Saturday, April 30, 2011

Come Celebrate

Come and celebrate with us. On the Eve of Alexis last Chemotherapy we will be having a party with her at Fat Cat's! (see below for details). We will be raising money and having a great celebration to the end of this era of cancer treatment.


Fundraiser with Alexis Kaufusi!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

6:00p - 9:00p

At Fat Cat’s Bowling in Provo

1200 N University Avenue

$10 per person = a game of bowling & pizza & a drink!

ALL proceeds go to Alexis Kaufusi Cancer Fund

Don’t miss - Buying a decal, a bracelet, or a necklace And there will be a silent auction

Also Bring a flyer into Costa Vida at any time on

May 11 and they will donate 10% of your purchase!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Chemotherapy #5





Yesterday was a great day for many reasons. So many questions were answered, and I only have one more chemo session and I'm done! Kind of. Some questions that were answered are 1. why are my eyes doing weird things? 2. What are the results of my CT scan? and 3. Do we need to add on more chemo sessions? Well all 3 questions were answered!

1. Every person when the reach the age of 60-65 their vitreous in their eye liquefies and detaches from the optic nerve. This can cause blurriness and weird floaties as well as starry flashes in your eyes. Well, I'm 21 and this has happened to me. Its nothing to seriously worry about though its not super uncommon, a little weird but not unheard of. I go back in for more eye tests a week from Monday though to see what we can do to help. Driving hasn't been its easiest with these floaters!!

2. The moment we have all been waiting for! The scans came back and... they look good! Dr. Glenn didn't elaborate very much on them but she did say that they look good. Everything has shrunk even the larger ones. The big ones aren't shrinking as fast as some of the smaller ones but they are shrinking which is a great sign! Yay we are right on track!

3. There will be NO MORE chemo sessions added on after I finish my last session! This is so great because as much as I like chemo, I really don't. The plan is 2 weeks after my final chemo on May 11, I'll get another PET Scan to make sure there's no active cancer cells in my body. Then 2 weeks after that I will begin radiation 5 days a week for 30 days to shrink some of the bigger problems. Then after all this, I'm done! I'll be able to be normal again, minus going out in the sun. Not going in the sun might kill me but I guess I will have to get used to my lighter skin color :(

Chemo #5 is now done, and one more left! Yesterday's chemo was different than the rest. I literally slept the whole time. I was asleep before they had even started the drip and woke up just in time to be unhooked. It was the greatest 4 hour nap of my life. Thank you to Hillary and her girls for coming up as well as my Grandma. Hillary has come to every chemo session with her little girls. They been a lifesaver for Corbin because they give him someone to talk to. Anyways, things are great! I'm getting better, well sicker but better if that makes any sense. Thank you for all your prayers and support. As you can see, they're working :)

Love,
Alexis





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scans, scans, and more scans...

Today was a big day! I was finally re-scanned to check the progress of the chemo. It was a lovely time drinking the nasty contrast every 15 minutes today. And as fun as it was, I'm really glad its done and over with for the time being. We will find out tomorrow morning the results and how good the chemo has been working. I have a good feeling about this :) Tomorrow will be my fifth and second to last chemo session! I am so excited to almost be done and to get back on the basketball court. I'll make sure to post Friday about chemo and the results of the scans. Sorry to make you all wait but it just has to be that way! Right now the goal is to feel better for Friday night, which is the night of our basketball banquet. Regardless of how I feel I'm going though. Something about hanging out with my team is always so helpful. Keep your fingers crossed and I'll let you all know how tomorrow goes! Love you all!

Love,
Alexis

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fun During Finals!

So this week is finals week at BYU. Since I'm enrolled and have been trying to finish up the semester I am not exempt to Finals Week, cancer and all! Ridiculous I know! Just kidding I am just like all the other students at BYU and need to finish up the semester. I have one final done and have two more so hopefully I'll be done come Thursday. Even though its finals week, its also my week off from chemo! And we all know that means I feel good and start to get my strength back. So to celebrate feeling good I thought I'd have some fun.

Sunday night I felt good finally and decided to start a new tradition. I stole the idea from my neighbor Nikki Pinegar. I have no renamed Sunday as "White Trash Sunday." Steph and I dressed up, a little on the gross side, set up lawn chairs and sat in the front yard. Nikki does this as well so I thought I would follow her lead. I even went the extra mile and found Corbin's dress up mullet wig. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon spend drinking orange soda, listening to country music, and talking with the Megan and JC.

On Monday I was able to go out to the Harley Davidson store and visit my dear friend Trini Ercanbrack. Like my father, I really like Harley bikes. My personal favorite is the Fat Boy and if I had my way I would get one, but the Gypsy would never allow that. Anyways, I went to see Trini and had such a great day! I even got to see my friend Bryn Bateman who I didn't even know worked out at the store. It was so fun to get lunch and to just catch up. Trini and Bryn even hooked me up with some new hats and a Harley Davidson t-shirt. After spending a good hour or two there, I decided I might need to go once a week to eat at Marleys and to hang out with Trini and Bryn. Thanks for a great Monday!

Today was Tuesday and I spent my morning doing my first final! So glad I did it though and got it done. Like I said earlier, one down and two to go. After I finished my final I went down to a team meeting. I love team meetings because its so nice to see my team!! I love them and miss not seeing them everyday. I even miss our 2 hour basketball practices five days a week! After the meeting I spent my day hanging out with Kim and Hannah. While sitting on the couch a magnificent idea popped into my head, why not go to Heber, go to the Dairy Keen, get a Banana Cream Pie milkshake (best milkshake ever), and visit the Parker Family all in one night! So, we did just that. We even got to see Hannah's brother Boz and his family while they are in town for Hannah's graduation and are staying in Heber. To make the trip even more fun, we took Bronson with us. Bronson loves the Parker family and I just knew Vicki would love to see life size Bronson in their front room. After hanging out with Lindsey, Vicki, and Cody we left and headed back to Provo. And we left with my favorite, a Banana Cream Pie made by Miss Vicki! It was just a Banana Cream Pie night I guess.

After returning home, I had the best intentions of saving my pie for Wednesday morning breakfast. But my excitement got the best of me, and I ate the pie tonight along with Kim, Hannah, and the Gypsy. For being finals week I sure have had a lot of fun! So happy its my week off and I get to enjoy my time finishing up school, and spending time with Hannah since she graduates and moves back to Fresno on Sunday. Wish me luck as I take final #2 tomorrow! Love you all and thanks for the support!

Love,
Alexis


Monday, April 18, 2011

SAVE THE DATE!

On May 11th we will be having a Fun Night with Alexis at Fat Cat's! From 6-9pm that night we will be raising money to help pay for Medical Expenses for Alexis and her Cancer medications and treatments. There will be bowling, food, and other fun activities! And all day, if you bring in the flyer advertising this event to Costa Vida, they will donate 10% of their sales to Alexis as well! So put it on you calendar, more details to come! Thank you Mitch and Mama Fish!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fun Weekend...

My Bronson and I

Bronson and Kimmy

This weekend was a rough weekend for the most part but there were definitely some highlights! I was really sick after this past chemo. The nausea was by far the worst yet. But we had some fun along the way. We spent a lot of time listening to the tape Bronson sent us. Kim was able to meet our new version of Bronson. I won't lie seeing Bronson everyday life size has been a little scary and weird at times. But its so fun to see him all the same!

Well eating food hasn't been my favorite thing to do so I was refusing to eat. After going to the doctors on Friday they told me that I had to eat. When Saturday rolled around I definitely was not in the mood for food since I knew it wasn't going to sit well. I decided to play a game of hide and seek, cancer style, with the Gypsy. I won't lie my first hiding spot was quite weak. I was easily found behind the couch. The Gypsy left to go to the garage to get me a protein drink I ran to her bedroom and hid under the bed. This hiding spot was the best and lasted for a good 35 minutes. While I was hiding I heard my Mother yell, "Alexis I will find you! And when I do I will beat you! Then I'll feed you! And your cat too!" It took everything in me not to laugh. They Gypsy then recruited Corbin to find me. Well, Corbin did find me, then joined me :) So under the bed was Me, Corbin (who is 6'9"), Daryl, and Porsche. Eventually the Gypsy caught us and made us all return to our chore and to eating. It was a fun weekend though and I'm feeling a lot better today than I have the past few days. Thanks for all your love! I'm getting stronger everyday, and in no time I'll be back on the court!

Love,
Alexis
First Hiding Spot, Unsuccessful

Second Hiding Spot, Better

And We are Caught! Gypsy Wins...

video

Friday, April 15, 2011

Words from the Heart

One Sunday, Alexis shared a written testimony with her ward in Relief Society. Now we are all blessed to be able to read it, and feel it. It is a marvelous blessing, I know for me, for Alexis to share her strength and her innermost feelings with those of us that are standing by, amazed by her strength. With Easter so close it is a wonderful thing to be reminded that the Atonement is also for our burdens, thank you Alexis.

Jeanne Muir lead into it reading this by talking about how we receive blessings when we keep the word of wisdom but that doesn’t mean that we won’t have trouble with our bodies. These are the words that Alexis has been kind enough to share:

From a young age my life has been dependent on my body to complete not only the daily activities, but also the activities that make me as a person. Basketball has always been a part of my life and always will be. Keeping the word of wisdom has helped me to be able to "run and not be weary... walk and not faint" because I take care of my body and try to treat my body as something of value to me. When my body isn't feeling good or something isn't working quite right I always notice!

Being raised in a strong Mormon culture and strong family has also helped me to understand the blessings of obeying the word of wisdom. By keeping the word of wisdom not only have I been blessed with a strong body, but my brothers and sister and even my parents have been blessed with strong bodies. Bodies that like to work hard and that can take a hit every now and then when we're on the court or field. Even the trials in our lives are blessings. Sports injuries seem to be a huge trial in the life of the Kaufusi Family. But we always over come them stronger than before and more ready and focused.

Recently my trial isn't a sprained ankle or a blown out knee, my new trial is cancer. It was hard to be to believe that at such a young age I could have cancer. That my body was dying at 21 and I had no idea. My journey with cancer can be seen as another trial to mark up on the list of trials myself as well as my family has been given, but this is no trial. Cancer has been a blessing in my life and no one really understands that better than me. Since my diagnosis, I have been able to bring my family closer to me. I have been able to bring friends in who I never see. I have been able to see the value of life so much better than before. And that there's more to life than making my free throws and getting an A on my final exams. I have been blessed with this journey called "Non Hodgkins Large Diffused B Cell Lymphoma"
to help me realize what I need to change, what I need to do to become a better person. And this journey is making me stop, think, and look around at the beauty that is around me. It's truly been a blessing.

It's also brought me closer to ward members and neighbors. As I fight I want to thank everyone for all their kindness and their support. Thank you for your love and prayers, they mean the world to me and I know they are working. I thank Heavenly Father everyday for a few things.
1. For the journey of cancer and for what I am learning from it
2. I thank Him for such loving kind ward members who are making this easy. And lastly,
3. I thank Heavenly Father Bronson is on a mission during this time. He is far to sensitive and emotional for the cancer world.

The blessings of obeying the word of wisdom are there. We just need to humble ourselves and look for them.

Cancer Cannot...

Picture from Yesterday at Chemo

Today Alexis is up at Huntsman having her follow-up visit and getting her injection. She was so sick she spent the entire car ride laying down. Eating has been a task that has evaded her all day.
So for today's post Alexis wanted to share a part of what she sees every doctors appointment. And on a day like today, it's words are particularly comforting:

Cancer is so limited
It cannot destroy Love
It cannot shatter Hope
It cannot corrode Faith
It cannot destroy People
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal eternal Light
It cannot conquer the Spirit

Alexis is blessed to have all of these positive traits within her and around her. It is the love of others and the kindness that each of you have gifted and delivered through acts and words that gives Alexis all she needs to endure these days of sickness. She also is blessed with a spirit of courage and hope that she makes seem so natural. The path that cancer requires one to travel is one of necessity, but through hope, friends, family, love and courage, Alexis path has a little more sunlight filtering through to light her way.

We love you Alexis, and we all are sending our love your way. We all know that cancer cannot...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chemo 4

Today was my 4th time up at chemo. it is such a relief knowing I have already done 4!! only 2 more to go :) Its amazing how this whole chemo thing has gone. It seems that as each chemo comes and goes I get sicker each time. Towards the end I felt really sick and wasn't sure what was going on. I usually don't get sick until the 2nd or 3rd day but I found myself really sick this past time. I slept for all but 2 hours out of the 5 hours I spent there. That really helped the time pass. I now am home and am laying on my favorite couch, watching the movie Australia, who has my favorite actor Hugh Jackman. It was fun to have so many visitors today thank you to all who came! My whole family, Hannah, Steph, Uncle Rich, Uncle Dougie, Liz Tempest, Hillary and the little girls, and Tiffany. Thank you so much! I love you and all. We're almost done you guys!

Love,
Alexis

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Corbin's 18th Birthday



Today was a big day! 18 years ago Corbin was born in Provo, UT. To celebrate we went to eat dinner at Milargros, a new Mexican place out in Orem. It was really good. After dinner we had cake and ice cream and opened gifts. Well gift. Corbin managed to open all his presents a day early some how. I guess he is that persuasive. Besides new clothes and a new swim suit, today I bought Corbin the new Michael Jackson game from the Xbox Kinect. If you know Corbin, you know he is one of the biggest Michael Jackson fans ever! Not only can Corbin do all his dance moves he also mourned his death for a whole week. Corbin wore all black and sunglasses to mourn Michael Jackson's death except for 1 hour because he had to play in a basketball game. Corbin is a funny kid. I'm so happy he was born and I love him so much! Thanks for making my life so much more entertaining!




The Return of the Gypsy! and Some...

So after 4 long days the Gypsy Mother finally returned!! It was so fun to go up to the airport and to pick her up and just to have her back. Already the house seems cleaner! No but I'm so happy she's back. We already have planned out our days and all the things we have to do since she's been gone. I'm so happy she's home, and the best part is she came bearing gifts. I not only got a new shirt but I also got new nail polish (which is being put to use immediately) as well as 5 loaves of sour dough bread. I never was a sour dough bread person but Hannah converted me. Not only was today a good day because the Gypsy returned, but also my dear friends Bre and Kara came for a visit. We had so fun today playing Dance Central, Kinect Sports, and Guitar Hero. If anyone knows me, you know I love Guitar Hero! Back in the day I used to have some pretty amazing skills but I am a little rusty. I was feeling confident in myself, till Bre came along and beat me. But thats ok if I'm going to lose to someone I'm glad its her! Bre is the bit size version of me so I'll let it slide this once. Today was a good day after a rough weekend!

My Monday

On Sunday my good friend Michael Alisa came over for a visit. Michael has been one of my best friends since high school and I always have so much fun with him! He was crazy enough to want to shave his head and even had me do it... Well most of it. Steve helped me clean it up but it was so fun. After I shaved his head we just hung out, ate some good BBQ, and watched one of my favorite movies of all time The Notebook. Michael is such a great friend and I'm so happy he comes over from time to time for a visit. Not to mention he shaved his head! He's a great friend to have!

Michael and I... Now and back in our Timpview Days!

Well this weekend was rough but today was for the most part a good day. Chemo #4 is coming up just around the corner. Can't believe its already time for the madness again! I almost forgot! To make today even a better day, I received a package today from Bronson :) He sent me a green stone necklace. I guess these green stone necklaces are a big deal in New Zealand. Its my new favorite necklace. He also sent a tape recording of him talking. I miss my brother so much!! But he'll be home soon and by then I'll be healthy and ready to play him in basketball and keep up with him. Thanks everyone for the support! Love you guys!

Love,
Alexis

Sunday, April 10, 2011

While the Gypsy was Out...


My Gypsy Mother/Nurse/Best Friend/Everything I need in a Mom!

Steve... trying to take care of me when my Mom can't... Still

On Friday morning my Mom aka My Gypsy left for San Francisco for school board meetings. She has been gone now a total for 3 days and well... the house hasn't burnt down yet! No, Corbin, Daryl, and Devin and I have done a great job making sure the laundry is done and the kitchen is clean an everyone is fed. Steve has helped as well. I didn't realize though how much stuff I do with my Mom. I spend everyday with her and well, we do everything together basically. Its been really weird without her here. I found myself lonely at times but she hired a great babysitter, Hannah, to watch me. Don't get me wrong I love my Dad and he's done a great job, but these past 3 days soon to be 4 I have realized how much I do with my Mom. And how easy she makes this cancer thing for me. She always is so good to make sure I'm eating, taking the right medicines, and doing anything and everything I need to do. Something as simple as making sure the water is cold to drink. I think I have the best mom in the whole world! With her gone I had to do a lot on my own, or Hannah had to. Hannah did a great job playing nurse while my Mom was gone. Thanks Hannah. But I cannot wait for Monday at 6:00 for when my Mom gets home. It'll be so nice to finally have her back!

To ease with the anxiety of not having my mother, I had a visit from my second Mother, Ann Tempest and her daughter my best friend Diane. They also brought a surprise, sugar cookies and Baby Stephen! It was so nice to have visitors I felt like my mom was practically home! Ann helped raise me my whole child hood and she's been such a great help during this hard time. She's a professional at this cancer thing and knows all the tricks and, well she just knows everything. Stephen loved playing with Porsche and Diane is always a good visitor. She makes sure to come at least once a week. She's been my best friend since 1st grade in Mrs. McGavins class and we've been best friends since!

After Ann, Diane, and Stephen left my Aunt Cathy, John, my cousin Landon and his wife Jenny and their daughter Taylor, Stella (Cathy was babysitting), Chez, and her friend Amber all came for a visit. We had a house full! But it was fun having the little girls running around. Stella wasn't in a good mood but by the time she left I had her laughing and smiling finally! Cathy and John have been so good to me. They have been my biggest supporters and are always there making sure I'm ok and always checking on me. They come to all my games as well as Corbin's and they are just such great support for not only myself but my whole family. They are so great! Taylor is getting so big! She's going to be way tall I can just tell. Stella will be the little dancer and Taylor can be our basketball player! It was a fun day though to have so many visitors.

The weekend is now over and well spring break is starting for the kids on Monday. The snow is melting so maybe Spring Break will actually look like Spring. That would be nice. Its been a great weekend but I am so ready for my Mom to come home. Thanks to everyone though who helped make the time go by faster! I have such a great supporting cast behind me. Without them I wouldn't be able to get through this as easily as I have. I have such great friends and family and I am so thankful for you guys! I love you all and thanks again! Especially to My Dad and Hannah who have spent the weekend taking care of me. I love you guys! Thanks Hannah for spending the weekend with me. I know there's some dance or something better you could be doing. You're the bestest friend ever! I don't know what I'm going to do when you graduate in 2 weeks!! Well time to go BBQ since the weather is good :) FINALLY! Have a great Sunday everyone.

Love,
Alexis

Taylor Tot, Amber, Me, Chez, Stella, and Aunt Cathy
Stella and Taylor Made me a cute Picture

Cathy and John! Always there to support at all my games and anything! Thanks :)

Nurse Hannah is always there. She's the greatest!

Diane and I my Freshman Year

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finding the Good during the Bad times...

There's always some good along with the bad I have come to realize. Since my 3rd chemo treatment I have been so sick! Definitely the sickest I have been so far on my cancer journey, but I have found some good. I have had some great visitors come this week. First my mother's friends, as well as my friends, Liz Tempest and Dana Earl came over for a visit. It was so fun to see them and to catch up on everything. They are such great friends to come all the way down here to visit me and to take me out to lunch, where I got one of my favorites, grilled cheese.


Last night Mitzi and Rob Collins came over. They brought me the most amazing dessert! Its called Mangos and Sticky Rice from Spicy Thai. Its down on University by Magleby's Fresh. This dessert was just want I wanted and needed last night. It tasted amazing! The best part was Rob was nice enough to shave his head for me. Just kidding but we do have matching hair cuts. If there were awards for the best looking bald heads Rob would win 1st and I would win 2nd.



Tonight my old roommate and best friend Hannah came over. It was fun to hang out and eat some good Mexican food and just relax. She was sick for a while so I couldn't be around her but she's finally feeling better so it was fun to see her again. She graduates in 2 weeks and I am so sad!! I don't know what I am going to do without her... but I know she'll come visit me in good old Provo Utah :) It was such a great week! Besides being really sick, I got to have some good visitors that helped brighten my day and made this rough week so much easier. Thanks again. Love you all!

Love,
Alexis

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

AK10 Support

Here's a slideshow of everyone showing their support! Thank you so much everyone you all are amazing!! Chemo is finally starting to take it's toll and I've been pretty sick lately but thanks everyone for loving and caring. I'll be better in no time! Keep reppin the purple!

Love,
Alexis

PS: AK10 bracelets are being sold at Days Market on Canyon Road in Provo.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pictures!

Here's some fun pictures from recently! Hope you all enjoy them! Some are repeats but I just love them so much!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Good Ending to a Rough Day!

Me, Doug, Elsie, Bella, Amy, and Karson

Karson (Mini Bronson), Bella, and Me!

Loving the Treats! Bella's face is the best!

Hello Everyone! So today was a rough day. The worst day yet, I wont lie. I spent most the day in bed sick not being able to keep anything in my stomach! I was so weak it was the craziest thing. I tried walking to the kitchen and didn't have the strength to hold myself up and fell. Thank goodness Michelle was home to help me back into bed. We decided I needed some fresh air so I went to the second half of Daryl's soccer game. Walking 20 yards from the car to the field about killed me! I have never felt this kind of fatigue in my whole life it was so weird. After the game I went home and laid down. Finally, Hannah brought me some L&Ls... Something about rice and chicken calmed my stomach right down. It was nice to be able to take my pills and to start to feel good finally. Thank goodness I started to get some energy since my Uncle Doug and his wife Amy and their 3 kids came to visit. It was so fun! I shot some hoops with Karson. I haven't shot hoops in weeks! Bella and Karson showed me some of their dance moves, and it was so fun to hang out with them. They made me so happy. Even though this morning and afternoon I was beyond sick, I wont lie haha. Karson was even sporting an Ed Hardy shirt! And everyone knows I love Ed Hardy shirts. But now that its night and I have some meds in my system I'm feeling much better and can actually walk from my room to the kitchen without falling down. Thank you everyone for your prayers! And thank you Doug and Amy for coming down and bringing your kids. It made my day! Be excited for tomorrow! I'll post about my new diet :) Love you all have a great weekend!

Love,
Alexis

You might get sick if...

Chemotherapy is a rough and tough drug. That's why it can beat cancer. But it also has many side effects. I found these statistics about nausea interesting:

You are more vunerable to have nausea and sickness after chemotherapy if you have one of the following:
1. You are a woman
2. You are younger then 50
3. You have a history of motion sickness
4. You have a history of anxiety
5. You're prone to nausea during pregnancy or sickness
6. You have a history of drinking little or no alcohol

Well, poor Alexis, you have at least 1/2 of these! Luckily there are good medications and plenty of salty, bland foods & sleep. Some days are surprisingly good, others are just tough. And like the tough chemotherapy medications, Alexis is equally tough in her battle. Her optimism is constant and her strength endures! Love you Alexis.