Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More info

When my specialist looked at my ct scan, he didn't have the radiology report yet.  Another appointment yesterday with my chemo oncologoist showed that I have free fluid in my abdomen, which they are going to watch.  It could be another ruptured ovarian cyst (as I have had several of those lately)...or it could be something to worry about.  They want to do another ct in 6 weeks to look again.  I have had SO many ct scans this year!! 

Yesterday was another chemo day and I think it was technically round 9 of 12 (if they are going to count them all.)  I am trying not to get my hopes up that I have only two months left..but it would be SO nice.  My dream is to have a chemo free Christmas with my family.  I have been sick since last September...when my appendix first ruptured and I landed in the hospital for so long.  I am looking forward to feeling like myself again.  Right now I feel like I am trapped in someone else's body.  You should see the bruises all over me.  If you even touch me, it leaves a purple trail, but truthfully that is the least of my concerns.  Thanks again for caring and following my story!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It came in a fortune must be true!

Larry and I drove to Spokane this week to meet with my surgical oncologist as a follow up to my CT scan.  After the appointment, we went to PF Changs for dinner.  Here was my dessert.  It made me smile...and couldn't have been more perfect timing.  My stomach was in knots...and I was nervous about what the Dr. would see on my scan. 
I was also quite worried about the quality of the ct scan, because I had vomited up all of the baruim that I was supposed to drink.  The doctor said that it wasn't a great picture, but he was NOT able to see any sign of new growth so far.  I am very relieved at that, but not completely comfortable. (as I explained in the previous post.)  He reminded me of how aggressive I have been in treatment and emphasized that we have to have faith that the Heated well as the IV chemo will work!  I have faith...not in chemo, but in my Heavenly Father.  He knows that the greatest desire of my heart is to raise my girls...I know he is aware of me.  He hears my prayers (and all of our prayers).  I feel his comfort daily and I feel good about the outcome.  I have no idea what lies ahead...but I am doing ALL that I can do on my end to fight this!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today is a six month follow up...and CT SCAN

I can't believe I was diagnosed with cancer 6 months and 2 weeks ago today.  (But...who's counting?)   It seems as though my life has been FROZEN in time since that day in January, but I look outside and realize that life has gone on for everyone is nearing the end of summer and in my mind, we just finished Christmas!!!  I appreciate your continued support and interest in MY family's battle with this aggressive cancer. 

Today I am scheduled to have my pump removed for a week (and I might spend the whole week in the shower...just because I can!) :)  I am also scheduled for a CT scan of my that they can see if there is any visible growth or change in my cancer.  I will post the results, and I am nervous...but I want to explain a bit that I never would have known before my diagnosis.  Most cancers have a battery of tests that can tell them exactly if the cancer has grown, spread, etc.  There are ct scans, pet scans, mri's, etc.  Pet scans and mri's don't work on the abdomen, and the ct scans have limited capabilities.  I have had several ct scans already in the last year and NONE of them had detected any of the stage 4 cancer that I have.  So...this might come back clean, but it doesn't mean that I am in remission.  I wish there were a better test or a more sure way to find an answer, but this is the best modern medicine has for me right now. 

My other concern is, I have to drink a gallon of baruim "juice" before the test to help them get the best results.  I struggle getting a glass of water down, so I am pretty sure this will be a disaster, but I will try. Here's to a clean CT...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Miserable...and STARVING!

I'm shaky, nauseous, hurting, faint, weak, and STARVING...but I can't find anything that sounds good at all.  I really mean nothing.   Not even at a restaurant.  Just the thought of all food makes me queasy... it's miserable.  Have you ever had chemo heartburn...or hiccups... yuck, I can't even describe how terrible it is...always tasting the chemicals in the back of my throat.  This continuous pump is going to be my demise.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chemo Update

Well, I figure it is time to let you know what's going on.  I had my long chemo infusion yesterday.  I started at 8 am and ended around 5:30.  They are long days.  Yesterday they gave me 13 different drugs pumped directly into my veins...and I wonder why I don't feel well today.  Only 4 of those were chemo drugs...the other 9 were given to help combat the chemo symptoms.  I fell asleep in the chair..don't remember driving home...and slept all day today.  I think my body will be thrilled to get rid of all the poisons I keep forcing in.  Today I feel worse than I have in a LONG time.  There is no sugar coating it...I look like heck and feel even worse.  My friends that have stopped by might now be scared off for good.  I will avoid the mirror today.  My hair loss seems to have slowed and I feel lucky to have what I do.  This picture isn't the best, but was a quick snapshot when I got home from church on Sunday when I at least tried to get dressed.  You can see I am still attached to a pump, which is the tube coming out of my shirt. I wear the pump continuously for three weeks week off.  Repeat.  My fingernails are getting black spots and are starting to die, my skin is crazy dry and strange, my stomach and bowels are in complete trauma...and now my kidneys are being hurt by the chemo and is causing me to lose protein in my urine and has caused a pretty big rise in my bloodpressure.  (so...I have to take even more medicine for that...surprise!)  I really wonder if there is a better method of doing this.  I don't like what all of this is doing to me!!!!  Please pray that my doctors will know how to best treat me and that I will have the strenght to continue!  Thanks!

Our Family Trip to McCall, Idaho

    No comparison, Larry...Aana's wins! :)
My family forced me to go away on a little trip to forget about the cancer and have some fun.  I was worried about the drive...and how I would feel, but it all turned out okay.  We all had a blast and really enjoyed ourselves.  We had a gorgeous house overlooking Lake Cascade and just couldn't have asked for nicer accomodations or a better time.  We played games, fished, boated, slept, ATE (of course), roasted marshmellows, did fireworks, and more.  I participated where I could...and relaxed when I couldn't.  They gave me the king suite on the main floor so that I could see everything that was going on from my bed.  It was all perfect until the ride home.  A couple hours into the drive, I started projectile vomiting...and went downhill until I landed in the ER.  Long story...but it all ended up ok.   Just a bad end to a wonderful trip.  I guess I might have overdone it...but I hear the sounds of my girls giggling and see the smiles on their faces as I lay in bed right now.  Those wonderful moment stay emblazoned on my memory and are truly priceless!
(Oh...and I caught 13 fish in ONE hour...and at that same time, Aana caught 9)  I felt bad the people unhooking them and baiting my hook. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Desperate times call for desperate measures...

I tried accupuncture because I have tried everything else to combat the constant nausea and miserable chemo symptoms.  I have already been a pincushion, so I figured...why not?  And it wasn't that bad....I actually fell asleep on the table.  I can't believe I let them, but they put about 50 or so needles in me...on my face, in my ears, in my arms, legs, and stomach.  It was bizarrely relaxing.  I think I will try it again this week.  I have my regular LONG chemo infusion tomorrow...wish me luck!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

So Grateful to be an American...

We are literally sitting on a mountainside, enjoying the majesties of nature...and am reading a book about a 10 year old girl from a Middle Eastern country that got the courage to escape an abusive, arranged marriage in a country where she could be put to death for that.  I am often frustrated with our political system, but I am SO grateful to live in America...where we have so much more than the rest of the world.  We are so fortunate...
LET FREEDOM RING!  Happy 4th everyone...
Note: Pics will follow, but we rented a beautiful house in the mountains on Lake Cascade in Idaho.  We are boating, fishing, eating smores, relaxing, and having a wonderful time.  I am exhausted...but I would call it "happily" exhausted.  My girls are having the time of their lives...and that is priceless!