Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fun Weekend! Now Time To Get Serious...

This past weekend has been a blast in a glass! It all started with a fun day at Rock Canyon park. The snow run off always melts into Rock Canyon park and makes a nice little river that runs through the park. It was such a beautiful day so Kim, Steph, Daryl, and I decided it would be fun to go to the park and play soccer and play in the water. Although the water was beyond freezing I now know where I will be taking my ice baths for the rest of the summer!

I got to see my friends Jill, Janni, and Chelsea. We went to eat at Rumbi and hung out. I love seeing my friends who I don't get to see a lot its always nice to see new faces since I don't get out as much as I used to. Love you Guys!

This past Thursday was little Corbin's graduation from Timpview High School! I'm so proud of him! Not only did he graduate but the Gypsy spoke at the graduation. She did an amazing job as she always does. The greatest part was the flash mob that took place at the end of the graduation. It was so cool and literally every senior knew the dance. I'm so proud of Corbin for graduating and for him to start classes at BYU in the fall with me.

That night was the senior all night party. The Gypsy needed some help so Kim and Steph and I decided we would help chaperone the party. We took our job very seriously for the first 45 minutes but then it turned into our own little party within the real party. Corbin was in an eating contest and even though he lost it was fun to watch. The best part of the party was the food! They had J-Dawgs, Maglebys Fresh French Toast, and some amazing Desserts. And we all know how much I love food :)
To end the fun my cousin Kylie was in the Miss Orem Pageant. She did a phenomenal job! She didn't end up being Miss Orem but she did a great job. I've been to a few of these pageants before to watch my other cousin Carly compete and they're always so fun to see all the pretty dresses and talents. Great job Kylie I'm so proud of you! You were the most beautiful girl up there!
Although this week has been so fun, it has to come to an end. Wednesday is the big day where I will be getting my PET scan to see how active the cancer is throughout my body. Last time I did the whole PET scan thing it took 7 hours since I can't hold still for more than 5 seconds but I'm going to try hard to hold still the whole time. After the PET scan, I will meet with Dr. Glenn and a few other of my doctors to decide what the next plan of action is based off the results of the PET scan. This meeting is huge and I can't wait to see what we decide to do. The last part of this stressful week will be the sleepless EEG which will take place on Friday. Its a good thing I'm quite the night owl so this will be a piece of cake staying up all night.

Lastly, the exciting news for the day... since I have ended Chemo, my hair is growing back! The best part is that its not only coming in brown, but a lot of it is coming in blonde. Its so fun to watch and its growing so fast I love it, I think. I really liked my bald head but the Gypsy is excited for the new hair. I'll keep you all updated on how this next week goes with the tests. But until Wednesday comes, the fun will continue! This includes swimming at Aunt Lisa's tomorrow, going to Heber to go eat at the Dairy Keen and visit the Parkers, working out with my team, playing pick up basketball, and of course tormenting my poor Gypsy Mother. And I almost forgot, hanging out with my friend Mikell who helped me out with today's blog. Sometimes my creativity runs a little low so I need a second imagination to help me out. Have a fun and safe memorial weekend everyone!

Love,
Alexis

video

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LP and Intrathecal Chemo Done!

Well Tuesday was such a fun day! I was able to get a Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap) as well as Chemotherapy shot strait into my spine. A Spinal Tap wasn't the most pleasant feeling ever. I actually went into shock half way through and ended up fainting at the very end. Besides the fainting part and the spinal head ache that lasted all night everything else went really well! The next big thing coming up will be my PET Scan which is on June 1. After the PET Scan I will meet with my Doctors on June 2 to decide what the next plan of attack is. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for remission but whatever happens will happen. During this down time I'm trying to do as much as I can to be normal. I have even started playing basketball three times a week and lifting with my team four times a week. Its been so nice not having to worry about chemo! Its been even better not feeling sick and that nausea feeling. If anything else comes up I'll make sure to keep you posted. From now till June 1 thought I plan on being normal and having a good time! Love you all! Especially Chrissy Blickenstaff for the AMAZING chocolate chip cookies. Thank you :)

Love,
Alexis

Passed out after the procedures

So excited for the LP and Chemo! Featured is my favorite nurse Debbie

Nap time in in the waiting room

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Filled with Gratitude



Hey everyone! Life being done with chemo has been amazing times 10! Its so nice being a normal person again and not feeling sick. This past week a lot has happened though.

1. While Steve was driving home the other day he saw some little girls holding up a sign that said "Alexis Kaufusi Fundraiser." He pulled over and saw our neighbors the Stillwell family selling their Le Petit Macarons. I had never had a Macaron before but they are amazing! They were so kind and brought over the money they had made. Sister Stillwell has already brought my family dinner and now she's selling her Macarons and giving me the money she made. She's so kind! If you're interested theres a blogs for the Let Petit Macarons. These are the best Macarons ever! I definitely recommend them. http://lepetitmacaronutah.blogspot.com/


2. On Saturday my Aunt Gina was so kind to do a "Dancers against Cancer" fundraiser. She owns a dance studio in American Fork called Progressions and throughout the day there was a bake sale, massages, free dance and zumba classes, and mini recital. Her company is getting ready to go to Disneyland for a competition and I was able to see the dances they will be performing. It was also fun because I got to see 5 of my cousin perform (Kylie, Chloe, Kiefer, Kenner, and Olivia). It was so amazing! I never appreciated the sport of dance until I met Hannah my best friend but now that I know about dance I am absolutely fascinated by it! One of the dancers Maci made me a lipstick bank that people could put money in when they came to the studio. It was a fun day spent out at Progressions with my Aunt Gina, her family, and her studio. The amount of support and love from people who didn't even know me was overwhelming.


3. My cousin Kylie is running for Miss Orem! She chose Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma as her platform and she will be competing next Saturday May 28 at Orem High School. She showed me the dance she is performing and its an amazing dance! Can't wait to go Saturday and watch her perform and compete for Miss Orem. Good luck Kylie!


4. Saturday night was the National Championship Rugby Game! It was a fun game we had a group of about 16 people to go watch the cougars. We ended up losing 14-21 but it was so much fun! After the game we went and ate at Chipotle, one of my favorites. Lastly we came back to the Gypsy Lair and had a mini dance party and just hung out.


5. Lastly, the bad news. Lately things have been going so good! So naturally something bad needs to happen. On Tuesday the Huntsman called and said this week I will be doing chemo again. This time though they will be doing it directly into my spine. Should be a good time right? Why not! Anyways hopefully it won't be too bad I'll make sure to let you all know :)

Sorry this is such a long post but I hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Coming up is Memorial weekend and I cannot wait! Memorial weekend = Swimming at Aunt Lisa's which is one of my favorite things to do ever. I'll keep you guys informed on the news after Tuesday but don't fret, I'll be just fine! Thanks for the love and support.

Love,
Alexis

PS... You can also follow me on Twitter @AlexisKaufusi. Also, if you're ever looking for a good laugh, go to http://timpviewvideos.blogspot.com/ and watch Corbin! He plays AJ and he is quite hilarious!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Happy Ending...

So last week Alexis could be spotted wearing these stylish shades up at the hospital. And I'm sure this will surprise you, but it wasn't because she was trying to be a trend setter. No, they served a purpose.

Alexis has been seeing spots in her vision and has been struggling with seeing out or her peripheral vision. So, Dr. Glenn sent her to see a doctor at the Moran Eye Center. He examined her thoroughly and then told her that she probably had detached viscous. This is a common problem...in 60 year olds! However, he also thought this problem was fixable and something he could work with.

Then he said, just to be sure, he wanted to send Alexis for an MRI of her head. He wanted to be sure that there were not tumors in her brain. As you can imagine, hearing this as a worry for the doctor was a new monster of worry to Alexis & her family. Brain Cancer? Really? Didn't he know Alexis just finished her last chemotherapy treatment? Now everything anyone said was stipulated with, "but this could all change depending on what the MRI shows."

So last Friday Alexis had her MRI. And then the waiting game began. But this was a waiting game that was so familiar with all it's feelings of uncertainty, fear, and wondering that the question of "what if?" returned to hang above Alexis' head for days. It felt like February all over again. But somehow it was worse. Worse because you know how much there is to lose. Worse because you know how hard Alexis has fought. Worse because Alexis has taken two steps forward and no one wants to take any backwards. Worse because it felt like Alexis had just climbed the mountain, and now perhaps, there was another one waiting through the fog. This was definitely a familiar position, but in no way was it easier.

But today the call came. A call that said, "the brain looks great!" The relief that washed over every one and any one who heard the news was the kind of relief that can only come after having been through this experience called cancer. Somehow it was easier to breathe. Alexis shed some tears, and of course Michelle joined in too. A Blessing, A Miracle, A Joy found in the midst of war. The song ran through my head, "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. All of the dark obstacles disappear. Here is the Rainbow I've been waiting for, it's gonna be a bright, bright, bright and sun shiny day." And despite the snow falling outside, today was a day full of sunshine. The kind of sunshine that warms you from the inside out. It was a joy that can come only with the relief of victory.

So onto the next thing! Basketball training, getting her energy back, a visit to the Moran Eye Center, and eventually a follow-up PET scan the first week of June to check on those shrinking tumors...none of which are in the brain.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

LAST CHEMO

This past Thursday was my final chemotherapy! Its such a relief knowing that I wont have to go back up and do that whole thing in 2 weeks. As of right now I'm just trying to get back into the routine of things. I've started working out 4 times a week. Just simple things like riding a bike, slow jogging, light lifting, and a little basketball here and there. Working out has been great even though I'm exhausted the rest of the day it really has been helping me mentally get through these last final steps. The plan is in 3 weeks I'll go back for a final PET scan and we will make the rest of the plan after the results. I'm planning on remission and then getting in shape for this up coming season. To celebrate being done we had some fun. There was of course the Fat Cats Fundraiser and party. I want to thank everyone that helped with that! Especially my cousins Mitch and Hillary and my dear friend Tina. Without them the whole event wouldn't have been possible! We also have been having some fun BBQs and hanging out with some friends. Its so nice to be done and being able to see the end of this cancer journey is amazing. Thank you everyone for all your support. I am full of gratitude for everyone that has made this trial a walk in the park. Thanks again!

Love,
Alexis

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thank YOU!

Alexis wanted to thank each one of you who took time to join us at our Fun Night at Fat Cat's Fundraiser! Part of the battle with any cancer patient is keeping up hope and a good attitude. While this has never been Alexis' issue, seeing all the family & friends come out for an evening of fun contributed to feeling a little happier, a little more joy, a little more blessed for both Alexis and her family. Alexis made the comment, "it wasn't even just my mom and dads friends, there were a lot of my friends and family!" And Corbin was quick to point out how when both friends & family gets on board they can really make an impact.

And to those who took time to donate & buy things that night, we especially thank you. Our totals so far are in the thousands of dollars. There are many things to worry about in a day when you have cancer, but this money will certainly aid in curing some of those worries.

So thank you for bringing your smiles, you money, and yourselves. Without you it would not have been an evening worth remembering. As Oprah once said, Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. Thank you for being the friend who is there through the thick and thin.

Below are just a few pictures from the evening, I am sure Alexis will have more to post later with lot's and lot's and lot's more (some of those are on facebook).

American Fork Fundraiser

Alexis' aunt Gina is hosting a fundraiser for Alexis in American Fork with her Dance Studio, Progressions Dance Academy. See the information below and don't forget to mark your calendars!

PLEASE JOIN PROGRESSIONS DANCE ACADEMY
(555 East Main Street * Unit G * American Fork)
IN SUPPORTING
“DANCERS AGAINST CANCER”
In Honor of
ALEXIS KAUFUSI
*B.Y.U. Women’s Basketball Player #10
*Recently Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – Stage 4

SATURDAY MAY 21, 2011
Open House Fundraiser
10:00 – 2:00 pm
ALL PROCEEDS GO DIRECTLY TO ALEXIS’ CANCER TREATMENTS AND CARE

*Free Dance Lessons*Free Adult Zumba Classes*Bake Sale*Boutique Sale* *Refreshments*

COMPETITION PERFORMANCES BY
PROGRESSIONS DANCE ACADEMY COMPANY TEAMS
Bring the entire family for a fun day so we can help Alexis
“Score the big win” against Cancer

To volunteer or donate please contact Gina @ 801-756-2114
progressionsdance@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alexis Kaufusi Foundation

If you want to make a donation to Alexis and can't make the fundraiser, you can donate at any Far West Bank to the Alexis Kaufusi Foundation.

Fat Cats to host fundraiser for Alexis Kaufusi | Universe.byu.edu

Fat Cats to host fundraiser for Alexis Kaufusi | Universe.byu.edu

Did you catch the article on Alexis and our event yesterday in BYU's Daily Universe newspaper? If not, you can read it online!

Tonight's the Night!!!


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 a into Costa Vida at any time on

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

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Me and My Gypsy Mother...


My Birth 1989

Christmas Time 1991

Steve's Graduation... 1994

Vegas Bowl 2008

Since today is Mothers Day I thought it would be appropriate to blog about my Gypsy. A lot of people have asked me lately as to why I call my mother, Michelle, a my Gypsy Mother. Well there's a few reasons..
1. My whole life growing up as long as I can remember Michelle has always had light brown hair with blonde highlights. Especially in the summer times her hair would go so blonde. Well when I was a junior in high school I remember Michelle telling me she was going to get her hair done and to be excited to see it. I came home from basketball practice and there was a strange lady standing in my kitchen. Her back was turned to me but she had long black hair. I thought at first it was my friend Sadie Wahlin but I don't know why Sadie would be here considering she lived in Texas at the time. This mysterious dark haired tall lady turns around and turns out to be Michelle! Since then she has had black hair. With her tan skin and black hair she definitely looked just like a Gypsy as well as part of our family now :)

2. If you know Michelle you will know that her favorite singer of all time is Cher. My mother Michelle is the biggest Cher fan. When it was Cher's "Farewell Concert" a couple years ago Michelle made us all stay in and watch the farewell concert. She not only made us all watch it but she also recorded it. She owns every Cher CD and know all of Cher's songs. I heard the song "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves" by Cher and just knew it was meant to be! Michelle's new name was to be Gypsy.

3. The last and final reason is because when I was little Michelle would always dress up as a Gypsy for Halloween. After going to Italy and seeing real Gypsies my mother would definitely blend in well with them. Whenever Michelle is getting ready the last thing she does is put on her jewelry. This is a task in itself. She always needs helping putting on her bracelets and necklaces. 30 minutes later when all the jewelry is on she resembles the Gypsy costume from my child hood. A lot of silver bracelets, cuffs, and long necklaces.

Hopefully you all have a better understanding as to why I call Michelle my Gypsy Mother. Today is the glorious day once a year I get to celebrate my Gypsy Mother. I think everyone can agree with me that I have the most amazing Gypsy is the world. She has put up with me and my injuries as well as my other siblings and Steve for the past 25 years! She has dealt with 2 ACL tears, 1 PCL, 1 torn labrum and rotator cuff, 3 broken ankles/feet, 2 broken noses, 3 scoped knees, 1 shattered ankle, sets up stitches that are probably in the hundreds, Daryl's cut off finger, Devin's open compound fracture in his arm, Steve's meningitis, and now me and my cancer. This woman is amazing! On top of all this she finds time to be a member of the school board, run marathons, work out everyday, and even finds time to watch scary movies with me. How many Moms would watch the scariest of scary movies with their 21 yr old daughter? Not many. She's sat through thousands of my basketball and soccer games. Even when she knows I'm not going be playing because I'm hurt or sick she never misses a game. I have the most amazing Gypsy Mother ever! I know she's going to read this so Gypsy I love you! Thanks for taking care of me and forcing me to eat food and take my medicine when I don't want to. Porsche (My Cat) thinks you're the greatest Grandma ever and I think you're the best Gypsy Mother ever and I love you!

This week is the big week! Big party on Wednesday and my last chemo on Thursday :) Hope to see you all on Wednesday! I'm hoping I can bowl over a 50 for the first time ever! Thanks for all your love and support and prayers. Its working! And Happy Mothers Day too all the Mothers in my life. I wouldn't be here or be the person I am without you all.

Love,
Alexis

Senior Night at Timpview 2008

Hawaii 2009

Mitchell's Wedding 2009

SLC Airport 2011

Mothers Day 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coming soon..

The Daily Universe will be running an article on Alexis this week! Don't miss it!

Also, remember to join us Wednesday, May 11 from 6-9p at the Fat Cat's in Provo for a fun night of celebration! Because May 12th is Alexis' LAST chemotherapy treatment!

Come and show your support for Alexis, bring your friends, and let's have fun! There will be a silent auction and other ways you can donate money to the Alexis Kaufusi Cancer Fun.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Overwhelmed with Gratitude


Everyone who has ever met me knows I tend to tear up fairly easy over “happy things”, actually all things. I inherited this sensitive gene from my mother Janet Kenner Garrick. Sometimes I can bite my lip or pinch myself to try and keep my tears in check but today its worthless. I am a crying mess!

For the first time since that dreaded day, February 3rd, when we began this cancer journey I have felt unsure about the future of Alexis. I have tried to be positive, upbeat, happy, encouraging and even tried to be funny but deep down inside, is always that nagging feeling of the unknown. For the first time I have seen a turnaround in Alexis. Sure, she comes across like she is dealing with this but, only a mother knows what is really going on. We have had some long nights and some long days. This morning as I got up to fix French toast for the kids, all the sudden Alexis appeared in the kitchen and said, “mother this morning I am going down to watch my team work out”. That was fantastic news! I have talked with Alexis about focusing on school and looking at that as her motivation. She just laughed and said, “Really mom, school is not my motivation right now but basketball is”. Off she went happy and out of bed before noon. That is huge for her! While she was gone I went in her room to see if she was feeling good enough to make her bed, that was wishful thinking, but as I stood in her room I was overwhelmed with gratitude. There on her bed were numerous quilts friends have made for her to wrap up in on those days she cant seem to stop shaking, pictures drawn by little children taped all over her wall with words of encouragement, treats, books, stuffed animals, cards and so much more. Yes, I am a crying mess! I was so touched by everyone who has reached out to us during this time in our life. Thank you doesn’t even seem adequate to express how grateful I am for each and every person who has even thought of us.

Alexis just got home and said she even got on the bike and rode it for a little while. The fact that she made an effort is huge! I feel like it is something about knowing we are coming to the end. It reminds me of when I used to watch her as a little girl participating in field day activities at Elementary School. She would look over at me and give me this look of, “why are you making me participate in this?” She never was a good long distance runner but something about her seeing the finish line always motivated her to run faster. Maybe it was the popsicles that were waiting for her or just the chance to sit down. Who knows, but she has always been a strong finisher. We are seeing the finish line. It has given her renewed energy to get through one more chemotherapy treatment. It has given me energy to get through it as well. I have often told my kids, we can do anything once and finally we are down to our last one. Radiation is our next new adventure. I am ready for a change, any change other then chemotherapy at this point. Alexis is happy, I am happy and yes I am crying those dang “happy tears” …again.

Michelle Kaufusi