17 November 2016

Remembering Michelle...

For those of you who were not able to attend Michelle's funeral services, we have posted the very special musical numbers and words of remembrance to this blog (see below).  These moments are special to our family and sharing them is very personal.  We know many of you understand this and will feel the joy of Michelle's life and feel closer to the Savior by watching her funeral services.

Sending love to all of you! 💛

Michelle's nieces and nephews singing

Treven Johnson (nephew) "I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me"

Kami Wilson (friend)--Spiritual Remembrance of Michelle

Gregory Dibb (brother-in-law) -- Life Sketch

14 October 2016

Check back soon

It has almost been three months since Michelle's passing. We've been taking some time to get back on our feet as a family. We hope to update this blog soon with special moments from the funeral services. Check back soon. 🌻

21 July 2016

Services: Updated

Services for Michelle Du Bois will be held at 10:00am on Monday, July 25, at the Meridian South Stake Center located at 6575 S. Eagle Road (south of Lake Hazel). The family will receive friends for a viewing Sunday evening from 6:00-8:00pm at the Meridian 5th Ward located at 2555 Stoddard Road.  Family and all interested parties will be leaving shortly following Monday’s funeral services to travel to Utah where interment will take place at the Willard Cemetery at approximately 5:00pm.  Funeral services are under the direction of Summers Funeral Home. Condolences and shared memories may be sent to the family online at http://www.summersfuneral.com/.   

20 July 2016

July 20, 2016

Michelle drew her last breath surrounded by family and friends.  She passed away July 19, 2016, less than an hour before her official 50th birthday.

We have truly felt light and love from so many of you throughout this experience.  Thank you so much for your service, your love, your prayers and your faith.

We will post details of the service when they become available.

17 July 2016


Michelle continues to decline physically and mentally.   She is getting increased medication to try to help with the pain.  At this time, we are praying for her to be comfortable and be able to rest more easily.

Because of Michelle's rapidly changing circumstances, we have decided that it's no longer in Michelle's best interest to have her 50th birthday party.

We realize many of you would love to be here on her birthday!  We also know that she knows and feels of your love and will feel that on her special day.  Thank you for your faith and prayers throughout this journey and at this time especially.

13 July 2016

Scan Results

Michelle's scan from last week wasn't what we were hoping for.  She has increased tumor growth throughout her body.  At this time, the doctor has recommended the discontinuation of the treatments since the evidence shows they aren't working.

Michelle is enjoying time with lots of family right now.  We have seen a marked deterioration in the past week.  Not sure what to attribute it to--medicine, the progression of the disease, or both.  We will be starting hospice care soon.

Thank you so much for the fasting and prayers, thoughts, and support.  Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes!  Your faith and love are so much appreciated!

With the current circumstances, we would just ask for a quick text before stopping by.  It will help us to make sure that it's an okay time for Michelle.  At this point, conversations with Michelle are quite challenging; her responsiveness is limited and varies.
Hello Friends and Family of Michelle,

We have a last minute request here.  We're creating a "Celebration of 50 Years" memory book for fabulous Michelle.  Therefore, ASAP we're hoping all of you (her friends, students, family, coworkers, school friends, church friends...) can send her a message, poems, pictures, good memories with Michelle, your love for her, whatever you want to have represent your friendship and consideration for her,  so we may add it to our book compilation to give to her on her 50th birthday JULY 20th, 2016.  It doesn't need to be lengthy if time doesn't permit.  Even a funny joke or thought.  

*Send entries no later then July 18th if you want to be added to the book before she receives it (late entries will happily be added after the bday as well)

*Please make sure to add your first and last name and how you know Michelle so that we can organize the book properly--and so she'll know who the kind messages/thoughts are from.

Okay--get to work!  Oh--and send your contribution to melindamd@gmail.com (Michelle's sister).

Thank you in advance!

06 July 2016

Quick Summer Update

Not much new to report, but I thought I would update.   Since I wrote last, I enjoyed a fun visit from the Dibb family.  We celebrated Baby B's first birthday--pinata, water fight and all!   Not much has changed for me physically; I am still struggling with a lot of pain, weakness, and lack of appetite.  But I have a great view out a new glass door of the flowers and grass and blue sky.  I am grateful for beautiful things.  I have also been enjoying the Olympic trials, artichoke hearts, and apple juice.

I have my CT scan this coming Friday, and a follow-up consultation Tuesday.  I am looking forward to getting some more information.

Please continue to pray for the guidance I will need to make decisions about my treatments this next week.  Thank you for your faith, love, and prayers.  They help me every day.

Some dear friends in Alpine, Utah organized a concert on my behalf last Friday...I put on my fancy concert attire to give everyone a smile when I Skyped in.

24 June 2016

Last Chemo Before Scan

Apparently the blood transfusion from last week did what it needed to do to qualify me for one last chemo before the next scan.  I think it went well.  It's hard to know how to measure these things.

My parents have been here with me all week, which has been terrific.  There has been less nausea and pain over the last few days too, always a bonus.

I have been the recipient of many well wishes with regard to my upcoming birthday in July.  I just wanted to share one that really made me smile.  My nephew Nicolas recreated a childhood antic where he turned himself into a cupcake.  He's so cute and funny.  I put both videos below.  The most recent one he made this week as a birthday wish for me.

I also received a fun visit from my former neighbors, who walked me out to my little garden so I could see its progress.  It was such a little thing and so fun.  It's the little things that we need to appreciate that make us smile.

 Wilson Family
My little garden!

18 June 2016


These days, Charmelicas (named for my niece and nephews Amelia, Nicolas, and Charlie who gave him to me) is sporting some fancy jewelry.  He got a new blood band Friday when I had to go to Boise St. Luke's for a blood transfusion.  My blood counts were low, which would have made it unsafe to do my typical chemotherapy.  We rescheduled the chemo for this coming Thursday.  In the meantime, I am resting and working on getting my platelet counts up!

I wasn't surprised to receive these lab numbers as I have been extremely weak and sick this past week.  I never feel great, but this has been a particularly hard week for this sick body of mine.  I continue to be amazed at the inspiration so many receive at just the right time to help me out.

Thank you for your divine guidance and your sensitive spiritual hearing.  So many of you seem to show up at just the right time with just the right thing.  Please keep praying and praying and praying for the guidance and help I need as we make treatment decisions in the near future.

11 June 2016

Downs and Ups

This week was a roller coaster ride of downs and ups.  The beginning of the week was rough.  I was dealing with a lot of pain and weakness.  I felt like my legs weren't working right, and I had the always present pain and tightness in my chest.  I was scheduled to have a paracentesis to drain the excess fluid from my abdomen on Wednesday, but I was feeling so sick on Tuesday that we cancelled.

I had a surprise up when I found out my sister Stephanie and her daughter Syvanna were coming to visit for a couple of days.  They arrived Wednesday evening.

Thursday I greeted the day with lots of throwing up, pain and weakness, which didn't go over well with my doctor at the chemo visit.  We decided to hold off on the chemo until I was in better shape.  Instead, I got IV fluids and medicine, and we adjusted my daily medicines as well.  I felt pretty good Thursday night and enjoyed the sweet visit from my sister and niece.

Friday's chemo actually went pretty well, and I have been feeling decent since then.  The new medicine regime seems to be helping too.  I had another up with the visit from the doctor this week which I can't help but attribute to the increase in fasting and prayer.  My CA-125 (cancer number) was down significantly from 2500 to 1200!  It's not time to throw a dance party, but any decrease in the CA-125 is cause to celebrate!

I continue to sleep great, and I am eating okay too.  Thank you for all your faith and fasting this past week.  Thank you for your sacrifice which I know continues to bless me.  I continue to be blessed by many wonderful people!

Left to Right:  niece Syvanna, sister Melissa, yours truly, sister Stephanie

04 June 2016

Fasting and Prayers

We'd like to invite all those in our family and friends that would like to join us in a group fast for Michelle this coming fast Sunday.  Extremely important decisions will need to be made by Michelle and her doctors at the culmination of the next series of chemo treatments at the end of this month, and we would like to petition Heavenly Father's spirit and help at this pivotal and sensitive time.  We know you have all been praying and fasting for Michelle all along.  We would just like us to bring our faith and prayers together at this time.

We love you!

Mom and Dad

01 June 2016

Breaks and Bubbles

As per my treatment cycle, I had a break from chemotherapy a week ago Thursday.  I threw up more than normal the first week, but have done better over the last five days.  My appetite has improved as well in this past week.  I'm still drinking a couple of yucky drinks per day, but it's been augmented by noodles, an occasional tuna sandwich, and lots of ginger ale.  I even ate some roast beef and mashed potato over the last few days.  And some artichoke hearts!  Yum.

A fun group of my family came to visit over Memorial Day weekend.  They wanted to run in the Boise Bubble Race in honor of Rylan and come see me and help me.  They did a great job of all of it.  As I am putting my Meridian house on the market this week, they did a fabulous job of scrubbing down the outside of the house and the fence.  They scrubbed down all the last minute cupboards and walls in preparation for the sale.  That is a good bunch of hard workers!  The last of the bunch went home yesterday.  It was so great to have family here over Memorial Day weekend.

I start another round of chemotherapy this coming Thursday.  I will do three more Thursdays, and then we will scan again to see what's going on in there.  Thank you again for all your uplifting cards, phone calls, messages, thoughts, prayers, visits....they all help me so much!  I hope you're all enjoying this glorious spring.

19 May 2016

Another Week

There's been a lot going on this week.  I've had a lot of pain, decreased mobility, and too much weakness for my liking, but my parents came up on Friday and stayed until yesterday.  I was able to go to my niece's district track meet.  It was nice to sit outside for a few hours. My parents do a good job of trying to feed me.  They must have done a decent job, because I was up over two pounds this week over last week at my chemo appointment.

I received a chemo treatment this afternoon and will now have a week off before my next one.  My friend Melodie came today from San Francisco to visit.  She will stay until Sunday.  It didn't take long to realize that Mindy had snuck some of her liquid gold into Melodie's suitcase!

I sure am getting a lot of help these days as we prepare to put my house on the market here in the next couple of weeks.  It would be impossible without the help of my sister and her husband who, with entirely full plates of their own, are also adding this project to their lives.

I continue to feel the power of so many prayers being offered in my behalf.  Thank you all so much for the help I am receiving from each of you.

10 May 2016

Family Visits

Since my visit to the hospital, I've had some wonderful family visits.  First was my sister Mindy and beautiful baby Berrett.  Although their visit was very short, I was so glad they came because they do so much to help me.  I always feel bad because I am so sick that I don't bring any fun to the party, but it's so great to have them here.  Mindy brings oranges from the orange tree in her backyard in California.  Once you squeeze them, they make a delicious liquid gold that I think could cure almost anything!

Mindy left on Thursday, and by Friday night I had the wonderful combination of my niece Jessica, as well as my sister Stephanie and her family.  I had some nice time alone with Jessica on Friday; I was so glad she could come visit from Rexburg.  I didn't feel awful on Friday night, which was nice for a change.  The Simmons were all over on Saturday, and boy did they work hard!!  They went nuts on Jeanette's yard, as well as my yard.  It was so great to see Ronald and how hard he worked and how great he looks.  I felt well enough to go outside and sit on a recliner and watch them work.  I really did have a few decent hours on Saturday.   I am so glad the Simmons and Jessica could come.

I have been pretty sick since Sunday.  I almost made it to church, but then last minute felt so yucky I just couldn't pull it off.  I'm always grateful to the priesthood boys who bring me the sacrament when I can't go.  The Simmons and I and Jeanette went to the Johnsons for a nice Mother's Day dinner.  

Monday and Tuesday, yesterday and today, I have been quite weak and have done very little.  My appetite is slightly better, and I've enjoyed a little bit of spaghetti, chili verde, and orange juice over the last few days.  I am still sleeping great, for which I am extremely grateful.   I continue to receive so much needed help as I struggle with what should be easy day to day tasks.  I am so thankful!  

I have chemotherapy again on Thursday.  I don't know if it is doing anything to help me, but I do seem to be tolerating the side effects well.  

I have been told by a few people recently that I need to tone down the smiling in my photos a little bit, because the smiling makes me look like I feel a lot better than I actually do.  I think that's a good point.  I would have to say that the smiling in the photos is exactly how I feel being surrounded by my sweet family, so there's nothing phony about those smiles, but I really don't feel good most of the time.  

Thank you for always reaching out to me and for extending the help that I need so much.  Looking forward to more friends and family coming this next week.

02 May 2016

Eventful Weekend

Well, friends, it was an eventful weekend....

Saturday morning I woke up with some unusual and severe pain.  It originated in my left hip and radiated down my leg.  My morning meds did little for it, and neither did walking, massaging, or changing positions.  By evening, I was feeling a little warm, and my temperature confirmed that I had a slight fever.  I knew that I would need to go get it checked if it spiked to 101.5, so at 101.3 we started packing for the ER.

The ER visit meant lots of questions, tests, fluids, and waiting.  By about midnight, the docs had determined that I had no new blood clots, but my bladder was distended and not emptying fully.  The solution to this involved a horrible procedure from which I will spare you the details, and the ensuing draining of 1.5 liters.

The team decided it was best to transfer me to St. Luke's downtown for additional tests and monitoring, so I got another fun ride in the paramedics van about 2 AM.  I may or may not have been so tired that I missed most of it.

I'm not going to lie -- I appreciate so much doctors, nurses, and hospital staff for their hard work and kindness -- but I just hate the hospital.  I had to stay the rest of Saturday, all of Sunday, and I was finally discharged about noon on Monday (today).  My temperature is back to normal and the pain in my leg is gone.  I am so happy to be home!  I brought home a new antibiotic to fight the infection that caused the fever.

I recognize and appreciate so much the fasting and prayers for me this weekend.   Thank you so much.

27 April 2016


Since I seem to be a genius at getting dehydrated, I am going in to the hospital a couple of times a week for fluid infusions.  They take a little over an hour, and I do think I feel better for another day or so.   I am still struggling with the throw-up piece of the puzzle and can't seem to get on top of the motion sickness.

I am curious to see what comes down the pipes next week, as I have this week off from chemotherapy.  Today was actually pretty decent, and I would love to see more of this type of day.

I'm often told about very specific prayers so many of you offer in my behalf.  They give me the faith to keep praying for miracles, because I know so many of you are still praying in that regard.  Thank you.    

 Getting my port accessed for my fluids...
 Accessed and ready to roll!
Congratulating one of the part-time workers on her new full-time job as a chaplain.  She is a wonderful lady, and I expect great things for her in her new assignment!

18 April 2016

Ultrasound Follow-up

Just a quick follow-up on the ultrasound of my kidneys...there doesn't seem to be any obstruction there.  I also seem to be tolerating this chemo better than last week.  I've only thrown up once.

I woke up this morning and was actually a little surprised that I still had cancer.  I don't know why, but every now and again I wake up thinking it's all just been a nightmare and everything will be back to normal.  No such luck!  I also woke up too late to go to church yesterday but was able to receive the sacrament from some wonderful Priests in my ward.

It was sad to say goodbye to the Dibbs yesterday.  It was so nice to have them here!

14 April 2016

Second Round of New Chemo

I didn't tolerate the first round of the new chemo very well.  I pretty much threw up everything from Thursday afternoon until Sunday night.  Fortunately, I haven't thrown up since Monday, and I've had a bit more appetite since then as well.

I had my second round of my new treatment this afternoon.  The pharmacist mixed up a new concoction for my anti-nausea pre-meds, which has been encouraging so far.  The oncologist has some minor concerns about my kidney, so I will be having an ultrasound tomorrow morning on my kidneys to rule out an obstruction.

I've been blessed with spring break visitors this week from California.  It's so nice to have them here.  I'm so thankful for all of the people who are helping me.  I receive help in ways I don't even know I need until I receive it.

08 April 2016

New Chemo

I got my first round of the new chemotherapy treatment yesterday.  I'm not quite sure why, but I ended up throwing up the whole rest of the day and more this morning.  It was baffling, because I had just received a loading dose of anti-nausea meds through my IV, and this type of chemo is supposedly well-tolerated.

I haven't thrown up again since this morning.  I was able to go on a short walk today in the most glorious spring weather.  I'll receive the same treatment once a week for the next couple of months.  Hopefully the rest of this week will level out and the drug can do what it's supposed to do.

Here are some pictures of my time with Mindy!

 I went to the temple with Melissa and Mindy...beautiful spring!

Got to spend some time with Baby B...

Went for a little walk around the block.

05 April 2016


I finished my fifteenth radiation treatment yesterday!  I wish I could say that I feel better, or that it has made a significant difference.  However, it has been a very rough couple of weeks.  I feel pretty miserable all of the time.  I finally stopped throwing up a few days ago, but I am still so weak and am in a lot of pain.

There's been no talk of another scan any time soon.  I'm getting the impression that there won't be another scan for at least two months.  I start my new chemotherapy on Thursday.  It will be once a week for at least two months.  I don't know what to expect from this new chemo.  I'm just so sick of being sick.

My sister is here from California for a few days, which is a real blessing.  Thank you for your prayers and fasting.  I am certainly in need of strength beyond my own.  Thanks for continuing to reach out to me.

I'm hoping the next blog post has better news and that I'm feeling better!

28 March 2016

More of the Same

Today I finished my tenth of fifteen radiation treatments.  I haven't recognized any difference yet, but I hear it might be a little premature for me to feel the changes.  I'm still throwing up every day, even though I'm taking a mountain of anti-nausea medication.  I feel crummy 90% of the time that I'm awake.  My radiology oncologist is quite convinced that my nausea and throwing up is directly related to the radiation.  I'm really hoping that it is, because it suggests an end in sight.

On a more exciting note, Jeanette stayed back for a few days of her spring break so she could help me, but then she needed to go to Salt Lake to spend the rest of the week with her family.  Fortunately, my sister and her daughter from Ogden came to stay with me for 2.5 days, and my parents came up for the rest of the weekend.  They are all so good to help!  It was great to have all the help and support.

I am still fortunate to be sleeping well.  I can't imagine the additional misery I would be feeling if I were awake all night.  I'm also so grateful for all of the people that are helping to get me to my radiation treatments.  It's very humbling to see how quickly I was able to fill the calendar with willing friends who are eager to help.

Thank you for all the Easter cards and well wishes!  Even though I felt too sick to go to church yesterday, I felt buoyed up on every side.

Syvanna walking me in to MSTI for my radiation treatment

23 March 2016

I've Just Been So Sick

I don't know if it's even connected to the radiation, but I have just felt so sick for the past couple of weeks.  My appetite is nonexistent.  I'm throwing up way too much, not even sure what I'm throwing up since I'm not really eating.  It's just been crazy.

I go to radiation every day.  I've posted some photos of the process.  Once they set me up and close the door, I lay there for about 10 minutes while they radiate from every angle.  It doesn't seem to have made any difference in the way that I feel on a day to day basis, except I am more nauseous and losing weight again.

It's been a discouraging couple of weeks.  The beautiful roses in the photo are from my visiting teacher.  She is a rock star, and the roses are gorgeous!

Thanks for reaching out to me.  I love to hear from you.


16 March 2016

Great Wedding Weekend...Now Radiation Begins

It was so nice to be at Michael's wedding events this weekend!  I'll admit that it was exhausting, but I was so glad that I could be there.  I could not have done it without the constant help of my family.   I've posted some photos.  I didn't spend the whole weekend in a wheelchair, just when there was a lot of walking or standing around that was going to be taking place.  Again, my family came through like superheroes.  

My radiation treatments began yesterday.  I'll have them every day until April 4 (minus the weekends).  So far, they have been pretty quick and painless.  Some people fly through radiation; others struggle.  The two I've had so far have not seemed to present any crazy side effects.  I am so grateful for all the people that are helping me and will continue to help me get to these appointments.

It's been a rough week.  The results of the CT scan last week were nothing short of a kick to the stomach on every level.  I'm still trying to figure out how to process the information.

I'm frequently asked how I'm sleeping, how's my appetite, am I experiencing nausea?  The answers are that I am sleeping great and so grateful for that blessing.  My appetite is terrible.  It's not improving at the current time.  The nausea has been off and on the past week.  I've been throwing up more, but I'm not sure where that's all coming from.  My body is pretty weak, and I have a lot of chest pain.  Apparently, it's from the growth in my chest area.

I cannot express with enough gratitude how I feel about all of the help I am receiving from so many on a daily basis.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

10 March 2016

The New Plan

I went to the hospital today to meet with the radiology oncologist.  We talked about the plan going forward.  I will start radiation treatments on Tuesday.  I will have fifteen of them; they will go until April 4.  The objective is to shrink what is currently the biggest tumor to help me be more comfortable and to slow its growth.

There are also a number of other small tumors in various locations, but we won't be able to deal with them until after all of the radiation is done.  At that time, we will attack them using a different chemotherapy than before.

The whole thing is pretty crazy.  I am not even sure what to think.  I feel like my head's been spinning for the past 24 hours.  I am continuing to pray for divine intervention.  I know this is, and always has been, entirely in the hands of God.

09 March 2016

Surprise! But Not a Complete Surprise.

I had my CT scan yesterday and met with the oncologist today to discuss the results.  Unfortunately, they aren't great.   What I thought was scar tissue, actually wasn't.  It turns out it is a big ole 7 cm tumor that's been growing like wildfire.

Super super disappointing.  I may start some radiation as soon as Monday to shrink it and help me feel more comfortable.

They will also change the type of chemo I am doing.  I'm not sure when that would start.

It's all quite concerning but definitely explains why I have felt like there's a small city sitting in my chest.

01 March 2016

Nine Down, Nine to Go

Today I reached the halfway point in my chemotherapy treatments.  Yahoo!!  It's good to be moving forward, even though I've felt pretty crummy the last few days and the scar tissue (or whatever it is) seems to have gone from bad to worse.  I haven't eaten much since last Wednesday and have lost two lbs.

The good news is that I don't feel lousy tonight, even though my appetite has not returned at all.  I'm looking forward to having a chemo break until March 15th.  I am getting a CT Scan next Tuesday with a result consultation with my oncologist on Wednesday.  Event though my CA 125 numbers are looking better, it will be helpful to have pictures of what is going on inside me.

During my chemo time off, I am also looking forward to a short trip to Utah to see my youngest brother get married in the Manti Temple.  When I go on little vacations these days, I always wish I could be in perfect health for just a few days so that I can fully enjoy everything that is taking place around me.

For now, I am grateful that I can go at all and for all the help my family gives me throughout the weekend.  I know it's not fun for them either!

Thank you for continuing to reach out to me.  Thank you for all  your faith and faithfulness and your prayers in my behalf.

24 February 2016

Good Stuff

I started another round of chemotherapy treatments yesterday.  The good news yesterday was that I had gained 1.3 pounds in the thirteen days since my last treatment!  I know that doesn't sound like much, but for someone who was consistently losing 8 to 10 pounds between treatments back in the fall, anything that is stable or higher is really good news.

Today I had my IP chemo.  We call it the "rotisserie chicken chemo" because I have to rotate on the hospital bed after my peritoneal cavity is filled with the cisplatin.  The best news of all was that my CA 125, which is the tumor marker and cancer antigen indicator, was down another 200 points -- from 545 to 336!  I would have been perfectly happy with something in the 400's, nervous that it may have gone up, and DELIGHTED when I saw 336 on my lab report!  I am still shooting for something in the 30's, but I am thrilled at the downward trend we are seeing.

So many of you have reached out and told me that you are praying that the chemo will do what it's supposed to do.  We can truly thank the Lord that, at least for the time being, it seems to be.  Thank you so much for your faith and prayers in my behalf.

I know that some of you have also expressed that you are praying for my appetite.  I hope you can appreciate the photos below.  After my IV chemo yesterday, I went out for Mexican food and ate a decent amount.  Tonight, after my IP chemo, I thought I wanted Mexican again, so we headed for a restaurant called Jalapeno's.  On the way, I decided I wanted ravioli at Olive Garden.  Then just before we got there, I decided I wanted crab at Red Lobster.  I ate a full pound of Red Lobster snow crab and loved every bite!  I hope I don't throw up seafood when the special pre-meds start wearing off, because I know I would never eat crab again.  Since I am jacked up on pre-meds for anti-nausea and energy and hydration, I realize that I am artificially feeling well right now, and I'm not sure what to expect when it all wears off.

Thank you for all that you do for me!  I don't take any of it for granted.