Monday, December 31, 2007

Smoking bans help fight against lung cancer

Here is an article that the Herald-Times ran today. I just wanted to share it with everyone:


Smoking bans help fight against lung cancer

Resolution: Quit breathing secondhand smoke
By Dann Denny 331-4350 |
December 31, 2007

If you’re like most people, your 2008 New Year’s resolution might have something to do with cutting out cheesecake, pedaling the StairMaster, or cleaning up your language on the golf course.

But if you want to live longer, you may wish to make a bit of an unconventional vow — spending less time breathing other people’s cigarette smoke.

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2007 Cancer Facts and Figures, about 3,000 nonsmoking adults in the U.S. — including about 70 in Indiana — die of lung cancer each year as a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

A 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke — a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar and the smoke exhaled by smokers — increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.

“The scientific evidence indicates there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” the surgeon general’s report says. “The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and lung cancer among lifetime nonsmokers.”

Shirley Lindsey-Sears, director of Bloomington Hospital’s tobacco cessation clinic, said secondhand smoke contains 43 chemicals that cause cancer and is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. — claiming the lives of 53,000 nonsmokers each year.

She urges adults to choose smoke-free restaurants and to not allow themselves or their children to ride in cars filled with other people’s cigarette smoke or spend significant time in smokers’ homes.

Lindsey-Sears said spending an hour in a closed car with someone who’s smoking is the equivalent of smoking three cigarettes.

“Spending eight hours in an office that allows smoking is the equivalent of smoking six cigarettes,” she said.

“Spending 24 hours in a pack-a-day smoker’s home is the equivalent of smoking three cigarettes.”

No-smoking ordinances help

If you live in Bloomington, where there is a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and all public places — and where last Tuesday the Indiana University campus went smoke-free — avoiding secondhand smoke is certainly made easier.

The data show that no-smoking ordinances are likely to reduce the incidence of lung cancer, as well as the number of heart attacks, according to the American Cancer Society.

A recently released Indiana University study found that heart attacks among nonsmokers decreased dramatically in Monroe County following the county’s ban on smoking in public places.

The same case can be made for such bans reducing the incidence of lung cancer, said Jen Tucci, state spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society.

Smoke-free laws

Patricia Ells, the American Cancer Society’s Indiana government relations manager, said ordinances banning smoking are playing a significant role in declining U.S. lung cancer rates among men and a leveling-off of lung cancer rates among women.

“The No. 1 cause for the decline in lung cancer incidence is fewer people smoking, but another reason is that fewer people are being exposed to secondhand smoke,” she said. “Smoke-free ordinances result in both fewer people smoking and fewer people breathing secondhand smoke.”

Smoke-free ordinances in several cities and states throughout the U.S. have dramatically decreased people’s exposure to secondhand smoke, Tucci said.

She said a group of 53 California bartenders examined before and after the state’s smoke-free bar and tavern law went into effect were found to have a 5 to 7 percent improvement in overall lung function just one month after the law was implemented.

Tucci also cited a study showing that 46 percent of New York City residents surveyed reported less exposure to secondhand smoke after passage of the city’s smoke-free law, resulting in 157,000 fewer New Yorkers being exposed to secondhand smoke — and that the city’s smoke-free ordinance prompted an estimated 28,000 smokers to quit using tobacco.

Lung cancer deadliest

Ells points out that lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, claiming more than 160,000 lives in the U.S. each year — or about 29 percent of all cancer deaths.

Dr. Gregory Kalemkerian, co-director of thoracic oncology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a news release that lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer, and more men than prostate cancer.

He added that lung cancer claims more lives each year than the next four leading cancer killers — of the breast, prostate, colon and pancreas — combined.

“The biggest problem is that most people with lung cancer are diagnosed late, because early stage symptoms are common to smokers,” he said. “Surgery is the most curable treatment for almost any cancer, but few people with lung cancer come in early enough for us to do this.”

Kalemkerian said 75 percent of cancer patients seek treatment only after experiencing symptoms that are associated with the spread of the disease, such as chest pain, weakness in a limb or bone pain.

He said lung cancer is also difficult to treat because smokers have been heavily exposed to carcinogens, the substances that cause mutations in cells and lead to the development of cancer.

“Lung cancers, because of the exceptional amount of carcinogen exposure, have multiple mutations that make treating and killing the mutated cancerous cells especially hard,” he said.


Help for smokers

Free smoking cessation classes are offered by Bloomington Hospital at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Class members receive free nicotine patches, gum and lozenges for up to four weeks. One-on-one sessions by appointment with a cessation expert are also available. Call 353-5811 for more information.

Lung cancer facts

About 213,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, and more than 160,000 die from it.

The first symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, weight loss, fatigue and coughing up blood.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. About 90 percent of those with the disease are or were smokers. A two-pack-a-day habit for 30 years leads to a 30- to 40-fold increase in risk versus a nonsmoker.

There is little advocacy for lung cancer survivors, mainly because of the high mortality rate and the feeling that victims caused their own disease by smoking.

Exposure to radon, asbestos and hydrocarbons raise one’s risk of developing lung cancer.

Testing for lung cancer is difficult. There is no effective screening test that has reduced mortality rates, but researchers are working on developing a test that they hope will catch the cancer earlier.

Worldwide, 1.2 million people die each year from lung cancer. Sharp increases are being seen in developing countries where tobacco products are becoming increasingly available.


December 31 - Visit to ER

Hello everyone. I hope this finds everyone in good spirits and good health. The holidays are almost over and it's now almost time for me to return to work.

Mom has been doing good, so she says or tells everyone else. Roger says she hides alot of things and doesn't tell people the complete truth. I don't know why she has to try and put on a strong face for everyone else.

Well, last night, I went over to take Devin as he was supposed to spend the day with my step-brother so they could go to the movies. When I got there, mom looked horrible. She said she had been vomiting and had diarrhea for three days, so obliviously she hasn't been able to keep any food down. I couldn't stand to sit there and watch her vomit I called my cousin Angie, who is an oncology nurse. I already knew that she was becoming dehydrated, but I just needed someone to back me up on this. So I pretty much told mom she had to go to the ER! That she was dehydrated and it wasn't good for her. What hasn't helped her is that she has a had a bad cold or infection and has been on a Z pack for an infection.

So, we loaded up the car at 5:30pm and took her to Bloomington Hospital. They did alot of blood work, did an EKG (because of her heart history), took an X-Ray of her chest and hooked her up to Sodium Choride. All of her blood work came back good. Her INR level was back down to 2.7. Apparently it was high last Thursday. White Blood count looked good. Her x-ray was a little cloudy according to Dr. Watters, but he said that could be do to the infection she was fighting. So they made her lay there and take some more fluids then they let her go home. All together she got about 700ml of fluid. We finally got out of there about 10pm. Not bad for a visit to the ER.


I just got off the phone with mom. She's doing good considering she says. She said she was able to eat an egg this morning and that my step-brother brought her some protein mix that Special K makes. She's still horse and still has diarrhea, but seems alot better than yesterday. She has a doctor's appointment Friday. I'll be so happy to go talk to Dr. Dayton.


Well, I need to get off here and do some cleaning. My house looks like an earthquake struck then a tornado went through. Love you all. Please call me if you want. I don't know if I'd be able to tell you much more though.

Have a safe and Happy New Year.

Monday, December 3, 2007

November 29th - GOOD NEWS!!

Sorry I haven't been on here in awhile. I've been busy working two jobs and running Devin around (Scouts, Church, Basketball...) There's just not much time left at the end of the days. Not to mention my don't wanna see it. It's 10 times worse than it normally is....NOW THAT'S SCARY!!

Mom had a doctor's appointment on the 29th of November. We got the CT Scan results. GOOD NEWS IS.....The treatments are doing their job and the cancer has slightly decreased. They don't believe it's in her adrenal glands now as they didn't respond to the scan as normal cancer tumors would. So, Left upper lobe and liver.... Still Stage IV. Dr. Dayton wants mom to stay on the same regiment as she has been on, which is Carbo Platin, Taxol and Avastin. I believe she'll go through another 3-4 rounds (which consist of 1 treatment a week for 3 weeks, then a week off), then they'll do another scan.

Please, Please, Please....continue to keep my mother in your prayers! I believe that PRAYER WORKS!! While you're at it...throw up a few extra for the rest of my family too. My uncle isn't in the greatest of shape. Last I heard he was in the hospital. My cousin, Carrie, is doing Great and we want her to stay that way! The rest of us just need strength to make it through all of this.

Well, it is late and I must get to bed. Thanks for keeping up with mom and her condition and for all your prayers. I know she appreciates everything everyone has done for her. May God Bless each and everyone of you and your families this holiday season and beyond....

Much Love,


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nov. 14 - No real news yet.......

I talked to mom on the phone last night. She's doing well overall. Just general fatigue keeps her down and I don't think she's quite eating the way she should. They've found a medicine that helps her really well with the nausea.

Tomorrow is the CT Scan. She's worried she won't be able to drink the barium, or at least keep it down. Providing she does, we'll go to see Dr. Dayton on the 29th for the results.

I pray every day it's good news. I was reading a post on the Lung Cancer Alliance Survivor's Community about a woman who's condition sounded almost exactly like mom's. Her name is Stella and she's 42 years old. Her lung cancer had metastasized in her Liver and Lymph Nodes too. She had gone through the same regimine as mom (Carboplatin, Taxol, Avastin) and after four rounds of Chemo, her cancer was completely gone! I know everyone's cancer is different, but this truly is hope that what they are doing for mom is going to work! Here is the link to her post.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month......

It has been awhile since I blogged anything on here. Not much has changed really. Because I don't go to the treatments with her, I really can't keep up week to week and have to rely on what she tells me. Of course, I do go the doctor's appointments.

Mom still has her Chemo treatments on Thursday's, with every 4th week off. She is on her 3rd round of Chemo. I don't remember which round it is, but after her 3rd or 4th round, then they will do another PET scan to see if they've made progress against the cancer.

Overall she's doing fairly well, all things considered. They gave her a different nausea medicine, so that has helped her out tremendously! Last week they had to give her Potassium and Magnesium, because her levels were low. I know she wasn't too thrilled about that, as she ended up being in the infusion center for a little over 5 hours.

On a sad and unrelated note, my "Papaw" passed away on the 28th of October. My adopted Papaw that is. Bernie Hansford had been in the hospital for over 2 weeks I believe. I don't know exactly what was wrong with him, but it kept developing into other problems. I'm so thankful that I got a chance to see him one last time. If ever there was a man who truly lived a Godly life, it was him. He's the reason I am baptized and really introduced me to the lord. I love you Papaw Bernie. Rest in Peace. Hopefully we'll meet again one day.

The reason for the title of this particular blog is exactly as it states, November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. I wrote several letters to the editors of local newspapers and was thrilled to see that the Daily World in Linton actually published it. There are a lot of facts about Lung Cancer people don't know and funding for research is sorely short. Here is the Letter I wrote to them. I've included the link if you would like to see it too:

Greene County Daily World Article

Help support the battle against Lung cancer
Monday, November 5, 2007
To the Editor:

Lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States will claim the lives of 163,510 Americans this year alone. In Indiana, an estimated 5200 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer.

Of those diagnosed an estimated 3800 will die this year from the disease.

Lung cancer will kill more people this year than: Breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer and melanoma ... COMBINED!

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Please visit and sign the petition to increase funding. There you will be able to see the "Faces of Lung Cancer," including my mothers, who was diagnosed in August of this year at the age of 59.

Lung Cancer Research is sorely underfunded and the death rates prove this. Cancer affects EVERYONE, not just the patients! They come from every walk of life and it could even be your next door neighbor. Knowledge is power, funding is key. Please support me in the battle to defeat this horrible disease.

It's time we bring this issue to light!

Tammi L. Duzan

Of course they didn't use the title I wanted them too, but that's ok. At least they printed it. This is an issue now near and dear to my part. I may not be able to do much, but I can spread the word......hopefully this will help. I worry too, that one day I'll be afflicted with this deadly disease.

Well, I better get back to work now. I apologize for not blogging too often, however when there is really not much to blog about it seems pointless to get on here and blog about nothing. I'm sure mom wouldn't mind if you felt the need to call and talk to her. I'm sure it would break up the monotony of her days.

Until next time......

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oct 11 - Chemo & Dr's Appt.

Mom had the last treatment of Round two yesterday, the 11th. She also had an appointment with Dr. Dayton. Nothing out of the there really is nothing to report. She'll start round 3 of Chemo on Thursday, October 25th. After she completes that round, they'll do some CT Scans again to see if they've made any progress. Then they'll re-evaluate her treatment plan to see if they need to make any changes.

Mom told Dr. Dayton that she's been doing really well. Just general nausea and fatigue, but nothing out of the ordinary to be expected. The one thing I guess that is out of the ordinary.....her protime results. She goes to the clinic at IMA and gets her protime done before chemo and her results have stabilized and are actually "perfect" so to speak. (3.0 to be exact.) So somehow, someway, the coumadin hasn't be affected by the chemo. Amazing. Apparently, it normally does quite the opposite. Amen for small favors I suppose.

Mom's hair is really starting to shed now. She wore her wig to Chemo yesterday and I tell looks so REAL. It's so pretty and very similar to how she used to wear her hair, that if you didn't would think it's real. I almost snapped a picture, but I didn't feel like it was the right time or place.

Speaking of Mom's Chemo, a friend of the family who had recently been diagnosed with Lung Cancer as well has started his Chemotherapy. Mark Emery's daughter, Kristie Parkes, used to babysit me. Mark was just diagnosed with Lung Cancer within the last month. Kristi has arranged it so his next few chemo treatments are on Thursday's, so he and mom will be there at the same time. It'll almost be like a mini reunion, although not under the circumstances you would want them to be. I wish I could be there to see it though..... Poor Nurses....They don't know what's about to hit them. LOL

Nothing else really to report. My baby's birthday is next Friday. He'll be nine. It's amazing how fast time flies the older we get. Of course, to drags. LOL

I apologize for not posting more often, but if I don't really have anything to report, I don't feel it's necessary. If you're really desperate for something to read, you can go visit my other blogs. LOL You can always call mom if ya want to too and see how she's doing. I know she doesn't mind getting some calls, as long as they aren't during Oprah and Dr. Phil. LOL Have a great weekend.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Oct. 01 - Happy October

Mom has been doing well overall. She's not been quite so sick to her stomach anymore. She said she thought she got ahold of some bug. She's just tired, alot, but that is typical with cancer patients. She's not lost alot of hair yet, but it is starting to thin out just a little.

We went to my Aunt Mary's yesterday for a Fish Fry. It was nice to see most of the family again. I miss the days when we all would get together. It seems these days, it's only during the holidays. Life is too short and precious to only be getting together only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. While we were there, we found out that my cousin has Leukemia. I'm not sure which kind, but I think she said it's chronic myelogenous leukemia. She went Friday for a Bone Marrow draw and they should find out more this week. I'm pretty fed up now with Cancer. This is the 3rd person in my immediate family that it's struck. Luckily, Carrie's form of Leukemia is the most treatable type. We'll keep praying for her that she's that 1% chance that it's not actually Leukemia, but a fluke. Please add her to your prayer lists too.

I talked to another friend today, Kristi Parkes. Her father has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer too. He is going in Friday for Port Placement then begins chemotherapy next week. I told Kristi it was too bad that he wasn't going on Thursday's, then they all could sit around and "shoot the shit". I hate that someone else I know is going through this same thing, but it is nice to be able to have someone to lean on and to help out. Kristi is a like a surrogate mother/friend. She used to babysit me when I was younger. Please add Mark Emery to your prayer list as well as his family. They need all the support they can get too.

Mom has treatment again Thursday, then again next week. Next week she'll meet with Dr. Dayton again. I'll be going to that doctor's appointment with them. It's the only way that I'll know I'll get ALL the information.

That's about all I know for now. Thanks for keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers. I do believe that God can work miracles. We'll keep praying for one too.

Peace, Love and God Bless,


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sept 25 - Happy 60th Birthday Mom!

Ok, so I know mom doesn't read these blogs, (They can't get good internet access where they live), but I thought I'd post a birthday wish here anyway.

I'm planning on going over tonight after work and spend a few hours with her, so she won't be alone all night. I'm pretty sure Roger will be working. Be sure to give her a call and send her birthday wishes.....

Prayers go up that we'll have many, many more.....

Peace, God Bless and Love,


Monday, September 24, 2007

Sept. 24 - "One Starfish at a Time"

Well, it's Monday. Not much has happened over the last week and a half. I suppose that's a good thing, right? Mom didn't have treatment last week. It was her "week off", so to say. Other than being sick to her stomach and tired of course, she's been doing well.

This past weekend they went over to Illinois and stayed at the River in Charlie Primus' camper. Aunt Sharon, Marvis, Angie & Brian were all there. From what I hear, they all had a pretty good time. Mom brought home a beautiful blanket Angie made her. It has all kinds of family pictures on it.

Yesterday, Darin, Devin and I went over to meet Mom & Roger when they got home. Little Roger had a surprise for mom. The only thing Mom has ever said she really wanted, especially since they moved out to the farm in 1990 was a Gazebo. Well, Little Rog went and bought the materials for one and put it together Saturday after they left for Illinois. The look on mom's face was priceless. I bought her a birthday cake and brought some Chicken, so we had a little dinner too. She said she knew something was up, because Little Roger and I kept calling Roger while they were gone. LOL But she was truly surprised.

I wish I could have contributed to the cost of the gazebo, but Little Roger is so generous. He has done so much for Mom & Roger. It sure makes it easier for me knowing he's right there and keeping an eye on Mom. I am fortunate to have such a loving Step-Father and Step-Brother. I know I've had my differences with Lil' Rog, but we become closer as adults. Who knew or would have ever thought......

Tuesday is mom's 60th birthday. I suppose I'm fortunate to have had 35 years with her and with God's Love and Blessings, hopefully will have a few more. She'll start her second round of Chemo on Thursday. This time they will add Avastin to her treatment. She'll be at IMA for at least 4.5 hours and I know she's not looking forward to that.

That's all I know for now. I just wanted to share a story with you quickly that I read on the LCA Survivors community. It was found by the founders son as he visited the chapel where his father was hospitalized. It really sums up how we must fight Lung Cancer and spread knowledge about the disease:

~~Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a boy going back and forth between the surf's edge and the beach. Back and forth this boy went. As the man approached he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as the result of the natural action of the tide.

The man was stuck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish. Many of them were sure to perish. As he approached the boy continued the task of picking up starfish one by one and throwing them into the surf.

As he came up to the boy he said, "You must be crazy. There are thousands of miles of beach covered with starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The boy looked at the man. He then stooped down and picked up another starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned back to the man and said, "It sure made a difference to that one! ~~

I encourage you if you haven't already to learn more about this disease. You can do so by visiting the Lung Cancer Alliance Website. Please support finding a cure for cancer. It doesn't have to be just Lung Cancer...we need to fight all cancer. Of course, Lung Cancer is a little more personal to me, but "one starfish at a time" we CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Please keep in touch and keep us in your thoughts and prayers. You all are in ours.

Peace, Love and God Bless,


Friday, September 14, 2007

Sept. 13 - Mom's Treatment

Well, mom had her last treatment for round one yesterday. She'll start round two on the 27th, at which time they'll add the Avastin to her treatment regiment.

We met with Michael Burns, who is a Nurse Practitioner. I guess they like for him to get to know all the patients, so when the doctor isn't around, he can take care of them. He basically just took her vitals and discussed her general overall health with her. He is a very personable person. I really like him and so did Mom and Roger. He gave mom some samples of Ambien CR to see if that will help her sleep through the night. She is still having sleep problems. We did ask for the Pet Scan results, as well as the Head CT and other CT results as we had not really been told anything. Good news is the Cancer has not spread to her brain or bones.

Mom and Roger also picked up the Pathological Reports from Dr. Haddad's office. These papers included the reports from her surgery and the procedures where they went down her throat and the colonoscopy. We have to have them to turn into the Cancer Insurance. Basically the reports, including the PET, show the cancer is primarily in her Lung, It apprears to also be in the right paratracheal lymph nodes and the Liver, although the reports seem to indicate the Liver might not be as bad as originally thought. I know we were all relieved to find that it hasn't made it to her head or bones yet.

After treatment and after they stopped by Dr. Haddad's office, Mom went to Wigs Unlimited to pick out a wig. They do specialize in custom wigs, but mom found one that was in the store she liked. I got to see it when they dropped off the pathology reports to me at work. It was really pretty and while it's not exactly how she wears her hair now, I have seen her wear a style close to it at one point in her life. I laughed and told mom I was going to shave my head and steal her wig.

Unfortately it appears mom's hair is finally starting to thin out. She said when she washed her hair yesterday, she noticed she lost quite a bit more than normal. What's so sweet....when she does finally lose her hair and has to start wearing her wig, Roger is going to shave his head. He told me yesterday that "We do things together." Now that's a sign of TRUE LOVE. WE ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE HIM.

I guess the lady at Wigs Unlimited is originally from the Bloomfield Area and actually used to work with Roger at one time at White's Regal Store. Mom said she just hugged Roger when she figured out who he was, and apparently I babysat for her late son a couple of times. (He lived with his dad and they were divorced, so I never knew her.) She found out what roger was going to do, so she gave him a DoRag to wear too. How sweet is that! I'm thinking that's what I may get both of them for Christmas....New DoRags. :p I told mom she would probably want something like that for when she's sitting around the house and doesn't want to put her wig on.

Mom doesn't have treatment next week, so they are going to go over to Illinois for a night the weekend of the 22nd. Charlie Primus, Angie's father-in-law, has graciously left his camper on his ground by the river and said mom and Roger could stay there. Mom said she was looking forward to some peace and quiet.

Well, that's about all I know for now. Thanks for your continued love and support......


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept. 11 - Happy Anniversary

So, for those of you who either didn't know or have forgotten, today is Mom & Roger's Anniversary, their 24th to be exact. I know I have been thoroughly blessed over the past 25 years. God couldn't have given me a more loving father than when he put Roger in our Lives. So, if you get a chance, you may want to drop them a card or give them a call and wish them Happy Anniversary. Mom's birthday is Sept. 25th too. She'll be 60 this year! If you need their address, just drop me a line or give me a call.

Special thanks needs to go out to Miss Stephanie Hill. Stephanie was my son's 2nd grade teacher at Bloomfield and has become a good friend of the family. She baked a Lasagna and brought it into Roger to take home last night, along with bread and a large salad. Mom sounded tickled pink when she was telling me about it. She told Roger to tell Steph that that was their Anniversary Dinner. I know so many people want to help them out and I can honestly say, in everything I've read, little things like this are the best way to help.

Mom seems to be in good spirits overall. She goes for Chemo Thursday, then I guess the weekend of the 22nd, she and Roger is going over to Illinois to the River and camp out.

That's about all I have time for right now. It's about time to go home. Thanks for your support and continued prayers.....


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sept. 9 - No News.......Sorta

Yea, Yea, Yea....I know, I haven't posted the pictures yet and I haven't blogged in at least a week. Sorry. Sue me. Life's gotten really busy, confusing and frustrating all at the same time. So much is going on, I have a hard time knowing whether I'm coming or going.

Devin has started football. I'm happy to say that mom and Roger made it to the game. I know it wore her out and that she isn't supposed to be out in direct sunlight. Thank god for Umbrellas. Devin's team won by the way, 18-6. It was so much fun watching them tackle each other. Our teams favorite part of the game. LOL

Mom's second Chemo treatment went well. Nothing unusual according to both mom and Roger, but you know how it goes...If I'm not there, I don't necessarily get the full story. Her next treatment is this Thursday. She will be meeting with the nurse practitioner that same day. They will actually meet with him while she is doing chemo. I am going to go Thursday in time for the appointment with the N.P. I want to see if he has anything to say.

I went and picked up Devin at mom & Roger's today. He spent the night with them so I could go out Saturday night to a Bachelorette party. When I was there, I set up the file cabinet so we can file all the paperwork to come. I picked up the Cancer Policy claim form that had been filled out by the Dr's office. There in Black and White was listed her Diagnosis: Lung Cancer, Liver Metastasis, Lymph Node Metastasis. We knew about the Lung & the Liver, but the Lymph Node was something completely new to us. I didn't mention it to mom, but told Roger. I know that once it's in the Lymph Nodes, the prognosis is not good.

This weekend has been tough for me personally. I have so much going on and so many decisions to make. Tomorrow is my first Den Meeting with my Bear Cubs, so that's not helping. I don't know why, but I'm really nervous about that.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers........I promise to try and get some pics posted soon.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sept. 4 - The Faces of Lung Cancer

We had a good weekend. Mom seems to be doing really well. She just gets tired real easily. Still not sure how much of it is the Cancer and how much is depression though. Every time I get ready to leave, I catch a glimpse of sadness in her eye and everytime I leave, I just pray it's not our last goodbye.

Sunday was like a little "Mini Family Reunion". My Uncle Steve is home from Las Vegas. He came home to see mom and Uncle Fred. He and Uncle Fred came up from Evansville. My Aunt Sharon came over from Illinois and brought my cousin, Chris. My cousin, Angie, came over from Illinois. Uncle Dick & Aunt Margie came up from Loogootee. Uncle Fred was truly a surprise and a pleasant one at that, as he too is battling cancer.

It was really tough seeing Uncle Fred in the shape he's in. You can tell his battle with cancer has been a rough one and he too gets tired really easily. I'm not sure where his cancer started, but it has spread throughout his body. He was exhausted by the time it was time for him and Uncle Steve to return home. I LOVE YOU UNCLE FRED! Hang in there..... To my friends, please add him to your prayer lists too.

It was really nice seeing everyone together. We missed Uncle Andy & Aunt Maryann though. Not sure why Aunt Maryann wasn't there, but Uncle Andy is in the Veteran's home in Illinois somewhere. It happens so little anymore that we all get together. It seems to only be when someone is really sick or a death in the family. I guess that's a sign we are all getting older. I remember the old days when Grandma & Grandpa Divine were still around. I miss all the family getting together. We sat and watched a movie Angie put together. I cried when I saw Grandma & Grandpa. I sure do miss them. I remember Grandma's soft hands and cheeks and Grandpa's snickers. I just hope that Devin has many good memories of mom like that.

I took some pictures, and as soon as I get the chance to download them, I'll post some here. I may try to open some sort of photo sharing account too, so I can post them all and everyone can see them.

Now, the reason for the title of this blog......I've been doing alot of research on Lung Cancer and have come across many good informational sites. (I've included the links at the bottom of blog.) Well, this website has really struck a chord with me. It truly shows how personal Lung Cancer is and explains just how UNDERFUNDED research geared towards Lung Cancer is.

One of the pages on this site is called "The Faces of Lung Cancer," and on it are pictures of Lung Cancer Survivors and those who have passed. It's hard to see those who have passed, but encouraging to see those who have beat odds of how long they would survive. I submitted mom's photo and it was posted today! Here is the link if you would like to go check it out: The Faces of Lung Cancer

I would like to encourage everyone to go to this website and sign the petition that is geared toward getting congress to increase funding towards battling this disease. Lung Cancer kills more people every year than: breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer and melanoma ALL COMBINED!!! Yet it remains one of the most UNDER funded cancer research areas. I pledge that as long as I'm alive, I will support the battle against Lung Cancer. It's PERSONAL. There are interesting facts regarding Lung Cancer. You can read them by clicking on this link: Lung Cancer Facts.

Well, I must get to bed now. I will try to post some pictures tomorrow night. Much love and god bless. Thank you for everything, especially all your prayers.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Aug. 30 - Mom's First Treatment

Well, Mom had her first Treatment on Thursday, Aug. 30th. Everything went pretty good. She didn't seem to be too nauseated by the treatment. Of course they do give them nausea medicine before they started treatment and she has pills to take at home, not to mention the fact that her body hasn't built up the chemo medicine yet.

She started the day by going to SIRA at 7:30am and finally getting the PET scan. We were told they wouldn't have results for at least 48 hours. I'm sure we won't know anything until she goes to see the Nurse Practitioner on Thursday, September 13th.

Next, she headed straight over to IMA. It was about 9am. First thing they did was draw blood to take a CBC. Her White Blood Cells were a little low, but they said considering all that she's been through with the two surgeries (one for the Gall Bladder and one to place the port) that that is typical and they weren't concerned about it. Her Red Blood Cell Count was fine. Her Platelets however caused a great deal of problems. Apparently a healthy person's platelet count should be between 150k - 400k, well mom's......hers was 16k. That's right. Sixteen thousand. One hundred and thirty-four thousand less that what they should have been.

The nurse came back over and pulled another tube to make sure that the count was right....sure was. So concerned, she went and talked to Dr. Dayton. They pulled another tube so they could place it on a plate for him to look at under a microscope. Apparently, in some peoples blood, rare as it is so they say, the platelets sometimes clot together, throwing off the platelet count. Well, this is what Dr. Dayton believed to be the problem. So for the 4th time they drew more blood, but this time placed it in a tube with Heparin, so the platelets wouldn't stick together. Well that did the trick. Her platelet count was fine. I never did hear what the count was though.

Through all of this, we were there for about 1 hour and 45 minutes! Talk about a long morning!! They hadn't even started her Chemo treatment yet! Finally about 11:00 they hooked up the first bag which contained some type of Anti-histimine mix including Benadryl. That bag took about 15 minutes, then they gave her the Nausea medicine. That took about 15 minutes. I left the infusion center shortly after they hooked up the Nausea medicine. I had to go back to work, so I wasn't there for the treatment itself, but all went well. Mom said the nurses told her she did excellent!

Angie, my cousin, was sweet enough to send mom flowers. I think those really brightened up her day. I could almost hear her smiling through the phone as she told me about them. Ang had meant to have them sent to the infusion center, but the powers that be, aka the internet, weren't so friendly, so she ended up having them delivered to mom at home.

Afterwards, Mom and Roger went to Stoll's Country Inn in Linton to eat their "Birthday Dinner" she called it. (Roger's B-Day was August 4th and Mom's 60th birthday will be September 25th. shhh....don't tell her I told you how old she will be. LOL) Apparently some little ol' lady in the infusion center told them that her husband always takes her out to eat after a treatment, so that's what they did. Mom said she got a little queasy when she walked through the door, so she had the waitress bring her some water with a lemon and crackers (I think). She drank that and felt a little better. She said she didn't eat too much, but she was able to eat a little, including Ice Cream, and keep it down.

Roger had taken the day off to spend with her this time, so that was good. I'm happy to say that her treatments will all be on Thursdays, which is good. I'll be able to go to her house after work and stay with her so Roger can work. I'm thrilled. I feel so helpless that I can't be there every minute. But I will be there at EVERY doctors appt. I told Mom and Roger yesterday, "You know I love you both VERY much, but as much as I love you, I know I don't always get all the info from you, which is why I WILL be at every Doctor's Appointment." It's a good thing, because had I not been at that first one with Dr. Dayton, Mom wouldn't have gotten her PET scan BEFORE Chemo started.

Anywho, that's about all I know. It's a three day weekend and I'm so happy about that. I need an extra day off work. Keep in touch everyone. Be sure to scroll all the way down. If you don't want to leave a comment on the blog, I've added a scrolling comment section you can use. You don't even have to sign up for Blogger.

Keep Mom and Roger in your prayers and don't forget that Mom's 60th birthday is coming up. I've got to think of something really mean to do.... :P Joking.

God Bless and Have a great weekend.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Aug. 27 - Update on Chemo.......

Today was supposed to be Mom's first Chemotherapy treatment. Yes, I said "Supposed to be." It has been delayed thanks or no thanks to me. LOL I guess that depends on who you ask. I know mom wasn't too thrilled about delaying it, but I also know that things are supposed to be done for a reason.

We went into IMA today to get her started on Chemo. I went and talked to the Secretary while we were waiting and told them that Mom never had been called by SIRA for her PET Scan. The secretary is so sweet. She got right on the phone and called SIRA. They told her that they had called mom two or three times last Wednesday and left several messages. WELL HELLO SHERLOCK! Did it ever occur to them that if they never got a call back that they should try again? Well, mom never received any messages. I don't know what the deal is. SIRA claims they were calling the home phone. Mom and Roger happened to be in Bloomington that day getting her head CT scan done. She said when she got home, there were no messages.

So I happened to be talking to mom & Roger about it in the Infusion center when the Nurse walked up and overheard us talking. She was as concerned as I was, as I had been told by the secretary that SIRA said she had to be Chemo Free 2 weeks before the PET Scan can be done. So Obviously they really needed to do this BEFORE she started Chemo. They tried to keep calling and paging Dr. Dayton to make sure what he wanted to do. They never could get ahold of him, so they decided to go ahead and have mom get the PET Scan then they would start Chemo. I had to laugh because the RN said, "We use the Two RN's = One MD method." LOL She said that they use the PET Scan for staging and that it's important that they get that information so they know where they stand.

So, long story short. Mom goes Thursday morning at 7:30 for the PET Scan at SIRA. Immediately following that, she heads over to IMA to get started on Chemo. Thanks for keep us, especially mom, in your prayers. I'll continue to keep everyone updated this way.... God Bless....


Friday, August 24, 2007

Aug. 24 - Latest News......

Well as I type this, mom is at the hospital and getting her port in. I wish I could be there, but I figured this is pretty routine so I would stay at work and build my time off.

We still haven't heard from SIRA about when they are going to do the PET scan. I would have thought we would have heard something by now. Hopefully today.

Mom will start Chemotherapy on Monday. I know we are really dreading this, but I can't even begin to think about what mom must be feeling. I plan on going to her first Chemo treatment on Monday, so I can be there to hear everything they are going to tell her. I know the first time is probably really scary too. I asked mom to make sure her doctor's appointments are on another night other than Monday's and Wednesday's too, so I can go home and be with her in the evening while Roger works.

That's about all I know for now...... Please continue keeping mom in your prayers and say an extra prayer for Roger. He needs all the strength the Lord will provide him. He is going through so much now too.

God Bless.....


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Aug. 23 - Quick Update........

Yesterday Mom did get the Head CT Scan. I could say "I told ya so," but I won't. LOL While they were up there, they went ahead over to the Hospital and did the Pre-Op stuff for her Port Placement tomorrow. I'm not sure what all they did....that's what happens when I don't go with them. I never get the full story of everything. I think they took her vitals and some blood.

I called the Dr's Office about the PET Scan. They have been waiting to hear from the insurance company to make sure it will be covered before they scheduled it, so she should be hearing from SIRA anytime now with the date for that.

As soon as I hear anything new, I'll let ya know.

Hugs and much Love. God Bless.....


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Aug. 21 - Dr's Appointments......

Yesterday, Mom and Roger went to the Social Security Office to get her signed up for Disability. She must have gotten ahold of someone really nice, because they took her right back and started filling out her paperwork. She now is waiting on Martin County to send her the papers to get a copy of her birth certificate. Once she does that and sends it to the Social Security office, it will just be a matter of waiting for the government to do their thing. They seem to think she won't have any problems being approved. I can't imagine that someone in that condition would.

Mom finally got a call from Dr. Haddad's Office. It looks like she's going to have a busy week. Tomorrow she goes to SIRA, where they will do the PET scan. (I could have swore it was the Head CT Scan, but mom says otherwise.) Thursday she will have to go to the Dr's office or Hospital (not sure which) for Pre-Op preparation to get her ready for her Port, then Friday at 7:00am, she'll report to Bloomington Hospital where Dr. Haddad will put a port in her chest. Most likely, she'll start Chemotherapy next week.

I had just gotten off the phone with mom before I started this post. She sounded tired, but then again, I think I woke her up from her nap. I had to write up her resignation for work yesterday. I hated doing that. That was a job I think she really enjoyed and personally I think she was good at. I know she hated having to quit too. Whenever I was talking to people and they asked what mom did, I would laugh, tell them what she did and that a job like that took "a bitch with an attitude." So in a sense it was perfect for her. LOL Now as I grow older....I see that I myself am more and more like her everyday. Hum...maybe I should apply for that job! ;)

Well, I better get back to work. I just wanted to update you as to what I knew so far. Please...if you didn't read the older posts, feel free to. I only have this blog set to show the most recent post, but the archives can be found to the right. They are in reverse chronological order.

Thank you for all your support and prayers. Please keep it coming. We love you all.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Aug. 20 - The Results are in.....

We went to meet the oncologist, Dr. Dayton, Friday. It was a long afternoon which none of us were prepared for truthfully. Mom's appointment was at 11:15am. She and Roger arrived about 10:45 and I was behind them about 10 minutes. Mom had filled out all the paperwork by the time I arrived there. All we had left to do was wait.

Finally about 11:30, the nurse came and took us back to a room. She took the usual vital statistics and histories, then left us to wait for the Doctor. Finally a half-hour later, he arrived.

In walked a tall, very slender man with a handle bar mustache. He was very cordial. Of course he didn't have all the results from Mom's test the week prior, so first thing he did was have the nurse obtain and bring him those. He asked mom, "So, if were weren't poking and probing you, basically you'd not know anything was wrong with you, would you?" Mom answered "no". Not very long afterwards, in came the results.

He proceeded to tell us that mom's Mammogram was fine, which was a major relief to me. I was hoping that was not where it started, as Breast Cancer tends to be genetically passed on. It turned out however she wasn't so lucky elsewhere.

It appears that her cancer started in her Lungs. He said she had a 1-2" Mass on her upper right lobe. She has Non-Small Cell Adenocarcinoma and because it had already spread to other parts of her body, meaning her Liver, that put her in Stage 4. There is no cure for this once it's reached stage 4. The average survival after diagnosis with Lung cancer that is in Stage 4 is only 2-5 years. Dr. Dayton basically said they will be trying to improve the "quality and quantity" of her life. That is all they can do.

Mom is awaiting phone calls. One from Dr. Haddad, who will be placing a port in her, so she can receive her treatments that way, and another to schedule a PET scan. Apparently with the PET Scan,

Positron Emission Tomography, is a scan that traces the way the body cells act on sugar. PET scans can find cancerous tumors because of their ability to take up radioactive sugar.
will show how aggressive the cancer is and enable the doctors to see if it's spread to other parts of the body besides the Lungs and Liver in her case. She is also going to have to have a Bone Scan as well.

Once the port is in place, they will be able to start her chemotherapy immediately. Her treatments will be done at the IMA facilities. Initially, they are going to start her on Taxol and Carboplatin. She'll go through 1-2 rounds of treatment with those, then they'll add Avastin. They cannot add Avastin to her treatment until her port has healed from the surgery.

After the doctor left, another nurse came in and took blood and brought mom information on drugs they will be using (same information in the links above). The hope is to kill the veins that are supplying the cancerous tumors with Blood which feeds them and enables their growth and spread. She then took us to see the outpatient clinic where the treatments will be administered. It was a nice area. As nice as can be expected considering the situation patients are in when they go there. It is right there in the Doctor's office, so that is one good thing.

I am so thankful that I was able to go to this appointment with them. They were very overwhelmed, of course. It was alot of information to take in. Luckily I had a notebook with me and tried to take notes the best I could. We were all pretty devastated of course. We knew it wasn't good. As mom kept saying, "It's not like we weren't expecting it," but it's still hard to hear. Knowing that she has only five years at best is a very difficult fact to face. We'll just have to keep praying for a miracle in the mean time. A miracle that they can come up with a cure or that God will shine down on us and give us more time.

The weekend was long and a very difficult one for all of us, especially mom. Aunt Sharon came over and stayed the weekend and she and mom went down to see Uncle Fred. It's really sad that this terrible disease is trying to take the two youngest members of the Divine Family. One is bad enough, but two?

I believe mom's greatest grief is that she is not going to be able to watch Devin grow. He still doesn't know the extent to which she is sick. I am waiting for an appropriate time to let him know, but is there ever a good time? All he knows is that MiMi is really sick and needs our Love and Prayers. Mom claims she's not afraid to die, but truth is....I'm not ready for her to go yet. I was already robbed of one parent. I didn't even get a chance to know him. God did bless me with a WONDERFUL step-father, but still the thought of losing your only living biological parent is haunting me day in and day out. I want to be married first. I want her at my wedding. I want her to be there when Devin graduates, gets married, has babies.... I realize that's not very realistic, especially now. Perhaps it's a bit selfish, but I cannot help the way I feel.

I don't blame anyone or even God for this. It is no one's fault. It is just a fact of life we must learn to live with. We must take every day and live it to the fullest and appreciate every single day we have left on this earth together.

Cancer is a hideous disease and it's claimed to many innocent lives, but now it truly is personal. I will do everything I can to fight this with my mother and once she's gone, I will do everything I can to fight it in her memory. I hope you will too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Aug. 13 - The Weekend.......

Mom seemed to be doing well over the weekend. I think most of the anxiety right now is not knowing..... Not knowing how severe the cancer really is or is not. She seemed in better spirits yesterday when I went to pick up Devin. She is able to eat more than just chicken noodle soup too, which is good.

I can't understand what mom is going through physically, but I sure wish I could get her motivated to try and do something besides sit at home. She claims to be tired all the time and that even just a trip to Bloomington wears her out, but she's has always been "tired" and that has never stopped her from working or going places. I'm just afraid that she will give up all too easy.

I know we are all pretty torn up, mentally that is. I can't begin to know what is running through mom's mind, but I know myself...well, I feel lost when I talk about it. If I could take her place, I would in a heartbeat. I have made myself this promise though....I WILL NOT CRY in front of Mom anymore. I only cried in front of her the first day, but we all were in tears. She doesn't need to worry about me. She needs to concentrate on herself.

Roger is just as bad if not worse shape mentally than I am. This is a man who would do anything for anyone. One of THE nicest, if not THE nicest people on the face of the earth that you will ever meet. I really never knew though, just HOW MUCH they truly loved each other until this happened. (September 2008 will be 25 years for them. How awesome is that.) Roger has been through so much the last six months. Grandpa Kennedy passing, crap going on at home with one of his daughters, and now this! When I went home Thursday after the diagnosis, he commented, "What did I do to deserve this?" No one like Roger deserves anything like this to happen to them. I just pray that God's plan is bigger and better than any of us can even fathom right now.

Well, we really probably won't know much until Mom's appointment with the oncologist on Friday. I am going to take off work and meet them there. I feel it's just best if I'm there to hear everything for myself and to support Mom & Roger. If I hear anything between now and then, I'll be sure to post it here. Until then, I probably won't post much, but please feel free to email me if you want to.

Thank you all for your well wishes, Love and support. We really appreciate it and now more than ever, need it. Please be sure to pray just as much for Roger as you do for Mom. Much Love to everyone......


Friday, August 10, 2007

Aug. 10 - August 9th.....not a good day.

Well, I said I didn't know if I was going to be able to keep this up, but perhaps I should. They say talking helps and I know it does help me. I'm also hoping that by blogging this, I'll be keeping a record and don't have to keep repeating myself. Our life is rapidly changing and not all of it is for the good. I will try to use this as a way to keep my family and friends updated.

Yesterday we received the worst news possible. After all we have been through, particularly mom, we found out she has cancer. This is probably the scariest thing we have ever had to face and you truly don't understand what others are going through, until it hits you directly.

To start from the beginning.........

Mom hadn't been feeling well. She had been having pains in her side, so eventually she broke down and went to the doctor on Friday, July 27th. They told her they believed she had gall stones and sent her to get a cat scan. They had scheduled her to have a colonoscopy and mammogram the following week. Well, not long after they got home on Friday, the doctors office called and said she had to go in on Monday to the doctors office, that they saw something they didn't like. They arranged for her to go meet Dr. Weddle, a Gastroenterologist. Apparently, they found a couple spots on her liver and he wanted it to be checked out. He confirmed that she had Gall Stones and that they would have take her Gall Bladder out anyway.

They scheduled her to have her Colonoscopy on Tuesday, July 31st. Because of the stuff a patient is required to digest prior to the procedure, they went ahead and admitted her to the hospital that Monday. Her colon came out clean, so they decided to go down her esophagus on Wednesday. The results from her Esophagus were clear, so they went ahead with the surgery on Thursday. They went in and took her gall bladder out and took a biopsy of her liver in three places. They ended up keeping her in the hospital until Saturday. I joked with Roger that his birthday present would be getting to take mom home. Turns out it was.

She went to see Dr. Haddad , the surgeon, yesterday for consultation and to find out the results of the biopsy and that's when we got the news. They don't believe her cancer started in the liver where they found it, but want to find out where it originated, so today, August 10th, they are going to do a mammogram and CAT scan of the upper torso to see if they can find anything. They seem to think it's either Breast or Lungs, but can't be for certain yet. Once that is done, she'll go meet with an oncologist, Dr. Dayton, on Friday.

So we really don't know anything other than she has cancer. I'm asking that anyone who reads this to please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We need all of them that we can get. As results come in and we learn new things, I will keep you updated.

God Bless,


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Aug. 09 - The start my blog.

I have no idea what I'm doing here. I just wanted to create an account so I could post a comment on someone else's blog. So if you come here looking for anything.....good luck. It'll be hit and miss. If I think about it, I may try to blog from time to time, but no guarantees.

Now, back to work and your regularly scheduled life!

Songs for Mom