Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Because of the outpouring of love and support we received from family and friends following Pam’s passing, our family felt a final update to Pam’s blog would be appropriate.

A visitation was held at the funeral  home on Tuesday, October 8.  We appreciate all of those who were able to attend.  The family was comforted by the support we received.  We were especially touched by Jim LeClere and Glen Meservy traveling all the way from Jasper, IN (driving) to pay their respects.  Representatives from Kari and Kristyn’s schools also took time to attend.  Ward and family members were also a great support.

The funeral was held on Wednesday, October 9.  Knowing Pam, she would have been uncomfortable with the attention but very pleased with the program.  Her brother, Ray, offered the family prayer prior to service.  The music included some of her favorite hymns…I Stand All Amazed and I Believe in Christ.  Kristyn (violin) and Laura Dayley (piano) performed a special musical number called, “I Feel My Savior’s Love” which was very beautiful and touched our hearts.  Later, Lisa Hatch, performed a special version of “O My Father” which Pam played several times in the various wards where we lived.  Lisa did an excellent job in capturing the spirit of the piece.  Pam’s brother, Norm, delivered a great overview of Pam’s early life and her son, Jason, paid a special tribute to his mother that was especially moving.  The rest of her children (Shaun, Jennifer, Eric, Ryan, Amanda, Kristyn and Kari) and I shared a special scripture that described Pam.  It was obvious that the kids had been taught by their mother and they had many of her traits.  The Bishop, Bryce Thacker, concluded the meeting with a special testimony of the Plan of Salvation.

Following the funeral, the family went to the cemetery where Pam’s brother, Nephi, dedicated the grave.  The pall bearers included her sons, Jason, Shaun, Eric, Ryan; her brother, Greg; her son-in-law, Jason Payne; her nephew, Jeremy Jensen; and a friend of the family Apolonio Rosalez.  Lunch was provided to the family by the 39th Ward Relief Society.  We express our love and appreciation to all of the sisters who served our family with love and kindness.

Since Pam’s passing, we have received countless emails, cards, and flowers.  Additionally, several people have posted comments on Facebook, the blog, the Anderson Funeral Home website and the Deseret News website.  These comments have been especially comforting to the family and will be cherished for years to come. Thanks to all of you for your love and support during this difficult period.

Many people have asked us about how we are doing.  Pam was such a huge part of our life and a therefore we have a huge hole in our hearts.  We miss her and it will take some time to lessen the wound.  We take a day at a time and have faith in the promise of eternal life and the opportunity we will have to be together forever.  It is expected that we mourn for our loss but we also celebrate Pam and what she did with her life.  She touched so many and was valiant in her testimony of Jesus.  We also have so many family and friends to comfort us and bring us peace.  We also know that Pam will be with us and helping us along the way as we complete our mortal experience.  Our Heavenly Father will also be our guide, comforter and helper.  We also have each other and the kids have been a great blessing to me.  We are in good hands.

Thanks again to all of you for your love and support to Pam and the family throughout this difficult experience.  We will always remember you for your expressions of love and acts of kindness.

The Mullis Family


PS As you may recall, I made a special video for Pam for our 35th wedding anniversary.  It included 6 songs with pictures.  It was shown at the visitation and some indicated they were unable to see it but would like to.  If you are interested, you can view at the following site.  In order to see the entire video, you will have to download it. 


Note:  The fifth song, God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You” was a special tribute to Pam.  


Monday, October 7, 2013

Pamela Jensen Mullis – March 14, 1957 – October 6, 2013


Pam is now cancer free.  Her quest to be cancer free ended yesterday, October 6, 2013, at 3:45pm.  Family and friends surrounded her with love and affection at the time of her passing. 

Her battle began last December when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  In January, she was told that she would need to have chemotherapy for the rest of her life and that might give her a little more than 12 months.  However, without chemotherapy, she would likely die within 3-6 months.  She chose to forego chemotherapy and actively fight the cancer with a variety of other approaches.  At the time of her passing, it had been almost 10 months.  Pam exhibited bravery in her decision and fought valiantly and courageously until the very end.  Of course, Pam could not do anything any other way.

Her life was one of great faith and trust in the Lord and his teachings.  She worked to become more compassionate and Christlike in her actions and service to others. Her greatest service was to her husband, Glen Richard Mullis and her 8 children…Jason (Jodi), Shaun (Melanie), Jennifer Payne (Jason), Eric (Marinda), Ryan (Alexis), Amanda Shumway (Alex), Kristyn and Kari.  However, through various leadership callings in her church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and many behind the scenes acts of kindness, she was able to expand her service to countless others. 

She loved to work with the Young Women of the Church.  During her illness, many young women shared their personal stories of how she had touched their lives and of the impact she had made on them.  She especially loved to go to Girl’s Camp with “her” girls. 

She also loved to participate in the Relief Society, the Women’s organization in her Church.  She had developed many skills by participation in that organization and loved to share them with others.  Many great relationships were forged with the Sisters and Pam cherished each one.

When I first met Pam, I quickly noticed her huge, friendly smile and her desire to help others. Over the years, these qualities continue to grow ever more lovely and beautiful as her inward spirituality radiated in outward appearance.  While cancer took its toll on her physical body, her inner beauty continued to grow and she radiated love and concern for others despite her own personal challenges.  God definitely spend a little more time on her.

As her husband, I will miss my sweetheart and friend.  I was always uplifted by her smile and appreciated all of her love, support and help throughout our 35 years together.    While I wanted many more years, I am grateful and consider it a privilege to have had the 35 years.  I will miss our conversations and her counsel….and, yes, even the differences of opinion.  I will miss being by her side at Church, at BYU games and taking vacations together.  I will miss being grandparents with her to Landon, Kiera, Caden, Rylan, Dallin, Logan, William, Emery and all of the others that will be coming along.  I will miss her.

Our children and grandchildren will also miss her love and acts of service to them.  She continually would be on the look out for really cool Christmas gifts for her grandchildren throughout the year.  They will miss their friend and confidant.  They will remember her example and great devotion to God  and her commitment to each one of them.  Her children have been a great blessing to her throughout her life and especially during this battle with cancer as they have willingly dedicated themselves to helping their mother.  It has been a great strength to see their love and devotion to her. They truly were taught by their mother.

Pam will be rejoined with her parents, Gerald and Helen Jensen, who passed away earlier.  In fact, her mother also had stomach cancer and passed way when Pam was 16.  With her mother’s passing, a special woman, Teresa, came into her life as her step mother.  She filled the role of “grandmother” with a great affection.  When her father passed, Teresa brought a very loving man, Jack Leavitt, and his family into the family circle. 

Pam is survived by 4 brothers (Norman (Bonnie), Nephi (Ruby), Raymond (Charlotte)and Gregory(Donna) and a sister (Rosemary Bell (Tom).   Over the past few months, they have been instrumental in helping to take care of Pam and the family, especially Charlotte and Rosemary.  Words can not express the love and gratitude we have for all of her family.

We also express deepest appreciation to the Ward Family.  The Bishop, home and visiting teachers and a whole host of others have helped ease our burden through their acts of kindness and service.  We have had a yard full of the ward family doing yard work, countless visits with flowers and cards, many outstanding meals and treats, and the blessing of the sacrament brought to our home by the Aaronic Priesthood.  We appreciate all of these efforts and the friendship and love we felt from the ward members.

We also express our appreciation to all of our family and friends who have been here for our family through visits, cards, letters and emails.  The comments on the blog and on Facebook have also been appreciated.

We also extend a special thanks to those in the medical profession who have assisted Pam throughout her battle.  Dr. Jeffrey Wright and the team at the Utah Valley Health Clinic were extremely supportive to both Pam and the family.  We thank the nursing staff at Timpanogas Regional Hospital as well as the staff at First Choice Home and Hospice Care, especially Megan, Brittany, Jeanine, Spencer and Sarah.

For those who can make it, please join the family in celebrating Pam’s life at the Anderson Mortuary in American Fork from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.  The address is 49 East 100 North (phone 801 756 3564).

The funeral will be held at the Ward Chapel at 11605 North 6000 West in Highland, Utah at 10:00am on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.  A brief visitation will be held from 8:45am until 9:45am prior to the funeral.

While flowers are always appreciated, feel free to make donations on Pam’s behalf to any organizations that fight cancer, especially stomach cancer.  You may also consider making donations to the LDS Humanitarian organization on her behalf as well.

Thanks again for all the love and support by so many of you during this challenge.  It reflects the love that Pam gave to others throughout her life.  She make a huge impact in the lives of so many.  She will be missed by all that knew her, especially her family.  However, we look forward to the day when we can be re-united with her as a family….forever!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Since our last update, Pam has continued her courageous and valiant effort to battle the stomach cancer.  She has reached her 8th month when doctors indicated she would only make 3-6 months without chemotherapy.

After her August hospital experience, she came home and was able to spend some quality time with the family.  Unfortunately, the cancer caused additional challenges.  We finally decided that it was time for her to enter the hospice program to better manage her pain and the complications.  The good news is that she is able to stay home.  She started hospice care on Thursday, September 12….just two days before Mandy’s wedding.

On the wedding day, Pam was feeling really good.  She sat in her command and control chair and directed the wedding preparations.  While she did not have the strength to attend the wedding in person, Eric was able to stream the ceremony to our TV so she could watch it live.  Ryan also recorded the ceremony and she was able to review the special events of the day again.

When Pam went into the hospice program, she was told that most people at the stage only last about 7-10 days.  Again, Pam has defied the odds again.  She made it from the 12th to our 35th wedding anniversary on the 22nd.  As of today, September 26 (14 days), she is still with us and her family is enjoying the opportunity to spend more quality time with her. 

For our anniversary, I got her 35 red roses on 16th so she could enjoy them throughout the week.  Also, I was able to complete (with Eric’s help) a video to celebrate our 35 years.  Not to be outdone, she made sure that she was here on our anniversary and was the first to wish me a Happy Anniversary.  Given everything we have been told, this was truly a tender mercy. 


While we know that our time with Pam in this life is short, we enjoy the time that we can still have with her.  Her spirit remains strong and she is putting her trust in the Lord that this is his will.  We know that we can be a family forever and while this will be a difficult separation, we look forward with faith that we will be together again. 

I again express appreciation to all of those who have done so much to help Pam and the family with this experience.  Pam’s sister, Rose, and her sister-in-law, Charlotte, have spent much of the summer helping Pam and the family.  I have also been impressed with the love and care that our children have provided to Pam.  They have been there for foot rubs, chats and other acts of service.  Thanks to all of you!

Pam is truly a remarkable woman.  She has done so much for her family and others.  This battle with cancer has revealed the depth of her faith and courage.  Our family has been blessed to have her as our MOM!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Battle Rages On

In April, we provided an update on Pam’s progress in her battle with stomach cancer.  Since then, she has enjoyed Kristyn’s prom, Logan and William’s birthdays (grandsons) and a special gathering of former Jasperites who are now in the West.  Additionally, she has had some special time with her family as they have come to Utah to assist with her care.  Pam has appreciated their personal sacrifices in being with her and their day to day support. 

The Ward members have also been great with their many acts of kindness whether it be bringing flowers, meals for the family, or just stopping by to chat.  The Young Women have also been very supportive of Kristyn and Kari.  Having the sacrament brought to the home by the Aaronic Priesthood has also been something very special to Pam.  Home and visiting teachers have been a great help for the family and Pam.  We also have a very special and loving Bishop.

Pam has also received many cards and letters from those she has touched with her Spirit.  Our old friends from Jasper got together and sent her a Daily Dose of Happiness for about 30 days.  This also meant a lot to Pam and her family.  Ryan’s wife, Lex, has also been great in caring for Pam and we really appreciate her efforts.  We also appreciate Dr. Wright who has been with Pam throughout her journey to fight the cancer.
Above all, she has been able to spend some special time with Jason, Jennifer, Eric, Ryan, Amanda, Kristyn and Kari.  We are hopeful Shaun will also be able to visit her in the near future.  These have been choice experiences for Pam and all of her family.

Unfortunately, Pam has had several setbacks in her battle.  In June, she had to be hospitalized with a partial blockage in her bowel.  This was followed by another visit to the hospital in July and another one this past weekend due to her sodium level being so high that it was “uncharted territory”.  With each setback, she has continued to be brave, courageous and determined.  However, fighting stomach cancer is like using rocks to wage war against an enemy with all of the modern weaponry.  And to quote Forest Gump, “Sometimes, there just aren’t enough rocks.”

When Pam decided to forego chemotherapy, her doctor told her that she would be “dead in 3-6 months.”  She just passed the 7th month mark since that declaration.  It is her valiant effort in managing her diet and her faith that has brought her this far.  Many prayers have been offered on her behalf and her name has been on numerous prayer rolls in the temples.  At this point, the miracle we had all been praying for does not appear likely.  The cancer has attacked her relentlessly and she has fought back like a valiant soldier.  But, it has taken its toll on her body.  More complications are weakening her day by day.

While we still pray for a miracle, we recognize that Heavenly Father may have a plan for her that does not include the miracle we hope for but a miracle that is beyond our current understanding.  If that is the case, her family is confident that she has been valiant in her testimony of Jesus Christ, that she has served her family and others in a manner  that is truly Christlike and her life is one of celebration.  She may have finished her race and the rest of us will have to finish ours and try to be as valiant as she has been.  As her husband, I know her to be “an elect lady.”

The battle does continue to rage but we do not think it will be long before the Savior’s words bring meaning to Pam and her family, “Peace, be still.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

Thomas Edison - Quote

So lately this quote has been flying around and it is a quote that we really like. Here it is:

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." - Thomas Edison

This quote kind of fits in with all of the things Pam is doing right now and that is what is important. To keep the body healthy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pam's Quest to be Cancer Free in 2013....

Pam's Quest....

This September, Pam and I will celebrate our 35th anniversary.  When we celebrated our 34th, we probably felt that 35 was in the bag.  Unfortunately, life has a way of quickly changing our perspective. 

Since April of 2012, I had been working at a new job in Bakersfield, California.  We accepted the position with the understanding that it would probably take a year to relocate the family.  So, I began the process of being away from the day to day experience of home life and making it home for 2 or 3 weekends every month.  Not exactly a fun experience, but we do what we have to...for the family.

Unbeknownst to me, Pam was having some problems and the went to the doctor in mid November. On the Friday before Thanksgiving, Pam called and we chatted about me coming home for Thanksgiving, how Mandi was doing and our plans for the holiday should a grandchild decide to arrive during the week.  Toward the end of the call, she stated, "Oh by the way, I've got to have some surgery."  "What"? I asked not really sure I heard her correctly.  She explained that she had gone to the doctor and they completed some tests and found she had a mass on her uterus and she was meeting with a Doctor Monday to discuss surgery.  I was planning to come home on Wednesday and she made it clear that there was no need to come home early. Needless to say, I came home on Sunday.

We met with the Doctor on Monday and he felt that it was closer to her ovaries but did not think it was ovarian cancer.  He seemed optimistic that it would only be a benign tumor so we left on a hopeful note with the surgery planned for early December, after Thanksgiving and the birth of Mandi's baby.  After telling the kids, we had additional visitors for the holidays and enjoyed the arrival of Emery June Mullis.  We were concerned about Mom but still optimistic.

The doctor recommended a complete hysterectomy so in early December, Pam had the surgery.  It went well but it is not an easy surgery and takes awhile for full recovery. The Doctor felt after seeing the tumor that it would be malignant but treatable.  However, the pathologist was not as we waited for confirmation.  We didn't realize that it would be the last positive news we would have for a long tme.

When the results came, it confirmed that it was malignant but it had spread from some other source.  Not good. On December 24, we took Pam to be tested for stomach cancer.  During the preparation, a nurse mentioned something about a Krukenberg tumor so I began to look it up on my Ipad.  It didn't take long to realize that if it was that, it was not going to be good.  Following the test, I asked the Doctor to step out and he pretty much confirmed that Pam had stomach cancer.  On the way home, Pam and I had a very difficult conversation.  I have never been so depressed, concerned and worried.  Our hearts were pretty heavy on Christmas Eve.  It was difficult to try to be happy and we didn't do a lot of our normal Christmas Eve activities.  When you get punched in the gut, it takes a while to catch your breath.

After a restless night, Pam and I decided that we were going to make Christmas Day special and not worry about the future on this special day. That seemed to help a lot.  We had a great time with all of the family around except for Shaun and his family.  We had a special family discussion on the stories we liked most about the Savior.  This definitely helped lift our spirits.  The Spirit was definitely with us.

Normally, we get Christmas cards out and wish everyone a Happy New Year during the week between Christmas and New Years.  We apologize for missing this year but our minds and efforts were focused on what we could do to help Pam.  We made arrangements to go to the Huntsman Cancer Clinic.  We were hopeful that there would be some chemo or treatment that would cure the cancer.  Unfortunately, the Doctor was direct and clear.  They would not be able to cure stomach cancer.  This best they could do was to give her more time.  If she did nothing, she would probably be dead in 6 months.  With chemo, she might be able to make 12-18.  Obviously, our hearts were pretty low after this visit. 

We felt it important to get a second opinion so we confirmed a meeting with MD Anderson in Houston for the end of January.  The more we studied, it became apparent that chemo would be very difficult for Pam.  I continued to be disturbed about what could be done for Pam.  As I thought and prayed about the situation, an impression came to me that I should call the person who does my taxes.  I dismissed the thought with the idea that it was too early to make contact.  Afterall, I usually wait until the deadline anyway.  However, the impression continued to come to me so I finally relented and called Rob.  We chatted about taxes for a few minutes and we started to end the call when he asked about the family.  I told him about Pam and he told me the story of young man who was dying from another problem but a Doctor in Texas helped him and he was doing great today.  He referred me to his parents and I called the mother to learn more.  She was so enthused about sharing her son's story and I discussed the possibility of trying something different.  We made contact with the Doctor and confirmed a meeting following our trip to MD Anderson.

The MD Anderson trip went about the same as Huntsman.  Can't cure stomach cancer but they have had good success in prolonging life for a few months longer.  They did share that the chemo was pretty toxic and that after several sessions, some patients can't continue and the cancer comes back.  The other challenge is that both Huntsman and MD Anderson confirmed that she would have to be on chemo for the rest of her life.  Having gone through about 8 rounds with my Mom, I knew this was not going to something Pam would ever recover from.

From there, we stopped in Texas and the Doctor explained some things about cancer that were new. He gave Pam a list of things she could do to fight the cancer and felt it would help.  The first positive news we had for some time.  So, we left and Pam and the family started to fast and pray so she  could be guided to make the right decision.  At the end of January, Pam decided to forego chemo and go down a path that had the best chance for her to keep her strength and fight the cancer. 

Since then, Pam has followed a strict diet, bought a modulator (call us if interested) and had significant dental work done (this is interesting) and has been able to maintain her health beyond what chemo would have provided.  We are realistic and understand what Pam is dealing with.  However, our faith and hope in the Savior allows for the possibility of a miracle.  We know a miracle would not have been possible with chemo.  Pam is doing her part and if it is the Lord's will, she will have one.  Of course, your prayers and thoughts may help to convince the Lord that a miracle is appropriate in her case.  So, please feel free to remember Pam in her quest to be cancer free  With your prayers and the Lord's help, her quest may yet prove successful. 

I no longer take for granted our 35th wedding anniversary.  In fact, every smile, every conversation, every kiss, every hug, every opportunity to help her, every moment with special.  Why does it take a challenge like this to help us understand how much we love someone?

I do want to thank our kids (that includes our son and daughters-in-law) for their love and support.  They have been fantastic and have all made special trips home to be with and help Mom.  We still have Mandi, Kristyn and Kari at home and they are working hard to help Mom.  Pam's family have also been great as her sister and brothers have visited to lift her spirit and help with some needs around the house.  Having to work out of state, I really appreciate all they have done.  We also have great home and visiting teachers, a great Bishopric and Relief Society leaders, and many others who have performed many acts of service that have meant a lot to us during this challenge.

Pam is a fighter and has been a great example of courage, faith and determination.  Jennifer has volunteered to maintain this blog for the family to keep those of you up to date on Pam's quest.  I definitely appreciate her efforts to share Pam's story as I know many of you have her in your prayers.

Best wishes to you and your family from the Mullis Family!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

From the Beginning....

So I'm going to start from the beginning for those who may not know all the information.  The last couple of months may not have been the easiest for our family, but we have still have had some good times as well. The point of this blog is to share it all, the good and the bad.  This all started right before Thanksgiving, so I'm going to recap month by month to start.


I'm not exactly sure when everyone found out, but my mom sat me down right before Thanksgiving.  She informed me that she had been to the doctor and they had found a mass on her ovaries.  She told us that the doctor was hopeful that it was going to be benign, so they could wait until Dec. 6th.  We waited this long because it was important to my mom to have Thanksgiving and then be there for my little sister, Mandi, who was due any day with her first child. It just so happened that Thanksgiving was going to be the day for both. :)  Emery June Mullis was born on Nov. 22.  She was born in the morning and Mom and I were able to be there for the birth.
Mandi meets Emery!

Emery June Mullis

You did it Mandi!

Grandma with Emery, finally another granddaughter

Grandma with Emery
Jason and Jodi flew in with their son Willy on the 22nd as well. It was the first time that us siblings that live in Utah got to see him.  So we got to meet both Emery and Willy on the same day. :)  Jason and Jodi came straight from the airport to the hospital.  It was a grand reunion in the hospital room as everyone got to meet the babies at the same time.

Jason and Jodi showed up straight from the airport to wish Mandi congrats and meet the newest niece

And everyone else got to meet little Willy

Mandi with Willy

The rest of the week was full of fun and drama.  We were able to do Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday and Mandi was even home from the hospital for it. It was great to to be there as a family, though some were not able to be their physically, they were still there in spirit. Here are a few pictures I took with my new nephew Willy:

Kiera with Willy

Logan and Willy, can you tell they are two months apart

Then on Sunday November 25th we blessed Willy.  My mother made the blessing outfit and little William looked so cute all dressed in white.  

Grandma and Grandpa with Willy

Jason, Jodi,Grandma, Grandpa, with Willy

All the aunts!

The cousins!  With the mothers holding the babies.

Willy with the Uncles

The whole crew at the blessing


Dec. 6th was the day of the surgery, and my mom went in for a hysterectomy.  The next couple of weeks were focused on my Mom and her recovery.  She spent about a week in the hospital.  After returning home mom was still having a hard time getting solids back into her diet, but we continued to be hopeful that things would turn around any moment.  I was able to take my mom to her follow-up doctor visit. ( My father has been working in California for those that may not know and was not able to be there for the doctor visit. We had him on the phone though.)  When we went in, we were both prepared for the doctor to tell us that it was malignant.  After the surgery the doctor had informed my father and mother that he believed that it was cancerous, but it still had to be looked at by all the pathologists.  We were not prepared for what he did tell us though.  It was found that it did not originate in the ovaries.  It had metastasized from somewhere else. They were not 100% sure where from, but felt that it was probably the stomach.  This news was scary for multiple reasons, one of which is that my grandmother, my moms mother, died of stomach cancer when my mom was 16.  So this hit a little close to home.  So my mom started the process of setting up test to find where the cancer had originated.  Given the news Christmas plans changed for many of us.  Jason, Jodi, Eric, and Marinda bought tickets to come to Utah for Christmas. Ryan and Lex changed their plans to stay in Utah so that as many of us as possible could be here for Christmas.  The day before Christmas my mom went in to get the gastric testing and we all waited for the results. As we waited, we celebrated Christmas together as a family.We spent of time playing games, laughing, and enjoying one another.  We had a special Christmas discussion, which was emotional and touching for us all. We then enjoyed opening presents! 

Later that week after we had celebrated Christmas, my parents sat us older kids down and told us what they knew.  We had not gotten the results in, but the doctor had told my dad that from what he saw, he believed the cancer had originated in the stomach and metastasized to the ovaries.  Which made it stage 4 cancer.  For those that aren't familiar with cancer staging, it starts with stage 1 and goes to stage 4.  Stage 4 being the point where the cancer is very far along and there is not very much the doctors can do.  So we took this information in and waited for the official results.


 That came just after the new year.  It was everything we expected and prayed against.  My mother had stage 4 stomach cancer.  My father had already been working to get her in with the Huntsman Center, so she was able to see doctors there within the next couple of weeks.  The doctors there met with her and told her exactly what she was dealing with.  Finally we knew exactly the gravity of the situation we were in.  They told my mom that they did not feel like surgery was a viable option.  That it would not help to improve or prolong her life.  So her options were do nothing, in which they gave her 3 - 6 months to live, or start chemotherapy.  If she chose to do Chemotherapy, she would start and they would watch her progress.  There would be a slight chance that it would kill the cancer, but in most cases it just prolongs their life and would give her another 18 months or so.

At this point all of us wanted my mother to get a second opinion, my parents included.  My dad and my mothers brother worked with M.D. Anderson in Houston to get my mom in as quickly as possible, while my brother Jason worked with the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. My Dad also worked with a Dr. in Dallas that took more of a holistic approach.  The last week in January my mother and father took a trip to Texas that included M.D. Anderson in Houston and the Dr. in Dallas.  Unfortunately we couldn't get her in to the Mayo Clinic in time.  The news we got from M.D. Anderson wasn't much different than what Huntsman had said.  They did say they wouldn't take anything off the table.  They would start her on chemo and if by a miracle it worked wonderfully and they felt surgery would help they would proceed with surgery. The odds were not in our favor though and they didn't think that it would happen.

So after hearing what all the Dr.s had to say, including the Dr. in Dallas, my mom had to decide which path to go.


Right after all the visits to the Dr.s my mom came back and on February 3rd we got to bless Emery.  My mother had worked hard to get Emery's dress done and it was beautiful!
Grandma with Emery!

Mandi and Grandma with Emery

4 generations of Mulli

The Paynes with Mandi and Emery

Great Grandma with Mandi and Emery

All the Mulli girls

During that time we took the time to fast and pray as a family. In the end my mom that going with the holistic Dr. would be the best path for her at this time.  We felt that modern medicine wasn't offering her much. The holistic approach seemed to have the same odds of success and would offer her a better quality of life in the process.  The scary part being that they aren't promising any timeline.  Of course we are praying that my mom will be one of the success stories and we get many, many more years.

So for the last month my mother has been doing her best to understand everything she needs to about this Holistic approach, with the help of her doctor.  He has given her diet guidelines and many many different pills and remedies to take (many, many, many...many pills). This Dr. also has seen a correlation between our bodies and the health of our teeth. So my mom undertook a 7 hour session with the Dentist where he removed one of her teeth and fixed some of her other fillings and crowns where infections were found.

Overall my mom is doing pretty good right now.  She is tired a lot, and may be a little overwhelmed with all the pills to take. :)  She continues to push forward with faith.  She has enjoyed seeing family that has come to town during this time period: including Jason and Jodi with their son Willy, Shaun and Melanie with their kids Landon, Cadan, and Dallin, and Eric and Marinda will be here in April. Aunt Charlotte, Uncle Ray, Aunt Rosie, Aunt Ruby, Uncle Nephi, and other friends and family have also made it in to see her.  Aunt Charlotte was even able to stay a little over a week to help out.


We finally got some good news.  I can't remember exactly what day, but my mom did her blood test.  This is just to see where her levels are. The blood test that they use to test for my moms cancer is the CA125.  The normal range for this is considered to be 1-34.  When my mom was first tested it was 38.  In March when she was tested it was 33.4.  This was great news and gave my mom the extra boost to keep trying and continue her efforts to perfect the process.

The longer my mom has been on the new diet, the more weight she has lost.  She was getting weaker, had a hard time standing for to long, would black out when standing up.  She started struggling with her hands shaking a lot.  So she went down to the Dr. that Lex works with. One of the ladies that works there has a machine that she hooks up that tells what the body needs and can handle.  It was found that my mom was taking extra pills that she didn't need.  So my mom went off all the extra pills the Dentist gave her.  The machine also found that she wasn't handling solid food either.  So my mom started drinking her juices and her smoothies.  Talking with everybody, my mom started to count how many calories she was probably taking in a day. We believe it was somewhere close to 500-600 calories.  This would explain all the problems my mom was having. 

While at the Dr.s place my mom also got an IV that gave her some extra nutrients.  This was a great way to help my mother get some extra energy. 


The I.V. discovery was really nice for the first week of April.  This was Spring Break for my sisters.  My mom was able to go with my sisters, Ryan, and Lex to Park City.  They all enjoyed shopping at the Outlets there.  I know my sisters enjoyed all the clothes that they received. :) My mom got to shop with a wheelchair. So she was able to stay with everyone and get up when she wanted to. I was also able to go shopping with my mom and some of my sisters the next day.  Kristyn was still looking for some clothes and my mom was also in need of some new things after all the weight she has lost. 

Then at the end of the week Eric, Marinda, and our cousin Jessica came to town.  We all got to spend time together and enjoy conference. It was also Eric's birthday on Sunday.  Saturday was priesthood session.  We all went out to eat together and then the boys went to the meeting and us girls went to get our nails done.  Most of us just enjoyed some nice pedicures.  It was great spending time together and relaxing.  Grandma Mullis even came along to enjoy the ride and help watch kids.  It was a great and enjoyable evening.

Sunday we watched General Conference. It was uplifting and meaningful for all of us, specially given the circumstances.  It was nice to be together as a family, listening the the Lords prophet and apostles. That night we celebrated Eric turning another year older and wiser. We then got all the babies together to take a re-make to a classic picture.  My oldest brother had his picture taken as a baby with his cousins in a tub.  It is a picture that is famous in our family because it was duplicated and is hanging up in all four homes.  Here is it is:

So he wanted to take a picture with all of Willy's cousin around his age that were there. It was three vs four, but still turned out really cute if I do say so myself.  Emery was just a little too young so she got to sit in a bumbo. 

The last couple of weeks has been dedicated to helping my mom perfect her new diet.  She has found out that avocados and young coconuts are a great way to help her calorie intake.  So now every day has 6 glasses of juice, some avocados, along with a smoothie that has avocado and young coconut in it.  This has been a fun process learning how to get into a coconut.  Mandi is the one who is usually around to do this and has gotten to be pretty good at it. Though we are still trying to find a more productive way that may that doesn't involve a big knife being slashed down onto the coconut multiple times. :0)  I can say I have a new found respect for all those movies that show people trying to get into a coconut...yes it is that hard.

This last week has also been fun because my mothers siblings came to town to help out.  My Uncle Norman, Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Nephi, Aunt Rubie, my cousin Dustin, and Aunt Rosie all have been here helping out. They worked on my moms yard, which is pretty big and has a lot of places that were in a big need of weeding. Uncle Norman also planted some flowers for my moms front porch, and Aunt Rosie has been working hard on some spring cleaning in the house.  We are so grateful for their help and their time.  I know my mom has really enjoyed spending some time with her siblings.  We also had a little photo shoot with my kids and Emery.  My cousin Tara, Uncle Norman and Aunt Bonnie's daughter, is a photographer.  She was kind enough to take some pictures of the children while she was in town at my moms house.  Will post pictures soon. :0)

I can speak for my whole family when I say that  my mom is an amazing women that we all have been so fortunate to have in our lives.  She is such a key point in our family and we are praying for our miracle..  I will continue to keep everybody updated with any news we get on this blog, so please check in with us here. My dad and sisters will also be updating as well, so watch out for who the author is. We love you all and appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this time.  Thank you for your support.