Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Genetic Testing

Mom sounds really good! Apparently the Taxal does not make her so sick. Today she had blood drawn so that it could be sent for genetic testing. IF insurance approves her for this then they'll send it on and see if this cancer is hereditary or not. IF insurance does not approve it...then we won't know (but her doctors said they would fight for the testing). It will probably be several weeks before we know any more on that though.

Mom is scheduled for Chemo on Friday (just the Taxal again). She was eating pizza tonight for dinner so I think she's doing well!

She's been out and about, visiting, and partying but she still is really only up for one outing per day. Nothing new to report otherwise. Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good News

Mom went today for labs and chemo. Labs came back good so they went ahead and gave her Taxal (just one of the chemo drugs). Since it was just one drug today the infusion did not take as long.

She also saw the Nurse Practitioner today and got the results of her latest CT Scan. The tumors have decreased dramatically, there is less fluid being retained, and they said the scan was really clear. SUPER GOOD NEWS.

They did also get her a different prescription for anti nausea medicine. Mom doesn't like taking drugs so I think she has been feeling pretty rough...when really she should be taking more pills to get rid of the nausea. Hopefully the Taxal by itself won't make her so sick and the new medicine can help her feel a bit better. That's it for now though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ask Your Doctor Follow UP and UPDATE on Mom

If you are all saavy enough to read the notes you'll see a comment by Debbie following the "Ask Your Doctor Post." I want to give some follow up to it because DEBBIE YOU ARE RIGHT :)

And for those of you not saavy enought to read the comments - Debbie shared that most doctors don't like to perform the test because it's not reliable.

I did some research on CA125 when mom first told me she had requested it. Since I'm not a doctor please don't hold me to this BUT the CA125 is a test that when used on a cancer patient, can give the doctor an idea of how BAD the cancer is. When people request the test that are NOT Cancer patients (Like my mom when she requested it) the results can be misleading as they may give a false positive.

HOWEVER, in mom's case it was better safe than sorry.

Some other information I read lately talks about Ovarian Cancer as a silent killer because most women don't realize that anything is wrong until the cancer is too far along. This is pretty interesting too since when mom was first diagnosed it was Stage 1 meaning pretty early on. BUT upon further CT Scans, Tests, and the evidence of her organs starting to shut down in the hospital I think her doctors indicated it was more like Stage 3.

As for how mom is feeling....still pretty rough. The good news is that she ate today!!! Nothing tastes good to her (even water tastes metallic). The food she ate was a subway sandwich and she said the MUSTARD and PEPPEROCINNIS were the best part! Not sure how she's going to do the rest of this week because if everything goes as scheduled she'll be up having lab tests tomorrow and then possibly chemo again on Thursday. Keep her in your prayers so that she can get through all the chemo!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ask Your Doctor...

This bumper sticker is Mom's new motto. For those of you that don't know, she heard about the CA125 test on TV. In 2007 she requested that the lab run the CA125 test at the time of her annual exam...they didn't. In 2008 she requested it again and they said no, then she put her foot down and said "I want the results of the CA125." The results came back "slightly elevated" but this truly is what got her doctor thinking she had cancer!

So, if you hear something on TV and think you should follow up on it...DO!

Mom had chemo on Thursday and did good Thursday & Friday but now yesterday and today have been pretty miserable. She's been really tired and had lots of nausea. She's looking forward to good week ahead though!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Talked to Mom today - her voice is all scratchy sounding. I thought maybe she was sick already - but she was just laying out in the backyard relaxing. Said it was a really nice day and she felt good. She had her CT Scan this morning and the results were being sent to her Oncologist, General Practitioner and OB. So she's going to check in early next week with Dr. Devor (GP) to see if he can fill her in on the results of the CT Scan. That's it for now - Happy Friday all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Long Day

Hello Hello

Sorry there hasn't been an update lately. Last week mom's chemo plan changed because her counts were too low. Today was the new day though. She went up yesterday and her counts were good. So this morning she went up about 9:30 ish. She recieved Taxal, CarboPlatin, and Avastan. Avastan is a new "experimental" drug that is typically used with colon and breast cancers. It is not actually a chemo but a booster for the chemo....if I understood correctly. She was in the chair today till about 4:30.

Tomorrow she'll have a CT scan but won't know the results for a while because Doc is out of town. BUT, from all the blood they've been taking Doc's been pleased because her CA125 result is coming down. CA125 was the test that got the docs thinking she had cancer in the first place. I don't know that I have all the numbers right but I think this is the breakdown (please don't hold me to this):

Her First Test 56 (Doc's think - hmmm maybe she has cancer)
Another Test 167 (when she was in the hospital)
And Now she's down to 32 (or something that seems to be in the "normal" range)

Anyway - we talked tonight and she sounded good.

She had a class on Monday at the Cancer Society and learned how to do her make up once she loses her eyebrows and lashes. She said it was good. No one in the class knew she was wearing a wig, until she told them!!! She also learned how to make a turban out of a t-shirt, she thought that was pretty cool.

That's about it for now. It was a long day for her...and she doesn't know how to work the iPod...so if there are any iPod specialists out there...you might drop by and teach her how to use it. She would also like some help downloading some podcasts from Ancient Faith Radio...so if you can help her figure out how to use the iPod and download stuff, make a date with her and get to it!!!

Thanks all for your continued prayers, and thoughts for her restored health. Ta ta for now.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Change in Plans

Talked to mom tonight about her visit to the doc today. She won't be getting chemo tomorrow because her cell count is too low. So they'll wait till next week to do the chemo again. She's good with that. Today was one of the first days that she reduced her pain medicine so that one change was good for this week. So with this change in plans her new schedule is Labs on Wednesday, Chemo on Thursday, and CT scan on Friday (next week).

Mom made it to church last night - her first time since some time back in January. She said it was nice and it's feeling good to her to get out about one little trip/excursion per day.

That's about it for now though - nothing else new to report.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Visits and Emails and Cards - OH MY!

Talked to mom today and she had a nice lunch at Round Table, said she was happy she went! She was pretty tired this afternoon, although a 30 minute rest took care of that.

While there really isn't anything new to report today, I realize that many people are checking this daily and I don't want to leave anything out! I realized that I forgot to tell you that on FRIDAY this week she will have another round of chemo (remember they changed her schedule up so she'll be getting a dose every week now for a while). That's it though.

Mom also wanted me to be sure and say THANK YOU (from all of us: Barb, Craig, Kara, & Marcus) for all of the visits, emails and cards! Mom can't believe how many people are out there praying for her and pulling for her. The support is overwhelming and we all want to let you know how much we've appreciated everything!!! So I'll use mom's excuse of Chemo Brain to let you know that we can't possibly respond to every card, email or visit but just as you are praying for mom's health and strength, we too are thanking GOD for our many blessings - YOU!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Running around with no hair on!

he he he...I was just talking to mom on the phone when she said... "Oh shoot, someone is here and I'm running around with no hair on!" Oh my goodness that made me laugh (and hopefully you too).

Anyway, she's feeling pretty good and has an exciting week ahead.

Monday she's hoping to stop in at Roundtable for a SHORT lunch with her SSA Friends.
Wednesday she's meeting with the Pain Specialist to hopefully reduce the meds.
Thursday she gets labs done and meets with Dr. Anderson (her oncologist).
Friday she is going to have a visit from her brother/my uncle Jack!

She doesn't have anything planned for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday Afternoons - but that's probably a good thing. She still needs lots of rest!

She's been reading emails - but says she can't respond to them. She tries to and then has to move on to something else and if you've been reading comments you'll find that this is actually called "CHEMO BRAIN." Some friends who have been through chemo reminded her that this is actually a side effect of the chemo.

That's really about it for now - here is a cute picture of mom enjoying her new hair do (so what she looks like when she has the wig on...not so sure she wants me posting a bald one yet). Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Things

Mom had an appointment today at Redwood Regional Oncology Center. They just did some labs to make sure her counts are all good. She left the visit with a NEW Chemo schedule. She will now be getting Taxal every week and CarboPlatin every 3 weeks. I think she is ok with that.

THEN, Mom and Dad informed me today that Mom's hair is really falling out now, so today Mom went and got a NEW Haircut. Dad said she looks like a tennis ball! And since she is not quite ready to sport the bald look (along with her brothers) she also got a NEW Wig. Apparently she didn't like the 3 that I brought home for her. Thanks to Helen and Aunt Molly who helped her pick a wig that is pretty similar to her natural hair.

I think all the NEWNESS tired her out though because Dad called to give me the update and said Mom had to go rest. If you call her or visit her REMIND her that she needs to rest and remember to keep your visit short. We want her to have a NEW lease on life after all this chemo stuff!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Now What?

I talked to mom yesterday and today...and she's trying to figure out what to do! She's bored...but she gets tired so quick and easy. She wants to get out and do stuff...but she can do one little trip (like to the post office) and then she has to come home and sleep. She wants to see people...but not all at once and only in short spurts. She asked me yesterday if I could help her post to the blog...but then she got to tired.

Oh yeah and she told me today that she has trouble focusing...then during our phone call she and dad went over the Costco Shopping list and then came back to talking to me. I can't remember if trouble focusing is a side effect of the chemo...or if it is just in mom's nature to be GOING, GOING, GOING and her body is trying to remind her to take care of herself. Who knows. But that is the update for now.

Not too much to report - she's sounding good. It seems like maybe the day after chemo is good and then the two days following are harder. She goes to the doctor this Wednesday to check her blood work and all so we might have a more significant update later this week!