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