Sunday, September 20, 2009

Live, Love Give

Live, Love, Give was an amazing event last Saturday night held by a family who generously opened their beautiful home in Newport Coast to help raise money for CHOC Neuroscience. Kelly was happy to be able to speak about her experiences with CHOC.

Kelly with her neurosurgeon, Dr. Muhonen.
The photo below shows the dance floor and stage in the background.

Kelly and Shannon being entertained by a magician

Kelly with one of her roommates from CHOC. Lindsey is another brain tumor patient.
Kevin enjoying the sunset with Kelly and Shannon looking out over the ocean

Last week, Kelly was visited by the biggest therapy dog I have ever seen. This is Kelly with Shera, an English Mastiff.
These therapy dogs help bring a smile to Kelly's face when she is in the hospital. Shera's owner said he has never seen Shera take to anyone like she did to Kelly. She tried to get in bed with her, (like Kelly wanted her to) but she was bigger than the bed.

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Website for Kelly

We have started a new website for Kelly.  This blog has been great, but I can't update it from the hospital, and that is when I want to update the most.  Kelly was admitted to the hospital Tuesday with a fever.  She had chemo last night, but the fever spiked again this afternoon, so she isn't coming home yet.  She also tested postitive for influenza A.  She is just miserable today.  I just came home to see Megan's Musical, and get some more clean clothes and pjs for Kelly.  I am headed back to CHOC now.

If you log onto her new website, you will automatically get email notifications everytime we update.  I have been having trouble with my group emails, so now that will be taken care of!  I can also update that website from the hospital.  The first time you go to the new website, you will need to enter your email address and create your own password,  If you click remember me, you won't to keep logging on, the link will take you right to Kelly's page.  For those of you familiar with carepages, her page is KellyLaude.  

Here is the link to her new website:
You can also go to    After you sign it, type KellyLaude  in the box for visit.I If anyone has any questions or has a problem getting on the first time, just email me. 

Thanks for your support of Kelly!  We can't tell you how much we appreciate it!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Thank you so much to everyone who left nice comments for Kelly here after our last post.  They really helped her (and me!) over a rough patch. (Actually, we love the comments any time.) Not that IV hydration is such a major deal, but Kelly was really upset about having to have medical procedures done to her in our home.  She did get adjusted to it and was OK with it after we got her started. OK, the Borders bribe was really what made her accept it!  She was looking forward to helping with the CHOC Gala Saturday night, and since she was feeling better, I unhooked her from her hydration bag, leaving the IV in her hand so we could hook her back up when she got home.   The Gala was at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.  Kelly was a greeter as the guests arrived.   Luckily, another family that was speaking at the event had two extra tickets and asked if Kelly and I would like to use them.  Thanks so much Erin!  We really enjoyed it.  So we got to stay and attend the Gala.  Erin's daughter, Sammy, has also been an oncology patient at CHOC and was presenting an award and giving a speech that night.  Sammy is doing great now.  She has been in remission for a year and a half!  It is always encouraging to hear good stories like hers.  Cheyenne and her mom were also at our table.  Below is a pictures of Sammy, Cheyenne and Kelly.  Cheyenne also presented an award.

Kelly was  happy to see her neurosurgeon, Dr. Muhonon, at the Gala.  
She also got to meet his daughters, who are her age.

We were happy to see Cathy, who works for the CHOC Foundation.  She is one of the people at CHOC we are so glad we have had the chance to get to know.

This is Lisa, who also works at the CHOC Foundation, and Virginia, Cheyenne's mom.  After the girls went to bed, the adults stayed downstairs for some fun.  Too bad I had to drive, so I was just the photographer!  The bottles are ice and the martinis would be poured through them.  

Kelly did get tired pretty easily that night.  It was her first time off the couch after 3 days!  So after dinner, she and Cheyenne went upstairs and went to bed. Cheyenne and her mom had a room for the night because they live far from Newport Beach.  By the time I came up to get her, she was sound asleep, so she spent the night at the hotel and I picked her up in the morning. Thanks for having her stay Virginia!  You can see Kelly's hand with the IV in it still!  I did have to hook her back up when she got home in the morning.

Kelly is doing much better now and is planning on going to school tomorrow.  We actually spent the afternoon at Disneyland today (IV free!) since all the girls were off school today.  Thanks so much for all the prayers and good wishes for Kelly.  

Kevin is traveling to Colorado Springs today for the rest of the week.  I'm glad it's not a chemo week!  Megan is the one whose schedule we are juggling right now.  She is in Physical therapy for her ankle, plus she is beginning rehearsals for Singin' In the Rain, which she is very excited about, plus her normal dance classes and homework.  (That darn homework) I really have to thank the Schultes for helping get her to dance when I am driving Megan and Kelly to where they need to be with CHOC and physical therapy appointments.  You don't know how much you have helped us out, Misty!  Thank you so much for always being there for Shannon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Hospital comes Home

Kelly spent a long day in the Infusion Center for chemo yesterday.  We tried to keep her a little longer to run her IV hydration for an extra hour or so since she was getting so sick.  But it just continued when we got home and through the night.  Thanks to our little nurse Shannon for taking care of Kelly last night and changing her buckets!  She is so sweet and helpful to Kelly when she is not feeling well.   Kelly's case manager from CHOC called this morning to check on her, since they were worried about her when we left last night.  Since she still couldn't keep anything down,  her doctor ordered home IV hydration.  We thought this would be nicer for her so she could stay home and not have to go back to the hospital.  But she was really upset when I told her what was going to happen.  She really looks at home as her refuge from medical procedures and treatments and the thought of the hospital coming to her was really hard for her.  I finally got her to agree to it, but it is going to take a trip to Borders where she can pick out any book she wants.  Whatever it takes!  It is actually kind of nice to think that I can bribe her with books.  Not what most 16 year old girls would want so much.

So this afternoon a home nurse came to our house and started an IV for Kelly.  She will have 12 hours of hydration for the next three nights.  Hopefully this will help her feel better for the next few days and she'll make it to school more next week. She wants to try to go to school tomorrow. We'll see in the morning.  Plus she'll still have the IV in her hand.  I can disconnect her, but the IV will be in until Sunday. She didn't want her port accessed because she can taste saline and heparin flushes in her port and that makes her sick.   She would really appreciate any notes in the comments!  This has been a hard couple days for her.

Megan is finishing finals tomorrow, which she will be very happy about.  She was also really excited to find out this week that she was cast in her high school's musical, Singing In The Rain, which will be the first two weekends in May.  She is thrilled to be able to dance in such a fun show.  Kelly will also be involved in the show as she will be working be in the crew!  This should be a fun way for her to be involved with something at their high school.  Anything that helps her feel like a normal teenager is a good thing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good News!

Kelly had her MRI today.  We went to Dr. Muhonen's office right afterward and looked at the the scans with him.  The scans look good - just like the last one.  There is no highlighting in the area where the tumor was.  He was very happy with the results.  There is a small area of enhancement, but it has always been there and Dr. Muhonen is not concerned with it.  It is possibly post op changes.   So we are very relieved tonight! Especially since she has had headaches this week, which is very unusual for her.  I think she is just fighting off a virus - she is taking a nap right now!  It was nice to see you today Erin!

Kelly was asked to attend the CHOC Gala in Newport Beach later this month as a greeter.  This is a big fundraiser for CHOC, and since it is all about the kids, they asked some patients to come and be greeters for the guests.  

Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers for Kelly.  We appreciate it so much and the power of prayer is so evident in her.  We are so blessed.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, we are back home and back to our normal routines again.  If you can call our life normal! It was hard to come back to school, work, and doctor appts. and treatments after such a great vacation.  But we are moving on, and hoping for a good 2009.  Kelly did have chemo yesterday.  The good news is that she slept through most of it and didn't get sick at all.  The bad news is that ever since she got home last night she can't keep anything down, and is feeling miserable today. Hopefully she'll have a better tomorrow.  She has an MRI next Wednesday, the 14th.  We are praying for her continue to beat the odds with her clear scans. But the fact is, she is beating the odds because no one expected her to be doing as well as she is right now. It is very unusual for her type of tumor.  So it is very nerve wracking anticipating this MRI, especially since we have seen so many other kids getting bad news lately. Too many families have lost their little ones in the last few weeks. It really reminds of us of the reality of childhood cancer.

I have a few more photos from last week in Oregon.  (Was that just last week?) I am working on putting many of the pictures from our trip on a webpage. As soon as I am finished, I will post a link.   We took a beautiful drive through the Columbia River Gorge, just outside of Portland.  The first place we stopped was the View Point Inn.  The girls really wanted to stop here because the prom scene from Twilight was filmed there. Remember what a big fan of the Twilight Books Kelly is.  Megan, Emily and Jake are very interested in the books too. It was such a scenic spot with wonderful views and a really pretty restaurant. Here is Kelly along their Twilight Walk of Fame.  There are bricks with all the actors names on them.

This is the restaurant at the View Point Inn (where the prom was held for the movie,)  It was so pretty with all the Christmas decorations.  There were pictures in the lobby of the filming.

We kept driving and stopped at a few of the waterfalls along the drive.  This is part of Multnomah Falls with a  lodge in front of it.  We had lunch here.  It was just beautiful.

We brought the dogs, who became quite soggy, but they really liked playing in the snow that was still there.   The water is all mist from the waterfalls.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year and a good 2009 full of hope.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Special Friends

Our Christmas vacation in Portland has continued to be wonderful.  We have had some special times the last couple days.  I'll start with yesterday.  We went to visit the Radford family across the river in Washington!  Kasey has the same tumor as Kelly, and his mom, Amy, and I have talked to each other a lot online and we finally got to meet them yesterday.  Here are Kelly and Kasey.  They had fun playing Wii together with Kasey's brother, Colby, and Kelly's cousin, Jake, that came with us.  Kasey's birthday is Thursday.  If anyone wants to wish him Happy Birthday, his website is

Kasey and his mom,  Amy.  It was so nice to be able to finally be able to talk to Amy in person!  Kasey taught us his dice game.  He was so cute and really was fun to talk to yesterday. He showed us his special scrapbook too.

Kasey, Amy, Colby, Tracy, me, Jake and Kelly

On Sunday night, our we were happy to see our friends, the Diemers, again.  The Diemers lived in California until last August and have moved back home to Portland.  We met them at CHOC, and if you have been following this website, you may remember Chloe, another oncology patient. They did Relay for Life with us last April.  We miss them, so it was great to see them again! They invited us to a Christmas concert at their church, then we went out after the concert for dessert and coffee at Papa Haydns in downtown Portland.  It was a wonderful night with good music, delicious desserts and great friends and family. 

The Diemer's church put on an amazing concert with an orchestra and choir.

Here are all the kids at Papa Haydns.  In the front are Chloe, Shannon, Hannah, Ashley  and Emily. Behind them are Jake, Megan and Kelly.

Today, we went to David Hill Winery in Forest Grove, Oregon.  It was beautiful and there was still some snow there.  While the adults tasted wine, most of the kids made a snowman outside.

The house above is where the tasting room is, and the photo below is a view of the house from the hill behind it. It was such a beautiful setting.
Wow, so many wines to try ~  Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!

Happy Birthday to Kevin's mom, Nancy Laude! 
Her birthday is today.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Portland Holidays

We have had a wonderful Christmas here in Portland.  I finally uploaded some photos from Christmas.  We are so thankful that Kelly was feeling good this year and was able to enjoy herself.  It did snow one more time on Christmas Day, which was beautiful.  It was such a treat for us since we never have that at home.

Shannon, Emily and Kelly in their new pajamas.  It is a tradition on receive new pajamas on Christmas Eve.  

Megan and Emily opening gifts

Of course we couldn't forget the dogs.  Oreo is Murphy's dog cousin - they are so cute together.  They even opened presents together.  They are quite a team.  Murphy is wearing a new Christmas sweater.

Jake and Shannon handing out stockings.  

Later in the afternoon, Emily and Kelly played Christmas carols on the piano.

The kids (including Kevin) had a great time making a snowman.  Shannon made her own little snowman. We learned that Murphy really hates the rain, but loves the snow.  He had a great time out there too.

Here are both families at a favorite restaurant the day after Christmas.  We always go to this restaurant, Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, when we visit Tracy and Tom.  

The snow has melted here and it is green again, but that also means the roads are clear also.  We had a really nice night last night, but I haven't uploaded any of the pictures yet.  So I will make a separate post about yesterday when I get some photos ready. 

We feel so blessed that Kelly is doing so well this Christmas.  We pray for all the families with cancer warriors who are fighting this horrible disease. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A White Christmas

We arrived safely in Portland last night.  We had to stop in Salem and put chains on because it was snowing so much and the roads were full of snow.  After a couple of hours of very slow driving and noisy chains, we finally made it.  It is so good to be here at last.  The girls are so happy to be with their cousins.  All the kids are all having fun playing in the snow together.  This is the most snow Portland has had in many, many years.  It is beautiful!

Here are the girls playing with their cousins, Emily and Jake, in their front yard.  They also walked to a park and went sledding today.

Kelly making snow angels.

Snow and ice everywhere in Tracy's yard.  Our girls have never had a white Christmas before so this is a special treat.  (Now that we are done driving through it!) It is supposed to snow tomorrow again.

Kelly is thrilled to be this far away from her hospital and doctors.  Last year she had to have chemo on Christmas Eve and was miserable on Christmas too.  This year I promised her we would avoid chemo anywhere near Christmas.  She feels good and is enjoying being here with her cousins.  We are all so grateful to be together here with Kelly feeling as well as she does.
 We are looking forward to a cozy Christmas Eve tomorrow, even if we are snowed in! 

I am having problems sending out my group emails when I update this website,  I am sorry if I am missing anyone.  I am working on a better way to let people know when we update!