Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Since then

Today - the day after chemo & the steroids - I have enough energy to be up BEFORE 9am and help Kyle pick up some toys and check my e-mail! Imagine! I've been Rip Van Winkle for the past week or so. I also had to have Neuprogena (sp?) shots 3 days last because my white blood cell counts were low. They weren't sure I'd get a treatment this week. But I did and I was glad to get one more treatment down.

The nurse practitioner Mitre saw me yesterday before my treatment. This woman KNEW more or at least SHARED more than everyone else we've seen combined! She gave me an antibiotic and nose spray for my ear/nose infection. She told me that the fact the tumors in the brain or bone and "grown" was not all bad. She said that they would look worse for a few months and then finally show what all the treatments had produced. She said that the one chemo drug Avastin crosses over into the brain and would work on those cancers. The Abraxane would work elsewhere in my bones. I'm so glad that I got to see her and find out all that...

Last night Max took me in for an MRI. I asked the fellow (who'se seen me for the last 3 MRI's) if the different loud sounds made up a pattern. He said, "yes". The different MRI sounds make different pictures. So now we know why we're all but deafened by those noises, Yes?? Hmmmmmm.

We were very fortunate last night to have Lorna bring us dinner. The Relief Society gave us a menu and insisted we use it one day each week for a while. Since we were getting chemo until after 5pm, that meal was a true blessing! We were also blessed to have Kamiakin HS bring us our Christmas meal - they were very very generous in their gifts to us as well! And while we were at Max's relatives home, some sneaky person left Christmas packages for us on our porch.... as did the school up in Richland - I am just overwhelmed! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We have been so blessed throughout all this.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Skills.....

Yesterday I had a fun visit with Terre, Tracy and Donna! They brought over the softest, fluffiest bath robe on this planet earth! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! And the gummy worms were wonderful, too!

Last night while going through some e-mails, I came across one that was absolutely wonderful. Our church's Relief Society organization put out a call to each of us ladies wanting to know just exactly what skills we are wanting to learn. How can they be of assistance in our lives???? Here is what I replied:

Dear ladies of the Relief Society,

after I got your last e-mail about the skills we'd like to learn, I had me a great think. After pondering for some time, I decided that these are the things that I would like to know how to accomplish:

1. Boeing just came out with a 787... I'd like to know how to fly it.
2. I'd like to learn how to drive one of those oily asphalt rollers.
3. I'd like to learn to orchesterate the music and lights to one of Senske's fancy houses.
4. I really want to know how to produce and manufacture my own insulin
5. Mom says I should learn how to Cure cancer.
6. I'd like to dispose of 2 dogs and 20 cartons of magazines without my hubby noticing.

If you could arrange to teach me these skills, I would greatly appreciate it!
tHANKS !!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feelin a breeze.....

Okay, so I had chemo yesterday. They gave me Avastin (clear) and Abraxane (milky colored) as well as Zometa for my bones.... The bag of steroids I got kept me awake most of the night and gave me energy today. I even took a photo of me. Without my hat! AaAAAAAAaaaaagh. It's a rather nasty, revealing photo of my condition, but I thought I'd show you what the steroids and radiation have accomplished. Now you can go tell your kiddies to never, never. never get cancer!!!! Though I didn't look this way last time, I was bald..... and I normally have a hat on so that I'm less scary.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I'm pretty pleased with myself - got to part of church today! I was too exhausted to stay for all of it. Had a great talk with Karen who has gone through a lot of what I have and has taught me tons about life! And I think I've worked myself all up over the chemo tomorrow..... keep "tossin the cookies" as one person says.

Faye brought me flowers and Roseann brought me over a warm cancer hat yesterday - so nice! Thank you!!! Thought I'd share some details with you: ever since that first surgery, I get to run to the water closet every two hours. without fail. But to get up off the bed or couch, I have to position my right arm and brace it for the inevitable shock of pain that comes when I swing my legs up and over, up and over and then use my left hand to manipulate me up... so my left hip - which is particularly weak - can come to a stand. At this point in time, nobody had better stand in my way - I hobble along imagining what it must feel like to be the giant slug, Jabba, from Star Wars fame! (And since the steroids have done their thing, I'm nice and plump to boot!)

No. I've a better analogy: with this warm cancer hat I look like a Smurf! Really! It's great.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hold to the rod.....

The rod in my arm is sore, sore sore - with this cold snap we have here in Kennewick! Hopefully it will warm up this weekend.....

Dr Klarnet, my oncology doctor said we're starting chemo on Monday. He's not wanting me to go for the brain tumors just yet. The doctors will have to talk together about this. I'm just along for the ride, it would seem.

We're really blessed, I know I've had a few cries over this, but people have been so incredibly generous! We got a delightful bright red bag yesterday - thank you to this anonymous person(s). And the fruit basket from the ward and their singing was super! Thank you!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I told Mom today that I haven't had a single bit of good news from any of my MRI's so far.... Well. to continue in that tradition.... Sunday's MRIs showed that the cancers in my head have grown. The neurosurgeon was very surprised to learn that I have already FINISHED my radiation. He wants a more aggressive treatment plan and is going to talk with Dr. Rege (radiation doc) He did say that the radiation I've gotten probably killed off a lot of "baby" cancers that can't be seen.

Actually, his office just called and they've scheduled another brain MRI for next week and an appointment to see him. Is he thinking more surgery? ?????

The other cancer in my hips and sacral area - still there. So I had me a little cry on the way out the door. Oh, he told me to load up on B vitamins and get out and get some exercise. No more sleeping 18-20 hours per day. And the shaking? He says it's coming off the steroids and all the trauma my body has been through in the past many weeks.

Monday, December 7, 2009


My hair is rapidly disappearing. Each brushful has me wondering it it's my last.....
I've also been so exhausted since Thurday that I have done nothing but sleep and sleep and sleep! My sister and her husband came up Friday and stayed until today. I am so lucky that they came!!! What fun they are!

This weeek we have three doctor appointments. One for my arm, one for the MRI's done on my head and sacrum and the next day to plan my chemo treatments.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finished radiation!

Today I finished my radiation treatments - have a certificate to prove it! They also sent me home with my lovely white-plastic mesh mask. Each day it was placed over my head and screwed to the table below me. Can't imagine what I'll do with it - wear it for Halloween next year maybe??? They gave me one less treatment on my pelvic area. Better for my bowels, they said.

So, I have the MRI Sunday, arm dr. appointment Tuesday, Surgeon appointment for reviewing the MRI on Wednesday and chemo doctor on Thursday. In talking with the chemo people today, they aren't starting my next rounds until after Christmas - on the 30th. I'd like to get it over with, but I guess they're thinking to spare me the side effects for now....... can't imagine why else...

Anyway, Mom and Dad helped me celebrate my finishing radiation by treating me to Panda Express! It's funny, cuz I asked her to get me some egg rolls from the freezer for lunch.... and she had a bag from Panda Express instead! It was marvelous!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stray thoughts...

I've had this thought the past few days. In August, Max's brother and family came up to visit Washington. We all went out bowling. Bowling, mind you... including me. I picked up the ball and tossed it down the lane. Didn't hit too many, but I was playing......

Okay, switch that thought to October 10th or so - when I picked up a blanket and broke my arm. I'm just amazed that the cancer was so aggressive! Hmmmmmmmm.... What kind of fluke was it?

I have one radiation appointment left: tomorrow. Did my last Taxol chemo today. I won't have any more chemo treatments until after next week when I talk to the doctor about a new drug: Abraxaine. It's similar to the Taxol but designed for metastisis.

This Sunday I am going to get MRI's of my head and tailbone. I am eager to see what the cancers have done. Hopefully, they will all be gone! I've gone through enough steroid treatments to shrink anything to the size of raisins! Everytime I get headaches or complain of anything, that's what they give me. I am so swollen in the face that I have stretch marks on my cheeks. (And my radiation mask squishes me all up!!!) Can't wait to FINALLY finish with them.... (I'm down to 1/2 tablet twice a day.)

My sister and her husband are coming up to visit this weekend. I can't wait to see them!