Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cycle 5

Cycle 5 is going well. I had a real appetite yesterday for the first time in months. It started when I made myself a cup of noodle soup before my chemo. Then I had some cheese its at chemo and came home to eat a chicken fajita pita and some curly fries. Later, while helping my daughter with her homework, we shared some butter lovers popcorn. I haven't eaten that much in a long time! I was really proud of myself :0)
My son did not want to sleep last night. We are out of his medication, so I am dealing with him being super hyper and non-compliant. He ended finally passing out at 3am, so needless to say I am exhausted this morning. I had trouble getting to sleep after that and was awake until almost 5am. Hard when I have to be up at 6:30 to get my daughter ready for school. It's really difficult to deal with all of this alone and I really wish hubby were home.

Besides being overly tired and needing some coffee, Day 2 is going alright. I go in for treatment this afternoon for 2 hours and then come home with the pump again for another 22 hours. The only real side effect that I am feeling right now is the cold sensitivity.

In other good news, my CEA and CA 19-9 numbers continue to go down. Since my last blood test my CEA was more cut by more than half. They are still fairly high (I have a lot of Cancer), but they are going in the right direction and the treatment is working. I believe that all the positive thoughts and prayers for me have had a huge impact in how I am doing. I truly believe that is what is helping me to deal with everything and remain positive. Much love to all of you :0)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rough Day

Had a rough day yesterday. Not feeling well both physically and had a huge surge of emotions that overwhelmed me. I spent a good part of the morning crying. My mom came over to take care of the kids, so that I could get some much needed sleep. I need to learn that my body doesn't work the way that it used to and I can't stay up late and get up early anymore.

I have so many thoughts going through my head and I have that the first thing that I think of in the morning is that, "I have cancer." The harsh reality and then a million thoughts come rushing in. Cancer has changed my whole perspective on everything. The "little things" that used to irritate me don't seem as important anymore. I spend each and every day telling and showing my children how much that I love them. There is not a moment that they are not in my thoughts. I think about living and seeing all their important moments and sadly I think about dying and leaving them without a mommy. I want so badly to live. but sometimes wanting is not enough. I pray that my body cooperates with the chemo and I can get more time to see all those "moments". None of us are promised tomorrow, but it seems so much scarier when you realize what that really means. I'm a fighter and I WILL fight for more time....

Friday, September 18, 2009


No big plans for the weekend except hanging out with my mom and the kids. We may treat ourselves and get a Starbucks too.

I am really enjoying the break from the biological treatments - already seeing a difference in my skin. Hopefully, I can keep it a little more managed with the new lower dose when we resume this treatment in the 30th. Currently, I am gearing up for Cycle 5 next week and hoping that it goes a little better for me than Cycle 4. Normally, I feel better the Tuesday after I get "unhooked", but this week it really took until today (Friday) for me to feel "normal". Hopefully, this will be the worst of it. :0)

Couldn't schedule my PET scan yet as the tech informed us that it is actually 10 hours that I need to keep my distance from my children, (At least an arms length). This means that my children need to spend the night elsewhere or it will never work. Needless to say, anyone who has children understands that it would be next to impossible to keep my kids away from me if we are in the same house. LOL

Looking forward to some "fun stuff" that is in the planning stages that I will update you all on at a later date. ;0) Really want to spend as much time doing things with my family and my children as life and time in general is just too precious to waste.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Link to My daughter's Blog ;0)

Getting a Break!

Doctor decided to take it easy on me and give me two weeks off on my weekly biological treatment in order for my acne-like rash to clear up a little. When we restart, they will be giving me a lower dose to help manage the side effects. I am really happy about is my face after all ;0)

My family and I finally have a plan on how to get my PET scan completed since I can't be around my children for 6 hours following. I am nervous about it, but I know it will give them a baseline as to where we are really at with my cancer.

Today, I am finally feeling much better after a much rougher cycle 4 last week. Finally, I have my appetite back and am looking forward to a fully loaded Subway Sandwich for a late lunch. Nothing else much planned for the day except spending time with my kiddos.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I just finished Cycle 4 of my Chemo yesterday and I still feel pretty good. The Chemo that I am taking fortunately does not make you lose your hair, but the biological treatment that I have every Tuesday makes me break out like a teenager :0( Still don't have much of an appetite, but that usually returns after the metallic taste has left my mouth. Cold sensitivity is pretty high right now. Touching anything cold feels like I am being burned. Made it hard to make that Frozen pizza for the kids for lunch.

I think my daughter is getting a cold, so I made her some chicken noodle soup. My mom is making us her famous "pie pie" and Chocolate Chip cookies for dinner. Hoping my appetite returns by them as those are my favorites. Looking forward to spending the weekend relaxing with my mom and the kids. I feel so fortunate to have my mom nearby. She has been a tremendous support through all of this.

My hubby will be gone for a least another month. He just signed his truck lease and has finally been making the miles that we were praying for. yay! We (the kids and I) miss him, but know that he is out there trying to provide for us. It has been difficult for him to be away from us, but we are making the best of the situation. We have lots of long telephone conversations that help us through.

I am especially thankful for all my extended family and friends who follow me on facebook, my blog and daily who are praying for me. I really do believe that those prayers are working. At last check my CEA counts were half of what we started with. The Chemo is working to kick this cancer's bootie!

The Start of Chemo

I began cycle 1 of my Chemo on July 28th, 2009. I was nervous and very anxious. I had no idea what to expect to how my reaction would be to the Chemo. The first day in the treatment room was 6 hours as the initial dose takes the longest. I came home with a pump that I would have to wear for 22 hours and return to get more treatment and then another 22 hour refill. The third day, I get "unhooked". This is how the cycle will go for 6 months..well past Christmas. The medications that they give you now for nausea are awesome. For the most part, I felt pretty good. Maybe just a little more tired, not much of an appetite, and a little bit of a tummy ache.

I felt good enough that second day to go school supply and uniform shopping for my kids since they started school on August 3rd. I lost 30 lbs since my release from the hospital from my lack of appetite, so now I work really hard on maintaining,so that I don;t end up like a skeleton. ;0)

Hospital Visitors and going home

I was so fortunate to have such a supportive family. My mom came daily and brought my daughter along. I requested that my youngest not be brought because I knew it would break my heart that I couldn't hold him. My youngest brother drew me a picture (He is an awesome artist) of my baby as I remember him best..sitting in his car seat with the air conditioning blowing in his hair with the hugest smile on his face. That vision is what got me through those days without my little boy.

Tyler and Daddy spent the first few nights with me, but we don't have a car right now since mine caught on fire on Memorial Day. So, it became to difficult for him to get to the hospital and Tyler was getting restless. So, my mom would come daily and try to encourage me as best as she could. My daughter being there was the best even though I know it was hard for her to see me like that.

I recovered quickly as I always do and couldn't wait until they gave me the okay to go home. The first few weeks home were hard, as I was still recovering from surgery and needed help. I was so fortunate that my youngest brother is as awesome as he is. He came to live with me during those first few weeks and helped to take care of the kids. He was awesome and I owe him so much!

My dad drove all the way from Minnesota to come and see me right after my release from the hospital. It was so nice the first few days to have my family together. I enjoyed that visit so much. :0)

Surgery and Post-op

The morning of July 3rd, 2009, I was taken in for exploratory surgery. The surgery ended up taking about 6 hours. While they were in surgery, they discovered that I had a 16mm tumor on my colon which they removed, a perforated bowel, and a 13mm tumor on my liver. My insides were almost septic and they had to flush me out about 6 times. I was on a multitude of antibiotics from the infectious disease Doctor during my entire eight day hospital stay and ended up needing a blood transfusion.

After the surgery was completed, I was very groggy and completely lost on what everyone was telling me. I could not comprehend that at age 34, I have stage IV Colon Cancer. They warned me that the next year would be the hardest battle of my life. My doctors were my peers and they themselves were in shock.

My hospital stay was wonderful (as far as being in a hospital goes). The Doctors and Nurses were great and did a wonderful job of explaining things to me. My surgeon's PA was awesome and even printed out a ton of information for me on treatment options and what my diagnosis means. I refuse to listen to statistics..I am young and otherwise healthy..I can totally kick this cancer to the curb!

How It all Started

On July 2nd, 2009 after months of stomach pains that progressively had gotten worse, I decided that I could not take that pain anymore. My husband had come home for his "home time" as a truck driver and I asked him to take me to the local clinic. He was happy that I finally wanted to go to the Doctor as he had been urging me for since March, but I hesitated because of insurance issues.

I was seen at the local clinic, but because of all of my symptoms and not having the right equipment they urged me to immediately go to the ER at Banner Estrella Hospital. I made arrangements for my kids to be watched (except for Tyler who came with Daddy and I) and we headed off to the hospital. I was feeling my worst ever by this time and very scared of what was wrong with me.

We were seen very quickly in the ER because of the symptoms I was having and the fact that my heart rate was so elevated. Last I heard, it was 147 upon being admitted. The Doctor started his exam and mentioned that I had a defect in a hernia that I had repaired in 2005. I thought that that was all it was. They gave me some medicine for the pain and ran several blood tests before sending me in for a CT Scan.

They came back and said I had earned myself a room and I was so scared. They moved me to an ER room and I waited for the Doctor to come in with the results. Tyler was hungry, so Scott took him to the vending machines. While he was gone the Doctor came back in and said, "Your CT scan shows a real mess..we are not sure what is going have some spits on your liver that we think are cancer..we are going to have to do exploratory surgery to figure this all out". He then went on to tell me that I was really lucky that I came in to the ER. "You probably would not have made it here". Boy does that make you feel blessed!