Monday, August 29, 2011

August 2011 Update

I see that the last update was in December 2010 and there is good news to report.

Barb had a visit with her oncologist last week (After celebrating her 40th Wedding Anniversary) and word is that she's good! Her CA125 was 7.4 (or something close to that). She is staying busy always keeping a full calendar.

It seems like there is so much more that I should share - but really - this is the Blog on Barb so I'll leave it at that. We are Good - because She is Good!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28, 2010 Update on Barb

Every once in while I get a follow up "How is your mom?" So I thought I better update everyone that was FOLLOWING!

Just over TWO years ago, Mom/Barb was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. If you kept up with the blog, you know that things went pretty CRAZY at first. Once we got the treatments going though, the dust started to settle.

Anyway - in the last couple months she has had some important milestones in her CANCER Journey! In November she hit the 1 year mark for being CANCER FREE and without TREATMENTS for one year. A couple weeks ago her CT Scan was CLEAN and her CA125 was a 2 (I think that is the lowest it's ever been).

TODAY her PORT was removed!!!

We can't assume the story or journey ends here - but this is CERTAINLY GREAT NEWS for now! She will be closely monitored by the oncologist for at least the next three years and will have routine CT Scans and CA125 tests. We also know that any time she gets a cold or flu, she (along with the rest of us) will panic and think the cancer is back....but at this point she is REALLY GREAT!

Thank you all for your unending care, concern and of course PRAYERS!!! Bring on 2011!!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

End of Summer Update

So it seems that Barb has been around the world... oh alright, so just around part of the United States Anyway! She is FEELING GOOD and her hair is growing in (as if that is all that matters)!!!

This Summer she had a Follow up appointment (described in our last posting), She had some fun with CJ there in CA, Then she spent some time in the Midwest at her 40th High School Reunion (Go Raiders) and hanging out here in Kansas City.

She's back at home and the most recent word was that her CA 125 was at a 7. Now remember that isn't the best indicator for her....but that is still really good news. Since there really isn't much else to report - Mom just wanted me to THANK everyone for their continuous Love and Prayers. We know you don't all check this very often but we are keeping it "LIVE" so WE remember what she went through, to provide help to others experiencing similar plights, and so that we can continue to celebrate her success & joys throughout her treatments and living her life!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Some Follow Up

Hello Hello!

Sorry for the length of time between posts but there really hasn't been much to report. NOW there is though. We have a couple of updates and stories to share- so it's finally time for this follow up!

We'll start with the fun story:

Mom has a friend from high school who comes from a Family FULL of DOCTORS and she also happens to write for a medical journal. Wanting to make sure we had taken the best course of action and made the right decisions we asked Judy to tap into her resources and see what they would recommend. They all said "she should see Dr. John Chan at UCSF!" And guess what - that's who MOM sees!!!! So that made us feel really good about mom's doctors and the care she's been receiving.

Now for the updates:

On Friday, Mom had a visit with Dr. Chan (her oncology surgeon). This was a follow up appointment from her Surgery on December 18. The update is that Mom looks good! Her most recent CT Scans were CLEAN. Dr Chan was happy with the results and said that she should stay on the AVASTIN as maintenance treatment.

Mom had chosen to stop chemo therapy (since she made it through the prescribed course of treatment) and is just having AVASTIN infusions every 21 days (as long as the insurance will allow it). There really isn't an ANSWER GUIDE to tell us if this is the RIGHT or WRONG decision but after letting Dr. Chan know about what she is doing and discussing her options - he AGREED and said this is the best course of action at this time.

Then we had some Questions for Dr Chan:

One of the Questions that we had was "does this mean she's Cancer Free?" Dr. Chan's response was "No, Not yet." He explained that she had cancer and underwent treatment and that now she is in the maintenance phase. In this phase all we can do is continue with the maintenance drugs and wait....Wait for the Cancer to reoccur OR not. If after two years without any signs of cancer then that is GOOD news.

Another Question that we asked was about Nutrition "What should mom eat to boost her immune system?" And then we talked about whether certain foods feed cancer or not. He said that there really wasn't anything she could eat to boost her immune system and just told her to eat a well balanced diet. OVARIAN CANCER cannot be brought on by DIET, EXERCISE or LIFESTYLE so she can eat sugar, chocolate, whatever!!! Just needs to maintain a normal healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

Then since we all have this DANG Summer Cold AND since Mom is traveling next month we asked him about AIRBORNE!!! (te hee, yes we wasted his time asking him what he thought about Airborne). His response included a smile and smirk (that he did not present at any other time during the appointment) and said, "well, my wife swears by it but I don't use it" and that was all he said!!!

WHEW this has been long...but in closing:

We can't say she's in the clear.

We can say that she feels good, her hair is starting to grow back, and her results so far are GREAT.

Life is Good.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ring a Ding Ding!

Mom has finished her scheduled treatment plan for her Ovarian Cancer! At the Redwood Regional Oncology Center, there is a BELL in the lobby/waiting area. When you finish your treatment - you get to ring the bell.

So, last week, Mom rang the bell!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weighing the Options

Barb, our super hero, is nearing the end of her treatment plan. The outlook was grim but the doctors have been so impressed with her response to the disease fighting infusions they've been giving her. They say she can:

A. Continue with Taxal, once a month for a year with close monitoring (turn to page 62)


B. Stop the treatments altogether and be closely monitored (turn to page 65)

But since this is real life and not a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book...we can't really look ahead. What we do know is that Mom is down to two more treatments (May 26 and June 2).
These are the last of the Original 6 treatments that she was scheduled to get (that somehow turned into like 15 or so...that just according to me...I don't really know how many she's gotten).

Anyway, She's weighing her options and talking to people. She has some friends who have faced ovarian and other forms of cancer and have "beat the odds." So she's talking and planning and moving on...but in what direction? FORWARD.

She's looking forward to our visit this summer and her 40th High School Reunion in August. That's about it for now though.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just a Few More

Howdy All,

Sorry it's been so long since the last update (I almost forgot my log in information). Wanted to give you an update though.

Mom had Chemo today! She has Treatments scheduled for May 19, and 26 and then should have her last round on June 2!!! She's looking forward to finishing up.

Her and Dr. Anderson are going over her options...because it is a RARE form of cancer with "squamous cells" (the floaters), Doc thinks she's going to have be a HIGH RISK for recurrence. BUT they won't know until they quit with all the chemo. He is VERY PLEASED with the CT Scans and says there are ZERO Signs of Cancer right now. SO that is very good.

Mom is Excited to be done and is busy making plans for Me, Tim and CJ to visit in Early July and then she and Dad will be making a trip back to Kansas City and Sioux City in August. So the calendar is getting filled again!

That's all for now - Hope all is well with everyone reading this! Happy Tuesday.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Birthday Post

Happy Birthday MOM! Here is a Cute Picture of her with her Birthday Cake in the shape of a HAT because she's considering hats for a change!

Today is Mom's Birthday. Yesterday she had a small celebration with family. Today and the rest of this week she is just resting. She will have Chemo again this week. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though in terms of Chemo Treatments (at least from the first plan of action). She should be done with them by the end of this month. Yippee!
God Grant You Many Years, God Grant You Many Years, God Grant you Many, Many, Many YEARS!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gosh Darn It

Mom had a nice visit with Mike and Abby. They all went out to dinner at the Bear Republic (one of my favorite treats) and my friend Emily just happened to be there. She wrote on my wall (Facebook Thingy) right away saying that mom looked "AWESOME."

I know that mom's been pretty tired though. Also, the other night she commented on how cold she was, so I asked if she had a fever. She didn't know but said she'd check. Well apparently she did have a fever.

Today she was at the oncology center and they gave her chemo anyway (despite the fever last night). They also ordered a bunch of new tests (more ultrasounds, x-rays and CT Scans). So she'll be busy this week with medical tests. Please keep her lifted in prayer - She really does have a positive attitude and that's great. It's just frustrating for me to hear of more tests - this bites.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Doing Well

Mom came home from the Hospital early this week. Saw Dr. Anderson and received Chemo already! After getting her dose of chemo she even went shopping. I talked with her yesterday and today and she seems to be doing well. Mike and Abby arrive tomorrow morning so I hope everything stays on a good course for her through the weekend at least!!!

Really hasn't been anything new. Mom did arrange for some house cleaners - and she LOVES that. She said it's quite a LUXURY but I say she deserves it!