Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday, 2/28/07

I had an appointment at the hospital this morning anyway, so they gave me my B-12 shot today instead of making me go back again on Thursday. I also had an appointment with the radiation onc today and I got the results of my brain MRI. Although it still shows signs of cancer, the doctor was pleased with how much smaller the area is so, unless I develop severe headaches, dizziness or something, I don't have to go see him again.

The radiation onc. is also tapering me off of the Decadron and onto Prednisone instead.

Thank you to all the cheerleaders on the Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Support board. The thought of all of you in cheerleader costumes is making me smile! :)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday, 2/26/07

We got my CT scan results today and the news wasn't good. It seems I've had a 'mixed response' to the chemo I was on. The tumor in my left lung got considerably smaller, however the tumor on my adrenal gland has gotten larger and the cancer has also spread to the other adrenal gland. What this means is that I've gotten the best result that I'm going to from the chemo I've been on, so it's time to try a different chemo.

I have to have a B-12 shot this Thursday and then next Thursday I'll start the new chemo drug,

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday, 2/25/07

Up until this past week, I haven't really felt up to having visitors. It seemed like every week there was a different reason why I didn't feel well enough physically, but there always seemed to be something. However, this past week I've been up to seeing my friends and they've been visiting me!...Friday evening Michelle visited me, and this afternoon, Ted and Cheri visited me. Thank you for brightening my days and for making me smile! :)

I'm still having some pain, but medication is keeping it pretty much under control. I think the pain medication is also helping me to sleep, and sleep, and sleep some more! I fell asleep for the night about 11 pm on Friday, I woke up just long enough on Saturday to take my medicines and to have supper, and then I slept all through the night until 8 am today. Thankfully, it hasn't felt like a drugged-out-of-it type sleep, but rather a natural sleep that has left me feeling well-rested. Just in case it would knock me out though, I made sure not to take a pain pill just before Ted and Cheri came to visit! LOL

I'm still waiting to learn the results of the MRI and CT scans that I had done on Friday. Hopefully, I should get the results tomorrow and they'll be good! :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday, 2/22/07

I had blood work done this morning, followed by an appointment with my onc. My red blood count was low, so later on when I had chemo, I had to get a shot to boost my red blood count. My white blood count was VERY high though, as were my platelets. Strange!

There wasn't enough tumor tissue, for the special lab to be able to tell if my tumor has the marker or not. I may possibly have another biopsy done.

When my onc did the physical exam, we were both surprised when he touched a spot near the location of the pain in my chest. I jumped off the table so high; I thought I was going to hit the ceiling! He thinks my pain may possibly be caused by bleeding into a tumor. He said it happens and can be quite painful when it does. I'm going to be having chest and abdominal CT scans done tomorrow, to try to determine the cause of the pain.

I'll also be having an MRI of the brain done tomorrow. That was already scheduled by the radiation onc. to see what response I've had to the brain radiation. Prayers for good results would be appreciated!

After my appointment with the onc today, I had chemotherapy. This time I got the heavy duty chemo (the one that affects my brain), along with the Taxol. I was also given some other stuff intravenously, including Iron because my Iron counts are low. It looked like they were giving me a bag of rust! LOL

This time, my chemo treatment was NOT routine! Apparently, I suddenly collapsed onto my face and when they were finally able to get me to sit up, my eyes were glazed and my face was expressionless. We're not really sure what happened. The choices seem to be that I had an allergic reaction, I had a seizure, or I fell asleep in a really fast and weird way. Whatever the cause, it lengthened my chemo session, as the drugs were stopped and then resumed s-l-o-w-l-y in case it was an allergic reaction...From my perspective, one minute I was watching TV and talking to Bruce and the nurse, and the next minute I was 'coming to', while surrounded by a room full of concerned nurses and the P.A. I was unaware of anything happening in between.

During the past couple of days I've gotten to visit with my friends Galen and Debby, and with Linda and Dave, and I can't begin to express how happy that has made me! :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday, 2/20/07

Last Tuesday, I got permission to try stopping Decadron entirely. It didn't work out; I crashed and was pretty much out of it for a few days. As a result, I'm on a 1/2 pill every other day now.

For some reason, I've also been having a lot of pain during the past week. It's difficult to distinguish whether the pain is in my right lung or if it's a muscular pain (or a combination of the two). The onc called in a prescription for me today, for stronger pain medication. I'll be seeing him on Thursday.

Now, for some GOOD news...I'm sleeping! Although the pain has been waking me up in the middle of the night when the pain medication wears off, as soon as I take another pain pill I fall asleep again. I'm getting a good 8 hours of sleep per 24 hour period now! YAY!

MORE good news! I was finally strong enough to go visit my mother yesterday! :)

I've still been getting cards, letters, photos, scrapbooking goodies, and other fun stuff in the mail. Thank you Di, Tammy, Sue, Neptune, Vivian, Bert and Sandi!...Thank you also, to Sam, Eric and Brittany, for keeping our drive-way and walk clear of snow, and thank you to Michelle for another yummy cake. Last, but not least, thank you to everyone who is continuing to pray for me!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wednesday, 2/14/07

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! :)

On Sunday, my friend Cheri gave Bruce a package to give to me. It contained the most beautiful prayer shawl that Cheri had knitted for me. On the enclosed card, it said that as she knit the shawl she prayed for me, asking for healing and comfort for me. She also explained that she chose the color green for the shawl because the traditional meaning of green is for healing, harmony, safety, hope, protection and peace, all things she prayed I'll have...Thank you Cheri!

Bruce had a dentist appointment Tuesday morning and then I had my appointment at the hospital. While I was waiting to have my lab work done, Beth from the lab came into the waiting room and said she had something for me. She gave me a beautiful hand woven book mark, made by Christian women in Afghanistan. Every time we go to the Cancer Center, Bruce and I count our blessings for having such a special place to be treated.

While waiting for the lab results on my potassium and magnesium, I saw my onc's PA. She explained that my potassium and magnesium had been so low that there was no way they'd be up to normal levels yet, even with the prescriptions I had been taking...When she returned with the lab results, she was in shock! She said, "You must have a guardian angel, because it's the only explanation for how this could happen! Your magnesium and potassium are normal!” She said never in a million years would she have expected it. She was also surprised because my other blood counts - white blood count, red blood count and platelets - were also normal. In fact, with surprise in her voice, she said they were PERFECT!...Since I was set up to have an IV anyway, she gave me some potassium and magnesium as a boost.

After I got home, I couldn't help but remember what the PA said about me having a guardian angel. There was a package in the mail for me from an online friend and it was an angel!...Thank you Michele!

Today, Bruce called the hospital to ask about making payment arrangements on a $500 co-pay we owed them. However, the hospital informed him that the bill had been paid for in full! When Bruce asked who had paid it, they wouldn't tell him. They just said it had been taken care of and we didn't owe anything on it...Afterwards, suspecting we knew who might be involved; Bruce called our neighbors, Eric and Earlyne. Although they wouldn't admit to having anything to do with it, when Bruce told them we wanted to know who to thank, they told him to thank God. They also told him that the Lord didn't want us to worry about anything....Thanks Eric and Earlyne!

Bruce and I have been doing a lot of crying lately. We haven't been crying sad tears though, but rather tears of gratitude. We are so blessed and so humbled; we don't know what to do except what Eric and Earlyne suggest...Thank You God!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday, 2/10/06

Despite having high dose Decadron with my chemo on Thursday, I got 6.5 hours of sleep Thursday night! I also got 6.5 hours of sleep last night! Woo Hoo! I'm beginning to feel human again!

I doubt most of you really care about the day-to-day side-effects I'm having so, unless something unexpected comes up, I'm going to start posting only once or twice a week.

The next time I post will probably be Tuesday evening, as I have to have lab work done on Tuesday to see if my magnesium and potassium are up to where they should be. If they're not, I'll have to get them intravenously. Also on Tuesday, I'll find out if I taper off the Decadron some more.

I pray you all have a blessed week-end!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Thursday, 2/08/06

I had early appointments at the hospital today, to have lab work done and to get chemo. My red blood counts are low, so I had to get a shoot to boost them. My white blood counts are great though...Receiving the chemo was uneventful, although I was bummed that I had to have high dose Decadron with it, since today is my day off from the Decadron pill. I really enjoyed getting some sleep Tuesday night! LOL

Some good news is that I've gained back 2 of the pounds that I lost last week! Normally, I'd be thrilled about losing weight but, considering the situation, one of my goals has been to maintain the weight I was when I was released from the hospital. There will be plenty of time to lose a few more pounds if I want to, after I go into remission.

The P.A. had my Magnesium and Potassium tested today. She called this afternoon to say they were both low, so she called in prescriptions for me.

Also after we got home from the hospital, my health insurance company called to say they've approved the testing for the marker! Wow! I'm impressed that they called to tell me!...Apparently, my onc didn't even know yet. They said they were going to call him after they got off the phone with Bruce. Now, my onc will be able to send a piece of my tumor away to a special lab, to have the testing done. Please be praying my cancer has the marker!

Wednesday, 2/07/06

I got SIX hours of continuous, uninterrupted sleep last night! Wow! It's amazing what 6 hours of sleep can do for someone. I feel great!

Thank you to everyone who has been praying that I'd get some sleep! Also, thank you to everyone who has been leaving messages for me!

Tuesday, 2/06/06

Bruce called the radiation oncologist today, to see if I can continue tapering off of the Decadron. He said I can start taking one pill every other day. Yay!

I received the 25th Anniversary edition of the books 'Prayers That Avail Much' in the mail today, from an online friend. Thank you Bert! I'm looking forward to reading it!

Monday, 2/05/06

As long as I remember to take the anti-diarrhea medicine on time, the diarrhea is under control. Also, the nausea has stopped!. Now, if I could just get some sleep!

Some people have been asking if I've heard yet, whether or not my cancer has the marker so I can get that medicine. Unfortunately, it hasn't even been sent out for testing yet. We're still waiting for approval from my health insurance company, to have the cancer tested! Since the chances are so low of having the marker, many insurance companies don't want to pay for the testing.

Sunday, 2/04/06

The diarrhea is coming under control, but I was still nauseous today and for the first time in weeks, I vomited.

Saturday, 2/03/07

Bruce called the doctor today about the severe diarrhea I'm still having. A prescription has been called in for me. I'm also still feeling nauseous today, so I'm taking the anti-nausea medicine again.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Friday, 2/02/07

Despite taking Immodium and following the list of what to eat and not eat that the P.A. gave me, I'm still having diarrhea. I'm also feeling nauseous today. I can't help but wonder how much of what's going on is caused by fatigue and not the chemo.

Thursday, 2/01/07

I was awake most of the night with severe diarrhea, so I'm even more exhausted than I have been. However, I do have some GOOD news! The pain in my hip bone is gone! Thank You Lord! :)

After having lab work done today, I saw my onc's PA and then I had chemo. The PA gave me a list of foods to eat and not eat, for the diarrhea. She also looked at my swollen feet and ankles, and the rash that they're covered with now. She told me to keep them elevated as much as possible and to use Vitamin E lotion on the rash during the day and Bag Balm on them at night.

I've lost 5 pounds during the past week, which I can't figure out since I've been eating well all week and I've been holding everything down. The only thing we can figure is that the diarrhea I've been having caused the weight loss.

Since I'm down to only 1 Decadron pill a day now, I needed to be given Decadron intravenously with my chemo. I was in a different room this time and the room was comfortably warm!

Wednesday, 1/31/07

The diarrhea is much worse today, but the bone pain isn't as bad as it was yesterday.

A card with a check came today, from our good friends Harold and Brenda. Thanks Harold and Brenda! You can't imagine how much we appreciate it!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Tuesday, 1/30/07

Bruce called the dentist office today. They were open, but our dentist is out of the country! He'll be back on Thursday though, so we can drop the partial off on our way to the hospital when I go for chemo.

I'm not sure anyone really wants to hear this, but...

I developed diarrhea today.

Bone pain (a side-effect from Neulasta) started in my right hip today.

I am SO tired! Please be praying that I'm able to get some sleep soon!

Monday, 1/29/07

My head is slowly starting to clear some, although typing is still a challenge for me.

I'm still getting only 2-3 hours of sleep per 24 hour period, so I can't help but wonder how much sheer exhaustion is contributing to my foggy mind. I got to drop to my Dacadron down to 1 pill a day today, so maybe the reduced dose will start allowing me to get more sleep.

I received a HUGE box of office supplies in the mail today, from Bruce's aunt and uncle. They've mentioned before that they think I should write a book, so I think this was their "nudge". LOL Thanks Laurice and Bill!

Sunday, 1/28/07

Bruce's temporary partial denture broke again today and, of course, being Sunday the dentist isn't open. To make matters worse, Bruce thinks the dentist is on vacation this coming week!

I still can't think properly, so I'm trying to do "non-thinking" tasks. Bruce brings me a messy drawer (or something similar), and I sit on the couch and sort through and organize it. If nothing else, I'm getting some long over-due household organization done and, if I forget what I'm doing while doing it, it's no big deal. At least I'm not destroying my web site, the way I almost did the first time I had Carboplatin!

Saturday, 1/27/07

I'm still having trouble concentrating and it is so frustrating, especially since I'm trying to run an online business and computer tasks are the most difficult for me to do.

I got a card in the mail today from Bruce's cousin and it contained a check. It is so humbling to be receiving financial gifts from people, that it moves us to tears and we don't know how to say thank you. It is also SO appreciated though!

For those of you who don't know, since Bruce is on Medicare, I have to pay for private health insurance for myself. The insurance is expensive enough as it is so, since I've always been healthy, I didn't get the best plan out there. I'm having to pay co-pays left and right and your financial gifts have helped enormously.

Thank you Anita and Chuck!

Friday, 1/26/07

I'm still having a lot of trouble staying focused and concentrating on anything and, for some reason, typing is especially difficult for me.

I had to go to the hospital today to get a
Neulasta shot, to help boost my white blood count. Pastor Dan asked us if we could stop at his house on the way there. He had a box filled with packaged foods for us. Thank you Dan and Debby!