followed by an MRI and a Pet Scan. Which confirmed cancer.

Something I now think was another sign was the bursitis in my hips had changed. I have had reoccurent bursitis from standing and teaching. I really didn't think about how it had become more in the groin area. Previously it had been only in the outer hip area. In hindsight, I did have this symptom. I had no other symptoms.

What I think you should know:
When you have your annual pelvic exam, make sure your gyn does a rectal/vaginal. This was not done on me until May. The only way for a doctor to really feel your ovaries is through a rectal/vaginal pelvic exam. Ovarian cancer is very rare and difficult to detect- that is why it is called the "silent Killer". My gynocologist/onocologist told me that 90% of her ovarian cancer patients are stage 3 or 4. I am blessed to be one of the 10% at stage 2! I know it is because God was telling me something was wrong. Before I got the results of the pet scan, I knew in my heart it was cancer. I am confident God is going to cure me of this disease,I just have to survive chemo and radiation.

If you want to know more about ovarian cancer and symptoms check out the Gilda Radnor website -I found it to be the best.

May God Bless you as He has me

Monday, August 23, 2010

1/2 way through chemo!!!!

Thank you for your prayers. I had chemo today. I am feeling really tired and a little nauseated but doing fine. Unfortunately, I kept thinking I wouldn't have chemo and for got to drink a lot of water beforehand. My veins were difficult again but they got it on the 3rd try. I am just praising God, I didn't want to be delayed. My bladder infection urinalysis on friday was negative. They want me to stay on the meds until they are finished to make sure it doesn't return. White blood cell count is better but not quite normal, so I have to have injections the rest of the week.
I hate going in each day when I am really sick- but I don't really have any choice.

Thank you Linda, Robin and Arika for taking me and visiting with me today. Chemo is so much easier when people visit with me.

I will not be posting until after friday. Please pray that the meds will work as well as last time or even better!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

thanks for all the prayers...I had Chemo! I never thought I would be grateful for chemo?

Friday, August 20, 2010


Hi Everyone
Well everything in cancer land changes daily. I developed a bladder infection last week that is not easily going away. I had blood work today for Blood counts and urinalysis but I won't know the results until I go in Monday for chemo. If they are to far out of normal range- most likely chemo will be postponed. I would really appreciate your prayers that I can have chemo and my blood work is Okay. Crazy to pray to get sick, but I really want to get this whole thing over with.
Hoping to have chemo Monday so I will be at the halfway point for chemo.
Allysa and Annie went back to school this week. I am really happy for them but am sad to see them leave. Arika, Greg and I are the only ones home and the house seems so empty.

Amy has volunteered to come stay here during my bad days and take care of me. I am so thankful to have a daughter who is a nurse! After graduating from nursing school, Amy tried to get a job at many hospitals out of the area but the doors kept closing. I am now convinced God only opened the door here because I was going to need her. Praise God she works local!

I am so amazed at how many have sent me cards,e-mails, meals, and gifts. Everyday I look forward to getting the mail. Thank you- thank you- thank you!

Last week was a great week. I felt sort of normal. I was able to help a friend with her daughter's wedding on Saturday- it was really wonderful to be part of the celebration. I also taught some art classes and painted a few things. Many have said I don't want to bother you , so I haven't called. Just to let everyone know, the 8 days following chemo I am too sick to talk but the next 2 weeks I am fine to talk on the phone. I can't do a lot without getting tired but talking is definitely not a problem. (tee-hee) Please forgive me for late thank you notes- concentrating on writing often gives me a really bad headache. I don't know if my vision is the problem or what- but I know chemo effects vision and concentration. It sort of messes with everything. I hope things come back to normal when this is over!

I will let you all know on Monday the 411.
Thank you so much for praying - so many answers to prayer thus far... I really am blessed

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


HI- everyone this round was so much better. The doctors cut the steroids they gave me last time in half. I believe it has made a huge difference in how I feel for week 2 after chemo. Week one was about the same I just took more meds and it made it more bearable- Praise God for anti-nausea drugs and Valium.
I was able to go to the drive-in with my daughters on monday night- something I could of never have done last time. Tuesday I was even able to help a friend some with her daughter's upcoming wedding preparations- something I truly enjoyed.
I have to warn you- on several occasions I have run into people I know and they have not recognized me in my scarves and hats- I think it's the fact my red hair is missing? Don't feel bad if you don't -I really don't look the same-be prepared it's sort of weird.

I now have my favorite verse for chemo:

The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

so many promises in this verse 1) God's grace 2) Eternal life in Christ 3) short time of suffering (in light of eternity this time is so short) 4)jesus will restore me 5) and I will be stronger and more steadfast. - I am so encouraged!

God has used so many of you to bless me-
thank you all

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chemo Week Update

Hey Everyone,

My mom did much better this week. She still didn't feel good and she still is exhausted but it wasn't as bad as last time. This time she was smarter about what she ate and she also kept herself pretty medicated during her bad days. She looks a lot better today but she is only able to stay up a couple hours and then she sleeps a couple hours. My favorite quote from her this week was "I feel like Rapunzel but with no hair." So don't worry even though she is sick and weak she still has the same personality and humor. :)

Last time she had the stomach problems over the weekend so please be praying those don't start again. Hopefully she will be able to post on here by monday. Thanks for all your cards, emails, and posts. I know they mean a lot to her and they are a great encouragement.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

chemo #2 finished!

Hi everyone- I am home,yesterday didn't take as long. Thank you Dori, Calli and Kathy for keeping me company- I hardly thought about the chemo! The needle went in this time- first try!

The doctor believes my stomach problems may be related to the large amount of steroids they gave me last time- he reduced them about 40% and if things go better they will reduce them more next time. Steroids are mainly to reduce allergic reactions and some for nausea. I am feeling about the same as last time for day 2- a little feverish and mildly achy. Unfortunately day 3-5 were the worst.- you probably won't here from me cause I spend most of that time on heavy duty drugs. Allysa reminded me that when the stomach problems kicked in it was saturday. Please pray that it is not as bad. She asked me on sunday if I needed anything and I told her a shot gun.
Good thing we don't own one.

One bummer is my white blood cell count really dropped so i have to go in the next 4 days for a shot- to boost my white blood cell count. I would really appreciate your prayers that I don't get any illnesses during this time- because I have very little to fight them with. I still have mouth sores from the last chemo and am hoping it doesn't get worse.

On a more positive note- thank you ,thank you, thank you for all the cards ,e-mails and blog posts, I read them all and they are such an encouragement to me. My family, as well as I, have really appreciated the meals too!

I am so glad to have finished 1/3 of my chemo treatments. Still looking forward to Thanksgiving- I should be done with chemo and feeling good by then. I ended up having about 6 good days last round that almost made me forget how bad the first 2 weeks were. I was able to teach 2 classes a day- It was fabulous to do something that didn't center around me and cancer. i was also able to teach Sunday school for 2 weeks- I love my class of 20+ girls -they are wonderful.

My lesson last Sunday was on Faith- I think these lessons are more for me than my class.
Looking at the story of David and Goliath- David had to have Faith that God was going to save him if it was his will. All the odds were stacked against him. Everyone thought he was very brave but foolish. If God is on my side who can be against me?

Looking forward to feeling better in a week or so... Learning to appreciate little things like 2 fans pointed at my bald head- It is great for cooling you off. I really appreciate not having hair- who would of thought?

Love you all
My God Bless you and may you feel his presence daily

Monday, July 26, 2010

feeling better

I have decided my value for a good day is very different than from before. The last 3 days have been "good days". I have been able to leave the house for short periods, and have greatly enjoyed venturing out into the real world. I still don't have the stomach things figured out yet, hoping for more answers this week. I am also finding better ways of dealing with stomach gas and pain. Therefore, Life is much sweeter and living more comfortable. Thanks again for all your prayers, I will let you know more as the next chemo on august 2ND approaches. I am actually going to have the privilege of teaching a few art classes this week- yippee!
Love you all and Praising God for all his Blessings

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Feeling Sick Again

So yesterday mornings post was a little premature. She started feeling bad again yesterday afternoon and ended up going to the doctor last night. He thinks she has a hiatal hernia so today she had a ct scan to see what is going on. Yes another test and another thing wrong. She is frustrated and just wants to feel better. She has been sick for over a week now and laying around not doing anything. If you know my mom you know that is the complete opposite of her personality. She never stops so laying around and feeling awful has been horrible to her. So please be praying that she feels better and that they can figure out what is wrong and fix it. We should get test results back tomorrow. Also pray for her spirits, things have been hard.

I will try to post tomorrow night if we find out anything new.

In Him,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

finally among the living!

Not the start in this chemo Journey that one would hope for.....but I am finally getting better.
Monday and Tuesday of the first chemo week were only about a 3 on a scale of 1-10 ,10 being worst. Then Wednesday -Friday were about an 8-9. Felt like I had been run over and left to my aching bones/joints etc, everything hurt. Like flu on steroids. Some relief with medications and I was able to keep the nausea to a minimum with great drugs. Unfortunately, Friday evening I began what everyone thought was acid reflux. It was really miserable, after taking every medicine on the market for this problem over the weekend. My doctor really didn't think a fungal infection was the problem but decided to prescribe for it 'just in case' on Monday. It was amazing, after my first dose I began to get some relief and after 4 doses I am starting to feel that I will get better. I am still really weak after not eating much and being in bed for 7 days but I am pain free and feeling stronger. Climbing the stairs to my bedroom is still quite a distance but it feels so good to move.
Greg has been amazing and so sweet to me. If some of you were told you couldn't talk to me -know that I didn't want to talk to anyone, Greg was trying to protect me. Allysa is still wonder woman running the business, the house, and anything I ask. Arika has truly come to my side as we needed her to put her life on hold and help me. It's hard being the needy one.
Today I plan on cutting my hair about 2 inches long... It will all be gone in 2 weeks so I think I will do better in stages. I am not allowed to color/highlight my hair so it will probably look totally gray- how's that for looking older! blah Thank you everyone for prayers,cards,e-mails,meals etc. Thanks also for my amazing gift basket that has had so many things I didn't even know I would need -it has been so helpful-thanks, Darla,Heather,Sandy,Patti,Angela, and Chris

I miss you all and hope to see some of you in the near future,
May the Lord richly bless you and your families

Saturday, July 17, 2010

1st Week of Chemo

Thank you all for your prayers. I know a lot of you have tried to call to talk to my mom and I am sorry that you haven't been able to. She is so exhausted and really not feeling good and talking at all just wipes her out. Literally any noise is just too much for her right now. Tuesday was a good day but by Tuesday night she wasn't feeling good and she hasn't felt good since. Today is a little better but Wed-Friday she was not doing good at all. She said she feels like a truck has run her over. Please be praying that she starts feeling better next week and also for her spirits because just laying around all day not feeling good has been hard on her. Also knowing that she is going to have to do this over and over is really affecting her and has been hard.

I know that you all want to talk to her and see how she is doing but right now she can't take it. She knows that you have called and once she is feeling better I know she will try to call some of you back. You all have been so amazing to us and your willingness to help has been overwhelming. We can't thank you enough. The meals we received this week were awesome and took a huge burden off my shoulders so thank you for those of you who helped out with that. I know you all want to help and the best way is prayers. That is what my mom wants and that is what we all need.

Sorry I didn't get to update this sooner and I will try to write more often. Things are just a little crazy and busy around here.

Thanks again,

Monday, July 12, 2010

1st chemo Done!

Thank you so much for praying. It was not a pleasant experience but nothing dreadful. After talking with the nurse, I learned most people have their worst days on day 3 and 4. I feel like I've had enough drugs to kill a horse...but they worked! Other than being exhausted, I feel great! No nausea yet, YEAH!!! It took 8 hours for everything, and hopefully it will be quicker next time.

Two friends spent the morning with me which was a great distraction- Thank You Tammy and Collette. The first attempt at the IV was pretty painful, but the second one made it in and after a few adjustments it was pain free. I had a really great nurse who works Mondays. So hopefully I will see her next time- she now knows how tough my veins are.

Saturday a dear friend who had similar treatment answered all my many questions, this made today so much easier. Thank You Miriam, I really needed your words of encouragement and experience. My favorite quote was from a 10 year old friend of her son when her hair was gone.
"You don't look that bad, but you don't look that good either." I love kids they tell the truth!
I am going to put it on my mirror. Life will go on. I plan on cutting my hair really short next week and then shaving it when it falls completely out. I was told it will most likely be around August 1st, bummer. I will loose my eyebrows and eyelashes too which will make me look like someone from star wars.

I have been reading about Jesus walking on the water and telling Peter to walk to him. Peter does fine until he takes his eyes off Jesus and looks at the imminent danger around him and he starts to drown. That is me, as long as I keep my eyes looking straight at my loving Savior I am safe. When I look at each test result, surgery, medicines, diagnosis, I begin to panic and drown in the waves of danger. Pray that this roller coaster would be less crazy and that I can remember to look to my Savior.
I love you all
Thank you Cal Poly dorm buddies for the wonderful time this weekend. 30 years! Cathy, Patty, Linda, Lori, and Laurel. Happy chemo day? cute message ladies- it made me laugh!

Edited by was on way too many drugs and forgot words needed to make a sentences understandable

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chemo begins monday 12th

so much for Thursday- I am scheduled for this Monday. Chemo takes 4-5 hours and then we will see how the next few days go. I have been encouraged to clear my schedule for the week until I know how my body will respond. They have scheduled me every 3rd Monday until the end of October. the second treatment will be August 2ND. I was scheduled for jury duty-hope this is a good enough excuse!
If there are no delays due to my white blood cell count etc. I will begin radiation 2 weeks after chemo. Radiation will be 5 days a week for 25 days. If there are no problems, I should be finished by Christmas! That is my prayer, Chemo done by Thanksgiving and radiation by Christmas!
Seems like such a long time to be sick and tired but with an eternal perspective it really is very little time. I am a little anxious for monday please pray for peace that surpasses understanding.
As for the neck, there is a chance it is not cancer. My doctors have decided to wait 6 months and do a sonogram and determine if it has grown. If it has it will be removed and will probably be thyroid cancer which requires radioactive iodine for 5 days in isolation. Not to bad after chemo and radiation. Still hoping that it is not cancer and I don't need another surgery.
Blessings to you all
I am so truly encouraged daily through all of you
I thank my God for how much love I have received.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

chemo starting?

I met with the oncologist today. I will begin chemo either this Thursday or the next depending on the availability in the "chemo room". There is actually a room with many chairs where the nurses can observe you for 4-5 hours while you are getting your chemo. For extroverts like me, it might be a nice social time? Chemo will last 18 weeks, 6 treatments every 3 weeks. No one can tell me how sick I will be because every person responds differently. I was told I would most likely be sick 2-7 days-hey morning sickness lasted 3 months maybe it won't be so bad? trying to think optimistically. Today I taught 2 art lessons and went to the doctor- and I am not exhausted- it was a great day! I will let you know more after my appointment is confirmed. Keep praying for the rest of my treatment- tomorrow I meet with the radiologist and the Ear nose and throat doctor.
I have so many doctors ! Thank you ALL for the many cards, flowers, e-mails and messages- I truly appreciate them all, I have never felt so loved by so many- I am truly blessed

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cancer in the Neck

It looks like the cancer in Bonnie's neck is thyroid but the results from her fine needle biopsy came back inconclusive. She will be going to a specialist about the tumor but most likely they will just do the chemo that is already planned. Then once she is done with that they will check to make she the chemo killed it all.

Thanks all for your continued love and support. Bonnie is doing really well and we will know more about what her chemo schedule will be next week. We are just taking everything one day at a time.

Some have asked about meals, if you are interested in helping that way Ceslie Patty is in charge of coordinating that. Her number is 543-7047.

God Bless,

Friday, June 25, 2010

2 types of Cancer?

We'll I have been withholding some results in the Pet scan last Tuesday until I had a little more info. Greg and I also didn't want the girls to worry about both cancers, the waiting is almost harder than the prognosis. When a pet scan is taken, anything that is most likely cancer lights up. My abdomen lit up but also there was a spot on my neck. Two years ago I had my non- cancerous thyroid removed , so the thought is that some residual cells have become cancerous. Not really sure yet? Wednesday I had another MRI (I hate that machine)it showed a small tumor on the left side of my neck near my carotid artery. I now have more tests and doctor apps to decide what to do:surgery/radiation/if anything? The chemo/radiation I will be given for the ovarian cancer may take care of the neck too? Please pray for wisdom for all my new doctors to agree as they all sort of have to come to a consensus of which way to proceed.

As for health, I am feeling stronger and better each day and have been able to visit the studio for short periods each day which is a welcomed relief from being on the couch. I can even drive tomorrow and am hoping to teach Sunday School this weekend, I really miss the girls-they are a blessing! I move about as fast as the turtle who crossed the road- but I am moving!

I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

I have been reciting this to myself for 2 weeks-even right before I went into surgery.
Holding on to the promises of God

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

STAGE II Yippee!!

I never thought that I would be so excited to find out I have stage II cancer. But the alternative definitely had a much higher set of risks. Thank you for all your prayers and thank the Lord- He has walked me through this all. We still have a few more tests and hoops to run through before chemo- but I am hoping to keep trusting in God for He has and can do great things. Please keep praying for recent tests and wisdom for my oncologist who will make the final decisions on my chemo "cocktail" and radiation. One of the things that I have always known I wasn't very gifted in is Mercy- we'll I now realize how important it is to show mercy to those who are hurting. Please forgive me if I wasn't very compassionate when your lives were turned upside down. I think I finally get how important it is to give of yourself when others are hurting. A friend shared this verse with me and I have been thinking about it all day..
"From the end of the earth will I cry ( I have cried a lot)unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I" psalm 61:2
I Love you All

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I am Home!

Just want to let everyone know I am home and doing great for a person who has just had most of her insides taken out. The girls and Greg are wonderful and Allysa is running the home,work etc. She is amazing. Greg is home all week and will be able to take me to various doctor apps tests etc.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind notes,e-mails etc. I have been totally blessed by everyone and feel overwhelmingly loved. It is truly amazing. The arthroscopic surgery is definitely the way to go I feel no worse than when I had a c-section, maybe even a little better. My doctor is known for being able to do that surgery but wasn't sure I would be a candidate because I had had 3 c-sections and they can leave too much scar tissue to make the surgery feasible. If your one of those people who are fascinated by how things are done she has videos on her web site- crazy huh? I think she is great and felt totally at peace that she was the best doctor for me. We are waiting on the pathology report to determine if I was stage 2 or 3. If stage 3, I have to return to the bay area for a port to my abdomen for chemo. Please pray for stage 2!!!
Either way I will begin chemo in about 2 weeks. My hair will definitely fall out-BLAH!!! by mid July. At least I don't have to worry about gaining weight too. skinny and bald is better than fat and bald! Not sure how long this will last- at least until Nov....I also will be having radiation to my pelvic.
thank you most of all for your prayers-I will keep you posted when I get new news.
Please continue to pray- I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and he has encouraged me beyond my imagination through all of you. I am very emotional still- but He Has strengthened my spirit. I look forward to the plans He has for me.
I love you all

Friday, June 18, 2010

She's Coming Home!

Well Bonnie has been discharged from the hospital!!! She is going to spend the night in a hotel tonight and then they are going to come home sometime tomorrow! So excited that she is coming home!

We will get results next week with regard to what stage cancer she has but we are praying it isn't stage 3 because then she will have to go back up there and they will do another surgery to put a stent in for chemo. So prayers right now are Stage 1 or 2. Also that she will have a good trip home tomorrow. As when she will be starting chemo it will probably be around the beginning of July.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Surgery DONE!

Just to let you guys know a little more now that things have settled down. My dad and my aunts, Betsy and Shirley, told me that they saw my mom and she was soo relieved about everything. She is doing good and so thankful the surgery was all laparoscopic. After a very long day we are all thankful that she is doing good. God is good and we are hoping that my mom can come home soon!

She's Out

Bonnie’s surgery was from 3:15 to 8:24. That’s 5 hours and 9 minutes. The doctor came out and said that there was no bad news. The doctor said the tumor was aggressive and went across the abdomen from ovary to ovary. There was no visible invasion into other organs. So they did not put in a “port” and “soaker hose” for chemo in the abdomen.

They took out a tumor, ovaries, uterus, tubes, appendix, gall bladder, and lymph nodes. They will check all of the parts for cancer. We will get the results of the pathology report in several days. All laproscopic so no big open incision in the belly. She will have general chemo and most likely radiation therapy in the pelvis.

The above two paragraphs are from my aunts and dad about what the doctor said concerning my moms surgery. I will let you know when I know more

Surgery is Later

Hey everyone,
The surgery time has been pushed back an hour and a half. So we are looking at surgery actually being around 1:45. My mom has a specific prayer request of the surgery being all laparoscopic, it is less invasive and that way she can come home sooner. That would also mean the cancer is localized, which would be a huge answer to prayer! Its a long surgery so I should be posting something tonight but probably not till later. I will for sure get an update on here by tomorrow morning. Thanks for all your prayers today!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Surgery Time

So Bonnie's surgery is tomorrow at 12:15. We will know more after that and I will let everyone know as soon as I can. Please be praying during that time. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ok so my mom got off the phone about 30 mins ago with Dr. O'hanlan and the surgery is going to be on Thursday. So tomorrow my mom and dad are driving up to the bay area for her pre-op tomorrow afternoon. Dr. O'hanlan believed that the sooner the better so she had an opening and my mom is now set to go. Please be praying for her on thursday! The surgery is latro-scopic (I think that is what it is called) so the recovery time is shorter and she should be back home by saturday. We will know more after the surgery so look back here on thursday night or friday morning for results.

The Beginning

My name is Allysa Johnson for those of you who don't know me and I am one of Bonnie's daughters. I am going to begin this and just get all of you up to speed. It probably will be me doing most of the updates but my mom will probably have some on here too. I hope this will just help everyone know what is going on and if you ever have questions this can be place for you to turn. We are so thankful for all your prayers, concern and love!

Ok so to give the whole story, last thursday Bonnie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a cancer that is very hard to detect so the fact that we have this diagnosis and we found this out now is huge. About a week before the diagnosis Bonnie found out that she had a tennis ball sized tumor on one of her ovaries. Her OBGYN ordered an MRI for the next week and from the results of the MRI this past thursday the doctors concluded that the mass is cancerous. After hearing the results Bonnie came home and told our family. Amazingly God worked it out that we were all home (which never happens) and we all heard the news together. It was a hard blow to us all but we know that God has a plan and we fully trust Him during this time. In the past few days Bonnie has had several tests and scans to further help the doctors understand what is going on. We also met with an oncologist yesterday who answered a lot of the questions. Right now the next step is surgery because with ovarian cancer it is too hard to tell anything until they go in there and check everything out. We are in the process of scheduling surgery in the next week. We are in contact with an OBGYN oncologist who is in the bay area and she will be doing Bonnie's surgery. Her name is Dr O'hanlan and if you are interested in learning more about her you can read about her at

We really can't thank you all enough for all the support and love we have received in the past few days. All your prayers and encouragement have meant so much to us all. Bonnie is doing pretty good and her spirits are pretty high considering everything. It has been hard news for us all but we are taking it one day at a time. I will let you know when the surgery is going to be when we find out (it should be in the next day).

If you have any questions please comment and will do my best to answer them. Thank you again!