Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This will now be the 4th time that I have tried to update this blog. It has been difficult to write and I am sorry that its taken so long. I took Shelley back to the hospital on Friday November 7. She had not been able to keep any food down for at least 10 days. They administered a drug through her port as soon as we arrived(that's the line that they had put in 4 weeks earlier that pretty much goes straight to her heart). This quickly put her at ease and she gradually began to stop vomiting. The doctor thought it would be a good idea to run another MRI and CT scan to see how things were progressing. By Sat night November 8 Shelley began to lose her sight and speech. She was so frustrated, she wanted to talk but was unable to say anything which made her cry. It took us most of the day on Sunday to finally figure out which drugs were the most effective to keep her calm. It was difficult to see how frustrated she was and sorry to all the visitors that had to be turned away at the hospital. She had lost her speech from Saturday to Wednesday. On Wednesday morning the doctor came in to give me the news from the MRI and CT scan. He found that the chemo had no effect. The spots that he previously saw on her liver had now fully engulfed it not counting the other areas. He said that this type of cancer moves very fast. It also effects the blood which causes it to clot. This is what was causing the nausea, blindness and no speech. Other than the cancer that her body is fighting she has had multiple blood clots to the brain which is causing mini strokes. The news was hard for me to swallow when the doctor informed me that there would be nothing else that he could do and gave Shelley up 5 weeks to live. He gave me a prescription for Hospice of Arizona so that they could come into our home and help Shelley stay comfortable and without pain. After informing Shelley of the news we cried for a good half hour straight. We took her back home that day Wednesday November 12. Haley's sister, Jenny Gray works for Hospice and was there that evening. I wish that I could fix this, more than anything. I wish that I could take her place, but as our Stake President Matt Riggs(our church leader) said to us "the Lord knows that she is ready and Mike your not". He's right. I have been truly amazed at the many life's that Shelley has touched, church, school, community, my work etc. We have been helping her stay comfortable. She wanted to see Lincoln's last football game on Thursday November 13. Coach Campbell let the whole family sit at the end of the end zone and she was able to hear Lincoln's name over the intercom when he made a tackle. She could only muster enough strength to stay for the first half. Coach Beal also invited Shelley to watch Colter's game at Higley on Friday but 2 days in a row was just to much for her. After the game the booster club,( Moms Unite) Coach, and the team met at the end zone and presented us with a donation. Shelley loves Higley football and enjoyed being part of Moms unite in years past. As I stood with Taylor, Lincoln and Colter it was very emotional. Colter just took off his shoulder pads laid down on the field and cried, last game of high school football, a loss, and mom. I don't blame him a bit. With that by Friday Shelley's speech was back up to 60%. I thought that it would be good for Gannon (our 19 year old on a mission for our church in Dominican Republic) to talk to his mother one last time before she passes. He called on Saturday and after much tears from the news he talked to Shelley. Our whole family knelt beside the bed as they talked. It was a very tender moment and we all wished that we could put our arms around Gannon. I guess in a way we did. All of us held Shelley for most of the night Saturday as her breathing became labored. Shauna Tucker (step sister-in-law and friend) had called me earlier that day and asked me if she could come over on Sunday and video tape Shelley giving some messages for the kids later in life. I called her Sunday morning and left her a message that she was welcome to come over but she no longer had her speech. I took the kids to church and when she got here she knelt down with Haley and Britney and asked the Lord to allow Shelley some more time to record some messages to her children. The Lord answered their prayer and Shelley was able to record several hours over the next 2 days. Shauna told me that Shelley said that she would be ready to go when she was done recording, I figure lets just keep her recording. I have wanted to stay with Shelley as much as I can. On Monday night November 17 Sam Flemming and friends held a benefit concert at the Higley performing arts center. The place was packed and I have heard that the performance was amazing. Shelley cried when I told her how many people attended. Brother Flemming thanks. The night of song, music, and laughs has made such a difference. Thanks to everyone that attended. Thanks also for the many that have kept Shelley in your prayers, I know that it has made a difference. We all want her to be healed but I now see that the Lord has another purpose for her.


Mama's Mob said...

Michael and Shelley, we love you. Our prayers are with you and your family. There are no words for times like this, just know that we love you and we too know that our Father in Heaven does have a plan. Thank you for sharing your tears and your joys with us. You both set such an example of love and courage - even at your most difficult moments, you are still lifting and teaching those around you. Shelley, what a legacy you will leave for your family! We love you. Jeff, DeAnn and Brittany Lindblom

Karen said...

Wow, it doesn't even seem real. My heart just aches for you and your family! I wish things could be different and that life didn't have to be so hard. I am so glad I've had the chance to know shelly and your neat family. Our hearts and payers are still with you. We love you guys and hope you can feel the comforting power of Heavenly Father's love. STINKING CANCER! Love you all so much! The Kendalls

Randall Bunch said...

Dear Conway Family-
As I read this blog my heart is so full of sadness. I wish I could take it away too! I want you to know how much I appreciate your family and the love you have given to so many including my family. Shelley I want you to know how much I love you and also how much you teach and continue to teach me everyday! Our Heavenly Father loves you so much and your sweet family too! May you feel of his love during this hard time. Mike, thank you so much for sharing these tender moments with us. You are truely amazing. We love you all!
Love Becky Randall

TheShumWAYS said...

Can I just say dito to the other words. We are truely sorry for this trial you are all having to endure. We love you and will continue to pray for you all! Thank goodness for the knowledge of the gospel and the righteous lives you have led so that you can be an eternal family. Shelly is a fantastic mother and I will always remember the little things she taught me and how she inspired me as a young mother. We love you,
Jeff and Mary Shumway and fam

Anonymous said...

Uncle Mike, Aunt Shelley, and cousins. You have been in our prayers constantly. You guys have been a great influence on us. We will continue to pray for you and know that the Lord has great blessings for you and that He loves you. I feel his love for you every time I mention your family in my prayers. I pray that all of you feel it too. We love you very much and are willing to help whenever and wherever needed. Thank you all for the friends that you have been and are to us Stevens. We love you guys.

Tyson Stevens

Aussie Sue said...

We love you guys - thanks for making a difference in our lives.....our prayers are with you still ♥♥♥

Wallace's said...

Mike, Shelley and Family,

We love you so much and our hearts are sad for you at this time. All though we are so grateful for the knowledge that we have about families. Shelley has always been so beautiful and so inspiring with her words. I have learned many things from her in the 15 years we have known your family. Mike, I can only imagine how hard it has been for you to think of writing all of what it going on. I have shed many tears just reading it. May our Heavenly Father watch over your family during this time. May Shelley only have to endure a little pain and may it be a time for your family to feel of the spirits on the other side that are there to give support to your family right now. They love you and we love you. Please give Shelley a BIG hug for us and tell her how much we love her. We are so thankful that you are surrounded by so many people that love you.

We love you,

Mike, Debbie and Family

Bradshaw Family said...

I have been reading this blog for a while now, and have wanted to leave a comment, but never have. Ever since I heard the news about Shelley, she has been in my prayers. This post was really hard to read. I was so hoping that she would get better. Thank goodness for the gospel and our knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan. I know that I wasn't a close friend to Shelley, but the time that we had while we were in the ward together, and seeing her around the school she has always been so friendly and had a smile. I also look up to her as a mother. Seeing her around her kids she seems like she has a good relationship with them and is pretty easy going, and has fun with them. I remember the time when my daughter was in Brigg's class in school a couple of years ago, and they were doing a talent show, and Brigg's talent was arm farts. (I hope that's okay to say that) :) Shelley was just smiling about it. Know that your family will continue to be in our prayers. We love you!

The Bradshaw's

Britt said...

I have hesitated to write something......my heart aches and my eyes cry with having to say goodbye for now. I love you Shelley and am so glad for having the opportunity to know you. I think of the first time I met you at that basketball game cheering your son on. (6years ago). Thru the years I have seen how you have supported your children, loved the young women in our stake and have always stayed true to your values and beliefs. The lord has blessed us with you having crossed all our paths. I am sure when you see the Savior you will get straight A's on that report card for the great things you have done here.
Love and Aloha, Britt Booher and Family

Sgt. K said...

I knew when you did not write that things were not going well. We love your family so much and are happy for the wonderful memories we have had together. We know in our small way what it is like to go through something like this. Thank goodness for the gospel...even with our knowledge, it is the most difficult time ever. Our prayers are with every one of you. We would do anything for you - night or day! Please don't be afraid to let us know if we can help in any way. Don't let this shake your testimonies. Let it be the biggest part of them. We all need to endure stay on the right course and we will be given those wonderful blessings of eternal families. You have been a blessing to many people. you continue to be amazing. We love you! The Koozer's

Kristi said...

Shelley & Michael,
I'm so sad to hear this devastating news, and so, so sad for you and your family. You've fought a good fight Shelley, and you've shown such courage, strength, and grace through this battle!! You found a way to smile for every photo and made it easy for those around you, through all the pain, misery and heartache you must be enduring. You are, as always, someone we all wish we could be more like. I have many treasured memories of the times we spent together. You & Terrie & I were the Three Muskateers! (I think she deserted us for some boy!...and left us...Busted!) And living with you and your parents at the end of high school was a special time for me. I thank you for being so open-minded and nonjudgemental. It's a lesson I try to carry with me. I hope you know what an impact you've had on my life, as it sounds like you've had on so many others as well. Your laughter will be imprinted in my mind forever, and it brightens my day to remember it. Thank you Shelley for brightening my life!
Love, Hugs, and Peace to you!
kristi kilger pulliam

Jeanette said...

Michael and Shelley,

One of my favorite quotes from Joseph F. Smith states:
"I believe they (from the spirit world) do have the privilege of looking down upon us...I believe they are as deeply interested in our welfare today, if now with greater capacity, with far more interest, behind the veil, than they were in the flesh.”

I love how he tells us that we will have a greater capacity to care for our loved ones from the spirit world. As a mother I know that what we care about the very most is being there for our children. Shelley I know that you are a very involved loving mother and my heart aches at the anguish you must feel at having to leave your children at this time, but I want to tell you that I know that President Smith’s words are true. I know because I have had the privilege of feeling my dad’s spirit with me on several occasions. I have heard his words and I have felt his love. He is still very much aware and involved in my well-being.

When we first moved away I slipped into a depression that nearly did me in. My dad wanted to help me but I was in too dark of a place to hear him. So he visited my brother in a dream with a message for me. My brother woke at 3 am and couldn’t rest until he emailed me the message. That message contained advice for things that I was struggling with, things that I had not told another living soul about.
Shelley, I know that you will still be a mother to your children only with a greater capacity to help them through the trying times ahead.
I am so grateful that I was able to call you my neighbor and my friend. You have blessed my life in so many ways and I want to thank you for that. My prayers are continually with you and your wonderful family. May the power of our Savior’s atonement bring peace and comfort to you all.

Jeanette Shumway

Paula said...

Mike and Shelley, my heart is aching for you and your beautiful family. My heart is also full of love and gratitude for the blessing of having you in my life for so long. Without even trying, you have been an example of motherhood and a listening ear for me as I mother my own children. We have laughed together and cried together and I wish I could take some of your pain from you. We love having your boys in our home and in our lives and I will always be here for anything they need. I love you so much, my friend and I know our Heavenly Father loves you far beyond what we can imagine. I know He has a beautiful place prepared for you and I know His hand will be over your family and He will care for them as you always have. Love you Shelley!---Your friend, Paula

Ann said...

Mike and Shelly,
I don't want to intrude, but I had to write and express my gratitude for having known you both. I told Karl everytime we talked at conventions or meetings or where ever we would run into each other, you were both so kind and sincere. I enjoyed going on trips and seeing you there and enjoying our short visits. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family. I can tell He loves you and knows your stregnth. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Lots of Love,

Karl and Ann Webster

Aurélie AKA Frenchie said...

What to say ? I don't know what is appropriate in this situation. So I'm just going to express you my sincer and true love for you, you made my year amasing, I can't tell you how much I'm devasteted by what's happening. I LOVE you very much.

Anonymous said...

you are all amazing. your family, your story, your life has touched our family so deeply. we will always remember it and strive to be a little better, more gentle, more caring, more tender, and just appreciate life more, because of it. we love you! ! ~Corry & Heather Johnson

Anonymous said...

Mike and Shelly,
Words cannot express what I and the rest of my family are feeling right now. I don't post often because I just don't know what to say, but I want you both to know that we have followed this blog religiously, and you and your family are in our prayers daily. I find myself saying constantly..."IT isn't fair!" but then I catch myself and I realize that Shelly must be too special to remain here. The Lord DOES have a plan for her and we must constantly remind ourselves of it. I just got an email from Chase and he is heartbroken. I hesitate to keep him fully informed because I don't want him to suffer, but I felt he needed to know. He says he loves Shelly dearly and wants you all to know that she and the family are in his prayers and constantly in his thoughts.
Shelly, you are beautiful, and what stands out the most in my memory is your beautiful smile. You are a special daughter of our Father and you have accomplished so much during your time on earth. 8 beautiful children and a loving husband that will carry you in their hearts forever. Carry on my sister until we meet again. You are loved by so many!
Lynette Speroni and Family

Jeriann said...

To Mike and family,
Please know that you are in our prayers. Please express my love to dear Shelley. She served as my counselor in RS and I have been forever grateful to her for a particular lesson that she taught me (in an incredibly simple way) about the value of life. Thank you Shelley, that lesson alone has made a difference in my life.

joycelemieux said...

Mike, Shelley & Family:
We've put off sending you a message - but we can't prolong it any longer. You guys have been such great examples and friends to us - and we're grateful for that! We wish we could take away all the pain and confusion that goes along with what you're going through. Please know how much we love you, and that you're in our thoughts and prayers daily. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help - we'd love to do that!
We love you,
Duane & Joyce Lemieux & Family

marisa ann said...

sister conway...
i just want you to know you are one of my favorite people, and not just becuase your lincolns mom! i bet you dont even know why! i remember it was my first year at girls camp and i was on the verge of tears i missed my family especially my mom soooo much and it was a day before my birthday and i didnt really want to celabrate it at camp... and kirsten was at the age where she didnt want to be seen with her little cousin. then every one started playing that cup game and i was watching and i remember you asked if i wanted to play to and you got me a cup and sat next to me and let me play with all of you ycl's and leaders!(i felt really cool and welcome) and then when we both got out you still stood by me and talked with me and suddenly i was having fun! and you reminded me of my mom and i really am so glad you were there that year because i really dont know if i would have ended up liking girls camp with out you there and i remeber for the rest of that week when ever i said hi to you, you didnt just say hi but you made me feel important you would say "hi marisa how are you? how are you liking camp? so thank you! and i just want you to know how much every one loves you i pray and fast for you and your family all the time. and i know you must be an amazing mom becuase all your kids love you so much you can tell by how they talk about you! i was sitting behind your family at the regional stake confrence and when your husband walked in all the kids asked "is mom okay, is she up?" and it made me smile and get a little teary and i hope when i am older my kids will have that same love for me! i love you soooo much and just wanted to let you know why. sorry for writing so much! but i will continue to pray for your family :)
marisa ann cluff

MDR said...

Mike and Shelley ~

It was so nice to meet both of you and spend time with you last week. Dan has told me so much about you both. Seeing the love that you two share was an amazing gift to both of us. Thank you for the memories you have given us and the goal of having a marriage like yours. Your strength during this time is a testiment to us all. Thank for your courage and to supporting us all while you go through this time. I wish things could be different, that there was more time to get to know you and your family. We love you both. Please let us know if you need anything. We would love to help. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Misty & Dan Poland(Kris, Zac, & Ben)

Rachel and Jared Lautenschlager said...

Dear Conways,

Jared and I found this blog a few weeks ago,and our hearts and prayers go out to you. I (Rachel) can understand the pain of losing someone you love so much as I lost my dad very suddenly 3 years ago. Something that comforted me was a quote-I can't remember who said it or the exact words. But it said something along the lines of: No righteous man (or woman) is taken before his or her time. I believe that with all my heart in the case of my dad, and I believe that with all my heart in the case of Shelley. Our prayers are with you and much love to your family.

Rachel and Jared Lautenschlager

k.wormell said...

Michael & Shelley,
Our family is constantly thinking of you and our hearts ache for you during this difficult time. Words cannot help ease the pain, but we hope that knowing many love you and many are praying for you and your family will bring you peace. We so appreciate you keeping us posted inspite of all that is going on. Hospice is wonderful. They offer such compassion, comfort, and help. They helped my mom in her last days to be painfree and are invaluable emotional support. How grateful I am to have gotten to know Shelley through the missionary mom network.
David, Karen, Sara & Cory Wormell

sassymidwife said...

Michael and family, I just heard from Dick and Debbie that Shelley has passed. I am so sorry for your loss. Words cannot express and tears cannot show what I feel and how you must feel right now. The loss of a wife is great and the loss of a mother is tremendous. I have two brothers-in-law whose mother's died when they were young. The children will need all of the love that you can give them.
Your children are blessed to have such a wonderful father and community around them.
I know that we are far, but if you need anything for your children when in Utah please call us. Dick and Debbie have our numbers.
I will miss Shelley, she came to our house in Orem and told me all about her mother when she was a midwife. She was excited that I was following her mother's path. I hope to be as good a person as Shelley was.
Chris and Heather Shelley