Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

May 28th 2009

Paradise, CA Memorial Service

Just a quick update with all the info about this weekend’s memorial service in Paradise.

Monica (Lepper) Rodriguez Memorial Service
Paradise Alliance Church
6491 Clark Rd.
Paradise, CA  95969

We always liked saying we were “married in Paradise”.  We had a pretty big wedding with about 400 guests.  Since most of them were from the Paradise area, I’m glad that many of those same people will have the chance to share in a memorial celebration of Monica’s life and legacy.

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May 15th 2009

A gift to Kai

Sol gave me permission to share this idea with you.  My name is Bethany and I am a college friend of Monica’s.  I would love to create a memory book for Kai of his wonderful mother.  At the memorial service you will be handed an envelope with a paper inside.  Please write a memory of Monica to Kai.  If you would like to send a photo please do so and mail it to the address on the envelope.  Another friend, Susan, and I will compile the book for Kai.  Hopefully this will meet a need in Kai’s life to know his mother and all the wonderful attributes she possessed.  Please share specific events or special moments how Monica touched your life.  If you are unable to come to the memorial service, but would like to contribute to the book, please send your memory on 8.5 x 11 inch paper to Bethany Ancina 660 Bluerock Rd., Gardnerville, NV 89460.  Susan and I will compile the book at the end of June.

A friend of Monica’s,



May 12th 2009

Quick Note About Visitors and Kai

First of all, thank you to everyone for a year and a half of prayers and support.  I truly believe in my heart, that you helped sustain Monica.  Angiosarcoma has a typical prognosis of not more than around 6 months, so Monica was the exception to the rule due to her incredible strength and will, and due to your prayers and support.

We definitely would love to share memories with visitors, but my main goal for today is getting information about how to talk to Kai.  At this point, he is unaware that Mommy is gone.  I know Monica is in heaven because I know her faith and service for Christ were unparalleled; that gives me great comfort.  However, the one thing I have been agonizing over is how to talk to Kai about it.  He is so young, and I fear for his fragile little heart.

Therefore, I am asking visitors to refrain from coming over today until I can speak with a few counselors about how to best talk to Kai.  I want to be informed about different methods.  I don’t want to shoot from the hip and potentially do more damage than need be.  Having people over might not give me the opportunity to talk to him before he figures something out

Thanks for your understanding.  If you would like to visit tomorrow, or any other time, we would appreciate it.


May 11th 2009


Monica is in Glory and no more pain.  We will always love her.


May 10th 2009

Monica is on her way to the hospital

Hello.  This is Monica’s sister, Karen.  I just wanted to post a quick note to let you all know that Monica is on her way to the hospital.  Her breathing had become very labored so as a precaution we called an ambulance to have them check her out and transport her to the hospital if they thought it was necessary.  They felt that it would be a good idea considering her current condition.  She is still in a lot of pain, and in addition is experiencing a lot of discomfort due to swelling.  We will update as best and as often as we can.  We will send out a twitter when Monica will be able to accept visitors.  Thank you all for your extreme kindness, generousity, encouragement and prayers.

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May 10th 2009

Mother’s Day

I felt like I had starting gaining my composure over the last few days since Monica was discharged from the hospital.  Between being a host and trying to take care of Monica, I’ve been able to occupy my mind enough to cope, but today makes me sad.  We really wanted to make Mother’s Day special, but her pain has increased to a point where she is almost totally immobile.  She is suffering and it breaks my heart.  Going to Santa Monica tomorrow for her first treatment is going to be a challenge. 

We’re going to start looking into home hospice care for her tomorrow as well.  Hopefully a hospital bed will make it easier for her to sit up and lay down.  We’re also going to ask for oxygen like she had in the hospital.  Her breathing is very shallow and she feels like she isn’t getting a decent breath.

For everyone celebrating Mother’s Day today, I encourage you to give your mom an extra hug or kiss and hold on tight.


May 6th 2009

Seeing God’s hand

This is Keri Miller writing on behalf of Sol and Monica.  Sorry, Jason, to use you “login”, but I couldn’t remember my password! Anyway, Sol asked me to share with you the tangible working of God’s hand in the past 24 hours.  Last week, Monica had made an appointment for yesterday (Tuesday) to see a sarcoma specialist at USC.  They have been holding out hope for this meeting.  In fact, even in the midst of tremendous pain and grogginess, Monica has perked up when anyone has talked about this Dr. appointment.  Yesterday, the Dr. was going to release Monica and Sol to go to the appointment, however, when they called to confirm the appointment, they were told the Dr. (specialist) was out of the country, but had neglected to tell the appointment desk.  They were SO thankful they didn’t take the long trek down to USC for nothing.

The Dr. office felt so badly about the situation that they set up an appointment today (Wed) at 2pm for Monica and Sol to see the specialist’s parter.  They are probably just about there now, so we pray for answers, wisdom and guidance.

It looks like the plan is to take Monica home on pain meds after the Dr. visit.  I know there are SO many people who want to see Monica, but it might be good to allow the family an evening of no visitors so they can recuperate from a very trying day.  (Sol, I hope it’s OK that I said that!)  Please contact Sunshine or Karen for brief updates, but also please be consiencious of the time of day you are calling.   The family is giving a LOT physically, mentally and emotionally and they need sleep and times of quiet.

Of course, please keep Sol in your prayers as well.  He’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders.

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April 21st 2009

A Little Scared…

I have two minutes before I have to leave for the dermatologist.  Yes, I am going to see a skin doctor.  Since taking Nexavar, spots have been popping up on my chest where the cancer originally was.  The Oncologist says, “Let’s watch it”, I say, “Let’s figure out what it is”.  It looks like small blood vessels protruding out of the skin.  I just want someone trained in skin things to look at it.  I’ll let you know.

I am also scared that they are going to tell me I need another transfusion.  I don’t want that.  I am scared about finding out the results of the tests they ran last week.  

Please pray for peace.

Got to go!



April 8th 2009

Navelbine #4 and Transfusion #2

I was sitting at home on Tuesday looking forward to a relaxing lunch with my friend Traci before chemo.  As I was sitting there, I received a phone call that I needed a transfusion, and then they asked me if I wanted to do it all in one day.  I said, “Definitely no!”  Well that relaxing lunch turned into running around the hospital getting things ready for the transfusion the following day.  We ate at Del Taco…nice and relaxing, and then headed off to chemo.

Chemo went smoothly.  Once again, it knocked me out.  I slept through the whole thing, and then slept until dinner after coming home.  They were able to leave the port connected, so that I wouldn’t have to be stuck by the nurses at the hospital where they’re still learning how to do that.  

My mother-in-law, Oralia, came last night; I am glad that she was going to be here for the unexpected transfusion.  She also took Kai all around the festival in uptown.  He jumped in the Pirate Jumper, aka Yo Ho Pirates, he held and chased a squealing pig, and he rode the ponies.  That’s what Nanas are for right!  He is so spoiled!!!  He even came home eating Kettle Corn!  What an outing!  🙂  

This morning I started to get a little bit nervous because they couldn’t get blood from the port.  Finally, it worked.  Whew!  I slept a lot today.  My red blood count was the lowest it’s been at 7.0!  I guess that explains a lot of the sleeping I’ve been doing.  It continued as I slept a lot of my day away.  Once they got it going things ran smoothly; even removing the port went well this time, after I coached them through it.  🙂  

So tonight I am doing well.  I don’t know that I feel more energy yet from the transfusion, but hopefully tomorrow I will.  

Thank you for all of your prayers and support over these past two days.  They really have been tough ones.  Two more chemos and then a CT scan.  Please start praying over those results as those determine the path of treatment.  I’m praying for a clear scan…NOTHING there, nothing there, nothing there…

Love to you all,


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April 1st 2009

Quick Update Before Bed

Washington D.C. was a lot of fun.  Spending time with my sister and her husband was a real treat.  We were busy every single day.  I don’t think we went to bed before midnight while we were there, however, we did sleep until 10…at least I did!  We have a ton of pictures, and I have included some below and in an album, but there will be more coming as soon as I can look through the million pictures we took of the Cherry Blossoms.  They were gorgeous!  I’ll write more tomorrow, but I just wanted you to know that we had a great time.  Thanks for the prayers, and thank you Karen for making sure we had a wheelchair!  I wouldn’t have made it through the week without it!  🙂

While I was in D.C. (Actually, Alexandria, VA) Sol survived home alone with Kai!  He’s an awesome father!  He took Kai to Disneyland on Sunday and had a great (tiring) time.  He said to say thank you to all who brought meals; you made it that much easier on him.  So, thanks for feeding my boys while I was gone!

Below are some of the pictures from the trip…


Us at The White House..Hello, Obamas


Me in the blossoms


Sisters in the Cherry Blossoms


Me and my good pal FDR…Wheelchair Buddies


One of the 3,000 Cherry Trees planted around the basin…friendship gifts from Japan

Goodnight Friends and Family…It’s 9:30, and I’m going to bed!!!  🙂  Yay!


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